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Sea creature, nearly 600 mya, wobbles current classifications of life

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In “Ancient sea jelly makes tree of life wobble” (Nature, September 7, 2011), Amy Maxmen explains, “Fossil suggests evolutionary order requires revision.” More than that, probably.

A 580-million-year-old fossil is casting doubt on the established tree of animal life.

The researchers, led by paleontologist Feng Tang of the Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences in Beijing, believe that Eoandromeda is the ancient ancestor of modern ocean dwellers known as comb jellies — gelatinous creatures similar to jellyfish, but rounder and with eight rows of iridescent paddles along their sides. If they are right, it would be the oldest known fossil of a comb jelly. And that would support a rewrite of the animal tree.

The supposed tree is actually a ground cover already, okay? But you can rewrite it if you want. The rest of the article is a snarl of disputes over precedence of fossils, much as if it were an old-fashioned imperial court disputing precedence of titles.

Let’s keep our eye on the main point: These complex creatures lived nearly 600 million years ago. So how much time does that leave for Darwinian evolution (natural selection acting on random mutation)?

Anyway, now we know what Darwin’s spin doctors do, faced with improbable specified complexity: They get into a dispute over classification, hoping no one will notice the key numbers.

See also:  Scholar claims Darwin never called it a tree of life.

Redwood tree’s genes differ from top to bottom.

3 Replies to “Sea creature, nearly 600 mya, wobbles current classifications of life

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    bornagain77 says:

    wiki has a good entry on comb jellies:


    As to Sponges and Jellyfish, (Jellyfish are considered a different phylum than comb jellies), I found the following articles to be interesting;

    Interestingly, ‘soft-bodied’ Jellyfish and Sponges appeared suddenly in the fossil record a few ten million years before the Cambrian Explosion, and have remained virtually unchanged since they first appeared in the fossil record. Moreover, contrary to evolutionary thinking, Jellyfish and Sponges appear to have essential purpose in preparing the ecosystem for the Cambrian Explosion that was soon to follow.

    Marine animals cause a stir – July 2009
    Excerpt: Kakani Katija and John Dabiri used field measurements of jellyfish swimming in a remote island lake, combined with a new theoretical model, to demonstrate that the contribution of living organisms to ocean mixing via this mechanism is substantial — of the same order of magnitude as winds and tides. (Winds and tides, due to their prevention of stagnation, are known to be essential for life on earth.)

    Sponges Determine Coral Reef’s Nutrient Cycle
    Excerpt: Sponges, which have worldwide distribution in the oceans, filter water. They take up planktonic particles such as bacteria and excrete inorganic nutrients. In turn, these nutrients can facilitate the growth of marine plants and other organisms. Sponges filter water at a phenomenal rate: if the seawater were to remain stationary, the sponges would have completely pumped it away within five minutes,,,, these organisms play a key role in the marine nutrient cycle due to their incredible capacity to convert enormous quantities of organic plankton into inorganic material (nutrients).

    Fossils of all types of sponges, and jellyfish, alive today have been found virtually unchanged in rocks dated from 635 to 580 million years ago. Moreover, sponges with photosynthesizing endosymbionts produce up to three times more oxygen than they consume, as well as more organic matter than they consume (Wikipedia).

    Barrel and Chimney Sponges Filtering Water – cool video

    further note of interest:

    Response to John Wise – October 2010
    “So, where then are those ancestors? Fossil preservation conditions were adequate to preserve animals such as jellyfish, corals, and sponges, as well as the Ediacaran fauna. It does not appear that scarcity is a fault of the fossil record.”
    Sean Carroll developmental biologist

    Macroscopic life in the Palaeoproterozoic – July 2010
    Excerpt: The Ediacaran fauna shows that soft-bodied animals were preserved in the Precambrian, even in coarse sandstone beds, suggesting that (the hypothetical transitional) fossils are not found because they were not there.


    Challenging Fossil of a Little Fish
    “In Chen’s view, his evidence supports a history of life that runs opposite to the standard evolutionary tree diagrams, a progression he calls top-down evolution.” Jun-Yuan Chen is professor at the Nanjing Institute of Paleontology and Geology

    The unscientific hegemony of uniformitarianism – David Tyler – 2011
    Excerpt: The summary of results for phyla is as follows. The pattern reinforces earlier research that concluded the Explosion is not an artefact of sampling. Much the same finding applies to the appearance of classes.

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  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: David Berlinski – New video critiquing Darwinism

    Science and religion with David Berlinski: Chapter 2 of 5

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