Sunday, 1 November 2009

New Discovery: Tropical Plants Have Hardly Changed in 58 million Years

The remains of the Titanoboa. Image courtesy of Ray Carson, Florida Museum of Natural History, via Wikipedia.

Joel Kontinen

Fossilised tropical plants found in a Colombian coal mine suggest that although climate has changed considerably from the time since they flourished, they can be identified as the same plant families that still grow in warm climates. There were fewer species than there are now but the discovery shows that legumes, palms, avocados and bananas have hardly changed in 58 million years.

According to the Darwinian view, climate change should cause evolution or major changes in species. However, this has not happened in these Colombian plants.

Recently, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published research online, analysing this discovery of over 2000 megafossils. Previously, the fossil of the giant snake called Titanoboa that closely resembles modern boas and anacondas was found in this same Cerrejón Formation in northern Columbia.

They are not the only plants that have resisted change for surprisingly long aeons. In 1994 scientists found a living Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis), a tree that already existed during the time of the dinosaurs. It has remained unchanged for 200 million years. At the time, Professor Carrick Chambers, director of Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens, said that finding this living fossil was as significant as discovering a small dinosaur alive.

These new discoveries call into question both plant evolution and the belief in millions of years but they support the Genesis creation model of after its kind. We should remember, though, that the biblical concept of kind (Heb. baramin) is wider than the modern term species used in biology.


Thomas, Brian. 2009. New Fossil Cache Shows Plants Haven't Changed. (28 October)

University of Florida. 2009. Plant fossils give first real picture of earliest Neotropical rainforests (15 October)

Whitehouse, David. 2003. Jurassic pot plants on sale soon. BBC News. (25 September)