Bees challenge asteroid theory, according to an article in BBC News, 23 Nov 2004. A current popular theory on dinosaur extinction is that an asteroid impact occurred at the end of the Cretaceous period, 65 million years ago, and the debris from this blocked out light and heat from the sun plunging the world into a prolonged winter. In an effort to assess the effect of this catastrophe Jaqueline Kozisek of the University of New Orleans trawled through the scientific literature, made lists of “survivors”; and studied those with strict survival requirements. She worked out the survival requirements of Cretaceous animals by using studies of the most similar organisms alive today. For example, tropical honeybees have been found preserved in amber believed to be older than the asteroid impact. Tropical honeybees today like to live in a temperature range of 31-34 degrees Celsius (88-93F). This is also the best temperature range for the flowers they feed from. Kozisek’s research found that tropical honeybees have changed little in 65 million years so their survival requirements should have been the same then as now. Such findings led Kosiek to question current theories of the asteroid winter, which estimate the temperature dropped by 7 to 12 degrees Celsius, making the world too cold for tropical bees. According to the BBC article, “Amber preserved specimens of the oldest tropical honeybee Cretotrigona prisca; are almost indistinguishable from some of their modern counterparts. This means they could even be their ancestors, researchers think.”
Editorial Comment: If tropical honeybees haven’t changed since they first appeared on earth, then they haven’t evolved! Kozisek’s assumption that Cretaceous animals tolerated the same conditions as living descendants is actually a creationist assumption. It assumes the animals have not changed, i.e. they have reproduced after their kind. In fact, amber preserved insects of all kinds have provided good evidence for the truth of Genesis. Because they are so well preserved it is easy to compare them with living examples.
This study is also a good example of how some theories (such as the asteroid dinosaur extinction) that are presented as proven facts to the general public in order to prop up the theory of evolution, are really far from proven, and are still being hotly debated amongst professional scientists. (Ref. bees, asteroid, extinction)