Cambrian explosion News

Cambrian animals had modern hearts

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Ancient shrimp-like animals had 'modern' hearts and blood vessels
schematic Fuxianhuia protensa/Nicholas Strausfeld

From Phys.org:

An international team of researchers from the University of Arizona, China and the United Kingdom has discovered the earliest known cardiovascular system, and the first to clearly show a sophisticated system complete with heart and blood vessels, in fossilized remains of an extinct marine creature that lived over half a billion years ago. The finding sheds new light on the evolution of body organization in the animal kingdom and shows that even the earliest creatures had internal organizational systems that strongly resemble those found in their modern descendants.

Using a clever imaging technique that selectively reveals different structures in the fossil based on their chemical composition, collaborator Xiaoya Ma at London’s Natural History Museum was able to identify the heart, which extended along the main part of the body, and its many lateral arteries corresponding to each segment. Its arteries were composed of carbon-rich deposits and gave rise to long channels, which presumably took blood to limbs and other organs.

“With that, we can now start speculating about behavior,” Strausfeld explained. “Because of well-supplied blood vessels to its brain, we can assume this was a very active animal capable of making many different behavioral choices.”More.

Not that they mention it, of course, but that’s half a billion years that the “sophisticated system” “capable of making many different behavioral choices” did not have to just evolve that way, via natural selection acting on random mutation (Darwinian evolution). So how much time was there at the other end, the single celled end?

No wonder the Cambrian period caused Darwin to doubt. And no wonder:

Darwin's Doubt

This also from University of Arizona News.

Hat tip: Philip Cunningham

 See also: Science-Fictions-square.gif The Science Fictions series at your fingertips (origin of life)

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22 Replies to “Cambrian animals had modern hearts

  1. 1
    Dionisio says:

    So how much time was there at the other end, the single celled end?

    That’s a very interesting question. Also, how did it go from the single celled to the organ described in this OP? And of course, how long did it take for the first single celled to appear? Also how did that happen?

  2. 2
    Moose Dr says:

    Also at phys.org “Complex brains evolved much earlier than previously thought, as evidenced by a 520-million year old fossilized arthropod with remarkably well-preserved brain structures” ( http://phys.org/news/2012-10-c......html#nRlv )

    But, no problem. They just did, that’s all.

  3. 3
    Dionisio says:

    Complex brains evolved much earlier than previously thought,…

    it’s given as a proven fact that they evolved. No questions expected.
    We shouldn’t ask how that happened. Only ignorant uneducated people ask such stupid questions.
    Well, I have to admit that I belong to that class of ignorant uneducated people who ask those stupid questions.
    Apparently my brain did not evolve enough to reach the level of understanding others have. So I’m forced to ask stupid questions.

  4. 4
    Evolve says:

    ///it’s given as a proven fact that they evolved. No questions expected.///

    So how’s your alternate explanation – that these animals were intelligently designed by an unknown designer using an unknown mechanism – any better?

    Why did the designer design a few critters at the bottom of the ocean alone and nothing on land? No animals, no insects, hell not even trees or plants on land! The land was totally bare.

    You have absolutely no evidence that such a designer existed 500 million yrs ago.
    You have no clue, not even a hypothesis, as to how he designed the critters.
    And you just cannot explain why he designed only some primitive ocean animals. Why not fishes and sharks and whales? Why not some land animals or plants?

    ID proponents don’t even conduct any research to throw some light on their fictitious designer or his mode of action. All they do is claim that the designer did it by magic. DON’T ASK HOW!

  5. 5
    Joe says:

    Evolve, Declaring that the Cambrian animals evolved (from a common ancestor) is not science and does not make it so.

    Also design is a mechanism. And we infer a designer was present because the design is present. And only imbeciles on an agenda would conflate design with magic, all the while not realising that evolutionism requires magical mystery mutations.

    Don’t ask how is right as evolutionists have no idea how the Cambrian animals arrived.

  6. 6
    Joe says:

    Where the research to see if blind and undirected processes can produce a bacterial flagellum?

    Where the research to see if blind and undirected processes can produce a vision system?

    Where the research to see if blind and undirected processes can produce meiosis?

    Where the research to see if blind and undirected processes can produce metazoans?

    Where the research to see if blind and undirected processes can produce a living organism?

    Where are the peer-reviewed papers supporting blind and undirected processes with respect to biology and evolution?

    Come on evolve, surely you can easily answer those questions (with a doesn’t exist).

