Thursday, September 10, 2009

Darwin's Dilemma

And as if on cue...I get a circular from the Discovery Institute advertising a new film called Darwin's Dilemma, which has this as part of its tag line:
This major documentary, the third in Illustra’s internationally-acclaimed intelligent design series, probes one of the great mysteries of science, the Cambrian explosion, when in a moment of geological time complex animals first appeared on earth fully formed, without evidence of any evolutionary ancestors.




As one of my readers commented on a similar post: "My default in the 'malice/ignorance' question with respect to creationists used to be ignorance. Over the last 10 years it has shifted to malice." It is difficult not to think that, given that they do not seem to care whether or not the information that they disseminate is correct, as long as it fits the narrative. As Donald Prothero writes:
The problem with the creationists' fascination with the Cambrian explosion is that its all wrong! The major groups of invertebrate fossils do not all appear suddenly at the base of the Cambrian but are spaced out over strata spanning 80 million years—hardly an instantaneous "explosion"! Some groups appear tens of millions of years earlier than others. And preceding the "Cambrian Explosion" was a long slow buildup to the first appearance of typical Cambrian shelled invertebrates."1
I can't wait to watch the film.

1Prothero, D. (2007) Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters. Columbia University Press. p. 161

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