Cambrian Explosion: from volcanos? (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Monday, January 20, 2014, 15:18 (2324 days ago)

"Last year, a study suggested that microbes helped form continents by encouraging volcanic activity (New Scientist, 23 November 2013, p 10). Now Ryan McKenzie of the University of Texas at Austin and colleagues have shown that, in turn, volcanism may have shaped life during the crucial Cambrian period (see illustration).

Before the Cambrian, over 600 million years ago, Earth was virtually covered in ice. The first animals arose on this "Snowball Earth", but these "Ediacarans" did not look like modern animals.

Then came the Cambrian explosion. "You had single cell organisms, single cell, single cell, then weird Ediacaran oddballs, and ... suddenly ... snails and bivalves and sea stars and a whole range of groups that typify the record for the rest of time," says McKenzie's colleague Paul Myrow of Colorado College in Colorado Springs.

The animals that appeared during the Cambrian explosion gave rise to all the major groups alive today, from worms to starfish. But each group only contained a few species, and got no further. The next period is known as the Dead Interval, and was marked by mass extinctions. It was another 50 million years before animal life blossomed once more, during the Ordovician.

We already knew that Earth's temperature changed dramatically over these periods. It thawed in the early Cambrian then became stiflingly hot during the Dead Interval, before cooling again. "These are huge climate swings, from Snowball Earth to one of the warmest intervals of Earth history in the Cambrian," says Lee Kump of Penn State University in University Park."


http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22129522.600

Cambrian Explosion: role of oxygen

by David Turell @, Tuesday, February 18, 2014, 15:53 (2295 days ago) @ David Turell

Because oxygen content rose to near present levels in pre-Cambrian times it is proposed to be one of the major triggers of the explosion. Not so fast says this new paper. Many animals can survive on very low oxygen:

"However new studies of a common sea sponge from Kerteminde Fjord in Denmark shows that this explanation needs to be reconsidered. The sponge studies show that animals can live and grow even with very limited oxygen supplies.

"In fact animals can live and grow when the atmosphere contains only 0.5 per cent of the oxygen levels in today's atmosphere.

"Our studies suggest that the origin of animals was not prevented by low oxygen levels", says Daniel Mills, PhD at the Nordic Center for Earth Evolution at the University of Southern Denmark."


Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-02-theory-animals-earliest-animal-life.html#jCp

But of course, these low use of oxygen animals could have started with a high use metabolism and then lowered it.

Cambrian Explosion: role of oxygen

by dhw, Wednesday, February 19, 2014, 15:33 (2294 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Because oxygen content rose to near present levels in pre-Cambrian times it is proposed to be one of the major triggers of the explosion. Not so fast says this new paper. Many animals can survive on very low oxygen:
"However new studies of a common sea sponge from Kerteminde Fjord in Denmark shows that this explanation needs to be reconsidered. The sponge studies show that animals can live and grow even with very limited oxygen supplies.

"In fact animals can live and grow when the atmosphere contains only 0.5 per cent of the oxygen levels in today's atmosphere.

"Our studies suggest that the origin of animals was not prevented by low oxygen levels", says Daniel Mills, PhD at the Nordic Center for Earth Evolution at the University of Southern Denmark."

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-02-theory-animals-earliest-animal-life.html#jCp

I have read more. Quote: "The living animals that most closely resemble the first animals on Earth are sea sponges. The species Halichondria panicea lives only a few meters from the University of Southern Denmark's Marine Biological Research Centre in Kerteminde, and it was here that Daniel Mills fished out individuals for his research.
When we placed the sponges in our lab, they continued to breathe and grow even when the oxygen levels reached 0.5 per cent of present day atmospheric levels", says Daniel Mills."

Many apologies if I am being dense here, but surely the test is not whether the earliest animals could live with 0.5%, but whether LATER animals can. If they can't, then clearly later animals could only evolve when the level of oxygen increased. Perhaps, David, you could explain how tests on earlier animals prove that later animals could have existed on the same amount of oxygen but didn't.

QUOTE: "His colleagues from the Nordic Center for Earth Evolution have previously shown that oxygen levels have actually risen dramatically at least one time before complex life evolved. Although plenty of oxygen thus became available it did not lead to the development of complex life."

We would need to know more details. How dramatically? Dramatically enough to support modern animals? How accurate can any of these measurements be? But in any case, the fact that conditions are suitable for innovations does not mean that innovations will take place. (The same applies to life itself.) That depends on the nature of the organisms that are around, and how they interact with those conditions.

Cambrian Explosion: role of oxygen

by David Turell @, Wednesday, February 19, 2014, 15:46 (2294 days ago) @ dhw


Dhw: Many apologies if I am being dense here, but surely the test is not whether the earliest animals could live with 0.5%, but whether LATER animals can. If they can't, then clearly later animals could only evolve when the level of oxygen increased. Perhaps, David, you could explain how tests on earlier animals prove that later animals could have existed on the same amount of oxygen but didn't.

Note my previous comment: " But of course, these low use of oxygen animals could have started with a high use metabolism and then lowered it. This finding on current animals now really can't be related to the past, or can it? I have my doubts.


QUOTE: "His colleagues from the Nordic Center for Earth Evolution have previously shown that oxygen levels have actually risen dramatically at least one time before complex life evolved. Although plenty of oxygen thus became available it did not lead to the development of complex life."

dhw:We would need to know more details. How dramatically? Dramatically enough to support modern animals? How accurate can any of these measurements be? But in any case, the fact that conditions are suitable for innovations does not mean that innovations will take place. (The same applies to life itself.) That depends on the nature of the organisms that are around, and how they interact with those conditions.

It seems to be fairly accepted that oxygen levels rose dramatically just before the Cambrian. I can't quote the methods of research to you. but you are perfectly right: ideal conditions allow for complex advances, but that doesn't mean those advances are required to occur.

Cambrian Explosion: role of oxygen

by David Turell @, Wednesday, February 19, 2014, 18:47 (2294 days ago) @ David Turell

Nature has an article on oxygen levels. Paywalled. It seems they can measure anceint levels:

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v506/n7488/full/nature13068.html?WT.ec_id=NATURE-2...

Cambrian Explosion: role of China

by David Turell @, Saturday, March 08, 2014, 15:05 (2277 days ago) @ David Turell

The fossils in China were more definitive than the Canadian findings 15 years ago. This is a fascinating article expressing my thoughts exactly, as I have presented them before:

"Today, as a result of Chinese paleontology, biologists must choose between classic Darwinism and "saltation," the idea of evolution in quick jumps, says biologist Holland. Chinese gossil discoveries have wrought havoc upon his once-tidy tree of life: "You just hardly know what order to put the material in now. I mean, you might as well just present the phyla alphabetically. It's come to that."

"In China, the Cambrian mystery has recently inspired the building of large new government-sponsored research centers devoted to its investigation. At the heart of their research lies a declaration anathema in the West: a proclamation of the mystery of animal origins on Earth. Rather than "survival of the fittest," Chen believes scientists should focus on why life kept evolving beyond the fittest. Microbacteria are the most successful forms of life, Chen noted, since they make up most of the Earth's bio-mass and have survived while all other forms have a way of going extinct. Complex life is less capable of making adaptations. If all we have to depend upon is chance and competition, the conventional forces of evolution, Chen said, "then complex, highly evolved life, such as the human, has no reason to appear." (my bold, my reasoning)

http://www.fredheeren.com/washtimes.htm

Cambrian Explosion: Greenland finding

by David Turell @, Wednesday, March 26, 2014, 23:44 (2259 days ago) @ David Turell

A giant shrimplike animal with filter feeding, like later whales.:

http://www.livescience.com/44381-filter-feeding-cambrian-creature-unearthed.html?cmpid=...

"The new creature was unearthed in sediments known as the Sirius Passet formation. These shale-like deposits are teeming with primeval organisms from the evolutionary "big bang' known as the Cambrian explosion, a period between 540 million and 493 million years ago when most complex life on Earth emerged. [See Images of the Giant Cambrian Creature]

"Before then, most life forms were bacteria or microbial mats, but during the Cambrian hard exoskeletons, jointed limbs, compound eyes and antennae evolved.


"While on an excavation trip in 2009, the team unearthed fragments of strange feeding appendages attached to a head shield from an unknown creature. The appendages, which date to about 520 million years ago, belonged to a group known as anomalocarids, the top predators of their day."

Anomalocarids were found originally in the Canadian Burgess shale.

Cambrian Explosion: full internal organs

by David Turell @, Monday, April 07, 2014, 16:21 (2247 days ago) @ David Turell

These animals appear from no precursors with full organ systems, gut, nervous, circulatory! An amazingly intact fossil:

http://phys.org/news/2014-04-ancient-shrimp-like-animals-modern-hearts.html

Cambrian Explosion: full internal organs

by David Turell @, Friday, April 25, 2014, 16:51 (2229 days ago) @ David Turell

David: These animals appear from no precursors with full organ systems, gut, nervous, circulatory! An amazingly intact fossil:

http://phys.org/news/2014-04-ancient-shrimp-like-animals-modern-hearts.html

Further analysis shows that the ancient shrimp had a definitely more complex heart than the current shrimp. Can Darwinism accept that it starts complex and gets simpler?

http://www.biosciencetechnology.com/articles/2014/04/half-billion-year-old-heart-found-...

"520 million years ago, the first known animal heart was formed.

"It was the heart of an ancient shrimp, and quite a heart it was. For it, and its vascular system, have been found to be more complex than that of modern shrimp, researchers reported in a recent Nature Communications. Its cardiovascular system was apparently evolution's template for modern cardiovascular systems. Significant streamlining has occurred since"

Abstract of paper:

"The assumption that amongst internal organs of early arthropods only the digestive system withstands fossilization is challenged by the identification of brain and ganglia in early Cambrian fuxianhuiids and megacheirans from southwest China. Here we document in the 520-million-year-old Chengjiang arthropod Fuxianhuia protensa an exceptionally preserved bilaterally symmetrical organ system corresponding to the vascular system of extant arthropods. Preserved primarily as carbon, this system includes a broad dorsal vessel extending through the thorax to the brain where anastomosing branches overlap brain segments and supply the eyes and antennae. The dorsal vessel provides segmentally paired branches to lateral vessels, an arthropod ground pattern character, and extends into the anterior part of the abdomen. The addition of its vascular system to documented digestive and nervous systems resolves the internal organization of F. protensa as the most completely understood of any Cambrian arthropod, emphasizing complexity that had evolved by the early Cambrian."

http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/140407/ncomms4560/full/ncomms4560.html

Cambrian Explosion: simplicity before

by David Turell @, Monday, May 12, 2014, 14:56 (2212 days ago) @ David Turell

Simple and bilateral predecessors. The Cambrian is a huge evolutionary jump:

"Ediacaran fossils are extremely perplexing: they don't look like any animal that is alive today, and their interrelationships are very poorly understood," said Lucas V. Joel, a former graduate student at UC Riverside and the first author of the research paper. Joel worked in Droser's lab until June 2013"

"In the Ediacaran we really need to know the difference between the fossils of actual tubular organisms and trace fossils because if the fossil we are looking at is a trace fossil, then that has huge implications for the earliest origins of bilaterian animals -- organisms with bilateral symmetry up and down their midlines and that can move independently of environment forces," Joel said. "Being able to tell the difference between a tubular organism and a trace fossil has implications for the earliest origins of bilaterian organism, which are the only kinds of creatures that could have constructed a tubular trace fossil. Plexus is not a trace fossil. What our research shows is that the structure we see looks very much like a trace fossil, but is in fact a new Ediacaran tubular organism, Plexus ricei."

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140509172917.htm

Cambrian Explosion: early brains

by David Turell @, Thursday, July 17, 2014, 15:35 (2146 days ago) @ David Turell

A jump from no brains in the Ediacarans to simple brains is a massive leap for evolution:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140716131628.htm

"An international team of paleontologists has identified the exquisitely preserved brain in the fossil of one of the world's first known predators that lived in the Lower Cambrian, about 520 million years ago. The discovery revealed a brain that is surprisingly simple and less complex than those known from fossils of some of the animal's prey.

"The find for the first time identifies the fossilized brain of what are considered the top predators of their time, a group of animals known as anomalocaridids, which translates to "abnormal shrimp." Long extinct, these fierce-looking arthropods were first discovered as fossils in the late 19th century but not properly identified until the early 1980s. They still have scientists arguing over where they belong in the tree of life."

Cambrian Explosion: not from Ediacarans

by David Turell @, Tuesday, August 12, 2014, 18:42 (2120 days ago) @ David Turell

These simple fern-like animals die out and complex Cambrians appear, big jump, the gap still unexplained:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140811170201.htm

Cambrian Explosion: not from Ediacarans

by dhw, Wednesday, August 13, 2014, 23:03 (2119 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: These simple fern-like animals die out and complex Cambrians appear, big jump, the gap still unexplained:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140811170201.htm


QUOTE: "The oceans during the Ediacaran period were more like a weak soup -- full of nutrients such as organic carbon, whereas today suspended food particles are swiftly harvested by a myriad of animals," said co-author Professor Simon Conway Morris.
Starting 541 million years ago, the conditions in the oceans changed quickly with the start of the Cambrian Explosion -- a period of rapid evolution when most major animal groups first emerge in the fossil record and competition for nutrients increased dramatically."

Quote: "As the Cambrian Explosion began however, the rangeomorphs became 'sitting ducks', as they had no known means of defence from predators which were starting to evolve, and the changing chemical composition of the ocean meant that they could no longer get the nutrients they required to feed.
"As the Cambrian began, these Ediacaran specialists could no longer survive, and nothing quite like them has been seen again," said Dr Hoyal Cuthill
."

Simon Conway Morris establishes a clear link between the changes in the environment, the arrival of new species, and the extinction of the hitherto flourishing rangeomorph. The implication is unmistakable: new conditions lead to new modes of survival, and existing organisms must either adapt, innovate, or perish. Here are the four explanations we have considered, the last three of which advocate intelligent design:

1) Darwin's random mutations, which we both reject. (But we do NOT reject natural selection, because that simply decides which changes will or won't survive).
2) Your God preprogrammed both the changes in the environment and the innovations right from the beginning of life. (= Automatized evolution)
3) Your God stepped in to change the environment and to implant all the innovations. (= Creationism)
4) The environment changed, and some organisms had the ability to change their structure in order to survive in and/or exploit the new conditions. (= Evolution)

In 2), since you insist that the innovations were all part of your God's “intricate planning”, and since they depend on environmental change, I am assuming the environmental changes must have been incorporated into his plans.
In 3), I am assuming that your God's plans were not at the mercy of environmental changes outside his control
In 4), the source of the ability of organisms to change is unknown, but it may have been your God.

Of course we are going over the same ground, but there has to be an explanation for the jump. Anyone like to make a choice? Or offer a different explanation?

Cambrian Explosion: not from Ediacarans

by David Turell @, Thursday, August 14, 2014, 02:04 (2119 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Simon Conway Morris establishes a clear link between the changes in the environment, the arrival of new species, and the extinction of the hitherto flourishing rangeomorph. The implication is unmistakable: new conditions lead to new modes of survival, and existing organisms must either adapt, innovate, or perish. Here are the four explanations we have considered, the last three of which advocate intelligent design:

1) Darwin's random mutations, which we both reject.
2) Your God preprogrammed both the changes in the environment and the innovations right from the beginning of life. (= Automatized evolution)
3) Your God stepped in to change the environment and to implant all the innovations. (= Creationism)
4) The environment changed, and some organisms had the ability to change their structure in order to survive in and/or exploit the new conditions. (= Evolution)

In 2), since you insist that the innovations were all part of your God's “intricate planning”, and since they depend on environmental change, I am assuming the environmental changes must have been incorporated into his plans.
In 3), I am assuming that your God's plans were not at the mercy of environmental changes outside his control
In 4), the source of the ability of organisms to change is unknown, but it may have been your God.

dhw: Of course we are going over the same ground, but there has to be an explanation for the jump. Anyone like to make a choice? Or offer a different explanation?

It is a huge gap with complex organs and organisms appearing out of no serously complex ancestor. You reject chance mutations in (1). 2,3, & 4 all seem to lead to God. Are you no longer an agnostic? Point to a scientifically acceptable way to explain the gap. The answer is no one can. All the ancestors are very simple, and Darwin's hope that the fossil gap would be filled is shrinking away year by year. The gap is real. Face it. The only conclusion is design.

Cambrian Explosion: not from Ediacarans

by dhw, Friday, August 15, 2014, 09:11 (2117 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Simon Conway Morris establishes a clear link between the changes in the environment, the arrival of new species, and the extinction of the hitherto flourishing rangeomorph. The implication is unmistakable: new conditions lead to new modes of survival, and existing organisms must either adapt, innovate, or perish. Now consider the explanations on offer, the last three of which advocate intelligent design:

1) Darwin's random mutations, which we both reject. (But we do NOT reject natural selection, because that simply decides which changes will or won't survive).
2) Your God preprogrammed both the changes in the environment and the innovations right from the beginning of life. (= Automatized evolution)
3) Your God stepped in to change the environment and to implant all the innovations. (= Creationism)
4) The environment changed, and some organisms were able to change their structure in order to survive in and/or exploit the new conditions. (= Evolution)

In 2), since you insist that the innovations were all part of your God's “intricate planning”, and since they depend on environmental change, I am assuming the environmental changes must have been incorporated into his plans.
In 3), I am assuming that your God's plans were not at the mercy of environmental changes outside his control
In 4), the source of the ability of organisms to change is unknown, but it may be your God.

DAVID: It is a huge gap with complex organs and organisms appearing out of no serously complex ancestor. You reject chance mutations in (1). 2,3, & 4 all seem to lead to God. Are you no longer an agnostic?

2) and 3) are explicitly your own God hypotheses; 4) may or may not lead to God. It is a hypothesis which explains innovation without defining a first cause (see below).


DAVID: Point to a scientifically acceptable way to explain the gap. The answer is no one can. All the ancestors are very simple, and Darwin's hope that the fossil gap would be filled is shrinking away year by year. The gap is real. Face it. The only conclusion is design.

Since no-one can explain the gap, all hypotheses are open to question. 4) is a hypothesis that allows for the evolution of a designing intelligence or intelligences without God, although it does not exclude God. Its explanation of the Cambrian is intelligent design, but the intelligence that did the designing does not have to be the single, eternal, universal, planning, preprogramming or dabbling mind which you call God. (See also the spider silk thread.)

Cambrian Explosion: not from Ediacarans

by David Turell @, Friday, August 15, 2014, 23:31 (2117 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: Point to a scientifically acceptable way to explain the gap. The answer is no one can. All the ancestors are very simple, and Darwin's hope that the fossil gap would be filled is shrinking away year by year. The gap is real. Face it. The only conclusion is design.

dhw:Since no-one can explain the gap, all hypotheses are open to question. 4) is a hypothesis that allows for the evolution of a designing intelligence or intelligences without God, although it does not exclude God. Its explanation of the Cambrian is intelligent design, but the intelligence that did the designing does not have to be the single, eternal, universal, planning, preprogramming or dabbling mind which you call God.

I see only chance or design. You want design by amazingly brilliant cells, not described by Shapiro. Their sentience in his words is minimal, responding to simple stimuli. My designer has true planning ability. Your cells do not.

Cambrian Explosion: Hallucigenia

by David Turell @, Monday, August 18, 2014, 18:26 (2114 days ago) @ David Turell

Finally tied to modern animals. This animal had quite an exposure in Gould's famous book, Wonderful Life.:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140817220058.htm

Cambrian Explosion: Hallucigenia's head found

by David Turell @, Wednesday, June 24, 2015, 18:25 (1804 days ago) @ David Turell

It's taken along time but the head with teeth is finally identified. One weird animal with no precursors:

http://www.theverge.com/2015/6/24/8838169/hallucigenia-worm-fossil-nature-study-2015

"'We've known this animal for over 100 years, and it just sort of seems wrong that we didn't know which end was the head and which end was the tail," Smith says. "Even just finding out where the head was was quite exciting, so the fact that it's also key to unlocking a recognized, but poorly defined group… that was really the icing on the cake, I suppose.'"