  7. 7
    Evolve says:

    /// Declaring that the Cambrian animals evolved (from a common ancestor) is not science and does not make it so.///

    You’re wrong as always.
    We can infer evolutionary relationships through phylogenetic studies, including that of the cambrian animals. That’s perfectly science.

    ///Also design is a mechanism. And we infer a designer was present because the design is present. ///

    Design can be present naturally too. Who told you design is the exclusive domain of a designer?

    Sponges, animals that lack any organ systems, have genes to build a nervous system:

    http://www.livescience.com/157.....onges.html

    Why did the designer leave some genes to make a nervous system without the animal having any nervous system at all?!
    See how your design theory fails.

  8. 8
    Barb says:

    Evolve asks,

    So how’s your alternate explanation – that these animals were intelligently designed by an unknown designer using an unknown mechanism – any better?

    Actually, yes, considering that it offers a concrete answer instead of mere speculation.

    Why did the designer design a few critters at the bottom of the ocean alone and nothing on land? No animals, no insects, hell not even trees or plants on land! The land was totally bare.

    Because he chose to do so. Why does my neighbor grow tulips instead of roses? Why does one person paint their house blue, and another red? Choice. How hard is that to understand?

    You have absolutely no evidence that such a designer existed 500 million yrs ago.

    You have absolutely no evidence that anything evolved spontaneously from nonliving matter. So we’re even.

    You have no clue, not even a hypothesis, as to how he designed the critters.

    We can infer how he designed them from examination.

    And you just cannot explain why he designed only some primitive ocean animals. Why not fishes and sharks and whales? Why not some land animals or plants?

    See above. Choice. You create, you decide. Simple as that. And we know that eventually there were fishes, sharks, whales, land animals, and plants. Because we can see them and examine them and study them in their natural habitats. The primitive ocean animals came first. Is this really a difficult concept for you?

    ID proponents don’t even conduct any research to throw some light on their fictitious designer or his mode of action. All they do is claim that the designer did it by magic. DON’T ASK HOW!

    Now you’re veering into “pathetic atheist troll” territory.

  9. 9
    Evolve says:

    Your post #6 is a joke.

    We don’t expect flagella or eyes to pop out from the blue. They’re structures that evolved over a vast span of time, leaving clues as to how that happened in the genomes and anatomy of both living and dead creatures. The evidence is there for everyone to see.

    Btw, human eyes have a blind spot. The rather lowly Octopus eye has no blind spots! Why did the designer ditch humans, his pet creation, and give better eyes to the lowly Octopus?

  10. 10
    Evolve says:

    Barb,

    // Because he chose to do so. Why does my neighbor grow tulips instead of roses? Why does one person paint their house blue, and another red? Choice. How hard is that to understand? ///

    Oh yeah, the designer always chooses to do things in such a way to make it look as if evolution happened!
    In this case, he designed some primitive creatures dwelling on the ocean floor leaving aside any complex marine animals and completely avoiding the land!

    His design-spree came after a whopping 4 billion years after the earth formed. He was sleeping for all that time! After the cambrian creation festival, he went back to sleep. It took several hundred million years more for complex animals to appear in the seas and later on land.

    You can always claim that’s how he did it, because your designer is totally imaginary. You can attribute any data or observation to him. Do you understand why the designer is such an ambiguous and unclear proposition?

  11. 11
    Barb says:

    Evolve goes on to ask,

    Why did the designer leave some genes to make a nervous system without the animal having any nervous system at all?!

    With sponges, it appears to be a case of “no heart, no brain, no problem.” They were accurately described as animals by Aristotle and Pliny the Elder millennia ago.

    “In structure, function, and development, sponges are distinct from other animals,” says the Encyclopædia Britannica. How so? Unlike other animals, sponges have no internal body organs. With no heart, brain, or nervous system, how do sponges live? Tiny cells within the sponge care for the many functions that sustain life. Specialized cells catch food, transport nutrients, or remove waste. Others labor to construct skeletal or skin components. Some cells may even switch from one cell type to another should the need arise.

    Again: you create, you decide.

    See how your design theory fails.

    It fails why…because you don’t understand it? Right. “I don’t get it, so therefore it’s wrong!” is quite possibly the stupidest argument put forth by atheists yet.

  12. 12
    Barb says:

    Oh yeah, the designer always chooses to do things in such a way to make it look as if evolution happened!

    Not really, no. If you examine closely the pattern of life on Earth, you see animals and plants reproducing as kinds, never changing or evolving into another type (reptiles becoming birds, for example). And you are building quite the strawman here.

