While we are on the subject of stasis (Stasis: Ferns separated 60 million years interbreed), from ScienceDaily:
The fossils of two interrelated ancestral mammals, newly discovered in China, suggest that the wide-ranging ecological diversity of modern mammals had a precedent more than 160 million years ago.
With claws for climbing and teeth adapted for a tree sap diet, Agilodocodon scansorius is the earliest-known tree-dwelling mammaliaform (long-extinct relatives of modern mammals). The other fossil, Docofossor brachydactylus, is the earliest-known subterranean mammaliaform, possessing multiple adaptations similar to African golden moles such as shovel-like paws. Docofossor also has distinct skeletal features that resemble patterns shaped by genes identified in living mammals, suggesting these genetic mechanisms operated long before the rise of modern mammals.
So the cast changed, but Hamlet is still the same play.
“We consistently find with every new fossil that the earliest mammals were just as diverse in both feeding and locomotor adaptations as modern mammals,” said Zhe-Xi Luo, PhD, professor of organismal biology and anatomy at the University of Chicago and an author on both papers. “The groundwork for mammalian success today appears to have been laid long ago.”
Early mammals were once thought to have limited ecological opportunities to diversify during the dinosaur-dominated Mesozoic era. However, Agilodocodon, Docofossor and numerous other fossils — including Castorocauda, a swimming, fish-eating mammaliaform described by Luo and colleagues in 2006 — provide strong evidence that ancestral mammals adapted to wide-ranging environments despite competition from dinosaurs.
“We know that modern mammals are spectacularly diverse, but it was unknown whether early mammals managed to diversify in the same way,” Luo said. “These new fossils help demonstrate that early mammals did indeed have a wide range of ecological diversity. It appears dinosaurs did not dominate the Mesozoic landscape as much as previously thought.”
The problem today is not that the dominant neo-Darwinian theory is wrong; it’s more like this: The price of its being right is scientific meaninglessness.
It amounts to: Life changes over time, or maybe doesn’t.
Science is supposed to amount to more than this.
So nothing remains but endangering the careers of those who point out that fact. And cramming it all down the yawp of the failing public school system. Oh yes, and hounding Republicans running for office about what they believe about “evolution.”
It is the fast track to cultural relevance without scientific relevance.
That does not make Darwin’s theory or his followers irrelevant. Their relevance rather becomes the way they twist people’s ideas of what science is supposed to be.
Note: “Early mammals were once thought to have limited ecological opportunities to diversify during the dinosaur-dominated Mesozoic era.” Yes, that was “once thought” because everything depended on Darwinian thinking. And Darwin was wrong. But that doesn’t matter. Darwin is right.
Where is evolution when we need it?
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