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What sparked the Cambrian explosion? … again


Nature and Scientific American think we are beginning to find out:

Biologists have argued for decades over what ignited this evolutionary burst. Some think that a steep rise in oxygen sparked the change, whereas others say that it sprang from the development of some key evolutionary innovation, such as vision. The precise cause has remained elusive, in part because so little is known about the physical and chemical environment at that time.

But over the past several years, discoveries have begun to yield some tantalizing clues about the end of the Ediacaran. Evidence gathered from the Namibian reefs and other sites suggests that earlier theories were overly simplistic — that the Cambrian explosion actually emerged out of a complex interplay between small environmental changes that triggered major evolutionary developments.

Some scientists now think that a small, perhaps temporary, increase in oxygen suddenly crossed an ecological threshold, enabling the emergence of predators. The rise of carnivory would have set off an evolutionary arms race that led to the burst of complex body types and behaviours that fill the oceans today. “This is the most significant event in Earth evolution,” says Guy Narbonne, a palaeobiologist at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada. “The advent of pervasive carnivory, made possible by oxygenation, is likely to have been a major trigger.”


Darwin's Doubt Possibly, but the oxygen debate has been going back and forth for quite a while. Some say a small oxygen jump, possibly triggered by a massive tectonic shift. But others say advanced life does not necessarily flow from lots of oxygen.

The difficulty is, of course, that the more we know about the Cambrian explosion, the more it is going to sound like World War II, in the sense that informed, intelligent, and honest people will offer different theories. What we are most likely closing in on is not The Answer, but reasoned ongoing historical debate.

See also: What Elizabeth Liddle doesn’t understand about the Cambrian explosion

Conclusions: What the fossils told us in their own words


Why they call it the Cambrian explosion

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By the way, Steve Meyer’s 2013 Darwin’s Doubt (3:30 pm today EST):

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

"Another attempt to explain the Cambrian explosion proposes a global flood that tapped the capacity of simple animals to evolve new body plans suddenly." http://crev.info/2013/10/global-flood-ok-if-proposed-by-evolutionists/ mw
What sparked the Cambrian explosion? Are we not looking down the wrong end of the barrel? "Chance cannot resuscitate the corpse of Darwinian evolution"; [p. 225], Michael Denton, "Evolution: Still a Theory in Crisis." Luck or time cannot resurrect Darwin. Therefore, a living life form cannot 'resurrect' one life form into a different life form by any Darwinian means. Of course God could have created via the Cambrian, but He wrote in stone that He did not. If He did, Jesus, casts out divine law and Gospel teaching, when He, Jesus, fulfilled six day Sinai law as God-Man (Jn 8:58) & (Matt 5:17-18). Jesus believed and knew as God-Man there was a created flood (Matt 24:38). Evolution interpretation is either real or badly, badly flawed; or Jesus is badly flawed with scripture. mw
The biologists only can argue AFTER the geologists have stopped arguing about timelines. There was no explosion. its just a special case of fossilization during the flood year. basing biology on geology is not good biology. Without the geology there is no biology story to defend or attack. SO WHY is any discussion of these things got to do with biology evidence?? In fact its just data points being connected with speculation. Robert Byers

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