Great video animations

Cambrian Explosion: Hallucigenia's relative

by David Turell @, Tuesday, June 30, 2015, 15:46 (1798 days ago) @ David Turell

A worm just as weird with spikes:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150629152437.htm

" The Chinese Collins' Monster had a soft and squishy body, six pairs of feather-like front legs, and nine pairs of rear legs ending in claws. Since the clawed rear legs were not well-suited for walking along the muddy ocean floor, it is likely that Collinsium eked out an existence by clinging onto sponges or other hard substances by its back claws, while sieving out its food with its feathery front legs. Some modern animals, including bamboo shrimp, feed in a similar way, capturing passing nutrients with their fan-like forearms.

"The Chinese Collins' Monster resembles Hallucigenia, another otherworldly Cambrian fossil, albeit one which has been the subject of much more study.

"'Both creatures are lobopodians, or legged worms, but the Collins' Monster sort of looks like Hallucigenia on steroids," said Ortega-Hernández. "It had much heavier armour protecting its body, with up to five pointy spines per pair of legs, as opposed to Hallucigenia's two. Unlike Hallucigenia, the limbs at the front of Collins' Monster's body were also covered with fine brushes or bristles that were used for a specialised type of feeding from the water column."

"The spines along Collinsium's back had a cone-in-cone construction, similar to Russian nesting dolls. This same construction has also been observed in the closely-related Hallucigenia and the claws in the legs of velvet worms, making both Collinsium and Hallucigenia distant ancestors of modern onychophorans. According to Ortega-Hernández, "There are at least four more species with close family ties to the Collins' Monster, which collectively form a group known as Luolishaniidae. Fossils of these creatures are hard to come by and mostly fragmentary, so the discovery of Collinsium greatly improves our understanding of these bizarre organisms.'"

Comment: One of the objections to the term Cambrian Explosion is that precursors were soft bodies and therefore did not make fossils, giving the appearance of an evolutionary 'explosion'. But the soft-bodied parts of this fossil are well preserved and there now have been many recent findings of the soft-bodied fossils at an earlier age to remove the objection. As time passes and discoveries are made, the explosion is really an explosion, and is still unexplained as a chance event.

A First: Ediacaran with muscle

by David Turell @, Friday, August 29, 2014, 15:27 (2103 days ago) @ David Turell

It looks like other plant-like Ediacaran forms but it appears to have muscle tissue. Doesn't close to gap to the Cambrian full-blown animals:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140826205417.htm

Cambrian Explosion: not from Ediacarans

by David Turell @, Tuesday, January 27, 2015, 15:36 (1952 days ago) @ David Turell

This complex review article from Chinese research shows how simplistic were the multicellular organisms of the Ediacaran period. The Cambrian was a true explosion of complexity:

http://nsr.oxfordjournals.org/content/1/4/498.full.pdf+html

"We conclude that Megasphaera is a multicellular eukaryote with evidence for
cell-to-cell adhesion, a flexible membrane unconstrained by a rigid cell wall, spatial cellular differentiation,germ-soma separation, and programmed cell death. These features are inconsistent with the bacterium,unicellular protist, and mesomycetozoean-like holozoan interpretations. Thus, the surviving hypotheses,
particularly the stem-group animal and algal interpretations, should be further tested with additional evidence. The Weng'an biota also hosts cellularly differentiated pseudoparenchymatous thalli with specialized reproductive structures indicative of an affinity with florideophyte red algae. The other Weng'an
fossils reviewed here may also be multicellular eukaryotes, although direct cellular evidence is lacking in some and phylogenetic affinities are poorly constrained in others. The Weng'an biota offers many research opportunities to resolve the life histories and phylogenetic diversity of early multicellular eukaryotes and to
illuminate the evolutionary prelude to the Cambrian explosion."

In other words some cell function differentiation

Cambrian Explosion: not from Ediacarans

by Balance_Maintained @, U.S.A., Friday, August 15, 2014, 04:57 (2118 days ago) @ dhw

Quote: "As the Cambrian Explosion began however, the rangeomorphs became 'sitting ducks', as they had no known means of defence from predators which were starting to evolve, and the changing chemical composition of the ocean meant that they could no longer get the nutrients they required to feed.
"As the Cambrian began, these Ediacaran specialists could no longer survive, and nothing quite like them has been seen again," said Dr Hoyal Cuthill
."

Simon Conway Morris establishes a clear link between the changes in the environment, the arrival of new species, and the extinction of the hitherto flourishing rangeomorph. The implication is unmistakable: new conditions lead to new modes of survival, and existing organisms must either adapt, innovate, or perish. Here are the four explanations we have considered, the last three of which advocate intelligent design:

1) Darwin's random mutations, which we both reject. (But we do NOT reject natural selection, because that simply decides which changes will or won't survive).
2) Your God preprogrammed both the changes in the environment and the innovations right from the beginning of life. (= Automatized evolution)
3) Your God stepped in to change the environment and to implant all the innovations. (= Creationism)
4) The environment changed, and some organisms had the ability to change their structure in order to survive in and/or exploit the new conditions. (= Evolution)

In 2), since you insist that the innovations were all part of your God's “intricate planning”, and since they depend on environmental change, I am assuming the environmental changes must have been incorporated into his plans.
In 3), I am assuming that your God's plans were not at the mercy of environmental changes outside his control
In 4), the source of the ability of organisms to change is unknown, but it may have been your God.

Of course we are going over the same ground, but there has to be an explanation for the jump. Anyone like to make a choice? Or offer a different explanation?


Out of curiosity, has anyone ever proven an actual innovation? (Spontaneous addition to the available genetic information?) If not, then all that is required is the ability to adapt, which can work within some fairly stable predefined parameters.

--
What is the purpose of living? How about, 'to reduce needless suffering. It seems to me to be a worthy purpose.

Cambrian Explosion: not from Ediacarans

by David Turell @, Friday, August 15, 2014, 06:03 (2118 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained


Tony: Out of curiosity, has anyone ever proven an actual innovation? (Spontaneous addition to the available genetic information?) If not, then all that is required is the ability to adapt, which can work within some fairly stable predefined parameters.


The Cambrian shows the enormous innovations, but we are dealing with rocky fossils before the Cambrian and during it. No DNA to answer your questions. Simple adaptation cannot answer the gaps.

Cambrian Explosion: Early vertebrate fish

by David Turell @, Saturday, August 30, 2014, 16:08 (2102 days ago) @ David Turell
edited by David Turell, Saturday, August 30, 2014, 16:15

Cambrian Explosion: not from Ediacarans

by David Turell @, Wednesday, April 29, 2015, 15:17 (1860 days ago) @ David Turell

Tis article tries to explore the junction between Ediacarans and the Cambrian animals. A vast difference in development from sluggish to active. Still no intermediate forms that Darwin hoped for:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn27415-the-first-complex-life-on-earth-got-eaten-t...

"Strange and largely immobile organisms made of tubes were the first complex life on Earth. Appearing 579 million years ago, they thrived on the seafloor for some 37 million years, then vanished - becoming a curiosity we know only from faint impressions in the sandstone fossil record.

"What made them die out? New fossil evidence from Namibia suggests that the Ediacarans, as these creatures are known, had their world turned upside by an explosion of life forms at the beginning of the Cambrian period 541 million years ago. Some of these may have evolved to eat their enigmatic predecessors and to bioengineer the environment in ways that left little hope for the passive Ediacarans.

"If so, the very first mass extinction of complex life forms had a biological cause, unlike the big five mass extinctions which are thought to be environmentally driven - kicked off by widespread volcanic eruptions that poisoned the oceans or a massive meteorite strike, for example.

"The disappearance of the Ediacarans from the fossil record has long troubled biologists. Leading theories are a catastrophic mass extinction, that Ediacarans got eaten or had their habitat destroyed by newly evolved animals, or no longer left fossils because of a change in ocean conditions.

"But a careful search by Marc Laflamme of the University of Toronto in Mississauga and colleagues threw up no geochemical signatures of low-oxygen conditions or other turmoil to support the idea of an environmentally driven mass extinction. And given that soft-bodied Cambrian animals are fossilised within rocks like the famed Burgess Shale, it seems unlikely that the conditions simply didn't allow any surviving Edicaranas to leave a fossil trace in the Cambrian period.

"That suggests that by the time the Cambrian explosion of species reached full force, the Ediacarans were gone,"

Cambrian Explosion: Great Unconformity

by David Turell @, Sunday, September 07, 2014, 02:31 (2095 days ago) @ David Turell

The missing 750 million years famous layer in the Grand Canyon is now hysterically invoked as a reason and poof, the Cambrain gap. No need for precursors. "Natural selection worked quickly". Suddenly NS is active, not passive. Darwinian scientists are logical fools:

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21829210.400-missing-rock-fuelled-cambrian-explos...

How do they know it is missing? It is found elsewhere in the world. I have personally put my hand on where the missing layers should be, during a Grand Canyon river trip with a geology professor.

Cambrian Explosion: Continents

by David Turell @, Saturday, November 01, 2014, 04:26 (2040 days ago) @ David Turell

Gonwondaland breaking up pushed the Cambrian? Georgraphy makes new complex species? Too much money funding grants. A gross non-sequitor:


"'At the boundary between the Precambrian and Cambrian periods, something big happened tectonically that triggered the spreading of shallow ocean water across the continents, which is clearly tied in time and space to the sudden explosion of multicellular, hard-shelled life on the planet," said Dalziel, a research professor at the Institute for Geophysics and a professor in the Department of Geological Sciences.

"Beyond the sea level rise itself, the ancient geologic and geographic changes probably led to a buildup of oxygen in the atmosphere and a change in ocean chemistry, allowing more complex life-forms to evolve, he said."

Note the modifying word 'probably'.


Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2014-10-massive-geographic-triggered-explosion-animal.html#jCp

Cambrian Explosion: very early animals

by David Turell @, Wednesday, December 10, 2014, 15:04 (2000 days ago) @ David Turell

Not very complex. Not even bilaterally symmetrical:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/12/141209081644.htm

Abstract:

http://www.nature.com/srep/2014/141209/srep07340/full/srep07340.html

"N. pugio shows no trace of a gut, coelom, anterior differentiation, appendages, or internal organs that would suggest a bilateral body plan. Instead, the sac-like morphology invites comparison with the radially symmetrical chancelloriids. However, the single-element spines of N. pugio are atypical of the complex multi-element spine rosettes borne by most chancelloriids and N. pugio may signal the ancestral chancelloriid state, in which the spines had not yet fused."

Basically a sac with spines, 520 million years old

Cambrian Explosion: very early sponges

by David Turell @, Wednesday, July 08, 2015, 18:50 (1790 days ago) @ David Turell

Still not very complex as compared to Cambrian animals, and this ability to find soft forms negates the argument that previously deeloped complex soft forms were never fossilized, making the Cambrian look like an explosion:

http://phys.org/news/2015-07-tiny-sponge-fossil-evolutionary.html

"'Fundamental traits in sponges were not suddenly appearing in the Cambrian Period, which is when many think these traits were evolving, but many million years earlier," Bottjer said. "To reveal these types of findings, you have to use pretty high-tech approaches and work with the best people around the world."

"Since 1999, Bottjer has worked with a team of researchers from the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology (Chinese Academy of Sciences) and the California Institute of Technology, as well as the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble, France.

"Team members in China dissolved several 600 million-year-old rocks, which are regularly mined for Chinese agricultural fertilizer from the Doushantuo rock formation in southwestern China's Guizhou Province. They then used a gentle acid bath to reveal tiny fossils made of calcium phosphate and a Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) to determine which of those fossils were preserved well enough to merit analysis with the synchrotron.

"'The preservation in these Doushantuo rocks is extremely fine—and you can even see individual cells with the SEM," Bottjer said. "Once a specimen worthy of further study is found, synchrotron microscopy is used to create very, very detailed images of the fossil in two and three dimensions. From these images we are then able to see what types of animals these fossils represent.'"

Cambrian Explosion: more early brains

by David Turell @, Tuesday, November 10, 2015, 00:45 (1666 days ago) @ David Turell

Lobed brains with optic nerves are found in a species (seven specimens) from 520 million years ago. Fossilization of nervous tissue is rare. Much of the article explores how it might occur:

"The researchers examined the seven new specimens with a scanning electron microscope, revealing a common neural architecture which is preserved, to a greater or lesser extent, in all of them - three distinct segments of brain tissue, plus the optic lobes and optic tracts, which led from the eyestalks to the front of the brain. Chemical analyses of the specimens also revealed that the nervous tissue is preserved as a flat carbon film, sometimes overlaid with pyrite crystals.

***

"When Strausfeld and his colleagues first examined Fuxianhuia, however, they were surprised to discover that it had a complex brain consisting of three fused segments with a rich supply of blood vessels. This brain organization closely resembles that seen in extant insect species, suggesting that the brains of certain arthropod species, such as the brine shrimp, regressed to less complex nervous systems as they evolved. The human brain is also partitioned into segments, most prominently during embryonic development, but also throughout life, and so it seems the basic ground plan for all nervous systems was laid down more than half a billion years ago, and has remained unchanged ever since." (my bold)

Comment: Brains are very complex, especially with eyes and optic cortex and before the Cambrian, nothing but simple sheets of cells as multicellularity began. Note my bold! Pattern planning again, surprise! For Darwin's vision theory all we have is eye spots and then full-blown eyes. How did the Ediacarans do this? Not by chance. Granted neurons had appeared before this, but not in complex networks as found in brains. Logical solution, design!

Cambrian Explosion: more early brains

by dhw, Tuesday, November 10, 2015, 18:48 (1665 days ago) @ David Turell

When Strausfeld and his colleagues first examined Fuxianhuia, however, they were surprised to discover that it had a complex brain consisting of three fused segments with a rich supply of blood vessels. This brain organization closely resembles that seen in extant insect species, suggesting that the brains of certain arthropod species, such as the brine shrimp, regressed to less complex nervous systems as they evolved. The human brain is also partitioned into segments, most prominently during embryonic development, but also throughout life, and so it seems the basic ground plan for all nervous systems was laid down more than half a billion years ago, and has remained unchanged ever since." (David's bold)

David's comment: Brains are very complex, especially with eyes and optic cortex and before the Cambrian, nothing but simple sheets of cells as multicellularity began. Note my bold! Pattern planning again, surprise! For Darwin's vision theory all we have is eye spots and then full-blown eyes. How did the Ediacarans do this? Not by chance. Granted neurons had appeared before this, but not in complex networks as found in brains. Logical solution, design!

Your bold is a clear pointer to common descent, and once again fits in perfectly with different organisms varying the same pattern in accordance with their individual needs. Design, yes, but how and by what? Ah well, usual answer: an all-encompassing, 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme, your God dabbling, or the cooperative intelligence of the cell communities.

Cambrian Explosion: more early brains

by David Turell @, Wednesday, November 11, 2015, 01:08 (1665 days ago) @ dhw


dhw: Your bold is a clear pointer to common descent, and once again fits in perfectly with different organisms varying the same pattern in accordance with their individual needs. Design, yes, but how and by what? Ah well, usual answer: an all-encompassing, 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme, your God dabbling, or the cooperative intelligence of the cell communities.

Committees of somatic cells make brains? That is your leap of faith.

Cambrian Explosion: more early brains

by dhw, Wednesday, November 11, 2015, 15:24 (1664 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Your bold is a clear pointer to common descent, and once again fits in perfectly with different organisms varying the same pattern in accordance with their individual needs. Design, yes, but how and by what? Ah well, usual answer: an all-encompassing, 3.8-billion-year-old computer programme, your God dabbling, or the cooperative intelligence of the cell communities.

DAVID: Committees of somatic cells make brains? That is your leap of faith.

Committees of cells, in which the somatic cells probably follow instructions issued by the “brains” of the community, which you say are situated in the germ cells, your version of the “brains” being a 3.8-billion-year computer programme for all innovations, lifestyles etc., which your God installed in the very first cells to be passed on to all subsequent cells and cell communities. But no, it's not my leap of faith. I offer it as an alternative to your computer/dabbling hypotheses.

Cambrian Explosion: more early brains

by David Turell @, Wednesday, November 11, 2015, 18:40 (1664 days ago) @ dhw


DAVID: Committees of somatic cells make brains? That is your leap of faith.

dhw: Committees of cells, in which the somatic cells probably follow instructions issued by the “brains” of the community, which you say are situated in the germ cells, your version of the “brains” being a 3.8-billion-year computer programme for all innovations, lifestyles etc., which your God installed in the very first cells to be passed on to all subsequent cells and cell communities. But no, it's not my leap of faith. I offer it as an alternative to your computer/dabbling hypotheses.

I'm sorry but I don't see it as an alternative. It strains my credulity. A brain is too complex even in the Cambrian to appear without prior planning by a very developed intellect.

Cambrian Explosion: more early brains

by BBella @, Wednesday, November 11, 2015, 21:30 (1664 days ago) @ David Turell


DAVID: Committees of somatic cells make brains? That is your leap of faith.

dhw: Committees of cells, in which the somatic cells probably follow instructions issued by the “brains” of the community, which you say are situated in the germ cells, your version of the “brains” being a 3.8-billion-year computer programme for all innovations, lifestyles etc., which your God installed in the very first cells to be passed on to all subsequent cells and cell communities. But no, it's not my leap of faith. I offer it as an alternative to your computer/dabbling hypotheses.


I'm sorry but I don't see it as an alternative. It strains my credulity. A brain is too complex even in the Cambrian to appear without prior planning by a very developed intellect.

I would have to agree with you here, David. But, as you know, I just happen to believe the "very developed intellect" that planned and created it was an older race of beings that was at one time considered gods by humans.

Cambrian Explosion: more early brains

by David Turell @, Thursday, November 12, 2015, 04:40 (1664 days ago) @ BBella


David: I'm sorry but I don't see it as an alternative. It strains my credulity. A brain is too complex even in the Cambrian to appear without prior planning by a very developed intellect.


Bbella: I would have to agree with you here, David. But, as you know, I just happen to believe the "very developed intellect" that planned and created it was an older race of beings that was at one time considered gods by humans.

I know your theory.

Cambrian Explosion: more early brains

by dhw, Thursday, November 12, 2015, 21:32 (1663 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Committees of somatic cells make brains? That is your leap of faith.
dhw: Committees of cells, in which the somatic cells probably follow instructions issued by the “brains” of the community, which you say are situated in the germ cells, your version of the “brains” being a 3.8-billion-year computer programme for all innovations, lifestyles etc., which your God installed in the very first cells to be passed on to all subsequent cells and cell communities. But no, it's not my leap of faith. I offer it as an alternative to your computer/dabbling hypotheses.

David: I'm sorry but I don't see it as an alternative. It strains my credulity. A brain is too complex even in the Cambrian to appear without prior planning by a very developed intellect.

So that's one of three hypotheses that strain the credulity. A good reason for turning to agnosticism.

Bbella: I would have to agree with you here, David. But, as you know, I just happen to believe the "very developed intellect" that planned and created it was an older race of beings that was at one time considered gods by humans.

DAVID: I know your theory.

And it is no more and no less fantastic than all the other hypotheses, but as we have said before, it only sets the mystery back one stage further: what gave rise to us/to the older race of beings/to whatever gave rise to the older race of beings?

Cambrian Explosion: more early brains

by David Turell @, Friday, November 13, 2015, 03:03 (1663 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: But no, it's not my leap of faith. I offer it as an alternative to your computer/dabbling hypotheses.[/i]

David: I'm sorry but I don't see it as an alternative. It strains my credulity. A brain is too complex even in the Cambrian to appear without prior planning by a very developed intellect.

dhw: So that's one of three hypotheses that strain the credulity. A good reason for turning to agnosticism.

To the contrary, you are the one straining my credulity. that Cambrian brain requires intellectual planning.


Bbella: I would have to agree with you here, David. But, as you know, I just happen to believe the "very developed intellect" that planned and created it was an older race of beings that was at one time considered gods by humans.

DAVID: I know your theory.

dhw: And it is no more and no less fantastic than all the other hypotheses, but as we have said before, it only sets the mystery back one stage further: what gave rise to us/to the older race of beings/to whatever gave rise to the older race of beings?

