ElShamah - Reason & Science: Defending ID and the Christian Worldview
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ElShamah - Reason & Science: Defending ID and the Christian Worldview

Otangelo Grasso: This is my library, where I collect information and present arguments developed by myself that lead, in my view, to the Christian faith, creationism, and Intelligent Design as the best explanation for the origin of the physical world.

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The Cambrian Explosion

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1The Cambrian Explosion Empty The Cambrian Explosion Fri Nov 08, 2013 6:36 pm



The Cambrian Explosion

“The manner in which species belonging to several of the main divisions of the animal kingdom suddenly appear in the lowest known fossiliferous rocks . . . may be truly urged as a valid argument against the views here entertained.”
—Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species

The argument of the Cambrian explosion
1. The Cambrian period began 570 million years ago and the Cambrian Explosion occurred about 540 million years ago over 2-3 million years or less. At the time of the Cambrian Explosion, nearly every animal phyla (=the major taxonomic group of animals and plants) on Earth (more than 70) suddenly appeared).
NOTE: “Taxonomic Group” means the distinct group comprising one or more Species based on their taxonomic relationship and common approaches to mitigating adverse effects (i.e., fish, mussels, turtles, snakes, amphibians, birds or plants).
2. Evolutionary biologists cannot explain the abrupt appearance of diverse life forms all over the world at about the same time, as per the words of Niles Eldredge, “Most families, orders, classes, and phyla appear rather suddenly in the fossil record, often without anatomically intermediate forms smoothly interlinking evolutionarily derived descendant taxa with their presumed ancestors.” 
3. Dated at about 540 to 515 million years ago, Cambrian rock contains an impressive collection of diverse life-forms without identifiable ancestral forms. 
4. “Change in the manner Darwin expected is just not found in the fossil record.”
(Niles Eldredge and Ian Tattersall, The Myths of Human Evolution (New York: Columbia University Press, 1982)) 45-46.
5. Although many paleontologists initially showed interest in the possibility that the Cambrian animal forms might have evolved from the Ediacaran organisms, paleontologist Peter Ward explains that “later study cast doubt on the affinity between these ancient remains preserved in sandstones [the Australian Ediacaran] and living creatures of today” (that is, animals representing phyla that first arose in the Cambrian). (Meyer, Darwin’s Doubt, 181)
6. In the last 10 years more than 30 hypothesis were presented about how this biological explosion could have happened. “Most of the hypotheses have at least a kernel of truth, but each is insufficient to have been the single cause of the Cambrian explosion,” says Oxford University’s Museum of Natural History paleontologist Paul Smith.
7. One of the problems with Darwinian evolution is that the Cambrian explosion did not happen in just one spot on the planet. It appeared suddenly everywhere, as if somebody decided to seed the entire ocean with many new species at the same time. If the Darwinian hypothesis were correct, we would expect to see a spreading of the species from one area to another over a certain period.
8. The infinite probabilistic resources of the many world’s scenarios actually greatly increase the amount of totally chaotic information one would expect to see appearing in the fossil record. i.e. one would expect to see far more bizarre events “popping” into existence, than the nice tidy “ecologically complete” appearance of fossil forms we do see (where are all those failed experiments of evolution by the way?)
9. “The rapid diversification of animals in the early Cambrian is likely to have been the result of a complex interplay of biotic and abiotic processes.” (Smith, 20 September 2013 issue of Science)
    a. Biological research has never demonstrated that natural processes can convert abiotic, non-living elements into primordial living organisms.
    b. They simply conclude that life must have evolved from non-life long ago and then progressed to become “the earliest members of many animal groups, including sponges, cnidarians1, and bilaterians2, [which] lived  850 million to 635 million years ago.”
10. Evolutionary biologists commonly use molecular clock analysis to estimate the timing of evolutionary events.
11. Molecular clock calculations are, however, based on evolutionary presumptions, the presumption that, in essence, we are here, so molecules-to-man evolution must have happened.
12. Till now evolutionists neither could explain any mechanism by which so-called primitive organisms could then evolve into progressively more complex “higher” organisms nor have biologists ever observed simpler organisms evolve into more complex, new kinds of organisms.
13. Assuming a spontaneous mutation rate to be a generous 10-9 per base pair per year and also assuming no negative interference by natural selection, it still takes 10 million years to undergo 1% change in DNA base sequences. It follows that 6-10 million year in the evolutionary time scale is but a blink of an eye. The Cambrian explosion denoting the almost simultaneous emergence of nearly all the extant phyla of the Kingdom Animalia within the time span of 6-10 million years can’t possibly be explained by mutational divergence of individual gene functions. (Susumo  Ohno,  “The  notion  of  the  Cambrian  pananimalia  genome,”  Proceedings  of  the  National Academy of Sciences USA 93 (August 1996): 8475-78.)
14. Current hypotheses concerning the ancestor-descendant relationship between the Cambrian Period higher-phyla body plans and earlier organisms recognize a definitive lineage isolation between the two and thus beyond argument illustrate the absence of definitive evidence that the later group, and their descendants, connect to a common ancestor.
15. Because there is no common ancestor to the species of Cambrian period, the best explanation of their complex design and sudden appearance is creation by intelligent design. 
16. W. H. Freeman concludes: “The seemingly sudden appearance of skeletonized life has been one of the most perplexing puzzles of the fossil record. How is it that animals as complex as trilobites and brachiopods could spring forth so suddenly, completely formed, without a trace of their ancestors in the underlying strata? If ever there was evidence suggesting Divine Creation, surely the Precambrian and Cambrian transition, known from numerous localities across the face of the earth, is it.” (Peter Douglas Ward, On Methuselah’s Trail: Living Fossils and the Great Extinctions, New York: 1992)   
17. Considering all these points, intelligent design is the only explanation for the origin of great diverse animal body plans in the Cambrian fossil record.
18. The ultimate designer of everything in the material world is God. 
19. Most probably, God exists.


