Intelligent Design stasis

Sea spiders as a remarkable example of stasis: 450 million years?

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Found in all oceans, these pycnogonids are not actually spiders, though most have eight legs.

About 1,300 species of sea spiders have been identified, and more are found every year. Fossils suggest that they’ve existed on Earth for at least 450 million years. Back then, pycnogonids and other arthropods likely dominated the oceans. Few animals lived on land.

Sea spiders lack organs for breathing, instead expelling carbon dioxide and taking in oxygen directly through their outer layer, or cuticle. This gas exchange primarily occurs via the legs, as they have the most surface area by far. Even more fascinating, it seems that pycnogonids primarily transport oxygen within their bodies via peristalsis, involuntary constriction and relaxation of the gut. Peristalsis moves hemolymph, or blood, throughout the body. “Shared digestive and respiratory functions may save energy,” the researchers who uncovered this strategy said. “Legs function as the gills used by other arthropods, and the gut functions as a heart.”

Ross Pomeroy, “The Strange, Unsettling World of Sea Spiders” at RealClearScience (February 2, 2022)

Their biology doesn’t sound like it would work — yet no big changes seem to have been needed for nearly half a billion years.

Pomeroy also notes,

As far as reproduction goes, males carry fertilized eggs then care for offspring. Females produce and lay eggs, which males then externally fertilize. Subsequently, males pick them up and store them with specialized body parts called ovigers.

Ross Pomeroy, “The Strange, Unsettling World of Sea Spiders” at RealClearScience (February 2, 2022)

That’s a complex sort of behavior, isn’t it? Unfortunately, we can’t know if it is an ancestral behavior or a recently developed one. But if there is no design in nature, how would it have developed at all? There is no clear path via random mutations.

and

You may also wish to read: Stasis: Life goes on but evolution does not happen

18 Replies to “Sea spiders as a remarkable example of stasis: 450 million years?

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    Isn’t Mother Nature wonderful?

  2. 2
    polistra says:

    Amazingly weird! All leg, no body.

    Maybe they should be called Stay-At-Home-Daddy Long Legs.

  3. 3
    jerry says:

    Isn’t Mother Nature wonderful?

    Absolutely.

    But this refutes natural evolution.

    There must be a limitation on change built into the genome or DNA aspect of life. It’s in every species ever seen.

  4. 4
    Pearlman says:

    or with genetic entropy taken into account, just more evidence of ID AND YeC.

    reference Pearlman YeC volume I Framework for understanding science in context.

  5. 5
    Querius says:

    There are three Darwinist explanations for “evolutionary stasis” that are commonly offered:

    A. Oh, but there were spectacular changes, but they’re all internal changes. This is why the fossilized specimens have been given different species or genus assignments.

    B. Oh, but there musta been some form of population isolation, preserving their biome for hundreds of millions of years, hence removing evolutionary pressure.

    C. Oh, but there musta been some as-of-yet unknown naturalistic process that will explain everything.

    Any others that I might have missed?

    -Q

  6. 6
    martin_r says:

    I wont comment on E stasis, because it is more than obvious that tons of stasis examples falsify the theory of evolution in the first place …

    But, this is interesting

    Shared digestive and respiratory functions may save energy,” the researchers who uncovered this strategy said

    So, it seems, that to share digestive and respiratory function is a good design…it may save energy … but not with humans …. then it is a bad design … you know, that famous Darwinian objection that you can choke on food …

  7. 7
    Lieutenant Commander Data says:

    Querius
    There are three Darwinist explanations for “evolutionary stasis” that are commonly offered:

    Nobody has proven yet that darwinian evolution is real so explanations for “evolutionary” stasis are superfluous.
    Any kind of stasis is the worse enemy for evolution because those “random mutations” are totally eliminated from the system and what we have is an incredible stable genetic mechanism that clear any random mutation(=error) for millions of years in the row. 😆

  8. 8
    Querius says:

    Martin_r @6,

    So, it seems, that to share digestive and respiratory function is a good design…it may save energy … but not with humans …. then it is a bad design … you know, that famous Darwinian objection that you can choke on food …

    While often done, I think it’s the height of arrogance to judge any design from a position of profound ignorance of that design.

    Of course, biology seemed so simple during the time when all “simple” cells consisted of nothing more than undifferentiated protoplasm encased in a “simple” cell wall. Biology textbooks still often refer to “simple” single-celled animals.

    -Q

  9. 9
    Querius says:

    Lieutenant Commander Data @7,

    Any kind of stasis is the worse enemy for evolution because those “random mutations” are totally eliminated from the system and what we have is an incredible stable genetic mechanism that clear any random mutation(=error) for millions of years in the row.

    Good point.

    It seems that evolution occurs much too quickly in some cases (see Haldane’s dilemma) for a stable genome.

    Secondly, the rate that genome diversity is lost ultimately results in extinction (see, for example the concern over the genome of tigers and of wheat).

    And finally, the rate of deleterious mutations in humans is concerning–estimated to be about double that of any other sell-studied species . . .

    . . . so it is likely that an average newborn acquires a total of 50 to 100 new mutations at the diploid level, a small subset of which must be deleterious. The net fitness consequences of human mutations remain unclear and will likely continue to be a major challenge, but some general arguments allow an order-of-magnitude assessment of the situation.
    – Rate, molecular spectrum, and consequences of human mutation, Michael Lynch
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Jan. 2010
    https://www.pnas.org/content/107/3/961

    In the last 12 years, there’s likely additional published research on human genetic burden since then, but my brief literature search didn’t turn it up.

    -Q

  10. 10
    Fasteddious says:

    Question: why are so many scientific names of species unpronounceable for English speakers?

