Precambrian reptile found with preserved skin

| 68 Comments

Ediacaran_lizard.jpgIt’s hard to believe, but a reptile has been found in Precambrian strata (specifically Ediacaran) – with preserved skin. This sometimes happens in more recent deposits, but there has never been a case this old. Plus, this fossil is the first one I’ve ever seen that could meet Haldane’s criteria for falsifying evolution: a Precambrian rabbit. I mean, I guess now that push comes to shove I have to say that I wouldn’t give up evolution because of one out of place fossil, but I’ve always prided myself on sticking to the evidence, so I figured I should post it as soon as I heard about it.

I wouldn’t normally trust a find like this before it’s been published, but it was discovered by long-time, reliable talk.origins veteran Chris Nedin. It was only the creationists who said “Nedin cannot be trusted”, us evolutionists knew he was as good as gold.

68 Comments

I want the Cambrian rabbit.

If we’re getting Geico leather from the Precambrian, surely we can get Cambrian rabbit fur.

Glen Davidson

(Takes out knife, begins Seppuku ritual…)

(…puts knife down for a moment…)

Um…Nick…

How much skin?

Is this an early April Fools joke?

“I wouldn’t give up evolution because of one out of place fossil.” Interesting comment. How many “out of place fossil” would you consider as acceptable before someone start to question evolution?

“Is this an early April Fools joke?”

not in australia. It is april 1 there

Hmm, I also call April Fool’s. This sound a great deal like the 50 MYO reptile skin with intact organic material which was reported last week.

E.G said:

“I wouldn’t give up evolution because of one out of place fossil.” Interesting comment. How many “out of place fossil” would you consider as acceptable before someone start to question evolution?

One unexplained observation is all it takes to persuade someone to question a well established theory. However, in order to falsify the theory it would take a lot more evidence. That’s why there are so many creationists paleontologists out searching the world for new fossils … what? Oh. Never Mind.

Of course to replace a well established theory you need more than just some unexplained observations. You need an alternative theory with more explanatory and predictive power. You need to explain all of the evidence, not just one anomaly. I think that would require more than just one fossil discovered on April fools day.

E.G.

“I wouldn’t give up evolution because of one out of place fossil.” Interesting comment. How many “out of place fossil” would you consider as acceptable before someone start to question evolution?

What evidence would you accept as sufficient to support the theory of evolution.

(Here’s my answer to your question. The posting about a “reptile” is an April Fool’s day gag, btw, but anyway - I have a biomedical background, but not particularly in paleontology. The fossil record supports evolution and is highly consistent with the rest of the evidence. But the evidence from molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology, comparative anatomy, population genetics, etc, is so strong that overturning it on the basis of paleontology alone would be difficult. Furthermore, it depends on what you mean by “out of place”. Fossils merely tell us the latest possible time by which a lineage was present, and that latest time for which we have definitive evidence of a lineage. So some new finds may merely provide evidence of a lineage at an earlier date than was seen before, or surviving longer than was seen before, purely for sampling reasons.)

And there is no link to the original report, so there is no reason to think it is real. April fool!

A talk.origins stalwart like Chris couldn’t possibly be involved in a joke announcement of such a find and there is little chance that some creationist will soon be announcing that this remarkable discovery disproves the Darwinist “billions of years” claims.

E.G said:

“I wouldn’t give up evolution because of one out of place fossil.” Interesting comment. How many “out of place fossil” would you consider as acceptable before someone start to question evolution?

How much evidence would you consider sufficient to falsify the biblical creation account?

The entire fossil record? Comparative anatomy? Molecular phylogenetics? Evolutionary development?

All of these fields individually and collectively falsify the biblical account. Is that enough?

Glen Davidson said:

I want the Cambrian rabbit.

If we’re getting Geico leather from the Precambrian, surely we can get Cambrian rabbit fur.

Glen Davidson

Absolutely! I strongly second. I want that Cambrian rabbit fur too.

