Cambrian explosion Intelligent Design

Researchers: Cambrian explosion was not an explosion after all

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Reconstruction of Cambrian predator Anomalocaris canadensis, Burgess Shale/Natalia Patkiewicz

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 process than first thought. More.

Via Eurekalert:

A team based at Oxford University Museum of Natural History and the University of Lausanne carried out the most comprehensive analysis ever made of early fossil euarthropods from every different possible type of fossil preservation. In an article published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences they show that, taken together, the total fossil record shows a gradual radiation of euarthropods during the early Cambrian, 540-500 million years ago.

The new analysis presents a challenge to the two major competing hypotheses about early animal evolution. The first of these suggests a slow, gradual evolution of euarthropods starting 650-600 million years ago, which had been consistent with earlier molecular dating estimates of their origin. The other hypothesis claims the nearly instantaneous appearance of euarthropods 540 million years ago because of highly elevated rates of evolution.

The new research suggests a middle-ground between these two hypotheses, with the origin of euarthropods no earlier than 550 million years ago, corresponding with more recent molecular dating estimates, and with the subsequent diversification taking place over the next 40 million years.

“Each of the major types of fossil evidence has its limitation and they are incomplete in different ways, but when taken together they are mutually illuminating and allow a coherent picture to emerge of the origin and radiation of the euarthropods during the lower to middle Cambrian,” explains Professor Allison Daley, who carried out the work at Oxford University Museum of Natural History and at the University of Lausanne. “This indicates that the Cambrian Explosion, rather than being a sudden event, unfolded gradually over the ~40 million years of the lower to middle Cambrian.” …

Hmmm. Did very many people think that the Cambrian explosion was literally sudden, as opposed to a very swift development (40 million years) in terms of geological time? One thinks, for example, of an explosion of new ideas that in fact take decades to become entrenched in a population. They are an explosion compared to millennia of the old ideas, though not compared to a firecracker. Similarly, the Cambrian was an explosion compared to the Boring Billion.

Still no word on why everything sped up dramatically at that point.

See also: Maverick theory: Cambrian animals remade the environmentby generating oxygen

and

Michael Medved discusses intelligent design theory with Darwin’s Doubt author Steve Meyer

Hat tip: Ken Francis

14 Replies to “Researchers: Cambrian explosion was not an explosion after all

  1. 1
    Mung says:

    Good thing that euarthropods are the only group to appear in the Cambrian!

  2. 2
    DATCG says:

    Does not change a thing. 10, 20, 40, 100 million. It’s a bit like moving dates around for other fossils, back and forth they go, arguing over dates, youngest, oldest, this continent, that continent. Dates get moved around based on who the scientist are at the time and their own internal biases formed over years and by differing groups beliefs.

    In another decade this could change yet again. I’ve read anywhere from 10-50 million in the past.

    Might as well play Whac-a-Darwinist-Date.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whac-A-Mole

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    The key problem is that not even observed cosmos scale resources and timelines of 14 BY approx can account for blind forces being credibly able to come up with even 1,000 bits of functionally specific, configuration based organisation and associated information. There is no evolutionary materialistic, empirically and analytically warranted account of origin of life or of body plans. This case is simply one illustration of the fact. 6000 y, 5 – 10 My, 100+ My, 1000 My, 14 BY are simply not enough to account for 0.1 – 1 Mbit to 10 – 100 Mbit of FSCO/I required. And, that problem is consistently being side-stepped. Only intelligently directed configuration is empirically warranted as an adequate cause. Design sits at the table as of right. KF

    PS: Do these folks see what they are doing to the credibility of their dating schemes and timelines? For cause, I take cosmological scales and phenomena far more seriously.

  4. 4
    ET says:

    Still no word on why everything sped up dramatically at that point.

    Global warming/ climate change.

    Snowball-earth episodes are said to have preceded the Ediacaran and Cambrian periods.

  5. 5
    vmahuna says:

    The unexplainable bit is that the Cambrian Explosion went SIDEWAYS: all kinds of critters in entirely new genera, not just all kinds of new species.

    Nothing else in the entire history of Earth has produced anything like this surge of diversity. And in fact, the period following the explosion, and every epoch since, has seen a necking DOWN of diversity.

    But, yeah, if you can’t explain it away, then launch a campaign to trivialize it. Nothing to see here, move along, folks. Let’s get back to discussing Darwin’s Finches.

  6. 6
    DATCG says:

    KF,

    All you say is true, but this is a religion. Darwin’s high priest and followers will keep worshiping the creation.

