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South China Morning Post challenges Darwin’s theory?

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No, really, this is what their headline reads (if not redacted): “Chinese microscopic fossil find challenges Darwin’s theory”

Apparently, they are allowed to talk that way in China. Fancy.

The Cambria explosion proved that most major animal phyla were fully developed in this relatively short time. This troubled Darwin because the absence of transitional forms has always been problematic for his theory. Darwin had hoped that these intermediates would appear in the fossil record but this has not happened. Evolutionists say that these “missing links” were either too small or too soft-bodied to be fossilised in the pre-Cambrian layer.

What is more troubling for Darwin’s theory is the Chinese discovery of microscopic fossils of soft sponge embryos in this pre-Cambrian layer without any intermediate species. Zhou Zhonghe incorrectly states that “early Cambrian sites in China, such as Chengjiang , provided transitional species that filled missing gaps” and “all fossil records in China support Darwin’s theory”. One of the world’s leading researchers on the Cambria explosion is Chen Junyuan from the Nanjing Institute of Palaeontology and he said that his fossil discoveries in China show that “Darwin’s tree is a reverse cone shape”. A senior research fellow at Chengjiang Fauna [fossil site], said, “I do not believe the animals developed gradually from the bottom up, I think they suddenly appeared”.

As a medical professional and former atheist, I ignorantly believed that Darwin’s evolutionary theory was a scientific fact. …

Well, no, it was how some people thought they could force court judgements out of ignorant Westerners, to mandate teaching Darwinism in tax-supported schools.

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Hat tip: Phillip Cunningham

16 Replies to “South China Morning Post challenges Darwin’s theory?

  1. 1
    rhampton7 says:

    The Context: What you have quoted from is a letter to editor: Chinese microscopic fossil find challenges Darwin’s theory, written by Kevin Ma of Diamond Hill (Hong Kong)

    It is in response to the article, Battling Ignorance of Darwinian Theory, an interview of Professor Zhou Zhonghe…

    …one of China’s most respected and experienced palaeontologists, is perhaps best known for his discovery of the world’s earliest bird fossils. As chairman of the International Palaeontological Association (IPA) and director of the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeoanthropology, he is as passionate about promoting understanding of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution as he is against the abusive use of the theory in China and abroad.

    How does fossil evidence from China support Darwin’s theory?

    Darwin proposed the theory more than a century and a half ago, when the fossil evidence was quite limited. Since then a large number of fossils have been unearthed and in recent decades China has contributed a significant proportion to the growth of global stock. In the early days, because of the lack of fossil evidence, the evolutionary biological theory presented numerous uncertainties, and even Darwin himself was sometimes confused. For instance, he feared that his theory would be toppled by the Cambrian explosion [an outburst of complex organisms over a relatively short period about 542 million years ago]. In his time the Cambrian explosion looked like an isolated event that contradicted evolution by natural selection, but fossils from Early Cambrian sites in China, such as Chengjiang in Yunnan and Wengan in Guizhou, provided transitional species that filled missing gaps to support Darwin’s theory. Darwin was also confused about the seemingly sudden appearance of angiosperms [flowering plants] in the fossil record, but an angiosperm fossil was discovered in China that dated from the Late Jurassic [between 160 million and 145 million years ago], a crucial piece of evidence on plant evolution. All fossil records in China support Darwin’s theory of evolution. There are absolutely no challenges.

  2. 2
    tjguy says:

    As a medical professional and former atheist, I ignorantly believed that Darwin’s evolutionary theory was a scientific fact. …

    Former atheist? Interesting!

    Another “creationist” is born and it didn’t happen by reading the Bible!

  3. 3
    tjguy says:

    RH says:

    “Darwin was also confused about the seemingly sudden appearance of angiosperms [flowering plants] in the fossil record, but an angiosperm fossil was discovered in China that dated from the Late Jurassic [between 160 million and 145 million years ago], a crucial piece of evidence on plant evolution. “

    Sorry. You lost me there. How does finding an angiosperm in the Late Jurassic help with the problem of plant evolution? Was it a transitional form?

