stasis

Many species can’t be bothered with evolution

Spread the love

Talk to the Fossils 3.jpg If we go by the fact that they survive tens or hundreds of millions of years pretty much unchanged:

That wasn’t what Darwin told us to expect.

Darwin explained clearly and eloquently the pattern we should find in the fossil record if his theory was correct, let alone the juggernaut that his present day supporters insist:

It may be said that natural selection is daily and hourly scrutinizing, throughout the world, every variation, even the slightest; rejecting that which is bad, preserving and adding up all that is good; silently and insensibly working, wherever and whenever opportunity offers, at the improvement of each organic being in relation to its organic and inorganic conditions of life.

However, it hasn’t turned out that way. Nature seems not to like such orderly schedules much.

Species often explode suddenly into life, as in the Cambrian explosion, which even Darwin found to be a problem for natural selection. (See the new short video from Discovery Institute, The Information Enigma.)

Some of them do not persist beyond the age to which they are adapted. That does not require an explanation.

But others just settle down to long eons where they don’t change much, no matter what the environment. … The cockroach, for example, is still around and still easily identifiable after perhaps 350 million years.

The 350-million-year-old coelacanth fish and the 300-million-year-old horsetail grass survive largely unchanged.

When the coelacanth, supposed extinct for 70 million years, turned up in the Indian Ocean in 1938, it disappointed biologists who hoped for a living proof of Darwinism. It is a living proof of non-Darwinism.

Similarly, a recently discovered 425-million-year-old crustacean showed no significant changes in internal body parts, compared to present-day specimens. One researcher called it “a demonstration of unbelievable stability.” But the stability is only unbelievable if we start with Darwin’s assumption that “natural selection is daily and hourly scrutinizing, throughout the world, every variation, even the slightest.” Apparently not. More.

Welcome to the world of stasis. To understand how evolution happens, we need to pay more attention to cases where it doesn’t happen.

Note: No news posting till tomorrow evening due to O’Leary for News’ alternate day job.

Follow UD News at Twitter!

17 Replies to “Many species can’t be bothered with evolution

  1. 1
    Zachriel says:

    News: That wasn’t what Darwin told us to expect.

    Um, the term “living fossil” was coined by Darwin.

  2. 2
    Virgil Cain says:

    Zachriel:

    Um, the term “living fossil” was coined by Darwin.

    And Darwin said they were anomalous and yet they appear to be the rule.

  3. 3
    bFast says:

    Thanks for the link Virgil,

    Further Darwin said: “These anomalous forms may almost be called living fossils; they have endured to the present day, from having inhabited a confined area, and from having thus been exposed to less severe competition.” So Darwin’s opinion was that “living fossils” inhabit confined areas, and have less competition. Cockroaches? Hmmm.

    Oh, I understand that Horseshoe crabs have remained nearly unchanged for like 500,000,000 years or something. Another animal that inhabits confined areas with less competition.

  4. 4
    Zachriel says:

    bFast: Further Darwin said: These anomalous forms may almost be called living fossils; they have endured to the present day, from having inhabited a confined area, and from having thus been exposed to less severe competition.”

    1. Evolution still occurs in so-called living fossils, and modern species are usually identifiably different.
    2. Anomalous, as the vast majority of multicellular organisms found in, say, the Jurassic either evolved significantly, or went extinct.
    3. The quote you provided refers to specific organisms.
    4. Generalists also tend to evolve more slowly.
    5. Darwin then discusses the conditions conducive to adaptive change.

    All of this contradicts the claim in the original post that Darwin didn’t expect so-called living fossils.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    “Being an evolutionist means there is no bad news. If new species appear abruptly in the fossil record, that just means evolution operates in spurts. If species then persist for eons with little modification, that just means evolution takes long breaks. If clever mechanisms are discovered in biology, that just means evolution is smarter than we imagined. If strikingly similar designs are found in distant species, that just means evolution repeats itself. If significant differences are found in allied species, that just means evolution sometimes introduces new designs rapidly. If no likely mechanism can be found for the large-scale change evolution requires, that just means evolution is mysterious. If adaptation responds to environmental signals, that just means evolution has more foresight than was thought. If major predictions of evolution are found to be false, that just means evolution is more complex than we thought.”
    ~ Cornelius Hunter

    Who would have thought that it would be biologists that came up with the first Theory of Everything?
    Biological divergence? Evolution. Biological convergence? Evolution. Gradual variation? Evolution. Sudden variation? Evolution. Stasis? Evolution. Junk DNA? Evolution. No Junk DNA? Evolution. Tree of life? Evolution. No tree of life? Evolution. Common genes? Evolution. Orfan genes? evolution. Cell with little more than a jelly-like protoplasm? Evolution. Cell filled with countless, highly-specified nano-machines directed by a software code? Evolution. More hardy, more procreative organisms? Evolution. Less hardy, less procreative organisms? Evolution.
    – Evolution explains everything. –
    William J Murray

    All jesting aside, in reality Darwinism is merely a non-falsifiable pseudo-science that is on par with tea leaf reading.

