June 12, 2018 | David F. Coppedge

Incredible Fish that Defy Evolution

The variety of shapes, colors and ecological niches of fishes prove too much for chance mutations and unguided processes to handle.

Carpe solis – sunbathing fish defy the laws of nature (Phys.org). Why don’t those large koi fish we see in garden ponds get sunburn? A study from Linnaeus University says, “The results from the study of sunbathing carp points to a paradigm shift.” Fish aren’t supposed to be able to regulate their body temperature by sunbathing, but these carp can. Not only that, the study showed differences between the fish that point to a high degree of adaptability within the same species and population.

That sunbathing may require a refreshing swim to avoid overheating is a vacation experience shared by many. It has been assumed that this cooling effect of water prevents fish from reaping the rewards of sunbathing available to animals in terrestrial environments. New evidence on behavior of carp, published in the Royal Society journal Proceedings B, challenges this paradigm. Sunbathing fish can become warmer than the surrounding water and the gain in body temperature enables the fish to grow faster, the study shows…

Different behaviors, appearances and strategies are favorable under different conditions, and variability among individuals may enable populations and species to cope with life in an ever changing world.

Ocean-migrating trout adapt to freshwater environment in 120 years (Purdue University). When steelhead trout were stocked in Lake Michigan, it only took them 120 years to adapt to a full-time freshwater lifestyle from a part-time freshwater, part-time saltwater lifestyle. Although the Purdue biologists believe the study provides “deeper understanding into the process of adaptive evolution,” the adaptive processes seem too rapid for unguided random processes like mutation and natural selection. The Purdue researchers identified three chromosomal modifications related to osmoregulation (salt control) and to wound healing, but those processes already existed in the fish, and support vital functions. They appear to have been merely tuned by the new environment. The changes support Randy Guliuzza’s view that genomes are pre-programmed with the ability to adapt to environmental cues (see ICR).

Daniel Castranova NICHD/NIH (Phys.org)

Researchers identify how eye loss occurs in blind cavefish (Phys.org). Short answer: it’s not a case of neo-Darwinian evolution (genetic mutation and selection). It’s an epigenetic modification, specifically the epigenetic suppression of eye-producing genes. This reduces the cost of making eyes for fish that don’t need them. Moreover, there’s been no real evolution between the subterranean fish and the ones living in surface waters:

Despite their dramatic differences, surface and cave morphs share similar genomes and can interbreed. Cave morphs begin eye development early but fail to maintain this program, undergoing eye degeneration within a few days of development. Previous research has not revealed any obvious mutations in genes important for their eye development.

Molecular tuning of electroreception in sharks and skates (Nature). Think of the engineering requirements to get any animal to sense electricity or produce it for signaling. In this paper, three evolutionary biologists examine “fine tuning” in electrosensation in sharks and rays (skates), showing how they differ. “Our findings demonstrate how sensory systems adapt to suit the lifestyle or environmental niche of an animal through discrete molecular and biophysical modifications,” they say. You can get a taste of the complexity from the Abstract:

Amazing FactsHere we analyse shark and skate electrosensory cells to determine whether discrete physiological properties could contribute to behaviourally relevant sensory tuning. We show that sharks and skates use a similar low threshold voltage-gated calcium channel to initiate cellular activity but use distinct potassium channels to modulate this activity. Electrosensory cells from sharks express specially adapted voltage-gated potassium channels that support large, repetitive membrane voltage spikes capable of driving near-maximal vesicular release from elaborate ribbon synapses. By contrast, skates use a calcium-activated potassium channel to produce small, tunable membrane voltage oscillations that elicit stimulus-dependent vesicular release.

So far so good. But then they tell us, “Electroreception has independently evolved in many taxa to facilitate particular behaviours ranging from predation to communication.” Stop right there! Evolution cannot “evolve to” do anything; it is unguided, remember? And worse, the statement resorts to ‘convergent evolution’ to explain away the need for belief in multiple miracles of chance (see Darwin Flubber in the Darwin Dictionary). They never explain how evolution worked these miracles. They just state their belief that it did. Science Daily doesn’t explain it, either; its write-up just asserts that “evolution shapes the senses.” That’s using a word, evolution, like an all-purpose magic wand—able to supply any miracle on demand. Look at just a few of the Darwinian miracles required for electrosensing, not counting behavioral responses:

In both sea creatures, networks of organs, called ampullae of Lorenzini, constantly survey the electric fields they swim through. Electricity enters the organs through pores that surround the animals’ mouths and form intricate patterns on the bottom of their snouts. Once inside, it is carried via a special gel through a grapevine of canals, ending in bunches of spherical cells that can sense the fields, called electroreceptors. Finally, the cells relay this information onto the nervous system by releasing packets of chemical messengers, called neurotransmitters, into communication points, or synapses, made with neighboring neurons.