  4. 4
    rhampton7 says:

    Context 2: Kevin Ma references Chen JunYuan as a critic of evolutionary theory. That may be worth looking into, as this rather recent letter by Chen JY, The sudden appearance of diverse animal body plansduring the Cambrian explosion, seems supportive.

    Beautifully preserved organisms from the Lower Cambrian Maotianshan Shale in central Yunnan, southern China, document the sudden appearance of diverse metazoan body plans at phylum or subphylum levels, which were either short-lived or have continued to the present day. These 530 million year old fossil representatives of living animal groups provide us with unique insight into the foundations of living animal groups at their evolutionary roots. Among these diverse animal groups, many are conservative, changing very little since the Early Cambrian. Others, especially Panarthropoda (superphylum), however, evolved rapidly, with origination of novel body plans representing different evolutionary stages one after another in a very short geological period of Early Cambrian time. These nested body plans portray a novel big picture of pararthropod evolution as a progression of step-wise changes both in the head and the appendages. The evolution of the pararthropods displays how the head/trunk boundary progressively shifted to the posterior, and how the simple annulated soft uniramous appendages progressively changed into stalked eyes in the first head appendages, into whip-like sensorial and grasping organs in the second appendage, and into jointed and biramous bipartite limbs in the post-antennal appendages. Haikouella is one of most remarkable fossils representing the origin body plan of Cristozoa, or crest animals (procraniates+craniates). The anatomy of Early Cambrian crest animals, including Haikouella and Yunnanozoon, contributes to novel understanding and discussion for the origins of the vertebrate brain, neural crest cells, branchial system and vertebrae.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    I believe Chen is in this following video, describing the Cambrian Explosion as ‘top down”

    Investigating Evolution: The Cambrian Explosion Part 1 – (4:45 minute mark – upside-down fossil record) video
    Part 2 – video

    also of note:

    Challenging Fossil of a Little Fish
    What they had actually proved was that Chinese phosphate is fully capable of preserving whatever animals may have lived there in Precambrian times. Because they found sponges and sponge embryos in abundance, researchers are no longer so confident that Precambrian animals were too soft or too small to be preserved. “I think this is a major mystery in paleontology,” said Chen. “Before the Cambrian, we should see a number of steps: differentiation of cells, differentiation of tissue, of dorsal and ventral, right and left. But we don’t have strong evidence for any of these.” Taiwanese biologist Li was also direct: “No evolution theory can explain these kinds of phenomena.”

    picture – 550 million year old fossil fish – “Most major animal groups appear suddenly in the fossil record 550 million years ago, but vertebrates have been absent from this ‘Big Bang’ of life. Two fish-like animals from Early Cambrian rocks now fill this gap.”
    “Lower Cambrian Vertebrates from South China” – Nov. 1999

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    a few notes as to the ‘top down’ perspective:

    The Cambrian’s Many Forms
    Excerpt: “It appears that organisms displayed “rampant” within-species variation “in the ‘warm afterglow’ of the Cambrian explosion,” Hughes said, but not later. “No one has shown this convincingly before, and that’s why this is so important.””From an evolutionary perspective, the more variable a species is, the more raw material natural selection has to operate on,”….(Yet Surprisingly)….”There’s hardly any variation in the post-Cambrian,” he said. “Even the presence or absence or the kind of ornamentation on the head shield varies within these Cambrian trilobites and doesn’t vary in the post-Cambrian trilobites.” University of Chicago paleontologist Mark Webster; article on the “surprising and unexplained” loss of variation and diversity for trilobites over the 270 million year time span that trilobites were found in the fossil record, prior to their total extinction from the fossil record about 250 million years ago.

