May 4, 2022 | David F. Coppedge

Lizard Explosion Heard Around the World

Lizards burst onto the scene 50 million years earlier than thought,
complete with modern features. Then they changed little.

 

Darwinists have no shame. Here is another falsification of their beliefs, but one hears no apologies, no remorse, and no consideration of alternatives to Darwinism.

Researchers discover overlooked Jurassic Park of lizards (University of Bristol, 3 May 2022).

The old evolutionary tale was that lizards evolved and diversified in the Cretaceous alongside the dinosaurs. Because many Cretaceous lizards had advanced features, some evolutionists suspected that they had originated earlier, in the Jurassic, but few fossils were known. Now, researchers at the University of Bristol claim that the order Squamata, the largest group of reptiles that includes lizards and snakes, was already advanced 50 million years earlier than thought.

“Even though Jurassic squamates are rare, reconstructed evolutionary trees show that all the main specializations of squamates evolved then, and it’s possible to distinguish adaptations of geckoes, iguanas, skinks, worm lizards, and snakes some 50 million years earlier than had been thought”, explains Michael Benton, co-author of the research. “But how could the scarce Jurassic fossils suggest an early burst in evolution? The key is in their anatomy.”

The few Jurassic squamates do not show primitive morphologies as would be expected, but they relate directly to the diverse modern groups. “Instead of finding a suite of generalized lizards on the stem of the squamate tree, what we found in the Jurassic were the first representatives of many modern groups, showing advanced morphological features”, says Arnau Bolet, lead author of the article.

To cover their scientific sins, they retreat to the just-so story that “the Jurassic was a time of innovation in squamate evolution.” Using their own timeline, modern-looking lizards “innovated” all the specialized traits that still characterize them today. It’s just like the Cambrian explosion that still baffles Darwinists. After that “time of innovation” and “early burst of evolution,” did squamates continue evolving at a rapid rate? They continued diversifying, the evolutionists say, but without more major differences in basic forms (disparity). Those basic forms became stable in the long term. The paper in eLife has this editor’s evaluation:

This article presents an evaluation of the macroevolutionary history of squamates (lizards, snakes, and relatives) and is relevant to evolutionary biologists and paleontologists interested in this group. The ‘early burst’ of disparity in squamates demonstrates that squamates established their morphospace range much earlier than had been assumed, and the long-term stable morphospace occupation ever since.

Source: Bolet et al., The Jurassic rise of squamates as supported by lepidosaur disparity and evolutionary rates. eLife 3 May 2022.

Did the Darwinians expect to see an “early burst” of squamate “innovation” like this? No; “Finding support for this early burst of disparity and associated rapid evolutionary rates was rather unexpected,” they admit. The press release makes it clear that most of the innovation occurred at the beginning:

The few Jurassic squamates do not show primitive morphologies as would be expected, but they relate directly to the diverse modern groups. “Instead of finding a suite of generalized lizards on the stem of the squamate tree, what we found in the Jurassic were the first representatives of many modern groups, showing advanced morphological features”, says Arnau Bolet, lead author of the article.

In the paper, the authors coin a new term to cover their surprise at how fast evolution worked in the Jurassic, but how slowly afterward.

We coin the term Jurassic Morphospace Expansion (JME) for the event related to this sudden increase in morphospace, which is interpreted as evidence of the initial radiation of the total group Squamata…. This morphospace configuration remains remarkably stable from the Late Jurassic through to the present, with only subtle increases in morphospace occupation and in the density of points inside the envelope, notably in the mid Cretaceous coinciding with the KTR and the consequent recorded increase in diversity.

The press release also says, “understanding the evolutionary paths that forged their success are still poorly understood.” Putting it in passive voice makes it seem as if the whole world believes this. But why must it be an “evolutionary path” when the basic types of squamates all appear in a short time with “advanced morphological features”? That sounds like creation.

Evolution and its related words appear 247 times in this paper. Uncommon in published papers, this one includes comments from 3 reviewers, and responses by the authors. The reviewers had a lot to say and made some pointed criticisms, especially about assumptions made. None of them, however, ever ventured outside the heavily-guarded Darwin castle. They may not understand how lizards evolved, but they DID EVOLVE! Do you understand? Lizards evolved. Repeat after me: Lizards evolved! Lizards evolved! Lizards evolved! Creationists are ignorant! …. You are getting sleepy, sleeeeppppyyyyy.

The open-access paper can be examined by anyone to see how evolutionists work and think as they make their Darwin brand baloney sausage. The writing reveals a mess of data heavily marinated in evolutionary assumptions and dates, so much so it’s hard to find any meat in the marinade. “Narrative” is a better description than scientific research paper. In fact, the reviewers used that very term in a revealing sentence: “The current narrative [i.e., the one presented in the paper], emphasizing a completely new and unexpected view on squamate diversification might be true, but it rests on many assumptions.” The authors had used that word up front, too:

Our integrative study here, incorporating current phylogenomic analyses of relationships of squamate clades with current fossil data, and novel computational methods in disparity and evolutionary rates, provides a synthetic narrative of the origin of one-third of modern tetrapod biodiversity, the Squamata.

They also use the word “scenario” and toy with “evolutionary rates” as if they were Silly Putty (27 Aug 2021): evolution is fast here, slow there—whatever is needed to fit the assumption of evolution. Don’t be snowed by Jargonwocky like “rate heterogeneity.” It means that evolutionary rates stretch and squeeze like a Slinky.

The methodology first seeks to identify rate heterogeneity across the whole tree and then highlights branches or temporal bins with significant rate deviations (notably fast or slow) using likelihood ratio tests.

No shame. None at all.

For relief from this shameless display of dogma masquerading as science, take a break. Go outside and look for some lizards. Watch how fast they skitter across the ground, legs moving so fast they are like a blur. That takes muscles, nerves, and numerous organs working together, including sharp senses. The scales often show amazing color patterns. If you were to dig deeper, you would find cells full of molecular machines of astonishing complexity and efficiency, and a genetic code with books full of information on how to make and operate the creature. And this species can lay eggs that hatch and make new copies. Ask yourself if such a thing could ever appear by mindless, blind, careless physical processes with no foresight or concern.

 

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