This is quite interesting. [ its an evolutionary issue ]
Trace Fossil Experiments Put Pressure on Cambrian Explosion
SNIP >>> Take a look at side-by-side photos in the middle of an article posted by NASA’s Astrobiology Magazine. They look identical, but the ones on the left are fossils, and the ones on the right were made in the lab by shuffling around microbial mats. The title of the article suggests a setback for evolutionists: “First Signs of Animal Life on Earth May Be from Microbes.”
To muffle the Cambrian explosion, scientists have searched for clues to the existence of complex animals in the Precambrian. The so-called “trace fossils” dating back to the Ediacaran (600 million years ago) provided some hope. Maybe they were made by ancestral trilobites or worms, the thinking was. Reporter Amanda Doyle explains:
Scientists are attempting to put a date on the earliest lifeforms in the kingdom of Animalia, but without an actual cast of a body they’ve had to rely on the credibility of “trace” fossils to show signs of an animal’s presence in the form of footprints, scratches, feeding marks or burrows. Some scientists claim to have found trace fossils made by animals more than a billion years ago, raising controversy over whether animal life could have existed this early. There are also trace fossils from the Ediacaran Period and soft bodied animals were known to exist during this period, so understanding the tracks they made is important for studying the early animals.
Giulio Mariotti, an oceanographer from Louisiana State University, and colleagues, examined supposed animal trace fossils from the Ediacaran Period, and found that it is possible that some of them could be microbial in origin. The results, which were recently published in a paper entitled “Microbial Origin of Early Animal Trace Fossils” in the Journal of Sedimentary Research, raise questions about the reliability of trace fossils as evidence for early animal life. [Emphasis added.]
The burden of proof appears to be on the evolutionists. To claim that complex animal body plans predated the Cambrian explosion, they will have to distinguish between their trace fossils and the structures Mariotti’s team was able to generate with microbes. The microbial explanation seems preferable, given that “Microbial mats were widespread in the Precambrian, the period before animal life became extremely common and diverse.”
The findings make sense if the explosion was real. Many Precambrian strata were perfectly capable of preserving even soft tissues of adult animals, as shown by the preservation of delicate sponge embryos. Where are they?
“Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, some scientists like to say.” That’s fine. But if you want to make a case for a long fuse leading up to the explosive appearance of 18 or more animal phyla, sooner or later you need to show evidence. Three hoped-for classes of evidence have now been called into question by evolutionists themselves: the molecular clock, Ediacaran fossil connections, and now trace fossils. After 157 years of fossil hunting since Darwin, the reality of the explosion remains the best supported conclusion from the available evidence.
Photo: Trace fossil made by a trilobite, by Wilson44691 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
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