Scientists discover organism that hasn't evolved in more than 2 billion years

February 3, 2015 by Stuart Wolpert, University of California, Los Angeles
Scientists discover organism that hasn’t evolved in more than 2 billion years
A section of 1.8 billion-year-old fossil-bearing rock. The fossils (dark areas) are essentially identical to fossils 500 million years older and to modern microorganisms. Credit: UCLA Center for the Study of Evolution and the Origin of Life

(Phys.org)—An international team of scientists has discovered the greatest absence of evolution ever reported—a type of deep-sea microorganism that appears not to have evolved over more than 2 billion years. But the researchers say that the organisms' lack of evolution actually supports Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.

The findings are published online today by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The scientists examined sulfur , microorganisms that are too small to see with the unaided eye, that are 1.8 billion years old and were preserved in rocks from Western Australia's coastal waters. Using cutting-edge technology, they found that the bacteria look the same as bacteria of the same region from 2.3 billion years ago—and that both sets of are indistinguishable from modern sulfur bacteria found in mud off of the coast of Chile.

"It seems astounding that life has not evolved for more than 2 billion years—nearly half the history of the Earth," said J. William Schopf, a UCLA professor of earth, planetary and space sciences in the UCLA College who was the study's lead author. "Given that is a fact, this lack of evolution needs to be explained."

Charles Darwin's writings on evolution focused much more on species that had changed over time than on those that hadn't. So how do scientists explain a species living for so long without evolving?

"The rule of biology is not to evolve unless the physical or biological environment changes, which is consistent with Darwin," said Schopf, who also is director of UCLA's Center for the Study of Evolution and the Origin of Life. The environment in which these microorganisms live has remained essentially unchanged for 3 billion years, he said.

"These microorganisms are well-adapted to their simple, very stable physical and biological environment," he said. "If they were in an environment that did not change but they nevertheless evolved, that would have shown that our understanding of Darwinian evolution was seriously flawed."

Schopf said the findings therefore provide further scientific proof for Darwin's work. "It fits perfectly with his ideas," he said.

The fossils Schopf analyzed date back to a substantial rise in Earth's oxygen levels known as the Great Oxidation Event, which scientists believe occurred between 2.2 billion and 2.4 billion years ago. The event also produced a dramatic increase in sulfate and nitrate—the only nutrients the would have needed to survive in their seawater mud environment—which the scientists say enabled the bacteria to thrive and multiply.

Schopf used several techniques to analyze the fossils, including Raman spectroscopy—which enables scientists to look inside rocks to determine their composition and chemistry—and confocal laser scanning microscopy—which renders fossils in 3-D. He pioneered the use of both techniques for analyzing microscopic fossils preserved inside ancient rocks.

Explore further: Isotopic memory of atmospheric persistence

More information: Sulfur-cycling fossil bacteria from the 1.8-Ga Duck Creek Formation provide promising evidence of evolution's null hypothesis , Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1419241112

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nevermark
3.8 / 5 (11) Feb 03, 2015
It is way overstating things to say that "the rule of biology is not to evolve unless the physical or biological environment changes". Changing environments force creatures to evolve, but an unchanging environment may still leave opportunities for improvement.
antialias_physorg
4.6 / 5 (18) Feb 03, 2015
Changing environments force creatures to evolve, but an unchanging environment may still leave opportunities for improvement.

The article doesn't say the the organism never evolved. It just says that it hasn't evolved for 2bn years. It may well have evolved prior to that to the point where it was next to optimal for the environment.

Though the interesting thing is that an organism that is optimal for an environment changes the environment by its very presence.
I.e. an organism is the competitor to its next of kin - it is part of its own environment. This opens the door for speciation where one type actively combats another. Such pressure 'by itself' can only be removed if there is a constant predation or a near infinite living space to extend into.... or an equilibrium between die-off and generation of descendants.
scottgoodman0217
1.7 / 5 (24) Feb 03, 2015
1) Many times evolutionists will claim both a changing and non-changing organism proves evolution so that the hypothesis is not stated clearly. Whatever data they find they claim "proves" evolution. 2) There is no way to know for certain how the organism came to be as it is in the form studied and how much or if the environment it was in changed. 3) Stating evolution is a "fact" means that the term evolution needs to be "defined". Are they talking about micro or macro evolution?
dogbert
1.5 / 5 (26) Feb 03, 2015
scottgoodman0217,
Stating evolution is a "fact" means that the term evolution needs to be "defined".


Good luck with that. The term "evolution" means whatever is convenient for the evolutionist at the time.
antialias_physorg
4.6 / 5 (22) Feb 03, 2015
Many times evolutionists will claim both a changing and non-changing organism proves evolution so that the hypothesis is not stated clearly.

No change in the environment - no change in the organism
Change in the environment - change in the organism.

I do think it is spelled out quite clearly in the article (and anywhere else where people talk about evolution for that matter)

There is no way to know for certain how the organism came to be

(A)biogenesis is not part of the theory of evolution. You can't use an argument against a subject that has nothing to do with the subject.

Stating evolution is a "fact" means that the term evolution needs to be "defined"

Look it up in a dictionary. There's plenty of places you'll find a definition. "Mutation and selection" / "descent with modification" seem clear enough.

And since this setup is lacking the 'selection' part it is not surprising to see no evolution happening.
Kedas
1.6 / 5 (7) Feb 03, 2015
Evolution doesn't mean that it can't evolve into the same as it was before.

So maybe 2 billion years ago it was X, 1 billion yeast ago it was Y and now it's X again.

Just saying that 'not evolved in 2 billion years' may be jumping to conclusions.
russell_russell
1.4 / 5 (11) Feb 03, 2015
DNA matches are not possible. The half life forbids this.

