Here’s a news article from Phys.Org on a lamprey study. Actually it’s a study concerning phylogenetics and using gene regulatory mechanisms to figure out the relationships that exist.
It turns out that in the lamprey, which is part of the Cambrian explosion, the same kind of hind brain gene regulatory mechanisms are in place as in “jawed” vertebrates, including mammals.
From the article:
The team at Stowers, collaborating with Marianne Bronner, Ph.D., professor of biology at Caltech, focused on the sea lamprey because the fossil record shows that its ancestors emerged from Cambrian silt approximately 500 million years ago, 100 million years before jawed fish ever swam onto the scene. The question was, could the hindbrain gene regulatory network that constructs the “modern” vertebrate head have originated in animals that lack those structures? . . . . . .
The paper’s startling finding came when they inserted the very same reporters into lamprey embryos using a technique developed by Hugo Parker, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the Krumlauf lab and the study’s first author: the lamprey embryos displayed the same rainbow pattern of Hox reporters as did jawed fish, in exactly the same order along the AP axis of the hindbrain.
“We were surprised to see any reporter expression in lamprey, much less a pattern that resembles the pattern in a mouse or fish,” says Parker, who pioneered the lamprey reporter approach as a graduate student at London’s Queen Mary University. “That means that the gene regulatory network that governs segmental patterning of the hindbrain likely evolved prior to divergence of jawed vertebrates.”
This, of course, was a ‘surprise,’ and they were ‘startled,’ but eventually found some way of accommodating these “surprises” to standard evolutionary theory. (How often has this happened?!!)
What this study suggests is that so much of what we consider “modern” organisms was already there from the beginning. At UD, we would call this “front-loading,” a notion ridiculed by evolutionists—until, that is, more and more discoveries suggested that “front-loading” just might be true.
Obviously, the more “front-loading” that occurred historically, then the more there was in place in a short period of time, and the more difficult it becomes to justify the usual evolutionary mechanisms.
Sadly, as they are now being forced to do this ten times a day because of “surprising” and “startling” results, it never seems to force them to reconsider their ill-thought out paradigm. Alas.