And you have no explanation for cellular intellect, which you agree 50/50 on a chance basis, might not exist at all. But I remember you keep offering the possibility that God did it. Why is that? Open mind? Incredulous at all possibilities? I know: picket fence.

Cambrian Explosion: more early brains

by dhw, Friday, November 13, 2015, 12:47 (1662 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: But no, it's not my leap of faith. I offer it as an alternative to your computer/dabbling hypotheses.
DAVID: I'm sorry but I don't see it as an alternative. It strains my credulity. A brain is too complex even in the Cambrian to appear without prior planning by a very developed intellect.
dhw: So that's one of three hypotheses that strain the credulity. A good reason for turning to agnosticism.
DAVID: To the contrary, you are the one straining my credulity. that Cambrian brain requires intellectual planning.

You have already said my hypothesis strains your credulity, and I have agreed that it strains my credulity as much as your two alternatives: the divine computer programme and the divine dabble. 2 + 1 credulity-straining hypotheses = 3 credulity-straining hypotheses. (Even you have to resort to irrational faith before you commit yourself.)

BBELLA: I would have to agree with you here, David. But, as you know, I just happen to believe the "very developed intellect" that planned and created it was an older race of beings that was at one time considered gods by humans.
DAVID: I know your theory.
dhw: And it is no more and no less fantastic than all the other hypotheses, but as we have said before, it only sets the mystery back one stage further: what gave rise to us/to the older race of beings/to whatever gave rise to the older race of beings?

DAVID: And you have no explanation for cellular intellect, which you agree 50/50 on a chance basis, might not exist at all. But I remember you keep offering the possibility that God did it. Why is that? Open mind? Incredulous at all possibilities? I know: picket fence.

The picket fence is the result of the fact that for me NO explanation is convincing enough to justify a leap of faith. Of course I remain open-minded, but I do not see that as something negative.

Cambrian Explosion: more early brains

by David Turell @, Friday, November 13, 2015, 16:07 (1662 days ago) @ dhw


dhw: You have already said my hypothesis strains your credulity, and I have agreed that it strains my credulity as much as your two alternatives: the divine computer programme and the divine dabble. 2 + 1 credulity-straining hypotheses = 3 credulity-straining hypotheses. (Even you have to resort to irrational faith before you commit yourself.)

The picket fence is the result of the fact that for me NO explanation is convincing enough to justify a leap of faith. Of course I remain open-minded, but I do not see that as something negative.

Not enough strain to hop off the fence. Your open-mindedness is fully understood.

Cambrian Explosion: another article on early brains

by David Turell @, Friday, November 13, 2015, 19:45 (1662 days ago) @ David Turell

This on from Sci. Am. with interesting speculations. These brains appeared early and quickly once multicellularity with multiple organ systems appeared in the Cambrian.

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/life-unbounded/500-million-year-old-brains-and-life...

"The three-part brain systems may be similar to those in modern insects, arachnids, crabs and lobsters, and appear to be preserved as thin films of carbon or iron oxide-based mineral discoloration. This is a remarkable discovery. The 520-million-year-old fossils come from the Cambrian period, the time in Earth's history where life seems to have undergone a number of profound transitions. That includes the 'Cambrian explosion' in multicellular diversity and the first discoverable remains of animal ancestral phyla.

"Exactly why these brains (dense collections of nerve cells and nerve networks) evolved at this time is open to speculation. But some researchers propose that the advent of multi-cellular life which had senses and complex body movements and contractions, including those positioned around feeding systems, would gain clear efficiency advantages with specialized and speedy nerve-like cells. Connecting and localizing these cells via nets and clumps would offer further gains, especially as novelties like hunting (and evading hunters) began to pop up in larger and larger bodied creatures.

"The bottom line is that the basic biological structures of brains emerged at least half a billion years ago, seemingly very soon after the emergence of truly complex multi-cellular life. Modern human brains may be very different than those ancient arthropod brains, but the evolutionary 'attractor' for specialized neural networks manifested itself a long time ago. (my bold)

Comment: The usual Darwinian explanations. They were required so they appeared. Really?

Cambrian Explosion: another article on early brains

by dhw, Saturday, November 14, 2015, 13:53 (1661 days ago) @ David Turell
edited by dhw, Saturday, November 14, 2015, 14:22

DAVID: This on from Sci. Am. with interesting speculations. These brains appeared early and quickly once multicellularity with multiple organ systems appeared in the Cambrian.
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/life-unbounded/500-million-year-old-brains-and-life...

QUOTE: "Exactly why these brains (dense collections of nerve cells and nerve networks) evolved at this time is open to speculation. But some researchers propose that the advent of multi-cellular life which had senses and complex body movements and contractions, including those positioned around feeding systems, would gain clear efficiency advantages with specialized and speedy nerve-like cells. (dhw's bold) Connecting and localizing these cells via nets and clumps would offer further gains, especially as novelties like hunting (and evading hunters) began to pop up in larger and larger bodied creatures.

"The bottom line is that the basic biological structures of brains emerged at least half a billion years ago, seemingly very soon after the emergence of truly complex multi-cellular life. Modern human brains may be very different than those ancient arthropod brains, but the evolutionary 'attractor' for specialized neural networks manifested itself a long time ago[/b]. (David's bold)

David's comment: The usual Darwinian explanations. They were required so they appeared. Really?

The sentence that I have put in bold provides an important link here. In my hypothesis, “intelligent cells” combine their intelligence to form multicellular organisms, and the driving force behind evolution is not what is REQUIRED (i.e. for survival, which = adaptation, as with bacteria), but what will lead to improvement (or "efficiency advantages"). Every new step - for example, the invention of "nerve-like cells" - requires new connections between all the cell communities but may also engender new ideas for improvement in a continuous onward movement of improvement built on improvement, or "further gains". No intermediates, because improvements take place in existing organisms and won't survive unless they work. This explains the gaps in the fossil record: there are no gaps. Fantastic? I suspect that is the adjective many evolutionists would use about the idea that God implanted the very first cells with a computer programme containing every single improvement for the next few billion years.

Cambrian Explosion: another article on early brains

by David Turell @, Saturday, November 14, 2015, 15:17 (1661 days ago) @ dhw


dhw: The sentence that I have put in bold provides an important link here. In my hypothesis, “intelligent cells” combine their intelligence to form multicellular organisms, ....Every new step - for example, the invention of "nerve-like cells" - requires new connections between all the cell communities but may also engender new ideas for improvement in a continuous onward movement of improvement built on improvement, or "further gains". No intermediates, because improvements take place in existing organisms and won't survive unless they work. This explains the gaps in the fossil record: there are no gaps.

This is stepwise without the steps. You keep fooling yourself: the fossil record shows a giant gap to get to the Cambrian. Even Darwin recognized this and thought intermediates would be found. His prediction, upon which he based his theory, failed!

dhw: Fantastic? I suspect that is the adjective many evolutionists would use about the idea that God implanted the very first cells with a computer programme containing every single improvement for the next few billion years.

We don't know this is the method of a 'guided evolution'. It is one of many possibilities.

Cambrian Explosion: another article on early brains

by dhw, Sunday, November 15, 2015, 13:24 (1660 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: In my hypothesis, “intelligent cells” combine their intelligence to form multicellular organisms, ....Every new step - for example, the invention of "nerve-like cells" - requires new connections between all the cell communities but may also engender new ideas for improvement in a continuous onward movement of improvement built on improvement, or "further gains". No intermediates, because improvements take place in existing organisms and won't survive unless they work. This explains the gaps in the fossil record: there are no gaps.

DAVID: This is stepwise without the steps. You keep fooling yourself: the fossil record shows a giant gap to get to the Cambrian. Even Darwin recognized this and thought intermediates would be found. His prediction, upon which he based his theory, failed!

No one has found an explanation for the gap. But a radical change in the environment (increase in oxygen?) might provide a massive range of new possibilities. Hence a massive surge in inventiveness.

dhw: Fantastic? I suspect that is the adjective many evolutionists would use about the idea that God implanted the very first cells with a computer programme containing every single improvement for the next few billion years.

DAVID: We don't know this is the method of a 'guided evolution'. It is one of many possibilities.

Apart from the 3.8-billion-year computer programme and the divine dabble (which is bringing you closer and closer to creationism), please tell us some of these many other possibilities you can envisage.

Cambrian Explosion: another article on early brains

by David Turell @, Sunday, November 15, 2015, 15:27 (1660 days ago) @ dhw


dhw: No one has found an explanation for the gap. But a radical change in the environment (increase in oxygen?) might provide a massive range of new possibilities. Hence a massive surge in inventiveness.

Right. A 'massive surge'. Oxygen did rise, but did it have some parallel effects? That is poor statistics: in the 1940's it was shown that the rise in Coca Cola use exactly paralleled polio's rise, raising some stupid alarms. Developing brains from nothing, nada, requires more than 'inventiveness', a squishy term if ever.

DAVID: We don't know this is the method of a 'guided evolution'. It is one of many possibilities.

dhw: Apart from the 3.8-billion-year computer programme and the divine dabble (which is bringing you closer and closer to creationism), please tell us some of these many other possibilities you can envisage.

Yes, I accept created evolution. Easy step once one realizes that this universe requires planning by an intelligent source.

Cambrian Explosion: another article on early brains

by dhw, Monday, November 16, 2015, 12:52 (1659 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: No one has found an explanation for the gap. But a radical change in the environment (increase in oxygen?) might provide a massive range of new possibilities. Hence a massive surge in inventiveness.

DAVID: Right. A 'massive surge'. Oxygen did rise, but did it have some parallel effects? That is poor statistics: in the 1940's it was shown that the rise in Coca Cola use exactly paralleled polio's rise, raising some stupid alarms. Developing brains from nothing, nada, requires more than 'inventiveness', a squishy term if ever.


A poor analogy. If the various new forms of life could not have come into existence without the extra oxygen, then even your own pet theory makes the extra oxygen a trigger for your God's computer programme, or his personal dabble. I don't know why “inventiveness” should be regarded as “squishy” when even you have agreed to the concept of an inventive mechanism. You can accept it in the form of a divine computer programme, but not in the form of autonomous intelligences.

DAVID: We don't know this is the method of a 'guided evolution'. It is one of many possibilities.
dhw: Apart from the 3.8-billion-year computer programme and the divine dabble (which is bringing you closer and closer to creationism), please tell us some of these many other possibilities you can envisage.

DAVID: Yes, I accept created evolution. Easy step once one realizes that this universe requires planning by an intelligent source.

But what are the many possible methods for “created evolution” apart from a computer programme and direct intervention?

Cambrian Explosion: another article on early brains

by David Turell @, Monday, November 16, 2015, 15:25 (1659 days ago) @ dhw


DAVID: Yes, I accept created evolution. Easy step once one realizes that this universe requires planning by an intelligent source.

dhw: But what are the many possible methods for “created evolution” apart from a computer programme and direct intervention?

The on-board inventive mechanism for one. Directed climate control to directly influence organisms into epigenetic changes is another. Epigenetic changes by themselves, which are part of an IM. I haven't come up with any others, in part because our science is very incomplete concerning all the layers of control of the genome.

Cambrian Explosion: another article on early brains

by dhw, Tuesday, November 17, 2015, 18:10 (1658 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: Yes, I accept created evolution. Easy step once one realizes that this universe requires planning by an intelligent source.

dhw: But what are the many possible methods for “created evolution” apart from a computer programme and direct intervention?

DAVID: The on-board inventive mechanism for one. Directed climate control to directly influence organisms into epigenetic changes is another. Epigenetic changes by themselves, which are part of an IM. I haven't come up with any others, in part because our science is very incomplete concerning all the layers of control of the genome.

But your on-board inventive mechanism has always been preprogrammed by your God, since you insist that the innovations, lifestyles etc. are too complex for organisms to have invented by themselves. It's just another expression for your on-board computer programme. In the past you have expressed uncertainty over your God's control of the environment, but even if he controls it, the epigenetic changes must either be preprogrammed, directly implemented by God, or organized by the cell communities themselves. Since you generally insist that they are “automatic”, that can only mean they are preprogrammed! Your many possibilities still shrink to preprogramming or dabbling, unless you also allow for the possibility that your God created an inventive mechanism which could autonomously find ways of adapting to or exploiting the environment in which it finds itself.

Cambrian Explosion: another article on early brains

by David Turell @, Tuesday, November 17, 2015, 18:23 (1658 days ago) @ dhw


dhw: But your on-board inventive mechanism has always been preprogrammed by your God, since you insist that the innovations, lifestyles etc. are too complex for organisms to have invented by themselves. It's just another expression for your on-board computer programme. In the past you have expressed uncertainty over your God's control of the environment, but even if he controls it, the epigenetic changes must either be preprogrammed, directly implemented by God, or organized by the cell communities themselves. Since you generally insist that they are “automatic”, that can only mean they are preprogrammed! Your many possibilities still shrink to preprogramming or dabbling, unless you also allow for the possibility that your God created an inventive mechanism which could autonomously find ways of adapting to or exploiting the environment in which it finds itself.

I've always given an IM a 'semi-automatic' designation, which means it has degrees of freedom.

Cambrian Explosion: another article on early brains

by dhw, Wednesday, November 18, 2015, 20:51 (1657 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Your many possibilities still shrink to preprogramming or dabbling, unless you also allow for the possibility that your God created an inventive mechanism which could autonomously find ways of adapting to or exploiting the environment in which it finds itself.

DAVID: I've always given an IM a 'semi-automatic' designation, which means it has degrees of freedom.

Semi-automatic leaves semi-non-automatic. You like to laugh at the idea of cell communities holding “committee meetings”. So did your God provide the original cells with only half a programme to pass on for every single innovation, lifestyle etc., or give individual organisms lessons on how to build half a kidney or half a nest, then slope off saying: “OK guys, work the rest out for yourselves”? What is half an intelligence?

Cambrian Explosion: another article on early brains

by David Turell @, Thursday, November 19, 2015, 01:01 (1657 days ago) @ dhw


DAVID: I've always given an IM a 'semi-automatic' designation, which means it has degrees of freedom.

dhw: Semi-automatic leaves semi-non-automatic. What is half an intelligence?

Not half an intelligence. Semi-automatic means the inventions follow patterns and guide lines as everyone who is an animal on land and those that fly all have the same comparative anatomy. Pentadactyl appendages, etc. I've explained this many times before.

Cambrian Explosion: another article on early brains

by dhw, Thursday, November 19, 2015, 20:02 (1656 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: I've always given an IM a 'semi-automatic' designation, which means it has degrees of freedom.

dhw: Semi-automatic leaves semi-non-automatic. What is half an intelligence?

DAVID: Not half an intelligence. Semi-automatic means the inventions follow patterns and guide lines as everyone who is an animal on land and those that fly all have the same comparative anatomy. Pentadactyl appendages, etc. I've explained this many times before.

Of course they follow patterns, if evolution happened. Every organism inherited patterns from its predecessors, and every innovation had to take place in an existing organism. The patterns are hereditary, but every innovation is a departure from the existing pattern, and it is innovation that drives evolution. Either the innovations are preprogrammed by your God, or they are the result of your God's dabbling, or they are the product of an autonomous intelligence that resides within the cell communities themselves. I don't see how you can have an in-between semi-programme, semi-dabble or semi-automatic inventive intelligence for INNOVATION.

Cambrian Explosion: another article on early brains

by David Turell @, Friday, November 20, 2015, 01:18 (1656 days ago) @ dhw


dhw: Of course they follow patterns, if evolution happened. Every organism inherited patterns from its predecessors, and every innovation had to take place in an existing organism. The patterns are hereditary, but every innovation is a departure from the existing pattern, and it is innovation that drives evolution.

If your thought is true, and we know convergence occurs, why does it occur in the same patterns?

dhw: I don't see how you can have an in-between semi-programme, semi-dabble or semi-automatic inventive intelligence for INNOVATION.

If the innovation must fit guidelines, then it is semi independent or semi controlled, take your pick.

Cambrian Explosion: another article on early brains

by dhw, Friday, November 20, 2015, 20:59 (1655 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Of course they follow patterns, if evolution happened. Every organism inherited patterns from its predecessors, and every innovation had to take place in an existing organism. The patterns are hereditary, but every innovation is a departure from the existing pattern, and it is innovation that drives evolution.

DAVID: If your thought is true, and we know convergence occurs, why does it occur in the same patterns?

Because intelligent organisms are quite likely to come up with similar solutions to similar problems.

dhw: I don't see how you can have an in-between semi-programme, semi-dabble or semi-automatic inventive intelligence for INNOVATION.
DAVID: If the innovation must fit guidelines, then it is semi independent or semi controlled, take your pick.

What are these guidelines? The innovation will not work if it stops the organism from functioning, and so clearly the range of innovation is restricted to what an organism can do and what the environment will allow it to do. But a restriction on what can be done is not a guideline for inventing something new. Either the organism invents or it does what it is told. Weasel words like “guidelines” don't explain your “semi”.

Cambrian Explosion: another article on early brains

by David Turell @, Friday, November 20, 2015, 22:11 (1655 days ago) @ dhw


dhw: What are these guidelines? The innovation will not work if it stops the organism from functioning, and so clearly the range of innovation is restricted to what an organism can do and what the environment will allow it to do. But a restriction on what can be done is not a guideline for inventing something new. Either the organism invents or it does what it is told. Weasel words like “guidelines” don't explain your “semi”.

The limits are restrictions on the direction and extent of innovations.

Cambrian Explosion: another article on early brains

by dhw, Saturday, November 21, 2015, 13:01 (1654 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: What are these guidelines? The innovation will not work if it stops the organism from functioning, and so clearly the range of innovation is restricted to what an organism can do and what the environment will allow it to do. But a restriction on what can be done is not a guideline for inventing something new. Either the organism invents or it does what it is told. Weasel words like “guidelines” don't explain your “semi”.

DAVID: The limits are restrictions on the direction and extent of innovations.

Thank you for repeating part of my own argument. I take this as your acknowledgement that there are no guidelines as to how to invent the innovation, and so either the invention is 100% God's or 100% the organism's.

Cambrian Explosion: another article on early brains

by David Turell @, Saturday, November 21, 2015, 15:42 (1654 days ago) @ dhw


DAVID: The limits are restrictions on the direction and extent of innovations.

dhw: Thank you for repeating part of my own argument. I take this as your acknowledgement that there are no guidelines as to how to invent the innovation, and so either the invention is 100% God's or 100% the organism's.

We are at the level of guesswork. From our knowledge of epigenetics, I believe an organism can initiate change, but how much and how far is restricted, as noted above. I think we might agree.

Cambrian Explosion: another article on early brains

by dhw, Sunday, November 22, 2015, 12:54 (1653 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: The limits are restrictions on the direction and extent of innovations.

dhw: Thank you for repeating part of my own argument. I take this as your acknowledgement that there are no guidelines as to how to invent the innovation, and so either the invention is 100% God's or 100% the organism's.

DAVID: We are at the level of guesswork. From our knowledge of epigenetics, I believe an organism can initiate change, but how much and how far is restricted, as noted above. I think we might agree.

If you agree that the invention is 100% God's or 100% the organism's, within the restrictions imposed by nature and the environment, then the “only” point of disagreement is your insistence that it is 100% God's because the organisms themselves are mere automatons obeying his instructions. That is the doggone dogma that has doggedly dogged us through dogfight after dogfight!

Cambrian Explosion: another article on early brains

by David Turell @, Sunday, November 22, 2015, 15:39 (1653 days ago) @ dhw


DAVID: We are at the level of guesswork. From our knowledge of epigenetics, I believe an organism can initiate change, but how much and how far is restricted, as noted above. I think we might agree.

dhw; If you agree that the invention is 100% God's or 100% the organism's, within the restrictions imposed by nature and the environment, then the “only” point of disagreement is your insistence that it is 100% God's because the organisms themselves are mere automatons obeying his instructions. That is the doggone dogma that has doggedly dogged us through dogfight after dogfight!

My point, in the guesswork, is that the organism can initiate independently epigenetically appropriate changes to accommodate some stressful situation. But I believe in theistic evolution, i.e., guided by God. Therefore God controls the ultimate outcomes. Easy! Note the organisms have a degree of initial freedom.