    “In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable; and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality.”
    Karl Popper – The Two Fundamental Problems of the Theory of Knowledge (2014 edition), Routledge

    It’s (Much) Easier to Falsify Intelligent Design than Darwinian Evolution – Michael Behe, PhD
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_T1v_VLueGk

    The Law of Physicodynamic Incompleteness – David L. Abel
    Excerpt: “If decision-node programming selections are made randomly or by law rather than with purposeful intent, no non-trivial (sophisticated) function will spontaneously arise.”
    If only one exception to this null hypothesis were published, the hypothesis would be falsified. Falsification would require an experiment devoid of behind-the-scenes steering. Any artificial selection hidden in the experimental design would disqualify the experimental falsification. After ten years of continual republication of the null hypothesis with appeals for falsification, no falsification has been provided.
    The time has come to extend this null hypothesis into a formal scientific prediction:
    “No non trivial algorithmic/computational utility will ever arise from chance and/or necessity alone.”
    https://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/The_Law_of_Physicodynamic_Incompleteness

    Evolutionary Computing: The Invisible Hand of Intelligence – June 17, 2015
    Excerpt: William Dembski and Robert Marks have shown that no evolutionary algorithm is superior to blind search — unless information is added from an intelligent cause, which means it is not, in the Darwinian sense, an evolutionary algorithm after all. This mathematically proven law, based on the accepted No Free Lunch Theorems, seems to be lost on the champions of evolutionary computing. Researchers keep confusing an evolutionary algorithm (a form of artificial selection) with “natural evolution.” ,,,
    Marks and Dembski account for the invisible hand required in evolutionary computing. The Lab’s website states, “The principal theme of the lab’s research is teasing apart the respective roles of internally generated and externally applied information in the performance of evolutionary systems.” So yes, systems can evolve, but when they appear to solve a problem (such as generating complex specified information or reaching a sufficiently narrow predefined target), intelligence can be shown to be active. Any internally generated information is conserved or degraded by the law of Conservation of Information.,,,
    What Marks and Dembski prove is as scientifically valid and relevant as Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem in mathematics. You can’t prove a system of mathematics from within the system, and you can’t derive an information-rich pattern from within the pattern.,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....96931.html

  6. 6
    ppolish says:

    If there is a good design, a really good design – why change it? On the other hand, if it ain’t broke, break it. Innovate or die. Design has plenty of neat design rules. Design is very fascinating. Very.

  7. 7
    Robert Byers says:

    God thread.
    Actually they say most creatures, like horses, have not changed in millions, not hundreds of millions, of years. this alone unlikely is selection was nudging every variation.
    In fact most of biology never changed.
    our eyes, immune system, organs, all “living fossils’ from the very early ancestors. Those fis critters etc.
    We are walking around with most of our pieces from creatures in a common past. Unless they invoke massive convergent evolution.
    Your eye ain’t much different then any eye that ever existed. Stasis aplenty.

  8. 8
    Zachriel says:

    Robert Byers: In fact most of biology never changed.

    That’s right. The world looks just like it did in the Jurassic. That’s why Jurassic Park was such a bore. Might as well take a walk in Central Park.

  9. 9
    ppolish says:

    Jurassic Park was a movie filmed in modern day Hawaii. And if T-Rex had survived until this day – it would still be a T-Rex.

  10. 10
    bornagain says:

    Having trouble logging in to my bornagain77 account

    Jurassic World – Official Global Trailer (HD)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJJrkyHas78

  11. 11
    Robert Byers says:

    Zachriel
    its really details about much of the looks of biology. The glory of biology , like the immune system and organs has never changed since the original EVOLVED organs etc. YES we are walking around with living fossils in our own bodies if evolution is true.
    its not. in reality there is just a common blueprint. then tweeking things.
    a t rex had eyes, tongue, legs, butt etc. its relative on what tou pick in segregating them from us.