The weight of circumstantial evidence substitutes for the lack of direct evidence.
Biology doesn't stand trial.
russell_russell
1 / 5 (10) Feb 03, 2015
Imagine a DNA match. This life form managed all changes with repair, not mutation.
SoylentGrin
4.8 / 5 (20) Feb 03, 2015
the term evolution needs to be "defined"


A change in allele frequency in breeding populations over time.

No "micro" or "macro" anything. That allele frequency changes is a fact, thus evolution is a fact.
HOW it changes is the theory part. There is no one theory of evolution, there are many, and they're not mutually exclusive. Allele frequency can change through Selective Mating, Gene Drift, Rapid change through point mutation, slow change through gradual mutation, any of the above, all of the above, many other hypotheses and theories not listed here...
Your local library likely has a great deal of knowledge on the subject under Science if you ever leave the Theology section. Check it out!
jdouglas25
1 / 5 (12) Feb 03, 2015
" The creature is happy being what it was two billion years ago."

And why would you have a rule that limited me to posting every 3 minutes, when you believe brevity is the soul of wit.
viko_mx
1 / 5 (19) Feb 03, 2015
It would be better for scientific authenticity to demonstrate with purely scientific methods which organisms are evolved at all. Would be a manifestation of honesty and respect to the public about its long patient to the official delusions called with unjustified self esteem science.
ThomasQuinn
3.9 / 5 (22) Feb 03, 2015
Dang! Creationists could have used it as an 'argument' against evolution if it were a bit younger...like, no more than 6000 years old...
viko_mx
1 / 5 (16) Feb 03, 2015
without allowing alternatives
viko_mx
Feb 03, 2015
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
SoylentGrin
4.6 / 5 (21) Feb 03, 2015
Only the Son of God come down to the Earth...
...live in harmony with God
...only the Son of God allowed to be a victim of sinners...
...reach out to God's word and open their hearts to God's truth.
...only God give you covenant and promise for grace...


What the hell does this have to do with a science news site?!?
Do you think this is a forum for you to preach? Get off the line, you're wasting our time.
viko_mx
1.3 / 5 (15) Feb 03, 2015
@SoylentGrin

Some people ask, I answer. By the way I am not convinced that this is exactly scientific site as often are published unscientific articles. Do you know how long I wait on this site any expert to explain mechanisms of evolution in details? So far I have no such a chance. So do not treat it as scientific but entertainment and I think for the most reliable are technology news.
dport60
1.5 / 5 (22) Feb 03, 2015
Seems Evolution is Unfalsifiable no matter what is said making it a Pseudo-Science. If organisms changes over time then it is Proof of Evolution... If organisms stay the same over time then it is Proof of Evolution... either way, it is no different than the mindset of Creationism. It is merely a Belief System with no actual hard Scientific Evidence to back it up, only your Faith and it is Unfalsifiable no different than the Faith theres a Creator God.
How can they say that the Earth hasnt changed in 2.3 Billion years? Supposedly back at that time, the first oxygen had just come into being and there were absolutely no plants or organisms, the earths surface was covered with spewing volcanoes and its atmosphere was a poisonous mixtures of gases.... Yep... exactly what I see out my window everyday... no changes. Like I said... Evolution is Pseudo Science. Wheres Carl Popper when you need him
dport60
1.5 / 5 (15) Feb 03, 2015
@Thirteenth Doctor
"It's environment didn't change for that span of time."
Somebody forgot to inform all the Bacteria of all the variations in Solar Intensity variations, the change in the Organic Composition, the massive strikes by Asteroids, the separation of Pangea and the Continents travel around the globe to different latitudes, the massive Extinction Events, Global Warming, Global Cooling, the Ice Ages and the bombardment of Radiation for billions of years, rising and lowering Sea Levels, changing Salt and chemical levels, Mountain Ranges being formed and completely eroded among a host of other environmental changes. All that and yet absolutely NO evidence of Evolution when even a slight change of temperature or environment is used as the mechanism for all the other organisms to jump into Evolution Overdrive .... Go figure.
adave
not rated yet Feb 03, 2015
Why are Stromatolite bacteria not a candidate for the oldest organism? 3.5 billion years included the oxygenation of the atmosphere and 170 then 340 varieties of the bacteria in two time periods.
dport60
1 / 5 (10) Feb 03, 2015
"What are you not understanding? The regions small environment hasn't changed."
... They said that the bacteria came from Western Australian Coast(Coral Rocks) and Chiles (muddy coast) .... somehow that strikes me as being 1/2 a world apart and totally different environments, geology and conditions. How can those differences be said to be "unchanged"?
dport60
1 / 5 (10) Feb 03, 2015
Why are Stromatolite bacteria not a candidate for the oldest organism? 3.5 billion years included the oxygenation of the atmosphere and 170 then 340 varieties of the bacteria in two time periods....
Good Question... Seems theres another even more ancient bacteria that hasnt "Evolved" either in 3.5 billion years, thereby once again Proving that Evolution by Darwinian mechanisms doesnt happen and is unfalsifiable no matter if things change over time or dont change over time that BOTH are considered "Proof of Evolution. The Stromatolite bacteria, Cyanobacteria are among the easiest microfossils to recognize. Morphologies in the group have remained much the same for billions of years. Seems theres a Stasis built into organisms that dont allow very much change within a species... even down to the most simple organisms and more so in the higher species. The Species Stasis problem has long been a thorn in the side of the Theory of Evolution... one they can only ignore and never explain
dport60
1 / 5 (6) Feb 03, 2015
Cyanobacteria: Fossil Record .... Univ. of California, Berkeley
http://www.ucmp.b...ofr.html
lkdjfsd
4.9 / 5 (8) Feb 03, 2015
Evolution typically happens has a result of a change in DNA, either through reproduction or by outside influences (such as radiation, viruses, etc.) Could this organism signal an unknown way to prevent DNA damage?
russell_russell
5 / 5 (1) Feb 03, 2015
They didn't use DNA matching from what I read. Just in case you missed it: - TD

The DNA would cease to be readable much earlier — perhaps after roughly 1.5 million years, when the remaining strands would be too short to give meaningful information.
http://www.nature...-1.11555

I labeled the researcher's evidence 'circumstantial' as oppose to direct evidence offered from DNA matching. I then stated the 'circumstantial' evidence is not on 'trial' (in doubt).

