First Lizard Was 100% Lizard
Evolutionists celebrate the earliest fossil lizard, but have to push back the origin of lizards by 75 million years.
CT scans of a fossil found in the early 2000’s has revealed it to be a lizard. Its location in the Dolomite mountains in Italy requires evolutionists to date it at 240 million Darwin Years. That, however, pushes the origin of lizards 75 million years earlier than evolutionists thought. From the bones, the artwork and the text, though, nothing reveals this animal to be a transitional form. It looks like a lizard one might find scampering about today.
The press release from University of Bristol includes a video clip of the discovery and analysis. Good scientific work was done on the fossil, but support for its evolutionary status appears strained. The researchers assert it evolved, and that all subsequent squamates (lizards and snakes) evolved from it, but no evidence is presented to support that view. Instead, they speculate that the ancestor of lizards must have evolved earlier.
The 240-million-year-old fossil, Megachirella wachtleri, is the most ancient ancestor of all modern lizards and snakes, known as squamates, the new study, published today in the journal Nature, shows.
The fossil, along with data from both living and extinct reptiles —which involved anatomical data drawn from CT scans and DNA— suggests the origin of squamates is even older, taking place in the late Permian period, more than 250 million years ago.
Tiago Simões, Lead author and PhD student from the University of Alberta in Canada, said: “The specimen is 75 million years older than what we thought were the oldest fossil lizards in the entire world and provides valuable information for understanding the evolution of both living and extinct squamates.”
Why doesn’t this fossil provide “valuable information for understanding” that lizards did not evolve? The only reason is that Darwinians require lizards (and all organisms) to have bacteria ancestors. As many previous posts have shown, however, various groups are seen in the fossil record to have appeared earlier than expected.
Currently, there are 10,000 species of lizards and snakes around the world—twice as many different species as mammals. Despite this modern diversity, scientists did not know much about the early stages of their evolution.
It appears now, with this fossil, that they know even less about lizard evolution. This fossil was not a pre-lizard; it was a lizard. To an evolutionist, finding a true lizard 240 million Darwin Years old must seem unbelievable.
Co-author Dr Randall Nydam of the Midwestern University in Arizona, said: “At first I did not think Megachirella was a true lizard, but the empirical evidence uncovered in this study is substantial and can lead to no other conclusion.”
In science, one should question a theory when evidence contradicts it. Rather than question evolution, though, these Darwinian scientists are only altering details of evolutionary theory. It forces them, however, to believe that lizard evolution occurred in less time than they thought. “The restudy of Megachirella wachtleri fossil allowed the authors to re-write the history of all fossil and living lizards and snakes,” the press release says. One can be sure that they will only re-write that history in Darwinian terms, despite the evidence against it.
Update 5/30/18: Live Science tends to write its own material rather than regurgitate press releases, but reporter Mindy Waisberger could not bring herself to critique what the press release says. She calls Megachirella “the mother of all lizards” that is helping scientists “to understand its placement in the evolutionary tree of reptiles.” Said understanding, though, always resides in the future, to give Darwinians job security:
“What we are discovering is the tip of the iceberg, and much further work needs to be done to understand the early evolution of squamates,” he [Simões] said.
Caribbean Lizard Diversification
Another example of twisting data into an evolutionary mindset comes from Puerto Rico. The Caribbean Islands contain a remarkable diversity of anole lizards, including some varieties that prefer particular microclimates on the same tree. A press release from the University of Missouri hails this as a triumph of evolutionary theory:
The islands of Puerto Rico, Cuba, Hispaniola, and Jamaica — collectively known as the Greater Antilles — are home to more than 100 species of Anolis lizards.
The success of this colorful group of reptiles is often attributed to the evolution of distinct body shapes and behaviors that allow species to occupy different ecological niches.
A new study from the lab of Dr. Manuel Leal with the Division of Biological Sciences reports that the evolution of physiological differences that allow these lizards to take advantage of different microclimates (e.g., sun vs. shade) may have been just as important as these physical differences.
The observed variations in these lizards would make a young-earth creationist yawn. These are not just lizards; they are Anolis lizards. Yet the press release, and the Royal Society paper behind it, celebrate the measurements of these lizards as somehow supporting Darwinism. At the same time, the findings provide job security for evolutionists by letting them take more Caribbean vacations to try to tease out nuances of Darwinian evolution that the data seem to contradict.
For scientists, the Greater Antillean anoles represent a classic example of an evolutionary process known as adaptive radiation. After appearing on each of the four islands about 50 million years ago, the colorful lizards quickly diversified to exploit different niches on the island’s trees, including the canopy, trunk near the ground, mid-trunk, and other twigs. Each new species developed its own distinct body type, called an ecomorph, adapted to the niche where it lived. According to Leal, this focus on differences in appearance leaves some important questions unanswered.
“How can similar species coexist without outcompeting one another? One of the tenants [sic, tenets] of evolutionary ecology is that when a structural niche is filled, species diversification should either slow or come to an end due to competition. There must be some other way they are sharing that habitat to avoid competition,” he said.
The researchers hypothesized that the evolution of physiological traits related to temperature tolerance also facilitated the maintenance of biological diversity by providing an additional axis of co-existence.
Adaptive radiation is not a “process.” It is a name given to an observation. Calling it a process implies causation; it would be like calling the ringing of a phone the cause of a phone call.
A skeptical observer of this quote would also have to chuckle at the evolutionists’ quandary over the lack of competition. Competition – the struggle for existence – was the old Darwinian ethic that led to so much suffering under Social Darwinism (eugenics, world wars, etc.). Here, a large number of lizard varieties seem to get along just fine in the same space. Solving that puzzle will undoubtedly give Dr Leal some time between work observations to sample his own shady niche under an umbrella on some Caribbean beach to see if he evolves his own ecomorph – a round belly, perhaps – until some buff competitor walks by kicking sand in his face.