Cambrian Explosion: another article on early brains

by dhw, Monday, November 23, 2015, 20:12 (1652 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: We are at the level of guesswork. From our knowledge of epigenetics, I believe an organism can initiate change, but how much and how far is restricted, as noted above. I think we might agree.
dhw; If you agree that the invention is 100% God's or 100% the organism's, within the restrictions imposed by nature and the environment, then the “only” point of disagreement is your insistence that it is 100% God's because the organisms themselves are mere automatons obeying his instructions. That is the doggone dogma that has doggedly dogged us through dogfight after dogfight!

DAVID: My point, in the guesswork, is that the organism can initiate independently epigenetically appropriate changes to accommodate some stressful situation. But I believe in theistic evolution, i.e., guided by God. Therefore God controls the ultimate outcomes. Easy! Note the organisms have a degree of initial freedom.

I have noted this litte concession, and am wondering if it heralds a bigger concession. Firstly, though, you emphasized earlier the fact that “some changes and advances are not due to stress, but simple innovation” - which is precisely my point: that evolution advances not by adaptation (accommodating some "stressful situation") but by innovation (exploiting opportunities).

And so to the concession: I am painfully aware that you think evolution was guided by God, but the only “guidelines” you have offered so far are the restrictions imposed by nature and the environment. Restrictions do not offer guidance on how to create something new. With “initial freedom” and “God controls the outcome”, however, are you now dispensing altogether with your 3.8-billion-year computer programme for all innovations, lifestyles and wonders? Are you instead saying that God gives what I call an autonomous inventive mechanism free rein, but dabbles when he doesn't like what's going on, or when he wants evolution to take a particular direction? This would certainly be a huge step forward in our discussion.

(But see “about how evolution works” for a backward step.)

Cambrian Explosion: another article on early brains

by David Turell @, Tuesday, November 24, 2015, 15:14 (1651 days ago) @ dhw


DAVID: My point, in the guesswork, is that the organism can initiate independently epigenetically appropriate changes to accommodate some stressful situation. But I believe in theistic evolution, i.e., guided by God. Therefore God controls the ultimate outcomes. Easy! Note the organisms have a degree of initial freedom.

dhw: I have noted this litte concession, and am wondering if it heralds a bigger concession. Firstly, though, you emphasized earlier the fact that “some changes and advances are not due to stress, but simple innovation” - which is precisely my point: that evolution advances not by adaptation (accommodating some "stressful situation") but by innovation (exploiting opportunities).

I agree with you. Innovation, without stress as a cause, is obviously seen in the history of evolution. But in the whale series one can see obvious stress in the required physical adaptations of each step.


dhw: And so to the concession: I am painfully aware that you think evolution was guided by God, but the only “guidelines” you have offered so far are the restrictions imposed by nature and the environment.

No, that seems to be your concept. My point is that the guidelines are set within the layers of the genome controls.

dhw:Restrictions do not offer guidance on how to create something new... Are you instead saying that God gives what I call an autonomous inventive mechanism free rein, but dabbles when he doesn't like what's going on, or when he wants evolution to take a particular direction?

Once again, we see an inventive approach in epigenetic adaptations, which are responses to stress. We have suggested that for simple innovation, an IM might exist in the genome with guidelines, that may well be restrictive and limiting in the extent of the innovation. Again, all guesswork, awaiting more research.

Cambrian Explosion: a whole nervous system

by David Turell @, Tuesday, March 01, 2016, 15:19 (1553 days ago) @ David Turell

In a 520 myo arthropod fossil from the Cambrian. Up until now just brains have been found. No precursors:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/02/160229153517.htm

"The animal, called Chengjiangocaris kunmingensis, lived during the Cambrian ‘explosion', a period of rapid evolutionary development about half a billion years ago when most major animal groups first appear in the fossil record. C. kunmingensis belongs to a group of animals called fuxianhuiids, and was an early ancestor of modern arthropods - the diverse group that includes insects, spiders and crustaceans.

***

"Like modern arthropods, C. kunmingensis had a nerve cord - which is analogous to a spinal cord in vertebrates - running throughout its body, with each one of the bead-like ganglia controlling a single pair of walking legs.

"Closer examination of the exceptionally preserved ganglia revealed dozens of spindly fibres, each measuring about five thousandths of a millimetre in length. “These delicate fibres displayed a highly regular distribution pattern, and so we wanted to figure out if they were made of the same material as the ganglia that form the nerve cord,” said Ortega-Hernández. “Using fluorescence microscopy, we confirmed that the fibres were in fact individual nerves, fossilised as carbon films, offering an unprecedented level of detail. These fossils greatly improve our understanding of how the nervous system evolved.”

"For Ortega-Hernández and his colleagues, a key question is what this discovery tells us about the evolution of early animals, since the nervous system contains so much information. Further analysis revealed that some aspects of the nervous system in C. kunmingensis appear to be structured similar to that of modern priapulids (penis worms) and onychophorans (velvet worms), with regularly-spaced nerves coming out from the ventral nerve cord.

"In contrast, these dozens of nerves have been lost independently in the tardigrades (water bears) and modern arthropods, suggesting that simplification played an important role in the evolution of the nervous system."

Comment: Following Denton, he would assume his 'Types' appeared in the Cambrian and then were later modified, but traceable to the original. Note our spinal cord is dorsal in comparison.

Cambrian Explosion: a whole nervous system

by dhw, Wednesday, March 02, 2016, 13:26 (1552 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: In a 520 myo arthropod fossil from the Cambrian. Up until now just brains have been found. No precursors:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/02/160229153517.htm

David's comment: Following Denton, he would assume his 'Types' appeared in the Cambrian and then were later modified, but traceable to the original. Note our spinal cord is dorsal in comparison.

For those of us who believe in common descent, ALL ‘types' appeared at some time, and were later modified but are (at least theoretically) traceable to the original. The very fact that some nervous systems are dorsal and some are ventral seems to me to provide evidence that different cell communities in different organisms come up with different solutions to the same problems, depending on their own structure at the time of the innovation. This ties in perfectly with the concept of autonomous inventive mechanisms working things out for themselves, but of course you will insist that your God preprogrammed them all in order to produce humans.

Cambrian Explosion: a whole nervous system

by David Turell @, Wednesday, March 02, 2016, 16:09 (1552 days ago) @ dhw


dhw: For those of us who believe in common descent, ALL ‘types' appeared at some time, and were later modified but are (at least theoretically) traceable to the original. The very fact that some nervous systems are dorsal and some are ventral seems to me to provide evidence that different cell communities in different organisms come up with different solutions to the same problems, depending on their own structure at the time of the innovation....

Denton's point was the original body plan in all organisms had the nerve cord ventral and heart, vessels and gut dorsal and with the appearance of vertebrates everything suddenly reversed with no evidence for gradual changes, all controlled by the same genes. Not Darwinian at all. Same functional organs, different positions. A completely different body plan, seemingly by saltation. I view it as advanced pre-planning for upright posture. He made no comment, but used it as anti-Darwin evidence.

Cambrian Explosion: a whole nervous system

by David Turell @, Thursday, March 17, 2016, 00:53 (1538 days ago) @ David Turell

Another review of Cambrian fossils and their central nervous system (CNS), Note they appear fully formed without precursors and really haven't changed much in today's world:

http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/11/three_more_prob100791.html

"Another paper about Cambrian fossils appeared in Current Biology (see previous coverage here and here). This one is about "Preservational Pathways of Corresponding Brains of a Cambrian Euarthropod," suggesting that it's going to show brains of a really complex animal, a "true" or "good" arthropod -- you know, those complex animals with jointed appendages, brains, and a digestive tract? (insects, spiders, crabs, etc.). Sure enough, the color pictures jump out at you: brown stains at the heads of Chinese arthropod fossils are the actual remains of this animal's central nervous system (CNS), revealing "tripartite brain organization, cephalic nerves, and optic neuropils." Earlier finds showed some of these things, but the new fossils remove all doubt.


"The record of arthropod body fossils is traceable back to the "Cambrian explosion," marked by the appearance of most major animal phyla. Exceptional preservation provides crucial evidence for panarthropod early radiation. However, due to limited representation in the fossil record of internal anatomy, particularly the CNS, studies usually rely on exoskeletal and appendicular morphology. Recent studies show that despite extreme morphological disparities, euarthropod CNS evolution appears to have been remarkably conservative.


"'Let's parse this opener and translate the euphemisms. First, notice the quote marks around "Cambrian explosion," a subtle hint that the term is controversial. It's not. They state clearly that it is "marked by the appearance of most major animal phyla." Panarthropoda is a taxon that combines arthropods with tardigrades and onycophorans. The sentence means that yes, lots of different arthropods appear throughout the fossil record, revealing "extreme morphological disparities," i.e. outward differences.

***

"Most importantly, these fossils show that "a tripartite brain comprising three pre-stomodeal neuromeres had evolved by the early Cambrian" -- better, it appeared in the early Cambrian without any evidence of evolution before or after. They restate this important fact: "These features demonstrate that by Cambrian Stage 3 (circa 517 million years ago) arthropods had already acquired CNSs generally corresponding to those of extant taxa."

***

"So, we find complex animals with stains of their brains preserved in the rocks -- brains that look just like modern arthropod brains. The fossils were not disturbed by worms that existed alongside the arthropods, but apparently did not exist earlier in the Ediacaran. And then we see conserved genes that they say haven't evolved for 700 million years."

Comment: Looks just like a saltation to me

Cambrian Explosion: best illustrated guide

by David Turell @, Sunday, April 17, 2016, 14:53 (1506 days ago) @ David Turell

A wonderful article with great illustrations of some of the wacky forms, and a clear representation of the time lines:

http://nautil.us/issue/17/big-bangs/the-greatest-animal-war

" Then, within 54 million years (a relative blink but still, 270 times the duration of humans' existence thus far), most of the main animal groups around today originated. This rapid rate of increase in animal architectures has never since been repeated.

***

"Most of today's 30 to 40 animal phyla originated in the Cambrian, and have persisted through time with hundreds of variations on a theme (see Explosion). Where the Cambrian Explosion saw a proliferation of architectures (picture igloos, cabins, skyscrapers, suburban houses, and grass huts), the rest of time has mainly been about remodeling existing forms (add a Jacuzzi, a deck, or a tin roof). The explosion of animal phyla in the Cambrian includes the category, the chordates, to which humans, reptiles, sloths, and fish belong. Chordates are united by a central bundle of nerve fibers running down our backs, supported by a stiff rod.

***

"Why did it take so long for the explosion to happen? After all, life arose 3.5 billion years ago, and the first eukaryotic cells (the kind within our bodies) occurred a billion and a half years later. Beneath the surface, a lot was probably going on: DNA had to work just right for organisms with multiple cells to evolve, and then enable a diversity of forms for natural selection to play with. In the Cambrian, “[animals] got large, and biomineralized, and they started doing stuff they never did before,” says Nick Butterfield, a paleontologist at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. “Suddenly,” he says, “it just started to click.”

"Certainly, the environment around the time of the Cambrian encouraged the explosion as well. Oxygen had accumulated in the oceans after extreme ice ages occurred between 800 and 550 million years ago. With plentiful oxygen, animals could grow large and absorb the air they needed to breathe through their skin. (Lungs evolved later in time.)

***

"Finally, other changes in dissolved oceanic gases helped. Calcium levels increased, which made possible the skeletons and shells of Cambrian marine life.

***

"However, had the conditions been right but life passive, we might not be alive today. As soon as moving animals with mouths, nerves, and guts formed, they began to eat other animals—and their prey reacted. So ensued a biological arms race like the offensive and defensive escalation that occurs between warring nations (see Radiation). As predators gobbled up smaller prey, vulnerable animals landed on various means of protection: thick shells, spikes, and sophisticated methods of hiding. Their aggressors followed suit with specialized ways to track specific prey. Claws to smash shells, for example, or keen eyes to spot camouflaged prey."

Comment: Certainly enough time had passed for preparation of an Earth with the proper concentration of elements and soil, 3.5 million years, but the drive to complexity is not explained by the article, only a Darwinian appeal to survival. The author's note that soft-bodied predecessors are hard to find is not true with very recent discoveries. The article is from 2014 and based on earlier references.

Cambrian Explosion: best illustrated guide

by dhw, Monday, April 18, 2016, 14:12 (1505 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: A wonderful article with great illustrations of some of the wacky forms, and a clear representation of the time lines:
http://nautil.us/issue/17/big-bangs/the-greatest-animal-war

QUOTE: "However, had the conditions been right but life passive, we might not be alive today. As soon as moving animals with mouths, nerves, and guts formed, they began to eat other animals—and their prey reacted. So ensued a biological arms race like the offensive and defensive escalation that occurs between warring nations (see Radiation). As predators gobbled up smaller prey, vulnerable animals landed on various means of protection: thick shells, spikes, and sophisticated methods of hiding. Their aggressors followed suit with specialized ways to track specific prey. Claws to smash shells, for example, or keen eyes to spot camouflaged prey."

David's comment: Certainly enough time had passed for preparation of an Earth with the proper concentration of elements and soil, 3.5 million years, but the drive to complexity is not explained by the article, only a Darwinian appeal to survival.

He does link the two: the need to survive resulted in more and more complex forms of attack and defence. But that doesn't explain the formation of “mouths, nerves and guts” which I think you and I would regard as the real mystery of complexification. However, I would link them together, because in my hypothesis precisely the same mechanisms are at work, glossed over by the wonderfully nebulous expression “landed on”. How the heck did vulnerable animals “land on” these innovations? My suggestion is that the cellular intelligence (perhaps God-given) which first invented the mouths, nerves and guts also invented the shells, spikes, camouflage, claws etc. No doubt your suggestion is that every one of these inventions was preprogrammed by your God 3.8 billion years ago, or was the result of his personal intervention, because every single one was necessary to provide the energy needed for the eventual production and feeding of humans.

Cambrian Explosion: best illustrated guide

by David Turell @, Monday, April 18, 2016, 18:46 (1505 days ago) @ dhw

David's comment: Certainly enough time had passed for preparation of an Earth with the proper concentration of elements and soil, 3.5 million years, but the drive to complexity is not explained by the article, only a Darwinian appeal to survival.

dhw; He does link the two: the need to survive resulted in more and more complex forms of attack and defence. But that doesn't explain the formation of “mouths, nerves and guts” which I think you and I would regard as the real mystery of complexification. How the heck did vulnerable animals “land on” these innovations? My suggestion is that the cellular intelligence (perhaps God-given) which first invented the mouths, nerves and guts also invented the shells, spikes, camouflage, claws etc.

Your "perhaps God-given" tells us it is an equal possibility to my approach, "God-guided". The issue of complexification as always involves the necessity for design planning and then finding the right organic molecules to fit the design, since the gaps in the fossil record deny the Darwin tiny-step approach.

dhw: No doubt your suggestion is that every one of these inventions was preprogrammed by your God 3.8 billion years ago, or was the result of his personal intervention, because every single one was necessary to provide the energy needed for the eventual production and feeding of humans.

One cannot tell the difference in our two approaches from the history of evolution,
just as one cannot tell the difference in a beautifully programmed bacteria from one that has some independent decision-making ability.

Cambrian Explosion: best illustrated guide

by dhw, Tuesday, April 19, 2016, 14:09 (1504 days ago) @ David Turell

David's comment: Certainly enough time had passed for preparation of an Earth with the proper concentration of elements and soil, 3.5 million years, but the drive to complexity is not explained by the article, only a Darwinian appeal to survival.
dhw; He does link the two: the need to survive resulted in more and more complex forms of attack and defence. But that doesn't explain the formation of “mouths, nerves and guts” which I think you and I would regard as the real mystery of complexification. How the heck did vulnerable animals “land on” these innovations? My suggestion is that the cellular intelligence (perhaps God-given) which first invented the mouths, nerves and guts also invented the shells, spikes, camouflage, claws etc.
DAVID: Your "perhaps God-given" tells us it is an equal possibility to my approach, "God-guided". The issue of complexification as always involves the necessity for design planning and then finding the right organic molecules to fit the design, since the gaps in the fossil record deny the Darwin tiny-step approach.

Yes, I have always allowed for the autonomous inventive mechanism to be your God's creation. The dispute between us is over your insistence that God “guided” every innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder for the sake of humans, and that organisms themselves are incapable of doing their own inventing. This is illustrated by your comment on ant rafts: “I'm sure the instinct developed by necessity”. (See my response to that post.)

dhw: No doubt your suggestion is that every one of these inventions was preprogrammed by your God 3.8 billion years ago, or was the result of his personal intervention, because every single one was necessary to provide the energy needed for the eventual production and feeding of humans.
DAVID: One cannot tell the difference in our two approaches from the history of evolution, just as one cannot tell the difference in a beautifully programmed bacteria from one that has some independent decision-making ability.

Agreed. And so when eminent scientists inform us that bacteria are cognitive, sentient, cooperative, decision-making beings, one should perhaps take their findings seriously.

Cambrian Explosion: best illustrated guide

by David Turell @, Tuesday, April 19, 2016, 16:56 (1504 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: One cannot tell the difference in our two approaches from the history of evolution, just as one cannot tell the difference in a beautifully programmed bacteria from one that has some independent decision-making ability.

dhw: Agreed. And so when eminent scientists inform us that bacteria are cognitive, sentient, cooperative, decision-making beings, one should perhaps take their findings seriously.

The appearance of cognitive ability, interpreted as primary initiative responses in bacteria by a few enthusiastic scientists who overstate the case for emphasis, does not negate the fact that it is their personal interpretation of a phenomenon which has two equally possible interpretations.

This article shows the automaticity:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autoinducer

"In the most simplified quorum sensing systems, bacteria only need two components to make use of autoinducers. They need a way to produce a signal and a way to respond to that signal. These cellular processes are often tightly coordinated and involve changes in gene expression. The production of autoinducers generally increases as bacterial cell densities increase. Most signals are produced intracellularly and are subsequently secreted in the extracellular environment. Detection of autoinducers often involves diffusion back into cells and binding to specific receptors. Usually, binding of autoinducers to receptors does not occur until a threshold concentration of autoinducers is achieved. Once this has occurred, bound receptors alter gene expression either directly or indirectly. Some receptors are transcription factors themselves, while others relay signals to downstream transcription factors. In many cases, autoinducers participate in forward feedback loops, whereby a small initial concentration of an autoinducer amplifies the production of that same chemical signal to much higher levels." (my bold)

Comment: Note controls by a feedback loop, automatic.

Cambrian Explosion: best illustrated guide

by dhw, Wednesday, April 20, 2016, 13:08 (1503 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: One cannot tell the difference in our two approaches from the history of evolution, just as one cannot tell the difference in a beautifully programmed bacteria from one that has some independent decision-making ability.
dhw: Agreed. And so when eminent scientists inform us that bacteria are cognitive, sentient, cooperative, decision-making beings, one should perhaps take their findings seriously.
DAVID:The appearance of cognitive ability, interpreted as primary initiative responses in bacteria by a few enthusiastic scientists who overstate the case for emphasis, does not negate the fact that it is their personal interpretation of a phenomenon which has two equally possible interpretations.

And if they are equally possible, they should be given equally serious consideration.

DAVID: This article shows the automaticity:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autoinducer

QUOTE: "In the most simplified quorum sensing systems, bacteria only need two components to make use of autoinducers. They need a way to produce a signal and a way to respond to that signal. […] In many cases, autoinducers participate in forward feedback loops, whereby a small initial concentration of an autoinducer amplifies the production of that same chemical signal to much higher levels." (David's bold)
David's Comment: Note controls by a feedback loop, automatic.

As always, you focus on the chemistry of signalling. Our own senses and signals are also automatic. From the same article:

QUOTE: "Autoinducers are signaling molecules that are produced in response to changes in cell-population density. As the density of quorum sensing bacterial cells increases so does the concentration of the autoinducer. […] Autoinducers allow bacteria to communicate both within and between different species. This communication alters gene expression and allows bacteria to mount coordinated responses to their environments, in a manner that is comparable to behavior and signaling in higher organisms. Not surprisingly, it has been suggested that quorum sensing may have been an important evolutionary milestone that ultimately gave rise to multicellular life forms." (My bold)

If you wish to argue that their behaviour (e.g. decision-making) is automatic because the chemical processes involved in acquiring and communicating information are automatic, then you may as well say the same of all “higher organisms”, including humans.

