But the discovery actually strengthens Darwin’s theory of evolution.
Scientists have discovered a deep-sea microorganism that looks the same today as it did more than two billion years ago. And when you realise that’s nearly half the history of Earth, it’s pretty damn impressive. The microorganism in question is a tiny sulphur bacterium, which is too small to see with the naked eye. Scientists from the University of California, Los Angeles, recently discovered fossilised remains of the bacteria from 1.8 billion years ago, preserved in rocks from the coastal waters of Western Australia. And, when they examined them, they found that, incredibly, these fossils looked exactly the same as previously discovered bacteria that lived in the same region 2.3 billion years ago.
Even more impressive was the fact that both of these samples were also physically indistinguishable from modern sulphur bacteria that lives in mud off the coast of Chile. The results have been published in the Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences.
“It seems astounding that life has not evolved for more than 2 billion years — nearly half the history of the Earth,” said earth and space scientist J. William Schopf, who led the project, in a press release. But although this might seem like cause for doubt over Charles Darwin’s theory that natural selection causes organisms to change over time, the discovery actually supports the theory. “The rule of biology is not to evolve unless the physical or biological environment changes, which is consistent with Darwin,” said Schopf, in the release. And the environment that these microorganisms live in hasn’t changed for 3 billion years – so it’s had no need to update itself. Via This bacteria hasn’t evolved in more than two billion years