Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

When Earth’s magnetic field nearly disappeared

arroba Email
Earth’s magnetic field

Just before the Cambrian explosion. Is it a possible sign of maturity — in the light of so much more information today — that a researcher does not rush to insist that the near disappearance must be the cause of the Cambrian explosion?

Shortly after this time, the Cambrian explosion occurred and complex animals emerged across the planet. “One can speculate — and there have been some speculations — that a weaker magnetic field may have some relationship to these evolutionary events,” Tarduno said. That is because a weaker field might allow more radiation to get through, which could cause DNA damage and higher mutation rates, which in turn, might have lead to more species evolving.

But this is mere speculation, Tarduno said. When Earth’s magnetic field weakens a bit during events such as magnetic reversals (where the north and south poles flip), for instance, there’s no evidence that species are affected, he added.Yasemin Saplakoglu, “Earth’s Magnetic Field Nearly Disappeared 565 Million Years Ago” at LiveScience

It certainly is mere speculation when we consider that, generally speaking, radiation is much more likely to produce damaging mutations than helpful ones. It would be interesting to know if some Ediacaran species disappeared at this point.

Cambrian explosion taskforce logo.svg
Hallucinogenia/ Matt Martyniuk
(CC BY-SA 3.0)

Just a few of the alternative plotlines for the causes of the Cambrian explosion: Researchers: Extreme fluctuations in oxygen levels, not gradual rise, sparked Cambrian explosion

Maverick theory: Cambrian animals remade the environment by generating oxygen

Did a low oxygen level delay complex life on Earth?

There was only a small oxygen jump

Follow UD News at Twitter!

Animals didn’t “arise” from oxygenation, they created it, researchers say

Theory on how animals evolved challenged: Some need almost no oxygen

New study: Oxygenic photosynthesis goes back three billion years

Enough O2 long before animals?

Life exploded after slow O2 rise?

So the Cambrian really WAS an explosion then?

and finally,

Researchers: Cambrian explosion was not an explosion after all (When in doubt, insist that nothing happened.)


Leave a Reply