Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

At Evolution News: Silence around Cambrian Brains


This was bound to come up eventually:

First, notice the quote marks around “Cambrian explosion,” a subtle hint that the term is controversial. It’s not. They state clearly that it is “marked by the appearance of most major animal phyla.” Panarthropoda is a taxon that combines arthropods with tardigrades and onycophorans. The sentence means that yes, lots of different arthropods appear throughout the fossil record, revealing “extreme morphological disparities,” i.e. outward differences.

Yet these Chinese specimens show that the brains are conservative — not that they vote Republican, but that CNS structures throughout the panarthropod collection are similar, not showing extensive evolution. They’re not just conservative; they are “remarkably conservative.” In terms of general body plan, it’s a picture of sudden appearance and then stasis for the rest of time — not exactly what Darwin hoped the fossils would demonstrate.

You can read this open-access paper and appreciate the delicate features preserved in these fossils. The authors present a theory of taphonomy (the study of how things fossilize) to explain what they see.

David Coppedge, “Darwin Wept: Cambrian Brains and Other Challenges for Evolution” at Evolution News and Science Today (April 21, 2022)

Sure they do.

FH, UD is not about creationism though it is noteworthy that there is a wide range of creationist views. on the material point, neither 5 days nor 5 my nor 500 my would suffice for blind search to account for the FSCO/I in major body plans shown. Explosion is neither a Creationist nor an ID term, it speaks to one particularly well known case of top level sudden appearance and stasis. KF kairosfocus
"I’d be curious to see the data that establish this causal relationship……" CD You are asking for something we could measure... which we obviously can't because no one was there to see it start happening. Also, we weren't there to see non-living goo turn into replicating cells, have any data on that? So, again, the actual process and mechanism of the curse other than it being from the hand of God for idolatry...we don't know because we weren't there and we can't test it. And, questions like this are what drove science and its explosion in the enlightenment period. As we started to discover things about how God made things exist we got a big head as humanity and decided we didn't need his help anymore...and here we are. The neodarwinist proposed mechanism just leads to death over and over again by observation, not gradual development of complex mechanisms and body plans its all assumed not proven. zweston
Zweston/24 You don't get to raise a religious/theological explanation for a biological phenomenon, then object because you don't think that I am commenting in "good will on theology." I'm not commenting on theology. I'm asking a straight-forward question about the cause(s) of biological extinction. However, you answered my question: "I can’t tell you the mechanics about how it happened...." If you don't know, you don't know. No problem. It's an answer that many on this blog should use more often.... chuckdarwin
CD, I can't tell you the mechanics about how it happened... and we already knew that. The Bible isn't a textbook on the biological processes or impacts of the fall. And since we can't go back and observe it, no one else can either. I know our contention isn't intelligent design, because you are a deist.. unless you think the deity is not as smart as us? So, you are wanting to debate Christianity... which is probably the only reason you are here. We can observe that mutations lead to destruction, that stasis in e-coli is apparent, that things are getting more corrupt and broken, not the other way around. To boot... You can't tell me how anything in evolution happened process wise via observation... you can write a narrative and make claims and write just-so stories... You can't tell me which organ systems came about first, why there is sexual reproduction, how something became living from non-living, etc... the list goes on. You can't even tell me two life forms from the fossil record you know certainly descended from each other, it's all conjecture. It's a failed hypothesis. But, I can tell you that Christianity can account for why the world is broken and there is disease and extinction. It can account for the reality that you have guilt and regret and shame like all of us here. It can offer you freedom from those. It is based in history, archaeology, and reality. Jesus rose from the dead. I know you aren't actually wanting to dialogue in good will on theology, and you'd rather talk about this and take this rabbit hole than deal with the original post and its content because it makes you feel justified in rejecting the creator and savior of the world. "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those sent to her how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were unwilling!" Matthew 23:37. zweston
Seems a bit of a stretch to refer to a period of maybe 30 to 80 million years (depending how you decide the boundaries of the period) as an explosion.
More cluelessness. Evolutionary biologists call it an explosion. ET
Evolution by means of blind and mindless processes can't even account for developmental biology! ET
CD @ 30 Thanks for the link. This is interesting discussion matter. I'm trying to find out how the numbers are derived. This is the closest I can get: "Using reconstructions in the fossil record, we can calculate how many extinctions typically occur every million years." Is this process detailed anywhere? Andrew asauber
Asauber Actually, Sev's numbers are spot on:
Extinctions have been a natural part of the planet’s evolutionary history. 99% of the four billion species that have evolved on Earth are now gone.1 Most species have gone extinct. https://ourworldindata.org/extinctions#how-many-species-have-gone-extinct
Zweston, BTW, I'm still trying to understand how "the fall" or "sin" led to biological extinctions. You are going to have to explain that to me..... chuckdarwin
