Beetles on Flowers

Insect pollination extended by 50 million years, claim scientists in Science (AAAS) News and ScienceDaily 11 November 2019, and PNAS 11 November 2019 doi: 10.1073/pnas.1916186116.

Scientists from China, Germany and USA have studied a beetle preserved in Burmese amber and found it was carrying pollen grains from a flowering plant. The beetle belongs to a group named ‘tumbling flower beetles’ that are well known flower pollinators, having mouth parts well suited to collecting pollen. The amber is dated at 99 million years old, putting it into the mid-Cretaceous period on the evolutionary timetable. Fossils of these beetles are only known from amber specimens, and this is one of the oldest.

The presence of the pollen grains on the beetle is significant for evolutionary theory because, as the research team wrote, “Since Darwin, insect pollination was thought to be a key contributor to the Cretaceous radiation of angiosperms. Both insects and angiosperms were common during the mid-Cretaceous, but direct evidence for a Cretaceous insect-angiosperm pollination mode was until now absent.” (Angiosperms are flowering plants)

This amber beetle with associated pollen is the earliest dated physical evidence for pollen carrying insects. The research team wrote: “Our findings provide direct evidence of insect pollination of Cretaceous angiosperms, extending the range insect-angiosperm pollination association by at least 50 million years.”

The scientists were unable to identify which species of plant the pollen was from, but it had the normal features of pollen from the most common flowering plants living today (the Eudicots). One of the researchers, David Dilcher of Indiana University commented: “It’s exceedingly rare to find a specimen where both the insect and the pollen are preserved in a single fossil. Aside from the significance as earliest known direct evidence of insect pollination of flowering plants, this specimen perfectly illustrates the cooperative evolution of plants and animals during this time period, during which a true exposition of flowering plants occurred.”

Science, ScienceDaily

Editorial Comment: It’s so obvious you have to be wilfully blind to miss it! The insects with the right mouth parts for collecting pollen from flowers, cannot cause any non flowering plants to ‘evolve’ into plants that have flowers.

Watch out for two things:

The use of terms such as “cooperative evolution”, or coevolution, is another way that that evolutionists hide behind apparently scientific terms, when they cannot really explain how two different living things came to work together in the same environment.

Secondly, when evolutionists refer to the “Cretaceous radiation of angiosperms” they mean the development of many different kinds of flowering plants from a common ancestor. Again, the presence of pollen carrying insects can never make one kind of flowering plant produce different kinds of flowering plants.

These scientists may claim to have found the oldest evidence of insects carrying flowering plant pollen, but it is not the oldest dated amber specimen containing an insect with pollen on it. In 2012 scientists found amber they dated at 105-110 million year, containing fossilised thrips carrying pollen. However, they identified the pollen as being from a non-flowering plant, probably a ginkgo. See our report Oldest Insect Pollination here.

Both these amber fossils are solid evidence for the accuracy of Gods revealed Genesis record on the history of living things. Just as scientists recognised the thrips in amber, scientists recognised and classified the new fossil as a tumbling flower beetle, because it has the distinctive features of living tumbling flower beetles. This means that tumbling flower beetles have been fully formed tumbling flower beetles, from the first fossil known, and they have multiplied after their kind ever since.

The presence of pollen on fossil insects is a reminder that God not only created individual kinds of the living things, but also created functioning ecosystems where different kinds of living things, such as flowering plants and insects, were ready and able to work together. This means the day-age theory of Genesis 1 will not work anymore than millions of years of chance random evolution. Both of these will result in millions of plants dying out from lack of pollinators. Six days of purposeful creation is the only way to get it to work.

Photo of fossil beetle from Tong Bao, Bo Wang, Jianguo Li, David Dilcher. Pollination of Cretaceous flowers. PNAS, 2019 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1916186116. Reproduce under Creative Commons Licence CC BY 4.0

Evidence News, vol. 19, No. 20
11 December 2019
Creation Research Australia