Cambrian explosion Intelligent Design

Cambrian Explosion appears even more explosive now

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In a third research effort, a team of 14 geochemists and geophysicists led by Ulf Linnemann discovered a way to obtain a precision date for the launch of the Cambrian explosion. They found a composite geological section in southern Namibia of the Ediacaran-Cambrian boundary that provided biostratigraphic and chemostratigraphic data that was bracketed by radiometric dating.5 Their measurements constrained the date for the Ediacaran-Cambrian boundary to no earlier than 538.99 ± 0.21 million years ago and no later than 538.58 ± 0.19 million years ago. Therefore, they concluded that the faunal transition from Ediacaran to Cambrian biota occurred within less than 410,000 years.6 …

A time window for the Cambrian explosion briefer than 410,000 years is far too brief for any conceivable naturalistic model for the history of life. It would be far too brief even for the appearance of just one new phylum, let alone 30+ phyla.

* 6. Linnemann et al., “New High-Resolution Age Data,” 49.

Hugh Ross, “Cambrian Explosion Becomes More Explosive” at Reasons (January 17, 2022)

Or, as Gunter Bechly put it last year,

Recently, I stumbled upon a paper from 2018 that I had previously overlooked, and it proved to be dynamite. It is a study by a research group from the University of Zurich about the transition from the Ediacaran organisms to the Cambrian animal phyla in the Nama Basin of Namibia (Linnemann et al. 2018). What they found is truly mind-blowing. The window of time between the latest appearance date (LAD) of the alien Ediacaran biota and the first appearance date (FAD) of the complex Cambrian biota was only 410,000 years. You read that correctly, just 410 thousand years! This is not an educated guess but based on very precise radiometric U-Pb dating with an error margin of only plus-minus 200 thousand years. This precision is truly a remarkable achievement of modern science considering that we are talking about events 538 million years ago.

The authors of the study fully realized that their finding documents an unexpected “extremely short duration of the faunal transition from Ediacaran to Cambrian biota.” Therefore, they speculated about ecologically driven reasons for this rapid onset of the Cambrian Explosion. Of course, no ecological factors whatsoever could solve the information problem of the origin of the new animal body plans in the Cambrian Explosion, as was elaborated by Stephen Meyer in his book Darwin’s Doubt (Meyer 2013). With this new and very precise time frame, the population genetic waiting time problem for the origin of animal body plans is lifted to a whole new level and suggests that no unguided process could ever plausibly explain these data. The Cambrian Explosion has gone nuclear and simply evaporates neo-Darwinism as a brilliant and beautiful but failed scientific theory, as it was recently called by Yale University professor David Gelernter (2019).

Günter Bechly, “The Cambrian Explosion Has Just Gone Nuclear” at Evolution News and Science Today (April 8, 2021)

The strongest argument for Darwinism today is that it is believed by all the right people.

Hat tip: Philip Cunningham

13 Replies to “Cambrian Explosion appears even more explosive now

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    It’s interesting that the mean window of 400k is derived from dating methods with an error of plus/minus 200k. If the errors go the right way, the real gap could be zero.

  2. 2
    BobRyan says:

    It was already close to impossible for Darwinists to explain. Now, it is impossible.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    BobRyan states, “It was already close to impossible for Darwinists to explain. Now, it is impossible.”

    And the reason that we know it is impossible is because of empirical/experimental results, (not because of empty speculation and/or philosophical bias).

    “Enzyme Families — Shared Evolutionary History or Shared Design?” – Ann Gauger – December 4, 2014
    Excerpt: If enzymes can’t be recruited to genuinely new functions by unguided means, no matter how similar they are, the evolutionary story is false.,,,
    Taken together, since we found no enzyme that was within one mutation of cooption, the total number of mutations needed is at least four: one for duplication, one for over-production, and two or more single base changes. The waiting time required to achieve four mutations is 10^15 years. That’s longer than the age of the universe. The real waiting time is likely to be much greater, since the two most likely candidate enzymes failed to be coopted by double mutations.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....91701.html

    “Biologist Douglas Axe on Evolution’s (in)-Ability to Produce New (Protein) Functions ” – video
    Quote: “It turns out once you get above the number six [changes] — and even at lower numbers actually — but once you get above the number six you can pretty decisively rule out an evolutionary transition because it would take far more time than there is on planet Earth and larger populations than there are on planet Earth.”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZiLsXO-dYo

