January 17, 2024 | David F. Coppedge

More Fossils Show Stasis, Not Evolution

Where’s the evolution? In these creatures,
fossils show complex parts already working.

 

72-million-year-old sturgeon discovered in Edmonton is a fossil first (University of Alberta, 11 Jan 2024). A fossil sturgeon was found in Alberta. It looks like modern sturgeon. Where is the evolution? Did nothing improve in 72 million Darwin Years?

In the embedded video clip, recent Darwin Party inductee Luke Nelson admits that the fossil sturgeon looks “very similar” to sturgeon today, despite their unique body form “that remained pretty unchanged” despite an “extremely long evolutionary history.” Nelson asks, dumbly, why this fish body plan is “so evolutionarily successful?” So evolution is a driving force for change, except when it isn’t? In Darwin’s tale, all the dinosaurs died and most of the mammals evolved between the time of this fossil sturgeon and the present, but the sturgeon body plan remained “pretty unchanged”.

In the video clip, Nelson talks about how fascinated he was with fish from an early age, begging to go to the aquarium and learn about all the swimming creatures there. What a shame his interest was steered into the Darwin Party’s totalitarian clutches. Parents and teachers, take note: children need to learn about the illogic of Darwin’s Stuff Happens Law, and learn to appreciate the abundant evidence for our Creator as the intelligent designer of life. The wonder and excitement of biology seen from a design perspective cannot be surpassed any other way.

Oldest thylakoids in fossil cells directly evidence oxygenic photosynthesis (Nature, 3 Jan 2023). A microfossil of a cyanobacterium from Australian stromatolites already possessed thylakoids, the organs of photosynthesis. Scientists were astonished to see this evidence from almost 2 billion Darwin Years ago.

This discovery extends their fossil record by at least 1.2 Ga and provides a minimum age for the divergence of thylakoid-bearing cyanobacteria at roughly 1.75 Ga. It allows the unambiguous identification of early oxygenic photosynthesizers and a new redox proxy for probing early Earth ecosystems, highlighting the importance of examining the ultrastructure of fossil cells to decipher their palaeobiology and early evolution.

The paper about this is published in Nature (3 Jan 2024). But where is the evolution? The cyanobacteria couldn’t “evolve” photosynthesis if they already had it. Photosynthesis is amazingly complex, involving quantum mechanics and specific reaction pathways for harvesting light for food. To believe it just appeared in the rocks so long ago is tantamount to believing in a miracle.

Characteristically, Live Science bought into this tale of the earlier-than-expected “evolution of photosynthesis” as an “evolutionary innovation.” No critical thinking shown whatsoever. Nor is any found at Science Daily‘s echo of a press release from the University of Liège, which states that the study gives information about “the role of dioxygen in the evolution of complex life (eucaryote) on our planet, including the origin and early diversification of algae that host chloroplasts derived from cyanobacteria.” It does no such thing, unless one engages in begging the question of Darwinian evolution.

Insects already had a variety of defense strategies in the Cretaceous (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, 20 Dec 2023). Examination of amber fossils led to this conclusion:

Researchers at LMU and the universities of Greifswald and Rostock have studied particularly well preserved fossils from Burmese amber and have been able to demonstrate that such anti-predator mechanisms had already evolved very diverse forms in insect larvae during the Cretaceous period 100 million years ago. This includes well-known strategies such as that employed by lacewing larvae, which carry various plant and animal materials on their back to give them camouflage, or the ploy of mimicking the appearance of certain plant parts.

If insects already had these defense strategies, where is the evolution? What’s Darwin got to do with it?

The earliest fossil mosquito (Current Biology, 4 Dec 2023). The earliest mosquito already had piercing and sucking mouthparts, like modern mosquitoes. Where is the evolution? Of note in the paper is the requirement of “mosquitos’ ghost lineage spanning nearly 97 Ma” (million years) in order to make mosquitoes fit the evolutionary timeline. How does this help them “to better understand their evolutionary history“?

Soft tissue in the skin of an ichthyosaur, from an earlier discovery.