    Dollo’s law and the death and resurrection of genes:
    Excerpt: “As the history of animal life was traced in the fossil record during the 19th century, it was observed that once an anatomical feature was lost in the course of evolution it never staged a return. This observation became canonized as Dollo’s law, after its propounder, and is taken as a general statement that evolution is irreversible.”

    A general rule of thumb for the ‘Deterioration/Genetic Entropy’ of Dollo’s Law as it applies to the fossil record is found here:

    Dollo’s law and the death and resurrection of genes
    ABSTRACT: Dollo’s law, the concept that evolution is not substantively reversible, implies that the degradation of genetic information is sufficiently fast that genes or developmental pathways released from selective pressure will rapidly become nonfunctional. Using empirical data to assess the rate of loss of coding information in genes for proteins with varying degrees of tolerance to mutational change, we show that, in fact, there is a significant probability over evolutionary time scales of 0.5-6 million years for successful reactivation of silenced genes or “lost” developmental programs. Conversely, the reactivation of long (>10 million years)-unexpressed genes and dormant developmental pathways is not possible unless function is maintained by other selective constraints;

    Dollo’s Law was further verified to the molecular level here:

    Dollo’s law, the symmetry of time, and the edge of evolution – Michael Behe
    Excerpt: We predict that future investigations, like ours, will support a molecular version of Dollo’s law:,,, Dr. Behe comments on the finding of the study, “The old, organismal, time-asymmetric Dollo’s law supposedly blocked off just the past to Darwinian processes, for arbitrary reasons. A Dollo’s law in the molecular sense of Bridgham et al (2009), however, is time-symmetric. A time-symmetric law will substantially block both the past and the future.

    Evolutionary Adaptations Can Be Reversed, but Rarely – May 2011
    Excerpt: They found that a very small percentage of evolutionary adaptations in a drug-resistance gene can be reversed, but only if the adaptations involve fewer than four discrete genetic mutations. (If reverting to a previous function, which is advantageous, is so constrained, what does this say about gaining a completely novel function, which may be advantageous, which requires many more mutations?)

    From Thornton’s Lab, More Strong Experimental Support for a Limit to Darwinian Evolution – Michael Behe – June 23, 2014
    Excerpt: In prior comments on Thornton’s work I proposed something I dubbed a “Time-Symmetric Dollo’s Law” (TSDL).3, 8 Briefly that means, because natural selection hones a protein to its present job (not to some putative future or past function), it will be very difficult to change a protein’s current function to another one by random mutation plus natural selection.
    But there was an unexamined factor that might have complicated Thornton’s work and called the TSDL into question. What if there were a great many potential neutral mutations that could have led to the second protein? The modern protein that occurs in land vertebrates has very particular neutral changes that allowed it to acquire its present function, but perhaps that was an historical accident. Perhaps any of a large number of evolutionary alterations could have done the same job, and the particular changes that occurred historically weren’t all that special.
    That’s the question Thornton’s group examined in their current paper. Using clever experimental techniques they tested thousands of possible alternative mutations. The bottom line is that none of them could take the place of the actual, historical, neutral mutations. The paper’s conclusion is that, of the very large number of paths that random evolution could have taken, at best only extremely rare ones could lead to the functional modern protein.

    Some Further Research On Dollo’s Law – Wolf-Ekkehard Lonnig – November 2010

    A. L. Hughes’s New Non-Darwinian Mechanism of Adaption Was Discovered and Published in Detail by an ID Geneticist 25 Years Ago – Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig – December 2011
    Excerpt: The original species had a greater genetic potential to adapt to all possible environments. In the course of time this broad capacity for adaptation has been steadily reduced in the respective habitats by the accumulation of slightly deleterious alleles (as well as total losses of genetic functions redundant for a habitat), with the exception, of course, of that part which was necessary for coping with a species’ particular environment….By mutative reduction of the genetic potential, modifications became “heritable”. — As strange as it may at first sound, however, this has nothing to do with the inheritance of acquired characteristics. For the characteristics were not acquired evolutionarily, but existed from the very beginning due to the greater adaptability. In many species only the genetic functions necessary for coping with the corresponding environment have been preserved from this adaptability potential. The “remainder” has been lost by mutations (accumulation of slightly disadvantageous alleles) — in the formation of secondary species.


