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Cambrian Explosion Solved: Elementary, My Dear Darwin
CEH ^ | October 28, 2009

Posted on 10/30/2009 8:26:04 AM PDT by GodGunsGuts

Oct 28, 2009 — Two articles announced solutions to the evidential problem that most troubled Darwin – the sudden appearance of complex animals at the base of the Cambrian fossil record.  Both of them involve chemical elements.  The only difference is which element.

Science Daily announced a “Novel Evolutionary Theory For The Explosion Of Life.”  The article acknowledged that “The Cambrian Explosion is widely regarded as one of the most relevant episodes in the history of life on Earth, when the vast majority of animal phyla first appear in the fossil record.”  The article also acknowledged it to be a bit of a problem: “However, the causes of its origin have been the subject of debate for decades, and the question of what was the trigger for the single cell microorganisms to assemble and organize into multicellular organisms has remained unanswered until now.”  Sitting on the edge of our seats after this build-up, we look into the article for the solution.  An international team looked into the question.  It’s calcium, they announced with chutzpah:

The researchers succeeded to show that the massive and sudden surge in the calcium concentration of the Cambrian seawater -- that is believed to be the result of volcanically active midocean ridges -- not only initiated the buildup of calcified shells, but was also mandatory for the aggregation and stabilisation of multicellular sponge structures.  This allows, on the other hand, to formulate a novel theory where the geologically induced increase of marine calcium might be the key for understanding the Cambrian Explosion of Life.

This paper constitutes the first research work where single molecule force spectroscopy studies have provided meaningful answers to such a deep evolutionary biology question as the origin of multicellular animals, and might represent a milestone for both disciplines and an example of how multidisciplinarity and collaboration are essential components of excellent contemporary science.

PhysOrg, on the other hand, had another element in mind to explain the “big growth spurts” in the evolutionary history of life.  They had two in mind: the origin of eukaryotes, and the Cambrian explosion.  “Scientists say the main driver of each growth step was a massive increase in the supply of oxygen, which is needed to convert food to the additional energy required for larger, more complex life forms.”  But if you give food to an athlete, does it increase his complexity?  How does that solve the problem?  The article presented the views of David Johnston of Harvard.  Sure enough, he thinks that size matters, and wrote a book called Why Size Matters.  “It is the supreme and universal determinant of what any organism can be and can do.”  Again, it is not clear why size alone creates complexity.

So if the first eukaryotes started pumping oxygen into the atmosphere 2.35 billion years ago, why did it take so long for the Cambrian growth spurt?  “Fueled by more oxygen, eukaryotes took another enormously significant stride: They started to combine into larger organisms containing multiple cells, organs and tissues.”  This idea should be testable.  People in oxygen tents should be examined to see if new cells, organs and tissues are emerging.

Johnston also omitted to address the origin of the genetic instructions to build new organs, tissues, and body plans.  Could it be as simple as “just add oxygen”? 

At first, these ancient animals were soft-bodied, like modern jellyfish.  Around 542 million years ago, however, some animals developed shells and skeletons and grew larger.

This was the famous “Cambrian Explosion” of complex life forms, which led to today’s species, the biggest of them another million times larger than their single-celled ancestors.

Fish, reptiles, birds, amphibians, plants, mammals and human beings were finally on their way, and the Earth’s largest living thing, the sequoia tree, is 10 million billion times bigger than the first tiny microbe in the sea.

