Evolution science education

“If it ain’t broke … ” Cricket shows no change in 100 million years. Nor does Texan School Lobby from New Dark Ages

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Yes, apparently, the cricket has carved out new territory in sheer conservatism:

A fossil found in northeastern Brazil confirmed that the splay-footed cricket of today has at least a 100-million-year-old pedigree.Researchers have discovered the 100 million-year-old ancestor of a group of large, carnivorous, cricket-like insects that still live today in southern Asia, northern Indochina and Africa. The new find, in a limestone fossil bed in northeastern Brazil, corrects the mistaken classification of another fossil of this type and reveals that the genus has undergone very little evolutionary change since the Early Cretaceous Period, a time of dinosaurs just before the breakup of the supercontinent Gondwana.

[ … ]

Although the fossil is distinct from today’s splay-footed crickets, its general features differ very little, Heads said, revealing that the genus has been in a period of “evolutionary stasis” for at least the last 100 million years.

– (ScienceDaily, Feb. 4, 2011)

The paper is free online at open access journal ZooKeys. While we don’t know for sure, the explanation seems to be that the cricket could always find a habitat that let it just go on being what it is. If I were a teacher, I’d love a recent find like this, to demonstrate that evolution doesn’t necessarily just happen; something pushes it.

But apparently, findings like this are not to be taught to students in Texas. According to the local Darwin lobby,

… the expectation that students analyze and evaluate scientific explanations of “stasis, and sequential nature of groups in the fossil record” is another use of language that can be traced to biased publications from anti-evolution, intelligent design/creationism proponents. The word “stasis” is used to describe the observation that fossil forms appear fully formed in the fossil record and remain relatively unchanged for long periods of time. In fact, these types of observations are fully compatible with evolutionary science.

Ah yes, thank you, Dr. Wise.* Stasis can’t be taught because it is fully compatible with evolutionary science.

Go on, you Texas  losers! Suck it up, and pay ever higher taxes for the sort of “education” advocated by our esteemed Wise man. The only important thing is to protect the establishment’s spin anyway. What’s your kid’s mind matter? Isn’t that kid just going to grow up to be a serf or a layabout somewhere? And who told you you had any right to accountability from the dweebs you are graciously permitted by your betters to elect?

(*John Wise, Research Associate Professor of Biological Sciences and Adjunct Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at Southern Methodist University in Dallas)

6 Replies to ““If it ain’t broke … ” Cricket shows no change in 100 million years. Nor does Texan School Lobby from New Dark Ages

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    I liked this recent video on stasis in the fossil record:

    Bat Evolution? – No Transitional Fossils!

    ,,especially since recently the ‘convergence’ between echolocation in bats and whales inexplicably, from a Darwinian perspective, extends down to the genetic level;

    Convergence Drives Evolution Batty – Fazale Rana – September 2010
    Excerpt: The multiple, independent origin of echolocation in these animals (twice in bats and once in toothed whales) exemplifies convergence,,, When examined from an evolutionary perspective, convergence doesn’t make much sense.,,, the latest research demonstrates that—again, from an evolutionary perspective—the genetic and biochemical changes that account for the emergence of echolocation in bats and dolphins is identical. Given the random nature of the evolutionary process, this recent discovery doesn’t match what evolutionary biologists would expect to find. But both the discovery and convergence make sense if life stems from the work of a Creator.

    Common Design in Bat and Whale Echolocation Genes? – January 2011

    Bat and Whale Echolocation Genes Point to Common Design – February 2011 – Podcast

    further note;

    Within the roughly 10 million years of time that whales are purported to have dramatically evolved from some wolf-like animal 50 million years ago, with at least +50,000 major morphological innovations no less, bats did not, and have not, changed in their basic shape at all. Bats popped out of the ‘evolutionary woodwork’ about 55 million years ago. They first appear as a radically new yet fully developed form, which was not in any way significantly different from modern bats. Their debut in the fossil record is sudden, complete, and lacks intermediaries as these following articles make clear:

    Australonycteris clarkae is the oldest bat ever found in the fossil record at 54.6 million years old. The ear bones of Australonycteris show that it could navigate using echolocation just like modern bats.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Whale Evolution Vs. Population Genetics – Richard Sternberg PhD. in Evolutionary Biology – video

  3. 3
    Robert Byers says:

    This YEC creationist does believe marine mammals were first land animals. Yet the change to the sea was done instantly without intermediates.
    I also see bats as only a post flood adaptation.
    I see innate triggers could do a great act of adaptation.
    If one reads about echolocation I finds its also found in some cave birds etc.
    again a unlikely result from evolution by selection/mutation.
    In fact the genetics is a clue that this is a recent add on in all these creatures.
    Not convergence from evolution etc but rather it shows getting echolocation is not a big deal. In fact all creatures could get it , I suggest, instantly.
    In fact I have wondered if even people could get this ability and so help with blindness. or even further suggest a cure for blindness as I suspect these kind of radars are low level principals of eyesight.
    I have serious eye trouble and could do with some help.

    Evolutionists and creationists need to re examine the facts coming here about these extra abilities that pop up in different creatures,
    The first conclusion should be that a common biological ability is in bodies to get suddenly these abilities.
    Could it be a great tool to heal could come from a creationist correction of evolutions answer to convergent features in creatures.
    Why couldn’t the creator have put in biology great ability to roll with the punches even if we don’t see it happening every day?!

  4. 4
    tjm says:

    Interesting isn’t it? Evolution can explain any result at all. It explains stasis over 100 million of years and it explains change over 100 million years. As they say, a theory that explains anything, explains nothing. Living fossils should falsify evolution. Unchanged fossils, like this one, that are supposedly ancient, should falsify evolution, but no, it gets twisted into evidence for evolution.

    If this cricket has not changed for over 100 million years, exactly when did it change? Or did it ever change? Why is it that stasis is the rule, not the exception, in the fossil record? Whatever change this guy underwent, must have been fast and then it suddenly stopped. Has anyone noticed that the general pattern is that the time for evolutionary change in a vast number of creatures has been getting less and less as we find older and older fossils that look like today’s organisms. Evolutionists must be getting nervous. More time, not less time, is what is needed plus an abundance of missing link fossils, plus etc. etc.

  5. 5

    “Stasis is data”, Stephen Jay Gould.

  6. 6

    I had the chance to go on a research trip in this place in northeastern Brazil in 2008.

    Learn more about the place where this fossil was found:

    The Crato Fossil Beds of Brazil
    Window into an Ancient World

    David M. Martill, University of Portsmouth

    Günter Bechly, Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde, Stuttgart

    Robert F. Loveridge, University of Portsmouth


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