Skip to content

Scientific discovery could rewrite evolutionary textbooks - should we trust science?

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
3/20/2017 (7 months ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Science is a method of rational inquiry that works.

Scientists think they will have to rewrite the evolutionary history of the planet after discovering evidence of the first plants. Their evidence suggests the oldest plants evolved 1.6 billion years ago, about 400 million years earlier than previously believed.

Red algae is still common, and can sometimes stain water the color of blood.

Red algae is still common, and can sometimes stain water the color of blood.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
3/20/2017 (7 months ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: red algae, India, science, faith, religion, history, 1.6 billion, 1.2 billion


LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- Scientists may have to rewrite the evolutionary history of the planet, following a discovery that challenges their present knowledge. Fossils from India appear to indicate that red algae, one of the simplest and first forms of plant life on Earth, existed 1.6 billion years ago. Red algae was believed to evolve 1.2 billion years ago.

The discovery suggests red algae existed at least 400 million years earlier than previously thought. In evolutionary history 400 million years is a tremendous time. By comparison, only 65 million years have passed between us and the extinction of the dinosaurs.


The fossils discovered in India show the same simple, multi-cellular structure of red algae. Red algae is believed to be responsible for forming the oxygen rich atmosphere in which life began to thrive.

Today, red algae is common and is crucial to the development of coral reefs. It is also eaten as nori, a key sushi ingredient.

The need to rewrite the evolutionary history of Earth is important. Science, which is a method of rational inquiry, sometimes yields new information that causes us to challenge old assumptions. When the new information is verified as accurate, it is incorporated into the body of knowledge. Sometimes that means we have to rewrite textbooks. This is not a failure of science, but rather a strength, and an expectation of pursuing rational inquiry. Better information means better knowledge. With better knowledge, we can make better decisions.

While some Christians view science unfavorably, the discipline is embraced by the Catholic Church which operates the world's oldest continuing scientific mission via the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Science has deep roots, both philosophical and rational which come from religion. Both Christian and Muslim scholars made early and profound contributions to the discipline of science.
 
Science can help us to understand the world as it was and as it is, and how things work. We can make inferences and predictions about the future. This discipline is of inestimable value to humanity and is responsible for improving our quality of life to modern standards.

However, religion still plays a critical role in the human experience. Religion provides us with a why, and it helps us to make moral decisions. It provides the sense of purpose and the hope of something greater. And certainly there must be because we thirst for this greater knowledge.

Science tells us we thirst only for things that exist. Naturally, the fact we thirst for God also suggests God must surely exist.

So science and faith have their place and their purpose, and we welcome the new understandings science provides, even when it means we have to rewrite the textbooks.

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for OCTOBER 2017
Workers and the Unemployed.
That all workers may receive respect and protection of their rights, and that the unemployed may receive the opportunity to contribute to the common good.


Comments


More Green

Another year without summer ahead? TWO volcanoes threaten catastrophic eruptions Watch

Image of Over 120,000 people have been evacuated on the island of Bali, away from the slopes of Mt. Agung, which is about to erupt.

Two volcanoes are about to erupt almost simultaneously, spewing massive quantities of ash and soot into the air. Scientists have warned ... continue reading


7.1 quake rattles Mexico City, scores dead Watch

Image of The powerful quake was felt as far away as Guadalajara.

A 7.1 quake has rocked Mexico City. Buildings swayed and people dove for cover, but there are now some reports of damage.At least 42 people ... continue reading


Floridians think they're prepared for Irma. They're wrong, and here's why Watch

Image of Hurricane Irma is so large, it filled the window of the International Space Station.

Hurricane Irma has destroyed two Caribbean islands, and claimed at least ten lives. Now, the storm is headed towards Florida where it will ... continue reading


Largest ever earthquake swarm detected under killer Yellowstone supervolcano as magma recharges Watch

Image of More than 2,300 quakes have rattled Yellowstone this summer.

Yellowstone is now the site of the largest earthquake swarm ever recorded with 2,357 quakes registered since June. The national park, ... continue reading


Pope Francis wants you to pray for care of creation and the poor Watch

Image of Let us be thankful and care for all creation.

Today is the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, and Pope Francis has asked all Christians to pray for the Earth and the poor. ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Catholic Online MasterClass
Learn from experts

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Catholic Media Missionaries
The New Evangelization

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.