    And thus sayeth Darwinist…
    all of men will bow down to it. Large areas of former crop lands that fed the world will become dry, dusty waste lands for it, the creation rules, humans are but a blip to be wiped out hopefully in time so the truer forms of life may prosper.

    Seems rather to far fetched?

    Yet in 2013, 305 minnows vs life giving crops and 800,000 people…

    It would take about four average size minnow buckets to hold 305 3-inch Delta smelt, yet that is number of minnows responsible for diverting enough water to the ocean to provide a year’s supply for 800,000 California families.

    800,000 acre-feet of water went to waste based on the science of four buckets of minnows. That is enough water to produce crops on 200,000 acres or 10 million tons of tomatoes; 200 million boxes of lettuce; 20 million tons of grapes. You get the picture?

    No wonder Tom Birmingham, the normally thoughtful and analytical general manager of Westlands Water District, responded with, “This insanity has to stop,” when asked to respond to a Fresno Bee news reporter’s inquiry about the Federal Bureau of Reclamation’s initial water allocation of only 25 percent of federal water to San Joaquin Valley farmers.

    This is not a drought year. The meager allotment is the result of too much water.

    Heavy rains in November and December created a water flush through the Delta, herding the threatened Delta smelt/minnow south, closer to water pumps that move water from the Delta to the San Luis Reservoir, a storage terminal near Los Banos, Calif., that collects state and federal project water for movement south to urban Californians and San Joaquin Valley farmers. To protect the endangered minnows, the pumps were periodically stopped through the winter. No pumps; no water south. Just water west into the ocean.

    The ridiculous environmental rules protecting the Delta minnow say the pumps can only gobble up 305 of the minnows in a water year, which ends Sept. 30. The count is already 232 — more than 75 percent of the limit. So to make sure pumps supply water to 25 million people and millions of acres of farmland consumes no more than four minnow buckets full of smelt — 800,000 acre-feet of water is gone.

    The article from 2013 shares more lunacy…

    http://www.westernfarmpress.co.....05-minnows

  7. 7
    kairosfocus says:

    DATCG, was/is there a captive breeding programme for the fish? That would seem to be a fairly simple initial solution to its abundance. But also, what is the normal fresh water flow rate through the Delta, and what are the wider ecosystem implications? Too often an ecosystem sustainability issue gets translated into politicised debates over species. We need to become much more educated as an informed public so that we can make sensible decisions. Where — as +5% implies -5% on the other side of a vote and a 10% shift like that would often be decisive, that may be the crucial difference. KF

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: According to a WSJ article:

    a 2008 study by San Francisco State University researcher Wim Kimmerer —a paper used by the Fish and Wildlife Service to support its pumping restrictions—found that the sporadic population losses attributed to pumping during the winter and spring when smelt are spawning failed to take into account “subsequent 50-fold variability in survival from summer to fall” when the young fish are growing.

    Other studies have noted that the biggest driver of species abundance in the delta is precipitation, which may explain why the smelt population has plummeted over the past four years of drought after rebounding in 2011—a wet year.

    According to biologist Peter Moyle at the University of California, Davis, who has studied the delta ecosystem and smelt since the 1970s, precipitation levels can drastically transform the delta ecosystem’s complex food web. For instance, the invasive Asian clam—introduced to the delta in the 1980s—increases during droughts and competes with the smelt for food.

    Dry conditions, Mr. Moyle adds, also make the water clearer and render the translucent smelt more vulnerable to predators. Toxic fertilizers from delta farmers and contaminants from Sacramento urban users grow more concentrated when there is less water.

    “The chances of recovery are low,” Mr. Moyle tells me, noting that last month’s survey captured smelt scattered in disparate areas of the delta (state data show that the government-survey trawls kill more adult smelt than the pumps do). So the tiny fish may have to swim great distances to find a mate. Another problem is that the few remaining females and males may be at different stages of development and unable to mate.

    Mr. Moyle predicts that the smelt will disappear from the delta within the next two years—but strictly speaking, they won’t be extinct: The Fish and Wildlife Service maintains a “refuge” population at a fish hatchery near Shasta Dam that can recolonize the delta when water is abundant again. Environmentalists claim that the fish have a right to return. UC Davis also raises hundreds of smelt for experiments and conservation at a lab south of Stockton. Long live the smelt.

    Even if the delta smelt were eliminated from the delta forever, the federal government would continue to restrict pumping to protect other fish: the longfin smelt, steelhead and Chinook winter-run salmon. And green groups would continue petitioning the government to expand its list of endangered species. Parched Californians may soon wonder when it’s their turn for such concern.

