17 Mar 2017

Robert sent in the link, ... where we have more new fossil discoveries that appear to be counter to uniformitarianism. The first batch of fossils come from China, sponges that date shortly after the Ordovician Extinction event (already reviewed on the News) and an early fish which was also discovered in China and apparently dates from before the Devonian. He claims the Devonian is the Age of the Fishes and therefore to find an example before that is anomalous. It may be but it also may not as it simply shifts fish evolution backwards.

Meanwhile, a giant catfish fossil was found in the Sahara, seven feet in length and dating back 37 million years on the uniformitarian geo-timescale. It just goes to show that the Sahara was wet on many occasions and was not peculiar to the early Holocene. He then moves on to the Giant Worm that was on the News a couple of weeks ago. Both catfish and worm exhibit gigantism. What might cause animals to grow extra large at certain points in prehistory remains of life's mysteries. The dinosaurs developed into massive beasts. There were giant sharks in the sea and huge crocodiles - and in the Pleistocene many mammals developed into larger than life forms such as the mammoth, a giant form of elephant, or cave bears etc. This is something science has not got to grips with as they are shackled by uniformitarian assumptions - and on that point the author is right to bring this to the attention of his readers as an anomaly.

The journal Geology has a report on 'exceptionally preserved' fossils from Alberta, he tells us. These include fish once again as well as ichthyosaurs (a common marine animal found in Britain's rocks), crinoids, crustaceans, brachiopods, molluscs of all kinds (some with soft parts) and what was termed microfossils (which can either mean broken body parts or very small organisms down to microscope level). They date back 182 million years, we are told, deep within the Jurassic. The Ichthyosaur is an interesting animal as it had the role of the dolphin in today's oceans. It was predated by some very large sharks (gigantism once again) and in Britain has been dug out of gravel pits (among other places).

Next, we have tracks of dinosaurs along with those of six different types of bird as well as a pterosaur, found in Mexico. It is said to belong to what is defined the Maastrichttian geology layer (presumably sedimentary with the original located at Maastricht in Europe). The author claims it occurs close to the Chicxulub asteroid strike. Lots of sediments were laid down at this time so there might not be anything peculiar if they occur shortly after the official date of that event. One would have to read the full paper. 

Next are lake fossils - in Idaho (dating from the Miocene). This is another article from Geology journal and it says these were again exceptionally well preserved (instant burial we may assume). It seems this included evidence of a previously unrecognised geologically instantaneous drop in the water level of Clarkin Lake (possibly as result of a catastrophe). Next in line is a giant rodent (the mighty mouse) that comes from Uruguay - another example of gigantism. It weighed a ton, apparently. That's a lot of rodent. I shall have to click on the link and find out more about this animal as it is intriguing. 

This is followed by the Neanderthal tale in their teeth (reviewed in the News a short while ago). The idea Neanderthals were sub human and dull witted has crept into the  imagination of people (which is quite true) as a result of mainstream Big Science in the 20th century - aided and abetted by Big Media (including National Geographic he adds). Finally, we have another story from the journal Geology, 'recurrent heirarchal patterns and the fractal distribution of fossil localities' - which again requires checking out. Sounds fascination and a swipe that undermines uniformitarianism. The author is a Creationist but all the examples above would fit into the idea of periodic catastrophism affecting life on earth rather than a young earth (and punctuated evolution).