Remember the jackass-a-rama last month about how we should stop referring to the Cambrian explosion as an explosion and start referring to it in terms that sound like an elephant’s intestinal troubles?
Well, okay, courtesy of friends, here’s some stuff that really happened in terms of research into the amazing Cambrian. Just a bit, read the rest:
A brief article on Phys.org teases that a “Study reveals true origin of oldest evidence of animals.” Spoiler alert: no animals were found. Instead, two teams of evolutionary scientists, claiming to “have resolved a longstanding controversy surrounding the origins of complex life on Earth,” took another look at steroid signatures in rock thought to be produced by sponges. Did that prove animals had evolved before the explosion?
The joint studies found molecular fossils extracted from 635-million-year-old rocks aren’t the earliest evidence of animals, but instead common algae.
The researchers from The Australian National University (ANU), Max Planck Institute and Caltech say the finding has big implications for our understanding of evolution.
But then we learn that geological processes can also produce the steroids, so biology didn’t have anything to do with it. What were the big implications, then? No evolution!
“While it holds true sponges are the only living organism which can produce these steroids, chemical processes can mimic biology and transform common and abundant algae sterols into ‘animal’ sterols,” he said.
That makes the headline very deceptive: “Study reveals true origin of oldest evidence of animals.” The “true origin” was the oldest evidence of non-animals!Evolution News, “First Animals? Fossils Won’t Fit Cambrian Evolution” at Evolution News and Science Today
It’s probably going to take a while to pound the real story out of a lot of situations. Not much help to be expected from the fossils in the science bureaucracy.