Can Evolutionists Explain Fish Evolution?

Resolving the ray-finned fish tree of life (PNAS). Michael Alfaro struggles with the enormous diversity of fish. How does a Darwinian hang them all on a single branching tree diagram?

When it comes to vertebrate evolutionary history, our understanding of lobe-finned fishes—the branch of the vertebrate tree leading to coelacanths plus the tetrapods (amphibians, turtles, birds, crocodiles, lizards, snakes, and mammals)—far outstrips our knowledge of ray-finned fishes (Actinopterygii). Actinopterygians exhibit extraordinary species richness (>33,000 described species) and have evolved a staggering diversity in morphology and ecology over their 400+ million y history. Ray-finned fishes include some of the smallest vertebrates [the adult cyprinid Paedocypris progenetica measure just under 8 mm], some of the largest (adult ocean sunfish weigh more than 2,000 kg), some of the longest (oarfishes may reach a length of more than 13 m), some of the longest lived [rougheye rockfishes, Sebastes aleutianus, may live for more than 200 y], and some of the shortest lived [the coral reef pygmy goby, Eviota sigillata, has a maximum lifespan of 59 d]. In marine waters, ray-finned fishes include the tremendously diverse and ecologically rich coral reef fish families, such as wrasses, angelfishes, butterfly fishes, and damselfishes, and they comprise most important commercial and recreational fishing stocks. Within freshwaters, ray-finned fishes have produced several ecologically dominant radiations, including cyprinids, characiforms, catfishes, and cichlids. Efforts to reconstruct the phylogenetic history of this group have proven extremely challenging, especially within acanthomorphs, a hyperdiverse subclade comprising almost two-thirds of all ray-finned fish species.

Alfaro bluffs that evolutionary understanding of lobe-finned fishes is better than that of ray-finned fishes, because he has Tiktaalik in mind, along with some other alleged intermediate forms that Darwinians believe show a progression to land-based tetrapods. He should have read Clement and Long’s article on The Conversation (next).

It’s less than 2cm long, but this 400 million year old fossil fish changes our view of vertebrate evolution (The Conversation). Alice Clement and John Long wear their D-Merit Badges proudly, but tell their readers that fish have “a complicated family tree.” They excitedly share their latest alleged transitional form, a fossil named Lingulalepis, but the article undermines the bluffing confidence of Alfaro’s paper. “Our findings highlight that the evolutionary family tree of the first bony fishes is much more complicated than we had thought,” they say in Tontological form, “demonstrating the importance of palaeontology to help us more accurately understand our distant origins.

A tetrapod fauna from within the Devonian Antarctic Circle (Science Magazine). If you think Darwinians had their story together about fish becoming tetrapods, read this paper by Per Ahlberg and Robert Gess. Tiktaalik and its relatives were found in tropical or subtropical locations, but now these two evolutionists found candidates in the Antarctic. “Thus, the distribution of tetrapods may have been global, which encourages us to rethink the environments in which this important group was shaped.” Not only that, Gess & Ahlberg upset the applecart more. They confirm that the Polish tetrapod trackways, dated earlier than Tiktaalik, confound the story of tetrapod evolution. They they throw in some soft tissue preservation! To creationists, that challenges the Darwinian belief in millions of years.

The Waterloo Farm tetrapod fossils and the Middle Devonian tetrapod trackways from Poland and Ireland challenge the popular scenario of a tropical origin of tetrapods during the Late Devonian. Tetrapods originated no later than the Eifelian (early Middle Devonian), when they were present in southern Laurussia; by the late Famennian (latest Devonian), they ranged from the tropics to the south polar regions. This geographic pattern could still point to a tropical origin but may simply be a sampling artifact. Against this background, the continued investigation of nontropical localities such as Waterloo Farm must be a priority. Waterloo Farm is also the only known Devonian tetrapod locality to feature soft-tissue preservation, as exemplified by the earliest known lamprey, Priscomyzon. The locality thus has the potential not only to cast new light on early tetrapod biogeography and evolution, but also to illuminate unknown aspects of their morphology.

Same story, different habitat. The facts line up against Darwinism, but no matter what the conflict with reality, the Darwinians persist in their belief. They say a new study “sheds light on evolution” or “helps us more accurately understand our distant origins.” Resolution of any and all difficulties is passed on to futureware, giving the Darwin Party perennial job security for storytellers (25 June 2014). What a scam!— or should we say, What a fish story! ‘You should have seen the one that got away from Darwin!’

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