Early flowering fossils found, as reported in ScienceShots and New Scientist Short Sharp Science 30 March 2011, and Nature vol. 471, p625, 31 March 2011. Fossil hunters in China have unearthed the fossil of a modern-looking flowering plant in rocks dated as “Lower Cretaceous” – around 122 to 125 million years old. This makes it one of the earliest flowering plants ever found. It has been named Archaefructus liaoningensis, and resembles a present day buttercup. The plant has slender stems and three-lobed leaves and a five-petalled flower. It has been classified as a eudicot, a group of flowering plants described in the Nature editor’s summary as “the relatively derived (advanced) group that dominates the flowering plants in the world today”. The summary concludes: “The fossil confirms the presence of the eudicots at this time and documents an early burst of angiosperm evolution”.
ScienceShots reminds us that Darwin considered the origin of flowering plants “an abominable mystery” and they now claim the new fossil helps solve Darwin’s problem about the origin of flowering plants by pushing back the date of when flowering plants diversified to the early Cretaceous period, and therefore, giving the flowering plants a few million years longer to evolve than Darwin thought they had. New Scientist brings up a theory that the evolution of flowering plants hastened the demise of the dinosaurs. Their article comments: “While birds, mammals and insects began feeding on the new plants, each going through a period of intense diversification in an event called the Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution, there is only limited evidence that non-avian dinosaurs were into flower power. Gymnosperms probably continued to provide them with most of their nourishment, and it’s possible that these dinosaurs’ fate was ultimately sealed because they didn’t join the flower revolution”.
Editorial Comment: Shifting the existence of flowering plants back by a few million years does not tell you where they come from, so the presence of this fossil does nothing to solve Darwin’s abominable mystery. By hiding behind their evolutionary speculations the editors and authors of Nature, Science and New Scientist are all trying to avoid stating the obvious – this fossil is a fully formed flowering plant that shows no sign of evolving from, or into, any other kind of plant.
According to evolution flowering plants used to be seaweed, which moved onto land and became mosses, then ferns, then conifers before finally becoming flowering plants. This is entirely a belief by faith and finds absolutely no support by this discovery. From the evidence, it is far more logical to believe that flowering plants have always been flowering plants, which is fully consistent with the record left by the Creator in Genesis 1. (Ref. botany, palaeobotany, angiosperms)
Evidence News 11 May 2011