At The Scientist: In fact, if the new fossil finds are confirmed to be sponges, “they would be not just the oldest sponges; they would be the oldest animals,” Riding points out. To find any fossil more than 200 million years older than previous animal fossils “is significant,” he says.
At The Scientist: “Now, in a study published today (July 28) in Nature, Elizabeth Turner, a geologist at Laurentian University in Canada, identified structures in 890-million-year-old fossils of organisms similar to modern bath sponges, potentially pushing back the emergence of the animals to at least that long ago.”
Re the researcher’s comment, “It may seem very unlikely that such complex traits could evolve twice, independently, but evolution doesn’t always follow a simple path,” well, he is virtually admitting that Darwinism stretches (snaps?) the bounds of probability but no one is allowed to discuss that honestly. That is most likely why there is a controversy in the first place.
It’s the first time life has been found under such conditions. But, as Alfred Russel Wallace, the first ID nerd, pointed out, this is a World of Life (1914).
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.
Researchers: “The alternative candidates for our most distant animal relatives are the comb jellies: beautiful, transparent, globe-shaped animals named after the shimmering comb-rows of cilia they beat to propel themselves through the water.”
Just to set the record straight, embryologist Ernst Haeckel (1834–1919) had, according to learned expert, a “philosophy of sponges.” And the title above captures part of it.
Both groups of life forms are at least 500 million years old. Using a bigger data set, this group of researchers favors the sponges. But we surely haven’t heard the last of it.
Instead of looking for fossil at that age, the researchers looked for biomarkers: Rather than searching for conventional body fossils, the researchers have been tracking molecular signs of animal life, called biomarkers, as far back as 660-635 million years ago during the Neoproterozoic Era. In ancient rocks and oils from Oman, Siberia, and India, they found a Read More…