Last edited by Admin on Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:30 am; edited 4 times in total


2The Cambrian Explosion Empty Re: The Cambrian Explosion Mon Nov 11, 2013 4:15 am



1. The cambrian geological stratum of rock formation show us that complex organisms did not evolve with modification from primitive forms.
2. If the cambrian geological stratum of rock formation show us that complex organisms did not evolve with modification from primitive forms, then the theory about organisms evolving from simple forms to more complex forms is not a fact.
3. The theory about organisms evolving from simple forms to more complex forms is not a fact .
4. If the theory of organisms evolving from simple forms to more complex forms is not a fact, then the theory of evolution is inconsistent with the reality in the cambrian geological stratum of rock formation.
5. Therefore the theory of evolution is inconsistent with the reality in the cambrian geological stratum of rock formation.

The fact is the fossil records that belong to the Cambrian of millions of years ago, show us that organisms like trilobite appear complete. In otherwords they are complex and they do not link to distinct taxa together. Furthermore there are no intermediates or transitionals of such organisms(e.g jelly fish, sponges e.t.c).


1. If the theory of evolution(relative to common descent)is free from error, then we should not expect to see non transitionals fossils within the cambrian geological strata.
2. We see non trasitionals fossils within the cambrian geological strata.
3. The theory of evolution(relative to common descent)is not free from error.
4. If the theory of evolution(relative to common descent)is not free from error, then we cannot be certain that all fossils link two distinct taxa to a common ancestry.
5. We cannot be certain that all fossils link two distinct taxa together to a common anscetry.
6. If we cannot be certain that all fossils link two distinct taxa to a common ancestry, then we cannot be certain that two distinct organisms descended from the same anscestral line.
7. Therefore we cannot be certain that two distinct organisms descended from the same ancestral line.

The fact is; even Charlse Darwin stated that the "Cambrian period" is a problem to his theory.
For it is within the evolutionary time-frame and yet fossils that do not link two distinct taxa(or specie groups)together appear whole and not as intermediates. E.g An abundance of aquatic organisms appear whole in the Cambrian period. And they do not link two distinct taxa together by virtue of not being transitionals. Even insects appear whole. And the evolution of insects is also poorly accounted for. Also; what about the alleged missing links? Where are they?

