Old Fat Not Worth Chewing: Evolutionary Tale Update
It took two years, but now evolutionists have been falsified more properly.
Two years ago, we reported (22 Sept 2018) a finding that had Darwinian spinmeisters scrambling. Old fat had been found embedded in a slab of sea sediment, but the date was off. The intact sterol (fat) molecules detected looked like those from sponges, which should not have dated earlier than the Cambrian Explosion (c. 540 million Darwin Years ago), but the fat was dated at 635 million Darwin Years old. This soft-tissue anomaly was too unbelievable to ignore. It sent theory rescuers from Science Magazine, the BBC, New Scientist, Science Daily and NASA’s astrobiology divination artists scrambling.
They came up with a theory that turned the attention from soft-tissue preservation to Darwin worship. In short, these molecules proved that animal fat must have been pre-adapted for the rapid emergence of animals, almost 100 million years early! Astrobiology Magazine asserted that the old fat proved that that “animals were large and abundant 558 million years ago, millions of years earlier than previously thought.” Animal life began long before the sleepy ecology of the Ediacaran age, when air mattress shaped things lay on the sea floor and frond-like multicellular colonies fluttered in the oceans, devoid of muscles, nerves and organs. But they had sponge fat! Dickinsonia, a putative quasi-animal in the Ediacaran, could be promoted to animaldom!
It was a classic case of spin, turning defeat into victory. “It tells us, in fact, that this creature was our earliest ancestor,” evolutionist Jochen Brocks croaked.
Better Late than Never: A Retraction
Not so fast. That wasn’t fat. It was algae.
van Maldegem et al., Nature Ecology & Evolution: “Geological alteration of Precambrian steroids mimics early animal signatures.”
Bobrovskiy et al., Nature Ecoology & Evolution: “Algal origin of sponge sterane biomarkers negates the oldest evidence for animals in the rock record.”
Live Science: “World’s oldest animal fossil actually came from rotting algae.”
The crucial molecule in all these studies is a distinct type of sterol, or fat compound, called C30 24-isopropylcholestane — essentially, a blob of fat wrapped in 30 carbon atoms. While some sterols, such as cholesterol, are widespread among animals (including humans), these unique C30 sterols are almost exclusively associated with demosponges — a diverse class of marine animals that includes about three-quarters of all sea sponges known on Earth.
When the authors of the 2009 study found an abundance of C30 sterols in 635-million-year-old sediment samples, they interpreted it as evidence that ancient sea sponges had lived and died there, one million centuries before Earth became replete with animals during an event known as the Cambrian Explosion (about 540 million years ago). However, that is not the only plausible interpretation of those sterols.
The article says that scientists proved by experiment that the molecules could be produced from algae in conditions assumed to have formed the rocks that contained the fats. They cooked the algae like making a loaf of bread, and out came sterols like the ones that had been attributed to sponges (which, though simple, are classed as animals).
The process successfully transformed some algae molecules into the same sponge-related sterols present in the 635 million-year-old sediment. This means that those ancient sterols are not evidence of animals at all, but of algae, van Maldegem said. If that’s the case, the earliest evidence of animal life on Earth may have just been negated.
Does this mean that evolutionists can toss out the theory rescue device and breathe a sigh of relief? Not at all; it actually takes away the “long fuse” that made the old-fat story work. Now evolutionists cannot claim that animals got a 100-million-year head start with old fat. It returns them from the fire to the frying pan they have been in for 160 years: the Cambrian Explosion, when some 20 complex animal body plans emerged without fossil ancestors in a geologically brief period of time (measured in Darwin Years).
This story shows just how incorrigible the Darwinians are. They should be embarrassed for tweaking their timeline by 100 million years so quickly, demonstrating that their tale is so flexible it can absorb any falsifying evidence. Creationists don’t have to stretch their timeline radically like this; they know that algae, sponges and animals all appeared within the creation week. Intelligent design needs no such reckless drafts on the bank of time to hope for miracles of chance.
Instead of expressing shame, the Darwinians are still affirming unfeigned faith in their Stuff Happens Law. The lead author of one of the papers grunted, “We have had a thorough look at the earliest evidence for animals on Earth … and are gaining a better understanding for how the first animals evolved.” Trust us. We’re scientists. We know that animals evolved. We even know when they evolved, plus or minus 100 million Darwin years. Listen to us. Trust the Stuff Happens Law. It gives us… understanding.
Past time to send these charlatans packing.