Fossil leaves were insects, according to articles in Wired Science and PNAS doi: 10.1073/pnas.1205517109 26 November 2013, and Smithsonian News 5 December 2013.

Scientists in USA and China have found “a case of mixed identity between a particular plant and an insect in the laboratory and the field”. The plant is a ginkgo, the insect is a hangingfly, and its fossil wings were originally thought to be lobes of a ginkgo leaf.

Living hangingflies have four elongated wings, and, as their name suggests, spend their time hanging from the undersides of leaves. If this fossilised insect had held its wings spread whilst hanging in a ginkgo tree, the pattern of veins and shape of its wings would have resembled the multi-lobed ginkgo leaf. The researchers excuse their confusion as “a case of leaf mimesis” i.e. where the wings of an insect evolved to mimic the appearance of the ginkgo leaf, making them hard to tell apart.

The evolutionists research team also concluded: “This documentation of mimesis is a rare occasion whereby exquisitely preserved, co-occurring fossils occupy a narrow spatiotemporal window that reveal likely reciprocal mechanisms which plants and insects provide mutual defensive support during their preangiospermous evolutionary histories”.

Wired Science, Smithsonian News

Editorial Comment: Can you spot the flaws in the assumptions being used? To have leaf shaped fly wings certainly would have been a great disguise against animals that might have wanted to eat hangingflies, or a brilliant cover to catch insects that hangingflies may want to eat, and both would certainly have benefited the ginkgo if the hangingfly preyed on leaf-eating insects as the evolutionists claim, BUT when you throw in a Biblical basis from the God who was there, that all creatures, flies included, were vegetarian (Genesis 1:26-31), then you have to congratulate the evolutionists, who were not there, on their blind faith story-telling ability only.

The Wired Science article also asks an important question that links to the researchers hidden assumptions: “The hangingfly does resemble the ginkgo, that much is clear, but how can we tell whether or not the insect’s anatomy was a form of camouflage or just coincidentally similar?” It goes on to comment: “The span of time between us and the Jurassic forest prevents us from knowing – such tantalizing traces of prehistoric interactions only come to life in our imaginations”. We couldn’t have said it better! So what’s the actual data? 1) Fossil ginkgo leaves and fossil hangingfly wings have similar shapes; and 2) their fossils were found in the same rocks.

Those who believe the story that an insect evolved to look like a leaf for the purpose of camouflage have yet to explain how changes in the shape of tree leaves (as the ginkgo evolved) could influence genes in an insect to make it have leaf-shaped wings. Otherwise, it’s time for evolutionists to admit they simply have faith that the same random processes that make trees evolve leaves, also happen to be able to change insects in just the right way at the right time. Now that is too much blind faith for us. Furthermore, ginkgoes are the first, and classic, example of a “living fossil”, i.e. a living organism whose fossil examples are very similar to their living forms, which means they have not evolved since their fossils were buried, irrespective of how long ago you believe the rock layers were formed. Since the fossil hangingfly was also recognised because it looked like a living hangingfly, neither of these fossils shows any evidence in support of evolutionary history.

Finally, did you notice the description of the fossils as “exquisitely preserved”? As we have said many times, this is always evidence that fossils were rapidly and deeply buried, and so this is one more case where the vast amounts of time used by evolutionists are not deduced from the rocks, but read into them.

Evidence News 13 March 2013