Fossil Of Wood Doesn’t Agree With Evolution

Reading the buzz on this particular discovery, and what one views is a demonstration once again on why evolution is bad for science. It’s the only explanation of nature that continues to create more complex questions with unobservable explanations than discovering confirmations with its predictions. Still, the discovery is quite amazing, New Scientist writes…

“Two 400-million-year-old fossil plants are the oldest known examples of wood. They are small herbs, suggesting that wood did not evolve to help plants grow tall. Both fossils date from the early Devonian period, by which time simple plants had long colonised the land and begun diversifying. One was found in France and dates from 407 million years ago, while the other, from Canada, is 397 million years old.”  

So how does this discovery of the earliest known fossil of wood disagree with evolution? Let’s start with the research paper in the journal of science which says…“The identification of a derived anatomical feature such as wood in two Early Devonian plants was unexpected.”   Why would this be a surprise? Because wood is a complicated biomolecule and evolution is supposed to go from simple to complex. The older the fossil is, the simpler its structure should be, right? Of course if evolution was true, this would be the case.

The research paper attempts to rescue wood evolution with this explanation…

“The secondary xylem of the plant from France predates, by at least 10 million years, other early occurrences of wood. The small size of both plants and the presence of thick-walled cells in their cortex support the earlier suggestion (4) that the evolution of wood was initially driven by hydraulic constraints rather than by the necessity of mechanical support for increasing height. This is consistent with the large diameter of the wood tracheids, which improves conducting capacities, and with the need for increased conductance, resulting from the decrease of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations during Early Devonian times (5).”

Wood consists of some highly advanced engineering which humans may not ever be able to manufacture. One common component is,  cellulose which is used to produce paper and currently researched as an alternative for bio-fuel. Its manufacturing site has enzymes which supply with the required raw materials and then uses those materials by placing them together according to a specified chemical arrangement which is vital, and enzymes in the front that arrange and crystallize the elongating string-like cellulose fibrils.

In other words, wood is highly complex. It requires 30 or more wood-making enzymes and yet there is absolutely no evidence that less than 30 could still do the job. Also, the wood evolutionary story lacks any evidence in the fossil record of fleshy and woody plants transitions. Science is much better at discovering how things work, rather than turning into a science fiction by trying to explain it in light of evolution.  The amazing and brilliant engineering that took place in creating the wood remains the same today as it does with the earliest known fossil, no surprise there, just another confirmation of creationism!

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9 thoughts on “Fossil Of Wood Doesn’t Agree With Evolution

  1. Wonderful!

    But you should explain it to Michael, whose sense of satire is deficient.

    Seems to have been written by Michael Shermer. Significant because he is another prominent example of one whose fundamentalism dis not survive an encounter with science.

    Shermer initially majored in theology at Pepperdine. But switching to psychology caused him to drop his fundamentalism like a hot rock. Although he has called himself agnostic, nontheist, and atheist, he prefers the sobriquet “skeptic.”

    Shermer is founder of The Skeptics Society, and a major thorn in the side of intelligent design and creationism. Among hos books, Why People Believe Weird Things (Holt & Co. 1997) is especially enlightening and is becoming a classic in the field.

  2. [Evolution is] the only explanation of nature that continues to create more complex questions with unobservable explanations than discovering confirmations with its predictions.

    The only one where answers lead to more questions?

    How about quantum physics? Where the discovery of entanglement created a fundamental question about the nature of space and distance and causality itself.

    How about chemistry? The discovery of previously unknown forms of carbon compounds call into question our understanding of the nature of the chemical bond.

    How about cosmology? The discovery that the universe is in accelerated expansion called forth a mysterious “dark energy” of whose source or characteristics we know almost nothing.

    How about astronomy? Answering questions as to the composition of the far side of the moon raises unanswered questions as to how it got to be so different from the near side.

    How about genetics? Finding heritable epigenetic factors has thrown the entire field of heritability of traits into a turmouil of unanswered questions.

    .

    How about creationism? The biblical account raises the question of how light could exist without stars. Of how atomic decay rates could adjust themselves so greatly in only a few days. Of where and when bacteria and viruses were created. Of why the Creator forgot to make us, his prize products, capable of regenerating body parts, the way humble lizards, newts, and worms can.

    The difference is that the questions of science can be—and are being addressed by theorizing and research. While the questions raised by creationism are not being researched, because no answers are possible.

    While creationism is incorrect, it’s major failing is this: In three centuries of trying, it has never produced a single result that has benefited mankind. Naturalistic science, on the other hand, advances our lives continually.

