Well Preserved Giant “Water King” Fossil Amazes and Surprises

A  fossil found in Peru back in 2007 is considered to be something from a Hollywood movie rather than found in nature has a been a great discovery  concerning creationism. However, despite claims it had shed no light on evolution for one thing, it was found to be tens of million of years out of it’s time frame, secondly, it’s enormous size, thirdly, this remarkable bird was apparently fully penguin with flippers and more tuxedo decor than many modern species. But the most remarkable of all is for the first time there were feathers recovered which still had pigment bodies – melanocytes – with reddish brown coloration remaining in them. Amazing!

In the journal of science…

“Penguin feathers are highly modified in form and function, but there have been no fossils to inform their evolution.”

The discovery of feathers is what surprised evolutionary scientists the most because it is implausible in the real world considering the the assumed age is about 36 million years for them to last that long. A younger fossil (in thousands of years range) would make this plausible to recover feathers in a fossil and indeed that was what had been found. The authors in the journal of science had no viable explanation other than it was a rare find and Penguin feathers are highly modified in form and function, but there have been no fossils to inform their evolution.

“They don’t make penguins like they used to. Thirty-six million years ago, at least one species stood nearly as tall as a man and sported shades of red and gray, scientists announced Thursday.” -National Geographic

So really, how could this shed more light on understanding evolution? Why would a super-penguin which was fitter than modern ones with a “similar structure and organization as those of living birds that have reddish brown and/or grey feathers, including robins and zebra finches” would evolve into something less fit and smaller?

And when you add the recovery of feathers and melanosomes in the fossil considered to be 36 million years old one asks, how does this shed light on evolution? Looking at the artist’s reconstruction (and I’m not a big fan of these), even the drawing shows it was fully equipped with tuxedo wetsuit and outfitted for powerful swimming just as much as we see with today’s penguins. The melanocyte aspect, sighting the differences are very trivial.

There is nothing to show either by observation or understanding in regards to evolution! In creationism, the earth is young so it’s not altering any of it’s time frame nor restoring to a non-viable explanation like just calling the discovery “rare” when it’s possible to find more. Also, it’s a variant of the bird family which is is not contrary to creationism. This is a good example on how the ‘theory’ of evolution gets more complicated and how a viable explanation grows with more confirmation concerning the data. The “Water King” fossil is an enormous and very interesting discovery!

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7 thoughts on “Well Preserved Giant “Water King” Fossil Amazes and Surprises

  1. Micheal,

    So really, how could this shed more light on understanding evolution? Why would a super-penguin which was fitter than modern ones with a “similar structure and organization as those of living birds that have reddish brown and/or grey feathers, including robins and zebra finches” would evolve into something less fit and smaller?

    Michael, all the National Geographic quote mentions is that an ancient penguin was taller…. It doesn’t say anything about the more ancient penguin being more fit…Bigger is not alway better. Sometimes, less is more. — Just because something is smaller, that doesn’t mean it is less fit. Organisms evolve to adapt to their enviorments. If being bigger is a hinderance, or doesn’t affect their survival, it may fall into disuse and may get rooted out.

    And when you add the recovery of feathers and melanosomes in the fossil considered to be 36 million years old one asks, how does this shed light on evolution?

    How does it? Hmmm, I don’t know. Perhaps it could shed light on how the feather of the penguin evolved, and then therefore how they were used, and therefore showing how the habbits of the penguins evolved as a result?

  2. Kris, Michael has it fixed in his mind that if an animal is bigger, it is better. Evolution to a smaller size is always a sign of decay. he has no conception that a smaller size might be more fit in a certain environment than a larger size.

    You will never convince him differently. He didn’t reason himself into this position. Why do you expect that you can reason hinm out of it? We can, of course, inform other readers (if any) of the blog that this position is ludicrous on its face, thus giving them yet another reason to laugh at creationists.

  3. And when you add the recovery of feathers and melanosomes in the fossil considered to be 36 million years old one asks, how does this shed light on evolution? Looking at the artist’s reconstruction (and I’m not a big fan of these), even the drawing shows it was fully equipped with tuxedo wetsuit and outfitted for powerful swimming just as much as we see with today’s penguins. The melanocyte aspect, sighting the differences are very trivial.

    There is nothing to show either by observation or understanding in regards to evolution!
    </blockquote.

    What can you do but throw up your hands at the head-banging idiocy of such statements.

    How does a new fossil shed light on the ancestry of a currewnt species? Duh.

    How does an ancient feather pattern show evolution to a present pattern? Duh.

