A group of scientists has found a 2.3 billion year old deep sea organism that seemed to have escaped the clutches of evolution. The discovery of a lack of progression in the creature, the team suggests through its paper, highlight Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection. Commenting on the discovery, UCLA professor and main author of the study, J. William Schopf said: “It seems astounding that life has not evolved for more than 2 billion years — nearly half the history of the Earth. Given that evolution is a fact, this lack of evolution needs to be explained,”
What did the team discover?
The team discovered the microorganisms in rock samples collected from the coastal regions of Western Australia. In addition to these rocks, the researchers also analyzed rock samples of the same microorganism from the same area in rocks aged 2.3 billion. Both these sets were impossible to tell apart from modern day sulfur bacteria located near the coastal region of Chile. The discovery highlights the fact that these deep sea bacteria were able to adapt successfully to their stable and simple natural environment with the need to evolve, claims the lead author.
Discovery does not negate but supports Darwin’s theory
The latest finding might tempt Darwin’s critics to say that Darwin was wrong in his deduction. While Darwin’s work was more in the direction of the evolution of species rather than those that escaped evolution, Darwin’s work does not state that species need to change even after finding their place in the ecosystem. His theory, on the other hand, states that a change is needed if there is a change in the ecological unit or an increase in competition for the world’s resources. “The rule of biology is not to evolve unless the physical or biological environment changes, which is consistent with Darwin” claimed Prof Schopf.