In the following audio podcast, Dr. Stephen Meyer speaks on the insurmountable difficulty of extrapolating the neo-Darwinian mechanism of Random Mutation and Natural Selection as a explanation for the Cambrian Explosion:
Dr. Stephen Meyer: Why Are We Still Debating Darwin? pt. 2 - podcast
Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories By: Stephen C. Meyer; Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington
"To say that the fauna of the Cambrian period appeared in a geologically sudden manner also implies the absence of clear transitional intermediate forms connecting Cambrian animals with simpler pre-Cambrian forms. And, indeed, in almost all cases, the Cambrian animals have no clear morphological antecedents in earlier Vendian or Precambrian fauna (Miklos 1993, Erwin et al. 1997:132, Steiner & Reitner 2001, Conway Morris 2003b:510, Valentine et al. 2003:519-520). Further, several recent discoveries and analyses suggest that these morphological gaps may not be merely an artifact of incomplete sampling of the fossil record (Foote 1997, Foote et al. 1999, Benton & Ayala 2003, Meyer et al. 2003), suggesting that the fossil record is at least approximately reliable (Conway Morris 2003b:505)."
"We do not know why the “Cambrian explosion” occurred when it did, but we have no reason to think that it had to happen then or had to happen at all." - Stephen Jay Gould - More Reflections in Natural History, p. 139
"The Cambrian Explosion was so short that it is below the resolution of the fossil record. It could have happened overnight. So we don't know the duration of the Cambrian Explosion. We just know that it was very, very, fast."
Jonathan Wells - Darwin's Dilemma Quote
All skeletalised metazoan phyla appeared in the Cambrian - David Tyler - 2010
Excerpt: This means that Cambrian strata can be said to record examples of all the skeletalized metazoan phyla.,,, Subsequent periods of Earth history may have had more dramatic radiations at the Order, Class or Family level, but there were no further bauplan innovations affecting skeletalized metazoan organisms.
The unscientific hegemony of uniformitarianism - David Tyler - May 2011
Excerpt: The pervasive pattern of natural history: disparity precedes diversity,,,, The summary of results for phyla is as follows. The pattern reinforces earlier research that concluded the Explosion is not an artefact of sampling. Much the same finding applies to the appearance of classes. These data are presented in Figures 1 and 2 in the paper.
Investigating Evolution: The Cambrian Explosion Part 1 - video
Part 2 - video
The Cambrian Explosion - Back To A Miracle! - video
Darwin's Dilemma - Excellent Cambrian Explosion Movie
Darwin's Dilemma Faq Page: Questions about the Cambrian Explosion, Evolution, and Intelligent Design
More Problems with TalkOrigins' Response on the Cambrian Explosion - Casey Luskin - May 22, 2012
Exotic Cambrian Animals and Plants and Ediacaran biota- Animated videos
Fossil Gallery - images of species from Cambrian period - Main Gallery
The Main Gallery is a comprehensive source of information based on the latest scientific research covering the majority of species so far described from the Burgess Shale. It contains a growing collection of over 500 high resolution images representing 184 species in 135 genera. In addition, dozens of scientifically accurate drawings and breathtaking digital animations will allow you to visualize these organisms in three dimensions and see how they lived.
Anomalocaris - The largest predator of the Cambrian (3D Animation)
Virtual Sea Odyssey; Observe the creatures who lived in the Burgess Shale community from a "virtual submarine". - video
"Darwin's Dilemma examines some of the most important fossil discoveries ever made and with them, a mystery deeper than Charles Darwin ever imagined. For the fossil record of the Cambrian Explosion does not reveal the gradual development of life forms as Darwin posited in his work, but a period in which compound eyes, articulated limbs, sophisticated sensory organs and skeletal frames burst into existence seemingly out of nowhere." -
Anika Smith - Discovery Institute
One of the most enigmatic 'novelties' of the Cambrian explosion was the appearance of unique sexual reproduction for a wide variety of different species/phyla:
How did the sexes originate? Why is it that the vast majority of living things require a "male and female" to reproduce? If evolution were true - doesn't it make much more sense that EVERY living organism was self-replicating and required no useless energy expenditure? When did the first male get here? When did the first female get here? How? Why? Wouldn't they have had to appear fully functional and at the same time in order for the next generation of organisms to arrive? Of course, they would. So, how is it that the first male and female for almost 2 million living organisms arrived together and fully functional so that reproduction could take place? "Sex is the QUEEN of evolutionary biology problems."