Our question about why with so much oxygen the animals waited almost 2 billion years to burst forth with 20 to 40 new complex body plans in a geological instant, without ancestors, is apparently not included in this edition of the story.
If they believe that solves the problem of the origin of genetic information for building new complex body plans, it’s novel, all right – as in science fiction.  Have you ever in your life seen such empty fluff masquerading as an answer?  If you have watched Darwin’s Dilemma, you understand the magnitude of the problem.  At a memorable moment in the film, Richard Sternberg had just discussed the complexity of development of a body plan with its new genes, proteins, cell types, tissues and organs.  “This is orders of magnitude more complex than anything we have been able to conceive,” he said, pointing back over his shoulder.  “You”ve left the idea of ‘impossible by chance’ a long time ago.”  But like a circus ringmaster doubling as a clown and magician, Johnston swept the elephant in the room away with pure magic.  The eukaryote developed [miracle word] skeletons and body plans.  This led to [miracle phrase] the complex Cambrian animals.  Then human beings were finally on their way [miracle phrase].  While you weren’t thinking, his sleight-of-mind trick produced the zoo on stage.  The crowd gasps in awe.  His magic elixir was: oxygen!

The other team boos from the stands.  No, they shout.  It was calcium!  They come down to the ring and discuss this with the ringmaster.  After some discussion, they come up with a compromise.  They combine the calcium with the oxygen and get CaO2.  Everyone is happy till they realize calcium peroxide is used to sterilize water.

Get your money back from this circus.  Don’t be one of P.T. Barnum’s suckers, even if The Dawk hawks it as the Greatest Show on Earth.



TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; US: Massachusetts; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: abiogenesis; antiscienceevos; catastrophism; catholic; christian; corruption; creation; divideandconquerfr; evangelical; evolution; evoreligionexposed; geology; godsgravesglyphs; intelligentdesign; judaism; paleontology; protestant; science; templeofdarwin

1 posted on 10/30/2009 8:26:04 AM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: metmom; DaveLoneRanger; editor-surveyor; betty boop; Alamo-Girl; MrB; GourmetDan; Fichori; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 10/30/2009 8:30:57 AM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: GodGunsGuts
We are supposed to believe that speciation occurs over many millions of years, through a gradual process of genetic drift.

But new Phyla can arise virtually overnight. We're not talking about jumping a genus, an order, a family, or a class. We're talking about lots of new phyla just popping into existence. In the blink of an eye? Through genetic drift and natural selection?

I don't have that much faith.

3 posted on 10/30/2009 8:33:52 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Play the Race Card -- lose the game.)
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To: ClearCase_guy

Darwinism is a religion. To believe that life happened by accident takes far more faith than any conventional religion.


4 posted on 10/30/2009 8:37:40 AM PDT by stinkerpot65 (Global warming is a Marxist lie.)
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To: GodGunsGuts
Theories, ... about evolution are simply an unproved hypothesis.

Like Global Warming/Climate Change/Environmental Debts, etc. are ideas that smart people devise to explain (now by computer programs {which they make up themselves}), and thus they build a model and create it to theoretically to prove whatever current point they are SELLING TO THE PUBLIC.

Cynical ... true; and also fact.

Do not buy the BS ... horse feathers!

5 posted on 10/30/2009 8:38:09 AM PDT by geologist (The only answer to the troubles of this life is Jesus. A decision we all must make.)
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To: ClearCase_guy
I don't have that much BLIND FAITH either! And when one considers the literal explosion of fanciful evolutionary ideas--such as the one that would have us believe that we all came from a spike in ocean calcium levels--well, let's just say it's very difficult to keep from laughing!
6 posted on 10/30/2009 8:42:24 AM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: geologist

Ineed, they are the science equivalent of snake-oil salesmen.


7 posted on 10/30/2009 8:44:51 AM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: GodGunsGuts
The article acknowledged that “The Cambrian Explosion is widely regarded as one of the most relevant episodes in the history of life on Earth, when the vast majority of animal phyla first appear in the fossil record.”
I thought that that all phyla appeared during the Cambrian Explosion, that no new phyla have appeared since, and that some phyla have since become extinct.
8 posted on 10/30/2009 8:45:33 AM PDT by eastsider
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To: eastsider
It would be more appropriate to say that nearly all animal phyla were recorded in the fossil record during what has come to be called the Cambrian Explosion.
9 posted on 10/30/2009 8:59:13 AM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: GodGunsGuts
Supposedly ... we have advanced out of our gullibility and naivete

It is the younger among us who are
idealistic and believe the scientific sources.

