Cambrian Explosion: role of phosphorus (Introduction)

by dhw, Thursday, December 22, 2016, 13:35 (1192 days ago) @ David Turell

David’s comment: Now we can add phosphorus to the necessary triggers for the Cambrian explosion. But there had to be a drive to evolve within the early simple life for living organisms to react with such complexity seen in the Cambrian, which lacks any true precursors. Darwin's fears of the Silurian have been realized.

Thank you for alerting us to this very important discovery. Of course it brings us no nearer to understanding the nature of the mechanism that drives evolution, but it adds greatly to our understanding of the chemical changes in the environment which triggered that mechanism by providing new opportunities for life forms to diversify. I agree that Darwin would have had to revise his views concerning gradualism versus saltation – but this was already clear to both of us, even disregarding the Silurian/Cambrian problem.

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