Genetic Study Fails to Find Platypus Evolution

Strange, I thought the mystery of how the duck-billed platypus evolved was settled by someone who expressed an opinion on long ago. No? That might explain why there has been a spate of news on this funky biofluorescent critter that defies traditional and Neo-Darwinism.

Credit: Flickr / Brisbane City Council (CC BY 2.0)

We have a couple of articles to consider. While there is some overlap, each has material that is worth our time. DNA sequencing is interesting and useful, but when researchers presuppose particles-to-platypus evolution and have a flawed epistemology (the study of knowledge), they find lack of genetic information support for evolution. They also draw conclusions by using their Charles Darwin Club Secret Decoder Rings™, but dance around actual evidence.

How in the world did a creature as odd as the duck-billed platypus originate? This creature lays eggs like a reptile, has venom like a reptile, spurs like a chicken, excretes milk from belly patches to nurse its young, has fur that glows, webbed feet like a duck, and uses its sensor-filled duck-like bill to find aquatic prey like paddlefish do since it swims with its eyes closed. If it evolved, then did its ancestors include mammals, reptiles, birds, and fish? Researchers looked to its genetics to help unravel its origins. In the end, their conclusions drew more from philosophy than fact.

The research team based at the University of Copenhagen published their finds in the prestigious journal Nature.1 They used multiple sequencing techniques to capture different lengths of platypus DNA. Computational methods stitched these lengths together and assigned them to positions on the platypus chromosomes. They compared various DNA sequences to similar ones in chicken, Tasmanian devil, common wall lizard, opossum, and human.

To read this first article, see "Does Oddball Platypus Genome Reveal Its Origins?" Be sure to come back for the second one!

Examining the research on the platypus genome helps us to determine if there were valid explanations or just another pile of horse apples on the trail. Presupposing evolution taints the study, but to say that the research gives insight into the mechanisms of human evolution is excessive. It is far more reasonable to admit that there is still no evidence for this critter's evolution, and that evidence supports recent creation instead. There is no plausible way it evolved from several disparate sources.

It’s been a long time since scientists have tried to Darwinize the platypus. Any progress?

The duck-billed platypus and the echidna are the only two members of a group of marsupial mammals called monotremes. They lay eggs instead of bearing live young. The platypus looks like a hodgepodge of unrelated animals. Its original scientific name Ornithorhynchus paradoxus, “bird-snouted paradox,” (now Ornithorhynchus anatinus) indicated the puzzled looks its 1798 discoverers wore when first looking at it. Has the mystery of platypus evolution been solved since the 2016 Aug 1 attempt?

. . . Anticipating some good scientific work, let us approach the story with an open mind, seriously and respectfully.

To read the rest, duck on over to "Any Evolution for Platypus Yet?". I'll bill you later. One last piece here, a short article with a brief video from Answers News embedded.