We learned the hard way ourselves, a few times, didn't we?

10 posted on 10/30/2009 8:59:16 AM PDT by geologist (The only answer to the troubles of this life is Jesus. A decision we all must make.)
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To: GodGunsGuts

Some decent research and hypothesis in the primary sources, but every time the writer of these reviews opens his mouth, he show himself to be uneducated on the matter.


11 posted on 10/30/2009 9:15:25 AM PDT by ElectricStrawberry (Didja know that Man walked with vegetarian T. rex within the last 4,351 years?)
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To: geologist

Rember the scare over acid rain, global cooling, not to mention the yearly scare campaigns re: the flu. Yes, I’d say we’ve learned the hard way. But you are right, we need to find a way to reach America’s youth. Unfortunately, they are all locked up in our leftist public school and university system.


12 posted on 10/30/2009 9:19:48 AM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: GodGunsGuts
I remember being an idealist as a college age person, and for awhile after that ... called real life.

Work and taxes are an immensely valued lesson for most people. Nothing gets through to a person like those facts when they occur.

My neighor was in Italy during our november election. They reported that many people there “protest daily”, and seem to be “always protesting” against something... as if it was their job.

They were ‘celebrating’ in the streets when Obama won the election.

Interesting.

13 posted on 10/30/2009 9:27:51 AM PDT by geologist (The only answer to the troubles of this life is Jesus. A decision we all must make.)
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To: GodGunsGuts
I think it's time for an asteroid die off theory. No more “Waiting to Inhale” oxygen or “My Pal Cal...cium”, none of that, but an asteroid and “then life freed of competition was able to select body plans.”

Details to follow.

14 posted on 10/30/2009 9:55:40 AM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: GodGunsGuts

Nonsense! The world is only 6000 years old and every “fossilized” sea shell was put in its exact position by the express direction of God.


15 posted on 10/30/2009 10:01:38 AM PDT by glorgau
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To: glorgau

What do you think of the evo explanation that we all came from a spike oceanic calcium?

PS That’s 6-10,000 year old, and it would not be correct to say that God personally placed every sea shell in its exact position, but He did create the laws that determine the same, and He does indeed know their exact composition and location, just as He knows the exact number of hairs are on your head.

Matthew 10:29-31


16 posted on 10/30/2009 10:14:45 AM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: count-your-change

You mean another asteroid die off theory! I say “another” asteroid die off theory, because the current theory is in big, big trouble.


17 posted on 10/30/2009 10:16:30 AM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: GodGunsGuts; eastsider
I did a little research on this for a previous post. It appears that saying most animal phyla appeared during the CE is an exaggeration, let alone saying nearly all.
18 posted on 10/30/2009 10:19:33 AM PDT by goodusername
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To: GodGunsGuts
If one is good a dozen is better! Last night the purported Dino Disaster asteroid was suggested to have produced dino killing effects around the globe within mere hours. But...

But one paleopologist has already asked, without response, “So what happened to the insects when the dinos were being killed?”
I thought it a good question but alas, no takers.

19 posted on 10/30/2009 10:43:31 AM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: goodusername
I did a little research on this for a previous post.
From the end of your previous post:
We now know that life extends back about 3 billion years before the CE. Multicellular life begins well over a billion years before the CE. And we now know that many animal phyla originate prior to the CE.
I'm curious whether there's a period after which we can say that no new phyla have appeared?
20 posted on 10/30/2009 10:58:28 AM PDT by eastsider
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To: GodGunsGuts

Right back to junk science central, eh?


21 posted on 10/30/2009 11:23:12 AM PDT by xcamel (The urge to save humanity is always a false front for the urge to rule it. - H. L. Mencken)
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To: GodGunsGuts

Acid rain killed the pond in my back yard on Cape Cod wether or not you care to believe in simple science or not. Lowered the pH, increased algae, increased algae toxins, the entire fish population died.....all species, bass, sunnies, pickeral, perch. Pond was later chemically re-claimed and restocked with the same fish species and has done well since.