Oldest known skin fossil is from 300-million-year-old reptile (New Scientist, 11 Jan 2024). Skin impressions from an extinct reptile said to be 300 million Darwin Years old have been found—the oldest (on the Darwinian timeline) known. “The discovery came as a surprise” to researchers looking at microscopic flakes from the fossil, because they were not expecting reptile skin so early. The skin impressions look like “crocodile skin” from a “crocodile-like reptile,” so where is the evolution?

A collection of fossilised fragments of skin are the oldest ever found. The 300-million-year-old fossils belonged to a crocodile-like reptile and could help us understand how skin evolved.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for them to understand how skin “evolved” by blind chance processes. The article notes that “It is rare for skin to fossilise because it decays quickly after an animal’s death,” so they quickly had to make up a story of how delicate skin impressions could last for 300 million Darwin Years—21 million Darwin Years older than the previous record. Phys.org’s coverage of this story waltzes into Darwin Fantasyland, saying,”this skin may represent the ancestral skin structure for terrestrial vertebrates in early amniotes that allowed for the eventual evolution of bird feathers and mammalian hair follicles.” Evidence, please? In their imaginations, they can allow Darwin to evolve anything.

This is the oldest fossilized reptile skin ever found — it pre-dates the dinosaurs (Nature News, 11 Jan 2024). Nature describes the fossil, then tries to connect the reptile skin to human skin:

What makes the find so special is that it isn’t just an impression of skin: it is an actual 3D layer of fossilized skin. The researchers were able to cut through it and examine a cross-section, in which distinct layers of epidermis and dermis were visible. The epidermis includes corneous tissue, the topmost layers of epidermal cells that act as a tough barrier between the inside and outside worlds. Skincare aficionados know the human equivalent of this layer as the stratum corneum or skin barrier.

Simply pointing out that an organ provides a benefit is not explaining how it originated. How did sea creatures “evolve” this innovative adaptation?

Tough, watertight skin was one of the key evolutionary adaptations that allowed animals to adopt completely terrestrial lives. It allows amniotes to carry their organs around in a kind of inner sea, protected from harsh temperatures, ultraviolet-light radiation and the constant threat of dehydration. Alas, because these hides are not very permeable, we amniotes had to forego skin breathing.

And so, in this evolutionary tale, the crocodile-like reptile “evolved” skin with distinct protective layers, but couldn’t breathe. So it quickly had to evolve lungs and throats. How stupid is this scenario? The tale ends, ‘Getting something as soft and prone to decomposition as skin is a ‘fantastic window into the evolution of those groups’.” A window, that is, like a crystal ball.

Gaze at nature until Darwin’s face appears to give you insight and understanding. Crystal ball mister (source CostumePub)

Whoops Moment

New Research Sheds Light on an Old Fossil, Solving an Evolutionary Mystery (City University of New York, 10 Jan 2024). A fossil that was debated for a century has been reclassified.

A research paper published in Royal Society’s Biology Letters on January 10 has revealed that picrodontids — an extinct family of placental mammals that lived several million years after the extinction of the dinosaurs — are not primates as previously believed.

Picrodontids were probably as small as mice. Their relationships to other placental mammals are uncertain due to the fragmentary nature of the only fossils: crushed parts of skulls and the shapes of a few teeth.

For the last 50 years, paleontologists have believed picrodontids, which were no larger than a mouse and likely ate foods such as fruit, nectar, and pollen, were primates, based on features of their teeth that they share with living primates. But by using modern CT scan technology to analyze the only known preserved picrodontid skull in Brooklyn College’s Mammalian Evolutionary Morphology Laboratory, Crowell, the lead author on the paper, worked with Chester, the paper’s senior author, and Wible to determine they are not closely related to primates at all.

The paper in Biology Letters states, “Results highlight the need to scrutinize proposed synapomorphies of highly autapomorphic taxa with limited fossil records.” How long will it take other publishers to correct this mistake?

A Warning from History

In his new book on the Scopes Trial, Jerry Bergman delves into the huge evolutionary celebration of Nebraska Man in the 1920s. Its single well-worn tooth was used in the trial as alleged evidence for human evolution. The tooth was later determined to belong to an extinct pig. Maybe the corrected story of human evolution is not so far off (below):

A more accurate march of human evolution. Note: first figure at left is mythical. Question: is Nebraska Man not a human ancestor, but rather the end product of evolution?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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