Fossil reef adds 80 million years to animal life, according to a report in ABC news in Science, 22 Sep 2008. University of Melbourne geologists have found an enormous fossil reef in the Northern Flinders Ranges in South Australia. The reef appears to consist partly of stromatolites, layered structures made by microbes, and cauliflower shaped structures that were probably ancient sponges. The reef is estimated to be 650 million years old, making the fossils 80 million years older that the oldest animal life so far found. Malcolm Wallace, one of the scientists, commented that the reef-building organisms were “certainly more complex than any fossil of their age anywhere on Earth. They’ve never been described from anywhere else in the world. There’s nothing else like them.” Complex multi-cellular animals are believed to have evolved suddenly in the Ediacaran period. Wallace went on to say: “When you see the Ediacara they resemble jellyfish and modern arthropods. There is no doubt they are animals. The real puzzle is why they appeared 570 to 540 million years ago. Maybe this reef system will tell us something about that.”


Editorial Comment: We predict that what this fossil reef system will tell scientists is that stromatolites have always been stromatolites. If they really believe they have been around for 650 million years they have reproduced after their kind in a most spectacular way. Stromatolites are still here, and can be seen living in places like Shark Bay in Western Australia, and they show no sign of evolving into jellyfish or arthropods. The fact that arthropods and jellyfish are found in layers believed to be younger than the fossil reef is not evidence that the reef organisms turned into arthropods or jellyfish. All these different organisms appear in the fossil record as distinct fully formed creatures, which is what you expect if they are the descendants of life forms that were specially created after their kind. The new fossil sponge-like organisms seem to be extinct, but that is no help to the theory of evolution either. It just shows that there were once more kinds of sponges than there are now, which fits with the Biblical history of the world – going downhill, not evolving upwards. (Ref. algae, invertebrates, dating. prediction)

Evidence News 29 October 2008