Wednesday, May 31, 2006

From These Roots

Israeli scientists said on Wednesday they had discovered a prehistoric ecosystem dating back millions of years. The discovery was made in a cave near the central Israeli city of Ramle during rock drilling at a quarry. Scientists were called in and soon found eight previously unknown species of crustaceans and invertebrates similar to scorpions. ...

The cave was completely sealed off from the world, including from water and nutrients seeping through rock crevices above. Scientists who discovered the cave believe it has been intact for millions of years. "Every species we examined had no eyes which means they lost their sight due to evolution," said Dimantman.
Scientists are fighting one more battle against efforts of the Bush administration to prevent studies which seem to confirm the theory of evolution. In an excavation during refurbishing the foundation of a building in Washington, D.C., diggers found a self-contained cavern containing several previously unknown species. The cave had been bricked over many years ago beneath an office building whose current address is 310 First Street, SE, apparently to entomb a skeleton found chained to the wall within. There were also a variety of strange creatures which seemed to be ancestors of current residents of that location. That claim has become a source of heated controversy.

All of the new species were completely blind, due to countless years of not venturing into the light of day. Their lack of vision does not seem to have prevented their ability to detect metals, perhaps by smell. One colony had acted similarly to dung beetles, in gathering a huge pile of gold and silver. There seemed to be no functional purpose to this activity, leading to the suggestion that it was a form of conspicuous collection, perhaps intended to win mates by display.

Biologist Paul Myers, called in to study the discoveries, said that these organisms were also very primitive, so much so that they actually managed to live without any form of modern forebrains or hearts. "They seem to operate on a base reptilian level, without any emotional empathy even for each other", he said. "It's a classic example of Hobbesian war of all against all."

Many fundamentalist religious groups have called the discovery a hoax, and called for the cave to be sealed again or even exterminated. They have been angered by DNA tests which seem to demonstrate that current occupants of the site overhead have a closer ancestral link to these species than to primates. "They are claiming that these blind, brainless, heartless mockeries changed over time to become some kind of monsters walking among us", said Sam Wilberforce of the Prediscovery Institute. "We reject this as one more bit of monkeyshines by the godless left."

Meanwhile, noted blogger Extraneopundit charged that the whole project was dishonest and motivated by partisan considerations of trying to attack the administration, noting that the building overhead currently serves as the headquarters of a certain current political party. "Heh", he noted, "indeed."


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