Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Gunter Bechly on the decadence of evolutionary science


He sees it exemplified in the recent “oldest scorpion” paper (the scorpion is from 437 mya):

A few days ago a new paleontological discovery hit the news headlines around the globe. The oldest fossil scorpion ever found had been described and it was said to provide clues to the evolution of life on land. Of course, I was eager to read the original paper; not at all with a malevolent intention, looking to find a fly in the ointment, but honestly interested and fascinated by this subject. Boy, was I in for a big surprise, the unpleasant sort. I am not easily shocked, but this paper shocked me. So what was wrong with it? Well, usually peer reviewers receive a check list from the editors that includes the question, “Do the data support the conclusions?” This paper fails miserably and it is beyond me how it could ever pass peer review. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Gunter Bechly, “The Oldest Scorpion and the Decadence of Evolutionary Science” at Evolution News and Science Today:

He also takes issue with something I (O’Leary for News) wrote in a January 17, 2020, post, “World’s oldest scorpions show no change from 437 million years ago” here at Uncommon Descent earlier this month:

First let me say what is good in this paper. The two fossil specimens it describes really are the oldest known fossil scorpions, and their Lower Silurian age is remarkable. Also, this new genus and species, Parioscorpio venator, differs from all modern arachnids in still having a pair of large lateral compound eyes and a higher number of sternites (ventral plates of the exoskeleton). This is clearly more primitive than any modern scorpion. It is therefore not correct when Uncommon Descent (2020) commented that “World’s Oldest Scorpions Show No Change From 437 Million Years Ago.” What hardly changed are the preserved features of the circulatory and respiratory system. The described preservation of these internal organs is highly exceptional and especially remarkable considering the ancient origin of these fossils. Great find! So far, so good.

Okay, thanks, point corrected. Only the guts of the thing are unchanged. The peripheral features changed.


Leave a Reply