295 Million Year Old Silk? Recent Discovery Could Be Problematic for Evolutionists

Caddisfly silk
Photo Credit: Nature.com

Christian scientists who believe in a young earth are citing the recent discovery of fossilized silk cocoons as evidence that many fossilized materials are much younger than evolutionists allege.

As previously reported, scientists have repeatedly been surprised by the discoveries of various delicate biomaterials that have supposedly remained intact for millions of years. These materials include shell proteins, ancient embryos, dinosaur skin, and dinosaur blood vessels.

Now scientists are puzzled by another material that purportedly survived millions of years: silk cocoons.

A team of Polish and Brazilian researchers published a study in the journal “Scientific Reports.” The researchers say they analyzed marine deposits in southern Brazil and identified “intriguing fossils” that appear to be larval cases constructed by caddisflies.

“Caddisflies (Trichoptera) are small, cosmopolitan insects closely related to the Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies),” the researchers note. “Most caddisflies construct protective cases during their larval development.”

Caddisfly larvae make their protective cases, or cocoons, using secreted silk. The researchers were surprised to find a collection of these cocoons in Brazilian marine deposits that reportedly date back to the Early Permian era, or 295 million years ago.

“The cases are primarily composed of whitish, transversely arranged and tightly joined together thin strips,” the researchers report. “In some instances, however, the cases may be completely disintegrated in the form of isolated strips chaotically scattered on the bedding plane. The strips form the main part of the cases and presumably represent the fossilized remnants of the silk material used by the larvae for case construction.”

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The cases found in the marine layer were all 0.5-2.0 inches long, and many of the cases had plant fragments attached to them.

In their journal article, the researchers attempt to make sense of this discovery through an evolutionary paradigm, saying caddisfly larvae must have learned how to construct silk cases “at the very beginning of their evolution in marine environments.”

“As these caddisfly-like larval cases are the oldest reported so far and come from a marine palaeoenvironment of the Gondwanan sector of the Pangea supercontinent, they would not only push back the fossil record of true caddisflies, but also shed a new light on ecology and behaviour at their very early stages of evolution,” the researchers wrote.

Brian Thomas, Science Writer for the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), says this discovery actually poses a significant challenge to evolutionists for two reasons. First, it shows that caddisflies experienced negligible evolutionary development during millions and millions of years.

“It looks like ancient caddisfly larvae took exactly the same approach to underwater home construction as their living versions,” Thomas wrote in an article published on the ICR website last week. “If so, then how did these creatures manage to resist evolutionary changes over 295 million supposed years?”

Furthermore, Thomas noted, the silk discovered by the researchers would have trouble surviving for nearly 300 million years.

“Decay experiments show that proteins do not last one million years,” he pointed out. “If future research confirms these white caddisfly larvae casings as original silk proteins, then scientists set on conventional age assignments will face a new challenge explaining how actual strands of delicate silk could last almost 300 million years.”


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  • Amos Moses

    Now waiting for the inevitable “No problem, they just last longer than we thought even though we cannot provide any evidence of same”………………but it cant be what creationists say because their idea involves “God”…………………………..

    • Oshtur

      Of course. It’s not about science, it’s about people with an obsessive-compulsive disorder about religion. Strange, isn’t it, that the ones who claim to have no religion never stop talking about it? They claim to be free from it, but obviously they are not.

    • Chris Dicus

      It was fossilized, as was made abundantly clear in the text of the paper and figure 4b. There was no protein remaining, it was completely inorganic.

  • Peter Leh

    happens all the time. if the dating does not “match up” it is clearly a “false positive” and the scientists just throw it out.

    I have been in the business long enough to see how science can be bought.

    • Cady555

      The scientists dud not find silk, they found fossils.

  • robertzaccour

    Earth is 6,000 – 8,000 years old. Proof is counting the years from Genesis to today.

    • disqus_SUijHfDO8w

      The Bible does not teach a 6000 to 8000 year old Earth.

      • bowie1

        It is usually calculated through the descendancy from Adam to Jesus which are 52 generations. It has been at one time put into a chart form.

    • MattFCharlestonSC

      That’s not proof of creation. At best that’s proof that someone a long time ago had decent reading comprehension skills.

    • TheKingOfRhye

      Two words: starlight problem.

