Skip to comments.Darwin's Dilemma Of 1859 Gets A Solution, Say Paleobiologists [Science]
Posted on 01/11/2009 6:46:55 PM PST by Coyoteman
A solution to the puzzle which came to be known as Darwins Dilemma has been uncovered by scientists at the University of Oxford in a paper published in the Journal of the Geological Society.
To the question of why we do not find rich fossiliferous deposits belonging to these periods prior to the Cambrian system, I can give no satisfactory answer, Charles Darwin wrote in On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life in 1859, summarizing what came to be known as Darwins Dilemma the lack of fossils in sediment from the Precambrian (c. 4500 542 Mya).
The puzzle was that if Darwins theory of natural selection was right, life evolved gradually over millions of years but the Cambrian period, which began around 542 million years ago, seemed to herald a sudden rapid increase in species diversity, an event which has come to be known as the Cambrian explosion.'
Darwin struggled to find evidence for fossils prior to the Cambrian, and the mystery continued to perplex palaeontologists. ...
Darwin himself was confident that fossils from the Precambrian would eventually be found, believing it to be a time when the world swarmed with living creatures. Although the potential importance of the Longmyndian Supergroup in solving Darwins dilemma has been recognized since Salters pioneering discoveries, it is only now, with more sophisticated techniques for examining specimens, that the secrets of the Longmyndian rocks and their exceptionally preserved fossils can be uncovered.
Article: 'A solution to Darwin's dilemma of 1859: exceptional preservation in Salter's material from the late Ediacaran Longmyndian Supergroup, England', Richard H. T. Callow and Martin D. Brasier, Journal of the Geological Society, Vol. 166, 2009, pp 1-4
(Excerpt) Read more at scientificblogging.com ...
A good cambrian rock with a fossil in it is damned hard to find....
Never believed it anyway - still think that the Doctor and K-9 had something to do with it :)
Actually - the real answer to his delimma is quite simple... but I won’t post it because there are certain Freepers who would call me a Christian/Religious idiot for believing the Bible...
Feel free to post. But as I have identified this as a science thread in the title, it would be more appropriate if you posted scientific backing for any claims you make.
If there are some more comprehensive URLs we might read, please post them.
Richard H. T. Callow and Martin D. Brasier. A solution to Darwin's dilemma of 1859: exceptional preservation in Salter's material from the late Ediacaran Longmyndian Supergroup, England. Journal of the Geological Society, Vol. 166, 2009, pp 1-4
Now why would Darwin have screwed up so badly on that one? Well, for one thing I doubt a gentleman of his breeding would have imagined that very many people would be interested in going to the trouble of catching gamey wild pigs when they could just buy one off a passing Arabian pig merchant.
Many of the detail explanations for "evolution" have that problem ~ the genius behind them has prejudices that he or she cleverly works into the structure to hide what really happened.
I guaran~tee them ol'countryboys way back when were HAPPY to catch wild pigs, and happy to turn the boars into fat roastin' hogs, and were even happier to hold back the females that had 12 or 16 piglets and let the little two-bangers show up over in the tandoor for Saturday afternoon's roast.
You can't grow up in corn and hog country without knowing what is meant by "the technology" ~ it's a fence with a top ~ and a knife sharp enough for the nut cuttin'. Ain't no more complex than seeing it happen!
Darwin simply didn't spend enough time on the growing side of pig culture to bother with thinking about it all that much ~ the boy loved birds though.
Seems the fossils were there, but they were a lot smaller than early searchers might have expected.
Among other things, they found teeny, tiny little carbon footprints.
And puppies. Don't forget puppies.
They have nothing whatsoever to do with whatever happened in the Cambrian transition.
You already know my comprehensive proposal (someone dropped his sample case), but the solution to Darwin's dilemma is simple ~ NOTHING HAPPENED ~ the big animals simply popped into existence and proliferated into a number of orders in under 10 my (and this is so far back in time it could have been 6 months for all any of us can tell using the best measuring equipment we have at the moment ~ I anxiously await the day it's shown they all popped into existence in just a week or two).
The "more oxygen" hypothesis suggests the guy lost his aquarium as well ~ the one with all the neat seaweed in it.
Am I suggesting Darwin had a school yard encounter with a pack of dogs after a female in heat?
Why yes I am. Gave him funny ideas.
Now the chickens turn out to actually have Gray Jungle Fowl genes! Definite sign of trans species dating ~ they'll all go to Hell Fur Shur.
Hardly explains Darwin’s dilemma, unless I’m misunderstanding the article. Darwin would never have been surprised to find a lack of protist fossils; it was that so many lines of metazoa seemed to emerge at once.
Doesn't take a lot of observin' to notice that!
I've seen quite a few pooches that were into gettin' a bit of strange leg, if you know what I mean, (nudge, nudge).
As mentioned in the article, the pre-Cambrian fossils were uni-cellular. Single celled organisms leave very small fossils, which are very hard to find. The Cambrian explosion was the explosion of multi-cellular life, after the first complex organisms evolved. These organisms leave much more identifiable traces in rock strata.
There may have been just as much life, when it was all single celled, but it's difficult to tell.
Want a good laugh?
One of my collecting sites is precambrian black shale - loaded with grapolites - which are basically a little “carbon smears” in the layers....
DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING DING!
NO more calls, please.
We have a winner!
I was trying to focus on Darwin’s own personal problem, which is why I suggested the problem started with a gang of dogs after a female in heat ~ but you could be right ~ somebody familiar with raising sheep could tell us what the collies do when we’re not watching eh!
I didn’t quite pick up where they found gazillions of teeny tiny little bity multicelled animals down in the precambrian carbon smears ~ more like it’s still an hypothesis that the single-celled softbodied critters turned into multi-celled gigantic stainless steel hulled megacreatures.
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