Dear readers, It has been far too long since my last post, occasioned by the fact that I have entirely too many irons in the fire. I hope you will forgive this brief “drive-by” post, with a request for some help and information. One of the common refrains that comes up regarding the fossil record, […]
“It is remarkable to think that our oldest animal ancestors — and therefore all of us — may owe our existence, in part, to an unusual episode of plate tectonics over half a billion years ago” Is this a philosophical statement of some kind?
Just before the Cambrian explosion. Generally speaking, radiation is much more likely to produce damaging mutations than helpful ones. It would be interesting to know if some Ediacaran species disappeared at this point.
Associate Professor Jochen Brocks commented, “These fossils comprise our best window into earliest animal evolution and are the key to understanding our own deep origins.” Yes, in the sense that sudden emergence rather than a long, slow Darwinian process seems more likely all the time.
These animal groups lived in the ocean over half a billion years ago but were buried by a subterranean mudflow: Paleontologists found thousands of fossils in rocks on the bank of the Danshui river in Hubei province in southern China, where primitive forms of jellyfish, sponges, algae, anemones, worms and arthropods with thin whip-like feelers […]
Problem the find creates: “It has always been assumed that the creatures in the Burgess Shale — known for the richness of its fossils — had been preserved so immaculately because the lack of oxygen at the bottom of the sea stopped decay, and because no animals lived in the mud to eat the carcasses.”
The explosion lasted only about 20 million years, their research shows, and the subsequent 520 million years featured more even rates of change: At (or shortly before) the start of the Cambrian Period (541 million years ago), modern animals evolved. They rapidly diversified into all the major groups (phyla) of animals we see today, such […]
Even if these researchers are a teensy bit optimistic about their pinpoint accuracy, the pattern is clear: The history of life is becoming a field markedly less favorable to hand-waving. And note, in 410,000 years, the transition from the multicellular but simple Ediacaran life forms to the diverse Cambrian life forms is supposed to have taken place purely by natural selection acting on random mutation (Darwinism). Aw, come on.
Okay, okay, not bringing them to “life” but giving us a much better sense of life over half a billion years ago. The Canadian Rockies have, it turns out, many more Cambrian sites than the big 1909 find that lay neglected at the Smithsonian so long: Each new stop has offered striking views of unfamiliar animals, many […]
Explanations of the dramatic Cambrian explosion of life forms (540 million years ago) are a cottage industry, with arguments about oxygen a staple of the discussion. See, for example, Maverick theory: Cambrian animals remade the environment by generating oxygen Did a low oxygen level delay complex life on Earth? There was only a small oxygen […]
From ScienceDaily: The creature belongs to an obscure and mysterious group of animals known as the chancelloriids, and scientists are unclear about where they fit in the tree of life. They represent a lineage of spiny tube-shaped animals that arose during the Cambrian evolutionary “explosion” but went extinct soon afterwards. In some ways they resemble […]
Readers may remember a recent paper that tried to show that the Cambrian explosion was not really an explosion after all. From Gunter Bechly at ENST: The paper allegedly settles the case in favor of a more gradual pattern of appearance as predicted by Darwin’s theory. That would be big news indeed, if it were […]
From Harry Pettit at the Daily Mail: The ‘Cambrian explosion’ is one of the most significant events in the planet’s 4.5-billion-year history and ultimately led to the arrival of complex animals like humans. New research shows the event – which took place between 500 and 540 million years ago – was a much more gradual […]
Abstract: We review the salient evidence consistent with or predicted by the Hoyle-Wickramasinghe (H-W) thesis of Cometary (Cosmic) Biology. Much of this physical and biological evidence is multifactorial. One particular focus are the recent studies which date the emergence of the complex retroviruses of vertebrate lines at or just before the Cambrian Explosion of ∼500 Ma. […]
Darwin’s Doubt deals with the Cambrian explosion of life forms about 550 million years ago. Philip Cunningham, who forwarded this link, notes, Stephen Meyer joins Michael to discuss the origins of life and the biology’s big bang, the Cambrian explosion. Animal forms come and go, but what links them as “acts of mind” (as […]