  • disqus_SUijHfDO8w

    Giant spiders were alive in the carboniferous so its logical that there was silk present.

    • Balerion

      The cretards are trying to claim that that there is no way that silk could have survived that long.

      • Guest

        It’s fossilized silk, that they don’t understand that is the amazing thing.

        • disqus_SUijHfDO8w

          Under the right circumstances any tissue can be fossilized. Fossilized silk is no different, and it does not negate a young earth. While it is an amazing find, scientists have speculated that it was possible for silk to survive in a fossil condition for millions of years.

      • disqus_SUijHfDO8w

        They clearly do not understand the fossilization process. They take the evidence they want to see and create their own interpretation of the evidence. YEC isn’t just horrible science it’s heresy.

  • FoJC_Forever

    Christians already know evolutionists are filled with the lies of the Devil. We don’t need any more proof, other than that which the LORD has provided by Faith.

    Follow Jesus, find Truth.

    • MattFCharlestonSC

      Yep, science is the lies of the devil… until you’re sick and need medical science to get better.

      • Becky

        Not science…just evolution. You know, the notion that has never been proven, even after years and years of research. Not a shred of evidence.

        • John N

          So what part of the theory evolution do you think is wrong and why?

        • MattFCharlestonSC

          Tons of evidence. You choose not to believe it (which is your choice). Have a nice day.

      • FoJC_Forever

        I said evolutionists, not science. Those who think science is the knowledge of God are fools. Science is knowledge gained through experimentation and observation.

        You can’t prove evolution through experimentation and observation. You can only theorize based on incomplete evidence. Scientists fill in the blanks with “scientists believe” assumptions and assertions.

        Hidden in the past of medical science are the abhorrent experiments of God-less people who have no respect for human life.

        • MattFCharlestonSC

          Evolution is a *scientific* theory– like the theory of gravity. A scientific theory is backed up by evidence, regardless of your willingness to accept it. Creation cannot be proven through experimentation and observation, but we can observe phenomena related to evolution, like natural selection. I support your right to believe whatever you want to believe regardless of whether or not I think it is valid, but I don’t think creation should be taught as science anymore than I think the hindu creation story should be taught as science. If they discover tomorrow that everything they know about evolution is false, the answer still won’t be Creation – that is strictly in the realm of religious faith.

          • FoJC_Forever

            It is Reality. You will see that one Day. Until then, you grope in the Darkness of Sin.

            Follow Jesus, find Truth.

        • Sguk

          Actually u will find all (or most of) the ppl who originally looked into science and experimantations in set field believed in intelligent design or a master architect (God)… U need to stop believing what u want and except the fact that over the last 50 yrs science has established the biblical definition of God. Have u ever actually looked into the big bang theory as opposed to having it drip fed to you on the TV. Up until 50 yrs ago science had the Bible written off at the 1St line in the beginning there was nothing. But that’s now proven. Look into the forces of nature which is science term for God u will find that these ‘forces’ #are not physical #they pre exist the physical # and they created the physical…. That I’d the biblical definition of God…. That science has proven…. Psychology says that humans naturally will believe what they want over the truth…. U need to stop this and stop quoting TV science (which is usually false)

          • FoJC_Forever

            Science has not established the biblical definition of God in any way shape or form. The only way to know and understand God is through Faith, which comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, Jesus (the) Christ. You are operating in the natural, according to senses, not in the Holy Spirit.

            God has given you the choice, receive His Spirit or not. You won’t get anyone who knows Jesus to trust in what they can see over what we know by Faith through the Word and Spirit of God.

            Follow Jesus, find Truth.

    • gogo0

      faith is the absence of proof.
      “I feel that…” is not proof of anything

      • FoJC_Forever

        Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

        Faith is proof.

        Follow Jesus, find Truth.

        • gogo0

          “evidence of things not seen”? that is utter nonsense.
          using that, faith in evolution is evidence and proof of it. now do you still agree with that ludicrous definition of faith?

        • gogo0

          “evidence of things not seen”? that is utter nonsense.
          using that, faith in evolution is evidence and proof of it. now do you still agree with that ludicrous definition of faith?

          EDIT: reposting because the last comment may not be displayed due to the full hyperlink.
          this is where that pearl of ignorance came from:
          http : // imgur . com / sobulea
          so faith is proof, and your citation for this is an image circulating the internet.

