October 21, 2020 | David F. Coppedge

Dramatic Climate Change Occurred Before Cities

Fossils show remaining bones of aquatic mammals poking out of the desert sands of Egypt.

Adorable ancient sea cows once swam through now-bone dry Egyptian desert (Live Science). Parts of the vast sand sea of the Sahara were once homes for large aquatic mammals known as sea cows.

About 40 million years ago, a gentle marine giant glided through the water in what is now a bone-dry desert in Egypt, according to new research.

If would be one thing if the fossils were of small insects or frogs finding an oasis somewhere. But it takes a much larger and reliable aquatic ecosystem to support giant swimming mammals this far inland. The moyboys stretch out the timeline, as expected:

The study suggests that during the late Eocene, about 40 million to 35 million years ago, Egypt’s Eastern Desert was home to the ancient relatives of manatees (also endearingly called sea cows) and dugongs.

And yet it is also known that ancient civilizations lived in the area and enjoyed fishing and hunting in what is now a vast sand desert. The Nile Valley is only a small remnant of a thriving ecosystem that was known in human history (6 December 2016); same for the Atacama Desert in Chile, the driest place on earth today. In addition, radar can detect river valleys under the sand (see NASA article 2008 March 23). It didn’t take millions of years for an overhaul in the ecology and climate of these places – just thousands. An archived article from NASA Earth Observatory says:

Although it is now the largest desert on Earth, during the last ice age the Sahara was a savannah with a climate similar to that of present-day Kenya and Tanzania. The annual rainfall was much greater than it is now, creating many rivers and lakes that are now hidden under shifting sands or exposed as barren salt flats.

Can Darwin Help?

Manatees are not whales, but both live full time in water. The article shows some of the eroded bones of the marine mammals, then tries to inject Darwin into the timeline: “As with whales, the mammal ancestors of the Sirenia order used to live on land before they moved into the sea,” reporter Laura Geggel claims, making it sound quick and easy. But is it?

Part of the “miraculous web” of arteries and veins that transfer heat to the ocean and cool the arteries surrounding the testes.

That notion has been severely undermined by Illustra Media’s film, Living Waters. The last chapter of the film discusses the impossibility of fixing two coordinated mutations by evolution, especially with small population sizes and long generation times as is the case with large marine mammals.

That is just one impossible hurdle evolution faces. Getting everything to work in a permanent aquatic state would require far more than two mutations, Richard Sternberg says. In addition, he shows that male whales have a “miraculous web” of cooling arteries in the tail and dorsal fin that defies evolution. Whales need the testes inside the body, but whales would have gone extinct without the cooling system already in place.

How about dispensing with the Darwin storytelling, and stick to the science? That would be live science, not dead science. Let the dead bury their dead Darwin. Whales are too well-designed for mocking with the notion that the Stuff Happens Law accounts for them.

Credit: Brett Miller

 

 

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