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.
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