Cambrian Explosion: best illustrated guide

by David Turell @, Wednesday, April 20, 2016, 19:32 (1503 days ago) @ dhw


dhw: QUOTE: "Autoinducers are signaling molecules that are produced in response to changes in cell-population density. As the density of quorum sensing bacterial cells increases so does the concentration of the autoinducer. […] Autoinducers allow bacteria to communicate both within and between different species. This communication alters gene expression and allows bacteria to mount coordinated responses to their environments, in a manner that is comparable to behavior and signaling in higher organisms. Not surprisingly, it has been suggested that quorum sensing may have been an important evolutionary milestone that ultimately gave rise to multicellular life forms." (My bold)

If you wish to argue that their behaviour (e.g. decision-making) is automatic because the chemical processes involved in acquiring and communicating information are automatic, then you may as well say the same of all “higher organisms”, including humans.

I'm fully aware of quorum sensing and that quote. Quorum sensing may simply be an interpretation of the concentration of molecules produced by the bacteria's receptors. As for human automaticity, when did you run your every day bodily functions such urine production, poop production, remembering to breath, pumping your blood, sweating, etc.? You don't control the process of seeing, hearing, smelling, but you can independently think about what you are observing and create concepts about them.

Cambrian Explosion:role of Earth's magnetic field

by David Turell @, Wednesday, October 26, 2016, 01:53 (1315 days ago) @ David Turell

Our magnetic field protects us from nasty radioactive particles and rays that could harm life. It was present during the Cambrian:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1674987116300019

Abstract: "Life was limited for most of Earth's history, remaining at a primitive stage and mostly marine until about 0.55 Ga. In the Paleozoic, life eventually exploded and colonized the continental realm. Why had there been such a long period of delayed evolution of life? Early life was dominated by Archaea and Bacteria, which can survive ionizing radiation better than other organisms. The magnetic field preserves the atmosphere, which is the main shield of UV radiation. We explore the hypothesis that the Cambrian explosion of life could have been enabled by the increase of the magnetic field dipole intensity due to the solidification of the inner core, caused by the cooling of the Earth, and the concomitant decrease with time of the high-energy solar flux since the birth of the solar system. Therefore, the two phenomena could be responsible for the growth and thickening of the atmosphere and the development of land surface life."

"The solar wind has strong episodic flares, which hit and interact with the Earth's magnetic field. Moreover, the solar pressure on the magnetosphere was possibly higher in the past The magnetosphere contributes to maintaining the atmosphere, preventing it from being stripped by the solar wind. Moreover, the solar wind influences atmospheric and climate evolution. The magnetopause shape is deformed by the solar wind. Therefore, a stronger magnetic field should partly deviate the solar wind, allowing growth of the atmosphere, which in turn protects the Earth's surface from high-energy gamma and UV radiation. In fact the magnetosphere is one of the primary protections of the atmosphere and its oxygen content. Wei et al. suggested a link between oxygen escape, the magnetic field and extinction.

***

"iggin et al. (2015) observed an increase in both average magnetic field strength and variability occurring between 1.5 and 1 billion years ago, and they interpreted these data as the best evidence for the nucleation of the inner core occurring during this interval.

***

"Before the solidification of the inner core, the faster relative rotation of it relative to the external liquid core was obviously absent. This variation in time in Earth's dynamics should have modified the dipolar component of the magnetic field, which may have allowed the formation of a thicker atmosphere, and eventually the Ediacaran biota and the Cambrian explosion of life.

***

"Another essential for living on the surface of the Earth is protection from destruction by radiation (Cockell and Horneck, 2001) and oxidative stress (Ardini et al., 2013). The most abundant and readily available radiation shield is water.

***

"several lines of evidence suggest that the onset of the major phase of eukaryote basal diversification coincides with the formation of the Earth's solid inner core. In our interpretation, prior to this timespan, basal eukaryotes and bacteria were substantially affected by detrimental exposure to ionizing radiation, particularly in non-marine environments or in very few centimeter water-depth, possibly being counterbalanced by biofilm or waxy compound formation.

***

"the shielding effects of water on UV-B radiation is important and it would have allowed microbial evolution to occur under water while the Earth's core and magnetic field protection started to develop and at that stage near-surface non-marine life also became possible."

Comment: The thesis of this fascinating article is that the magnetic field shielding the Earth from radiation, the fact that water is a great UV shield, that more oxygen appeared, plus other factors all in combination, prepared for the appearance of the Cambrian Explosion. Worth reading in toto but very long. Privileged Plant indeed! Chance or God's planning.

Cambrian Explosion: role of phosphorus

by David Turell @, Thursday, December 22, 2016, 01:16 (1258 days ago) @ David Turell

Phosphorus is a major element in the molecules of life. It had to accumulate along with oxygen for multicellular life to explode:

http://phys.org/news/2016-12-billion-years-earth-history-fertilizer.html

"Then came a fierce planetary metamorphosis. Roughly 800 million years ago, in the late Proterozoic Eon, phosphorus, a chemical element essential to all life, began to accumulate in shallow ocean zones near coastlines widely considered to be the birthplace of animals and other complex organisms, according to a new study.

***

"'The most basic change was from very limited phosphorous availability to much higher phosphorus availability in surface waters of the ocean," Reinhard said. "And the transition seemed to occur right around the time that there were very large changes in ocean-atmosphere oxygen levels and just before the emergence of animals."

***

"The path to understanding how a nutrient dearth would starve out breathable oxygen production leads back to a very special kind of bacteria called cyanobacteria, the mother of oxygen on Earth.

"'The only reason we have a well-oxygenated planet we can live on is because of oxygenic photosynthesis," Planavsky said. "O2 is the waste product of photosynthesizing cells, like cyanobacteria, combining CO2 and water to build sugars."
And photosynthesis is an evolutionary singularity, meaning it only evolved once in Earth's history - in cyanobacteria.

"Some other biological phenomena evolved repeatedly in dozens or hundreds of unrelated incidences across the ages, such as the transition from single-celled organisms to rudimentary multicellular organisms. But scientists are confident that oxygenic photosynthesis evolved only this one time in Earth's history, only in cyanobacteria, and all plants and other beings on Earth that photosynthesize coopted the development.

"Cyanobacteria are credited with filling Earth's atmosphere with O2, and they've been around for 2.5 billion years or more.

"That begs the question: What took so long? Basic nutrients that fed the bacteria weren't readily available, the scientist hypothesize. The phosphorus, which Planavsky and Reinhard specifically tracked, was in the ocean for billions of years, too, but it was tied up in the wrong places.

"For eons, the mineral iron, which once saturated oceans, likely bonded with phosphorous, and sank it down to dark ocean depths, far away from those shallows—also called continental margins—where cyanobacteria would have needed it to thrive and make oxygen. Even today, iron is used to treat waters polluted with fertilizer to remove phosphorous by sinking it as deep sediment.

***

"something did change about 800 million years ago, and cyanobacteria and other minute organisms in continental margin ecosystems got more phosphorus, the backbone of DNA and RNA, and a main actor in cell metabolism. The bacteria became more active, reproduced more quickly, ate lots more phosphorus and made loads more O2.

"'Phosphorus is not only essential for life," Planavsky said. "What's implicit in all this is: It can control the amount of life on our planet."

"When the newly multiplied bacteria died, they fell to the floor of those ocean shallows, stacking up layer by layer to decay and enrich the mud with phosphorus. The mud eventually compressed to stone.

"As the biomass increased in phosphorus content, the more of it landed in layers of sedimentary rock," Reinhard said. "To scientists, that shale is the pages of the sea floor's history book."
Scientists have thumbed through them for decades, compiling data. Planavsky and Reinhard analyzed some 15,000 rock records for their study.

"The first compilation we had of this was only 600 samples," Planavsky said. Reinhard added, "But you could already see it then. The phosphorus jolt was as clear as day. And as the database grew in size, the phenomenon became more entrenched."

"That first signal of phosphorus in Earth's coast shallows pops up in the shale record like a shot from a starting pistol in the race for abundant life."

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.

Cambrian Explosion: role of phosphorus

by dhw, Thursday, December 22, 2016, 13:35 (1257 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.

Cambrian Explosion: large top predator found

by David Turell @, Tuesday, January 03, 2017, 14:59 (1245 days ago) @ dhw

A filter feeding animal about two and a half feet long unearthed in shale:

http://www.livescience.com/44381-filter-feeding-cambrian-creature-unearthed.html

"The new creature was unearthed in sediments known as the Sirius Passet formation. These shale-like deposits are teeming with primeval organisms from the evolutionary "big bang' known as the Cambrian explosion, a period between 540 million and 493 million years ago when most complex life on Earth emerged.

"Before then, most life forms were bacteria or microbial mats, but during the Cambrian hard exoskeletons, jointed limbs, compound eyes and antennae evolved.

"Today, the Arctic region is so far north that the excavation season lasts only during a six-week period of summer when the sun never sets, but simply circles around in the sky. In the Cambrian, however, the Arctic was a tropical ocean south of the equator, Vinther said. 

"At that time Greenland and North America were part of a huge supercontinent known as Laurentia, which was flipped on its side relative to its current orientation.

"While on an excavation trip in 2009, the team unearthed fragments of strange feeding appendages attached to a head shield from an unknown creature. The appendages, which date to about 520 million years ago, belonged to a group known as anomalocarids, the top predators of their day.

"These ancient sea monsters grew to about 70 centimeters (2.7 feet) long and "looked like something completely out of this planet," with massive frontal appendages for grasping prey, huge eyes on stalks, and a mouth shaped like a piece of canned pineapple, Vinther told Live Science.

"But the appendages from T. borealis were different from those of other anomalocarids. Instead of large grasping claws, the front pieces sported fine, delicate bristles, much like the baleen found in the mouths of filter-feeding whales.

"The strange-looking creature likely raked seawater for tiny shrimplike organisms similar to krill, and evolved from predatory anomalocarid ancestors. This shift from predation to filter feeding echoes the evolutionary trajectory of baleen whales and whale sharks, Vinther said.

"'Every time you see these filter feeders — these gentle giants — evolving, they evolved from the apex predators," Vinther said.

"When predators evolve a filter-feeding strategy, they typically do so because of a new bounty in available food. For instance, whales evolved baleen when a water passage opened up between South America and Antarctica, causing an upwelling of nutrient-rich deep water and fueling a bloom of algae and krill, Vinther said. That suggests a similar surge in sea life may have allowed these filter-feeding giants to thrive in the ancient Cambrian oceans."

Comment: Another good example of the development of a top predator. The videos of how it filter fed are interesting. Whales do this today with their series of baleens across their mouths. The article presents a brief description of continents moving around the surface of the Earth. No other planet in our solar system is like this. The Earth still looks like a very special place for life to develop. And of course, the Cambrian Explosion is not explained in terms of Darwin's theory of evolution.

Cambrian Explosion: a new article on early brains

by David Turell @, Monday, December 23, 2019, 01:19 (162 days ago) @ David Turell

Found quite definitively in another Cambrian animal:

https://www.livescience.com/new-athropod-fossil-brains-found.html

"Scientists discovered these splotchy marks in fossils of the arthropod Alalcomenaeus, an animal which shares its phylum with modern insects, spiders and crustaceans. The animals lived during the Cambrian period, which took place between about 543 million and 490 million years ago, and sported a tough exoskeleton that fossilized well. But the soft tissues of the creature's brain and nerves often decayed and therefore disappeared from the fossil record.

***

"Besides Ortega-Hernández and his team, only a handful of researchers have reported finding fossilized nervous tissue in Cambrian-period arthropods. In a 2012 paper, scientists described the first evidence of a fossilized arthropod brain, in a tiny creature called Fuxianhuia protensa. Although widely covered in the media, the report attracted critics.

***

"In their study, Ortega-Hernández and his co-authors uncovered a new Alalcomenaeus fossil buried in Utah within a region of geological depressions known as the American Great Basin. The authors noted symmetrical stains along the creature's midline that resembled nervous system structures found in some modern arthropods, including horseshoe crabs, spiders and scorpions. "The nervous system and the gut kind of cross each other, which is really funky but common in arthropods nowadays," Ortega-Hernández told Live Science.

***

"The stains also contained detectable levels of carbon, a key element in nervous tissue. The dark splotches also plugged into the animal's four eyes, as would be expected for nervous system tissue. Having checked all these criteria, Ortega-Hernández said that he could confidently report finding fossilized nervous tissue in the newfound specimen.

"But to double-check their findings, the authors also examined a second Alalcomenaeus fossil from the American Great Basin. Originally dug up in the 1990s, the specimen sported similar stains and carbon traces to the newfound fossil. What's more, both Great Basin fossils matched descriptions of another specimen that Strausfeld found in China. All three fossils had been found buried in similar deposits, indicating that a unique preservation process allowed all their brain matter to fossilize, Ortega-Hernández said.

***

"More work must be done to clarify the role of sediment in fossil preservation, but as of now, ample evidence suggests that arthropod remains placed under intense pressure solidify over time, Strausfeld said. The brain and nerves within the animal flatten out in the process, and because nervous tissue contains lots of fat, the structures repel water and "have some resistance against decay," he said.

"Despite the evidence in their favor, Ortega-Hernández, Strausfeld and their colleagues may need to dig up a lot more arthropod brain bits to convince naysayers that ancient brains can fossilize."

Comment: Some scientists may be doubtful, but logic tells us if eyes are present and limbs that must have moved are found, there was a nervous system to run the show. And this means, most significantly, a complete nervous system appeared with no precursors. Darwin's cAmbrian gap strikes again!!

Cambrian Explosion: role of oxygen

by David Turell @, Tuesday, December 01, 2015, 15:23 (1644 days ago) @ David Turell

This article explains how oxygen appeared 800-600 million yeas ago in the oceans. Obviously this allowed the development of complex animals, but doesn't explain why or how they developed:

http://phys.org/news/2015-12-revealedthe-event-complex-life-oceans.html

"Our oceans became fully oxygenated at around 800 to 600 million years ago, when atmospheric oxygen reached modern concentrations. Crucially, this allowed for the evolution of animals and the beginning of our modern Earth System. It has long been known that cyanobacteria were the first microorganisms capable of producing oxygen. They did this through photosynthesis - a process that transforms energy from the sun into sugars and oxygen using carbon dioxide and water. Scientists have been trying to work out why it took so long for the Earth's atmosphere to reach modern concentrations of oxygen, when photosynthesis had already evolved by around 2,700 million years ago.

***

"Early on, these cyanobacteria dominated only terrestrial and coastal environments, and with relatively low impact on the Earth's nutrient cycles. It was only when they properly colonised the oceans that the major, planet-altering event occurred.

***

"'Rather surprisingly, marine planktonic cyanobacteria are relatively young, only evolving just prior to the origin of complex life - animals. By producing oxygen in vast quantities, these cyanobacteria enabled the development of complex life in our oceans. These biological events are linked - they help explain why it took so long for complex life to evolve on our planet. Cyanobacteria needed to colonise the oceans first',

"'This study shows that several factors contributed to the delay of the oxygenation of the Earth's oceans. Firstly, cyanobacteria evolved in freshwater habitats and not in marine habitats as previously thought, and, second, marine productivity had a huge boost when cyanobacteria were finally able to colonise marine habitats; this allowed for the production of oxygen and carbon burial at unprecedented levels.'

"'The genomic revolution has hugely improved our understanding of the tree of life of cyanobacteria. Without cyanobacteria, complex life on our planet as we know it simply would not have happened.' said Dr Sánchez-Baracaldo."

Comment: Either great planning or lots of lucky sequential chance events.

Cambrian Explosion: early segmented worm

by David Turell @, Friday, December 11, 2015, 00:03 (1635 days ago) @ David Turell

About 530 million years ago, a worm with head, a mouth cone, teeth and an armored segmented body.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/12/151210112135.htm

"Dubbed Eokinorhynchus rarus -- or rare ancient mud dragon, the newly discovered animal dates back from the Cambrian period and contains five pairs of large bilaterally placed spines on its trunk. It is believed to be related to modern kinorhynch"

***

"Kinos represent an animal group that is related to arthropods -- insects, shrimps, spiders, etc. -- which are the most diverse group of animals on the planet," said Xiao, who refers to kinorhynchs as "kinos" for short. "Although arthropod fossils date back to more than 530 million years ago, no kino fossils have ever been reported. This is a huge gap in the fossil record, with more than 540 million years of evolutionary history undocumented. Our discovery is the first report of kino fossils."

"Xiao added that the new fossil can tell scientists more about how and why body segmentation evolved many times among not only arthropods, but several other groups of animals. Scientists believe kinos and arthropods should have evolved more than 540 million years ago. More so, the authors found that E. rarus has a number of similarities with living kinorhynchs, suggesting a close evolutionary relationship.

"Similarities between the fossils of E. rarus and living, modern kinorhynchs include their hollow spines arranged in a five-fold symmetry and their body segments each consisting of articulated plates. However, E. rarus differs from modern species with more numerous segments. Hence the belief of an ancestorship."

Comment: Again, much more complex than any Ediacaran animals

Cambrian Explosion: role of oxygen

by David Turell @, Tuesday, January 05, 2016, 16:07 (1609 days ago) @ David Turell

It has been proposed that an increase in oxygen triggered the Cambrian explosion. New date has appeared showing that oxygen was plentiful (4%)for some animals about 800 million years earlier:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160104163200.htm

"Oxygen is crucial for the existence of animals on Earth. But, an increase in oxygen did not apparently lead to the rise of the first animals. New research shows that 1.4 billion years ago there was enough oxygen for animals -- and yet over 800 million years went by before the first animals appeared on Earth.


"Animals evolved by about 600 million years ago, which was late in Earth's history. The late evolution of animals, and the fact that oxygen is central for animal respiration, has led to the widely promoted idea that animal evolution corresponded with a late a rise in atmospheric oxygen concentrations.

"'But sufficient oxygen in itself does not seem to be enough for animals to rise. This is indicated by our studies," say postdoc Emma Hammarlund and Professor Don Canfield, Nordic Center for Earth Evolution, University of Southern Denmark.

"Together with colleagues from the China National Petroleum Corporation and the University of Copenhagen, Hammarlund and Canfield have analyzed sediment samples from the Xiamaling Formation in China. Their analyses reveal that a deep ocean 1.4 billion years ago contained at least 4% of modern oxygen concentrations.

***

"The water column had an oxygen concentration at least 4 % of present atmospheric levels (PAL). That should be sufficient for animals to exist and evolve," says Canfield.

"'Having determined the lowest concentration of oxygen in the air almost one and a half billion years ago is unique," says Hammarlund, adding:

"'Researchers know of simple animals, such as sponges and worms, that today are capable of managing with less than 4% PAL, even much less."

"'Sponges probably resemble some of the first animals on Earth. If they manage with less than 4 % today's oxygen levels, it is likely that the first animals could do with these concentrations or less," says Canfield.

"The results differ from other studies and raise several questions, such as: Why then did animals rise so late in Earth's history?

"'The sudden diversification of animals probably was a result of many factors. Maybe the oxygen rise had less to do with the animal revolution than we previously assumed," says Hammarlund."

Comment: This leaves the Cambrian period with no explanation from an evolutionary standpoint as to why it appeared when it did. It remains the main stumbling block to Darwin's chance theory.

Cambrian Explosion: role of oxygen

by dhw, Wednesday, January 06, 2016, 15:22 (1608 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: It has been proposed that an increase in oxygen triggered the Cambrian explosion. New date has appeared showing that oxygen was plentiful (4%) for some animals about 800 million years earlier:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160104163200.htm

QUOTE: “The water column had an oxygen concentration at least 4 % of present atmospheric levels (PAL). That should be sufficient for animals to exist and evolve," says Canfield.”

QUOTE: "'Researchers know of simple animals, such as sponges and worms, that today are capable of managing with less than 4% PAL, even much less."

QUOTE: "'Sponges probably resemble some of the first animals on Earth. If they manage with less than 4 % today's oxygen levels, it is likely that the first animals could do with these concentrations or less," says Canfield.

QUOTE: Maybe the oxygen rise had less to do with the animal revolution than we previously assumed," says Hammarlund."

