Scientists have found organisms that have not evolved in 2 billion years off the coast of Australia. The study of these organisms has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The research was funded by NASA, in the hope that it will better understand microscopic organisms and how they thrive in unwelcoming environments.
Apparently, these microscopic organisms have not evolved in any shape or form for more than 2 billion years and have even survived five events of mass extinction, which scientists claim supports Darwin’s theory of evolution.
The scientists have studied organisms in sample of rocks found today in the coastal waters of Western Australia. They proceeded to study samples of the same organisms from the same region of Western Australia from rocks that scientists knew were 2.3 billion years old. What they found puzzled the researchers: it appears that both sets of organisms are completely identical to each other and some modern sulfur bacteria that can be found off the coast of Chile.
Professor J. William Schopf, from the UCLA College and lead author of this study, revealed that it is indeed astounding that life has not evolved for nearly half the history of Earth, more than 2 billion years.
While some might say this is clear proof that Darwin was wrong, it is actually proof that he was right. Darwin’s studies were focused on the species that did evolve and changed forced by their circumstances, but it appears that if an organism has no reason to change, such as ecosystem change or competition for resources, it will not change.
These organisms that have not evolved in 2 billion years had no reasons to evolve, scientists explain. They were adapted to their stable and simple biological and physical environment and if it didn’t change, then they had no reason to do so. Professor Schopf claimed that if their environment changed and they had stayed the same, then Darwin’s theory of evolution would have been completely flawed.
He continue to say that these organisms found in rocks probably did mutate, as mutation happens in all species, but unless the mutations improved the organisms, helping them to function better, then they would not get passed on to the next generations.
Image Source: UCLA Newsroom
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