Conclusion; the theory suffers from many problems. Hence proponents of this theory ought to be honest with themselves.


3The Cambrian Explosion Empty Re: The Cambrian Explosion Fri Oct 16, 2015 1:02 pm



The Darwinian Futuyma says:
"Organisms either appeared on the earth fully developed or they they did not...If they did appear in a fully developed state, they must indeed have been created by some omnipotent intelligence." D.J. Futuyma, Science on Trial (New York: Pantheon Books, 1983), p. 197


CHENGJIANG, China The fish-like creature was hardly more than an inch long, but its discovery in the rocks of southern China was a big deal. The 530millionyearold fossil, dubbed Haikouella, had the barest beginning of a spinal cord, making it the oldest animal ever found whose body shape resembled modern vertebrates.

In the Nature article announcing his latest findings, JunYuan Chen and his colleagues reported dryly that the ancient fish "will add to the debate on the evolutionary transition from invertebrate to vertebrate." But the new fossils have become nothing less than a challenge to the theory of evolution in the hands of Chen, a professor at the Nanjing Institute of Paleontology and Geology. Chen argued that the emergence of such a sophisticated creature at so early a date shows that modern life forms burst on the scene suddenly, rather than through any gradual process.

According to Chen, the conventional forces of evolution can't account for the speed, the breadth, and onetime nature of "the Cambrian explosion," a geologic moment more than 500 million years ago when virtually all the major animal groups first appear in the fossil record.

...If all we have to depend upon is chance and competition, the conventional forces of evolution, Chen said, "then complex, highly evolved life, such as the human, has no reason to appear."

The debate over Haikouella casts Western scientists in the unlikely role of defending themselves against charges of ideological blindness from scientists in Communist China. Chinese officials argue that the theory of evolution is so politically charged in the West that researchers are reluctant to admit shortcomings for fear of giving comfort to those who believe in a biblical creation.

"Evolution is facing an extremely harsh challenge," declared the Communist Party's Guang Ming Daily last December in describing the fossils in southern China. "In the beginning, Darwinian evolution was a scientific theory. . . . In fact, evolution eventually changed into a religion." Taunts from the Communist Party wouldn't carry much sting, however, if some Western scientists weren't also concerned about weaknesses in so called neoDarwinism, the dominant view of evolution over the last 50 years.

"NeoDarwinism is dead," said Eric Davidson, a geneticist and textbook writer at the California Institute of Technology. He joined a recent gathering of 60 scientists from around the world near Chengjiang, where Chen had found his first impressions of Haikouella five years ago.

But..the idea that neoDarwinism is missing something fundamental about evolution is as scandalous to Americans as it is basic to the Chinese.

Despite their misgivings about Chen's "harmony" proposal a mysterious mix of scientific caution, Chinese philosophy, and a decidedly nonWestern lack of concern for Darwinian orthodoxy Western scientists have no choice but to go to China to learn about the emergence of animal body plans, including that of humans.


4The Cambrian Explosion Empty Re: The Cambrian Explosion Fri Oct 16, 2015 4:37 pm



Virtually all of today's living phyla or major animal groups make their first impressions in the geologic period known as the Cambrian. And Chengjiang, in the southern province of Yunnan, contains the oldest and best preserved Cambrian fossils in the world. JunYuan Chen has coauthored half of all the papers on the Chengjiang fauna.

Chen's discovery of the earliest creature with a primitive nervous system, called a chordate, is, for him, but one more piece in a puzzle that looks less and less like the conventional picture of evolution through natural selection.

For Western paleontologists, Haikouella looks like a breakthrough for understanding the origin of the human lineage.

"It proves that the direct ancestor of mankind already existed in the time of the Cambrian explosion," said German paleontologist Michael Steiner.

...Chen enjoys seeing his fossils get the attention. But to him, the big story is not that he has discovered our earliest traceable ancestor but that the Cambrian explosion of new body plans is proving to be real, not an illusion produced by an incomplete fossil record.