    In this case, he designed some primitive creatures dwelling on the ocean floor leaving aside any complex marine animals and completely avoiding the land!

    Yes, he did. But he later created land animals. How hard is this for you to grasp? Are you angry that he didn’t consult you when creating life? Seriously, your “argument” against design sounds more like a child whining that he didn’t get a cookie.

    His design-spree came after a whopping 4 billion years after the earth formed.

    So? Your point is?

    He was sleeping for all that time!

    Actually, no, but your strawman is getting bigger all the time.

    After the cambrian creation festival, he went back to sleep.

    Again, no, but you’re basically speculating based on what you think happened. Continue with your strawman!

    It took several hundred million years more for complex animals to appear in the seas and later on land.

    So? Your point is?

    You can always claim that’s how he did it, because your designer is totally imaginary.

    Pathetic atheist troll. Try harder next time.

    You can attribute any data or observation to him. Do you understand why the designer is such an ambiguous and unclear proposition?

    Do you understand why your argument against design fails miserably?

  13. 13
    Evolve says:

    Your post #11 is a perfect example of beating around the bush.
    My question is why do sponges have genes to make a nervous system when the animals lack any nerve cells whatsoever? What was your designer thinking?

    ///Not really, no. If you examine closely the pattern of life on Earth, you see animals and plants reproducing as kinds, never changing or evolving into another type (reptiles becoming birds, for example). And you are building quite the strawman here. ///

    Really?!
    All those Jurassic flying dinosaur fossils with part-reptile and part-bird features must be toys left by the designer.
    All those genomic data showing how birds are linked to reptiles must be there to mislead us.

    Man, I’m done with you. Invoke your magical designer, explain away any data, end of story.

  14. 14
    ppolish says:

    Evolve, an alternate explanation would be that Evolution is guided. How? Why? WTF?

    Those are all good Scientific questions. Need to answered not ignored. Scientific Method was invented by Theists btw. Ooops Evolution and Ooops OOL will not cut it scientifically. That would be an Atheist Scientific Method.

  15. 15
    Barb says:

    Evolve continues,

    Your post #11 is a perfect example of beating around the bush.
    My question is why do sponges have genes to make a nervous system when the animals lack any nerve cells whatsoever? What was your designer thinking?

    The truth is, I don’t know. Neither do you.

    Part of the problem stems from scientists wanting to classify them as simple organisms when they are more complex. As I pointed out earlier, specialized cells within the animal care for its functions. Want to know more? Read a marine biology textbook.
    <Really?!
    Yes.

    All those Jurassic flying dinosaur fossils with part-reptile and part-bird features must be toys left by the designer.

    Again, a thoughtful study of birds gives convincing proof that they did not evolve from reptiles. While birds and reptiles are both oviparous, reptiles are cold-blooded, often sluggish, whereas birds are warm-blooded and among the most active of all earth’s creatures; they also have an unusually rapid heartbeat.

    The fossils of birds called by scientists Archaeopteryx (or, ancient wing) and Archaeornis (or, ancient bird), though showing teeth and a long vertebrated tail, also show that they were completely feathered, had feet equipped for perching, and had fully developed wings.

    All those genomic data showing how birds are linked to reptiles must be there to mislead us.

    The evolutionary view that reptilian scales and front limbs eventually developed into feathered wings is both fanciful and baseless. No intermediate specimens, exhibiting scales developing into feathers or front legs into wings, exist to give any semblance of support to the evolution theory.

    Man, I’m done with you. Invoke your magical designer, explain away any data, end of story.

    Is the little atheist going to take his toys and go home? Instead of studying the subject further and perhaps getting a little knowledge as to why sponges have these genes?
    Atheism and evolution are science stoppers. You’ve more than proven my point.

  16. 16
    bornagain77 says:

    As to sponges and genes.

    More Questions for Evolutionists – August 2010
    Excerpt: First of all, we have 65% of the gene number of humans in little old sponges—an organism that appears as far back as 635 million years ago, about as old as you can get [except for bacteria]. This kind of demolishes Darwin’s argument about what he called the pre-Silurian (pre-Cambrian). 635 mya predates both the Cambrian AND the Edicarian, which comes before the Cambrian (i.e., the pre-Cambrian) IOW, out of nowhere, 18,000 animal genes. Darwinian gradualism is dealt a death blow here (unless you’re a ‘true believer”!). Here’s a quote: “It means there was an elaborate machinery in place that already had some function. What I want to know now is what were all these genes doing prior to the advent of sponge.” (Charles Marshall, director of the University of California Museum of Paleontology in Berkeley.) I want to know, too!
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....utionists/

