Cambrian explosion Intelligent Design

Bryozoa add to Cambrian Explosion’s impact: 35 million years earlier than thought

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Bryozoa are mosslike animals:

Long thought to have first appeared in the Ordovician (485 mya, the oldest fossils from China), bryozoans have now been confirmed in the early Cambrian. In Nature News and Views, Andrej Ernst and Mark A. Wilson write, “Bryozoan fossils found at last in deposits from the Cambrian period.” They had been “conspicuously absent” till now. Why so? Thinking Darwinly, Ernst and Wilson point out that “bryozoans have a complex form (morphology), and must therefore have already had a long evolutionary history.” Molecular studies had also suggested to evolutionists an earlier emergence,

That emergence is now confirmed at least 35 million years earlier in the evolutionary timescale, or 44 million years according to the molecular clock…

These Cambrian bryozoans were not exactly simple. Except for skeletal parts, they look remarkably similar to Ordovician species. They possessed a holdfast, “suggesting an erect, self-supported colony anchored to the substrate.” Nor does the new species qualify as a common ancestor of bryozoans, because it already contained features of other families. Indeed, “the last common ancestor of total-group Bryozoa remains enigmatic,” the authors confess.

News, “More Cambrian Woes for Evolution” at Evolution News and Science Today (December 6, 2021)

So they are complex and that much closer to the dawn of life. Actually, even if fossil rabbits were found in the Cambrian, they would just be fitted into a Darwinian narrative that raises more questions than it answers about the history of life. It was like that in Darwin’s day and nothing has changed or can change if no design can be considered.

15 Replies to “Bryozoa add to Cambrian Explosion’s impact: 35 million years earlier than thought

  1. 1
    martin_r says:

    … Earlier Than Thought …

    this is Darwinian science … always wrong …

    not to mention, that common ancestors ALWAYS remain enigmatic …

  2. 2
    polistra says:

    The interesting thing about the blob, after I got past the EEEEEEEEWWWWW!!! ICK! response, is its structure. It IS distinctly brain-like, with an inner stem and an outer cortex, and seems to have bilateral hemispheres. Amorphous blobs aren’t bilateral. Clearly each animal knows where it’s supposed to be, based on some kind of hive-blueprint.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    Just uploaded to Youtube from Discovery Institute:

    Casey Luskin Defines Evolution and Explains How the Fossil Record Challenges Darwin

  4. 4
    chuckdarwin says:

    This is the takeaway from the Nature paper:

    This aligns the origin of phylum Bryozoa with all other skeletonized phyla in Cambrian Age 3, pushing back its first occurrence by approximately 35 million years. It also reconciles the fossil record with molecular clock estimations of an early Cambrian origination and subsequent Ordovician radiation of Bryozoa following the acquisition of a carbonate skeleton10,11,12,13.

    Demonstrates that the ongoing hypothesis that Bryozoa originated in the early Cambrian was correct. Looks like pretty solid evolutionary science to me. Good hypothesis, hard work in the field, and confirmation in the lab.
    Meanwhile, from Evolution News:

    Stephen Meyer can add another phylum to his chart of body plans in the Cambrian Explosion (Darwin’s Doubt, p. 32): phylum Bryozoa… A correction is in order: it was not a “Cambrian evolutionary radiation.” It was a “Cambrian explosion” of fully functioning animals with hierarchical body plans that defies evolution. The only cause able to account for hierarchical functioning systems is intelligence… Meanwhile, the Cambrian Explosion remains mysterious to those who deny intelligent design. Evolution marches on. Maybe the reward is the process, not the proof.

    The arrogance of the DI fraternity is truly stunning…

  5. 5
    zweston says:

    A great new video by “deflate” on youtube on necessity of punctuated equilibrium and the lack of its ability to explain the fossil record:

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    So a phylum is added to the list of phyla that already suddenly appeared in the Cambrian Explosion and ChuckyD says it “Looks like pretty solid evolutionary science to me”????

    A Graduate Student (Nick Matzke) Writes – David Berlinski July 9, 2013
    Excerpt: Representatives of twenty-three of the roughly twenty-seven fossilized animal phyla, and the roughly thirty-six animal phyla overall, are present in the Cambrian fossil record. Twenty of these twenty-three major groups make their appearance with no discernible ancestral forms in either earlier Cambrian or Precambrian strata. Representatives of the remaining three or so animal phyla originate in the late Precambrian, but they do so as abruptly as the animals that appeared first in Cambrian. Moreover, these late Precambrian animals lack clear affinities with the representatives of the twenty or so phyla that first appear in the Cambrian.