Even if DNA had no half life and this direct matching evidence showed no evolution occurring in the life form studied, there still remains the mechanism of DNA repair that PREVENTS ...
...both sets of ancient bacteria [to be] indistinguishable from modern sulfur bacteria found in mud off of the coast of Chile.


DNA repair belongs to evolution in every aspect to mutation or the absent of mutation.
Absent of repair has never been observed or recorded in any life form.
default
4.3 / 5 (6) Feb 03, 2015
if this thing could vote, it would vote Republican
russell_russell
5 / 5 (1) Feb 03, 2015
@lkdjfsd
Yes. The organism signals superior DNA repair to any DNA damage occurring.
There is no known mechanism to prevent DNA damage.
This supports the assertion that all life forms possess some form of repair.
Porgie
1 / 5 (7) Feb 03, 2015
They have discovered a democrat.
ichisan
1 / 5 (13) Feb 03, 2015
As if random mutations, the supposed engine of change in evolution, cared about changing environments. Evolution = we win; no evolution = we win. It must be rather lonely in this pathetic little Darwinist cult, eh?

ahahaha...AHAHAHA...ahahaha...
russell_russell
1 / 5 (2) Feb 03, 2015
This is what I meant when I stated in the first of my comments:
This life form managed all changes with repair, not mutation.


Thirteenth Doctor asserts I overlooked the fact that no DNA matching was used.
No.
I asserted additionally that no DNA matching is possible for ANY fossilized life form older than 1.5 million years.
viko_mx
1 / 5 (14) Feb 04, 2015
@Thirteenth Doctor

I strongly doubt that you understanding genetics and microbiology or have solid scientific knowledge of the fundamental sciences, judging by the contents of your comments. Mainly demonstrate strong feelings and dislike of God's truth and laws. It would be interesting to us to explain with details the mechansms of evolution systematized in the cause-effect relationships. For now this theory is based on blind faith and superficial reasoning and conclusions, due to lack of knowledge, facts or too strange interpretations of known facts and is not likely to change in the future. Supporters of evolution can not prove their theory and for them remains only option to cheating the public and hide important scientific facts.There are only two pasabilities. Life arose by chance or is created. But the first option is impossible for a thousand reasons and physical constraints and nobody has not succeeded to provide a satisfactory explanation how it occurred.
viko_mx
1.3 / 5 (15) Feb 04, 2015
How you can explain the fact that the simples living organism have DNA with about 1,3 milion base pairs and how can emerge such organism by chance? what is the probability of this happening in the environment with ideal physical conditions and lack of physical constrains?
PhotonX
4.7 / 5 (13) Feb 04, 2015
scottgoodman0217: "micro or macro evolution?" This is typical, transparent shifting of the goalposts / no true Scotsman logical fallacy. The Creationist demand used to be "If evolution is real, why can't we see it happen?", until, of course, we *could* see it happen, upon which we hear this kind of bogus macro vs microevolution BS arguing that what's seen in the laboratory isn't really "true" Evolution is evolution, there's no 'micro' or 'macro' about it.
.
vico_mx: "God's laws...in harmony with nature" Harmony like those wonderful Biblical passages sanctioning genocide, visiting plagues on whole peoples, those condoning slavery and the beating of slaves? Or the story about bears tearing apart children just for mocking Elisha? God's harmony is wild predators eating their screaming prey alive, and thousands of children dying every day from malaria in equatorial Africa. Please. Do you ever pull your nose out of the Bible long enough to take a good objective look at the world?
.
.
cjn
5 / 5 (14) Feb 04, 2015
FTA:
"It seems astounding that life has not evolved for more than 2 billion years—nearly half the history of the Earth," said J. William Schopf, a UCLA professor of earth, planetary and space sciences in the UCLA College who was the study's lead author. "Given that evolution is a fact, this lack of evolution needs to be explained."

This is the problem with people who "believe" in something, but do not actually understand it. Evolution is not directional. It doesn't have to "do" something. It is just a process that we use to define how genetic mutation, fitness, selection, and speciation combine with a dynamic environment to produce the extant species with which we live and the fossil records we discover.

I will forever contend that the greatest threat to an idea is posed by those who have unwavering belief but insufficient understanding.
MrVibrating
4.8 / 5 (6) Feb 04, 2015
It's a shame we don't have a genome to compare the older example against its cousins today - my question would be whether it's more-or-less unchanged, or else changed significantly.

The underlying question would be, is genetics beholden to morphology and ecology, or vice versa?

For example the Horseshoe crab Limulus polyphemus has an average genetic mutation rate, yet has remained virtually unchanged for eons. Hence in equivalent terms, compared to more recent species, it's evolutionarily 'running to stand still', if you see what i mean.