    Watch: Videos Now Available from the Recent ID Conference In Austria
    Günter Bechly – October 24, 2019
    Excerpt: Dr. Brian MILLER, “A Thermodynamic Analysis of the Rarity of Protein Folds” (May 30, 2019).
    Abstract: “Research by Douglas Axe demonstrated that amino acid sequences that correspond to a functional beta-lactamase protein fold are extremely rare. In response, critics have raised questions related to the accuracy of his analysis. This presentation describes how more recent research on the effects of mutations on the thermodynamic stability of protein folds has confirmed Axe’s result and its general relevance to most proteins. The presentation also applies the results of an evolutionary time-scale study by Chatterjee, Pavlogiannis, Adlam, and Nowak, and discusses the implications for the argument that co-option can explain the appearance of irreducibly complex molecular machines.”
    https://evolutionnews.org/2019/10/videos-available-from-the-id-conference-in-austria/

    Right of Reply: Our Response to Jerry Coyne – September 29, 2019
    by Günter Bechly, Brian Miller and David Berlinski
    Excerpt: Indeed, Harvard mathematical biologist Martin Nowak has shown that random searches in sequence space that start from known functional sequences are no more likely to enter regions in sequence space with new protein folds than searches that start from random sequences. The reason for this is clear: random searches are overwhelmingly more likely to go off into a non-folding, non-functional abyss than they are to find a novel protein fold. Why? Because such novel folds are so extraordinarily rare in sequence space. Moreover, as Meyer explained in Darwin’s Doubt, as mutations accumulate in functional sequences, they will inevitably destroy function long before they stumble across a new protein fold. Again, this follows from the extreme rarity (as well as the isolation) of protein folds in sequence space.
    Recent work by Weizmann Institute protein scientist Dan Tawfik has reinforced this conclusion. Tawfik’s work shows that as mutations to functional protein sequences accumulate, the folds of those proteins become progressively more thermodynamically and structurally unstable. Typically, 15 or fewer mutations will completely destroy the stability of known protein folds of average size. Yet, generating (or finding) a new protein fold requires far more amino acid sequence changes than that. Finally, calculations based on Tawfik’s work confirm and extend the applicability of Axe’s original measure of the rarity of protein folds. These calculations confirm that the measure of rarity that Axe determined for the protein he studied is actually representative of the rarity for large classes of other globular proteins. Not surprisingly, Dan Tawfik has described the origination of a truly novel protein or fold as “something like close to a miracle.” Tawfik is on Coyne’s side: He is mainstream.
    https://quillette.com/2019/09/29/right-of-reply-our-response-to-jerry-coyne/

    Likewise Dr. Behe, via empirical evidence, found that the ability of the malaria parasite to develop resistance to chloroquine is a two mutation event with a probability of occurring of 1 in 10^20. He then notes that ‘for humans to achieve a mutation like this by chance, we would have to wait 100 million times 10 million years’ (or 1 quadrillion years)

    Waiting Longer for Two Mutations – Michael J. Behe
    Excerpt: Citing malaria literature sources (White 2004) I had noted that the de novo appearance of chloroquine resistance in Plasmodium falciparum was an event of probability of 1 in 10^20. I then wrote that ‘for humans to achieve a mutation like this by chance, we would have to wait 100 million times 10 million years’ (1 quadrillion years)(Behe 2007) (because that is the extrapolated time that it would take to produce 10^20 humans). Durrett and Schmidt (2008, p. 1507) retort that my number ‘is 5 million times larger than the calculation we have just given’ using their model (which nonetheless “using their model” gives a prohibitively long waiting time of 216 million years). Their criticism compares apples to oranges. My figure of 10^20 is an empirical statistic from the literature; it is not, as their calculation is, a theoretical estimate from a population genetics model.
    http://www.discovery.org/a/9461

    And on page 135 of his book, Dr. Behe stated that “Generating a single new cellular protein-protein binding site is of the same order of difficulty or worse than the development of chloroquine resistance in the malarial parasite.”

    “Generating a single new cellular protein-protein binding site is of the same order of difficulty or worse than the development of chloroquine resistance in the malarial parasite.”
    Michael Behe – The Edge of Evolution – page 135

    Michael Behe then, on page 146 of his book, put what he has dubbed ‘the edge of evolution’ to be at 10^20 times 10^20, which is 10^40. ,,, Behe puts the edge of evolution at 10^40 since, as he states, ‘there have likely been fewer than 10^40 cells in the world in the last 4 billion years,’.

