“If it ain’t broke … ” Cricket shows no change in 100 million years. Nor does Texan School Lobby from New Dark Ages
|March 2, 2011||Posted by O'Leary under Evolution, science education|
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)