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Echinoid (Fossil heart)
Echinoid (Fossil heart)
Echinoid (Fossil heart)
In 1565, ten years after the word fossil was first coined, sea urchins were first catalogued by the Zurich physician Gesner. At that time they were referred to as Jewish stones. Gesner had no idea they were the remains of living creatures. He lived in a day when the ancient pagan Greek idea that fossils were formed by mysterious forces in the earth was very prevalent through Europe. Such views were still prominent in the 1760's when a researcher by the name of Valentini published a book in Frankfurt entitled 'Collections of Objects and Curiosities'. He described sea urchins with thick spines as male stones, and thin spined sea urchins as of the female sex. It was his belief that these stones could actually become pregnant and bear offspring. This he thought accounted for the presence of so many Jewish stones (fossil sea urchins) in the rocks. Such sexed stones became very popular and interest in them led to the discovery of the first known Plesiosaur, by people collecting fossil sea urchins.

The word Urchin was originally used for the land dwelling spiny hedgehog.
It was only a short conceptual leap to apply the name Urchin to a spiny sea animal. Calling the hedgehog an urchin has been almost totally forgotten, so we now use the name Urchin only in relation to this spiny sea creature.
Sea urchins are found widely through the fossil record and have provided no help to the theory of evolution at all. Why not? Firstly they appear suddenly in the fossil record without any traceable ancestors. Secondly they don't seem to have done any thing except produce their own kind as God said He created all creatures to do.



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