    Besides the fact that Darwinists have yet to explain the origination of a single gene and or protein by unguided processes

    HISTORY OF EVOLUTIONARY THEORY – WISTAR DESTROYS EVOLUTION
    Excerpt: A number of mathematicians, familiar with the biological problems, spoke at that 1966 Wistar Institute,, For example, Murray Eden showed that it would be impossible for even a single ordered pair of genes to be produced by DNA mutations in the bacteria, E. coli,—with 5 billion years in which to produce it! His estimate was based on 5 trillion tons of the bacteria covering the planet to a depth of nearly an inch during that 5 billion years. He then explained that the genes of E. coli contain over a trillion (10^12) bits of data. That is the number 10 followed by 12 zeros. *Eden then showed the mathematical impossibility of protein forming by chance.
    http://www.pathlights.com/ce_e.....hist12.htm

    It turns out that many times Darwinists will think, because of their false ‘bottom up’ materialistic premises, that because they have explained the function of a particular gene in one role in one organism that they have explained the function of a particular gene in all organisms. But that is simply not true. It is found that different genes are involved in producing similar structures and similar genes are involved in producing different structures:

    Neo-Darwinism’s Gene Homology Problem – video (1:51 minute mark)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....6y18#t=111

    Shark and human proteins “stunningly similar”; shark closer to human than to zebrafish – December 9, 2013
    Excerpt: “We were very surprised to find, that for many categories of proteins, sharks share more similarities with humans than zebrafish,” Stanhope said. “Although sharks and bony fishes are not closely related, they are nonetheless both fish … while mammals have very different anatomies and physiologies.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....zebrafish/

    In fact genes, for the vast majority of times, refuse to be ‘boxed in’ into any particular evolutionary narrative:

    A New Model for Evolution: A Rhizome – Didier Raoult – May 2010
    Excerpt: Thus we cannot currently identify a single common ancestor for the gene repertoire of any organism.,,, Overall, it is now thought that there are no two genes that have a similar history along the phylogenic tree.,,,Therefore the representation of the evolutionary pathway as a tree leading to a single common ancestor on the basis of the analysis of one or more genes provides an incorrect representation of the stability and hierarchy of evolution. Finally, genome analyses have revealed that a very high proportion of genes are likely to be newly created,,, and that some genes are only found in one organism (named ORFans). These genes do not belong to any phylogenic tree and represent new genetic creations.
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....izome.html

    Do Molecular Clocks Run at All? A Critique of Molecular Systematics – Jeffrey H. Schwartz, Bruno Maresca
    Abstract: Although molecular systematists may use the terminology of cladism, claiming that the reconstruction of phylogenetic relationships is based on shared derived states (synapomorphies), the latter is not the case. Rather, molecular systematics is (largely) based on the assumption, first clearly articulated by Zuckerkandl and Pauling (1962), that degree of overall similarity reflects degree of relatedness. This assumption derives from interpreting molecular similarity (or dissimilarity) between taxa in the context of a Darwinian model of continual and gradual change. Review of the history of molecular systematics and its claims in the context of molecular biology reveals that there is no basis for the “molecular assumption.”.. For historians and philosophers of science the questions that arise are how belief in the infallibility of molecular data for reconstructing evolutionary relationships emerged, and how this belief became so central …
    http://www.pitt.edu/~jhs/artic.....clocks.pdf

  17. 17
    bornagain77 says:

    Besides the fossil record, DNA analysis testifies against any transitional scenario between Cambrian phyla:

    The new animal phylogeny: Reliability and implications:
    Excerpt: “The new molecular based phylogeny has several important implications. Foremost among them is the disappearance of “intermediate” taxa between sponges, cnidarians, ctenophores, and the last common ancestor of bilaterians or “Urbilateria.”…A corollary is that we have a major gap in the stem leading to the Urbilataria. We have lost the hope, so common in older evolutionary reasoning, of reconstructing the morphology of the “coelomate ancestor” through a scenario involving successive grades of increasing complexity based on the anatomy of extant “primitive” lineages.”
    From Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, in 2000 –
    http://www.pnas.org/content/97.....frrxyih/gM

