Scientific discovery could rewrite evolutionary textbooks - should we trust science?
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.
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.
Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for APRIL 2017
Young People. That young people may respond generously to their vocations and seriously consider offering themselves to God in the priesthood or consecrated life.
Decades-old conundrum solved by chance - Can one of nature's squiggly insects change the fate of the world? Watch
What if one of the world's more significant issues can be corrected with help from one of the smallest, seemingly insignificant of ... continue reading
A Leak in the core of an Earthen Dam is known to trigger catastrophic failure within hours. Oroville's Earthen Dam has a persistent ... continue reading
Antarctica may be melting faster than thought, according to a new study. Antarctica is a region of concern because its ice, if melted, ... continue reading
Our planet is drowning in plastic, and this is becoming obvious, even in the pristine Arctic. Researcher now estimate that up to 1,200 tons ... continue reading
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. What happened next changed everything. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- A Christian miracle took place at the White House, so why isn't the ...
- St. Cletus: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, April 26, 2017
- Daily Readings for Wednesday, April 26, 2017
- Decades-old conundrum solved by chance - Can one of nature's squiggly ...
- Pope Francis offers Egypt a special video message - 'I am honoured to ...
- Cherokee Nation sues drug distributors while CDC claims opioid deaths ...
- Daily Reading for Thursday, April 27th, 2017 HD Video
- Day 5 - Novena for Workers, the Unemployed and Underemployed HD
- Day 4 - Novena for Workers, the Unemployed and Underemployed HD
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, April 26th, 2017 HD
- France's Presidential Runoff: Another choice between a nationalist and a globalist HD
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.