It is widely accepted that the earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old. Paleontologists, experts in studying our planets earliest life forms, believe that complex animals, that is life forms with sophisticated organs, spinal columns, sensory organs, etc., first appeared about 530 million years ago during the geologic time period known as the Cambrian period. This sudden appearance of complex life, this “Cambrian Explosion” was preceded by the Precambrian period; a time when the creatures that existed were very simple one cell organisms. To get a better concept of the geologic time scale and the creatures of each, check out this site.
Scientists in the 19th Century knew about these two geologic time periods, and in particular how the Cambrian was a time when complex life suddenly appeared. Finding Cambrian era fossils was rather common. However, they couldn’t account for their existence outside of the creation account of the Christian faith. That doesn’t mean that other explanations for the origin of life on earth weren’t around. There were others besides him, but no one in his time dared profess the belief as Charles Robert Darwin- that man was not made in the image of a supreme creator. No, man, Darwin espoused, evolved from lower life forms.
Darwin was very familiar with Cambrian fossil finds. He collected some of them himself when he was in his early twenty’s. His study and research pursuits would eventually play a part in advancing the theory of evolution by natural selection acting on random variation.
This process called for each generation of a life form to die off and eventually turn up in the fossil record, displaying its transitional characteristics. However, none were ever found in Darwin’s lifetime. He was certain, right up to his death in 1882, that they would eventually be found if we only kept looking for them.
But despite regular and generous funding by private and government sources for digs all over the world no such transitional forms have ever been found as he predicted. No doubt if any were, well, we would most assuredly be informed of it.
“Nothing distressed Darwin more than the Cambrian explosion.”
Stephen J. Gould, Paleontologist.
In his On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, Charles Darwin advanced the theory that all life advanced from a single common ancestor by natural selection acting on random variations. This belief became a great pillar, supporting the scientific field of Biology from Darwin’s time to well into the 20th Century. Yet, even Darwin, unlike his staunch defenders of today, admitted that he might be wrong.
“The distinctness of specific forms and their not being blended together by innumerable transformational links- is a very obvious difficulty.” On the Origin of the Species, Charles Darwin, 1859.
Yet, the torch bearers for the evolution belief professed that the transitional forms are still there, perhaps deeper beneath the earth than previously thought.
So the 20th Century progressed. Advances were made in all manners of industry, including the search for oil. New and better drilling capabilities allowed searches deeper and deeper below ground. Yet, despite drilling processes that would bring up core samples, rich with fossils of once living creatures from miles down in the earth, and millions of years in the past, none with transformational features has ever been found.
Confirmation of the Significance of the Cambrian Explosion
In 1984, outside a town in Chengjiang County of China’s Yunnan Province, the oldest, most diverse, and best preserved Cambrian fossils ever found were discovered. Being a Communist state, it took considerable time before news of this find reached the outside world. In the 1990s, western researchers were finally allowed into this remote location, taking samples and conducting their own research of them. They concluded these fossils were older and more complex anatomically than ever before found. However, the most intriguing thing about them was the complexity of the creatures which demonstrated that the Cambrian Explosion time period occurred much quicker than previously thought.
So estimates of the Cambrian period, which began, as previously stated, about 530 million years ago, and lasting for 20-40 millions of years were revised to a duration of 5-10 million years, tilting the slope further uphill for Darwinists. Remember, natural selection acting on random variations requires as much time as possible for simple, one celled animals to eventually become complex life.
Deeper into the rocks at Chengjiang, in Precambrian era shale, paleontologists also discovered tiny microscopic sponge embryos, fossilized 60 million years before the Cambrian Explosion. The unique, telling significance of these finds is that these embryos were buried by mud and sea water that contained certain phosphates that disappeared long before the Cambrian period began. If these fossilized embryos can be so well preserved then why aren’t creatures, less complex than their Cambrian descendants, but with transitional forms preserved?
“Without gradualness…we are back to a miracle.”