    Darwin’s Tree of Life was uprooted in the Cambrian explosion – March 17, 2014
    Excerpt: ,,,The study had sought to determine the evolutionary history of the animal phyla by analyzing fifty genes along seventeen taxa. He hoped that a single, dominant phylogenetic tree would emerge. Rokas and his team reported that “a 5-gene data matrix does not resolve relationships among most metazoan phyla” because it generated numerous conflicting phylogenies and historical signals. Their conclusion was candid: “Despite the amount of data and breadth of taxa analyzed, relationships among most metazoan phyla remained unresolved.”,,,
    Sean B. Carroll went so far as to assert that “certain critical parts of the TOL [Tree of Life] may be difficult to resolve, regardless of the quantity of conventional data available.” This problem applies specifically to the relationships of many of the animal phyla, where “[m]any recent studies have reported support for many alternative conflicting phylogenies.” Investigators studying the animal tree found that “ a large fraction of single genes produce phylogenies of poor quality” such that in one case, a study “omitted 35% of single genes from their data matrix, because those genes produced phylogenies at odds with conventional wisdom”,,,
    Their article brings the discussion of the Cambrian explosion full circle from an attempt to use genes to compensate for the absence of fossil evidence to the acknowledgment that genes do not convey any clear signal about the evolutionary relationships of the phyla first preserved by fossils in the Cambrian.
    Steve Meyer – Darwin’s Doubt (pp. 120–21)
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....explosion/

  18. 18
    Collin says:

    Evolve,

    You see things from your side so thoroughly that you cannot see how some of the evidence you cite is actually supportive of design, not evolution.

    For example, why, under evolution, should a sponge have genes for a nervous system? The only answer I can think of is that an organism with a nervous system devolved. In other words, this supports the criticism that all evolution is the degeneration of a complex, healthy species into an unhealthy one.

    But under the design scenario, the presence of those genes supports the ID theory of front loading. Do you know what that theory is?

    You also complain that we cannot identify the designer. I think that you give us a stricter standard than you give yourself. You demand that design theory have all the answers when it is still a young science. But would you admit that biology has had 200 years to figure out abiogenesis but has failed? Would you please give US 200 years to identify the designer?

    Certainly we can answer some questions without having to answer all of them.

  19. 19
    TSErik says:

    Btw, human eyes have a blind spot. The rather lowly Octopus eye has no blind spots! Why did the designer ditch humans, his pet creation, and give better eyes to the lowly Octopus?

    This is an example of how your argument has descended into absurdity. This bears no weight on the question of ID theory as it assumes the mind of the designer.

    You are, at this point, trying to make some muddy metaphysical argument, and not something scientific.

    Further, the claimed “need to know the designer” is more absurdity. Even if we live our lives with the designer in total obscurity, it doesn’t weaken ID.

    Say you are walking, alone, in a desert and come upon a completely smooth, perfectly round glass sphere. The sphere has some kind of grooves spaced evenly in patterns that resemble what we would consider ideograms. Must you know the name of the creator in order to infer that the object is designed? Must you know to what village, culture they had belonged to, or even the means of creation, in order to infer design?

    We can clearly infer design from the object, and through study of the object hope to uncover the designer.

  20. 20
    Mapou says:

    Evolve is the typical Darwinist/atheist moron. A dime a dozen.

  21. 21
    Joe says:

    evolve:

    We can infer evolutionary relationships through phylogenetic studies, including that of the cambrian animals.

    Pure propaganda. Too bad Cambrian animals didn’t leave behind any DNA.

    Design can be present naturally too.

    Well yeah. My car isn’t supernatural. However nature has never been observed to design anything resembling CSI nor IC.

    Sponges, animals that lack any organ systems, have genes to build a nervous system:

    So what? Tell us how blind processes produced sponges and nervous systems- you can’t and you wouldn’t even know where to start.

    Why did the designer leave some genes to make a nervous system without the animal having any nervous system at all?!

    LoL! Your simple-minded view of genes is hilarious.

  22. 22
    Joe says:

    evolve:

    Your post #6 is a joke.

    Eolutionism is the joke.

    We don’t expect flagella or eyes to pop out from the blue.

    There wasn’t anything I posted that said they would pop out of the blue. You have issues.

    They’re structures that evolved over a vast span of time, leaving clues as to how that happened in the genomes and anatomy of both living and dead creatures. The evidence is there for everyone to see.

    Except there isn’t any such evidence wrt blind processes. You are lying.

    Btw, human eyes have a blind spot.

    That doesn’t seem to hamper anyone. Heck baseball players can hit a small ball traveling at them at over 95 MPH.

    The rather lowly Octopus eye has no blind spots!

    Maybe but it can’t hit a fastball.

    Why did the designer ditch humans, his pet creation, and give better eyes to the lowly Octopus?

    To give lowlifes something to whine about.

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