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Scientists discover an ancient wormlike creature that’s the ancestor of all animals – including us

For over 150 years, scientists have been trying to convince us that man descended from animals. It seems obvious, doesn’t it? We look so much like monkeys with fingers and toes. In this article, the authors found a trace of a worm-like creature – basically a hole where the creature once was – that had “bilateral symmetry.” Since 99% of the creatures on earth exhibit bilateral symmetry, the authors say that this proves that man, and most other higher life forms, came from worms. And they made this assessment simply because they found a hole that once contained this soft tissue animal that left behind no other clues than its size and shape, a tube that might have looked exactly like a grain of rice. My comments throughout in Blue.


Scientists discover an ancient wormlike creature that’s the ancestor of all animals – including us

Doyle Rice


Scientists have discovered a fossil of our earliest ancestor: a tiny, wormlike creature that lived about 555 million years ago, according to a new study. (The authors of this paper assumed the rock layer was 555 million years old based on the location of the strata, not by any radiometric dating, which, in its own right, is inherently flawed. Dating on all sedimentary rock layers is done this way because the material that comprises the rock would presumably be older than the sediment. So they have to assume the age of the sediment based on what fossils they find in that layer, as well as the layers above and below. However, the age of the fossils in these layers is presumed by the age of the layers. This is circular, making assumptions on both sides of the equation. A much better explanation is that the layers were all laid down quickly during a global flood. This would account for similar fossils being in similar layers throughout the world.)

“It’s the earliest ‘bilaterian’ …. which is an organism with a front and back, two symmetrical sides and openings at either end connected by a gut,” scientists from the University of California–Riverside said in a statement.

“It’s the oldest fossil we get with this type of complexity,” UCR geologist and study co-author Mary Droser said. The tiny fossil, about as big as a grain of rice, was discovered in Australia. (What they found was a trace of the animal. In other words, something left over after the animal was no longer there. Think of it as the indentation in the sofa cushion after you have gotten up. It suggests you were there, but it does nothing other than suggest your size and shape. The sad thing is that this could be the remnant of an inorganic – non-living – process, kind like if you left a heavy weight on the sofa. The authors are simply assuming that the size and shape mean there were living creatures there, none of which have actually been found.)

Evidence for these early fossils is rare, scientists say. Most studies rely on trace fossils, or the tracks they left behind, rather than preservation of the small, soft-bodied organisms themselves.

With the help of high-tech 3D laser scanning, scientists were able to locate fossils of the distinct tubelike organisms in a former seabed in present-day South Australia.

“Bilateral symmetry,” as its known, was a critical step in the evolution of animal life, UCR reported. It gave organisms the ability to move purposefully as well as a common, yet successful way to organize their bodies.

“A multitude of animals, from worms to insects to dinosaurs to humans, are organized around this same basic body plan,” according to the UCR statement. (Bilateral symmetry is not body plan per se, but rather a characteristic of a body plan. A body plan is more descriptive – for example having a head, abdomen and thorax for an insect.)

The tiny animal likely spent its life burrowing through layers of sand on the ocean floor, looking for any organic matter on which it could feed, the BBC said.

The creature was given the Latin name Ikaria wariootia, after Ikara, an indigenous Australian word for “meeting place,” and Warioota, the name of a local creek.

Droser said the discovery is “what evolutionary biologists predicted. It’s really exciting that what we have found lines up so neatly with their prediction.” (I often wonder what biologists this are predictive. As a chemist, I have math in my toolbox. I can then say if I react x moles of compound A with y moles of compound B at temperature T in a sealed system with humidity H, I will get z moles of compound C. In the case here, the prediction was, “We have all these animals today that are ‘bilaterally symmetric,’ so we should have a common ancestor that was also bilaterally symmetric.” Now they have found one, so that is a fulfillment of this prediction. Not exactly. I could have easily predicted that bilaterally symmetry is the norm, so almost everything I see in nature should be bilaterally symmetric. Of course, some animals are not. Jellyfish come to mind immediately. The prediction is obvious, but it does nothing to really advance the evolutionary cause.)

The study was published Monday in the peer-reviewed journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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