Presumably the possibilites for genetic variation converge with the reduced complexity of single-celled organisms.. if sulfur bacteria evolved independently on another world, yet in a similar environment, how different could they be, genetically or morphologically? Hence, the question of whether they're really the same unchanged species remains open, in my mind.
animah
4.1 / 5 (13) Feb 04, 2015
For the evolution deniers:

Evolution is considered possibly the most successful theories of all time. One of the reasons is that its findings allowed -and still powers- a large proportion of the medical research that leads to cures for an ever-expanding list of diseases.

You have evolutionary scientists to thank for understanding how organisms evolve and developing methodologies to fight them even as they change. Cancer, hepatitis and HIV for example.

No other scientific theory (or for that matter, human endeavour) has saved more lives globally for a century.

So be a little more appreciative. Whether you agree or not, it DOES work. And it has already saved your life multiple times.
dport60
1.4 / 5 (10) Feb 04, 2015
For the evolution deniers:

Evolution is considered possibly the most successful theories of all time

First you must define what you mean by Evolutionary Theory... If you are talking about specie variation, then you are correct. If you mean the Darwinian Theory that we are all descendant of a single organism that changed from a slime to a worm to a fish to a frog to a Dinosaur to a rodent to a pig to a monkey to a human, then that is where you leave the realm of Science and fall into a Philosophy and Worldview.
No Scientist or Geneticist studies an extinct fossil to develop new therapies. They use the most recent and closest genetic match and not some far distant relative. They may test on different species for clues but that may or may not have any affect on their actual study specie. THAT is the reason for discoveries. Nothing to do with Darwinian Evolution
Much time has been wasted following the Fish to Man Fairytale with absolutely nothing to show for it
Vietvet
4.2 / 5 (13) Feb 05, 2015
@dport60

You must never have learned anything about evolutionary embryology.

I'll provide two links to bring you up to date. If they are beyond your comprehension I can provide videos that might make it easier for you to grasp the truth of evolution.

https://ogremk5.w...-review/

http://www.ncbi.n...BK10049/

dport60
1.4 / 5 (10) Feb 05, 2015
@VietVet... I read your articles and found them interesting to say the least. The first was about the Tiktaalik and how it absolutely fulfilled the predictions of the T of E. Seems that was an outdated paper and all its findings have since been proven false by avowed Evolutionary Scientists. They found that instead of being a Transitional Example of Evolution, it was merely a variant of other typical amphibians of that period. Other Amphibian fossils were found 25 million years earlier that were even more developed than the supposed Transitional Fossil. So it went the way of the Coelacanth and the Ida Fossils that were also touted as transitional species and are relegated to the status of Hoaxes.
On the paper on Evolutionary Embryology... all embryos start as a small mass of cells. Of course they are going to have similarities at some point. But all of Heckels papers also turned out to be outright frauds and what may LOOK like a gill in human embryos turns into ears not lung
Vietvet
4.2 / 5 (13) Feb 05, 2015
@dport60

Tikaalik as not been disproven as transitional fossil despite the claims of the creationist blogosphere, A group of researchers claimed they found fossil trackways, not any actual fossils,
predating Tikaalik by million of years. That finding and interpretation has been universally rejected by paleontologists. More recent research has strengthened the case for Tikaalik.

http://en.wikiped...iktaalik

http://www.thegua...d-animal
dport60
1.3 / 5 (10) Feb 05, 2015
@Vietvet... heres the follow-up on the Study debunking Tiktaalik.
[sic]Ahlberg and his co-authors, mainly from the Polish Geological Institute in Warsaw, say their findings highlight how little we know of the earliest history of land vertebrates. They write that the prints "force a radical reassessment of the timing, ecology and environmental setting of the fish-tetrapod transition, as well as the completeness of the body fossil record".

The prints will further "shake up" scientific thinking over human origins, said Janvier, because they show tetrapods thrived in the sea, which is at odds with the long-held view that river deltas and lakes were the necessary environment for the transition from water to land during vertebrate evolution.

"The closest elpistostegids were probably contemporaneous with these tracks," he said. "We now have to invent a common ancestor to the tetrapods and elpistostegids."..unquote
"now have to invent"??? wow .. that sounds Scientific.
dport60
1.1 / 5 (8) Feb 05, 2015
@Vietvet The quote below was from the Journal "Nature"... I didnt know Nature was a Creationist Blogosphere. Tetrapod trackways from the early Middle Devonian period of Poland Nature 463, 43-48 (7 January 2010) | doi:10.1038/nature08623; Received 21 July 2009; Accepted 29 October 2009
Vietvet
4.3 / 5 (14) Feb 05, 2015
@dpoy60

Your referencing Haeckel shows you're not up speed on embryology or read the creationist sites that pollute the web. It has been long recognized by embryologist everything Haeckel got wrong.

Unfortunately the term "gill slits" is in common use and is inaccurate. The folds on all chordate embryos ( fish, reptiles, birds, mammals, including us) are properly known has pharyngeal arches. In fish they do develop into gills. In humans the cells making up the pharyngeal arches
differentiate into structures of the face, neck and head. No one ever claimed they become lungs.

In another post I'll provide links proving the commonality we share genetically with are fish ancestors.
Vietvet
4.2 / 5 (13) Feb 05, 2015
@dport60



"The closest elpistostegids were probably contemporaneous with these tracks," he said. "We now have to invent a common ancestor to the tetrapods and elpistostegids."..unquote
"now have to invent"??? wow .. that sounds Scientific.


The Nature paper is strongly paywalled so I don't know where you got that quote but it is totally uncharacteristic of his other papers.

Ahlberg is a paeleobiogist with extensive research in the evolution of elpistostegids (lobed fin fish) to tetrapods. Ahlberg has commented favorably about Tikaalik but the trackways and a few prints (no fossils) led him to claim that Tikaaki wasn't the first transitional fish to tetrapod.

