Triassic cancer found according to articles in National Geographic and Science (AAAS) News 7 February 2019, ABC News 8 February 2019, and JAMA Oncology, published online 7 February 2019, doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2018.6766.
Most cancers form in soft tissues and are therefore rarely preserved in fossils. However, bone tumours can be partly preserved because many contain hard mineralised tissue like normal bone. Scientists studying a fossil reptile found in a quarry in Germany noticed an unusual irregular rough thickening the one side of its left femur (thigh bone). The bone was scanned using a technique called micro CT which revealed the internal structure of the thickening. It showed a distinctive pattern of bone formation that occurs in a type bone cancer called periosteal osteosarcoma.
The fossil reptile named Pappochelys rosinaeand is dated as 240 million years old. This makes it the oldest cancer found in an amniote animal – the group that includes reptiles, birds and mammals.
Patrick Asbach, a radiologist at Berlin’s Charité University of Medicine, who took part in the study, commented: “It is interesting to see that the diseases we know quite well also appeared in extinct animals, and that we as humans are not the only ones who struggle with it.”
Editorial Comment: This highly malignant tumour with the big name, periosteal osteosarcoma, can also occur in humans, and is a real killer. As well as destroying the bone where it starts growing, it spreads to other parts of the body, and if left unchecked will invariably cause death. (This editor has seen several cases of it – all tragic as it tends to affect young people.)
This fossil cancer should ring a loud warning bell to those promoting Theistic Evolution. Here is powerful proof that any attempt to use the fossil record as evidence that God created by millions of years of evolution and then had the audacity to call His creation very good, when it had been plagued by cancer for untold millions of years, is not only wrong, but is also an offence to Christ the Creator. Cancer is never ‘very good’, nor is any disease and struggle. The tragic changes that led to disease, struggle, death and extinction came into the world only after man sinned and God cursed the ground.
The fossil record is by its very nature, a record of death and destruction in the world, post-Adam, and much of it is the result of the devastation that occurred at the time of Noah’s Flood. The fossils, with their record of premature death, are a powerful sign of God’s judgement, but should also remind us of God’s mercy, because Noah and his family were saved by God’s grace – remember it was only because of God’s warning and instruction that Noah built the ark. God’s grace continues to be offered to all who will put their trust in Christ, but one day He will return to judge the whole world again.
Evidence News vol.19 No. 2
20 February 2019
Creation Research Australia
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