Richard Dawkins, Evolutionary Biologist.
Without transitional forms from the Precambrian to the Cambrian geologic record how does the modern evolutionist explain how complex life evolved? How does he also get around the need for specific genetic information to help the simple organism to evolve into the more complex one? (See my article titled “You are Beautifully and Wonderfully Made”) Then, if the evolutionist can explain how to get around the process of a simpler organism passing along DNA information carrying a variation for its descendant, where is the fossil record that shows it occurred?
“Bottom Up” Evolution vs. “Top Down” Intelligent Design
Darwin’s theory of natural selection acting on random variations says that very simple creatures eventually evolved into much more complex ones. If this “Bottom Up” process is true then basic body structures we know and expect to find in life forms of today would eventually not exist as we look back along the geologic time record. Yet, that isn’t the case.
Most, if not all fossilized creatures found exhibit spinal columns, nervous systems, articulating limbs, etc. We now know (thanks to the invention of the electron microscope and modern biologic research) to expect this because of the strict, unchanging DNA transformation process for the predetermined assembly of amino acids into proteins in all living creatures. An example would be comparing cars today with cars of the late 19th Century. Autos from both eras would have their respective metal chassis, an engine, two axles, a steering wheel, etc. The basics are the same, only the style of the body, color, and interior creature comforts would be the different over time.
Well, fossilized creatures from as far back as the Cambrian era that live today are no different. No matter the phyla, be it the Mollusca, Chordata, Annelida, Anthropoda, Tardigrada, etc., we find them today with very little to no changes in form from their ancestors millions of years ago, hence “Top down” creation suggesting intelligent design.
In fact even creatures that existed along the geologic time periods and thought to be extinct have been found with no to very few changes from their prehistoric predecessors. They’re referred to as “living fossils.” Here are some examples:
The Chambered Nautilus. “It remains the same as its ancestors of 180 million years ago…a living link with the past.” National Geographic, January 1976.
The Praying Mantis. You can probably find one in your garden that matches up exactly with a specimen found fossilized in amber, and dated to be 40 million years old.
The Ceoelacanth. It was thought to be extinct 70 million years ago, but one was caught alive in the 1930’s off the coast of Madagascar.
The Tuatara. Found in New Zealand, it’s a lizard often called a “living dinosaur.” 225 million years of time has passed from the time of its earliest ancestor yet natural selection seems to have done, well, nothing much to its structure.
The Leaproach. Previously thought to have lived only in the Late Jurassic, the jumping cockroach reappeared in South Africa just last year. Saltoblattella montistabularishas legs that are highly modified compared with other cockroaches, and an antennae with an additional fixation point to help improve its stabilization making it able to jump about as well as a grasshopper. Hundreds of millions of years of time hasn’t changed it either.
The common cockroach. The one you might find in your backyard, or heaven help us, your home, are very, very similar to the ones that crawled around hundred of millions of years ago.
These facts underscore the evidence of a higher mind at work in the universe, bringing about the creation of living things. It’s my belief that if Darwin were around today he would admit there is more evidence of a higher, all intelligent creator at work than not. But Darwin is long gone, yet he was at least honest to admit that he might have been wrong about evolution.
“If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous successive slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life, 1859.
Then there are his modern disciples who still stand by the faith of evolution. Yes, I used the word “faith” because the lack of scientific evidence to prove that something exists relies on faith, in fact “blind faith.” Also, what does it say about someone in particular, or even masses of people, who just happen to be in institutions like government, academia, and the media who ignore the lack of evidence for evolution, and continue to staunchly defend it?
Have you ever known someone who was obviously wrong about something, and despite all evidence belligerently never admitted to it? Is his entire life’s reputation sold on his faulty idea? Is he benefiting financially from it, or is he just someone who refuses to admit the unthinkable, “I’m wrong.” Well, that’s the modern evolutionist for you. I have to give Charles Darwin credit for putting it into writing that he could have been wrong, and I think he would say so today if he could.