Let me make that clear: Ahlberg fully supports an evolutionary transition from fish to tetrapods.
Vietvet
4.3 / 5 (12) Feb 05, 2015
@dport60

I ran out of characters on my last post before I could add some links.

http://news.natio...s_2.html
http://news.natio...science/
http://www.galile...logy-r50
jsdarkdestruction
4.4 / 5 (13) Feb 05, 2015
Is it just me or does it seem the swarm of creationist flies has gotten particularly dense lately?
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
4.9 / 5 (12) Feb 05, 2015
Evolution expert Coyne:

"They also claim that not only did the morphology and biochemistry of these species remain unchanged, but they didn't form new species, either, although the concept of bacterial "species," as Allen Orr and I showed in our book Speciation, is a bit hazy.

But I think the author's conclusion is premature, and for two reasons.

First, regarding the "null hypothesis of Darwinism," I think that that notion is wrong—or at least incomplete. Even in an unchanging environment, organisms can still evolve in significant ways. ... There is in fact one natural experiment that showed evolutionary divergence in an unchanging environment. [Describes insipient speciation in salmon.] ...

Second (and the authors note this in passing), there could be considerable internal biochemical evolution taking place that can't be detected from simply looking at the fossil bacteria or seeing if they metabolized sulfur in similar ways. "

[tbctd]
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
5 / 5 (9) Feb 05, 2015
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
4.8 / 5 (12) Feb 05, 2015
Re religious trolls, we can note:

Evolution is the best observed fact ever made by man. (And yes, a theory describing the observed mechanisms as well - a theory is just a "super-fact" made up of many observations.) We have seen that there were only one universal common ancestor with a likelihood of 10^2000+ against, say, religious magicking of random species.

Notably, despite not being mentioned in religious texts but the exact opposite is, the trolls tries to take credit for the things they criticize ("laws").

[tbctd]
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
4.8 / 5 (12) Feb 05, 2015
[ctd]
Re Thirteenth Doctor's question about testing the existence of magic and its agencies, we have many such tests:

- Prayer studies, re magic thinking. [ http://en.wikiped...thinking ]
- Thermodynamics of closed system, re existence of magic. [ http://en.wikiped...dynamics ]
- Inflationary cosmology, re magic making the universe. [ http://en.wikiped...Big_Bang ]
- Quantum mechanics, re existence of magic. [ http://en.wikiped...e_theory ]
- Standard particle model, re existence of "soul"/"deathlife"/"rebirth" magic. [ http://en.wikiped...rd_Model ]

And so on. I know at least 8 of these tests.

The common theme is that they reject magic beyond reasonable doubt in the same way that we reject flat Earth, green cheese Moon, or creationist species "poofing" from mud. Magic ideas has consistently failed. (But of course their supporters ignore that.)

[ctd]
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
4.8 / 5 (11) Feb 05, 2015
[ctd]

Magic (and its purported agencies) is an existence claim, which is why we can test it same as everything else existing. And now we know there isn't any such duality, no "mind without body-brain", no magic action beyond physics, starting from the 18th century on, when thermodynamics became able to observe whole systems instead of separate laws as in early science.

On the mentioned universal common ancestry of all life, a *truly awesome observation*, that due to the combinatorics of phylogeny become so powerful:

"These results provide powerful statistical evidence corroborating the monophyly of all known life."

[ http://www.nature...014.html ]
mooster75
4.5 / 5 (8) Feb 05, 2015
Same here; thanks for increasing my knowledge, Torbjorn. Not that it's the first time.
Phil DePayne
3.8 / 5 (8) Feb 05, 2015
You have to understand that only extreme delusionists actually post to a science site. A large percentage of them amalgamate scientific knowledge into their private version of "intelligent design", and while privately despising the body of scientific thinking will use it for professional gain.
Z99
4.5 / 5 (10) Feb 05, 2015
For those who are interested in this, but don't want to match wits with the God crowd (my apologies for the stereotyping - there are plenty of Christians (among other religions) who understand and accept evolution as fact), I offer the following: First, the article (as is very common on this site) is incredibly sloppy, claiming the organisms were "preserved". They were NOT. Their fossils were. All they can possibly compare is a single organism's shape (possibly including some internal structures) and the shape of any slime, mat or other multiorganismal congregation which they may have formed. They can also possibly check for atomic isotopic composition, but I'm not aware of whether they actually did that, nor if it would be useful. It would depend on the manner in which the organisms fossilized. Given that, they are making a leap (of faith?) by equating form with identity: same form = same dna (same organism, no change in genome).
Z99
4.6 / 5 (9) Feb 05, 2015
Second, the hypothesis that their environment didn't change over the last 2.5 billion years would require a lot of evidence. I wonder if such evidence was presented, and how strong it is? Third and finally, generally evolution is taught (to children) as a change in the population's 'average' genome (or more accurately the population's genome's distribution). IOW, it is (crudely) assumed that the organism 'best' fits its niche. In reality, we know this is unlikely: improvement is generally possible (consider a short term beneficial change that becomes a long term harmful one). Also keep in mind that scientists don't (generally) think about evolution at the very high level taught to kids. That is, in the trenches WHAT they're studying is (almost always) a very small piece of the complex interactions that result in evolution. Over 3 by, we KNOW that the atmosphere changed, the Sun has changed, the Earth has changed, all many times. Showing a "constant" environment would be VERY hard.
EnricM
4.3 / 5 (8) Feb 06, 2015
1) Many times evolutionists


You cannot make assumptions that involve organisms that are 2 billion year old if you do not support evolution because this does not disprove evolution but Creationism as you incur in a mayor contradiction:

- If you try to use it to prove that evolution is not real you accept that the earth is at least 2 billion years old and thus far from 6000 contradicting the creationist points of view. And you actually give credit to the ability of scientists to date fossil organisms and therefore have no choice but to accept the rest of them too, even the ones that show evolution.