    In addition, the species classification is a matter of an evolving pattern across several decades. Fin ray counts, gene studies and the like affect whether we have species, sub species or mere local populations in hand. That is, research funding and the current opinion of biologists on taxonomy are also relevant.

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    VM, actually, much higher, we are looking at Phyla and Subphyla, so that it’s a forest not a tree, with top down emergence on the — evolving — timeline. A timeline that is therefore a lot less than certain or stable. Where, there is an obvious interest to stretch things, so we need to ask some pointed questions as to how the dates we are presented with were identified and accepted. Science is a social process with its own power balances that may affect and do affect what is regarded as peer-acceptable findings at any given time. That’s actually in plain sight: peer reviewed Journals and conferences are key gatekeepers on scientific knowledge. This, in a context where we examine traces of the remote past, not the actual past of origins itself. So, we need to pull back the curtain and ask the wizards moving the machinery a few questions. That they are by and large tax-funded should be grounds enough to demand greatly enhanced transparency. KF

  10. 10
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: With 11+ mins on the clock, edit is locked out. Let me add here instead of a PS: apparently Almond farming (one of several crops) uses ~ 1 trillion gal/yr of water, compared to diversion of maybe 1.4 tr gal to the Delta in what, 6 years? So, we need to hold a due balance on considerations. Where, I suspect, law courts are not the best venues to carry out a cost-benefits analysis with ecosystem services valuation issues lurking. I further suspect, CA is returning to its historic drier climate patterns, climate being a 30 or so year moving average of weather. And yes, that means climate as evaluated is again influenced by funding and research trends and interests. I suspect that there is a breakdown of commitment to integrity and truthfulness across our civilisation with a linked rise of tendency to manipulate any source viewed as credible, with particular reference to the sciences and linked institutions. There are many factors at work and our civilisation is in self-inflicted deep trouble. KF

  11. 11
    DATCG says:

    KF @7, 9

    re: “was/is there a captive breeding programme for the fish?”

    Was the first question that came to mind as well. A question any scientist should/would ask, demand and determine.

    We introduce or reintroduce different species into different regions all over the world, including America from bird to animals to fish and plants. Is there a problem that maybe this fish would lose it’s spots if reintroduced somewhere else and then lose it’s classification as a unique species?

    You would think a better solution could be arrived in the 21st century.

  12. 12
    DATCG says:

    KF @8,

    good article from WSJ you quote. I see you found there is a program in place. The world is not ending…

    Mr. Moyle predicts that the smelt will disappear from the delta within the next two years—but strictly speaking, they won’t be extinct: The Fish and Wildlife Service maintains a “refuge” population at a fish hatchery near Shasta Dam that can recolonize the delta when water is abundant again. Environmentalists claim that the fish have a right to return. UC Davis also raises hundreds of smelt for experiments and conservation at a lab south of Stockton. Long live the smelt.

    Think about that “Right to Return” claim. That stops logical thinking to solutions. Darwinism of species has become a hindrance to effective management in this case.

    If this belief of environmentalist is carried out to it’s absurd conclusion, then every species kept in zoos should be released for their “right to return.”

    And all other species. The buffalo must have a Right to Return, to be able to roam wildly in the millions across the plains. Homes, suburbs, corn fields and city’s all should be removed from the midwest.

    On and on with the absurd claim by environmentalist.

    Even if the delta smelt were eliminated from the delta forever, the federal government would continue to restrict pumping(under Obama) to protect other fish: the longfin smelt, steelhead and Chinook winter-run salmon.

    And green groups would continue petitioning the government to expand its list of endangered species.

    Parched Californians may soon wonder when it’s their turn for such concern.

    ( ) emphasis mine.
    I do not know if Trump removed any regulations laid down by Obama EPA on this specific case.

    Poor Parched Californians are not natural. They’re foreign intruders to the lands. By all means, they must be kept from abusing such lands, water ways, etc.

  13. 13
    DATCG says:

    KF @10,

    I’ve learned to make a copy, then post. I’ve lost several post in the past and/or been cutoff early.

    On the society, the culture, agree. Scientism tends to rule in far to many politicized areas.

    Instead of allowing common sense solutions and definitions.

  14. 14
    kairosfocus says:

    Zip-zip-zip go the agit-prop saw teeth, each little curlicue adding to the cumulative impact on the branch on which we are all sitting. And those sawing away wonder why we are concerned. KF

    PS: I am wondering if some settlements in CA are in fact long-term unsustainable. A few decades of drier weather would drastically undermine farming. In Australia, in C19, someone drew a line that was crossed through irrigation. A big dry led to a big bust and some suicides IIRC. We can make big blunders (as with our volcano here) and then when the piper comes for pay, chaos.

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