The Cambrian Explosion and Darwin’s Doubt

The “Cambrian explosion” refers to the initial appearance of the fossils of many major animal groups (“phyla”) within a period of about 10 million years, about half a billion years ago in the Cambrian period. If you consider only some of the relevant facts, this can appear as a challenge to the theory of evolution. If you consider more of the facts (e.g. known patterns of fossil preservation and discoveries of fossils immediately before the Cambrian explosion), this challenge fades considerably.

Stephen Meyer published Darwin’s Doubt in June, a heavily-researched and well-written book that powerfully presents part of the truth. Meyer argues that currently-understood natural causes cannot account for the Cambrian explosion, so we need to invoke the intervention of an Intelligent Agent.

This volume has called forth both attackers and defenders on the internet. I wrote up a description of this verbal jousting, and added a tutorial on fossils and the Cambrian period. This piece, “Cambrian Contention: Disputing Darwin’s Doubt,” got kind of long to put here as a regular post, so I placed it up at the top of the blog window along with other longer essays — it shows there as Darwins_Doubt. I hope some folks find it educational.

About Scott Buchanan

Ph D chemical engineer, interested in intersection of science with my evangelical Christian faith. This intersection includes creation(ism) and miracles. I also write on random topics of interest, such as economics, theology, folding scooters, and composting toilets, at . Background: B.A. in Near Eastern Studies, a year at seminary and a year working as a plumber and a lab technician. Then a B.S.E. and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering. Since then, conducted research in an industrial laboratory. Published a number of papers on heterogeneous catalysis, and an inventor on over 100 U.S. patents in diverse technical areas. Now retired and repurposed as a grandparent.
This entry was posted in Cambrian explosion, Evolution, Fossils, Intelligent Design, Macro-Evolution and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The Cambrian Explosion and Darwin’s Doubt

  1. Jim V says:

    Thanks for this post and especially for the linked essay. (I for one did find it educational – and well-written.)

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