Excerpts for Darwin’s Dilemma Media Presentation
Illustra Media - The Intelligent Design Collection
The Cambrian explosion was the most remarkable and puzzling event in the history of life. - Stephen J Gould, Paleontologist
Today most paleontologists believe that much of the animal life we see in the fossil record appeared on the earth about 530 million years ago during a geological period known as the Cambrian period. However early in the 19th century little was known about this period of time.
Darwin himself clearly stated that the mystery of the Cambrian and absence of fossils beneath the Cambrian strata – could very well render his theory as obsolete. Quoting Darwin, "the difficulty of assigning any good reason for the absence of vast piles of strata rich in fossils beneath the Cambrian system is very great. The case at present must remain inexplicable and maybe truly urged as a valid argument against the views here entertained." – Charles Darwin – The Origin of Species.
All of the known animal body plans seem to have appeared in the Cambrian radiation. - Rudolf Raff, Evolutionary Biologist
In 1831, six months after his first exposure to Cambrian geology, young Charles Darwin embarked upon an expedition that would influence the development of his theory of evolution. As the naturalist aboard the HMS Beagle, Darwin sailed to the Galapagos Islands 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador. For five weeks Darwin explored this remote island chain, home to an extraordinary assembly of animals. Here the idea for his history of life was invented. According to Darwin, as one form of life morphed into another, new species arose. And as they gradually branched apart, larger differences in form emerge. Eventually, evolution produces an even greater level of disparity, the distinct body plans of new phyla.
While what we find in the fossil record is at the top of Darwin's tree; anything below the top of Darwin's tree is not what we find in the fossil record at all. If we are using a botanical explanation as a visual, the diagram would not be a tree it would be a lawn with separate blades of grass sprouting out of the ground independent of each other. Each blade of grass would be a distinct phylum (a unique and individual group that has genetic relationship). Now within each blade there would be subsequent diversification (i.e. birds would be one phylum, and then we would see different types of birds); and each diversification we now know shares common genetic relationship (discovered via genetic and DNA research in science).
The fossil record absolutely does not support the visual of Darwin’s Theory – his classical tree of life; that suggests single cell organisms evolving into distinctly different phyla over long-long periods of time. We do not have the tree with the branches connecting, that visual is not supported in the fossil record.
With thousands of excavations around the world, and literally millions of fossils unearthed – we have not once found a fossil or series of fossils that clearly show one type of animal or plant life evolving into another.
What we have found however, in the thousands of excavations – is that complex animal life appeared in a very brief period of time; very quickly during the Cambrian Period.
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