  3. Yesterday, a local newspaper carried yet another editorial on the need for better education in science. The editorial addressed only public schools. I had recently read an out-of-the coconut paper on this subject, so I wrote a letter to the editors.

    ——————————————————————————-
    State Science Scores Don’t Measure Up. (Aug. 20) And yet, according to a recent paper in American Scientist, “U.S. adults have consistently outperformed their international counterparts on science literary measures, including adults from South Korea and Japan.” What this paper found was that schools, even high school and college, provide only 5% of the science that most people know. The educator authors contend that free-choice learning experiences produce the most in-depth knowledge: Reading books and magazines, visiting museums and zoos, internet research following a medical diagnosis, environmental activism —and especially hobbies such as star gazing, amateur radio, and, yes, butterfly collecting.
    Schools are important, but free-choice, real-life experiences are more productive in building science competency. Most important to any learning, of course, are enthusiastic teachers and parents who encourage their children.
    ——————————————————————————-

    The paper is J.H Falk & L.D. Dierking, “The 95% Solution” American Scientist 98:486-493 (Nov-Dec 2010). The interesting profile is that US and foreign kids are about equal from preschool to 5th grade. Then they start to fall behind through middle school, high school, and even (for non-science majors) college. But then, as young adults, they catch up and even surpass adults in other countries—even those in Korea, Japan, and Europe..

    Middle school is where formal science education starts. So are our schools actually holding back students by trying to pour science into them? If so, we’re teaching it the wrong way. Or are the free-choice options inherently more interesting, more accessible, and more useful?

    Of special interest to me was the prominence given to scientific hobbies. The authors noted that amateur star-gazers often knew more about astronomy than did undergrads majoring in the subject! And they have made several scientific finds—new comets and breakups, for example. Hobbyists often seek out experts in the field, and have closer relationships with them than most college students do with their faculties.

    Personally, a high point of my high-school days in the mid 1950s was getting together a group to build a cyclotron. We scrounged an old elevator motor to wind the magnet coils, which were made of bus bar donated by the electric utility. A radio station donated an old transmitter which we modified for the RF source, and a development company gave us some mercury-diffusion vacuum pumps. In building the monster, we conferred closely with physics faculty at Purdue—two hours away—and got to know a number of professors well.

    .

    So, should the schools keep trying to teach science better, or should they do more to encourage free-choice, self-directed inquiry? Or both? Or something else entirely?

    I’ve outlined the Olorin plan for an introductory middle-school course in science. It concentrates not on specific subjects, but works more like a history course. Students would follow the historical development of science, in order to gain an appreciation of the nature of science and how it operates. Along the way, students would recreate for themselves some of the significant observations and experiments, to understand the procedures of research and give them a feeling for participating in it themselves.

    We would leave individual science subjects—physics, biology, chemistry, etc–for elective follow-on subjects and for free-choice activities.

  4. Also, the wood evolutionary story lacks any evidence in the fossil record of fleshy and woody plants transitions.

    Uh, Michael, did you actually read the paper in Science? Did you read the abstract? Did you even read the TITLE of the paper?

    “A Simple Type of Wood in Two Early Devonian Plants”

    The operative word is bolded for the benefit of the hard-of-understanding. The fossils that the paper describes are themselves transitional. They contain a simpler form of wood than present woody plants. A transitional form. For one thing, the fossils had the hydraulics of modern wood, but not the mechanical strength to support trees or other tall plants. That is, the final function was yet present. The last sentence of the paper notes that the fossil plants are precursors (that means ancestors) of a present-day lineage of lignophytes.

    As frequently happens in evolution,[1] it appears that wood evolved for a function different from its present one. As Michael quotes, this transitional wood fiber “improves conducting capacities, and with the need for increased conductance, resulting from the decrease of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations during Early Devonian times.” That is, it could not physically support the plants as it does today.

    The amazing and brilliant engineering that took place in creating the wood remains the same today as it does with the earliest known fossil, [sic] no surprise there, just another confirmation of creationism!

    Dead wrong. “A Simple Type of Wood in Two Early Devonian Plants” How many times must this be repeated? So, since his supposed “confirmation of creationism” is factually incorrect, does that falsify creationism? How about it, Michael?

    ===============

    [1] For example, the original function of insect wings was breathing—to diffuse oxygen from the atmosphere. Our own lungs began as buoyancy controllers.

  5. I get a constant feeling of deja-vu, reading this blog. Mistakes, errors, and more mistakes. Deliberate or not ? That is the question …

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