The Cambrian Explosion and its Impact on The Theory of Evolution

The Cambrian Explosion and its Impact on The Theory of Evolution

Postby Rotherham » Tue May 04, 2010 2:13 pm

The Cambrian Explosion and its Impact on The Theory of Evolution

One of the most remarkable pieces of evidence said to challenge the theory of evolution is called the “Cambrian Explosion” Textbooks that promote evolution rarely mention it, and the ones that do mention it assign a short paragraph or so to it and treat it is as if it is generally insignificant. However, this explosion of lifeforms found within the Cambrian period is so obvious that it has been called “life’s big bang”. It is considered by many as one of the biggest challenges to the theory of evolution. It stands squarely against the theory of evolution and could be said to help demonstrate that evolution is just a widely held myth in modern times.

Within the geological column, or the different layers of strata found to cover the earth, the Cambrian age is dated by scientists as being about 530 million years ago and said to have lasted from 5 to 13 million years in length, which geologically speaking, is the blink of an eye. Within this column, there is a great diversity of life and a great quantity of life that suddenly appears in comparison to the columns found just beneath it and also above it. That is why it is referred to as the “Cambrian explosion” or “life’s big bang”. The Cambrian period has practically every category of phyla known to man, all major body plans including compound eyes, spinal cords and articulated limbs, and an enormous variety all co-existing together in this layer. There is no evolutionary sequence, no transitional forms, to be seen, but a simultaneous existence. This simply does not fit with the theory of evolution.

What makes this finding even more detrimental to the evolutionist is the fact that the layers beneath the Cambrian period, which would obviously be before the Cambrian period in time, demonstrates practically nothing in the way of the above mnetioned phyla. The few that are found in the pre-Cambrian strata are all soft-bodied organisms like worms or sponges. So what happens is that in the pre-Cambrian period you have nothing like organic complexity or diversity, and then suddenly, nearly every above mentioned phyla appears much in the same form as we see it today. And that’s only the beginning of the conundrum created for evolutionists. Each layer AFTER the Cambrian period progressively demonstrates less and less by way of any different phyla. This is the exact opposite of what the evolutionary model would call for. Would not a reasonable and honest person have to conclude from the evidence that the fossil record is diametrically opposed to what would be predicted by the theory of evolution? And this geological framework is based upon the evolutionist’s own interpretation of the earth’s different layers of strata, and again, 5 to 13 million years of time would only be a blink of an eye, geologically speaking.

Darwin himself was aware of this problem with the fossil record some 150 years ago, but he believed that the fossil record had not been sufficiently sampled or discovered yet, but would be in time. He believed that fossil research in the future would more adequately sample the fossil record and show it to be more in line with the theory of evolution and present the tranistionary forms expected by his theory. But what happened is exactly the opposite of what should be found if the theory of evolution is true. After a century and a half of excavating fossils from the strata it’s only getting worse for the evolutionist, not better. Contrary to the tree of life depicted in the school books, the fossil record depicts exactly the opposite story. The tree of life is an inverted cone, and not a tree at all and there is little if any evidence of transitional forms which should appear in abundance within the geological columns.

Keep in mind that the theory of evolution states that everything evolved from a common ancestor that climbed out of the primordial soup. This ancient ancestor gradually evolved. Its evolutionary progress branched out into different paths and these different paths led to the creation of increasingly complex and different organic forms. The paths continued to branch out resulting in the great diversity of life we have today. Now, if this is true, what would you expect to see in the fossil record? Of course you would expect to see simple organisms in the lowest layers and a gradual increase in diversity and complexity of life with a plethora of transitional forms as you progress to the more recent layers in the geologic time scale. But what do we really find in the fossil record? You find the exact opposite of what is predicted by evolution. How can that be if the theory of evolution is true?

This justifies one in stating that the evidence does not fit the theory of evolution and therefore the theory of evolution should be rejected as that explanation for all of life that we see in the world today. The conclusion becomes then, if evolution did not take place, if the natural forces at work today did not create the diversity of life we see in our world, then something else must be responsible. The question that really needs answered is “What accounts for the big bang of life?”

Here are some quotes that show that the proponents of evolution understand the problem of the Cambrian explosion and its impact upon the theory:

“There is another and allied difficulty, which is much more serious. I allude to the manner in which species belonging to several of the main divisions of the animal kingdom suddenly appear in the lowest known fossiliferous rocks.” (Darwin, The Origin of Species, p. 348)

“The abrupt manner in which whole groups of species suddenly appear in certain formations, has been urged by several palaeontologists—for instance, by Agassiz, Pictet, and Sedgwick—as a fatal objection to the belief in the transmutation of species. If numerous species, belonging to the same genera or families, have really started into life at once, the fact would be fatal to the theory of evolution through natural selection.” (Ibid., p. 344)

“To the question why we do not find rich fossiliferous deposits belonging to these assumed earliest periods prior to the Cambrian system, I can give no satisfactory answer.” (Ibid., p. 350)

“The case at present must remain inexplicable, and may be truly urged as a valid argument against the views here entertained.” (Ibid., p. 351)

The most famous such burst, the Cambrian explosion, marks the inception of modern multicellular life. Within just a few million years, nearly every major kind of animal anatomy appears in the fossil record for the first time ... The Precambrian record is now sufficiently good that the old rationale about undiscovered sequences of smoothly transitional forms will no longer wash.” (Stephen Jay Gould, “An Asteroid to Die For,” Discover, October 1989, p. 65)

“And we find many of them [Cambrian fossils] 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. Needless to say, this appearance of sudden planting has delighted creationists.” (Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker London: W.W. Norton & Company, 1987, p. 229)

“One of the major unsolved problems of geology and evolution is the occurrence of diversified, multicellular marine invertebrates in Lower Cambrian rocks on all the continents and their absence in rocks of greater age.” (I. Axelrod, “Early Cambrian Marine Fauna,” Science, Vol. 128, 4 July 1958, p. 7)

“Evolutionary biology’s deepest paradox concerns this strange discontinuity. Why haven’t new animal body plans continued to crawl out of the evolutionary cauldron during the past hundreds of millions of years? Why are the ancient body plans so stable?” (Jeffrey S. Levinton, “The Big Bang of Animal Evolution,” Scientific American, Vol. 267, November 1992, p. 84)

“Granted an evolutionary origin of the main groups of animals, and not an act of special creation, the absence of any record whatsoever of a single member of any of the phyla in the Pre-Cambrian rocks remains as inexplicable on orthodox grounds as it was to Darwin.” (T. Neville George Professor of Geology at the University of Glasgow, “Fossils in Evolutionary Perspective,” Science Progress, Vol. 48, No. 189, January 1960, p. 5)

If one would like to discuss or debate the issues presented in this article, please send an email to and state your request to do so.

In the end of the matter, knowledge is based upon acknowledgement.
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