  4. In other news, Science Daily now reports in an article entitled “Novelty and Complexity Are Result of Small Evolutionary Changes“:

    By reconstructing an ancient protein and tracing how it subtly changed over vast periods of time to produce scores of modern-day descendants, scientists have shown how evolution tinkers with early forms and leaves the impression that complexity evolved many times.

    The actual paper is here: http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pbio.1000497

    This helps debunk the Creationist preception that evolution says complexity “just happened.” No, it was simply tinkered with. It didn’t evolve millions of times on the molecular lever for proteins. The tinkering occured from a common ancestor.

  5. Olorin said, “Kris, Michael has it fixed in his mind that if an animal is bigger, it is better. Evolution to a smaller size is always a sign of decay. he has no conception that a smaller size might be more fit in a certain environment than a larger size.”

    Where did I say that? First of all, bacteria is smaller, though it’s highly complex it’s not nearly as complex as a human. It’s true that bacteria is fitter than humans because it’s able to survive in extreme environments which brings up another question, if bacteria is so adaptable in extreme environments why was there a need to evolve further? Now in this article I stated that this particular animal was not only huge but“fitter” but I didn’t say that was the result of it’s size!

    Instead, this animal got smaller and less fit which is an observation that is contrary to the evolutionary framework. And that’s not all, the “water king” was found fully formed without morphological changes (nothing in the fossil record that shows transitional forms of this animal) and with feathers that demonstrates a much younger age, so why should that be called evolution?

  6. Michael,

    Where did I say that?

    You didn’t say it per se, but you implied it when you said that the more ancient penguins were bigger AND more fit….when the article you linked only says they were bigger…. I’m guessing you simply inserted the term “more fit” when you read that they were bigger.

  7. October 6, 2010 at 1:04 am | #5 . . . . . . . . Michael

    Where did I say that?

    Here—

    “They don’t make penguins like they used to. Thirty-six million years ago, at least one species stood nearly as tall as a man….

    Why would a super-penguin which was fitter than modern ones….

    The rest of Michael’s quote above begs the point—

    First of all, bacteria is smaller, though it’s highly complex it’s not nearly as complex as a human.

    Michael’s contention, here and in many previous posts, has not been that bigger organisms are fitter per se, but rather that evolution FROM a larger size TO a smaller size is an indication of deterioration and lowered fitness. That is, that smaller present penguins are ipso facto less fit than larger previous penguins.

    Continuing the above quote, we are put on notice of Michael’s abysmal misunderstanding of the nature of evolutionary fitness.

    It’s true that bacteria is [sic] fitter than humans because it’s [sic] able to survive in extreme environments [sic] which brings up another question, [sic] if bacteria is [sic] so adaptable in extreme environments [sic] why was there a need to evolve further?

    Michael erroneously believes that there is a single measure called “fitness.” E. coli have a fitness of 0.95, humans have a fitness of 0.77, sea cucumbers have a fitness of 0.59, and so forth. In fact, fitness is always relative to an environment, and there is no single metric that characterizes this quale.

    Thermoacidophiles are fit for living in undersea vents having temperatures greater than 70C and pH less than 3. They are not fit for surviving in the desiccated environment of rock fissures, where cryptoendoliths have a high fitness. Even within the same species we find various degrees of fitness for various environmental conditions. Michael may perhaps remember his own posts concerning the adaptations of Tibetans to high altitude. These Tibetans are better adapted for living with lower oxygen concentrations. But they are more susceptible to malaria than are Africans. But malaria is not a problem in Tibet, and Kilima Njaro is the only high mountain in Africa. So which group is “more fit,” Tibetans or Africans?

    Since thermoacidiphiles do not pack up and go to the beach for vacations, they do not evolve for that environment. On the other hand, the humans who first moved to Tibet did evolve adaptations (only a few thousand years ago) and became more fit for their environment. In fact, four different groups of humans have evolved high-altitude genetic adaptations—and all of them are different from each other.

    .

    Why do creationists fall into this fitness bog? It seems to be an aspect of the teleological fallacy. Evolution MUST HAVE a purpose, a goal, a direction, they believe. A direction MUST IMPLY a measure along that direction—fitness. And we all know that measures are like numbers on a ruler. Thus, NECESSARILY there is a scale that expresses fitness, from lower to higher.

    It’s a different way of thinking from science. Adelard of Bath noted this almost a thousand years ago. In his Quaestiones Naturales, he posed the example of the rainbow. What is the explanation of the rainbow, he asked his young nephew. The nephew replied that it was a sign given by God to Moses. Well yes, replied the uncle; but that is not the point. For an explanation, we must consider the interaction of air and light—not the why of the rainbow, but the how.

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