Recent research that Darwinism has added yet another epicycle to the geocentric theory that is evolution.(1)
ScienceDaily (Jan. 27, 2009) — A new and comprehensive analysis confirms that the evolutionary relationships among animals are not as simple as previously thought. The traditional idea that animal evolution has followed a trajectory from simple to complex—from sponge to chordate—meets a dramatic exception in the metazoan tree of life.
New work suggests that the so-called “lower” metazoans (including Placozoa, corals, and jellyfish) evolved in parallel to “higher” animals (all other metazoans, from flatworms to chordates). It also appears that Placozoans—large amoeba-shaped, multi-cellular animals—have passed over sponges and other organisms as an animal that most closely mirrors the root of this tree of life.
“To make inferences about the origin of Bilaterians—animals with a bilateral symmetry, like humans—earlier studies suggested sponges, ctenophores (comb jellies), or a small, interesting group called Placozoa as the most basal or primitive animal,” says senior author Rob DeSalle, Curator at the Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics at the American Museum of Natural History. “But our new analysis implies that the first major event in animal evolution split bilateral animals from all others, and our work firmly places Placozoa as the most primitive of the nonbilaterian animals.”
Then they go on to note that the nervous system must have had to evolve twice, because of where the supposed split in the evolutionary branch occurred.
The phylogeny drawn from the new analysis places Placozoans as basal within the Diptoblasta, a group of animals that includes sponges, comb jellies, jellyfish, corals, and anemones. This means that sponges and comb jellies, both previously considered candidates for the most basal animal, fall within the clade as more derived than Placozoans and as sister taxa to each other. Study results also identify a very deep division between the Diptoblasta and the Bilateria/Triploblasta: when looking at all animals, scientists now see that Placozoans and their relatives are in a separate lineage from all other metazoans (starfish, bivalves, anthropoids, crustaceans and chordates). This means that the nervous system, once thought to have arisen once, must have evolved twice from the DNA that coded for these complex systems (keeping in mind that while Placozoans and sponges do not have nervous systems, many of the taxa related to them do.)
Count me as one who is “shocked” by these findings. The Darwinists now want us to believe that neurons and nervous systems evolved independently in two separate instances with nothing more than blind processes as their guide.
“Some people might initially be shocked to see that nerve cells in cnidarians and higher animals (Bilateria), the group of animals that includes humans, evolved independently,” says Schierwater. “But with this new phylogeny, we can take a closer look at the anatomy of these organisms—and we can see that their nervous systems are not all that similar at the morphological level after all.”
DeSalle agrees. “It is the underlying genetic tool kit that is similar amongst these basal animals. Placozoa have all of the tools in their genome to make a nervous system, but they just don’t do it.” (emphasis added)
So, these animals have all the tools available in their toolkit of a genome to make a nervous system, but they just don’t do it. Score one for the “front-loaders.” I’m a front-loader, but not of the common descent variety. I believe that God may have designed mechanisms into the genome in order to allow for adaptation and change in response to environmental demands.