    Genesis 1:25
    God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

  7. 7

    How does “intelligent cause” work?

  8. 8
    Dionisio says:

    7 Gary S. Gaulin

    How does “intelligent cause” work?

    That’s very good question to ask the folks who design engines for cars, airplanes, trains, boats; or the guys who design smartphones, computers, medical equipment (gamma knife, etc), etc.

  9. 9
    Timaeus says:


    New replies to your comments on another thread can be found at:

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    as to the unexpected complexity found in the Cambrian Explosion:

    Half-Billion-Year-Old Heart Found More Complex than Today’s – April 24, 2014
    Excerpt: “520 million years ago, the first known animal heart was formed.
    It was the heart of an ancient shrimp, and quite a heart it was. For it, and its vascular system, have been found to be more complex than that of modern shrimp,”

    ‘Mother Lode’ of (Cambrian) Fossils Discovered in Canada – Feb. 11, 2014
    Excerpt: Retinas, corneas, neural tissue, guts and even a possible heart and liver were found.

    Modern optics in the eyes of an Early Cambrian arthropod – June 2011
    Excerpt: ‘the Emu Bay Shale, which provides exquisite preservation of Early Cambrian animals, has now supplied us with the earliest example of an non-trilobite arthropod eye. Of the seven specimens recovered to date, three are spectacular for the detail revealed and stunning because they document eyes that “are as advanced as those of many living forms”

    The Optimal Trilobite Eye – per Dr. Don Johnson – Programming of Life page 68-66 and appendix F:

    Trilobites suddenly appeared in the Cambrian (lowest fossil-bearing) stratum with no record of ancestry. The trilobite eye is made of optically transparent calcium carbonate (calcite, the same mineral of its shell) with a precisely aligned optical axis that eliminates double images and two lenses affixed together to eliminate spherical aberrations [McC98, Gal00].

    Paleontologist Niles Eldredge observed, “These lenses–technically termed aspherical, aplanatic lenses–optimize both light collecting and image formation better than any lens ever conceived. We can be justifiably amazed that these trilobites, very early in the history of life on earth, hit upon the best possible lens that optical physics has ever been able to formulate” [Eld76]. Notice these lenses weren’t just good as, but were better than anything modern optical physicists have been able to conceive! ,,,

    “The design of the trilobite’s eye lens could well qualify for a patent disclosure” [Lev93p58].,,,

    The trilobite lens is particularly intriguing since the only other animal to use inorganic focusing material is man. The lens may be classified as a prosthetic device since it was non-biological, which also means the lens itself, with apparently no DNA inherent within, was not subject to Darwinian evolution. The manufacturing and controlling of the lenses were obviously biological processes, with an unknown number DNA-prescribed proteins (each with a prescriptive manufacturing program) for collecting and processing the raw materials to manufacture the precision lenses and create the refracting interface between the two lenses.

    The lenses do not decompose as any other animal’s lenses would, so they are subject to rigorous scientific investigation,,, Since no immediate precursors of trilobites have been found, Darwinists are without any evidence as to how an organism with an eye as complex as a trilobite could have arisen,,, especially in,, the lowest multi-cellular fossil-bearing stratum,,,

    Appendix F:

    “Trilobites had solved a very elegant physical problem and apparently knew about Fermat’s principle, Abbe’s sine law, Snell’s laws of refraction and the optics of birefringent crystals” [Cla75]

    “the rigid trilobite doublet lens had remarkable depth of field (near and far focusing) and minimal spherical aberration” [Gon07]

    Physicist Riccardo Levi-Setti observes:

    “In fact, this doublet is a device so typically associated with human invention that its discovery comes as something of a shock. The realization that trilobites developed and used such devices half a billion years ago makes the shock even greater. And a final discovery – that the refracting interface between the two elements in a trilobite’s eyes was designed in accordance with optical constructions worked out by Descartes and Huygens in the mid-seventeenth century – borders on sheer science fiction” [Lev93p57].

