Old sea urchin reorganised genes according to reports in ScienceDaily 4 November 2015 and Scientific Reports, 2015; 5: 15541 DOI: 10.1038/srep15541. Scientists at University of Southern California and California Institute of Technology have studied fossil sea urchins from rocks in the Glass Mountains of western Texas dated as over 268 million years old.

Sea urchins are classified into two main groups – cidaroids and euechinoids. Both these groups are believed to have evolved from an extinct group of sea urchins named Archaeocidaridae. The new fossils are cidaroids, and are the oldest fossils of this group so far found. According to ScienceDaily, cidaroids “look pretty much the same as they did millions of years ago”. Cidaroids and euechinoids are believed to have branched off from the Archaeocidaridae.

The research team claim their fossil pushes back this fork in the sea urchin family tree another 10 million years, into a period named the Roadian, which is part of the Permian era, and is dated as 272.3 – 268.8 million years ago.

The researchers also claim their finding reveals a major reorganisation of sea urchin regulatory genes. They wrote in their summary of the study: “the genomic regulation of development in echinoids is amongst the best known, and this new species informs the timing of large-scale reorganization in echinoid gene regulatory networks that occurred at the cidaroid-euechinoid divergence, indicating that these changes took place by the Roadian stage of the Permian”.

David Bottjer, one of the researchers, commented: “It’s not just the color of a moth’s wing changing. We’re looking at tightly intertwined networks of genes that change together to cause major morphological differences”.


Editorial Comment: Talk about a classic case of imposing evolution onto the facts. The observations are fossil sea urchins found and two groups of living sea urchins show different regulatory genes. Note that all observations of fossil cidaroids show they are the same as living cidaroids, so they are actually evidence that sea urchins have reproduced after their kind, just as Genesis says. If the newly found fossils really are the oldest cidaroids, then they are evidence that cidaroids have existed as a fully formed separate kind since the rocks were laid down.

Since no-one observed the extinct sea urchins (Archaeocidaridae) ever change into the two groups of living sea urchins, all we can truly say is that they just died out, and are another reminder that the world is going downhill, and losing living things, not evolving upwards and gaining them. So the simplest conclusion is that the two different groups of living sea urchins, cidaroids and euechinioids, have different ways of developing from the fertilised egg to embryo, to larva and to adult, and these processes are controlled by different sets of growth controlling genes.

So note well the difference between the data and what the evolutionist says about it. The Californian researchers are quite correct in claiming gene regulation of sea urchin development is well understood, but never forget that no-one has observed one set of regulatory genes change into another. Claiming that it happened 268 million years ago is blind faith based on an already held belief in evolution and long ages. (Ref. echinoderms, genetics, fossils)

Evidence News vol. 15, No. 21
18 November 2015
Creation Research Australia