Maybe it was selling Geico extinction insurance.

“Is this an early April Fools joke?”

not in australia. It is april 1 there

:-)

Here’s Nedin’s report for all you unbelievers: http://ediacaran.blogspot.com/2011/[…]olution.html

not in australia. It is april 1 there

I suggest that for 1 April UD, EN&V, and AIG perform “April Unfools” pranks, providing legitimate and carefully reasoned arguments and giving thoughtful answers to concerns raised over them.

The other 364 days of the year they can go back to normal.

Nick Matzke said:

“Is this an early April Fools joke?”

not in australia. It is april 1 there

:-)

Well I’m convinced. After all, they did find Noah’s Ark FOUR times!

Back in the early 80’s there was a science magazine called Science 81 that ran an article in the April issue about extracting a nucleus from a frozen mammoth, putting it in an elephant egg and placing the egg in a female elephant. It was well written and plausible even if the technology was a bit primitive for doing that back then. I swallowed it hook, line, and sinker and even talked about it with my biology classes. The next month they revealed it was an April Fool’s joke. I felt pretty stupid until I found out more than 90% of the readers also fell for it. (I later revealed this to my classes)

I’ll believe this reptile in the Precambrian thing after it has been fully discussed and described. Otherwise maybe a lizard fell into a crevasse and then fossilized. Sort of like those hammers that become embedded in stone in old mines. Until then I will withhold my judgement.

DS said: Of course to replace a well established theory you need more than just some unexplained observations. You need an alternative theory with more explanatory and predictive power. You need to explain all of the evidence, not just one anomaly. I think that would require more than just one fossil discovered on April fools day.

True, to replace a well established theory. However, there’s no need for an alternative theory to prove an existing theory wrong. But as yet, no credible evidence has turned up to prove the TOEbNS wrong. And there’s been a lot of time for it to show up.

{drums fingers} Come on creobots, we’re still waiting. And even making jokes about it ourselves…

Nick Matzke said:

Here’s Nedin’s report for all you unbelievers: http://ediacaran.blogspot.com/2011/[…]olution.html

Nedin has a fine set of hands.

I like the way he has extracted that fossil from the matrix and has removed any clutter that matrix would provide in clearly identifying this fossil.

I thought April 1 was tomorrow.

Maybe it’s the snake from the Garden of Enid… err Edam… err Eden.

Tomorrow is today in Australia. slash Ediacara.

Well I’m convinced. After all, they did find Noah’s Ark FOUR times!

Indeed. And Martin Luther always wondered why 18 of the 12 apostles were buried in Spain.

Psssssst.….….….…don’t tell answers in Genesis Nik. I feel another “dino blood and a young Earth” coming on !

You do realize that this entry will be quoted by creationists for the next twenty years.

How did your fossil get into my stratum? How did YOUR chocolate get into MY peanut butter?

Alan Barnard said:

You do realize that this entry will be quoted by creationists for the next twenty years.

That’s because the validity of evidence is weighed only by its consistency with the Bible, or at least their interpretation of the Bible.

Alan Barnard said: You do realize that this entry will be quoted by creationists for the next twenty years.

Eh? Twenty years? You think they’ll catch on so soon?

THE ONION ran an article on the “Moon landing hoax”, supposedly citing Neil Armstrong as saying that he had always thought he really had walked on the Moon, but after reading conspiracy theorist websites he realized he had been mistaken, that it was all done on a movie set.

Two newspapers in Pakistan picked up the story and ran it as news. Readers informed them of their error.

Apples? More likely to have been figs. ;)

Henry J said:

Apples? More likely to have been figs. ;)

Somewhere I read that it was really pomegranates. For suitable definitions of “really”.

No-one has mentioned that the image itself forms a winking smiley-face (a winking emoticon), with the reptile as the mouth.

Pretty good April 1 gag!

lol. It’s a shingleback. You picked up some roadkill!

DJ

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