Lamoureux’s role in the debate was largely to offer a robotic rolodex of tired cliché’s (e.g., “I find the evidence for evolution overwhelming, there is no debate on that,” and “biology only makes sense in light of evolution”). Among them was the classic, “show me one tooth in the Cambrian, and we’ll turn all the science upside-down.”
Of course, we have good reason to doubt that he would be true to his ultimatum. After all, we didn’t think evolution could account for the massive diversification of animal life seen in a 5-8 million year sliver of the Cambrian period, a time in which “Almost all of these [animal] phyla appeared seemingly full-fledged,” and “no fossil intermediates between them have been found and no living intermediates are in existence.” (Mayr, What Evolution Is, 51). Or, as Erwin and Valentine (2013) put it, a time when, “nearly all the major living animal groups (phyla) that have skeletons first appeared as fossils.” But apparently evolution can manage it just fine. And, evolution must. The preservation of soft-bodied fossils in the pre-Cambrian, complete with the glaring lack of diversity in the Ediacaran fauna, makes the “long fuse” theory untenable.
Of course, having swallowed the camel, the evolutionists also didn’t relent when we started finding chordates in the Cambrian. In fact, they also weren’t worried about the recent discovery of tetrapods at ~410 mya (predating all of the previously-offered transitional forms: Ichthyostega, Acanthostega and Tiktaalik). So, I suspect actually finding teeth in the Cambrian wouldn’t really worry them either. More.
Wouldn’t fossil teeth in the Cambrian just be another “earlier than thought” whistling through the science press? The metaphysics of Darwinian evolution has stood in for history for so long that it’s not clear that any history could rewrite it. One must just wait for Darwinians to slowly retire.
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