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‘Earliest’ ancestor of cephalopods

Where is the evolution?


Squidgy tentacles!

An interesting new species of fossilised squid-like creature, sporting 10 tentacles, has been found in Montana, USA, and given the name Syllipsimopodi bideni. Among the cephalods, it is more particularly called a vampyropod.1 Its discoverers claim it is ancestral to both octopuses and vampire squid. An octopus has eight (‘octo’) arms. Squid belong to the superorder Decapodiformes and have 10 (‘deca’) arms; compare the word ‘decade’.

All such creatures are mostly soft-bodied; they don’t have a skeleton. The new vampyropod does have a gladius (or pen), a hard internal body part. According to Mike Vecchione, a Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History zoologist, “It’s very rare to find soft tissue fossils, except in a few places”.2 Yet, in the Mississippian (Lower Carboniferous) layer of Montana, they found this “exceptionally well-preserved vampyropod” with some evidence of a 2.6 cm long ink sac.3 To prevent soft tissues from decaying, special conditions have to be met, including rapid burial to isolate it from the elements and scavengers.

CMI has written extensively about Noah’s Flood providing exactly such conditions (and not just in a few places, but throughout the world). Slow and gradual processes prove to be very problematic for evolutionists attempting to explain excellent preservation.

Squid just got a whole lot ‘older’

Does this octopus share a common ancestor with the squid?

Another issue with this fossil is that it’s ‘dated’ to be 330 million years old, pushing back the previous ‘date’ for the oldest creatures of this sort by about 82 million years. That approximately 33% increase in geological ‘age’ is because it was found in a deeper layer (Mississippian) than the previously deemed oldest vampyropod (middle Triassic). It means that, although vampyropods used to be seen as contemporary with early dinosaurs, they are now believed to have evolved much earlier than those ‘terrible lizards’. In addition, the fossil and the artist’s impression look just like modern day squid (see here and here)—there’s no sign of evolution. Most likely Syllipsimopodi bideni was buried during the inundatory stage of Noah’s flood about 4,400 years ago.4

Removing of existing body parts isn’t evolution

The conventional evolutionary narrative goes like this (quoting from the new paper): “ten sucker-bearing arms are preserved” and this “ten arm condition is ancestral for cephalopods and vampyropods” (some of which only have eight arms), therefore, its descendants “have either reduced arm pair II to filaments […] or lost the arm pair entirely.”3 Even if two arms/tentacles were lost, this is the opposite of what evolutionists need to demonstrate, namely the innovation of specified complex structures.

Juvenile Vampire Squid (Vampyroteuthis infernalis)

What the evolutionists do not discuss is the gradual addition of any of these arms, step-by-step, during the alleged millions of years that preceded the existence of this ancestral species, Syllipsimopodi bideni. This is reminiscent of Darwin’s Origin of Species which discussed many species and variations in them, but not their origins. In it he also said, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.”5 Here is another example where the authors of a scientific paper about a fossil oviraptorosaur make some sweeping statements, and gloss over many required details. It is understandable that people labouring under the evolutionary paradigm resort to such statements; they’re dealing with historical science. Alleged evolutionary changes in the past are not repeatable and they have definitely not been observed—so speculation reigns freely.

More evidence for the Flood

God created the squids and octopuses, together with other creatures to swarm the waters, on Day 5 of Creation week (Genesis 1:20–22). The fossil, and particularly the artist’s rendition, is readily recognised as a squid, with no sign of the significant changes one would expect over an alleged 330 million years of evolution. Instead, the stasis (lack of change) during that imagined vast time period, combined with the exquisite preservation, readily testify to a rapid burial of this creature during Noah’s Flood, about 4,400 years ago.

Published: 18 October 2022

References and notes 

  1. Part of the superorder Octopodiformes. Return to text.
  2. Associated Press in Washington, Octopuses were around before dinosaurs, fossil find suggests, theguardian.com, 8 Mar 2022. Return to text.
  3. Whalen, C. and Landman, N., Fossil coleoid cephalopod from the Mississippian Bear Gulch Lagerstätte sheds light on early vampyropod evolution, Nature Communications 13(1107), 2022 | doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-28333-5. Return to text.
  4. Walker, T., The biblical geologic model, biblicalgeology.net, accessed 3 May 2022; biblicalgeology.net/images/stories/resources/geological_model_1.pdf. Return to text.
  5. Darwin, C., The Origin of Species, 6th edition—with additions and corrections to 1872, John Murray, London, p. 146, 1876. Return to text.

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