Dr. Graham Bell - In his book, 'The Masterpiece of Nature'
It is in the ancient seas of the Cambrian explosion, some 540 million years ago, where we find the abrupt appearance of many strangely diverse and complex forms of life. These complex life-forms appear suddenly with no evidence of transition from the bacteria and few other stable, and simple, life-forms that preceded them in the fossil record. These following quotes clearly illustrate this point.
Materialistic Basis of the Cambrian Explosion is Elusive: BioEssays Vol. 31 (7):736 - 747 - July 2009
Excerpt: "going from an essentially static system billions of years in existence to the one we find today, a dynamic and awesomely complex system whose origin seems to defy explanation. Part of the intrigue with the Cambrian explosion is that numerous animal phyla with very distinct body plans arrive on the scene in a geological blink of the eye, with little or no warning of what is to come in rocks that predate this interval of time." ---"Thus, elucidating the materialistic basis of the Cambrian explosion has become more elusive, not less, the more we know about the event itself, and cannot be explained away by coupling extinction of intermediates with long stretches of geologic time, despite the contrary claims of some modern neo-Darwinists."
Does Lots of Sediment in the Ocean Solve the "Mystery" of the Cambrian Explosion? - Casey Luskin April, 2012
Excerpt: I think the Cambrian fossil record is surprisingly complete. I think it may be more complete than we realize. The reason for that is, for instance, if you look at the stratigraphy of the world, if I go and collect Cambrian rocks in Wales and find certain fossils, if I then go to China, I don't find the same species but I find the same sorts of fossils. If I go into Carboniferous rocks, I go to Canada, they are the same as what I find in this country. So there is a clear set of faunas and floras that take us through geological time. The overall framework is falling into position. - Simon Conway Morris
Deepening Darwin's Dilemma - Jonathan Wells - Sept. 2009
Excerpt: "The truth is that (finding) “exceptionally preserved microbes” from the late Precambrian actually deepen Darwin’s dilemma, because they suggest that if there had been ancestors to the Cambrian phyla they would have been preserved."
Deepening Darwin's Dilemma - Jonathan Wells - The Cambrian Explosion - video
Jonathan Wells - Cambrian Explosion - video
Recent experimental work has not been very cooperative to evolutionists, to put it mildly, in elucidating plausible evolutionary routes to multicellular organisms from single celled organisms:
Brown Algae and The Serendipity of Multicellularity - Cornelius Hunter - June 2010
Excerpt: Instead of the expectation that multicellularity arose once and then proliferated, evolutionists now must say it arose independently several times. And instead of a sort of primitive multicellularity emerging and then undergoing evolutionary refinement, we must believe evolution first produced profoundly unlikely molecular machines, which then in turn enabled multicellularity.
Here are more articles on the suddenness of the Cambrian explosion:
Evolution's Big Bang:
“Yet, here is the real puzzle of the Cambrian Explosion for the theory of evolution. All the known phyla (large categories of biological classification), except one, first appear in the Cambrian period. There are no ancestors. There are no intermediates. Fossil experts used to think that the Cambrian lasted 75 million years.... Eventually the Cambrian was shortened to only 30 million years. If that wasn't bad enough, the time frame of the real work of bringing all these different creatures into existence was shortened to the first five to ten million years of the Cambrian. This is extraordinarily fast! Harvard's Stephen Jay Gould stated, "Fast is now a lot faster than we thought, and that is extraordinarily interesting." What an understatement! "Extraordinarily impossible" might be a better phrase! .... The differences between the creatures that suddenly appear in the Cambrian are enormous. In fact these differences are so large many of these animals are one of a kind. Nothing like them existed before and nothing like them has ever appeared again.” Dr. Raymond G. Bohlin, University of Illinois (B.S., zoology), North Texas State University (M.S., population genetics), University of Texas at Dallas (M.S., Ph.D., molecular biology).
