Skip to comments.Amber-Trapped Spider Web Too Old for Evolution
Posted on 11/20/2009 8:37:04 AM PST by GodGunsGuts
Amateur fossil hunters Jamie and Jonathan Hiscocks were looking for dinosaur remains in East Sussex, UK, when they instead found tiny spider webs trapped inside a piece of ancient amber. Oxford University paleobiologist Martin Brasier inspected the amber, which was assigned an age of over 100 million years. He concluded that spiders back then were able to spin webs just like today’s garden spiders.
The amber-encased webbing formed concentric circles like those that contemporary orb-weaver spiders manufacture. Also evident were “little sticky droplets along the web threads to trap prey,” Brasier told the Daily Mail. He added, “You can match the details of the spider's web with the spider's web in my garden.”1 In a paper recently published in the Journal of the Geological Society, he wrote that these webs are “comparable with those of araneoid spider webs studied by us in modern cherry tree resins.”2
Brasier and his colleagues suggested that this “amber was arguably deposited shortly before the emergence of the earliest flowering plant communities circa 140 million years before present.”2 The Daily Mail reported, “The discovery suggests that orb-shaped web spinning spiders existed far earlier than had been previously thought, at a time before flowering plants appeared on the planet and triggered an explosion in flying insects.”1
This is a reversal of the standard story of spider evolution, which was based on spider fossils from Florissant lake deposits and Baltic amber. Paleobiologist Donald Prothero wrote in 2004, “From these deposits, it is apparent that carnivorous, web-spinning spiders had radiated since the late Mesozoic, probably in response to the explosion of insect diversity in response to the diversification of flowering plants.”3 Florissant insect fossils are considered to be 35 million years old , and the oldest Baltic amber is considered to be about 40 million years old. Thus, by evolutionary reckoning, the new UK amber shows that spiders were around 100 million years earlier than previously thought.
So, did orb-weaving spiders evolve in response to a greater diversity of insects―which supposedly evolved in response to plants―or did the spiders evolve prior to these insects?
If the evolutionary age-deposit correlation is made, this amber-encased spider web not only falsifies the theory that spiders “radiated” in response to the “explosion” of insects, but it also glosses over the fact of the interdependence of these three groups—spiders, insects, and flowering plants—in ecosystems. Most orb-weavers depend entirely on flying insects for food, insects are responsible for pollinating most flowering plants, and the plants provide the necessary food for most insects.
For Brasier and his colleagues to maintain that even a single generation of these spiders evolved prior to insects, they must also insist that spiders came up with silk glands, spinnerettes, and the instincts required to build symmetrical webs even to the degree of coating them with sticky insect-trapping droplets—all with no flying insects around to trap as prey. With no lunch as a payoff, wouldn't that generation of spiders have gone extinct?
However, if the contradictory web of long-age assignments could be decoupled from rock layers, as the Flood model maintains, then the spider conundrum vanishes. Spider, insect, and flowering plant fossils are near the top layers of Flood-year strata not because they evolved in later eras, but because they were part of mid-continental ecosystems that were the last areas to be inundated by the Flood.4
Genesis is correct that spiders, insects, and flowering plants have always existed in interdependent ecosystems from the beginning.
The theory can and will be adjusted in the face of any new evidence.
It’s based on epistemology that recognizes the primacy of reality—not the primacy of an explanation (regardless of the source).
One would think.
Kind of makes you wonder how all the web spinning equipment and instinct just happened to evolve before there was a use for it.
Oh, let me guess, it was one of those beneficial mutations just waiting around for the right conditions for it to be selected for.
Uh...well, what we MEANT to say was...
Yeah, okay. I still like hydroplate. That makes me one of those radical right-wing Christians the military is lousy with. Oh, well.
Even when the reality doesn't match it!!
Remember evolution = reality and reality = evolution!!
So you see, it is impossible for evolution not to reality.
And vice versa of course
I anxiously await the point-by-point refutation of the above article by the evos. I’m sure I’ll STILL be waiting after the 50th comment.
Let me give it a try: Oh yeah! But still. You dumb religious hicks...ect...
And the navy guy will say, “This doesn’t prove the earth is 6,000 years old.”
Mosquitoes are far older than the timeframe being discussed in the article. There are plenty of flying insects that have nothing to do with flowering plants, and preceded said plants by millions of years.
God is a great engineer...................
Isn’t He though! Did you happen to catch the picture of the spider spinneretes just above???!!!
You’re just a liar.
Since male mosquitoes eat nectar from plants, what did they eat before flowering plants appeared on the scene?
Full bird Colonel? Wow, I’m duly impressed, sir!!! It’s nice knowing that there are plenty of people just like you serving in our nation’s military. Former USMC myself. I was one of those enlisted guys that people like you get to order around :o)
God bless you for your service!
Amazing. They look like a power station! But we all know they got there by random mutations mindlessly guided by natural selection!
They feted upon an unusually sweet substance emitted from primordial pond scum. It always goes back to pond scum.
We have a creator who knows our every thought, holds all the stars in their place, makes the earth spin and seasons change, knows what will work for our ultimate good and leads us down that path. Their creator is pond scum.
They are called "extrafloral nectaries". Non-flowering plants produce nectar from the leaf petioles, mid-rib or leaf margin.
Oldest flying insect fossil predates your spider by about 150,000,000 years. Oops.