Because new animal groups did not continue to appear after the Cambrian explosion 530 million years ago, he believes that a unique kind of evolution was going on in Cambrian seas. And, because his years of examining rocks from before the Cambrian period has not turned up viable ancestors for the Cambrian animal groups, he concludes that their evolution must have happened quickly, within a mere 2 or 3 million years.

According to Chen, the two main forces of evolution espoused by neoDarwinism, natural selection ("survival of the fittest") and random genetic mutation, cannot account for the sudden emergence of so many new genetic forms.

...As if to underscore the abruptness of Haikouella's place in the fossil record, Chen pointed out the features that make Haikouella look so much more advanced than expected for an early Cambrian animal.

Biologists had been expecting to see something that would look like a primitive ancestor to the middle Cambrian animal called Pikaia, formerly promoted as the world's earliest chordate. Rather than finding evidence that Pikaia had a less complex ancestor, Chen instead found a chordate that already displayed many vertebrate characteristics 15 million years earlier.

And some of the 305 fossil specimens Chen's team has recovered are so well preserved that paleontologists practically swoon over them.

"They're almost like a photograph of the anatomy of the animals," said French paleontologist Philippe Janvier.

But all this newfound clarity only adds to the larger problem, framed succinctly by Holland of Scripps Institution: "Where the hell are you going to get an animal like that?" In his view, Haikouella's high level of development makes it more difficult to explain the evolutionary steps that produced it.

The place to find earlier steps, of course, should be the Precambrian rocks that are more than 543 million years old. Darwin wrote that, if his theory is true, then the world must have been swarming with the ancestors of the Cambrian critters during long ages before them. He expected future generations to find them.

Today, paleontologists still lack viable ancestors for the Cambrian's 40 or more animal phyla. Most researchers explain this by assuming that Precambrian animals were simply too small or too soft to leave a fossil record, or that conditions were unfavorable to fossilization.

But, for the last three years, Chen's discoveries at Precambrian fossil sites with Taiwanese biologist ChiaWei Li have magnified this mystery. While sifting through the debris of a phosphate mining site, Chen and Li eventually discovered the earliest clear fossils of multicellular animals. They found sponges and tiny sponge embryos by the thousands but nothing resembling the fishlike Haikouella or forerunners of other Cambrian creatures, such as trilobites.

When word of the discovery got out, Chen and Li suddenly found themselves in the international spotlight. But when the hoopla was over and their discovery established, they wondered what evolutionary problems they had actually solved.

In fact, the pair had failed to find any recognizable body plans showing steps along the way toward the complex Cambrian animals, with their legs, antennae, eyes and other features.

What they had actually proved was that phosphate is fully capable of preserving whatever animals may have lived there in Precambrian times. Because they found sponges and sponge embryos in abundance, researchers are no longer so confident that Precambrian animals were too soft or too small to be preserved.

"I think this is a major mystery in paleontology," Chen said. "Before the Cambrian, we should see a number of steps differentiation of cells, differentiation of tissue, of dorsal and ventral, right and left. But we don't have strong evidence for any of these."

Taiwanese biologist Li was also direct: "No evolution theory can explain these kinds of phenomena."

In Chen's view, his evidence supports a history of life that runs opposite to the standard evolutionary tree diagrams, a progression he calls topdown evolution.

In the most published diagram in the history of evolutionary biology, Darwin illustrated what became the standard view of how new taxa, or animal categories, evolve. Beginning with small variations, evolving animals diverge farther from the original ancestor, eventually becoming new species, then new genera, new families, and the divergence continues until the highest taxa are reached, which are separated from one another by the greatest differences.

But the fossil record shows that story is not true, according to Chen. The differences appear dramatically in the early days, instead of coming at the top. Chen suggested that biologists need to seek new mechanisms to explain these evolutionary leaps.

...That still leaves a great divide between Chen, Li and the Chinese media on one side and the mainstream Western view, in which scientists are reluctant to admit that the Cambrian explosion poses a difficult challenge.

This describes Darwinism.