David's comment: This leaves the Cambrian period with no explanation from an evolutionary standpoint as to why it appeared when it did. It remains the main stumbling block to Darwin's chance theory.

If the Cambrian produced NEW phyla, how can anyone possibly know that those hitherto non-existent organisms could have existed on 4% of the oxygen we have today? Look at the bold: should be, probably, it is likely, maybe...This is pure speculation, and I am surprised you take it seriously. The Cambrian remains an unsolved mystery, the oxygen factor remains a possible explanation, though we still need a mechanism to take advantage of whatever changes took place.

Cambrian Explosion: role of oxygen

by David Turell @, Thursday, January 07, 2016, 00:37 (1608 days ago) @ dhw


QUOTE: Maybe the oxygen rise had less to do with the animal revolution than we previously assumed," says Hammarlund."

David's comment: This leaves the Cambrian period with no explanation from an evolutionary standpoint as to why it appeared when it did. It remains the main stumbling block to Darwin's chance theory.

dhw: If the Cambrian produced NEW phyla, how can anyone possibly know that those hitherto non-existent organisms could have existed on 4% of the oxygen we have today? Look at the bold: should be, probably, it is likely, maybe...This is pure speculation, and I am surprised you take it seriously. The Cambrian remains an unsolved mystery, the oxygen factor remains a possible explanation, though we still need a mechanism to take advantage of whatever changes took place.

I agree with you the Cambrian is a major mystery, but their point that sponges and simple worms can live on 4% O2 raises the issue of how much oxygen is really enough for the complex Cambrians. Today humans are adapted to live at very high altitudes. For example at Mexico city (7,500 feet) available oxygen is 50%. That is the equivalent to 10% of the 20% at sea level. In Cuzco at 11,000 feet O2 is equivalent to roughly 75% less, about 5% available. Remember the atmosphere has the same percentage composition since these are 'equivalent' assumptions to what might have been pre-Cambrian. The authors' points are not unreasonable.

Cambrian Explosion: role of oxygen

by dhw, Thursday, January 07, 2016, 12:23 (1607 days ago) @ David Turell

QUOTE: “Maybe the oxygen rise had less to do with the animal revolution than we previously assumed," says Hammarlund."
David's comment: This leaves the Cambrian period with no explanation from an evolutionary standpoint as to why it appeared when it did. It remains the main stumbling block to Darwin's chance theory.

dhw: If the Cambrian produced NEW phyla, how can anyone possibly know that those hitherto non-existent organisms could have existed on 4% of the oxygen we have today? Look at the bold: should be, probably, it is likely, maybe...This is pure speculation, and I am surprised you take it seriously. The Cambrian remains an unsolved mystery, the oxygen factor remains a possible explanation, though we still need a mechanism to take advantage of whatever changes took place.

DAVID: I agree with you the Cambrian is a major mystery, but their point that sponges and simple worms can live on 4% O2 raises the issue of how much oxygen is really enough for the complex Cambrians. Today humans are adapted to live at very high altitudes. For example at Mexico city (7,500 feet) available oxygen is 50%. That is the equivalent to 10% of the 20% at sea level. In Cuzco at 11,000 feet O2 is equivalent to roughly 75% less, about 5% available. Remember the atmosphere has the same percentage composition since these are 'equivalent' assumptions to what might have been pre-Cambrian. The authors' points are not unreasonable.

Their argument is pure speculation. The fact that pre-Cambrian organisms and some existing organisms could live on 4%, and some existing organisms can adapt to lower levels, does not mean that NEW organisms could have come into existence at that level. The authors' vague speculations, acknowledged in their tentative “maybe”, do not in any way invalidate the possibility that the Cambrian Explosion was triggered by an increase in oxygen offering opportunities for new forms of life. But it remains a hypothesis, and still doesn't solve the mystery of the mechanism that enables innovation.

Cambrian Explosion: role of oxygen

by David Turell @, Thursday, January 07, 2016, 15:09 (1607 days ago) @ dhw


dhw: Their argument is pure speculation. The fact that pre-Cambrian organisms and some existing organisms could live on 4%, and some existing organisms can adapt to lower levels, does not mean that NEW organisms could have come into existence at that level. The authors' vague speculations, acknowledged in their tentative “maybe”, do not in any way invalidate the possibility that the Cambrian Explosion was triggered by an increase in oxygen offering opportunities for new forms of life. But it remains a hypothesis, and still doesn't solve the mystery of the mechanism that enables innovation.

Of course it is speculation, but not unreasonable as I pointed out. Oxygen was not the 'trigger'. For a trigger to work you need a whole gun and bullets, and a finger to pull it, as you point out. Of course I know who had the finger!

Cambrian Explosion: role of oxygen

by David Turell @, Wednesday, February 17, 2016, 18:50 (1566 days ago) @ David Turell

Another review of the oxygen issue:

http://www.nature.com/news/what-sparked-the-cambrian-explosion-1.19379?WT.ec_id=NATURE-...

"Some scientists now think that a small, perhaps temporary, increase in oxygen suddenly crossed an ecological threshold, enabling the emergence of predators. The rise of carnivory would have set off an evolutionary arms race that led to the burst of complex body types and behaviours that fill the oceans today. “This is the most significant event in Earth evolution,” says Guy Narbonne, a palaeobiologist at Queen's University in Kingston, Canada. “The advent of pervasive carnivory, made possible by oxygenation, is likely to have been a major trigger.”

"In the modern world, it's easy to forget that complex animals are relative newcomers to Earth. Since life first emerged more than 3 billion years ago, single-celled organisms have dominated the planet for most of its history. Thriving in environments that lacked oxygen, they relied on compounds such as carbon dioxide, sulfur-containing molecules or iron minerals that act as oxidizing agents to break down food. Much of Earth's microbial biosphere still survives on these anaerobic pathways.

"Animals, however, depend on oxygen — a much richer way to make a living. The process of metabolizing food in the presence of oxygen releases much more energy than most anaerobic pathways. Animals rely on this potent, controlled combustion to drive such energy-hungry innovations as muscles, nervous systems and the tools of defence and carnivory — mineralized shells, exoskeletons and teeth.

***

"In Namibia, China and other spots around the world, researchers have collected rocks that were once ancient seabeds, and analysed the amounts of iron, molybdenum and other metals in them. The metals' solubility depends strongly on the amount of oxygen present, so the amount and type of those metals in ancient sedimentary rocks reflect how much oxygen was in the water long ago, when the sediments formed.

"These proxies seemed to indicate that oxygen concentrations in the oceans rose in several steps, approaching today's sea-surface concentrations at the start of the Cambrian, around 541 million years ago — just before more-modern animals suddenly appeared and diversified. This supported the idea of oxygen as a key trigger for the evolutionary explosion.

"But last year, a major study1 of ancient sea-floor sediments challenged that view. Erik Sperling, a palaeontologist at Stanford University in California, compiled a database of 4,700 iron measurements taken from rocks around the world, spanning the Ediacaran and Cambrian periods. He and his colleagues did not find a statistically significant increase in the proportion of oxic to anoxic water at the boundary between the Ediacaran and the Cambrian.

“'Any oxygenation event must have been far, far smaller than what people normally considered,” concludes Sperling. Most people assume “that the oxygenation event essentially raised oxygen to essentially modern-day levels. And that probably wasn't the case”, he says.

***

"The role of oxygen in the origins of animals has been heavily debated,” says Timothy Lyons, a geobiologist at the University of California, Riverside. “In fact, it's never been more debated than it is now.” Lyons sees a role for oxygen in evolutionary changes, but his own work3 with molybdenum and other trace metals suggests that the increases in oxygen just before the Cambrian were mostly temporary peaks that lasted a few million years and gradually stepped upward."

Comment: The major thought is still oxygen, but no theory as to why all the sudden complexity.

Cambrian Explosion: role of continental drift

by David Turell @, Friday, February 19, 2016, 15:18 (1564 days ago) @ David Turell

Another far-out proposal that the continents drifted toward the Equator and produced shallow areas where life could have diversified:

http://phys.org/news/2016-02-great-secrets-earth-evolution.html

"Around 520 million years ago, a wide variety of animals burst onto the evolutionary scene in an event known as the Cambrian explosion. In perhaps as few as 10 million years, marine animals evolved most of the basic body forms that we observe in modern groups.

"The event has sparked fierce debate all the way back to Darwin. Some paleontologists see the Cambrian explosion as a real, astonishing episode of unprecedented, fast evolution. Others suggest it is a false artifact of an unreliable fossil record.

"Now work published in the American Journal of Science shows that these competing theories can be unified by the geography of Cambrian Earth, as it underwent a wholesale lurch that clustered most of Earth's continents around the equator.

"Co-author Dr Timothy Raub of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of St Andrews said: "In a nutshell both camps were right. The particular locations of Cambrian continents relative to each other was special in a way that supercharged animal speciation while preserving an unusually good record of those early fossils."

***

"The paper suggests that about 520 million years ago a lurch of more than 60 degrees moved most continents from polar to tropical latitudes. For reasons that are still debated, biological diversity reaches a global peak around the equator and tapers off closer to the poles. This early Cambrian rotation therefore would have dramatically increased shallow coastal area in Earth's biodiversity hotspot.

"As another consequence of true polar wander, continents moving towards the equator are flooded by hundreds of metres of sea level rise, as they encounter the great bulge of water caused by Earth's daily spin. This flooding would have increased fossil preservation, but it also would have opened up new habitats for rapid diversification, in particular vast continental seaways rife with previously unexplored ecological niches."

Comment: Another theory that skips the issue of what drove the genetic explosion of information that created the complex organisms from very simple ones.

Cambrian Explosion: role of oxygen

by David Turell @, Tuesday, February 23, 2016, 01:17 (1561 days ago) @ David Turell

In this essay Sci. Am. covers the rise in oxygen story using the same material presented about a week ago fro Nature, but in more detail:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-sparked-the-cambrian-explosion1/?WT.mc_i...

"Some scientists now think that a small, perhaps temporary, increase in oxygen suddenly crossed an ecological threshold, enabling the emergence of predators. The rise of carnivory would have set off an evolutionary arms race that led to the burst of complex body types and behaviours that fill the oceans today. “This is the most significant event in Earth evolution,” says Guy Narbonne, a palaeobiologist at Queen's University in Kingston, Canada. “The advent of pervasive carnivory, made possible by oxygenation, is likely to have been a major trigger.”

***

"The latest results come at a time when scientists are already reconsidering what was happening to ocean oxygen levels during this crucial period. Donald Canfield, a geobiologist at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, doubts that oxygen was a limiting factor for early animals. In a study published last month, he and his colleagues suggest that oxygen levels were already high enough to support simple animals, such as sponges, hundreds of millions of years before they actually appeared. Cambrian animals would have needed more oxygen than early sponges, concedes Canfield. “But you don't need an increase in oxygen across the Ediacaran/Cambrian boundary,” he says; oxygen could already have been abundant enough “for a long, long time before”.

***

"Cloudina were among the earliest animals known to have grown hard, mineralized exoskeletons. But they were not alone. Two other types of animal in those reefs also had mineralized parts, which suggests that multiple, unrelated groups evolved skeletal shells around the same time. “Skeletons are quite costly to produce,” says Wood. “It's very difficult to come up with a reason other than defence for why an animal should bother to create a skeleton for itself.” Wood thinks that the skeletons provided protection against newly evolved predators. Some Cloudina fossils from that period even have holes in their sides, which scientists interpret as the marks of attackers that bore into the creatures' shells.

***

"The rise of predation at this time put large, sedentary Ediacaran animals at a big disadvantage. “Sitting around doing nothing becomes a liability,” says Narbonne.

***

"This past autumn, Woods visited Siberia with that goal in mind. She collected fossils of Cloudina and another skeletonized animal, Suvorovella, from the waning days of the Ediacaran. Those sites gave her the chance to gather fossils from many different depths in the ancient ocean, from the more oxygen-rich surface waters to deeper zones. Wood plans to look for patterns in where animals were growing tougher skeletons, whether they were under attack by predators and whether any of this had a clear link with oxygen levels, she says. “Only then can you pick out the story.'”

Comment: Same comment. Environmental factors stimulate adaptations, but completely new animals are another issue, not required by the changes we now see. These are enormous changes with complete animals with complete organ systems and brains!

Cambrian Explosion: role of oxygen

by David Turell @, Wednesday, January 18, 2017, 01:10 (1231 days ago) @ David Turell

The Cambrian Explosion started about 520 million years ago with increased oxygen in the atmosphere, but there was brief spike in oxygen at 2.3 billion years ago without complex life. What other factor might have been at play?:

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2118088-complex-life-may-have-had-a-false-start-2-...

"It was a sign of things to come. About 2.3 billion years ago, our primitive planet was an oxygen-poor world profoundly different from now – but then it briefly and mysteriously gained an oxygen-rich atmosphere.

"This so-called Lomagundi Event could have provided a fleeting opportunity for complex, animal-like creatures to evolve billions of years before the ancestors of all animals we know today appeared.

"Earth is thought to have begun to develop its modern, oxygen-rich atmosphere as recently as 800 million years ago. This is roughly when biologically complex, oxygen-breathing animals first appear in the fossil record, leading many to suggest that animal life was made possible by the rise in atmospheric oxygen.

"Before 800 million years ago, there may have been little gaseous oxygen around – one 2014 estimate suggests there may have been as little as 0.1 per cent of the present level.

"The Lomagundi Event – between 2.3 and 2.1 billion years ago – is an exception to this early oxygen-poor world. Chemical analysis of “Lomagundi” rocks hints that the amount of organic carbon buried in the deep ocean suddenly spiked.

***

"Kipp and his colleagues measured selenium isotope ratios in Lomagundi rocks formed at various places around the world, and then worked back to estimate the dissolved oxygen level in the shallow seas of this time. Their calculations suggest the level may have been at least 5 micromoles per litre of water.

"This is considerably below the modern level of about 325 micromoles per litre, but is still well above the minimum oxygen requirements of some simple marine animals alive today, which can make do with about 0.9 micromoles per litre of water.

***

"It’s the implications of the research that will attract most attention, though. “The take-home message is that the oxygen level was high enough to support eukaryotic life and, by some arguments, maybe even animal life,” says Timothy Lyons at the University of California Riverside, who collaborates with Kipp and his colleagues, but was not involved in the new study.

"This confirms that the Lomagundi Event was what Lyons calls an “oxygen oasis in time”. It has implications for our understanding of how, or if, animal evolution was influenced by available oxygen.

“'It’s like a perfect thought experiment,” says Lyons. “Let’s predict what a dominantly anoxic community of life would do in the face of getting a large injection of oxygen early in its history.”

"So far, however, it appears there was little response: although there are hints that life became more complex during the Lomagundi Event, there is no really convincing evidence.

“'But that doesn’t mean that those organisms didn’t exist,” says Kipp. “With palaeontology, it’s difficult to argue that absence of evidence is evidence of absence.”

"Life’s apparent failure to become complex during the Lomagundi Event despite having the oxygen to do so is unsurprising, says Nicholas Butterfield at the University of Cambridge. Rather than a lack of oxygen delaying the appearance of animals until the past 800 million years, he thinks the reason was that it took evolution aeons to “work out” how to develop such biologically complex organisms.

"In other words, life simply wasn’t ready to become complex at this time. “I think it does support the view that there is far more to the story than oxygen,” Butterfield says."

Comment: The speed of evolution appears to vary. It didn't take long to make humans from the earliest possible beginning in monkeys about 22 million years ago. It took about 3.5 billion years to make the Cambrian animals. Perhaps a long period of high oxygen was necessary.

Cambrian Explosion: first jawed animal found

by David Turell @, Friday, April 28, 2017, 15:34 (1130 days ago) @ David Turell

This animal had pincers and a mandible with a highly complex body plan, from 507 million years ago, found in Canadian shale:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170426131024.htm

"The creature, named Tokummia katalepsis by the researchers, is a new and exceptionally well-preserved fossilized arthropod -- a ubiquitous group of invertebrate animals with segmented limbs and hardened exoskeletons. Tokummia documents for the first time in detail the anatomy of early "mandibulates," a hyperdiverse sub-group of arthropods which possess a pair of specialized appendages known as mandibles, used to grasp, crush and cut their food. Mandibulates include millions of species and represent one of the greatest evolutionary and ecological success stories of life on Earth.

***

"Analysis of several fossil specimens, following careful mechanical preparation and photographic work at the ROM, showed that Tokummia sported broad serrated mandibles as well as large but specialized anterior claws, called maxillipeds, which are typical features of modern mandibulates.

"'The pincers of Tokummia are large, yet also delicate and complex, reminding us of the shape of a can opener, with their couple of terminal teeth on one claw, and the other claw being curved towards them," said Aria. "But we think they might have been too fragile to be handling shelly animals, and might have been better adapted to the capture of sizable soft prey items, perhaps hiding away in mud. Once torn apart by the spiny limb bases under the trunk, the mandibles would have served as a revolutionary tool to cut the flesh into small, easily digestible pieces."

"The body of Tokummia is made of more than 50 small segments covered by a broad two-piece shell-like structure called a bivalved carapace. Importantly, the animal bears subdivided limb bases with tiny projections called endites, which can be found in the larvae of certain crustaceans and are now thought to have been critical innovations for the evolution of the various legs of mandibulates, and even for the mandibles themselves.

"The many-segmented body is otherwise reminiscent of myriapods, a group that includes centipedes, millipedes, and their relatives. "Tokummia also lacks the typical second antenna found in crustaceans, which illustrates a very surprising convergence with such terrestrial mandibulates," said Aria."

Comment: this highly complex predator appears, as all Cambrian animals do, with no predecessors in earlier layers. The Cambrian Explosion is the basis of all existing phyla of animals today, with no clear explanation of the driving evolutionary force creating such a complex diversity of forms. As Darwin knew, it still presents the main challenge to his step-by-step theory. It is true that oxygen levels rose as this occurred, but the higher oxygen levels allowed this to happen, but cannot be identified as a cause of the sudden inventiveness of the evolutionary process. Only a designing mind can accomplish this type of change in form. Preceding forms were simple bags of cells, nothing slightly complex.

Cambrian Explosion: model of an early Cambrian

by David Turell @, Tuesday, September 19, 2017, 01:14 (987 days ago) @ David Turell

This is a highly complex animal that appeared in the middle years of the Cambrian Explosion, with only very simple structures in the pre-Cambrian periods:

https://www.livescience.com/60434-bizarre-cambrian-creature-gets-detailed-reconstructio...

"It looks like a space alien, or maybe a very deformed clam. But really, it's a re-creation of a 500-million-year-old life-form.

"New images show a sculpture of Agnostus pisiformis, a now-extinct arthropod that used to live in what is today Scandinavia. These creatures, just four-tenths of an inch (1 centimeter) long when they were alive, are nevertheless known in exact anatomical detail because they've been preserved so perfectly in shale and limestones.

"'The incredible degree of preservational detail means that we can grasp the entire anatomy of the animal, which, in turn, reveals a lot about its ecology and mode of life," Mats E. Eriksson, a geology professor at Lund University who commissioned the sculpted re-creation as part of a new paper in the journal Earth-Science Reviews, said in a statement.

"New images show a sculpture of Agnostus pisiformis, a now-extinct arthropod that used to live in what is today Scandinavia. These creatures, just four-tenths of an inch (1 centimeter) long when they were alive, are nevertheless known in exact anatomical detail because they've been preserved so perfectly in shale and limestones.

"'The incredible degree of preservational detail means that we can grasp the entire anatomy of the animal, which, in turn, reveals a lot about its ecology and mode of life," Mats E. Eriksson, a geology professor at Lund University who commissioned the sculpted re-creation as part of a new paper in the journal Earth-Science Reviews, said in a statement.
 
"According to that paper, A. pisiformis started life as a larva and developed into adulthood by repeatedly shedding and regrowing its hard exoskeleton. Its body was protected by two shields that looked a bit like clam shells when the animal curled up. Little is known about the creature's ocean-going lifestyle, but it probably plucked bits of organic matter out of the water for food.

"The odd little critter is also useful to modern scientists as what's called an index fossil. Index fossils are fossils that appear in only a particular time period, so they're used to date layers of rock: If the fossils appear in a rock layer, there's no question about when that layer formed.

