A team of scientists working off the coast of Australia has discovered a type of bacteria that hasn’t evolved in 2 billion years, and they’re saying that this is further evidence supporting the theory of evolution. But how could that be? Evolution is all about organisms changing, right? Shouldn’t something not changing for 2 billion years prove that evolution isn’t real, and vindicate what young-earth creationists have been saying all this time? Shouldn’t this make us wipe the egg off our faces and become creationism converts?
Well, actually, no. According to ABC News, what’s happened is that one of the scientists, J. William Schopf, had an idea some 50 years ago that, if evolution is a response to a changing environment, then no changes should mean no evolution.
Deep in muddy sediment that’s well below the ocean floor is an environment that hasn’t changed in forever. No waves, no sunlight, no air, no other creatures are there; nothing reaches that area of our world. But there are tiny, sulfur-eating bacteria there. 2.3 billion years ago, oxygen levels in the atmosphere rose dramatically, which caused a spike in sulfates and nitrates that contained oxygen, which subsequently sunk to the ocean floor. That gave these bacteria their food.
They match up exactly to fossilized bacteria from 1.8 billion years ago, found in the same area off of Western Australia. So that’s how the scientists know these tiny creatures have not evolved for nearly half of the time this planet has been around. They also match up to sulfur-eating bacteria found off the coast of Chile.
Schopf explained how this supports evolution this way:
These microorganisms are well-adapted to their simple, very stable physical and biological environment. If they were in an environment that did not change but they nevertheless evolved, that would have shown that our understanding of Darwinian evolution was seriously flawed.
So what are creationists saying about this? Are they saying anything? Over on Creation Evolution Headlines, they are. One article says that this does, in fact, falsify evolution. They quoted large parts of an article about this bacteria over on Live Science, which discusses whether this contradicts Darwin’s theory, and then spout this nonsense:
So if the organism evolves, Darwin is vindicated. If it doesn’t evolve, Darwin is vindicated. Darwin can’t lose.
The non-evolution proves Darwin’s ‘null hypothesis,’ Schopf says. No environmental change, no evolution. Simple. No magic here.
There’s also this, in green print at the end of this article:
Evolution sometimes is fast; evolution sometimes is slow. Sometimes, it doesn’t move at all! What further scientific proof do you need, you ignorant creationist, you? Ommmmm.
Think how stupid this excuse is. These bacteria must have replicated uncountable times in 2 billion Darwin years. Surely, if mutation and selection could turn a cow into a whale in 9 million years with very long gestational periods and small populations, there must have been incredibly numerous opportunities for these bacteria to mutate and find better ways to eat sulfur: cook up some sulfur pancakes, or sulfur souffle, maybe some sulfur chili.
Which just goes to show how little these people understand evolution, or science, for that matter, at all. Yes, these bacteria replicated uncountable times in 2 billion years. Why didn’t they mutate? It’s easier to say “DUH” to these people than it is to actually explain it, because they don’t listen to the explanation.
The short, simplified version is that, yes, mutations happen. Sometimes they just happen, and sometimes they’re in response to something in the environment. If they prove to not work as well as the original design, nature drops it. If they prove to work better, then, over time, the mutation becomes bigger and more common, eventually resulting in an offshoot species. Whether the original species dies out or remains depends on whether it, too, can survive in the new environment.
This is also why we still have primates, and why we don’t see creatures that are half man, half monkey. Pay attention, Glenn Beck!
But of course, we evolutionists are the ideologues. It’s the creationists who can clearly see reality. They ended that green print with this:
Who can possibly believe that on a dynamic planet, undergoing plate tectonics, asteroid impacts, climate swings and volcanism, the environments stayed the same for modern sulfur bacteria and their counterparts two billion Darwin years ago? Any way you slice it, their excuse violates their own assumptions. We are not dealing with rational people who can look at evidence and follow it where it leads. We are dealing with ideologues who can stare down falsification with chutzpah because they are committed to it, evidence be damned.
Hmmm…scientists, who have made studying the planet and how it works their life’s work, believe that there are places on this planet where things don’t change. But expecting young-earth creationists to actually understand this is futile. We should all wait with bated breath to see what the noted creationist, Ken Ham, will have to say about this. For those of us who don’t reject science, though, this is interesting news indeed.
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