"It is easy enough to make up stories, of how one form gave rise to another, and to find reasons why the stages should be favored by natural selection. But such stories are not part of science, for there is no way of putting them to the test." Luther D Sutherland, 'Darwin's Enigma', Master Books 1988, p7,8, 89


5The Cambrian Explosion Empty Re: The Cambrian Explosion Fri Oct 16, 2015 5:03 pm




Dr. Paul Chien, chairman of the biology department at the University of San Francisco, recently accepted a unique invitation to travel to China to study fossils of the Cambrian era. What Chien found at the Chengjiang site, and what he has since learned about the Cambrian fauna, has changed the focus of his career. Today, Chien concentrates on further exploring and promoting the mysteries of the Cambrian explosion of life. Subsequently, Chien possesses the largest collection of Chinese Cambrian fossils in North America.

Chien attended Mere Creation, a conference last November sponsored by Christian Leadership, which was featured in the previous Real Issue. The following is an interview with Paul Chien.

RI: Dr. Chien, what is your interest in the evolution/creation debate?

Chien: Even before I became a Christian, I had doubts about evolution. During my college years I was really interested in finding answers, but I got very little help. For a while I lost interest because I thought, one way or the other, it wasn’t very important. But since I started teaching, many people ask me about that. In fact, I often speak at churches and youth groups and conferences, and I have been forced back to that question; it’s pretty much my hobby now.

RI: Until recently, you have focused on the effects of pollution on marine organisms. How then did you come to study the Cambrian “explosion of Life”?

Chien: In studying marine organisms, and mainly the invertebrate groups, I have a clear vision of the distinct characteristics of each phyla. The theory of evolution never [seemed to] apply well in my field of marine invertebrates. When the news broke concerning [the discovery of] an explosion of animal life, it really excited me because that [had been] my position for many years. Also, Phil Johnson’s chapter on fossils [Darwin on Trial, Intervarsity Press, 1991] really ignited my interest in that area.

When an opportunity came up to talk with Chinese paleontologists and to visit them and the original site of fossil discovery, it became something I had to do. So last March I organized an international group to make a visit there.

RI: So is the Chengjiang site a primary site for the Cambrian explosion?

Chien: Yes, it’s the site of the first marine animal found in the early Cambrian times we don’t count micro-organisms as animals.

RI: Are there other places in the world where you find the same organisms?

Chien: In some ways there are similarities between the China site and the other famous site, the Burgess Shale fauna in Canada. But it turns out that the China site is much older, and the preservation of the specimens is much, much finer. Even nerves, internal organs and other details can be seen that are not present in fossils in any other place.

RI: And I suppose many of these are probably soft-tissue marine-type animals?

Chien: Yes, including jellyfish-like organisms. They can even see water ducts in the jellyfish. They are all marine. That part of western China was under a shallow sea at the time.

RI: As you became more interested in this and discovered more about it, did you find it really was an “explosion of life”?

Chien: Yes. A simple way of putting it is that currently we have about 38 phyla of different groups of animals, but the total number of phyla discovered during that period of time (including those in China, Canada, and elsewhere) adds up to over 50 phyla. That means [there are] more phyla in the very, very beginning, where we found the first fossils [of animal life], than exist now.

Stephen J. Gould, [a Harvard University evolutionary biologist], has referred to this as the reverse cone of diversity. The theory of evolution implies that things get more and more complex and get more and more diverse from one single origin. But the whole thing turns out to be reversed we have more diverse groups in the very beginning, and in fact more and more of them die off over time, and we have less and less now.

RI: What information is the public hearing or not hearing about the Cambrian explosion?

Chien: The general impression people get is that we began with micro-organisms, then came lowly animals that don’t amount to much, and then came the birds, mammals and man. Scientists were looking at a very small branch of the whole animal kingdom, and they saw more complexity and advanced features in that group. But it turns out that this concept does not apply to the entire spectrum of animals or to the appearance or creation of different groups. Take all the different body plans of roundworms, flatworms, coral, jellyfish and whatever all those appeared at the very first instant.

Most textbooks will show a live tree of evolution with the groups evolving through a long period of time. If you take that tree and chop off 99 percent of it, [what is left] is closer to reality; it’s the true beginning of every group of animals, all represented at the very beginning.