"Artists at 10 Tons studio in Denmark created the new lifelike sculptures of A. pisiformis. The process was painstaking and involved multiple steps with hand-modeled clay, wax molds and silicon casts. The final sculptures were made with translucent silicon, and each is about the size of a dinner plate — much larger than the real creatures, which makes it easier to see their anatomy. The artists made a partially unrolled sculpture, mimicking the arthropod's likely positioning during swimming, as well as a rolled-up version to show how its exoskeletal shields would have protected it. They also made a model of the creature as it appears under a scanning electron microscope."

Comment: This degree of complexity arises from complete simplicity. The gap in functional ability is enormous. First discovered in The Burgess shale in Canada in about 1890, these creatures are now being found in many parts of the world in shale layers, with a large number of finds in China. Darwin thought that if the gap was not filled, his theory of gradualism would not be correct.

Cambrian Explosion: trilobite digestive system

by David Turell @, Thursday, September 21, 2017, 19:44 (984 days ago) @ David Turell

There is an early and a later form with a crop:

https://phys.org/news/2017-09-early-trilobites-stomachs-fossil.html

"Exceptionally preserved trilobite fossils from China, dating back to more than 500 million years ago, have revealed new insights into the extinct marine animal's digestive system. Published today in the journal PLOS ONE, the new study shows that at least two trilobite species evolved a stomach structure 20 million years earlier than previously thought.

***

"Trilobites are a group of extinct marine arthropods—distantly related to the horseshoe crab—that lived for almost 300 million years. They were extremely diverse, with about 20,000 species, and their fossil exoskeletons can be found all around the world. Most of the 270 specimens analyzed in the new study were collected from a quarry in southern Kunming, China, during an excavation led by Hopkins' co-author, Zhifei Zhang, from Northwest University in Xi'an.

"Previous research suggests that two body plans existed for trilobite digestive systems: a tube that runs down the length of the trilobite's body with lateral digestive glands that would have helped process the food; or an expanded stomach, called a "crop", leading into a simple tube with no lateral glands. Until now, only the first type had been reported from the oldest trilobites. Based on this, researchers had proposed that the evolution of the crop came later in trilobite evolutionary history and represented a distinct type of digestive system.

"The Chinese trilobite fossils, about 20 percent of which have soft tissue preservation, are dated to the early Cambrian, about 514 million years ago. Contradictory to the previously proposed body plans, the researchers identified crops in two different species within this material. In addition, they found a single specimen that has both a crop and digestive glands—suggesting that the evolution of trilobite digestive systems is more complex than originally proposed.

"The study backs up an earlier announcement made by a separate research team, which found evidence for the unusual crop and gland pairing in a single juvenile trilobite specimen from Sweden from the late Cambrian. But the Chinese material presents the oldest example of this complex digestive system in a mature trilobite, wiping away doubts that the dual structures might just be part of the animal's early development.

"'This is a very rigorous study based on multiple specimens, and it shows that we should start thinking about this aspect of trilobite biology and evolution in a different way," Hopkins said."

Comment: Trilobites are early Cambrian animals. These findings show how highly complex they are, and emphasize there are no precursors to explain their evolution. The gap is huge and totally unexplained. The explanation demands a planning mind as the designer.

Cambrian Explosion: model of an early Cambrian

by David Turell @, Thursday, December 21, 2017, 14:56 (893 days ago) @ David Turell

Another very complex Cambrian with parts like a horseshoe crab, and no predecessors. A refutation to Darwin theory of gradual change:

https://cosmosmagazine.com/palaeontology/meet-a-500-million-year-old-micro-monster

Habelia optata – two centimetres long and first discovered a century ago – is described in detail for the first time in the journal BMC Evolutionary Biology.

"The description, led by Cédric Aria of the University of Toronto, reveals a savage hunter that walked in the waters of the Burgess Shale around 500 million years ago. Although very distantly related to modern horseshoe crabs and scorpions, Habelia shows structural adaptations that suggest its behaviours were rather more similar to those of a very different arthropod group, known as mandibulates.

***

"And now there is Habelia optata, a vicious little beast covered in spines, with a thorax boasting five pairs of legs and a post-thorax, or tail, covered in rounded appendages probably used in respiration.

"Habelia’s head, however, is the really interesting bit. It features a complex admixture of five sets of appendages, including large plates covered in teeth, pseudo-legs covered in bristly spines, long slender branches likely to have been used to feel or sense food, and a pair of appendages towards the pack of the head thought to have been used to assist the other bits in funnelling food towards the tooth-covered business end.

“'This complex apparatus of appendages and jaws made Habelia an exceptionally fierce predator for its size,” says Aria. “It was likely both very mobile and efficient in tearing apart its prey.”

***

"Meticulous observation of the creature’s head structure revealed it to be a member of a completely different subphyla, called the chelicerates. These are so named because of the tell-tale presence of a pair of specialised appendages (called chelicerae) in the front of the mouth. Modern chelicerates include horseshoe crabs and arachnids.

"Aria and Caron believe that Habelia evolved in such a way that its body parts became adapted for use in ways that mirrored those of mandibulates – a process known as convergent evolution.

“'From an evolutionary point of view, Habelia is close to the point of divergence between chelicerates and mandibulates,” says Aria.

“'But its similarities with mandibulates are secondary modifications of features that were in part already chelicerate in nature. This suggests that chelicerates originated from species with a high structural variability.”

"The researchers suggest that the species was an active predator, stalking the Cambrian sea floor in search of prey species. One of its most likely targets, they suggest, were trilobites – small creatures covered in tough shell carapaces.

“This builds onto the importance of carapaces and shells for evolutionary change during the Cambrian explosion, and expands our understanding of ecosystems at this time, showing another level of predator-prey relationship and its determining impact on the rise of arthropods as we know them today,” says Caron."

Comment: The fact that we can look back from what exists today and spot how current phyla started tells us the Cambrian was the true start of today's bush of life. These designed animals had no predecessors. They look invented on the spot. They totally destroy Darwin's concept of gradualism in evolution. He predicted tis result if intermediate forms were not found.

Cambrian Explosion: early tiny forms

by David Turell @, Sunday, December 24, 2017, 15:33 (890 days ago) @ David Turell

In the northern tip of Greenland microscopic soft forms from the early Cambrian have been found. Makes the explosion larger:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/12/171219093415.htm

"A team of researchers from Uppsala University have uncovered a hidden diversity of microscopic animal fossils from over half a billion years ago lurking in rocks from the northern tip of Greenland.

"The 'Cambrian explosion' of animal diversity beginning ~541 million years ago is a defining episode in the history of life. This was a time when the seas first teemed with animal life, and the first recognisably 'modern' ecosystems began to take shape.

"Current accounts of this explosion in animal diversity rely heavily on records from fossilised shells and other hard parts, since these structures are the most likely to survive as fossils.

"However, since most marine animals are 'soft-bodied' this represents only a small fraction of the total diversity.

***

"Most of the fossils were less than a millimetre long and had to be studied under the microscope. Fossils at the nearby Sirius Passet site typically preserve much larger animals, so the new finds fill an important gap in our knowledge of the small-scale animals that probably made up the majority of these ecosystems. Among the discoveries were the tiny spines and teeth of priapulid worms -- small hook shaped structures that allowed these worms to efficiently burrow through the sediments and capture prey. Other finds included the tough outer cuticles and defensive spines of various arthropods, and perhaps most surprisingly, microscopic fragments of the oldest known pterobranch hemichordates -- an obscure group of tube-dwelling filter feeders that are distant relatives of the vertebrates. This group became very diverse after the Cambrian Period and are among some of the most commonly found fossils in rocks from younger deposits, but were entirely unknown from the early Cambrian. This new source of fossils will also help palaeontologists to better understand the famously difficult to interpret fossils at the nearby Sirius Passet site, where the flattened animal fossils are usually complete, but missing crucial microscopic details.

"The sheer abundance of these miniature animal fossils means that we have only begun to scratch the surface of this overlooked resource, but it is already clear that this discovery will help to reshape our view of the non-shelly animals that crawled and swam among the early Cambrian seas more than half a billion years ago,' says Sebastian Willman, researcher at the Department of Earth Sciences, Uppsala University."

Comment: This new study makes the gap between the pre-Cambrian and the actual Cambrian animals much bigger. Where are the intermediate forms, if any? Darwin's fear continues.

Cambrian Explosion: Less oxygen required

by David Turell @, Friday, January 19, 2018, 20:12 (864 days ago) @ David Turell

An opposite point of view from the theory that an increase in oxygen was one of the necessary triggers:

https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/tumour-behaviour-calls-cambrian-oxygen-link-into-que...

"Previous hypotheses have centred around the idea that an increase in available oxygen may have triggered biological diversification. One 2013 paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that high oxygen environments promote greater ecological complexity, and argued on this basis that environmental oxygenation then satisfactorily explains the explosion of life in the Cambrian.

"However, Emma Hammarlund, a geobiologist working at the division for translational cancer research at Sweden’s’ Lund University and guest researcher at the Nordic Centre for Earth Evolution at the University of Southern Denmark, is not convinced by this account. She notes that recent research has questioned the correlation between the Cambrian explosion and increasing atmospheric oxygen.

“'A heated hunt for the geochemical evidence that oxygen increased when animals diversified goes on,” she says, “but, after decades of discussion, it seems worthwhile to consider the development of multicellularity also from other angles.”

"Instead, Hammarlund thinks a biological innovation might be key.

***

"Together they investigated the relationship between oxygen and stem cell biology.

"Stem cells, the pluripotent cells that can become any type of biological tissue, require specific oxygen levels, as do the cancer stem cells responsible for tumour growth. In particular, too much oxygen can wreak havoc with successful stem cell function. Stem cells, and cells that maintain similar properties, such as the tissues responsible for healing, as well as those responsible for tumours, generally require hypoxic, or low oxygen, environments. Certain vertebrate tissues even simulate hypoxia to allow them to work normally.

"The team therefore hypothesises that the evolution of the biological innovation of stem cell properties might well have played a role in the diversification of life in the Cambrian. Such innovation not only could easily have happened in low oxygen environments, but might even have required them.

“'Therefore, we flip the perspective on the oxic setting,” says Sven Påhlman, “While low oxygen is generally unproblematic for animal cells, the oxic settings pose a fundamental challenge for complex multicellularity.

"'Surely, many people would intuitively disagree. But once you flip the perspective on the oxic niche and start to consider it as challenging for stem cell properties and tissue renewal, then puzzling observations from distant fields starts to fit together. And you can't turn back.'”

Comment: Another theory looking for a natural mechanism to create such a huge burst of diverse living forms, with no precursors seen in the evolutionary record of fossils. Perhaps God did it.

Cambrian Explosion: another weird animal

by David Turell @, Tuesday, January 23, 2018, 14:44 (860 days ago) @ David Turell

Complex and weird Cambrian forms keep appearing:

https://www.livescience.com/61488-ancient-worm-evolutionary-mystery.html?utm_source=ls-...

"An eyeless, alien-like worm with two tentacles sprouting out of its head and covered in so many bristles it looked like a kitchen brush would have been quite a sight during its heyday as it scarfed down seafloor mud some 508 million years ago.
Scientists discovered the exquisitely preserved remains of the bizarre, soft-bodied creature in British Columbia, Canada. Like other bristle worms, the newfound critter has hair-size bristles poking out of its body. "However, unlike any living forms, these bristles were also partially covering the head, more specifically surrounding the mouth," the study's lead author Karma Nanglu,...said in a statement.

"By analyzing the fossils (and intriguing noggin), researchers were able to solve an evolutionary mystery about how ringed worms, a group that includes modern earthworms and leeches, developed their heads. The newly identified critter "seems to suggest that the annelid head evolved from posterior body segments that had pair bundles of bristles, a hypothesis supported by the developmental biology of many modern annelid species," Nanglu said.

***

"The bristly worm was tiny, just 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) long. But this teeny body sported a ton of bristles — each of its up to 25 body segments sported 56 bristles apiece, and it also had two long tentacles on its head. Smaller antennae between its tentacles likely helped the worm scan the area directly in front of it, while the tentacles could extend farther, Nanglu said.

"The scientists named the critter Kootenayscolex barbarensis. The genus name references Kootenay National Park in British Columbia, where Marble Canyon is located, and includes " scolex," the Greek word for "worm."

***

"K. barbarensis was likely a deposit feeder that engorged itself with mud on the seafloor, Nanglu said. "These organisms funnel mud into their mouths that they then sift through for organic material to feed on," he said. "We get evidence for this way of life from the well-preserved gut of Kootenayscolex, which often preserves much more darkly [in color] compared to the surrounding tissue.'"

Comment: The usual result: a complex animal with no precursors, showing evolution is not a process of Darwin tiny steps.

Cambrian Explosion: another fierce animal

by David Turell @, Thursday, January 25, 2018, 14:20 (858 days ago) @ David Turell

They keep on coming: now an armor plated animal with a three-part body and so many moving parts it had to have a complex nervous system:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/12/171222090334.htm

"Approximately 2 cm in length with a tail as long as the rest of its body, the long-extinct Habelia optata belongs to the group of invertebrate animals called arthropods, which also includes such familiar creatures as spiders, insects, lobsters and crabs. It lived during the middle Cambrian period approximately 508 million years ago and comes from the renowned Burgess Shale fossil deposit in British Columbia. Habelia optata was part of the "Cambrian explosion," a period of rapid evolutionary change when most major animal groups first emerged in the fossil record.

"Like all arthropods, Habelia optata features a segmented body with external skeleton and jointed limbs. What remained unclear for decades, however, was the main sub-group of arthropods to which Habelia belonged. Early studies had mentioned mandibulates -- a hyperdiverse lineage whose members possess antennae and a pair of specialized appendages known as mandibles, usually used to grasp, squeeze and crush their food. But Habelia was later left as one of the typically unresolved arthropods of the Burgess Shale.

"The new analysis by the U of T-ROM researchers suggests that Habelia optata was instead a close relative of the ancestor of all chelicerates, the other sub-group of arthropods living today, named for the presence of appendages called chelicerae in front of the mouth and used to cut food. This is mostly due to the overall anatomy of the head in Habelia, and the presence of two small chelicerae-like appendages revealed in these fossils.

"'Habelia now shows in great detail the body architecture from which chelicerates emerged, which allows us to solve some long-standing questions," said Aria, who is now a post-doctoral researcher at the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology, in China. "We can now explain why, for instance, horseshoe crabs have a reduced pair of limbs -- the chilaria -- at the back of their heads. Those are relics of fully-formed appendages, as chelicerates seem to originally have had heads with no less than seven pairs of limbs."

***

"The researchers argue that this difference in anatomy allowed Habelia to evolve an especially complex head that makes this fossil species even more peculiar compared to known chelicerates. The head of Habelia contained a series of five appendages made of a large plate with teeth for mastication, a leg-like branch with stiff bristle-like spines for grasping, and an elongate, slender branch modified as a sensory or tactile appendage.

"'This complex apparatus of appendages and jaws made Habelia an exceptionally fierce predator for its size," said Aria. "It was likely both very mobile and efficient in tearing apart its preys.'"

Comment: Here again we see high complexity with no precursors. Cambrian Explosion defies any theory of natural evolution.

Cambrian Explosion: oxygen and stem cell theory

by David Turell @, Friday, March 09, 2018, 20:54 (815 days ago) @ David Turell

This new theory uses the new abundance of oxygen and protected stem cells to allow the Cambrian explosion. Oxygen is dangerous unless controlled:

https://www.quantamagazine.org/oxygen-and-stem-cells-reshaped-animals-during-the-cambri...

"It is by no means certain that a big uptick in atmospheric oxygen caused the Cambrian explosion: Many scientists give more weight to alternative theories about the emergence of new genetic capabilities or major shifts in ecological interactions that prompted new forms to evolve. Nevertheless, animals in that period would have needed to develop physiological innovations to deal with the abundance of oxygen.

***

"Their hypothesis is that the evolution of the capacity to maintain undifferentiated cells — even when those cells were exposed to higher levels of oxygen — allowed animals to keep stocks of stem cells for tissue growth and repair. That capacity, in turn, made it possible for animals to become more complex and diversify.

"Stem cells have a “pluripotent” ability to give rise to the other cell types that make up healthy tissues. Throughout life, they play a crucial part in the regeneration and repair of tissues. Scientists are still trying to find out what enables stem cells to maintain their pluripotent, undifferentiated state when other cells cannot.

"One factor researchers have identified is oxygen: The cells require low oxygen levels to remain in their stem states. Experiments have illustrated that exposing stem cells to greater amounts of oxygen usually causes them to differentiate abruptly. This observation explains why stem cells are so often sequestered in regions of the body like the bone marrow, where oxygen levels are relatively low (hypoxic).

"Påhlman and Hammarlund figured that if they could determine how our bodies and malignancies preserve those stem cells despite the oxygen, they might be able to explain how early animals solved their own oxygen problems millions of years ago.

"So they focused on a family of proteins called hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs), chief among them the protein HIF-2α. Its activity is heavily implicated in cancers of the kidneys and the sympathetic nervous system (including the neuroblastomas that Påhlman studies).

"The HIFs help modulate how cells react to different oxygen conditions. When oxygen is low, cells activate HIFs to shift their metabolisms from aerobic to anaerobic and to start other processes that keep the cells alive; when oxygen is high, the HIFs are no longer needed and get degraded.

***

"Hammarlund and Påhlman then took a leap: They posited that HIF-2α functions similarly in normal animal tissues. They’ve seen some preliminary evidence of this in the skin and the sympathetic nervous system (knocking out the protein in the latter interferes with its development), but further experiments are needed to confirm the idea.

***

"Hammarlund then considered HIF-1α, the molecule in vertebrates that she and Påhlman describe as resembling “the ancestral HIF form” that would have evolved first. It behaves as a metabolic switch that allows cells to “enter or exit a low-oxygen consumption mode,” she said, so it would have allowed emerging animals to be less sensitive to oxygen fluctuations in their environments.

“'Organisms could start to manage stem cells better,” Hammarlund explained. Their tissues could grow with fewer oxygen-imposed constraints, so they could be made of more diverse cells growing in more varied structures. Moreover, the animals could begin to populate more habitats with varying oxygen levels. Hammarlund says that other researchers are exploring whether this is why the Ediacaran creatures, which disappeared at the start of the Cambrian and did not have this ability, lived in such deep parts of the ocean, where oxygen concentrations were more stable.

***

"In short, the development of the HIF proteins presented the “proper key to get at the gold mine,” Hammarlund said. It wasn’t until HIF and HIF-2α came along that animals could start to use oxygen for more metabolic energy, build more elaborate tissues and cope better with oxygen damage. “The HIFs probably weren’t the only key, but they’re one we now know,” she said.

"She and Påhlman hope to uncover other mechanisms as well, but first they need to test essential components of their HIF hypothesis, primarily the idea that the hypoxia reaction is specifically invoked in normal tissues to maintain stem cells.

***

"For now, Hammarlund and Påhlman’s ideas need to be substantiated by experimental evidence. And to tie them to broader mysteries about the Cambrian explosion, researchers would need to determine whether changes in atmospheric oxygen drove the development of the HIFs, and if so, to what extent. It’s a nuanced relationship, to be sure."

Comment: Oxygen is very toxic and must be controlled. This complex theory requires a designer running the show.

Cambrian Explosion: even had parenting

by David Turell @, Saturday, March 31, 2018, 15:12 (793 days ago) @ David Turell

New fossils have shown evidence:

https://evolutionnews.org/2018/03/contradicting-darwinian-gradualism-earliest-animals-s...

"Based on the Darwinian narrative, we should expect not only that morphological complexity increases gradually in the fossil record, but we should also expect the same for complex animal behavior. This is because according to Darwinists, “Evolution not only is a gradual process as a matter of fact, but…it has to be gradual if it is to do any explanatory work” (Dawkins 2009). Charles Darwin himself strictly insisted on gradualism and famously quoted the Latin phrase “natura non facit saltus” (“nature does not make jumps”) no fewer than six times in his Origin of Species. He realized that any kind of significant saltational change would imply a miracle-like intelligent intervention.

