Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

That Cambrian rabbit takes a bow, and offers his audience an irrefutability package

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Following on the note that a Psychology Today columnist asked recently if creationists are sane, some of us naturally thought of that unfalsifiable Cambrian rabbit …. (Although early evolutionary biologist J.B.S. Haldane thought that finding a fossil rabbit in the Cambrian would falsify the standard picture of evolution that he believed was correct, since then, Darwin’s followers have made it clear that it would not falsify their beliefs.)

A friend writes to explain how he thinks they would handle the explanation: They

… would propose a heretofore unknown initial and relatively rapid Darwinian flourishing that for some unknown geological reason (a matter for further research) left no fossil evidence. This diversity of life for some unknown reason (a matter for further research) went through a severe bottleneck, the surviving descendants being represented in the well known Ediacaran and Cambrian forms, which went on to evolve per the current Darwinian story, a story that includes the now known to be convergent evolution of whales. The fossilized Cambrian whale was part of a small remnant population that for some unknown reason (a matter for further research) survived when other advanced forms of sea life did not. Because it survived beyond the era when unknown geological forces eliminated or prevented fossils from forming, it was available to be fossilized along with the other Ediacaran and Cambrian specimens. Fossils of this whale species are so rare, this being the only known specimen, because the population was so small and soon thereafter went extinct. It is amazing that we have even this fossil. This is how science works. Theories are revised in light of new data.

One wonders, naturally, if this is true. I mean, about the “heretofore unknown initial and relatively rapid Darwinian flourishing.”

And lo! And behold!, no sooner wondered than a paper comes out announcing that, despite what generations of students of evolution have wrestled with, there is really no mystery about the Cambrian period after all: Evolution just happened five times as fast back then.

Now, once the idea becomes accepted that evolution can just happen 1000 times as fast, a number of other conundrums will easily be solved too. 😉

mjazzguitar The British Museum of Natural History holds that fruit bats are descended from primates (their wing structure being fortuitously highly convergent with those of the echo-locating bats descended from insectivores), so your hypothesis sounds utterly plausible. Indeed, just what the theory of evolution would predict. Somehow, however, the Bishop of Oxford's purported remarks to Huxley sound less cogent as, "And on which side of the family, Sir, are you descended from a rabbit?" Jon Garvey
If that rabbit was the only mammal at the time, then perhaps all mammals, including man, descended from him. mjazzguitar
johnp. We are teaching him to jump out of a hat. It is a repetitive process. ;) News
While I agree that the hard-core materialists would never allow ANY evidence to "falsify" their positions, I'm not sure how productive it is to keep beating on the poor old (hypothetical) dead cambrian rabbit. One man's opinion. (However I full well realize it's your website and you can beat the rabbit if you want to!) johnp

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