    “The trilobites already had a highly advanced visual system. In fact, so far as we can tell from the fossil record thus far discovered, trilobite sight was far and away the most advanced in Kingdom Animalia at the base of the Cambrian,,, There is no other known occurrence of calcite eyes in the fossil record” [FM-trib].

    Complex Arthropod Eyes Found in Early Cambrian – June 2011
    Excerpt: Complex eyes with modern optics from an unknown arthropod, more complex than trilobite eyes, have been discovered in early Cambrian strata from southern Australia.,,, Here we report exceptionally preserved fossil eyes from the Early Cambrian (~515 million years ago) Emu Bay Shale of South Australia, revealing that some of the earliest arthropods possessed highly advanced compound eyes, each with over 3,000 large ommatidial lenses and a specialized ‘bright zone’. These are the oldest non-biomineralized eyes known in such detail, with preservation quality exceeding that found in the Burgess Shale and Chengjiang deposits. Non-biomineralized eyes of similar complexity are otherwise unknown until about 85 million years later. The arrangement and size of the lenses indicate that these eyes belonged to an active predator that was capable of seeing in low light. The eyes are more complex than those known from contemporaneous trilobites and are as advanced as those of many living forms. They provide further evidence that the Cambrian explosion involved rapid innovation in fine-scale anatomy as well as gross morphology,

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    Evolution vs. The Trilobite Eye – Andy McIntosh 36:29 minute mark – video

    The Trilobite Eye – many different examples – illustrations

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: Hidden Miracles Of The Natural World – (Ted Talk) video

  13. 13
    DavidD says:


    “Darwin was also confused about the seemingly sudden appearance of angiosperms [flowering plants] in the fossil record, but an angiosperm fossil was discovered in China that dated from the Late Jurassic [between 160 million and 145 million years ago], a crucial piece of evidence on plant evolution. “


    “Sorry. You lost me there. How does finding an angiosperm in the Late Jurassic help with the problem of plant evolution? Was it a transitional form?”

    Well it doesn’t and they are no further understanding anything than Darwin did back in the 19th Century Victorian Era. This came out not long ago which reveals they are still spinning their wheels in the primordial muck on understanding how any of this came about.Here is a quote from the article where Evolutionists admit they can’t explain speciation in forests,

    There are at least 60,000 identified tree species in the world, “but we know next to nothing about how they got here,” Elizabeth Stacy says. “Trees form the backbone of our forests, and are ecologically and economically important, yet we don’t know much about how speciation happens in trees.”

    So not only can they explain how plants arose, they can’t even explain how speciation of all the different plant life exists and yet we are told that is what Theory of Evolution is all about, explaining change, not origins. Their constant game playing here to defend a bitter old man’s beef with God is pathetic. I’m glad I don’t have as much time here as they do for much of the time wasting back & forth nonsense.

  14. 14
    Robert Byers says:

    Good thread.
    it shows that opposition to darwin is alive and well in china .
    they need to defend Darwin and many say he can’t be defended.
    China is recently entering the modern world in some ways and sure enough the old acceptance to evolution is coming undone. is it possible china will produce excellent scientists etc that undermine evolution nonesence we still live with? Yes. Very likely. i know creationism in S Korea is greatly strong .