          • FoJC_Forever

            No, it’s not. I’m not sure why people like yourself waste your time trying to draw those of us in the Light back into the Darkness in which you abide. Before I knew Jesus, I never expended effort trying to get people to not believe in Jesus (the) Christ. You are a tool of the Deceiver, Lucifer.

            Faith only comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, Jesus (the) Christ. Religious belief can take on many forms, and people have been fooled by the Devil into calling it faith. It is not Faith, it is Unbelief. Unbelief is grounded in the senses and rejects the things of the Spirit of God.

            Get behind me, Satan, for you love the things of the fallen world, not the things of the Kingdom of God. I am going to follow Jesus into Eternal Life, regardless of your banterings, whimperings, and chidings.

            Follow Jesus, find Life.

      • Becky

        An abundance of faith is what evolutionists exercise in order to believe in the theory of evolution, because there’s no evidence to support it as a fact…none.

        • gogo0

          you are saying that skeletal remains, dna, carbon dating, and observation of evolution in many species around the world are… faith?
          please present us the evidence for god (any of them) having done it. at least scientists are trying

          • Becky

            There are so many flaws/errors in carbon dating that it should be considered an insult to all intelligent scientists. Btw, there’s nothing to indicate that the theory is observable. Since it has not been proven, of course, you have to exercise a measure of faith in order to believe it. Evolutionists have nothing else…just a theory…faith in a theory.

            Sadly, evolutionists and their followers are so preoccupied with trying to prove something that doesn’t exist, they’re unable to see the evidence of God’s existence. It’s everywhere…archaeological evidence…the individual and specific complexities of each of his creations (heaven, earth and everything within)…fulfilled prophecies…a living, personal relationship with God Almighty through Christ.

            As we live, important warnings, given by Christ, about the end of time are unfolding. He said it would be like in the days of Sodom. Now, take a look around you.

          • gogo0

            yes, yes, we have known that the end times are near for hundreds of years now. I think judgment day may be allegorical for a person dying while holding their breath for its imminent arrival. ironically, christians worldwide being suddenly whisked away would be the best evidence of what they believe in being true and not simply another doomsday fable.

            if your claim *everything* as proof of god then I can claim that humans not having gills is proof of evolution. neither argument holds any weight because they are both nonsense that lack anything to substantiate them.

            it is fine for you to claim to have a personal relationship with god that has convinced you, but that is evidence that only you have access to, and is indistinguishable from a child having an imaginary friend to someone who bases their decisions on reason

          • Becky

            Haven’t you noticed how our lives (worldwide) have changed so dramatically of late? These changes that are occurring are according to what Christ said it would be like in the end. He likened it to the days of Sodom and there’s a reason Christ specified it. Sin, in general, is getting worse, but sexual immorality (homosexuality/ssm, adultery, bestiality, etc) has quickly and steadily become more pervasive than ever before. Sodom was filled with sexually immoral people (young and old). The last thing Sodom citizens tried to engage in before their destruction? All of the men, youngest to oldest, wanted to rape some visiting males (Genesis 19:4,5). We were warned of it and now we’re beginning to witness it.

          • John N

            Yes, we noticed. In fact, never before in history so many people in the world had such a high level of well-being. Scientific progress being one of the reasons. You know, the progress built on theories like the theory of evolution and the atomic theory, both of which you seem to deny.

            As for your feeling of growing immorality, christians have been warning us for this for more than 2000 years. Your story of moral depravity is getting somewhat boring. Wasn’t the second coming supposed to happen in the witnesses’ lifetime? I wonder what went wrong all those years ago.

          • John N

            There are so many flaws / errors in carbon dating? Do you care to list them? Or are you just going to continue spouting unsupported claims?

          • Becky

            Ha! Like you’re unaware of them. You just don’t accept the facts. Hence, it won’t matter what I say. I, on the other hand, accept the fact that the theory of evolution doesn’t have a leg to stand on. It’s common sense. It’s logic.

          • John N

            Yes, I’m unaware of them. Just like the thousands of scientist that use carbon and other radiometric dating techniques on a daily basis and seem to be very satisfied with the consistent results these methods generate.