    “The immediate, most important implication is that complexes with more than two different binding sites-ones that require three or more proteins-are beyond the edge of evolution, past what is biologically reasonable to expect Darwinian evolution to have accomplished in all of life in all of the billion-year history of the world. The reasoning is straightforward. The odds of getting two independent things right are the multiple of the odds of getting each right by itself. So, other things being equal, the likelihood of developing two binding sites in a protein complex would be the square of the probability for getting one: a double CCC (chloroquine complexity cluster), 10^20 times 10^20, which is 10^40. There have likely been fewer than 10^40 cells in the world in the last 4 billion years, so the odds are against a single event of this variety in the history of life. It is biologically unreasonable.”
    – Michael Behe – The Edge of Evolution – page 146

    And like Axe and Gauger’s work, further experimental research has only empirically strengthened Dr. Behe’s original analysis,

    Michael Behe – Observed (1 in 10^20) Edge of Evolution – video – Lecture delivered in April 2015 at Colorado School of Mines
    25:56 minute quote – “This is not an argument anymore that Darwinism cannot make complex functional systems; it is an observation that it does not.”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9svV8wNUqvA

    Dr. Michael Behe, Guest Lecture at YISS – 2015 video (31:00 minute mark: empirical verification of 1 in 10^20 ‘edge’ of evolution)
    https://vimeo.com/110110918

    Of supplemental note, (from the mathematics of population genetics), on the impossibility of Darwinian evolution ‘fixing mutations’ in a population

    The waiting time problem in a model hominin population – 2015 Sep 17
    John Sanford, Wesley Brewer, Franzine Smith, and John Baumgardner
    Excerpt: The program Mendel’s Accountant realistically simulates the mutation/selection process,,,
    Given optimal settings, what is the longest nucleotide string that can arise within a reasonable waiting time within a hominin population of 10,000? Arguably, the waiting time for the fixation of a “string-of-one” is by itself problematic (Table 2). Waiting a minimum of 1.5 million years (realistically, much longer), for a single point mutation is not timely adaptation in the face of any type of pressing evolutionary challenge. This is especially problematic when we consider that it is estimated that it only took six million years for the chimp and human genomes to diverge by over 5 % [1]. This represents at least 75 million nucleotide changes in the human lineage, many of which must encode new information.
    While fixing one point mutation is problematic, our simulations show that the fixation of two co-dependent mutations is extremely problematic – requiring at least 84 million years (Table 2). This is ten-fold longer than the estimated time required for ape-to-man evolution. In this light, we suggest that a string of two specific mutations is a reasonable upper limit, in terms of the longest string length that is likely to evolve within a hominin population (at least in a way that is either timely or meaningful). Certainly the creation and fixation of a string of three (requiring at least 380 million years) would be extremely untimely (and trivial in effect), in terms of the evolution of modern man.
    It is widely thought that a larger population size can eliminate the waiting time problem. If that were true, then the waiting time problem would only be meaningful within small populations. While our simulations show that larger populations do help reduce waiting time, we see that the benefit of larger population size produces rapidly diminishing returns (Table 4 and Fig. 4). When we increase the hominin population from 10,000 to 1 million (our current upper limit for these types of experiments), the waiting time for creating a string of five is only reduced from two billion to 482 million years.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....MC4573302/

    Quote and verse:

    “If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are who made the guess, or what his name is … If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.”
    – Richard Feynman

    1 Thessalonians 5:21
    Test all things; hold fast to that which is good.

  4. 4
    zweston says:

    I’ll bet we don’t get any comments related to the OP from sev, Chucky, etc. Only theological qualms.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    To give us an idea of just how impossible it is for Darwinian processes to ever explain the Cambrian explosion, (or explain the diversity of life in general), as I stated in post 3, Dr. Behe, via empirical evidence, found that the chance of Darwinian processes finding a single protein/protein binding site are 1 in 10^20,,, and thus Dr. Behe set ‘the edge of evolution’ at 2 protein binding sites since, “10^20 times 10^20, which is 10^40. There have likely been fewer than 10^40 cells in the world in the last 4 billion years, so the odds are against a single event of this variety in the history of life. It is biologically unreasonable.”

