Listen to this:
The scientists examined sulfur bacteria, microorganisms that are too small to see with the unaided eye, that are 1.8 billion years old and were preserved in rocks from Western Australia’s coastal waters. Using cutting-edge technology, they found that the bacteria look the same as bacteria of the same region from 2.3 billion years ago — and that both sets of ancient bacteria are indistinguishable from modern sulfur bacteria found in mud off of the coast of Chile.
“It seems astounding that life has not evolved for more than 2 billion years — nearly half the history of Earth,” said J. William Schopf, a UCLA professor of earth, planetary and space sciences in the UCLA College who was the study’s lead author. “Given that evolution is a fact, this lack of evolution needs to be explained.”
Charles Darwin’s writings on evolution focused much more on species that had changed over time than on those that hadn’t. So how do scientists explain a species living for so long without evolving?
“The rule of biology is not to evolve unless the physical or biological environment changes, which is consistent with Darwin,” said Schopf, who also is director of UCLA’s Center for the Study of Evolution and the Origin of Life. The environment in which these microorganisms live has remained essentially unchanged for 3 billion years, he said.
So Darwin’s theory explains everything, anything, and nothing? Thanks for making it so clear.
Ah yes, that is what reminds one of communist economics.
An ancient deep-sea mud-inhabiting 1,800-million-year-old sulfur-cycling microbial community from Western Australia is essentially identical both to a fossil community 500 million years older and to modern microbial biotas discovered off the coast of South America in 2007. The fossils are interpreted to document the impact of the mid-Precambrian increase of atmospheric oxygen, a world-changing event that altered the history of life. Although the apparent 2-billion-year-long stasis of such sulfur-cycling ecosystems is consistent with the null hypothesis required of Darwinian evolution—if there is no change in the physical-biological environment of a well-adapted ecosystem, its biotic components should similarly remain unchanged—additional evidence will be needed to establish this aspect of evolutionary theory. – J. William Schopf, Anatoliy B. Kudryavtsev, Malcolm R. Walter, Martin J. Van Kranendonk, Kenneth H. Williford, Reinhard Kozdon, John W. Valley, Victor A. Gallardo, Carola Espinoza, David T. Flannery. Sulfur-cycling fossil bacteria from the 1.8-Ga Duck Creek Formation provide promising evidence of evolution’s null hypothesis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2015; 201419241 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1419241112