    Monty Python’s Black Knight has nothing on ChuckyD! 🙂

    Moreover, contrary to whatever ChuckyD believes in his fevered Darwinian imagination, the fossil record is actually upside down from what Charles Darwin predicted,

    Jerry Coyne’s Chapter on the Fossil Record Fails to Show “Why Evolution is True” – Jonathan M. – December 4, 2012
    Excerpt: Taxonomists classify organisms into categories: species are the very lowest taxonomic category. Species are classified into different genera. Genera are classified into different families. Families are classified into different orders. Orders are classified into different classes. And classes are classified into different phyla. Phyla are among the very highest taxonomic categories (only kingdom and domain are higher), and correspond to the high level of morphological disparity that exists between different animal body plans. Phyla include such groupings as chordates, arthropods, mollusks, and echinoderms.
    Darwin’s theory would predict a cone of diversity whereby the major body-plan differences (morphological disparity) would only appear in the fossil record following numerous lower-level speciation events. What is interesting about the fossil record is that it shows the appearance of the higher taxonomic categories first (virtually all of the major skeletonized phyla appear in the Cambrian, with no obvious fossil transitional precursors, within a relatively small span of geological time). As Roger Lewin (1988) explains in Science,?”Several possible patterns exist for the establishment of higher taxa, the two most obvious of which are the bottom-up and the top-down approaches. In the first, evolutionary novelties emerge, bit by bit. The Cambrian explosion appears to conform to the second pattern, the top-down effect.”
    Erwin et al. (1987), in their study of marine invertebrates, similarly conclude that,?”The fossil record suggests that the major pulse of diversification of phyla occurs before that of classes, classes before that of orders, orders before that of families. The higher taxa do not seem to have diverged through an accumulation of lower taxa.”?Indeed, the existence of numerous small and soft-bodied animals in the Precambrian strata undermines one of the most popular responses that these missing transitions can be accounted for by them being too small and too-soft bodied to be preserved.

    Scientific study turns understanding about evolution on its head – July 30, 2013
    Excerpt: evolutionary biologists,,, looked at nearly one hundred fossil groups to test the notion that it takes groups of animals many millions of years to reach their maximum diversity of form.
    Contrary to popular belief, not all animal groups continued to evolve fundamentally new morphologies through time. The majority actually achieved their greatest diversity of form (disparity) relatively early in their histories.
    ,,,Dr Matthew Wills said: “This pattern, known as ‘early high disparity’, turns the traditional V-shaped cone model of evolution on its head. What is equally surprising in our findings is that groups of animals are likely to show early-high disparity regardless of when they originated over the last half a billion years. This isn’t a phenomenon particularly associated with the first radiation of animals (in the Cambrian Explosion), or periods in the immediate wake of mass extinctions.”,,,
    Author Martin Hughes, continued: “Our work implies that there must be constraints on the range of forms within animal groups, and that these limits are often hit relatively early on.?Co-author Dr Sylvain Gerber, added: “A key question now is what prevents groups from generating fundamentally new forms later on in their evolution.,,,

  7. 7
    chuckdarwin says:

    The Monty Python reference dates you. The issue is really simple: phylum Bryozoa was predicted to occur in the Cambrian. This find empirically verifies that the prediction was correct.

    Your (dated) citations do not speak to this issue. Rather, you obfuscate by trying to re-litigate Meyer’s claim that the only explanation for the appearance of phyla in the Cambrian is God dabbling in evolution because there wasn’t enough time or “information” for evolution to do it on its own. This claim is succinctly debunked in Donald Prothero’s review of “Darwin’s Doubt” on Amazon.

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    “Bryozoa was predicted to occur in the Cambrian.”

    Interesting claim.

    Here is an analogy for you ChuckyD, the Big Bang itself, via observational evidence, (and via your definition), was ‘predicted’ to have happened 13.7 billion years ago, but nothing within Atheistic Materialism ‘predicted’ why the Big Bang happened in the first place (in fact Atheistic materialists hold that it happened for no reason whatsoever via a completely random quantum fluctuation, which pretty rules out atheists ever ‘predicting’ why the Big Bang happened in the first place). Likewise, nothing within Darwinian atheism ‘predicts’ why 20 plus phyla, (among the very highest taxonomic categories), should suddenly appear alongside one another in the Cambrian explosion. i.e. “They appear in the fossil record as Athena did from the head of Zeus — full-blown and raring to go,”

    New Science Uprising Episode Asks, “Just How Bad Is the Fossil Record for Darwin’s Theory?” – Nov. 2021
    Excerpt: As University of Pittsburgh anthologist and evolutionist Jeffrey Schwartz has put it, “We are still in the dark about the origin of most major groups of organisms. They appear in the fossil record as Athena did from the head of Zeus — full-blown and raring to go, in contradiction to Darwin’s depiction of evolution as resulting from the gradual accumulation of countless infinitesimally minute variations.”