Since the Cambrian period, we have only die-off and no new groups coming about, ever. There’s only one little exception cited the group known as bryozoans, which are found in the fossil record a little later. However, most people think we just haven’t found it yet; that group was probably also present in the Cambrian explosion.

Also, the animal explosion caught people’s attention when the Chinese confirmed they found a genus now called Yunnanzoon that was present in the very beginning. This genus is considered a chordate, and the phylum Chordata includes fish, mammals and man. An evolutionist would say the ancestor of humans was present then. Looked at more objectively, you could say the most complex animal group, the chordates, were represented at the beginning, and they did not go through a slow gradual evolution to become a chordate.



6The Cambrian Explosion Empty Re: The Cambrian Explosion Fri Oct 16, 2015 5:07 pm



Creationists expect no new phyla, but many new species by speciation which will occur nearly always by loss of genetic information. They also expect that life forms will be buried usually by habitat, so of course we don't expect to find giraffes or dinosaurs at the bottom of the seafloor (straw man there Holger). Marine sessile forms will be closer to the bottom. It's hard to put it into a graphic, because you got this narrowing of phyla and expanding of species for creation science. But, watch from ~5:00 in this video and in just a bit you'll see a good graphic of how the fossil record is the reverse of what Darwinism expects and confirms creation science..and you'll see leading Chinese experts on the Cambrian agree that the fossils do NOT match Darwinian expectations.

No, Holger, the precambrian strata does NOT have only microbial life. You need to do better study on the topic. But, that itself would be a massive gigantic problem..from microbial life to over 50 phyla...BAM...in a geological instant? What mechanism do you have for that? Demonstrate it.

You don't even BEGIN to have a fossil record that is compatible with Darwinism..and even leading Darwinians have stated that the fossil record is really similar to what the creation model expects.

Dr. Veith describes the fossil record that we would expect if creation and a flood had happened simply for laymen:

"The type of fossil found in the various layers changes as one goes up the geological column, from invertebrates, fish, amphibians, and reptiles, to the mammals and birds in the upper layers. This order in the fossil record is one of the prime evidences used by scientists to establish evolution as a fact. However, the sequence is not from simple organisms to complex organisms as evolutionists suggest, but rather from marine sessile to free swimming to land dwelling. There is no simple generalized animal in the fossil record that proves that organisms develop from simple to complex.

George Gaylord Simpson, the famous evolutionist, stated in his book The Meaning of Evolution, "It has been suggested that all animals are now specialized and that the generalized forms on which major evolutionary developments depend are absent. In fact, all animals have always been more or less specialized and a really generalized living form is merely a myth or an abstraction."iii

The earliest organisms in the fossil record were complex. There is no evidence for the progression from simple to complex required by the theory of evolution. Many organisms, such as trilobites and ammonites, existed in the past and do not exist today. This does not make them primitive. They were just as complex as anything living today. The fossil record shows a staggering wealth of organisms. Surprisingly, most of the organisms of the past were much larger and more impressive than present day animals. In fact, the fossil record is evidence for devolution rather than evolution.


7The Cambrian Explosion Empty Re: The Cambrian Explosion Mon Jul 08, 2024 9:25 am



The Cambrian Explosion saw the emergence of many phyla. The exact number can vary slightly depending on how some groups are classified, but it's generally considered to be around 20-30 phyla. Here's a basic list:

1. Arthropoda
2. Mollusca
3. Chordata
4. Echinodermata
5. Annelida
6. Brachiopoda
7. Porifera
8. Cnidaria
9. Priapulida
10. Nematoda
11. Platyhelminthes
12. Nemertea
13. Chaetognatha
14. Bryozoa
15. Hemichordata
16. Onychophora
17. Tardigrada
18. Loricifera
19. Kinorhyncha
20. Phoronida
21. Sipuncula (now often classified within Annelida)
22. Entoprocta
23. Cycliophora

Some of these phyla are less well-known than others, and some classifications have changed over time as our understanding of evolutionary relationships has improved. Would you like more information on any of these less familiar phyla or about the classification challenges in studying Cambrian fauna?


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