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Slow but sure, the extinct snail turned up again

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For some researchers, this story should have been titled: Crap happens. Here:

While good news for snail lovers and conservationists, the animal’s rediscovery reignited a debate about the validity of Gerlach’s study. As early as 2007, when Gerlach published his report linking the snail’s extinction with climate change, biologist Clive Hambler of the University of Oxford and his colleagues submitted a comment to Biology Letters pointing to data collection and analysis errors and requesting that the study be retracted. Hambler’s comment was rejected for publication at the time; now, in statements to media outlets, Hambler has once again voiced his concerns about the study and called for a retraction. And in an e-mail to The Scientist, his frustration is clear, as he cites the “catastrophic failure of the peer review and editorial process.”

Specifically, Hambler and his colleagues argue that the Gerlach study provided few details of the survey method used, missed some recorded observations of the species, and used climate change data that amplified the trend of lower rainfall. In addition, because the surveys only sampled a small portion of the largely inaccessible islands, said Hambler, who argued with his coauthors in 2007 that more extensive searches would find the species—as proved to be the case this August. “I argue any one of [these errors] should be grounds for retraction,” Hambler told The Scientist.

The Scientist is standing by its story. The snail is crawling around doing whatever. Some call these types of life forms “Lazarus species,” animals we thought were extinct. (One third apparently turn up again.) Perhaps the tricky part is determining how many of them were “species” in the first place, in the sense that they couldn’t mate with very similar life forms, and then go back to mating with each other later. Follow UD News at Twitter!

4 Replies to “Slow but sure, the extinct snail turned up again

  1. 1
    tjguy says:

    Another living fossil pops up! This time a Royal Fern in Sweden.

    “Researchers from Lund University and the Swedish Museum of Natural History have described a fossil fern so well preserved that cell nuclei and individual chromosomes could be identified.”

    Not only does the evidence of no-change mean no evolution, but it also means that the quoted times of ‘millions of years’ do not exist.

    How is it possible that there could be no change for such a long time? Evolutionists say, “once nature comes up with an architecture that works, it’s prone to stick with it—even for millions of years.”

    Yet that makes no sense because mutations are continually accumulating in the genome of every living thing. Random changes accumulating in a precision machine mean that eventually it will stop working. The implications of this phenomenon have recently been described and dubbed as ‘genetic entropy’. This is leading living organisms rapidly to extinction.

    In other words, ‘living fossils’ are evidence that they have existed only for thousands of years, not millions.

    Viv Vajda, Professor of Geology at Lund University, said, “The preservation happened so quickly that some cells have even been preserved during different stages of cell division”. To be so well preserved during volcanic burial abundant water would have been present to prevent the fern from burning.

    http://creation.com/swedish-fossil-fern

  2. 2
    stjones says:

    Well, sure. If my inadequate research shows that the moon is made of cheese and my paper reporting this result passes peer review, the mere fact that my conclusion was wrong is not a reason for retraction. My research looked pretty good at the time, so what difference at this point does my demonstrably false statement make?

  3. 3
    ppolish says:

    Global Warming sent the snail into extinction supposedly. Now Nature is giving us a second chance to save the snail. Supposedly. Let’s not blow it again people. Like Bill Nye says, “Let’s change the World”. Or something like that.

  4. 4
    polistra says:

    Not a “catastrophic failure of peer review”. A magnificent success of peer review.

    Grant-eligible orthodoxy was maintained at the cost of grant-losing trivialities like facts.

    Perfection.

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