Thoroughly Modern Lamprey
And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life.
Lampreys are very odd creatures. They are fish, and hence are vertebrates. However, they have no jaw, so many species of lamprey are parasitic, burrowing into the flesh of other fish, with their toothed, tunnel-like mouths, in order to suck their blood. A recent article on the Science Daily website said this about them:
While many would be repulsed by these creatures, lamprey are exciting to biologists because they are so primitive, retaining many characteristics similar to their ancient ancestors and thus offering answers to some of life’s biggest evolutionary questions.
What evolutionary questions do they think that lampreys answer? Apparently the neurons in their gut are significantly different from those in “modern” vertebrates, so these materials, as well as the jaw, must have evolved from the types found in the lamprey. The work reported in the Science Daily article appears to have that frequent combination of careful, well-executed observational science, coupled with false presuppositions from an evolutionary paradigm. Exemplary experimental work shows how the lamprey manufacture their neurons from the precursor cells. However, the evolutionary assumptions are easily challenged, because fossil lamprey have been discovered in rocks, which are considered by evolutionists to be 360 million years old.
As creationists, we have no problem with accurate and careful observational and experimental science. However, what we see, in the reporting of this research, is the desire to interpret all results according to evolutionary and deep-time narratives, although such re-interpretation is not required by the evidence.
Lord God, Your control over Your creation is such that you found pennies in the mouth of a fish to pay tax! Thank You, Lord, that You have made everything well, and that nothing has happened by chance. Amen.
California Institute of Technology. “Parasitic fish offer evolutionary insights: Vertebrates once might have relied on a different mechanism for developing neurons in the gut.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 March 2017. . Gess, R.W., Coates, M.I. and Rubidge, B.S., A lamprey from the Devonian period of South Africa, Nature 443:981–984, 2006. Image: The mouth of a lamprey, Drow Male, license: Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 Unported.