Today In Fact, 23 December

Near the mouth of the Chulumna River in the Eastern Cape in 1938, a Local angler, Hendrick Goosen caught an odd looking fish which he could not identify. He showed it to a Professor of Chemistry who holidaying nearby who identified it as a Coelocanth, a fish thought to have gone extinct some 66 million years ago.

The coelacanth is an example of a Lazarus taxon in evolutionary theory. Lazarus Taxa are species that disappear for one or more periods from the fossil record, only to appear again later. The term refers to the story in the Gospel of John, in which Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead.

As Frederick Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury argued; “the doctrine of Evolution is in no sense whatever antagonistic to the teachings of Religion.” Temple died today in 1902. Even the language of evolution is imbued with Christian ideas.

– Posted by Douglas Racionzer (