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Researchers: No one single cause for Cambrian explosion

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Remember those researchers who advised us that there was no real conundrum about the Cambrian explosion, it was just that evolution worked five times as fast as usual at that particular time? Well, now we hear that a “cascade of events” caused the “sudden explosion of animal life.” Yes, we kind of thought so.

Theories for the Cambrian Explosion fall into three main categories — geological, geochemical and biological — and most have been claimed as standalone processes that were the main cause of the explosion.

Yes, that has been one of the problems all along. But it is intrinsic to the nature of the neo-Darwinism that dominates biology today.

The obvious explanation is that a number of factors were all working in harmony together, but that implies design, a forbidden thought. So we invariably find ourselves back with “It was eyes!” or “It was shells!” or “Things happened a lot faster way back when!” Anyway, this Oxford-based group says,

Professor Smith said: “Work at the Siriuspasset site in north Greenland has cemented our thinking that it wasn’t a matter of saying one hypothesis is right and one is wrong. Rather than focusing on one single cause, we should be looking at the interaction of a number of different mechanisms.

“Most of the hypotheses have at least a kernel of truth, but each is insufficient to have been the single cause of the Cambrian explosion. What we need to do now is focus on the sequence of interconnected events and the way they related to each other — the initial geological triggers that led to the geochemical effects, followed by a range of biological processes.”

Well that sounds about right but what’s going to happen if they discover that 49 improbable causes were working in concert? Are they allowed to go there?

Yawn. Let’S hope it’s not fast backward to “It was eyes!” or “It was shells!” or “Things happened a lot faster way back when!”


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