    Fossils: Mysterious Origins (Science Uprising, Ep. 9)

    The fossil record is, despite whatever lies you may try to tell yourself ChuckyD, completely antagonistic to your Darwinian presuppositions.

    Chinese microscopic fossil find challenges Darwin’s theory – 11 November, 2014
    Excerpt: One of the world’s leading researchers on the Cambria explosion is Chen Junyuan from the Nanjing Institute of Palaeontology and he said that his fossil discoveries in China show that “Darwin’s tree is a reverse cone shape”. A senior research fellow at Chengjiang Fauna [fossil site], said, “I do not believe the animals developed gradually from the bottom up, I think they suddenly appeared”.

    Investigating Evolution: The Cambrian Explosion Part 1 – (4:45 minute mark – upside-down fossil record) video
    Part 2 – video

    The Ham-Nye Creation Debate: A Huge Missed Opportunity – Casey Luskin – February 4, 2014
    Excerpt: “The record of the first appearance of living phyla, classes, and orders can best be described in Wright’s (1) term as ‘from the top down’.”
    (James W. Valentine, “Late Precambrian bilaterians: Grades and clades,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 91: 6751-6757 (July 1994).)

    In Explaining the Cambrian Explosion, Has the TalkOrigins Archive Resolved Darwin’s Dilemma? – JonathanM – May 2012
    Excerpt: it is the pattern of morphological disparity preceding diversity that is fundamentally at odds with the neo-Darwinian scenario of gradualism. All of the major differences (i.e. the higher taxonomic categories such as phyla) appear first in the fossil record and then the lesser taxonomic categories such as classes, orders, families, genera and species appear later. On the Darwinian view, one would expect to see all of the major differences in body plan appear only after numerous small-scale speciation events. But this is not what we observe.

  9. 9
    ET says:

    Earth to chuckdarwin- There aren’t any naturalistic mechanisms capable of producing metazoans. So, stuff it with your false prediction.

  10. 10
    chuckdarwin says:

    This is actually the best part of the Chinese article you cited. It’s the very first comment”:

    I am a paleontologist at Cape Breton University (Canada). I wanted to quickly clarify two misconceptions in this letter: 1) “The species of today are not necessarily better or superior to those of yesterday.” This is true. Evolution does not lead to superior characteristics in any objective sense, rather it leads to characteristics that provide reproductive superiority in a particular environment at a particular time. Since the environment (both physical and biological) changes, characteristics that were previously advantageous often become maladaptive (and vice versa). Human beings would probably be terribly adapted to a life in the Jurassic and dinosaurs, despite ruling the Earth for over a hundred million years, would fare poorly in our frigid world of mammals. 2) Paleontologists do not expect to find a good record from the pre-Cambrian, since life had not learned the ‘trick’ of producing mineralized skeletons, and therefore poorly fossilized. That said, we actually do have a remarkable numbers of fossils from the first 3 billion years of Earth history., and the number continues to grow each year, with many of the most important new discoveries coming from Chinese paleontologists!

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    ChuckyD, so a comment following the Chinese article, a comment offering paltry excuses that are ‘not even wrong’ for explaining why the fossil record is, basically, completely ‘upside down’ from what Darwin himself predicted, is considered the ‘best part of the Chinese article’ in your book?

    Again, Monty Python’s Black Knight has nothing on ChuckyD! 🙂

    Monty Python – The Black Knight – Tis But A Scratch

  12. 12
    bornagain77 says:

    In order to explain why “The record of the first appearance of living phyla, classes, and orders can best be described in Wright’s (1) term as ‘from the top down’” instead of from the ‘bottom up’ as Darwin predicted, it is necessary to invoke a ‘top-dawn’ cause.

    Intelligence, i.e. the immaterial mind, just so happens to be such a ‘top down’ cause.