  12. 12
    tjguy says:

    It would be great if someone took the time to document all the examples of “no evolution” over millions of years. It would be a long long list. So you would have a long list of unevolving organisms and then a long list of those said to evolve. How can you have organisms like the whale evolving extremely fast over 10-20 million years yet have other organisms not evolve hardly at all over hundreds of millions of years? It just doesn’t make sense.

    And even if some think it does make sense – everyone is welcome to their opinion – how can you test the hypothesis?

  13. 13
    Dionisio says:

    Evolution does happen these days.
    Here’s a strong convincing proof:

    https://blog.xamarin.com/xamarin-evolve-2016-call-for-participation/

    🙂

  14. 14
    Zachriel says:

    Robert Byers: its not. in reality there is just a common blueprint. then tweeking things.

    While vertebrate evolution is in part a rearrangement of existing elements, it is incorrect to say that the parts haven’t changed. The heart and eye of a human are not the heart and eye of a primitive vertebrate.

    tjguy: How can you have organisms like the whale evolving extremely fast over 10-20 million years yet have other organisms not evolve hardly at all over hundreds of millions of years?

    As whales were invading a new niche, there was a period of adaptive radiation.

    tjguy: It would be great if someone took the time to document all the examples of “no evolution” over millions of years.

    A simple thought-experiment, already mentioned above, would be to compare the Jurassic period to today. Would similar organisms comprise each ecosystem, or would they look radically different?

  15. 15
    Virgil Cain says:

    Zachriel:

    While vertebrate evolution is in part a rearrangement of existing elements, it is incorrect to say that the parts haven’t changed. The heart and eye of a human are not the heart and eye of a primitive vertebrate.

    There isn’t any evidence for vertebrate evolution. So that would be a problem for your bald assertion.

    As whales were invading a new niche, there was a period of adaptive radiation.

    Whales have always occupied the same niche. So that too would be a problem for your bald assertion.

  16. 16
    tjguy says:

    Some more examples:

    A mammal fossil from Spain perfectly preserves fur and internal organs, but is said to be 125 million years old.

    Believe it or not: “Breathtaking fossil of tiny mammal preserves fur and internal organs,” Sid Perkins writes in Science Magazine. You can almost hear the gasps in his coverage:

    Most of our knowledge of very ancient life comes from fossilized remains of hard tissues—bones, shells, and teeth. Now, the exquisitely preserved fossil of a tiny mammal from the time of the dinosaurs reveals a variety of soft tissues, including skin, fur, and spines; even remnants of its external ear were fossilized. The find pushes back the earliest record of mammalian internal organs and well-preserved fur by more than 60 million years, and shows that ancient fur and spines formed just as they do in today’s mammals.

    “Finding complete fossils like this raises the bar for the rest of us,” says Richard Cifelli, a vertebrate paleontologist at the University of Oklahoma, Norman, who was not involved with the new study. “My breath is taken away.”

    crev.info/2015/10/mammal-soft-tissue-fossil/

  17. 17
    goodusername says:

    News,

    That wasn’t what Darwin told us to expect.

    Here is what Darwin told us to expect:

    Many species when once formed never undergo any further change but become extinct without leaving modified descendants; and the periods during which species have undergone modification, though long as measured by years, have probably been short in comparison with the periods during which they retained the same form.

    News,

    The 350-million-year-old coelacanth fish and the 300-million-year-old horsetail grass survive largely unchanged.

    When the coelacanth, supposed extinct for 70 million years, turned up in the Indian Ocean in 1938, it disappointed biologists who hoped for a living proof of Darwinism. It is a living proof of non-Darwinism.

    I haven’t looked at all the examples of “living fossils” given, but generally when I read about so-called living fossils I find that they are not as unchanged as is generally believed.

    We can see this in the two most famous examples of “living fossils”: the coelacanth and the horseshoe crab.

    One thing to keep in mind is that the coelacanth isn’t a species, or genus, or even a family – it’s an entire order. It’s a group with a large amount of diversity. The order Carnivora, for instance, ranges from bears and skunks to seals.

    The extant coelacanths differ drastically from fossil coelacanths in size and shape, and while less is known of internal anatomy, we see big differences there as well, such as with the swim bladder.

    Why coelacanths are not ‘living fossils’: a review of molecular and morphological data.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23382020

    It’s a similar story with the horseshoe crab:
    https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/horseshoe-crabs-arent-living-fossils-2/

Leave a Reply