Skip to comments.New Fossil Cache Shows Plants Haven't Changed
Posted on 10/28/2009 9:18:17 AM PDT by GodGunsGuts
New Fossil Cache Shows Plants Haven't Changed
A coal mine in the Cerrejón Formation of Columbia has yielded a gold mine of fossils. This particular cache preserved a time in earth history when the tropical climate was quite different from today’s. Evidence indicates that it was warmer and wetter. But despite the different climate, the fossilized tropical plants were the same as today’s, albeit less diverse.
The fossils reveal that ancient rainforests “were composed of the same plant families that now thrive in rainforests.” Even more remarkable, supposedly ancient fossil leaves—some of them very well preserved—were identifiable “down to the genus level.”1
In addition to the plants, the fossilized animals seemed quite similar to their modern counterparts. For example, it was from this same formation that researchers had earlier uncovered fossil remains of a huge snake that they called “Titanoboa.” In a University of Florida press release, one researcher stated, “like Titanoboa, which is clearly related to living boas and anacondas, the ancient forest of northern Colombia had similar families of plants as we see today in that ecosystem.”1
None of these observations come as a shock those who subscribe to the concept that plants and animals were specially created. However, the claim that these fossils are 58 million years old may be difficult to support. Given all that time, why has no evolutionary change occurred in the plants or animals described?
One common argument used to defend evolution in the face of a lack of fossil evidence is that certain creatures failed to evolve because their environment has stayed the same from then until now. Without changes in the environment, it is claimed, there would not have been a selective pressure to drive their evolution.
But in the Cerrejón Formation, the “legumes, palms, avocado and banana — have maintained their ecological dominance despite major changes in South America’s climate and geological structure.”1
So in this instance, there has been enough time for evolution to have occurred, and there were enough “major changes” in the area to provide selection pressure. This would seem an ideal test case for large-scale evolution. But the existence of the same flora and fauna then as today shows that evolution did not occur at all. The remarkable similarities are also consistent with a much younger date for the fossils.
Rather than an inexplicable example of creatures that remained evolutionarily dormant for “millions of years,” the best fit for the evidence is their recent creation as distinct plant and animal kinds.
So you want us to talk about fossil plants, well....hey everyone, look over there! A pink flying unicorn!!!11!eleventy!!
Yep, that’s about the extent of their “counter-argument”. Sad, but true.
As Solomon said, “There is no new thing...”
Sitting on my desk as I type are several 50 million year old plant fossils I found near my cabin. Each and every one is identifiable on at least a family level. This is not unusual, so why the breathless post?
Nice article...that uses sound reasoning to basically destroy their “theories” and “settled science”.
Not that it will change your mind at all, but ...
The story you cite is from the Institute for Creation Research, which has a specific belief to plug, even if it means re-interpreting the original data to support to forgone conclusions. If you follow the original findings at the U of FL page, you can see that the original researchers say a few things that ICR has picked up on and then speculated upon:
Original plant groups, broadly categorized, are primarily the same;
Neotropical plant species were much less diverse than they are today;
Some species have survived primarily unchanged.
NONE of these research findings contradict the idea of species development. Animal species also fall into the same broad categories: reptiles, fish, amphibia, mammals. That does not mean that individual species have not changed and evolved. Actually, the fact that there is MORE diversity in plant species today is an argument that they HAVE changed and evolved. As the scientists is the UofFl article attest:
“The studys authors say the relative lack of diversity indicates either the beginning of rainforest species diversification or the recovery of existing species from the Cretaceous extinction event.”
The fact that there are “primitive” forms still found today that are essentially unchanged after millions of years does not mean that no species evolve. There are species in the animal kingdom - cockroaches, sharks, crocodiles - that are essentially unchanged since the Cretaceous Period. Their continued existence, however, simply means that they succeeded in their biological niche. Certainly, other species have developed and evolved since then.
But of course, if you refuse to believe in biological development, and have a specific religious interpretation of a particular religious book that you feel requires you to reject scientific evidence, then certainly any argument made here will not change your mind. It will only open up the arguer to derision and disdain from you.
But those who may read your diary more out of intellectual curiosity than Confirmation Bias might want to go directly to the original info, which is really quite interesting if not theory-upending:
This is what little old me has been saying all along! If the atmosphere is warmer there will be more water content in it. That will probably bring rain to the arid places.
BT BS* forgot to mention these paragraphs from the original press release (at least he linked to it):
“Megafossils found at the Cerrejón site made it possible to use leaf structure to identify specimens down to the genus level. This resolution allowed the identification of plant genera that still exist in Neotropical rainforests. With pollen fossils, specimens can be categorized only to the family level.
Researchers were surprised by the relative lack of diversity found in the Paleocene rainforest, Herrera said. Statistical analyses showed that the plant communities found in the Cerrejón Formation were 60 percent to 80 percent less diverse than those of modern Neotropical rainforests. Evidence of herbivory also showed a low diversity level among insects.
The studys authors say the relative lack of diversity indicates either the beginning of rainforest species diversification or the recovery of existing species from the Cretaceous extinction event.”
If these plants were turned into coal within the last 6000 years, you’d think we’d have mountains of the stuff forming all over very quickly to this day.
Good thing Mr. Thomas didn't read the whole press release.
I'll bet he really loves crocodilians and sharks.
The original article also says, "Megafossils found at the Cerrejón site made it possible to use leaf structure to identify specimens down to the genus level." In other words, they haven't been able to use the fossils to identify species. If they haven't identified the species, how could they say the plants were "the same"? (Hint: they couldn't, which is why they didn't.)
Real science writers are careful about the accuracy of what they write. Brian isn't, because he has an agenda. That's why Brian is a lousy science writer, though he's an excellent propagandist.
Exactly, and thank you.
It’s the incessant crevo grind that drives people away, not the interesting paleo posts.
I’m not far from the Gilboa forest, where the very first “trees” were buried whole by volcanic dust. They are amazing.
“Nine 370 million year-old fossil trees are being moved to a new site one-half miles from the overlook at the Gilboa Dam, according to an announcement by Commissioner Joel A. Miele Sr., P.E., of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and Kristen V. H. Wyckoff of the Gilboa Historical Society. The rare fossil trees will be loaned by DEP to the Gilboa Historical Society for a new exhibit and educational kiosk on land owned by the town of Gilboa.”
(google Gilboa Forest)
If I were a creationist (in the US), one could assume my Christian faith would be pretty strong.
So I am left to constantly wonder where the Christians who have a problem with lying are on every one of these threads. Lyin’ Brian Thomas DELIBERATELY lies and obfuscates in every one of his daily pap propaganda pieces.
And yet, NO ONE of faith EVER has an issue with that. Why is that? I grew up in a bible-believing, church going, very strong Christian family. My parents and sister believe in the bible’s creation account. But I am confident they would ALL have an issue with Lyin Brian and his ilk.
I love this stuff. Keep ‘em coming, GGG. thx
It really is astonishing, isn't it? Some, I think, just don't understand how they're being deceived--they agree with the article's conclusion, so they figure the premises and reasoning must be sound as well. Others seem to not care--I almost think it's a version of the Muslim argument about how it's okay to lie to nonbelievers. And some, I think, are just in denial.
Are they date stamped?
To cut to the heart of the matter, this is the important question:
“Given all that time, why has no evolutionary change occurred in the plants or animals described?”,