Thank you for visiting our new forum! To start posting again please follow the link below to create a new password. First time forum users please follow the link to register. CFI thanks you for continuing the discussion on evidence-based thinking and humanist values.

The Cambrian explosion

Forums Forums Science and Technology The Cambrian explosion

This topic contains 131 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Citizenschallenge-v.3 1 month ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 106 through 120 (of 132 total)
  • Author
  • #303304

    Have you seen the book: Ancient Landscapes of the Colorado Plateau by Ron Blakey and Wayne Ranney?  Not exactly your territory but their maps do include that area.  Here have a look https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toJDBi-WqFo

    How about Nick Zenter, you familiar with him?  He specializes in Washington state geology – one of the best lectures I’ve listened to.

    Nick Zentner – central washington university  –   he’s done dozens of videos over the years, haven’t seen a bomb yet.





    Vacation was fine. Visited my cousin and friends. Kelowna is usually scorching hot and sunny, but it was only in the low 20’s (Celsius) and partly overcast when we were there.

    Stayed at a very quaint and comfy B&B in Mara BC, on the way to our friends place in Kelowna. Owners were amazing hosts and keep their property worthy of a gardening magazine cover. They’re super smart (one’s a retired teacher and the other an retired engineer) but they both believe the earth is only 6000 years old and evolution is completely false (the husband actually uttered the question, “Why are there still monkeys if we evolved from monkeys?” I graciously held my tongue and we carried on to other topics.

    We went on a few very small walks (400 to 600 meters on elevated boardwalks) in Revelstoke National Park. The forests there are look like they’re from a fantasy novel- giant trunks evenly spaced about 10 to 20 meters apart with little undergrowth (think Lothlorien from LotR). It’s so different from our paltry Alberta prairie forests, that if I had never experienced it first hand and saw those settings in a movie, I’d say it was fake.

    I dreamed of stopping and letting the family carry on without me each time we drove past Field. Maybe next year I’ll sign up for the guided hike to the Burgess Shale.

    Well… back to work.


    I looked up Kelowna on Google Maps, i did realize there were so many lakes, reservoirs, looks like a beautiful area.  If i get to where I can do any more serious traveling my dream is, get a nice van, or very small camper, and drive up the central Rockies, then migrate to the Pacific coast and return that way.  I could be done in weeks although months would be much more fun.

    I can appreciate walking away from a debate with your host – pick your battles.  I see myself doing that with friends and family regarding global warming science.  Although given where my thoughts are these days I’d be tempted to gently question him, not so much to confront or debate, but to see if I could figure out more about the How and Why they manage holding such a belief  –  and more importantly what makes the person need to believe such an obvious fairly tale?

    From conversations I’ve had with some in the past, what I’ve come up with is, a need for personal certitude, even if it’s a false notion.  Beyond that, beats me.

    Good luck with the work, hope you at least enjoy it.

    Thank for getting me to look at that map of BC closer, as Spock would say: ‘fascinating’.




    I haven’t traveled much, not even within Canada, but I’m very fortunate that where I do travel is some of the most beautiful natural scenery on earth.

    You will not be disappointed with a vacation through the Canadian Rockies and through the foothills of Alberta and into the interior of BC.

    As for the religious views of my host, he is in his late 60’s and is very intelligent, so if he hasn’t been open to learning about that area of human knowledge up until now, I don’t think anything I say will make a difference. Maybe if we were booked in for a few more nights and I could spend a few hours talking to him, it might have become a more serious topic, but we were hitting the road, so starting on that topic would be impossible.



    The Cambridge “explosion” may not have been such a great and mysterious event as it seems.  It may be that there were lots of precursor organisms that existed and contributed to the amazing variety  of organisms that developed in the Cambridge period.  BUT for some reason these pre-Cambrian organisms left NO fossil record.


    Soft bodies, didn’t leave much fossil evidence around.

    Places like the Burgess Shale, China sites and others where located on at the bottom of continent shelf, up slope fine sediment would build up until it sloughed off,  pulling everything with it and burying what was at the bottom of the slope.  A) it was fine grained, and bacterial slim, B) these landslides were sort of gentle, no rocks, lava.  C) Critters were gently buried in very fine grains and even muds – this also created the superb resolution.

    Seems to be past couple decades, so much keeps getting discovered, saw this in my email from a couple days ago

    This newfound predator may have terrorized the Cambrian seafloor
    With rakelike claws and a toothy mouth, it could snag prey even under the sand


    A fierce predator, with spiny claws and a round, rasping mouth, terrorized the Cambrian seafloor 508 million years ago as it raked through the sand in search of food.

    Dubbed Cambroraster falcatus, the predator was about 30 centimeters long — which, to the tiny prey of the time, likely seemed monstrous enough.

