Fossil Flowers

Oldest fossil flowers found, according to articles in ScienceDaily 18 December 2018 and Live Science 19 December 2019, and eLife 18 December 2018, doi: 10.7554/eLife.38827.001.

An international group of scientists has studied 34 rock slabs containing 198 specimens of a previously unknown fossil flower. The fossils are from the South Xiangshan Formation, an outcrop of rocks in the Nanjing region of China dated as Early Jurassic, regarded as 174 million years old.  This makes them significantly older than current claims for the origin of flowers.  According to the summary of the research in eLife, “The current understanding, which is mainly based on previously available fossils, is that flowers appeared about 125 million years ago in the Cretaceous, an era during which many insects such as bees also emerged.”

The new fossil flower has been named Nanjinganthus dendrostyla. It has spoon-shaped petals and a branched style (the structure that receives the pollen in order for the flower to be fertilised).  Because of the old date given to the fossils there was some debate as to whether these were true flowers, like those of living flowering plants.  Flowering plants are called angiosperms because they produce seeds in an enclosed compartment (angio – vessel, –sperm – seed).  Seeds are produced when ovules within the compartment are fertilised after the flower receives pollen.  The fossil flowers were found to have ovules contained within a closed compartment, making them true flowers.

The research team hope this discovery will “re-invigorate research into angiosperm origins.”  According to Qiang Fu, of the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, China, who led the study, “Researchers were not certain where and how flowers came into existence, because it seems that many flowers just popped up in the Cretaceous from nowhere.”  He went on to say: “Studying fossil flowers, especially those from earlier geologic periods, is the only reliable way to get an answer to these questions.”

Live Science, ScienceDaily

Editorial Comment:  It’s a fact that traditional views of both geological time scale and evolution result purely from the British Empire rocks, and it is just as true that if geology started in China, even the geological column could be very different.  So, don’t be surprised that about this challenge to ‘flower appearance’. China will bring a lot more shocks yet to the evolutionist world who still vainly cling to the delusion that studying fossil flowers will answer the question of which non-flowers they came from.

Note well: the time-tested truth is that these newly discovered fossil flowers are fully formed flowers, as are all other fossil flowers, including the ones in our Creation Research Museum collection. They are evidence that these flowers were buried quickly and deeply enough to preserve their rather fragile structure, but they can never show how a plant that didn’t have flowers turned into one that did.

To really know where flowers came from we need the record from the only witness who was there when flowering plants did come into existence. Genesis tell us plants were created as fully formed, functioning plants according to their kinds, on the third creation day.  (Genesis 1:11-13)  We know there were flowering plants in the vegetation God created as Genesis refers to grasses, herbs and fruit trees – all angiosperms, i.e. seed-bearing flowering plants.

Any sceptics who accuse us f believing this by faith need to acknowledge that creating plants that are e fully functioning and ready to interact with other living things such as insects and birds is far more logical than believing, as these authors state: “many flowers just popped up in the Cretaceous from nowhere” at the time when “many insects such as bees also emerged”. It’s sad to have repeat the thought, but the presence of bees will not produce genes for flowers in non-flowering plants.

Claiming that non-flowering plants evolved into flowering plants is blind faith simply because no-one has ever observed this happen. All scientific observations of flowering plants and their fossils show that from their first appearance in the rock record, they are fully functional plants, distinct from other types of plants (e.g. conifers and ferns), and reproduce according to the kinds – exactly what you would expect from reading Genesis.

Photo of fossil flowers from Fu et al. eLife 2018;7:e38827. DOI: reproduced under Creative Commons Licence (CC BY 4.0)

Evidence News vol. 19, No.1
30 January 2019
Creation Research Australia

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