- if you accept that the earth is ~6000 years old it is impossible that there are any organisms older than that, therefore you cannot use a 2bn y.o organism as an argument. Stating that this organism is only 6000 years old makes no sense unless you claim that this is not an organism in which case your whole argument is pointless.

Logic is a bitch mate :_(

andyrdj
4.3 / 5 (10) Feb 06, 2015
Those arguing evolution is not "falsifiable" should realise that theories are seldom binary choices - it's about continuous refinement.
(1) The theory that organisms are immutable has been falsified. This has long been known from selective breeding.. Cauliflowers, broccoli, kale, cabbage etc all have a common ancestor - a wild flower that looks nothing like any of them. Huge pineapples have been bred from small ancestral berries the size of a grape. Dogs have been bred from wolves into dachshunds, chihuahuas, pit bulls etc. All without any actual sculpting of the genes beyond selection.
(2) The theory that such change needs conscious choice has also been falsified- by the ecoli evolution experiment, where bacteria produced entirely new chemical systems to metabolise the citrate medium without intervention.

(3) The idea that organisms never remain static has been falsified - but that does not mean they are ALL static.

Please have a finer granularity of thought - no simpletons
wbward35603
5 / 5 (3) Feb 06, 2015
Earnest question, which I might be able to answer myself when I read the fuller article, but I thought I'd see if anyone here knows a quick answer. The scientist in the article says "The rule of biology is not to evolve unless the physical or biological environment changes, which is consistent with Darwin." Not sure if he meant this less broadly than it sounds, but at the very least, even without environmental change, on can have genetic drift. In particular, is it claimed that this particular microorganism hasn't even experienced evolution due to genetic drift? That would greatly surprise me, though perhaps that's just my ignorance of how this all works.
PhotonX
4.9 / 5 (9) Feb 06, 2015
Is it just me or does it seem the swarm of creationist flies has gotten particularly dense lately?
Maybe it's a personal flaw, but when I see someone write "avowed Evolutionary Scientists", I just quit listening right then, because I know that person has nothing to say they haven't mined from a Creationist website, and if I want to read that rubbish, I'll go straight to the source.
Vietvet
4.2 / 5 (10) Feb 06, 2015
From the abstract:

"The marked similarity of microbial morphology, habitat, and organization of these fossil communities to their modern counterparts documents exceptionally slow (hypobradytelic) change that, if paralleled by their molecular biology, would evidence extreme evolutionary stasis."

It seems to me it is still an open question that there was NO evolution. How do you study the molecular biology of a fossil?

http://www.pnas.o...19241112
viko_mx
2 / 5 (8) Feb 07, 2015
Does anyone have any idea what is the basic condition which must be met to permit an evolutionary process, if we close our eyes for the insurmountable physical problems for the emergence of the first living cell from nonliving matter and accept that it is a emerged in the distant past by miracle?
viko_mx
1.4 / 5 (9) Feb 07, 2015
@PhotonX

God is patient and altruistic but his patience is not eternal. When cup of patience overflows God restores justice and order. Yours non conencted aruments show ignorance of God's character and historical facts, and it is a good prerequisite for the wrong conclusions. God is not provided the opportunity people to live forever in conflict with God's law and at the same time society to expect long run prosperity. Who gives the goods it lays down rules.
Whydening Gyre
4.8 / 5 (4) Feb 07, 2015
Maybe it's just not evolving on our timescale...
russell_russell
3.9 / 5 (7) Feb 07, 2015
Fantastic thread.
The Creationist is on the endangered species list.
After extinction no one needs a bad conscious for doing nothing about the outcome of the evolution of creationists..
viko_mx
2 / 5 (8) Feb 07, 2015
@Whydening Gyre

But why should we believe in evolution, when the laws of physics do not allow self-organization from simple to more complex and highly ordered physical systems? Because of the the laws of God that hinders the transgressor to do his lawlessness? In fact in the universe dominate the inverse process of degradation of more complex to simpler physical systems. In our universe the organization is from more complex to more simple physical system.
Whydening Gyre
4.4 / 5 (7) Feb 07, 2015
But why should we believe in evolution, when the laws of physics do not allow self-organization from simple to more complex and highly ordered physical systems?

But - they absolutely do. You just need to step back and look at a bigger picture. Kinda tuff to do, since our brains are constantly trying to focus smaller n smaller...
Because of the the laws of God that hinders the transgressor to do his lawlessness?

You just described how entropy balances itself.
In fact in the universe dominate the inverse process of degradation of more complex to simpler physical systems. In our universe the organization is from more complex to more simple physical system.

Try looking OUT, not in... You'll get a much clearer view of the bigger picture...
Our brains are constantly trying to find a simpler explanation for stuff... So we focus harder and smaller - constantly parsing...
viko_mx
1.4 / 5 (9) Feb 07, 2015

What do you see in this bigger picture? Colorful kaleidoscope? Do you have at least cursory contact with science or just philosophizing to drove the boredom? Do you have any idea what is the basic prerequisite for any possible evolutionary process even we forget for the moment about limiting physical laws and environmental factors? I do not see simpler explanation in evolutuion theory which current days is in state of stupor because it fundamental contradictions.
I wonder why the proponents of this theory do not know which is the main factor that can make evolutionary process possible. It's quite surprising considering that with such a great passion defend this barren idea but in fact do not know what can provide the authenticity of this theory.
Whydening Gyre
4.1 / 5 (10) Feb 07, 2015

What do you see in this bigger picture? Colorful kaleidoscope? Do you have at least cursory contact with science or just philosophizing to drove the boredom? Do you have any idea what is the basic prerequisite for any possible evolutionary process even we forget for the moment about limiting physical laws and environmental factors? I do not see simpler explanation in evolutuion theory which current days is in state of stupor because it fundamental contradictions.
I wonder why the proponents of this theory do not know which is the main factor that can make evolutionary process possible.

