Early Evolutionary Ecosystems Considered Complex

ScienceDaily: “Rethinking Early Evolution: Earth’s Earliest Animal Ecosystem Was Complex And Included Sexual Reproduction” One of the most stunning reminders of the distance between evolutionary ideas and actual fact is the rapid appearance, in the fossil record, of advanced forms of life across the biotic kingdoms.

For instance, the so-called Cambrian Explosion is the sudden appearance in the fossil record of what are considered modern life-forms. Yet few evolutionists have generated explanations, much less believable ones, for this explosion; nevertheless, most apparently have faith that a good explanation will be found one day and continue to glorify evolution.

Few evolutionists have generated explanations.

Now, a paleontological duo is pushing back the date for complex life on earth. Studying the fossil record in South Australia, University of California–Riverside paleontologist Mary Droser and James G. Gehling of the South Australia Museum say complex multicellular life has been around since at least 565 million years ago. While the traditional evolutionary view was that the first multicellular animals were simple, the team found that its object of study—the “tubular organism” Funisia dorothea—had several ways of growing and reproducing, far from what was expected from such “simple” life.

F. dorothea grew into 12 inch (30cm) tubes that occurred close together, thus displaying a propagation pattern similar to sexually reproductive animals today. “In Funisia, we are very likely seeing sexual reproduction in earth’s early ecosystem, possibly the very first instance of sexual reproduction in animals on our planet,” Doser explained. She also said that F. dorothea “clearly shows that ecosystems were complex very early in the history of animals on Earth.”

University of Edinburgh paleontologist Rachel Wood, who was not involved in the study, added that F. dorothea’s reproductive patterns are similar to those of today’s sponges and corals.

It seems, then, we have another example of a fossil from a “primitive” era that isn’t primitive at all. In fact, one wonders if, had sponges or corals died out long ago, they would have been seen as “primitive” until someone pointed out the actual complexities they hold.

It seems, then, we have another example of a fossil from a “primitive” era that isn’t primitive at all.

Furthermore, when we learn about how complex life has been around for “so long,” it challenges the Darwinian view of gradual evolution reflected at an even pace throughout the fossil record. What if the fossil record wasn’t a library of millions of years at all, but instead represented the biota present during (mainly) a great catastrophe that covered the earth in sedimentary layers? Recognizing the sorting effects of a global Flood helps us understand the way different groups of life-forms would be buried most of the time in different layers (with polystrate fossils reminding us that the layers were laid down rapidly). This also frees us from wondering, as evolutionists do, where all the complexity and diversity of life came from in such a short time (on the evolutionary scale, anyway). The creation/Flood model thus provides answers that explain the data whereas the evolutionary interpretation yields only more questions.

What is both surprising and unsurprising, however, is the research connection Droser makes with her team’s work on these fossilized sea creatures. “The nature of the early ecosystem also clues us on what to look for on other planets in our search for extraterrestrial life,” she explained. One wonders if secular scientists expect Cambrian explosions to exist in the hypothesized fossil records of other planets! The connection is less surprising, however, in that the team’s research—which was published in a recent issue of Science—was funded in part by NASA.

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