Monkey Daylight

Mammals emerge into daylight after dinosaur extinction, according to ScienceDaily and New Scientist 6 November 2017 and Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2017; doi: 10.1038/s41559-017-0366-5, published online 6 November 2017.

According to an evolutionary theory, known as the “nocturnal bottleneck hypothesis”, mammals evolved from a small nocturnal common ancestor who hid during the daylight hours to avoid “antagonistic interactions with diurnal dinosaurs”. After the dinosaurs died out mammals were free to take up a daytime (diurnal) lifestyle and evolve into the many ‘day-active’ mammal species.

A team of researchers at University College London (UCL) and Tel Aviv University claim to have confirmed this theory by collecting data on activity patterns of 2415 species of living mammals, and using a computer algorithm to reconstruct the habits of their ancestors. The researchers used two different mammal evolutionary trees to estimate when mammal ancestors began to become diurnal and conclude it happened soon after dinosaurs became extinct.

They claim the first mammals to become diurnal were the simian primates, ancestors of apes and monkeys, sometime between 33 and 52 million years ago. According to New Scientist “This may be why they are the only mammals with a visual system adapted to daytime foraging. In particular, they can distinguish red and green, which may help them spot ripe and unripe fruit.”

Tamar Dayan, Chair of The Steinhardt Museum of Natural History, Tel Aviv University states, “We analysed a lot of data on the behaviour and ancestry of living animals for two reasons – firstly, because the fossil record from that era is very limited and secondly, behaviour as a trait is very hard to infer from fossils. You have to observe a living mammal to see if it is active at night or in the day. Fossil evidence from mammals often suggest that they were nocturnal even if they were not. Many subsequent adaptations that allow us to live in daylight are in our soft tissues.”

Kate Jones, Professor of Genetics, Evolution & Environment, at UCL commented: “It’s very difficult to relate behaviour changes in mammals that lived so long ago to ecological conditions at the time, so we can’t say that the dinosaurs dying out caused mammals to start being active in the daytime. However, we see a clear correlation in our findings”.

New Scientist, ScienceDaily

Editorial Comment: These scientists are correct in saying that scientists cannot observe the behaviour of fossils, but unlike the evolutionary trees they used in this study which only exist in the minds of the scientists, fossils are real evidence and can be studied.

Evolutionary trees may look like family trees, but they are not actual records of what begat what, as in a real family tree based on actual observations and records from each generation. The fact that they used two different evolutionary trees in their study confirms that evolutionary trees are merely man-made ideas. The scientists who carried out this study collected data on present day animals then imposed their belief in evolution onto the fossil data in order to draw their conclusions.

Furthermore, the belief that the absence of “antagonistic interactions with diurnal dinosaurs” produced changes in animals, e.g. development of diurnal behaviour or colour vision, is pure wishful thinking. To make new animals, requires new genetic information. Therefore it is absurd to believe that absence of dinosaurs caused small nocturnal creatures to change into all the varieties of mammals alive on earth today.

It is much more logical to believe that the different mammal kinds were created as fully functional creatures according to their kinds, fully equipped for living in the light.

Evidence News vol. 17, No. 20
22 November 2017
Creation Research Australia

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