    Then there’s stuff like this:

    Fossil Treasure Trove of Ancient Animals Unearthed in China
    The fossils from the Cambrian Period include dozens of new species and provide a window into life more than 500 million years ago


    Dozens of these species have never been seen before. “What makes the Qingjaing special compared to other Cambrian sites with soft parts preserved, such as the Burgess Shale and Chengjiang Biota [in southern China], is the fact that there is over fifty percent entirely new taxa of animals and algae that are previously unknown to science,” says University of Lausanne paleontologist Allison Daley. Even better, she notes, is that the fossils are of “truly exceptional quality,” preserving the anatomy of the species without some of the natural distortions that sometimes result from the fossilization process. …



    Newfound fossils in China highlight a dizzying diversity of Cambrian life
    Half of these amazingly well-preserved kinds of creatures have never been seen before



    Along the banks of China’s Danshui River lies a treasure trove of fossils that may rival the most famous Cambrian fossil assemblage of all, Canada’s Burgess Shale. The roughly 518-million-year-old site contains a dizzying abundance of beautifully preserved weird and wonderful life-forms, from jellyfish and comb jellies to arthropods and algae.



    Notice China’s Danshui River and Qingjaing, there are other sites besides – I’ve heard Creationists singling out Qingjaing, and even try to make it seem that it represents everything significant that happened – plus goodie for them it all happened in 5 million years, they claim – IMPOSSIBLY short – they do love the word “impossible” and “statistics prove its impossible” but I digress.

    Lately since I’ve been looking for it, turns out it’s wild these past couple decades.  And it’s not like the same story endlessly repeated, though that happens with some big stories, but the slightest digging, brings up many stories` and a ton of stuff is being learned from a dozen different locations.  And you know, it all fits into an amazingly consistent storyline too.

    I know the headlines keep screaming this Amazing thing or that Impossible thing found out to be real.  It’s only amazing because we didn’t, or couldn’t have ever imaged it before it reality slaps us upside da head – but once you see the evidence and digest on it a we, its like why of course.  Boring Billions filled up with amazing diligence and feats of mineral evolution – what the fu…   Then you read more and the info soaks in, and it draws connection to other things you knew and before you know it, sure, of course mineral evolution and oxygen and carbon created mindboggling inventions, how could it have been any other way.


    Christian need their kindergarten stories and their sense of Certainty – why that is so important I’ll never figure out, puff it was there and you’re going to hell if you don’t believe me(christian evangelical), I mean my god, give me a break.

    Yeah, sure they mean your “God”, but all I see is EGO.  oops there I did it again.   See ya Tim


    Oh wait there’s more – let me finish back on point.

    Before critters came along there was bacteria and scum, lots of it, the ocean floors apparent were totally different than today, millions, hundreds of millions, billions of years for the bacterial scum building up and nothing of consequence eating it.  In fact, you know those long weird spikes on so many early critters, it’s been hypothesized those where stabilizing outriggers of sorts.

    I figured I should end on a note of constructive trivia.   ;- )




    Sherlock Holmes

    The evidence as I see it is inconsistent with natural descent, the evidence – all of it – is highly consistent with a sudden and dramatic spike in morphological complexity and diversity, huge genetic complexity from a prior state of much lower complexity.

    It is fine to stamp ones feet and bleat “but we simply know they evolved, forget what the evidence might look like, we know, the data isn’t that important here because we simply know these animals evolved via natural selection”.

    That’s known as dogma and it’s quite incredible how so many atheists adopt this attitude when discussing this subject.





    Please quote and reference from this article and tell me what about is inconsistent with natural descent.


    It is fine to stamp ones feet and bleat

    And please refrain from vacuity like this



    Sherlock: “That’s known as dogma and it’s quite incredible how so many atheists adopt this attitude when discussing this subject.”

    I found a book that deals with your comment. Here’s a quote:

    Luke 6:41-42 41“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 42How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

    It’s a pretty obscure passage in a really old book, so you’re probably not familiar with it, but I thought it might be of some value.


    Holmes writes:   The evidence as I see it is inconsistent with natural descent, the evidence – all of it –

    Just how familiar are You with the evidence – can you provide any background.

    I’m asking because I’m constantly astounded at the information I’m finding, the evidence is incredibly rich and the overriding story amazing consistent and self reaffirming.  And the new bits and piece of evidence are coming in fast and furious.

    How much do you know about the radiation of species, have you ever done any serious study.  If you have and you point to anything you’ve written on the topic.

    Are you familiar with Robert Hazen, or Jack Szostak, or Neil Shubin?  I’m not trying to bust your nuts, but really you are telling us “The evidence as I see it is inconsistent with…”  so how about it, how familiar are you with the evidence?


    Oh and even more important, why do you pretty much ignore every substantive information filled links shared with you.

    In a serious discuss both sides are interested in absorbing more information and welcome what others offer to read and process and learn from.  But you seem to be more games than constructive discussion, a reason the Frolly likeness is taking hold in my imagination.



    CC, I wonder that too. How can there be so much evidence and information be freely available, yet people still ignore it for something that is illogical and countered by almost all available evidence and information?