"Eyes and gills, jointed limbs and intestines, sponges and worms and insects and fish, all had appeared simultaneously. There had not been a gradual evolution of simple phyla such as sponges into the more complex phyla of worms and then on to other life forms such as insects. According to these fossils, at the most fundamental level of animal life, the phylum or basic body plan, the dogma of classical Darwinian evolution, that the simple had evolved into the more complex, that invertebrates had evolved into vertebrates over one hundred to two hundred million year was fantasy, not fact."
Gerald L. Schroeder - The Science of God - Pg. 26
The unscientific hegemony of uniformitarianism - David Tyler - 2011
Excerpt: The summary of results for phyla is as follows. The pattern reinforces earlier research that concluded the Explosion is not an artefact of sampling. Much the same finding applies to the appearance of classes.
The mysterious Ediacara biota, which appeared abruptly, alongside the Sponges and Jellyfish, in the pre-Cambrian fossil record, and which defy classification as either plant or animal, much less classification of essential symbiotic purpose, largely disappeared from the fossil record a few million years before the Cambrian Explosion and thus are not seen to be viable as precursors to the Cambrian Explosion.
Plant or Animal? Mysterious Fossils Defy Classification
Excerpt: "Animals in the Ediacaran Period are almost universally bizarre, and it is very difficult to place them in any modern animal phyla," Xiao told LiveScience.
The Avalon Explosion:
Excerpt: Ediacara fossils [575 to 542 million years ago (Ma)] represent Earth's oldest known complex macroscopic life forms,,, A comprehensive quantitative analysis of these fossils indicates that the oldest Ediacara assemblage—the Avalon assemblage (575 to 565 Ma)—already encompassed the full range of Ediacara morphospace. (i.e. they appeared abruptly in the fossil record and retained their same basic shape and form throughout their tenure in the fossil record before they went extinct prior to the Cambrian explosion.)
My hunch is that, as with photosynthetic bacteria, sulfate reducing bacteria, sponges, and jellyfish, Ediacara biota will ultimately be found to have a essential biogeochemical role in preparing the earth for more advanced life to appear in the Cambrian explosion. This following paper, although evolutionary in its basis, offers a few tantalizing clues as to what that essential purpose for Ediacara biota might have been.
The mysterious Ediacara biota:
Excerpt: "many questions remain. In particular, we might consider why the earliest known Ediacarans thrived in a deep ocean setting, when the oxygen apparently so vital for their evolution had already been abundant in shallow marine environments for millions of years."
This following study adds weight to my guess that the mysterious Ediacara biota were essential for detoxifying the deep ocean:
You Mean There Really Was a Cambrian Explosion? - June 21 2010
Excerpt: Using novel geochemical techniques developed by Newcastle University’s Dr Simon Poulton, the team found that beneath oxygenated surface waters, mid-depth oceanic waters were rich in sulphide about 1.8 billion years ago, conditions that may have persisted until oxygenation of the deep ocean more than 1 billion years later. These widespread sulphidic conditions close to the continents, coupled with deeper waters that remained oxygen-free and iron-rich, would have placed major restrictions on both the timing and pace of biological evolution. Dr Poulton, who led the research, explained: “It has traditionally been assumed that the first rise in atmospheric oxygen eventually led to oxygenation of the deep ocean around 1.8 billion years ago. “This assumption has been called into question over recent years, and here we show that the ocean remained oxygen-free but became rich in toxic hydrogen-sulphide over an area that extended more than 100 km from the continents. It took a second major rise in atmospheric oxygen around 580 million years ago to oxygenate the deep ocean.
Cambrian Explosion & Refutation Of Human Evolution
Background Music to video:
Creation Calls -- are you listening? Music by Brian Doerksen