Sorry, Viko. But somebody said (either in this thread or another) that you don't WANT to hear an explanation unless it matches your own.
Truth is - whatever YOUR truth is, it probably ain't the real one...
Please discontinue engaging me until you can look OUT and engage there...
dport60
1.9 / 5 (9) Feb 07, 2015
@russell_russell
quote. The Creationist is on the endangered species list.
After extinction no one needs a bad conscious for doing nothing about the outcome of the evolution of creationists.. unquote
I dont know where you get your info from but lets look at facts instead of opinion. In 1970 Atheists were 4.5% of the population. By 2020 they are projected to be only 2.0%. Currently, even among Scientists, 52% believe in God or a Higher Power directing the Universe and only 17% (Pew Research)claim to be Atheist now and that number is rapidly dropping due to Scientists realising that is where the vast majority of evidence points to. Going by the Theory of Evolution, since Atheists have a lower birth rate, higher suicide and death rate in their population, Atheism should be all but extinct within a few more generations. So according to accepted Science and if you believe in Evolution, seems you are destined to go the way of the Dinosaurs. Its time to stop rejecting mainstream Science.
Returners
1.7 / 5 (6) Feb 08, 2015
Man-made tools "evolve", yet they are nonetheless created.
animah
5 / 5 (9) Feb 08, 2015
dport60: Please cite your sources. Mine tell a very different story:

http://www.salon....essives/

Atheism in the US:

1990: 8%
2008: 15%
2011: 19%

And given this:

http://en.wikiped..._country

China: 82%
UK: 76%
Japan: 71%
etc

Abandonment of religion appears to be one of the fastest growing phenomena worldwide.
visionabler
4.2 / 5 (5) Feb 08, 2015
Dport I'm very interested in the creative process behind those numbers.
dport60
1 / 5 (6) Feb 08, 2015
@animah and @visionabler...
Seems animahs site is about being Irreligious, not being Atheist. If I am polled then I would be concidered as Irreligious also since I reject what is manmade and simply subscribe to the fact that the evidence shows a Creator God. When you get into the manmade ideas and rituals and dogma is when it becomes religious. According to the PEW REPORT(the polls deemed accurate and reliable, trusted by Professionals for its unbiased polling) The US is only at 2.4%. (http://www.pewres...heists/) The worldwide decrease in Atheism is comming from communist countries like China and Russia that didnt allow for any belief in a "God" but now that it is open, many can now say for the first time that they are "believers". There has been a slight increase in Atheists in US over the past decades but only by less than 1/2 a percent. The number of Scientists now saying they are Atheist is also from the Pew Report about 17%
animah
5 / 5 (6) Feb 08, 2015
@dsport60: Your link says "page not found".

But I did find this on the Pew Research site:

"Nones" on the Rise

http://www.pewfor...he-rise/

In the last five years alone, the unaffiliated have increased from just over 15% to just under 20% of all U.S. adults. Their ranks now include more than 13 million self-described atheists and agnostics (nearly 6% of the U.S. public), as well as nearly 33 million people who say they have no particular religious affiliation (14%).

Seems the trend is pretty clear to me. If you have contrary evidence, do present it.
animah
5 / 5 (7) Feb 08, 2015
Also on scientists' views:

http://www.pewfor...-states/

"All but a small number of scientists accept Darwin's theory of evolution through natural selection; according to the 2009 Pew Research Center survey of scientists, 87% of scientists accept evolution through natural processes."

And here on the same site:

http://www.pewfor...-belief/

"specifically, 33% of scientists say they believe in God, while 18% believe in a universal spirit or higher power."

Finally, to address your comment about the meaning of "no religious affiliation" here is how Pew defines the term i.e. what their data actually means (from the same page above):

"Nearly half of all scientists in the 2009 Pew Research Center poll (48%) say they have no religious affiliation (meaning they describe themselves as atheist, agnostic or nothing in particular)"
dport60
1 / 5 (6) Feb 08, 2015
@animah... go back to where you were and scroll down about 3-4 pages and find the charts that list the Atheists at 2.4% ... Affiliation has NO bearing to if you are Atheist or Theistic. Religion is where you may decide to go socialize with like minded people, it has nothing to do with ones "Belief". I disagree with most Religions and sects, that doesnt mean that I believe there isnt a God. I go to no Church, give them no time or money, do not follow their dogmas and rituals... that is what puts one into the "unaffiliated" group, not your beliefs. You can be an Atheist and still be affiliated with a Religion or group of people. You can be Anti-Religion and still be a believer. Even many texts that are said to be from God, warn about not following a man-made religion instead of simply accepting that a Creator God exists.
dport60
1 / 5 (7) Feb 08, 2015
@animah... survey of scientists, 87% of scientists accept evolution through natural processes." Of course they do... If you dont give a definition to what you are talking about , then just about anything in Nature can be considered Evolution. I dont know of anyone that doesnt believe things change between different populations over time. That is called Speciation and is said to be PROOF of Evolution. It is a PROOF of Speciation, not the Microbes to worms,to fish to man assumptions. All the worlds population belies in Evolution to a point. I would like to see a survey on how many Scientists believe in the Fish to Man Evolution... I think the numbers would drop drastically because even many in the Evolution circle reject that idea or rely strictly on faith that it has happened. If it was a PROVABLE Fact then there wouldnt be any more debate, its a matter of "Belief", beyond Speciation. You may wish to look-up "Species Stasis Problem" and see what Biologists have to say.
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (2) Feb 08, 2015
GOD = Globally Organized/Ordinated Data.
God is GOOD...
visionabler
5 / 5 (5) Feb 09, 2015
@dport60 What stops small changes over small time periods from adding up to big changes over big time periods? Does change just stop happening when a creature starts to deviate from its ancestors too much? Is there a natural process that limits changes over time so they don't add up to a new species? Fascinating thoughts, my friend!
someone11235813
5 / 5 (7) Feb 09, 2015
Everything that is alive today supports Darwin's evolution via natural selection, by the very fact of it being here.
dogbert
2 / 5 (4) Feb 09, 2015
someone11235813,
Everything that is alive today supports Darwin's evolution via natural selection, by the very fact of it being here.


