Science and religion disagree on many issues. However, recent scientific discoveries about snakes may put an end to this controversy.
Everybody remembers the Bible story about Adam and Eve. The serpent was the most subtle of all beasts; he tries to convince Eve to try the fruit from the forbidden tree. The woman refused, saying that God forbade them to eat from that tree because those who eat from that tree die. The serpent answered her that she wouldn't die. Finally, the woman succumbed to the persuasion of the serpent, violating the will of the Lord, and then gave the fruit to Adam. Then, the punishment followed: the Serpent was cursed to crawl on its belly and eat dust.
The newest scientific discoveries may prove the Bible story and make the science and religion agree.
The matter is that scientists have found in Lebanon the fossilized remains of an ancient snake with preserved legs. The team was able to see the legs hidden in the rock, without destroying the sample thanks to the new technologies of imaging. This discovery helped the scientists to clarify some issues concerning the evolution of snakes.
Initially, the snakes had four limbs. Modern experts can't decide who was the ancestor of these animals, which eventually "lost" his feet. There are two main versions; either this creature lived in the water, or it was a land lizard.
The researchers studied the remains of the discovered ancient snake Eupodophis descouensi, which is about 95 million years old. The bones of the 50-centimetre reptile are partially hidden by the rock, but on the surface, you can clearly see one of the rear limbs. Thus, the total number of the found remains of snakes with preserved limb has reached three. Because this amount is so small, the researchers decided not to destroy the new sample to see the second half of the pelvis.
To explore the remains, the specialists used the technology of imaging using synchrotron x-ray study, which allows you to create three-dimensional images of very high quality. Scientists have found out that within the rock there was the second limb of the snake, bent at the knee. It lacks some of the bones of the foot and the big toe, which is typical for modern terrestrial lizards. It is noted that this technology was first used for the paleontological experiment.
The researchers say that it's too early to put an end to the debate about the ancestor of snakes. "The question of the origin of snakes will not be solved in the next ten years", - said the representative of the research team.
Maybe the snakes really had legs until God cursed them to crawl. Who knows?