  15. 15
    bornagain77 says:

    as to testing Darwinian claims for angiosperms:

    Peer-Reviewed Research Paper on Plant Biology Favorably Cites Intelligent Design and Challenges – Darwinian Evolution – Casey Luskin December 29, 2010
    Excerpt: Lönnig focuses on the origin of a particular trait found in some angiosperms, where longer sepals form a shelter for developing fruit called inflated calyx syndrome, or “ICS.” According to Lönnig, phylogenetic data indicate that under a neo-Darwinian perspective, this trait was either lost in multiple lineages or evolved independently multiple times. If the trait evolved multiple times independently, then why do so many plants still lack such a “lantern” protective shelter? After noting that some proponents of neo-Darwinism make unfalsifiable appeals to unknown selective advantages, he concludes that neo-Darwinism is not making falsifiable predictions and finds that this “infinity of mostly non-testable explanations (often just-so-stories) itself may put the theory outside science.”
    However, there is another possibility, namely the scientific inclusion of intelligent design. In contrast to neo-Darwinism, Lönnig notes the ID-based view can “be falsified by proving (among other points) that the probability to form an ICS by purely natural processes is high, that specified complexity is low, and finally, by generating an ICS by random mutations in a species displaying none.”
    Lönnig recounts the many phrases Darwin used to explain that his theory of evolution requires “innumerable slight variations,” and argues that the ICS could not evolve in such a stepwise fashion. After reviewing the multiple complex steps involved in forming an ICS, he states that it “appears to be in agreement with Behe’s studies (2007): it seems to be very improbable that the current evolutionary theories like the modern synthesis (continuous evolution) or the hopeful monster approach (in one or very few steps) can satisfactorily explain the origin of the ICS.”
    In closing, Lönnig cites further to Behe’s concept of irreducible complexity and Dembski’s arguments regarding the universal probability bound, contending that the ICS may be beyond the edge of evolution. Nevertheless, he leaves the present question open for further research, which is definitely invited. Yet, citing to the work of Stephen Meyer, William Dembski, and Robert Marks, he concludes that “it appears to be more than unlikely to generate the whole world of living organisms by the neo-Darwinian method.”

    Carnivorous Plants – Wolf-Ekkehard Lonnig, Max-Planck-Institute for Plant Breeding Research,
    Excerpt: Moreover, it appears to be hard even to imagine clear-cut selective advantages for all the thousands of postulated intermediate steps in a gradual scenario, not to mention the formulation and examination of scientific (i.e. testable) hypotheses for the origin of the complex carnivorous plant structures examined above.

    Dr. Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig: The Origin of Carnivorous Plants, Pt. 2 – audio podcast

    Geneticist W.-E. Loennig replies to Darwinist Nick Matzke on Carnivorous Plants: – September 2011

    Irreducible Complexity, 18 steps of the Venus Flytrap are listed in the following article:

    The Venus Flytrap, an Improbable Wonder that Baffled Darwin – Oct. 14, 2013

  16. 16
    Dionisio says:


    Very interesting summary written by gpuccio:

    Indeed, what we see in research about cell differentiation and epigenomics is a growing mass of detailed knowledge (and believe me, it is really huge and daily growing) which seems to explain almost nothing.

    What is really difficult to catch is how all that complexity is controlled. Please note, at this level there is almost no discussion about how the complexity arose: we have really non idea of how it is implemented, and therefore any discussion about its origin is almost impossible.

    Now, there must be information which controls the flux. It is a fact that cellular differentiation happens, that it happens with very good order and in different ways in different species, different tissues, and so on. That cannot happen without a source of information. And yet, the only information that we understand clearly is then protein sequence information. Even the regulation of protein transcription at the level of promoters and enhancers by the transcription factor network is of astounding complexity.

    Please, look at this paper:

    Uncovering Enhancer Functions Using the ?-Globin Locus.

    In particular Fig. 2.

    And this is only to regulate the synthesis of alpha globin in red cells, a very straightforward differentiation task.

    So, I see that, say, 15 TFs are implied in regulating the synthesis of one protein, I want to know why, and what controls the 15 TFs, and what information guides that control. My general idea is that, unless we find some completely new model, information that guides a complex process, like differentiation, in a reliable, repetitive way must be written, in some way, somewhere.

    That’s what I want to know: where that information is written, how it is written, how does it work, and, last but not least, how did it originate?

    — gpuccio


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