    “The immediate, most important implication is that complexes with more than two different binding sites-ones that require three or more proteins-are beyond the edge of evolution, past what is biologically reasonable to expect Darwinian evolution to have accomplished in all of life in all of the billion-year history of the world. The reasoning is straightforward. The odds of getting two independent things right are the multiple of the odds of getting each right by itself. So, other things being equal, the likelihood of developing two binding sites in a protein complex would be the square of the probability for getting one: a double CCC (chloroquine complexity cluster), 10^20 times 10^20, which is 10^40. There have likely been fewer than 10^40 cells in the world in the last 4 billion years, so the odds are against a single event of this variety in the history of life. It is biologically unreasonable.”
    – Michael Behe – The Edge of Evolution – page 146

    But, obviously, Darwinian processes have to explain the generation of vastly more new protein/protein binding sites than just 2.

    Just how far short do Darwinian processes fall in explaining the generation of new protein/protein binding sites?

    Well, it is found that what truly differentiates species is not a ‘very similar set of genes’ but is ‘alternative splicing events’.

    As the following paper explains, “A major question in vertebrate evolutionary biology is “how do physical and behavioral differences arise if we have a very similar set of genes to that of the mouse, chicken, or frog?”,,, “alternative splicing events differ widely between even closely related species. “The alternative splicing patterns are very different even between humans and chimpanzees,”

    Evolution by Splicing – Comparing gene transcripts from different species reveals surprising splicing diversity. – Ruth Williams – December 20, 2012
    Excerpt: A major question in vertebrate evolutionary biology is “how do physical and behavioral differences arise if we have a very similar set of genes to that of the mouse, chicken, or frog?”,,,
    A commonly discussed mechanism was variable levels of gene expression, but both Blencowe and Chris Burge,,, found that gene expression is relatively conserved among species.
    On the other hand, the papers show that most alternative splicing events differ widely between even closely related species. “The alternative splicing patterns are very different even between humans and chimpanzees,” said Blencowe.,,,
    http://www.the-scientist.com/?.....plicing%2F

    In fact, due to alternative splicing, “Alternatively spliced isoforms,,, appear to behave as if encoded by distinct genes rather than as minor variants of each other.,,,” and “As many as 100,000 distinct isoform transcripts could be produced from the 20,000 human protein-coding genes (Pan et al., 2008), collectively leading to perhaps over a million distinct polypeptides obtained by post-translational modification of products of all possible transcript isoforms,,”

    Widespread Expansion of Protein Interaction Capabilities by Alternative Splicing – 2016
    In Brief
    Alternatively spliced isoforms of proteins exhibit strikingly different interaction profiles and thus, in the context of global interactome networks, appear to behave as if encoded by distinct genes rather than as minor variants of each other.,,,
    Page 806 excerpt: As many as 100,000 distinct isoform transcripts could be produced from the 20,000 human protein-coding genes (Pan et al., 2008), collectively leading to perhaps over a million distinct polypeptides obtained by post-translational modification of products of all possible transcript isoforms (Smith and Kelleher, 2013).
    http://iakouchevalab.ucsd.edu/.....M_2016.pdf

    The finding of “perhaps over a million distinct polypeptides obtained by post-translational modification” between “even closely related species” is, obviously, far beyond the 10^40 ‘edge of evolution’ of 2 protein/protein binding sites that was set by Dr. Behe.

    So again, we know it, (the Cambrian explosion), is impossible (for Darwinian processes to explain) because of empirical/experimental results, (not because of empty speculation and/or philosophical bias).

    Quote and verse:

    “If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are who made the guess, or what his name is … If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.”
    – Richard Feynman

    1 Thessalonians 5:21
    Test all things; hold fast to that which is good.

  6. 6
    Seversky says:

    Ross and Bechly are making it sound like a switch was thrown “538.99 ± 0.21 million years ago” and the Ediacaran cam to an abrupt halt and then another switch was thrown “538.58 ± 0.19 million years ago” and the Cambrian sprang into life.

    According to creationist astrophysicist Hugh Ross, 410,000 years is too short a span for evolution to produce even the beginnings of the Cambrian fauna so we have a nice gap into which a Designer God could presumably be plugged.

    So is Ross saying that his God shut down the Ediacaran and then fired up the Cambrian for reasons best known to Himself because that seems to be the only alternative to evolution on offer?

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky, perhaps you can ask Him, (God), that question about the Cambrian after He quits laughing when you first ask Him why He did not give you the eyes of an owl?

    Sev: “Owls can also see way better in the dark than we can. How come The Designer gave them better eyes than ours?”,,,
    “(So) no one has any idea why we weren’t designed with better eyes as well as better brains”?

