Monday, January 21, 2008

Cambrian Explosion

If you accept that the earth is billions of years old (4.5 billion years according to most scientists) then there is something that took place 530 million years ago that is one the five best examples that supports that life on earth is intelligently designed. This top five example that supports Intelligent Design is called the 'Cambrian Explosion' of life that took place over a very short period (compared to earth's age of 4.5 Billion years) of between 5 and 10 million years in which all sorts of life on earth exploded onto the scene without any sort of ancestral fossils. Remember Darwinism believes in small changes over great lengths of time. Life appearing suddenly with nothing in the fossil record to explain why? This sounds like another great proof in support of God's Hand in creating and developing life in the world around us.


 

First, allow me to briefly explain what took place during the Cambrian Explosion. Prior to the Cambrian Explosion life was very basic: algae, sponges and the like. But 530 million years ago, over as short of a timeframe of only 5 million years, life suddenly exploded: now life developed the eyes in different forms, the spinal cord, the hard shell covering the cousins of crabs, animals with teeth, the multiple legs of spiders, all sorts of different kinds of eyes, and the wings of flies. Life as different as "worms, and flies, mice and fish". All of these varied and different life forms popped into existence without any ancestors in the fossil record. Here is how Time Magazine explains the Cambrian Explosion in its December 04, 1995 issue:


 

"…For the Cambrian is a period distinguished by the abrupt appearance of an astonishing array of multicelled animals--animals that are the ancestors of virtually all the creatures that now swim, fly and crawl through the visible world.

Indeed, while most people cling to the notion that evolution works its magic over millions of years, scientists are realizing that biological change often occurs in sudden fits and starts. And none of those fitful starts was more dramatic, more productive or more mysterious than the one that occurred shortly after Erwin's wormlike creature slithered through the primordial seas. All around the world, in layers of rock just slightly younger than that Erwin discovered, scientists have found the mineralized remains of organisms that represent the emergence of nearly every major branch in the zoological tree. Among them: bristle worms and roundworms, lamp shells and mollusks, sea cucumbers and jellyfish, not to mention an endless parade of arthropods, those spindly legged, hard-shelled ancient cousins of crabs and lobsters, spiders and flies. There are even occasional glimpses--in rock laid down not long after Erwin's Namibian sandstone--of small, ribbony swimmers with a rodlike spine that are unprepossessing progenitors of the chordate line, which leads to fish, to amphibians and eventually to humans.

Where did this extraordinary bestiary come from, and why did it emerge so quickly? In recent years, no question has stirred the imagination of more evolutionary experts, spawned more novel theories or spurred more far-flung expeditions. Life has occupied the planet for nearly 4 billion of its 4.5 billion years. But until about 600 million years ago, there were no organisms more complex than bacteria, multicelled algae and single-celled plankton. The first hint of biological ferment was a plethora of mysterious palm-shape, frondlike creatures that vanished as inexplicably as they appeared. Then, 543 million years ago, in the early Cambrian, within the span of no more than 10 million years, creatures with teeth and tentacles and claws and jaws materialized with the suddenness of apparitions. In a burst of creativity like nothing before or since, nature appears to have sketched out the blueprints for virtually the whole of the animal kingdom. This explosion of biological diversity is described by scientists as biology's Big Bang

Over the decades, evolutionary theorists beginning with Charles Darwin have tried to argue that the appearance of multicelled animals during the Cambrian merely seemed sudden, and in fact had been preceded by a lengthy period of evolution for which the geological record was missing. But this explanation, while it patched over a hole in an otherwise masterly theory, now seems increasingly unsatisfactory. Since 1987, discoveries of major fossil beds in Greenland, in China, in Siberia, and now in Namibia have shown that the period of biological innovation occurred at virtually the same instant in geologic time all around the world. …" Time Magazine, Dec. 04, 1995 (emphasis supplied.)


 

First, let me emphasize the point made in the last paragraph of the Time Magazine quote (above). Some scientists have tried to explain away the sudden appearance of many different life forms by claiming there was long periods of evolution taking place that is just missing from the fossil record. But as Time Magazine points out, this explanation doesn't work. It doesn't work because the Cambrian Explosion of life takes place all over the world, and at the same time in all fossil beds discovered to date. So the record is very clear, there was a sudden emergence of complex life 530 million years ago, with no transitions, no intermediates to show that Darwinism had anything to do with this.


 

So why is the Cambrian Explosion so damaging to Darwinism, and points to a Creative Intelligence? The Cambrian Explosion destroys Darwinism because it shows that complex life makes a sudden appearance, rather than slow, long transitions. All sorts of very complex organs life eyes appear suddenly, and in different forms (compare a fish's eye, to a fly's eye, to a spider's eye). The sudden appearance of so many different life forms again gives the impression that there was some outside Intelligent Agent working behind the scenes. SomeOne has created life's diversity.


 

By the way, in case you are wondering what are my top-5 best evidences to support that life is Intellengently Designed on earth, they are – 1st, the origin of the first living cell on earth; 2nd, the universe itself, with its order and fine-tuning all pointing to an Intelligent Creator. 3rd, the evidence of genetics from Professor Michael Behe that only small non-cumulative changes takes place in a cell, and that random mutation/variation does nothing in explaining life's complexity (see, M. Behe's Edge of Evolution); 4th, Life's obvious appearance of design; and, finally 5th the Cambrian Explosion. Praise God whose attributes are clearly seen because of the world around us, making all people without excuse (Romans 1:20). Thank You Lord, for sending Jesus!

1 comment:

edward oleander said...

Tom,
Take a long look at the Wikipedia entry for "Cambrian Explosion"...

This entry, made up of more recent data than the 1995 Time article, takes a pretty balanced look at modern theory regarding the supposed "explosion" of the Cambrian era. The ID/Creationist community has been unfairly selective in it's "facts" in the debate, and has constructed what is essentially a Straw Man to beat down. The current evidence deals fairly effectively with your criticism of the possibility of the Cambrian beng just another phase of Evolution.
~Ed~