September 04, 2014

Lower Cambrian Complexity

If humans had been the first living creatures on earth, shown by the fossil record, the theory of Darwinian evolution would not exist. Darwin would have never considered such a theory because it would be preposterous. As we all know, Darwinism only works if there is gradual change. Along came Punctuated Equilibrium (which I hardly consider a theory but more of a description of how evolution has worked), which said that evolution happens more rapidly but less frequently, with long periods of stasis between bursts of speciation. Even in this “theory” new species cannot form overnight. Under no circumstances should a fly be able to evolve into a hopping insect in a few generations. Without getting into the nitty-gritty of how to calculate the maximum rate of evolution (which I think is almost impossible to calculate theoretically in Darwinism), it is intuitively obvious that un-designed evolution has a speed limit. That speed limit might change through time, but there must always be a maximum rate of change.

So, why do I mention this point? The Cambrian Explosion is problematic to Darwinists, and they have known for a long time. That’s why they keep trying to find earlier, simpler creatures that led up to the Trilobites and other complex organisms that arose rapidly in that period of time. That’s why some have proposed a genetic toolkit must have existed before these Cambrian and Ediacaran creatures. Whenever a new complex creature is found fossilized in the Cambrian layers, that increases the difficulty of explaining how evolution appears to have moved along so rapidly.

That brings us to the latest enigmatic Cambrian fossil that has been found, called Metaspriggina. It’s a vertebrate fish, apparently complete with binocular eyes, complex digestive system, gills, muscles, nerves, nasal sacs, and blood vessels.[2,3] This creature existed in the early Cambrian, some 540 – 500 Ma, perhaps even before the famous trilobites. And while this fish is being called “primitive,” there is no reason why this fish wouldn’t be able to exist in today’s modern oceans. It was a fully functional fish with complex features. How would these complex anatomical features evolve so rapidly? (Binocular eyes, by the way, supposedly evolved from simple pinpoint photoreceptor eyespots to a pinhole eye to a lens-based eye.[1] The evolution of such a complex organ would take many millions of years even under conservative estimates. There is no clear progression of less complex eyes to more complex eyes in the Cambrian Explosion, especially with this new fossil under consideration.)

Even as someone who believes that evolution was an intelligent, designed process that happened with efficiency, I consider this rate of evolution to be incredible and almost unbelievable. How much more unbelievable should it be if evolution were an unintelligent, random process? To me personally, Darwinism now borders on absurdity. How do you have simple plantlike organisms going to complex vertebrate animals in about 70 million years, with little fossil evidence of intermediate forms? I’m tempted to question whether or not any kind of evolution can explain the fossil record. No, I’m not ready to toss the theory of created evolution, but there are major questions that need some answers.


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