    My suspicions oscillate between willful ignorance and an indoctrinated mind prone to dogmatic thinking. Folks like Sherlock make me suspect willful ignorance, but I always swing back because I know too many really smart people who think like him. It’s frustrating.

    Is it too much to hope for to have an honest seeker who is kind and enjoyable to talk to though? As much fun as it is to exercise my sarcasm and give thinly veiled insults, I would love far more to have a nice back and forth with a good person.


    Ain’t that the truth.   You know what they say, it takes two to Tango.


    But contrarians are too busy playing gotcha games – for serious dancing and learning and wonder at this Universe around us.


    Sherlock Holmes


    Just how familiar are You with the evidence – can you provide any background.

    I’m familiar with the evidence sufficiently to form an opinion about what it conveys, what it reveals.

    I think you may be interested to learn that the Cambrian Explosion is so named by paleontologists not by me, I didn’t choose that name – scientists did.

    Why did they do that? because the evidence to them looks like the complexity emerged relatively suddenly – that how it looks, that’s why they chose that name. They are not claiming God created these animals suddenly or spontaneously and I want to make it clear I am not saying they did. What I am saying is that observations do look very much like we’d expect them to look if these animals did appear suddenly (whether God or natural forces were the cause) – it does look exactly like a sudden (relatively) event.

    Here’s some examples of how scientists describe this:

    “As Darwin noted in the Origin of Species, the abrupt emergence of arthropods in the fossil record during the Cambrian presents a problem for evolutionary biology. There are no obvious simpler or intermediate forms—either living or in the fossil record—that show convincingly how modern arthropods evolved from worm-like ancestors. Consequently there has been a wealth of speculation and contention” (1997, 85[3]:244, emp. added).


    “The Cambrian strata of rocks, vintage about 600 million years [evolutionists are now dating the beginning of the Cambrian at about 530 million years], are the oldest in which we find most of the major invertebrate groups. And we find many of them already in an advanced state of evolution, the very first time they appear. It is as though they were just planted there, without any evolutionary history” (1986, bracketed comment in orig., emp. added, p. 229).

    From here.


    “Modern multicellular animals make their first uncontested appearance in the fossil record some 570 million years ago – and with a bang, not a protracted crescendo. This ‘Cambrian explosion’ marks the advent (at least into direct evidence) of virtually all major groups of modern animals – and all within the minuscule span, geologically speaking, of a few million years.”


    “The majority of major groups appear suddenly in the rocks, with virtually no evidence of transition from their ancestors.”


    “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.”


    “In spite of these examples, it remains true, as every paleontologist knows, that most new species, genera, and families, and that nearly all new categories above the level of families, appear in the record suddenly and are not led up to by known, gradual, completely continuous transitional sequences.”


    “The gaps in the record are real, however. The absence of any record of any important branching is quite phenomenal. Species are usually static, or nearly so, for long periods, species seldom and genera never show evolution into new species or genera but replacement or one by another, and change is more or less abrupt.”


    “Paleontologists had long been aware of a seeming contradiction between Darwin’s postulate of gradualism … and the actual findings of paleontology. Following phyletic lines through time seemed to reveal only minimal gradual changes but no clear evidence for any change of a species into a different genus or for the gradual origin of an evolutionary novelty. Anything truly novel always seemed to appear quite abruptly in the fossil record.”


    “The record certainly did not reveal gradual transformations of structure in the course of time. On the contrary, it showed that species generally remained constant throughout their history and were replaced quite suddenly by significantly different forms. New types or classes seemed to appear fully formed, with no sign of an evolutionary trend by which they could have emerged from an earlier type.”


    “But fossil species remain unchanged throughout most of their history and the record fails to contain a single example of a significant transition.”

    Collected quotations found here.

    That’ll do for the time being. As you can see for yourself this is how the experts describe the event, the evidence, the presentation of the event is dramatic, sudden hence their use of the term “explosion”.

    The fact is the there is no convincing evidence that the Cambrian fauna actually did evolve, just your faith that they did, that they simply must have – forget what the evidence shows we simply know they evolved – that’s the position and it isn’t one I respect.




    Sherlock Holmes said,

    The fact is the there is no convincing evidence that the Cambrian fauna actually did evolve, just your faith that they did, that they simply must have – forget what the evidence shows we simply know they evolved – that’s the position and it isn’t one I respect.

    Well anything posted by a religious websites is questionable, AFAIC.

    You would rather respect the complete fable of instant creation by Intelligent Design, no? That’s so much more reliable than a skimpy fossil which shows only a minor variation during millions of years of evolution.

    You may want to look up the replacement of Prokaryote (RNA based) organisms with the Eukaryote (DNA based) organisms.

    This happened during the Early Precambrian and the Late Precambrian ages and is the reason for the explosion in both numbers and variety of organisms.


    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by  Write4U.
    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by  Write4U.
    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by  Write4U.
    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by  Write4U.
Viewing 15 posts - 106 through 120 (of 132 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.