Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Researchers: Huge coelacanth fish is “not a living fossil”


Well, if you want to get technical about it …

New research published in Molecular Biology and Evolution presents evidence showing that at least one species of coelacanth, formally known as Latimeria chalumnae, is not the living fossil it’s presumed to be, having acquired dozens of new genes in the past 23 million years—a surprising finding, and a far cry from the idea that the species has barely changed since its ancestors emerged over 300 million years ago. What’s more, the finding is further evidence that the living fossil concept is outdated and somewhat of a misnomer.

George Dvorsky, “Huge Fish, Once Believed Extinct, Isn’t the ‘Living Fossil’ Scientists Thought” at Gizmodo

For all practical purposes, the coelacanth is a “living fossil,” in the sense that it is an example of stasis. It wanders a bit genetically over millions of years but doesn’t change much over hundreds of millions of years. Could we say the same of most vertebrates?

The paper is open access.

See also: Stasis: Life goes on but evolution does not happen

Yes, of course Darwinism is deeply flawed as decades of scientific research has revealed, but the real problem is this. Science promoters and ideologues are waiting for a better naturalistic explanation before they throw the racist, Darwin, under the bus. The reason is that they cannot give up their uncompromising scientific dogmatism or anything imaginative or involving scientific curiosity. Science to these promoters and educators is a matter of multiple-choice questions on vocabulary and orthodoxy. -Q Querius
Of course Darwinists are going to try to do away with living fossils by any sleight of hand they can contrive. Living fossils like the coelacanth and horseshoe crab work against Darwinism in two big ways: 1. their unexplained stasis argues against ongoing evolution - why no "progress" in millions of years (as Querius says) - no genetic drift or improvements despite vastly a changed environment? 2. how can they still compete successfully if all those other life forms became "fitter" every few generations, on and on over the same millions of years? If "survival of the fittest" is true then newer species must surely out-compete older ones, driving them to extinction. The fact that they do not suggests that the Darwinian process is badly flawed. Fasteddious
What’s more, the finding is further evidence that the living fossil concept is outdated and somewhat of a misnomer.
And furthermore, it's an embarrassment to if not a falsification of Darwinism. How can any species maintain virtually no changes to their phenotype while virtually all others have changed significantly or become extinct? Surely the oceanic environment has changed over 66 million years. So now, researchers say they have determined that over 10 million years, the coelacanth "has evolved dozens of new genes." Really? Where did they get the genome of a 10 million year old coelacanth? Coelacanths have small genetic variations, the same as most other animals (there are some exceptions such as tigers). But these researchers went a step further. They carefully observed fossils of coelacanths and not one of them moved or exhibited any other evidence of being alive!!! Thus, they bravely concluded that the term, living fossils, is now outdated and somewhat of a misnomer. Wow! And to think that the coelacanth was once heralded as an important stage in the evolution of fish in that they still had "legs" and were yet another irrefutable proof of Darwinian evolution. Pathetic. -Q Querius
A better term would be Living Winner. Stability is a GOOD THING in taxonomy and in human life and human civilization. Learning happens best in a stable situation because you have time to experiment with one variable at a time. (Learning also equals Science.) When everything is changing every microsecond, as our demonic masters are forcing on us in recent decades, we have no chance to learn or adapt or improve or EVOLVE. That's the whole purpose of Room 101 and Innovative Disruption and Creative Destruction. All fancy names for DEMONIC PSYCHOPATHS IN CHARGE. Never give the peasants a moment of balance, never let them adapt or learn or figure out what's happening. polistra

Leave a Reply