A research study published in February’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that Darwin’s theory of evolution can be confirmed due to the non-evolution of a sulphur-loving microbe.This recent discovery provides evidence of a microbe that appears to have remained unchanged for about 2 billion years.
The lead author of the analysis, William Schopf, explains evolution as a response to changes in an organism’s physical or biological environment. Therefore if the environment doesn’t change then life should not evolve. The microbe is an example of the latter. The microbe’s environment was well isolated beneath modern sea-floor muck and hence it was not altered by wave action or other types of mixing that could effect conditions within the sediments.
In 2007 an integral part of the research was discovered. Two chilean researchers Victor Gallardo and Carola Espinoza published their discovery of communities of thread-like bacteria found beneath undersea mud along the west coast of Central and South America and out to the Galapagos Islands. This research displayed the communities of these organisms that appear worldwide. The Chilean scientists suggest that these communities of thread-like bacteria have been populating the planet for billions of years.
Five years later William Schopf contacts the researchers to compare samples of rock formations he had acquired. that were found in western Australia The results showed that the microfossils on Schopf’s rock formations were infact the same organism. This connection lead to the comparison of three different populations of microbes found in in oxygen-free, light-free, sulfur-laden marine mud, that all seemed to be thriving in these conditions. This discovery of ancient population of microbes that seem to remain unchanged due to stagnant environment can be considered a premature piece of evidence in confirming Darwin’s theory of evolution.
“How a Microbe’s Non-evolution Could Confirm Darwin’s Theory.” The Christian Science Monitor. The Christian Science Monitor, n.d. Web. 05 Mar. 2015.