Creationists believe the whole of what we see now got going in a week six thousand years ago. A week seems a bit more explosive than thirty million years. Fred Hickson
Referring to the idea that "explosion" is perhaps an over-dramatic way to describe a period of time where there was diversification of marine animals with hard body parts that have survived as fossils... Seems a bit of a stretch to refer to a period of maybe 30 to 80 million years (depending how you decide the boundaries of the period) as an explosion. Fred Hickson
Science never answers "why" and it would have as much observable evidence as we have now for the beginning of the universe and the "development" of all major body plans. None. Completely dodges main point of OP and goes to theology because you know you can't win against the science (which I forget you aren't an atheist). I know you don't like Christianity because deism is more your jam. You can do what you want and not deal with your conscience. It's pretty clear you'd be an atheist if it was scientifically reasonable. You and sev both have the same hangup... Jesus Christ. RC Sproul said when he would visit with people he would ask them "what do you do with your guilt?" He knew it wasn't a matter of if they had it or not. Pay for your own sins or have Jesus give you his righteousness. It is your choice. zweston
Christians would expect extinction due to a fallen world from the curse of sin.
I’d be curious to see the data that establish this causal relationship…… chuckdarwin
Notice how sev's only real argument or claim (bad design) was left conceded through silence..they just wanted to debate theology. So their argument literally had no value, other than to question expert"ness" of people in article. zweston
What was the “sin” they committed? Curiosity, apparently.
:) Figure that Adam and Eve , believed satan (an outcast) instead to beleve God that created them ,gave them everything necessary to be happy . God also gave them a very easy task so they will prove practically their respect and love for God. To believe the enemy of God(that said God gave them the task because He hate them)instead of your Creator is "just curiosity" for some atheists . Talking about moral atheists? :) Sandy
Sev wants to debate theology... (which I did bring up) but is irrelevant to the data presented. Is the OP's content false? The muslims argue the same way... Christians demonstrate Quran has been altered over time... Muslim responds... "oh yeah, Christians have 3 Gods" --- Mischaracterization and haven't dealt with original claim at all. Like somehow a claim on the other's position negates the critique of their own. zweston
I don't think a Ph.D in biology is going to make pre-Cambrian transitional fossils appear. It's not going to do anything for stasis after the Cambrian either. But it's kind of strange that NASA was so afraid of ID they had to fire their IT guy just for mentioning it. Silver Asiatic
Seversky: How did the vast numbers of extinctions happen? Aren't steroids largely involved? Remember, what's being talked about in this post is "stasis and extinction": that is, these " intelligent forms " did quite nicely for eons, thank you. PaV
Instead does somewhat of an ad hominem and makes a “bad design” argument, which is nonsense and a non-sequitur. (aka I wouldn’t do it that way argument)
He's being quoted as if he has expertise and qualifications in biology. Apparently, he doesn't so it's an argument from inappropriate authority.
Christians would expect extinction due to a fallen world from the curse of sin.
Who designed humanity? Who included the capacity for "sin" in that design? Why should humanity be punished for behaving the way they were designed to behave? What was the "sin" they committed? Curiosity, apparently. In what system of justice is it considered appropriate to punish not just the offenders but their descendants in perpetuity? The story is incoherent to the point of being absurd. Seversky
"you could start here" This ain't close to 3.9 billion. Andrew asauber
Not that I think you're the slightest bit interested but you could start here Seversky
I think Sev is just throwing around a Big Number, trying to look impressive. It's a joke. Andrew asauber
Seversky doesn't deal with the original content or argument, like always. Instead does somewhat of an ad hominem and makes a "bad design" argument, which is nonsense and a non-sequitur. (aka I wouldn't do it that way argument) Christians would expect extinction due to a fallen world from the curse of sin. Is this the best you have? Non-sequiturs that don't answer any of the raised arguments? zweston
"Perhaps, using his IT and administrative expertise, he could explain how designing around four billion species, 99% of which have already gone extinct, is intelligent?" Sev, Do you have a list of these extinct species? Andrew asauber
Pyritization leads to a question. If the organ contains lots of iron in its cells, it's likely to get fossilized by this process. Lots of iron implies magnetic sensing, in bacteria and in a complex organ. When a large number of animals are fossilized this way, it could imply that something was killing a large number of magnetotactic animals. A sudden local shift in the magnetic field happens before an earthquake, and the entire field changes direction fairly frequently. So a large number of pyritized fossils could be a punched timecard, a checkpoint against measurements of inorganic iron and symptoms of quakes. polistra
I see the DI is still providing gainful employment to the former JPL IT specialist and system administrator. Perhaps, using his IT and administrative expertise, he could explain how designing around four billion species, 99% of which have already gone extinct, is intelligent? Seversky
It's amazing that the more we learn, the less believable speciation becomes with Darwinists clinging to their hypothesis claimed to be fact. BobRyan
Sudden appearance and stasis. Hmmm. Where have I heard that before? Sounds like a theme! Maybe a better question is where have I NOT heard that before? It seems like that is all we hear these days. tjguy

Leave a Reply