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Saturday, August 2, 2008

Cambrain Explosion

This from the folks at Reason to Believe, via our friend Vera:

From RTB,
The most dramatic example of this is the Cambrian explosion about 500 million years ago. Prior to the Cambrian period, there was no evidence of any organisms with hard parts, but during a mere ~50 million years, “all of the main phyla and divisions of organisms that exist today—except for the land plants”—appeared. “Once all the basic niches were taken, however, this frenzy of new forms not only came to a stop, it was pruned back,” as some Cambrian phyla became extinct.

They always use explosion as if it actually means instantaneous. Like some intelligent designer snapped his fingers and there it all was. I don't thing anywhere from 5 to 40 or more million years counts as an explosion.

But I'll tell what, if the first chapter of Genesis used the phrase "Cambrain Explosion", I'd be rethinking things.


  1. Well, Vera said something about punctuated equilibrium being what the fossil record indicates as the true events. So, I said I did not understand what she meant exactly but that I was glad she finally accepted that the evidence shows evolution to be true. Or something to the effect. That might appear tomorrow ...
    Let us see what she says after that.

    Well guys, remember we have that new rule of not leaving without warning. You might not see me a lot for a few weeks, but I am alive and well.


  2. "The proponents of Intelligent Design seek nothing less than a true scientific revolution, an uprising of the first order that would do a great deal more than just displace Darwin from our textbooks and curricula. They seek the undoing of four centuries of Western science, and that surely should be enough to make anyone sit up and pay attention."

    -Kenneth Miller, Author of "ONLY A THEORY"

    GE, going on vacation?

  3. Work travel, then vacation.

  4. G_E, hope to see you around soon! As for the Cambrian...I want to know how creationists think this supports their case? Most Cambrian critters cannot be classified with anything we see today. Some designs did not work...trial and error rather than ID.

  5. vera sez:
    The reality is punctuated equilibrium. That is what the fossil record shows.

    I don't think it means what he/she/they think it means. I've looked at her blog page, and I can't really make sense of her views. I seems that she believes evolution to be a fully guided process, speciation only happening by God's direct command, and denying natural 'macroevolution'. It is a purely mystical worldview, arbitrarily inserting magic wherever possible to justify her reluctance to rely on ateleological naturalism. It reminds me of a small kid in a toy store, amazed at the overwhelming variety, picking up a few things in reach and carrying them around until something momentarily more attractive comes along. There seems to be a disconnect in realizing that the same standards of science apply to evolution that apply to the dating methods she accepts. Our human inability to fully comprehend vast time spans of millions and billions of years creates a barrier that we can only surmount by focusing on data, evidence and reason. She seems to prefer to just leave the 'Here Be Dragons' sketch on the map.

  6. The only dating methods Vera accepts include modest clothing and chaperones.

  7. Lol, craig, the last time I talked to Vera, she thought we determined the age of our solar system through.....carbon-14 dating. Oh, Vera, what an ignoramous you are!


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