            So your claim of there being so many flaws / errors with these techniques makes us all very curious. What do you, clearly not a scientist, do know about carbon dating techniques that no real scientist has ever considered? Please don’t leave us into dark, lighten our minds!

    • Chris Dicus

      Then hail Satan! For he seems to be the only supernatural entity who provides truth.

      • FoJC_Forever

        You are deceived.

  • Cady555

    Scientists had millions of data points. Now they have millions plus one. Existing data does not disappear when new data is found. Scientists don’t go back to a flat earth and the four humors when new evidence us found. Knowledge is cumulative. New data is incorporated.

    There is nothing here that in any way contradicts evolution.

    • bowie1

      What are the four humors you mention in your comments? Should I laugh?

      • Cady555

        Seriously? The four humors was the driving idea behind medical care from ancient Greece to approximately the end of the 19th Century. During the Influenza Pandemic in 1918, older doctors still refused to believe the flu was caused by a microscopic virus. They continued to treat disease by balancing bodily fluids. George Washington died because the medical treatment he received included bleeding to bring the humors into balance and cure his infected throat.

        From Wikipedia “Essentially, this theory holds that the human body is filled with four basic substances, called humors, which are in balance when a person is healthy. All diseases and disabilities supposedly resulted from an excess or deficit of one of these four humors. These deficits were thought to be caused by vapors inhaled or absorbed by the body. The four humors are black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, and blood.”

        The idea was popular and accepted for at least 2000 years. Books were written about it. Medical students studied it. Unfortunately, there was no evidence to support it, and it was dead wrong. Literally. It was a myth.

        Rejecting Evolution in favor of a discredited myth makes as much sense as rejecting the Germ Theory of disease and going back to the four humors. After all, George Washington believed inbalances in the four humors caused disease. That should be good enough for anyone.

        • bowie1

          Interesting but since I was never a medical student I may not have heard about this. Obviously words have more than one meaning and sometimes some body parts description (such as the funny bone) don’t match what happens you hit it up against something! P.S. Some also take Wikipedia info with a grain of salt by the way. All said I still believe in a creator who created everything complete which only deteriorated after what is defined as the fall.

          • Cady555

            Wikipedia is perfectly fine as a secondary source, to get a general understanding of a topic. It can’t be cited as a primary source in scholarly papers, but it is handy for casual use.

            Do some reading of sources that do not have a religious agenda. You will be surprised by the wealth of evidence. And think. About 99.5% of all species that have lived on earth are now extinct. How does that fit with the idea of a perfect creation?

            Try Wikipedia’s Intro to Evolution and click on all the links.

    • hytre64

      Any scientific theory survives until ONE FACT is found to disprove it.

      For example, it wouldn’t matter how many times Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity agreed with experimental results, it would only take ONE negative result to show that they theory was wrong.

      • Cady555

        Yes. And with Evolution no fact has been found that disproves it. Not one.

  • TheKingOfRhye

    “the recent discovery of fossilized silk cocoons”

    “Furthermore, Thomas noted, the silk discovered by the researchers would have trouble surviving for nearly 300 million years.”

    (facepalm)

    Key word in the first quote: FOSSILIZED

  • Becky

    Proof that God Almighty exists…only mankind was made in the image of God.

    • John N

      You are very correct, Becky. The only scientifically sound explanation for fossil caddisfly larvae casings from the Early Permian is that your god created man in his image.

      And I think that is not all you’ve got. Certainly your bible contains first hand evidence of the special creation of the hundreds of thousands different caddisfly species, extinct and still alive. There must be old testament prophesies, hundreds of them, predicting this find. Of course you have the personal testimony of Noah, showing row after row of caddisfly marching into the ark on the way to their quarters. And didn’t Jesus mention fossil caddisfly in one of his sermons?

      Taking into account all this irrefutable evidence, ‘goddidit’ must be the only possible explanation.

  • Chris Dicus

    If one were so inclined to actually read the research, that individual would find that the “silk” was authigenic mineral replacement. The exterior was aluminosilicates, while the interior was the same but enriched in calcium and sulfur. There was no carbon or nitrogen. What that means is this silk was fossilized. It was not proteinaceous. I would expect a retraction, but we are dealing with creationists and so the truth is not a primary concern. Or secondary, tertiary… Hell, it’s not even a consideration.

  • The Illuminati

    Oh good grief, i can’t facepalm hard enough.