Friday, 9 December 2011

Cambrian eyes and evolutionist confirmation bias.

Announcements about an ancient arthopod predator has led to further statements about the evolution of vision which are not supported by the evidence but are another example of Darwinian confirmation bias and wishful thinking.

The following item came from the Christian Science monitor as it was the first hit, but the account is replicated elsewhere and was covered in the same way on BBC radio news last week.

>>>>Anomalocaris's newfound eyeballs establish it as an ancient relative of today's arthropods – a broad classification of organisms that includes creatures ranging from lobsters and shrimp to spiders and damsel flies, the researchers say.

But what a relative. "Anomalocaris is the stuff of nightmares," said team leader John Paterson, a paleontologist with the University of New England in Australia, in a prepared statement.
In addition to its length, Anomalocaris sported a pair of barbed arms that protruded like pincers in front of its head, and a circular mouth with rasp-like serrations.

Based on fossil specimens of the creature uncovered in the US, China and Canada, scientists have inferred Anomalocaris's position at the top of the food chain not only from its outward structure, but from the circular mouth marks found on hard-shelled trilobites, which could grow to lengths comparable to a large umbrella, as well as trilobite remains in fossilized fecal matter associated with Anomalocaris. Some researchers hold that these creatures would have been more partial to soft-bodied marine animals.

Whatever the mix of prey, the discovery and analysis of Anomalocaris eyes "confirms that it had superb vision to support its predatory lifestyle," Dr. Paterson said.

The team found the remains in shales from a quarry on Kangaroo Island, just off the southern coast of Australia. The shale formation, known as Emu Bay shales, is noted for preserving soft tissue, as well as skeletal remains.

The Emu Bay shales have yielded two species of Anomalocaris. The pair of eyes appeared in a section of shale that also yielded other specimens of Anomalocaris's arms and body flaps.

The researchers add that the presence of these eyes at this stage in the evolution of life on Earth indicates how quickly, in geologic time, novel features can emerge.<<<<<

In other words, we found this extremely ancient animal which had incredibly efficient eyes which seemed to be perfectly designed to work alongside its other features for a predatory function, and we attributed them to evolution because we know evolution is true however little evidence we have. Wow, even more evidence for evolution! We found something spectacularly well visioned with no ancestors, that must surely shut the cretinists and IDiots up for ever! Darwinian gradualism must still be true, but it must have worked very quickly. The absence of intermediate forms, as admitted by prominent evolutionists like S J Gould and Colin Paterson of the Natural History Museum, is no problem-we have loads of excuses for that. We routinely dismiss the alternative explanation of creation although it fits the evidence better, since this would upset the assumptions about existence which we prefer.

An alternative explanation for this ancient fossil's extremely complex structure, including but not limited to its eyes, is that the oldest creatures, or at any rate those associated with what are believed to be the oldest sedimentary layers, showed extremely complex features because they had bene designed that way from the beginning. These creatures appear suddenly in the deepest fossil layers, fully functional, with no ancestors or intermediate stages.

This evidence fits a creation model better than a Darwinian.

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