  11. 11
    Querius says:

    They’re sometimes latinized versions of the names of their discoverers and sometimes descriptive.

    Often the scientific names of animals are simply descriptive, but in a neutral “dead” language commonly used by European academics to communicate without linguistic prejudice. So the name “river horse” and “strange little animal with long ears” in Latin would result in a compound word that’s hard to pronounce in English.

    -Q

  12. 12
    Querius says:

    What I’d really like to see is how the usual detractors of ID rationalize evolutionary stasis in sea creatures specifically, and other so-called “living fossils” in general. I know of a few in a very long list.

    Any takers?

    -Q

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    Querius, “What I’d really like to see is how the usual detractors of ID rationalize evolutionary stasis in sea creatures specifically, and other so-called “living fossils” in general. I know of a few in a very long list.
    Any takers?”

    Me to!

    As far as the science itself is concerned, all we ever seem to get from Darwinists are ‘crickets’ and (very) bad theological arguments.

    Which reminds me, the ears of 50 million year old crickets are found to be “virtually identical in size, shape, and position to their modern counterparts.”

    50 million year old cricket and katydid fossils hint at the origins of insect hearing – Jan 2012
    Excerpt: Insects have evolved ears at least 17 times in different lineages.,,,
    The team scoured more than 500 museum drawers of Green River fossils for crickets and katydids with intact front legs, looking for evidence of ears. “You can just make them out with the naked eye,” Plotnick said. “They look like the eye of a needle.”
    In crickets and katydids living today, the ear is a tiny oval cavity with a thin membrane stretched over it that vibrates in response to sound, much like our own eardrum.
    The fossil ears measured half a millimeter in length, and were virtually identical in size, shape, and position to their modern counterparts.
    The findings suggest that this group of insects evolved their supersensitive hearing long before bat predators came to be, the researchers say.
    https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/891641
    ,,, from paper,, Morphologically, the fossil ears are well-preserved and are essentially identical to those observed in modern Ensifera (for Gryllidae and the single tettigoniid). The fossil gryllid ears are found in the same position on the leg and their overall simple oval shape are the same as found in modern gryllids.,,,

    Rare insect fossil reveals 100 million years of evolutionary stasis – February 2011
    Excerpt: 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.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....llion.html

    As Laszlo Bencze asks of the supposed ‘scientific explanations” of Darwinists, “This is science? It’s not even a sound religion.”

    “Darwinism (unlike ID) doesn’t even exclude anything. It allows for convergent evolution (statistically impossible), stagnant evolution (you mean to tell me that for 500 million years there could be no improvement to the horseshoe crab?), punctuated evolution (everything stays the same for a real long time and then evolution kicks into high gear and it all happens so fast there’s no record of it having happened at all), neutral evolution (the blueprints for marvelously useful structures get created in unexpressed DNA by random shuffling, until one day voila, the gene is turned on and the structure appears fully formed). In evolution anything goes and contradictions live in happy harmony with one another. This is science? It’s not even a sound religion.”
    – Laszlo Bencze

    A few more notes:

    Living Fossils – Dr. Carl Werner, part 1 of 2 | Origins – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6LmWznY4Ys

    Living Fossils – Dr. Carl Werner, part 2 of 2 | Origins
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noljXQOW9qA

    Just how bad is the Fossil Record for Darwinists?

    Fossils: Mysterious Origins (Science Uprising, Ep. 9) (November 2021) – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20AGi50UNf0

    The Discontinuous Fossil Record Refutes Darwinian Gradualism – Günter Bechly – November 2, 2021
    Excerpt: “Imagine you have a new hobby, beachcombing. Every day you walk along the shore and collect what the tide washes in. In the beginning you are surprised each day by new discoveries…. But after a while you are finding mostly the same stuff over and over again, and you must be lucky to find something new that you have not seen before (like a stranded whale or a message in a bottle). When you have reached this point of mostly repetition, then you know that you have sampled enough to be sure that you have not missed much that is out there to find. The same approach is used by paleontologists for a statistical test of the completeness of the fossil record; it is called the collector’s curve. In most groups of fossils, we have reached this point of demonstrable saturation, where we can be pretty confident that the distinct discontinuities that we find are data to be explained and not just sampling artifacts. There is another reason why we know this: If the gaps and discontinuities in the fossil record were just artifacts, they should more and more dissolve with our greatly increasing knowledge of the fossil record. But the opposite is the case. The more we know, the more acute these problems have become. …[If Darwin] were still alive, he would likely agree that the evidence simply does not add up, since he was much more prudent than many of his modern followers.”
    https://evolutionnews.org/2021/11/the-discontinuous-fossil-record-refutes-darwinian-gradualism/

  14. 14
    Querius says:

    Nice! Thank you, Bornagain77. Great video under a few more notes!

    Note that the second video link under a few more notes was terminated by YouTube. The third link was short and sweet–I didn’t know about the avian and other “explosions.” In his article at the end, Güntner Bechly makes a great argument against punctuated equilibrium, which also reminds us of Haldane’s dilemma.

    As I’m sure you know, there are also many really interesting specimens preserved in amber that appear modern.

    -Q

  15. 15
    bornagain77 says:

    Thanks Querius, here is another video interview with Dr. Carl Werner, that also shows just how bad the fossil record is for Darwinists.

    Evolution Versus Fossils
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQNrQKVVMKw

  16. 16
    Querius says:

    Another great video . . . no fossil ancestors for bats, seals, and dinosaurs?

    -Q

  17. 17
    Querius says:

    C’mon people. Surely one of the detractors here can respond if they have any background in biology.

    I’d even settle for one of the usual ad hominem attacks, which always provide me with the warm assurance that I’ve won the argument.

    -Q

  18. 18
    Querius says:

    What? No takers at all?

    -Q

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