Here's something I wrote after listening to a creationist debate the Cambrian Explosion with Matt Dillahunty on last Sunday's Atheist Experience.
Some Old Earth creationists argue that the sudden appearance of the diversity of life forms in what is commonly called the "Cambrian Explosion" about 600 million years ago marks the time of creation. There are even "scientific documentaries" that argue the case. Indeed, even Richard Dawkins wrote "It is as though the fossils were planted there without any evolutionary history." But of course he knows better and so do we! Here's a few facts that some creationists may not be aware of: (1) the fauna of the Cambrian consisted mainly of small (a few centimeters in length) benthic and nektobenthonic creatures (i.e. bottom dwellers): there were no land plants or land animals. This means (2) no tetrapods of any kind, no horses or cheetahs or alligators, not even fish in fact! (3) Many body plans that existed during the Cambrian are not extant today. Do you see what these facts suggest? It seems the Cambrian Explosion does not refute evolution, but supports it! In the fossil record we see body plans being SELECTED, with many having gone extinct. We also see that the Cambrian was a point in time before any of the fauna that we are most familiar with existed: such forms must have EVOLVED since the Cambrian, unless there was at least one other moment of creation. Given that the God theory has no constraints, you can of course slip in a moment of creation at any point you like, and as many as you like (take THAT Sir Karl Popper!). To my creationist friends: the next time you're arguing against a proponent of evolution, please don't bring up the Cambrian explosion. Perhaps the best strategy would be to simply threaten HELL FIRE!!!, after all, 265 Pope's can't be wrong. What's that? Not a Catholic? Well, not a true Christian then. ;) C
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The ACA Lecture Series continues Sunday, August 9th at 12:15pm at the Austin History Center with Heather Teague on Contemporary Mayan Culture and the Modern World. The lecture is free and open to the public. The building opens at noon.
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