Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Keith Miller Article on the Cambrian Explosion

BioLogos has an article on the Cambrian Explosion by Keith Miller, a geologist at Kansas State University. This is an article that should be read by all supporters of DI, especially those that argue that evolution cannot explain the “explosion.” Among the things Miller writes is this:
The earliest diverse fossil invertebrate communities of the Cambrian are represented by the Chengjiang, in China. These deposits are dated at 525-520 million years. The famous Burgess Shale is considerably younger, dating at about 505 million years, and the end of the Cambrian Period is set at 490 million years. The Cambrian Period thus lasted for 52 million years. To put this in perspective, the time elapsed since the extinction of the dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous has been 65 million years. The Cambrian was a very long period of time.
This is the point driven home by Prothero in his excellent book Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters. The gross oversimplification that evolution cannot explain these lifeforms is often based on an incorrect understanding of the length of the Cambrian and what came before it just after the end of the Cryogenian. This is the basis behind the Discovery Institute film Darwin's Dilemma. The BioLogos piece is the first of a series so stop back to see where it is going.

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1 comment:

  1. Prothero's book is excellent. I read it a couple of years ago. I found his section on marine micropaleontology especially fascinating since it showed the gradualism predicted by Darwin.