The reason you don’t hear about it now is because regulating factory and power plant emissions reduced sulfur and nitrogen output, redugin acid rain and its effects.

....but I’m sure you know better.


22 posted on 10/30/2009 11:27:04 AM PDT by ElectricStrawberry (Didja know that Man walked with vegetarian T. rex within the last 4,351 years?)
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To: eastsider

“I’m curious whether there’s a period after which we can say that no new phyla have appeared?”

—I’m not sure what the most recent phylum is. But I’d say that, essentially, by definition, the beginning of a phylum is not something that can occur very recently - or that could occur tomorrow. It’s a label that would be put on a group of life forms only after many speciation events.

An analogy to a phylum and how it forms might be a language family (such as the “Romance Languages” of Latin, French, Romanian, etc).
At best, the witnesses to the time of the beginning of Latin probably wouldn’t have seen it as the beginning of a new language, but instead as merely a variation of another language (probably Greek?). And even if someone did see it as the beginning of a new language (which is highly unlikely) they certainly wouldn’t have seen it as the beginning of a whole new family type of languages. And thus the beginning of a language family is also something that, essentially by definition, is something that could only have occurred long ago. It won’t happen today. And the time that we call the beginning of a language will always be a case of “retrospective coronation”. Anyone living at the time of the beginning of Latin would have looking at that start as just a population of people speaking barely any differently than other populations - we can look back and call that time the beginning of a new language (and new language family) only because of our position far in the future and knowing what occurred later.


23 posted on 10/30/2009 12:02:29 PM PDT by goodusername
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To: goodusername
An analogy to a phylum and how it forms might be a language family ...
So, by analogy, there might be a question or two about the Babel Explosion ...

Tx for the post : )

24 posted on 10/30/2009 12:25:25 PM PDT by eastsider
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To: GodGunsGuts

25 posted on 10/30/2009 12:30:47 PM PDT by starlifter (Sapor Amo Pullus)
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To: GodGunsGuts

I don’t think anyone has ever addressed the scare campaigns about global cooling. Around the time that fears of “man-made” global cooling reached their peak, cooling ceased and then warming began. Why? The best answer I can give is that climate has always changed. Man has little impact. We don’t know enough to explain past warmings and coolings, or to predict future changes. But fear campaigns sell government. So such campaigns are popular among those with a socialist inclination.


26 posted on 10/30/2009 1:46:17 PM PDT by ChessExpert (The unemployment rate was 4.5% when Democrats took control of Congress. What is it today?)
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To: geologist

Been to Italy a couple of times in the mid 70’s...and it amazes me they’re not communist by now. I mean officially, fully.

I don’t know what’s kept them afloat all this time...God’s will, the Catholic church, a combination of things, but it’s so sad for such a beautiful place with a rich history, etc.


27 posted on 10/30/2009 4:34:08 PM PDT by tpanther (Science was, is and will forever be a small subset of God's creation.)
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To: GodGunsGuts

If the Earth is only 6,000 years old there was no Cambrian period, remember? /sarc


28 posted on 10/30/2009 4:37:03 PM PDT by Kozak (USA 7/4/1776 to 1/20/2009 Reqiescat in Pace)
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To: GodGunsGuts

Thanks for the ping!


29 posted on 10/30/2009 9:40:35 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: GodGunsGuts

Cause for the explosion of life: God said, “Let there be...”


30 posted on 10/30/2009 10:38:44 PM PDT by rae4palin
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To: GodGunsGuts

I see ElectricStrawberry played the “uneducated” card. (yawn)


31 posted on 10/30/2009 10:47:13 PM PDT by rae4palin
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To: rae4palin

Funny, his calling card usually begins with BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAH. He must have been tired or something :o)


32 posted on 10/30/2009 10:50:29 PM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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