That is circular reasoning.

1) Observe that there are millions of different flora and fauna on the earth.

2) Develop a theory of evolution to explain the observation.

3) State that the theory is validated by the fact that there are millions of flora and fauna.
dogbert
1 / 5 (5) Feb 09, 2015
An international team of scientists has discovered the greatest absence of evolution ever reported—a type of deep-sea microorganism that appears not to have evolved over more than 2 billion years.


Where in evolution theory does it state that when organism B evolves from population A, population A must die out? The existence of population A is evidence only that population A has not become extinct. It is not evidence that evolution has not acted on population A.

dport60
1 / 5 (5) Feb 09, 2015
@visionabler... "What stops small changes over small time periods from adding up to big changes over big time periods?"
Seems there is a barrier to how far change goes before reaching a natural limit. Scientists and farmers have been experimenting for 100s and 1000s of years trying to breed new qualities and traits into crops and animals and they always reach a limit. Monsanto has geneticists trying to breed new crops to suit a purpose and they get to a point where the organism will go no farther. Fruit Flies have been tested with Radiation and other options and the species only go so far before the mutations cause unfitness. Genetically Engineered crops cant reproduce on their own and have to be replanted each year with new seeds because they reach a limit. There are NO examples of one organism changing its Family into another not even in the Fossils, they dont change outside of speciation. Bacteria has been bred for millions of generations and you only get more Bacteria.
visionabler
5 / 5 (6) Feb 10, 2015
You must be talking about the Dport60 Limit, named after its discoverer?
dport60
1 / 5 (5) Feb 10, 2015
@visionabler.... Ha!... but no, someone else beat me to it decades ago. Its called the Species Stasis Problem and just as the above article points to an organism that has not changed in 2billion years. Others have changed only slightly as evidence within Speciation. When animals appeared, they were fully formed body plans with no precursors that Darwin said HAD to be found in the fossil record for his own theory to be true.
If someone wishes to "Believe" and have "Faith" that it happened then that is fine with me. Or maybe you could name or give some Fossils or Animals that has changed its Family somewhere in history thats beyond just Speciation and not have to rely on some artists imagination to draw one. I guess I'm a Skeptic that wants Scientific Evidence instead of the oft repeated Dogmatic Worldview.. Extraordinary Claims should require Extraordinary Evidence dont ya think so?...ummm, where have I heard that before? .
someone11235813
5 / 5 (2) Feb 11, 2015
someone11235813,
Everything that is alive today supports Darwin's evolution via natural selection, by the very fact of it being here.


That is circular reasoning.


You may have misunderstood me. What I meant was that whatever strategy an organism has employed to make itself 'the fittest' if it is alive today then it is part of an unbroken chain.
dogbert
1 / 5 (2) Feb 11, 2015
someone11235813,

I did understand what you said ( or meant ) and it is not an unusual observation. But it is circular.

ThomasQuinn
3 / 5 (4) Feb 21, 2015
someone11235813,

I did understand what you said ( or meant ) and it is not an unusual observation. But it is circular.



What you seem to miss is that the circularity of the reasoning IS the whole argument.
dogbert
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 22, 2015
ThomasQuinn,
What you seem to miss is that the circularity of the reasoning IS the whole argument.


Why would you intentionally present a logical fallacy as an argument?

Even the title of this article makes no sense:
Scientists discover organism that hasn't evolved in more than 2 billion years


The title presupposes that when organism B evolves from organism A, organism A must become extinct. There is nothing in evolution theory which requires an organism to become extinct. An organism which has persisted for 2 billion years (if such is the case), may well have produced many different organisms through evolutionary processes and still persist.

JVK
1 / 5 (2) Mar 09, 2015
Could this organism signal an unknown way to prevent DNA damage?


DNA repair is nutrient-dependent via RNA-directed DNA methylation and RNA-mediated amino acid substitutions that are clearly represented in the context of pheromone-controlled biodiversity, which links the substitutions to the stability of DNA via protein folding and the exponential increase of amino acids and proteins that link entropic elasticity to the anti-entropic epigenetic effects of the sun's biological energy and epistasis.

Quantum Criticality at the Origin of Life http://arxiv.org/...02.06880
Excerpt: "... the number of known small molecules and proteins is about 108 and the number of chemically feasible small (< 500Da) organic compounds is astronomical, estimated[52] to be 1060. The number of proteins grows exponentially with the number n of amino acids as 20n..."

The number of amino acids is nutrient-dependent and it is pheromone-controlled by the physiology of reproduction.

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