    How Does The World Work: Top-Down or Bottom-Up? – September 29, 2013
    Excerpt: To get an handle on how top-down causation works, Ellis focuses on what’s in front of all us so much of the time: the computer. Computers are structured systems. They are built as a hierarchy of layers, extending from the wires in the transistors all the way up to the fully assembled machine, gleaming metal case and all.
    Because of this layering, what happens at the uppermost levels — like you hitting the escape key — flows downward. This action determines the behavior of the lowest levels — like the flow of electrons through the wires — in ways that simply could not be predicted by just knowing the laws of electrons. As Ellis puts it:
    “Structured systems such as a computer constrain lower level interactions, and thereby paradoxically create new possibilities of complex behavior.”
    Ellis likes to emphasize how the hierarchy of structure — from fully assembled machine through logic gates, down to transistors — changes everything for the lowly electrons. In particular, it “breaks the symmetry” of their possible behavior since their movements in the computer hardware are very different from what would occur if they were just floating around in a plasma blob in space.
    But the hardware, of course, is just one piece of the puzzle. This is where things get interesting. As Ellis explains:
    “Hardware is only causally effective because of the software which animates it: by itself hardware can do nothing. Both hardware and software are hierarchically structured with the higher level logic driving the lower level events.”
    In other words, it’s software at the top level of structure that determines how the electrons at the bottom level flow. Hitting escape while running Word moves the electrons in the wires in different ways than hitting escape does when running Photoshop. This is causation flowing from top to bottom.
    For Ellis, anything producing causes is real in the most basic sense of the word. Thus the software, which is not physical like the electrons, is just as real as those electrons. As Ellis puts it:
    “Hence, although they are the ultimate in algorithmic causation as characterized so precisely by Turing, digital computers embody and demonstrate the causal efficacy of non-physical entities. The physics allows this; it does not control what takes place. Computers exemplify the emergence of new kinds of causation out of the underlying physics, not implied by physics but rather by the logic of higher-level possibilities. … A combination of bottom-up causation and contextual affects (top-down influences) enables their complex functioning.”
    The consequences of this perspective for our view of the mind are straightforward and radical:
    “The mind is not a physical entity, but it certainly is causally effective: proof is the existence of the computer on which you are reading this text. It could not exist if it had not been designed and manufactured according to someone’s plans, thereby proving the causal efficacy of thoughts, which like computer programs and data are not physical entities.”

    Recognising Top-Down Causation – George Ellis
    Excerpt: Causation: The nature of causation is highly contested territory, and I will take a pragmatic view:
    Definition 1: Causal Effect
    If making a change in a quantity X results in a reliable demonstrable change in a quantity Y in a given context, then X has a causal effect on Y.
    Example: I press the key labelled “A” on my computer keyboard; the letter “A” appears on my computer screen.,,,
    Definition 2: Existence
    If Y is a physical entity made up of ordinary matter, and X is some kind of entity that has a demonstrable causal effect on Y as per Definition 1, then we must acknowledge that X also exists (even if it is not made up of such matter).
    This is clearly a sensible and testable criterion; in the example above, it leads to the conclusion that both the data and the relevant software exist. If we do not adopt this definition, we will have instances of uncaused changes in the world; I presume we wish to avoid that situation.,,,
    ,,,However there are many topics that one cannot understand by assuming this one-way flow of causation. The flourishing subject of social neuroscience makes clear how social influences act down on individual brain structure[2]; studies in physiology demonstrate that downward causation is necessary in understanding the heart, where this form of causation can be represented as the influences of initial and boundary conditions on the solutions of the differential equations used to represent the lower level processes[3]; epigenetic studies demonstrate that biological development is crucially shaped by the environment[4]
    What about physics? In this essay I will make the case that top-down causation is also prevalent in physics, even though this is not often recognised as such. This does not occur by violating physical laws; on the contrary, it occurs through the laws of physics, by setting constraints on lower level interactions.
    Excerpt: page 5: A:
    Both the program and the data are non-physical entities, indeed so is all software. A program is not a physical thing you can point to, but by Definition 2 it certainly exists. You can point to a CD or flashdrive where it is stored, but that is not the thing in itself: it is a medium in which it is stored.
    The program itself is an abstract entity, shaped by abstract logic. Is the software “nothing but” its realisation through a specific set of stored electronic states in the computer memory banks? No it is not because it is the precise pattern in those states that matters: a higher level relation that is not apparent at the scale of the electrons themselves. It’s a relational thing (and if you get the relations between the symbols wrong, so you have a syntax error, it will all come to a grinding halt). This abstract nature of software is realised in the concept of virtual machines, which occur at every level in the computer hierarchy except the bottom one [17]. But this tower of virtual machines causes physical effects in the real world, for example when a computer controls a robot in an assembly line to create physical artefacts.,,,
    Life and the brain: living systems are highly structured modular hierarchical systems, and there are many similarities to the digital computer case, even though they are not digital computers. The lower level interactions are constrained by network connections, thereby creating possibilities of truly complex behaviour. Top-down causation is prevalent at all levels in the brain: for example it is crucial to vision [24,25] as well as the relation of the individual brain to society [2]. The hardware (the brain) can do nothing without the excitations that animate it: indeed this is the difference between life and death.
    The mind is not a physical entity, but it certainly is causally effective: proof is the existence of the computer on which you are reading this text. It could not exist if it had not been designed and manufactured according to someone’s plans, thereby proving the causal efficacy of thoughts, which like computer programs and data are not physical entities.

  13. 13
    Bob says:


    Going on your response’s given, am I to take it that you are once “trolling”? Or (and I sincerely hope not) are you actually holding to your given statements.

  14. 14
    chuckdarwin says:

    Downward causation, a concept almost as vague as intelligent design. 2400 years and we are right back with Aristotle…

  15. 15
    Bob says:

    So troll comments, understood.

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