    BA77: “Hubris is too mild a word.”
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/airplane-wing-design-design-in-nature-was-there-first-with-owl-wings/#comment-745231

  8. 8
    doubter says:

    Seversky

    Give us a break. 410,000 years is probably barely enough for the Darwinian microevolution of even one new species, and with this new species having just minor modifications, no complex new innovations, much less the raft of complex new innovations defining finely detailed body plans of a score of entirely new invertebrate and vertebrate animal phyla. The complex major innovations have always been considered by all Darwinian evolutionary biologists (not just nonbiologist Hugh Ross – what a red herring) to take very many millions of years of gradual transformation. Of course, ID research has shown that even that is impossible from the undirected random mutation fueled Darwinian mechanism. Just one of the reasons is the almost complete absence of the profusion of intermediate forms that are expected from RM + NS.

    By the way, what other alternatives to evolution besides ID do you have to offer, since the data shows it couldn’t have been evolution?

  9. 9
    Belfast says:

    Four months ago I made a comment:-
    “Had I been present at the creation, I would have given some useful hints for the better ordering of the universe.” (Attributed to Alphonso the Wise.)
    Now we have Seversky the Wise pointing out design flaws in the human body. By necessary implication if Seversky the Wise had designed the body there would have been two stomachs, two penises, etc. as these fit the notion of “sensible” redundancy as two kidneys do ….
    Seversky the Wise gives a useful safety tip; if he had designed the body, he would have put in place a distant early warning system, to combat cancer for example; and is puzzled that since a mortal like himself could think of such a handy and effective feature, God couldn’t.”
    Seems Seversky is still at it. Now he is back in his Alphonso form, using #17 of Atheists’ Greatest Zingers; firstly deriding how God bungled the human eye, then bungled the ages of the earth.
    Two points, Seversky:- claiming a design could be better is not negating an appearance of design.
    Secondly, this and other dating of the Cambrian has destroyed a key element of Darwinism and the theory is now that evolution might take a billion years, except when it acts “normal’ or like lightning; hyperbradetely, bradytely, horotely, and tachytely – almost like a Foxtrot, slow slow quick quick slow. Forced to do this, evolution is stranded as it can’t explain how evolution can proceed at different rates.
    Of course theories are modified, but this billions-of years-tiny- incremental- changes theory was the central pillar and it’s gone.
    Your red herrings and rhetorical questions don’t alter that.

  10. 10
    zweston says:

    Sev, your response adds nothing to the OP… you just say “This is just God of the gaps, Well, the way God would have to do it makes no sense…”

    So you answer to evolution being exposed as completely untenable (again) is to say that God doesn’t make sense.

    This isn’t God of the gaps.

    if there is a gap (even though most of those body plans have no predecessors in the fossil record… how do you fill it? What is your theory?

  11. 11
    Querius says:

    Polistra @1,

    If the errors go the right way, the real gap could be zero.

    Heh, good observation. Imagine that . . .

    Doubter @8,
    Great point. But, Darwinists will certainly continue either to object to the data as being necessarily incorrect or the evolutionary process necessarily having some as-yet undiscovered capabilities.

    Belfast @9,
    So, the presumption of serious design flaws based on grossly incomplete scientific understanding somehow falsifies the existence of God, but then somehow proves the mechanism of evolution . . .

    Too bad for Darwinists that the 100+ vestigial organs argument turned out to be wrong, along with “junk” DNA and the magical preservation of stretchy tissue, blood vessels, and red blood cells in dinosaur bones exposed to 65+ million years of background radiation, which should have turned it all into dust. And then there are the “living fossils” that somehow evaded evolutionary change from at least 60 million years (i.e. the changes “musta” somehow been internal only).

    One can see that Darwinism has more to do with faith than science.

    -Q

  12. 12
    zweston says:

    I enjoy your comments, Q.

  13. 13
    Querius says:

    Thank you kindly, Zweston.

    This isn’t God of the gaps. if there is a gap (even though most of those body plans have no predecessors in the fossil record… how do you fill it? What is your theory?

    I’m imagining a cartoon with an angel coming up to God and saying, “Incidentally, I noticed a gap in the spectrum of small, furry burrowing mammals.” 🙂

    Personally, I’ve always been amazed at the body plan of sea stars:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VA2xmIQ8X34

    This short video leaves out many of its amazing features: tube feet working and resting in ranks, tube feet adhesives, light sensitive spots at the end of each arm, tiny pincer-like appendages on its top surface, regenerating multiple arms, and so on.

    Where did this radical body plan and all its functionality come from?

    Oh, I know. A Cambrian Explosion–the big bang of biological life.

    -Q

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