Charles Darwin Wrong About Coral Atolls, Shows Study

    May 16, 2013
    Sean Patterson
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Though Charles Darwin is known as the father of modern biology, evolutionary biologists are well aware that he got many aspects of evolution wrong. In particular, with no knowledge of genetics Darwin was left to speculate heavily on the mechanisms of evolutionary change.

Now, geologists have discovered another hypothesis on which Darwin was not entirely right. According to a LiveScience report, a new paper published recently in the journal Geology shows that Darwin was wrong about how coral atolls grow.

In his 1842 book The Structure and Distribution of Coral Reefs, Darwin had originally proposed that coral atolls grow as islands sink and are actually very thick. Though in the 1950s Darwin was proven right about atolls being thousands of feet thick, geologists at MIT have now found that glacially induced sea-level cycles (a mechanism that had not been uncovered in the 19th century) are also responsible for coral atoll growth.

The new paper finds that reefs can grow or not as sea levels rise or sink with the melting of glaciers. With different islands sinking at different rates, the processes combine to create the variety of different atoll growths seen throughout the world. Researchers state that this accounts for reefs that Darwin’s purely subsidence-based ideas don’t.

Being magnanimous, a co-author the the study told LiveScience that Darwin was “mostly right.” The paper points out that the Society Islands, where Darwin gathered evidence for his reef book, is one of the rare places on the planet where glacial cycles and sinking combine in such a way as to create “perfect” atolls.

  • James Miller

    The headline reads “Darwin Wrong” As though to say This mans tremendous body of work in error, Still given the time frame, and courage to announce the Real actions in the emergence of life ,this Man is one of the great Logic and realists of all time.

    • Dennis

      I agree. What was Darwin’s error? To not know about the effect of glaciers?

      • Callisto9

        Bullshit and sensationalist title. Feel suckered for even reading it. Minds far inferior to Darwins at work here.

  • NoThanks

    Darwin was wrong about many things, duh. God, on the other hand, has never been wrong. Those of you who think all there is to life is what you can get while you are were are in for a rude awakening the day you meet your Maker.


    • Anthony

      I’ve already met mine. Terry and Teresa. My mother and father.

  • Seana

    You mean a book written in 1842 (171 YEARS AGO) wasn’t scientifically correct? That’s astounding to me(said in my MOST sarcastic voice). Why would anyone think that a scientific book written 171 years ago would be correct. He had the right idea, but lacked A LOT of data that has been discovered in the years between 1842 and now.

  • http://0 L/ Regan

    Charles Darwin courted controversy yet bequeathed to us the theory of evolution. The survival of the fittest and the law of the jungle are phrases so common today that even a four year old child would have some idea of their meaning. However, according to The many studies as of 1998, there are too many complications in Darwinian biology and theory. A prime example is the “tree of life” drawn by Darwin himself in his famous notebooks. The tree of life portrayed how species are interlinked and what the whole exercise meant to show was that natural selection is the engine of evolution. On the contrary the latest experiments by well known non-Christian geneticists show otherwise. According to them it is not a tree-like structure but rather an unexplained thicket of pods planted to replicate themselves.

    It has been compared to a tangled banking system. And the fact of the matter is that it is impenetrable and NOT macro evolutionarily a possibility. Darwin as a small child used to explore the greenery surrounding his house for fossils and plant/animal species. That was when his curiosity was piqued and later on as an adult he decided to travel aboard the ship that led him round the world. His discoveries in the form of meticulous notebooks formed the basis of the grand concept of evolutionary thinking. All history, religion, structures, fields such as linguistics and physiology~ all, even a person family has an evolutionary history.

    Today, though we are advancing at such a fast pace that even Darwin has come under criticism. There is the obvious fact of crossbreeding which has come up as a stumbling block in the way. Genetic tests show that many species swap genetic materials. And these range from the microscopic to the macroscopic. And the interesting thing is their offspring are sometimes fertile. At least 10% of close animals species can engage in hybridization. This pretty much discards the his tree of life hypothesis at one go. *It was an over-simplified version of biological determinism. More complex models are needed today which lend credence to newer realities which supplant the theories of the past.* This is not only the need of the time but a rational step in eliminating a blind worship of the past even if it is in the name of science.

  • Josh

    The author is a biased dip**** that just wants us to read the article.

  • Travlynman

    Any explorer etc. can only state what is logical at the time of their find. Yes, the findings of a search definitely say that the point in question is the truth. However, further digging always unearths more on a subject. Isn’t this what we call science? Even Einstein has been proven wrong lately on a few issues. Lets look ahead there’s more intresting things to behold.