"Therefore, it is a problem for Darwinism if we find evidence that complex behavior, instead of arising gradually, was already present in the oldest animals we know. And indeed, this is exactly what we do find.

"Earlier this month the discovery of extended parental care was described for the 520-million-year-old arthropod Fuxianhuia protensa from the Early Cambrian Chengjiang locality in China (Fu et al. 2018). This new discovery made worldwide headlines (Davis 2018, Fox-Skelly 2018, Hugo 2018). It also paralleled two earlier discoveries from a few years ago (Fang 2015, Geggel 2015, Lacerda 2015), which documented brood care in the 508-million-year-old arthropod Waptia from the famous Burgess Shale in Canada (Caron & Vannier 2016), and the discovery of brood care in the Lower Cambrian Chengjiang arthropod Kunmingella douvillei (Duan et al. 2014).

"Clearly, complex parental behavior was well established in different groups of the earliest known animals from the Cambrian explosion. This is especially significant because such parental behaviors imply complex morphological innovations as well as correlated changes in the behavior of adult and juvenile organisms. Complex codependent innovations of this nature are virtually impossible without coordinated mutations, which in turn creates a so-called “waiting-time problem.” We know from other examples (e.g., the origin of whales) that the waiting times (calculated with the mathematical apparatus of mainstream population genetics) for such coordinated mutations to originate and spread in a population are far too long to be possibly accommodated by the available windows of time established by the fossil record. Even millions and billions of years are not enough deep time to make the neo-Darwinian process feasible.

"Fuxianhuia protensa was first described in 1987 from incomplete material and remained for several years a relatively poorly known fossil taxon of controversial affinity. This changed when more complete specimens were discovered that showed the head segmentation and undifferentiated limbs. At first Fuxianhuia was considered a stem-group chelicerate, but modern cladistic analyses usually located this extinct taxon close to the stem of all euarthropods (Wills et al. 1996, Fortey & Thomas 2012). New material and more modern techniques have meanwhile made Fuxianhuia one of the best known fossil organisms.

"Not only do we know now the complete external morphology of its body, including its growth pattern over fifteen larval stages (Fu et al. 2018), but also its head segmentation (Chen et al. 1995, Budd 2008), detailed brain structure and nervous system (Ma et al. 2012), its complete cardiovascular system (Ma et al. 2014), its digestive system (Bergström et al. 2008, Fu et al. 2018), and now even details about its brood care behavior (Fu et al. 2018). All these structures are as highly organized as in modern arthropods, even though Fuxianhuia lived 520 million years ago and ranks among the oldest known arthropods and animals.

"Where is the gradual transition implied by Darwinian evolution? Complexity of all kinds and on all levels was there from the very beginning, and the fossil history of animal life gives no evidence that it developed over long periods of time in a gradual way with numerous small steps as suggested by Charles Darwin and his modern followers. The fossil record does not support but contradicts the evolutionary narrative."

Comment: Darwin rejected saltation, and saltation requires design. The Cambrian is an enormous saltation and offers the strongest evidence against the gradualism the Darwin theory requires.

Cambrian Explosion: even had parenting

by dhw, Sunday, April 01, 2018, 11:15 (792 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID’s comment: Darwin rejected saltation, and saltation requires design. The Cambrian is an enormous saltation and offers the strongest evidence against the gradualism the Darwin theory requires.

You and I and many other believers in the theory of common descent – including some of Darwin’s own contemporaries – have long, long, long since rejected Darwin’s rigid adherence to gradualism. You and I and many others have also rejected his reliance on random mutations. Time to move on?

Cambrian Explosion: even had parenting

by David Turell @, Sunday, April 01, 2018, 15:29 (792 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID’s comment: Darwin rejected saltation, and saltation requires design. The Cambrian is an enormous saltation and offers the strongest evidence against the gradualism the Darwin theory requires.

dhw: You and I and many other believers in the theory of common descent – including some of Darwin’s own contemporaries – have long, long, long since rejected Darwin’s rigid adherence to gradualism. You and I and many others have also rejected his reliance on random mutations. Time to move on?

Even Darwin could not explain the Cambrian. Accepting God does.

Cambrian Explosion: started with worm burrows?

by David Turell @, Sunday, April 01, 2018, 18:32 (792 days ago) @ David Turell

Evidence of burrowing worm-like Ediacarans might have plowed the fields to start the Cambrian Explosion:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180312091407.htm

"In the history of life on Earth, a dramatic and revolutionary change in the nature of the sea floor occurred in the early Cambrian (541–485 million years ago): the “agronomic revolution.” This phenomenon was coupled with the diversification of marine animals that could burrow into seafloor sediments. Previously, the sea floor was covered by hard microbial mats, and animals were limited to standing on, resting on, or moving horizontally along those mats. In the agronomic revolution, part of the so-called Cambrian Explosion of animal diversity and complexity, vertical burrowers began to churn up the underlying sediments, which softened and oxygenated the subsurface, created new ecological niches, and thus radically transformed the marine ecosystem into one more like that observed today.

"This event has long been considered to have occurred in the early Cambrian Period. However, new evidence obtained from western Mongolia shows that the agronomic revolution began in the late Ediacaran, the final period of the Precambrian, at least locally.

"A team of researchers, primarily based in Japan, surveyed Bayan Gol Valley, western Mongolia, and found late Ediacaran trace fossils in marine carbonate rocks. They identified U-shaped, penetrative trace fossils, called Arenicolites, from 11 beds located more than 130 meters below the lowermost occurrence of Treptichnus pedum, widely recognized as the marker of the Ediacaran–Cambrian boundary. The researchers confirmed the late Ediacaran age of the rocks, estimated to be between 555 and 541 million years old, based on the stable carbon isotope record.

“'It is impossible to identify the kind of animal that produced the Arenicolites traces,” lead author Tatsuo Oji says. “However, they were certainly bilaterian animals based on the complexity of the traces, and were probably worm-like in nature. These fossils are the earliest evidence for animals making semi-permanent domiciles in sediment. The evolution of macrophagous predation was probably the selective pressure for these trace makers to build such semi-permanent infaunal structures, as they would have provided safety from many predators.”

"These Arenicolites also reached unusually large sizes, greater than one centimeter in diameter. The discovery of these large-sized, penetrative trace fossils contradicts the conclusions of previous studies that small-sized penetrative traces emerged only in the earliest Cambrian.

“'These trace fossils indicate that the agronomic revolution actually began in the latest Ediacaran in at least one setting,” co-author Stephen Dornbos explains. “Thus, this revolution did not proceed in a uniform pattern across all depositional environments during the Cambrian radiation, but rather in a patchwork of varying bioturbation levels across marine seafloors that lasted well into the early Paleozoic.'”

Comment: As with all so-called trigger mechanisms like plowing the fields in this study, the event allows the Cambrian, but in no way is the driving cause. It is a major saltation. As with the previous theory about stem cells, the studies are all about process, not source of the drive to design more complexity. A designer is required.

Cambrian Explosion: even had parenting

by dhw, Monday, April 02, 2018, 11:02 (791 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID’s comment: Darwin rejected saltation, and saltation requires design. The Cambrian is an enormous saltation and offers the strongest evidence against the gradualism the Darwin theory requires.

dhw: You and I and many other believers in the theory of common descent – including some of Darwin’s own contemporaries – have long, long, long since rejected Darwin’s rigid adherence to gradualism. You and I and many others have also rejected his reliance on random mutations. Time to move on?

DAVID: Even Darwin could not explain the Cambrian. Accepting God does.

Accepting cellular intelligence does too. Move on.

Cambrian Explosion: even had parenting

by David Turell @, Monday, April 02, 2018, 14:50 (791 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID’s comment: Darwin rejected saltation, and saltation requires design. The Cambrian is an enormous saltation and offers the strongest evidence against the gradualism the Darwin theory requires.

dhw: You and I and many other believers in the theory of common descent – including some of Darwin’s own contemporaries – have long, long, long since rejected Darwin’s rigid adherence to gradualism. You and I and many others have also rejected his reliance on random mutations. Time to move on?

DAVID: Even Darwin could not explain the Cambrian. Accepting God does.

dhw: Accepting cellular intelligence does too. Move on.

You can't explain where the intelligence came from. Intelligent activity requires implanted information for that intelligence to use. What is your source? I have God.

Cambrian Explosion: even had parenting

by dhw, Tuesday, April 03, 2018, 11:45 (790 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID’s comment: Darwin rejected saltation, and saltation requires design. The Cambrian is an enormous saltation and offers the strongest evidence against the gradualism the Darwin theory requires.

dhw: You and I and many other believers in the theory of common descent – including some of Darwin’s own contemporaries – have long, long, long since rejected Darwin’s rigid adherence to gradualism. You and I and many others have also rejected his reliance on random mutations. Time to move on?

DAVID: Even Darwin could not explain the Cambrian. Accepting God does.

dhw: Accepting cellular intelligence does too. Move on.

DAVID: You can't explain where the intelligence came from. Intelligent activity requires implanted information for that intelligence to use. What is your source? I have God.

I don’t know why the information used by intelligence has to be “implanted”. I thought most information used by intelligence came from observing the situations it was called on to deal with. Otherwise, I’m delighted by your response, which appears at last to accept cellular intelligence as a feasible explanation for the Cambrian. And you are absolutely right. I can’t explain where that intelligence came from. That is why I usually add “possibly God-given”. I am an agnostic. My hypothesis relates to all of evolution, including the Cambrian, and for you as a theist it would do away with the various anomalies associated with having your God preprogramming or personally dabbling every single successful and, for 99%, ultimately unsuccessful innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life, and doing so in order to produce sapiens’ brain.

Cambrian Explosion: even had parenting

by David Turell @, Tuesday, April 03, 2018, 20:45 (790 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID’s comment: Darwin rejected saltation, and saltation requires design. The Cambrian is an enormous saltation and offers the strongest evidence against the gradualism the Darwin theory requires.

dhw: You and I and many other believers in the theory of common descent – including some of Darwin’s own contemporaries – have long, long, long since rejected Darwin’s rigid adherence to gradualism. You and I and many others have also rejected his reliance on random mutations. Time to move on?

DAVID: Even Darwin could not explain the Cambrian. Accepting God does.

dhw: Accepting cellular intelligence does too. Move on.

DAVID: You can't explain where the intelligence came from. Intelligent activity requires implanted information for that intelligence to use. What is your source? I have God.

dhw: I don’t know why the information used by intelligence has to be “implanted”. I thought most information used by intelligence came from observing the situations it was called on to deal with.

And just where is the intelligence hiding in the automatic cellular responses? I've shown you information codes are hidden in the 3-D shape of organic molecules.

dhw: Otherwise, I’m delighted by your response, which appears at last to accept cellular intelligence as a feasible explanation for the Cambrian. And you are absolutely right. I can’t explain where that intelligence came from. That is why I usually add “possibly God-given”. I am an agnostic. My hypothesis relates to all of evolution, including the Cambrian, and for you as a theist it would do away with the various anomalies associated with having your God preprogramming or personally dabbling every single successful and, for 99%, ultimately unsuccessful innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life, and doing so in order to produce sapiens’ brain.

Nice try, but I have said nothing of the sort. The loss of 99% is simply the rate of success and failure in a complex evolutionary process starting with bacteria, who happen to still be here. The problem in evolution was getting to complex multicellularity which happens to be much more fragile and less capable of responsive modification when threatened.

Cambrian Explosion: even had parenting

by dhw, Wednesday, April 04, 2018, 11:26 (789 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID’s comment: Darwin rejected saltation, and saltation requires design. The Cambrian is an enormous saltation and offers the strongest evidence against the gradualism the Darwin theory requires.
dhw: You and I and many other believers in the theory of common descent – including some of Darwin’s own contemporaries – have long, long, long since rejected Darwin’s rigid adherence to gradualism. You and I and many others have also rejected his reliance on random mutations. Time to move on?

DAVID: Even Darwin could not explain the Cambrian. Accepting God does.
dhw: Accepting cellular intelligence does too. Move on.

DAVID: And just where is the intelligence hiding in the automatic cellular responses? I've shown you information codes are hidden in the 3-D shape of organic molecules.

Where is the intelligence hiding when you solve problems? Has science revealed the presence of your dualist’s thinking soul?

dhw: I can’t explain where that intelligence came from. That is why I usually add “possibly God-given”. I am an agnostic. My hypothesis relates to all of evolution, including the Cambrian, and for you as a theist it would do away with the various anomalies associated with having your God preprogramming or personally dabbling every single successful and, for 99%, ultimately unsuccessful innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life, and doing so in order to produce sapiens’ brain.

DAVID: […] The loss of 99% is simply the rate of success and failure in a complex evolutionary process starting with bacteria, who happen to still be here. The problem in evolution was getting to complex multicellularity which happens to be much more fragile and less capable of responsive modification when threatened.

I don’t know why your God would specially design millions of lifestyles and natural wonders, then lose 99% of them if his primary purpose was to produce the brain of Homo sapiens. Could it not be that – if he exists – his primary purpose was to produce the ever changing bush of life, including humans? And that the loss of 99% was the success and failure rate resulting from his setting the whole process in motion and then watching it – as you have suggested in the past – “with interest” (though perhaps also with the occasional dabble, like Chicxulub)?
You still haven't offered any explanation for your refusal to consider such a possibility.

Cambrian Explosion: even had parenting

by David Turell @, Wednesday, April 04, 2018, 15:29 (789 days ago) @ dhw


DAVID: And just where is the intelligence hiding in the automatic cellular responses? I've shown you information codes are hidden in the 3-D shape of organic molecules.

dhw: Where is the intelligence hiding when you solve problems? Has science revealed the presence of your dualist’s thinking soul?

No, science can't find the soul, but it can show the degrees of intelligence the complexity of the brain allows.


dhw: I can’t explain where that intelligence came from. That is why I usually add “possibly God-given”. I am an agnostic. My hypothesis relates to all of evolution, including the Cambrian, and for you as a theist it would do away with the various anomalies associated with having your God preprogramming or personally dabbling every single successful and, for 99%, ultimately unsuccessful innovation, lifestyle and natural wonder in the history of life, and doing so in order to produce sapiens’ brain.

DAVID: […] The loss of 99% is simply the rate of success and failure in a complex evolutionary process starting with bacteria, who happen to still be here. The problem in evolution was getting to complex multicellularity which happens to be much more fragile and less capable of responsive modification when threatened.

dhw: I don’t know why your God would specially design millions of lifestyles and natural wonders, then lose 99% of them if his primary purpose was to produce the brain of Homo sapiens. Could it not be that – if he exists – his primary purpose was to produce the ever changing bush of life, including humans? And that the loss of 99% was the success and failure rate resulting from his setting the whole process in motion and then watching it – as you have suggested in the past – “with interest” (though perhaps also with the occasional dabble, like Chicxulub)?
You still haven't offered any explanation for your refusal to consider such a possibility.

I see God as specifically purposeful and you seem to imagine Him as as a rambling character. A good reason for my refusal.

Cambrian Explosion: Earth temp high

by David Turell @, Friday, May 11, 2018, 14:49 (752 days ago) @ David Turell

News fossil data shhows the Earth was warm:

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/05/10/study-earth-was-warmer-500-million-years-ago-lif...

"Scientists from the UK and France have quantified the temperature of Earth’s oceans over half a billion years ago by combining fossil data and climate models.

"Study suggests early animals diversified in a greenhouse world, with a climate similar to that in which the dinosaurs lived

"Chemical analysis was conducted on tiny fossils shells about 1mm long from blocks of limestone from Shropshire, UK, dated to between 515 – 510 million years old
Findings help to expand our knowledge of early animals and the environment in which they lived

"New research suggests that sea temperatures of around 25C (77F) and a lack of permanent polar ice sheets fuelled an explosion of species diversity that eventually led to the human race.

"Scientists made the discovery while looking for clues in tiny fossil shells in blocks of Shropshire limestone thought to be around 510 million years old.

***

"Scientists have long thought that the early Cambrian Period was probably a greenhouse interval in Earth’s climate history, a time when there were no permanent polar ice sheets.
Until now, however, scientists have only had a sense of what the Cambrian climate was like because of the types of rock that were deposited at this time – while it has long been believed that the climate was warm, specific details have largely remained a mystery.

"Data from the tiny fossil shells, and data from new climate model runs, show that high latitude (~65 °S) sea temperatures were in excess of 20 °C. This seems very hot, but it is similar to more recent, better understood, greenhouse climates like that of the Late Cretaceous Period.

***

"Dr Tom Harvey, from the School of Geography, Geology and the Environment, added: “Many marine animals incorporate chemical traces of seawater into their shells as they grow. That chemical signature is often lost over geological time, so it’s remarkable that we can identify it in such ancient fossils.”

"Analyses of the oxygen isotopes of these fossils suggested very warm temperatures for high latitude seas (~65 °S), probably between 20 °C to 25 °C.

"To see if these were feasible sea temperatures, the scientists then ran climate model simulations for the early Cambrian. The climate model simulations also suggest that Earth’s climate was in a ‘typical’ greenhouse state, with temperatures similar to more recent, and better understood, greenhouse intervals in Earth’s climate history, like the late Mesozoic and early Cenozoic eras."

Comment: warm Earth wAs another helpful factor in the Cambrian Explosion.

Cambrian Explosion: pre-Cambrain footprints

by David Turell @, Wednesday, June 06, 2018, 19:29 (726 days ago) @ David Turell

Bilateral footprints are found from the late Ediacaran era:

https://phys.org/news/2018-06-earliest-fossil-footprints.html

"Recently, an international research team reported discovering fossil footprints for animal appendages in the Ediacaran Period (about 635-541 million years ago) in China. This is considered the earliest animal fossil footprint record. The research was published in Science Advances on June 6, 2018.

"Bilaterian animals such as arthropods and annelids have paired appendages and are among the most diverse animals today and in the geological past. They are often assumed to have appeared and radiated suddenly during the Cambrian Explosion about 541 to 510 million years ago, although it has long been suspected that their evolutionary ancestry was rooted in the Ediacaran Period. Until the current discovery, however, no fossil record of animal appendages had been found from the Ediacaran Period.

"Researchers from the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Palaeontology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Virginia Tech in the United States studied trackways and burrows discovered in the Ediacaran Shibantan Member of the Dengying Formation (551-541 million years ago) in the Yangtze Gorges area of South China. The trackways are somewhat irregular, consisting of two rows of imprints that are arranged in series or repeated groups.

"The characteristics of the trackways indicate that they were produced by bilaterian animals with paired appendages that raised the animal body above the water-sediment interface. The trackways appear to be connected to burrows, suggesting that the animals may have periodically dug into sediments and microbial mats, perhaps to mine oxygen and food.

"These trace fossils represent some of the earliest known evidence for animal appendages and extend the earliest trace fossil record of animals with appendages from the early Cambrian to the late Ediacaran Period. The body fossils of the animals that made these traces, however, have not yet been found. It is possible that such remains were never preserved."

Comment: the known bilaterians were hollowed sacks with no appendages. If appendages are found we will still see a major gap, in that the Cambrians are so complex in comparison in such a short geologic period.

Cambrian Explosion: a complex animal from Utah

by David Turell @, Saturday, September 15, 2018, 19:46 (625 days ago) @ David Turell

Many new areas are opened to the Cambrian fossils, this one in Utah has been known for almost 50 years and is hig holy complex and helps in the food chain:

https://phys.org/news/2018-09-half-billion-year-old-fossils-clues-life-sea.html

"With Dr. Rudy Lerosey-Aubril from New England University (Australia), he meticulously re-examined fossil material collected over 25 years ago from the mountains of Utah, USA.

***

"Twenty hours of work with a needle on the specimen while submerged underwater exposed numerous, delicate microscopic hair-like structures known as setae. This revelation of a frontal appendage with fine filtering setae has allowed researchers to confidently identify it as a radiodont – an extinct group of stem arthropods and distant relatives of modern crabs, insects and spiders.

"'Our new study describes Pahvantia hastasta, a long-extinct relative of modern arthropods, which fed on microscopic organisms near the ocean's surface," says Stephen Pates. "We discovered that it used a fine mesh to capture much smaller plankton than any other known swimming animal of comparable size from the Cambrian period. This shows that large free-swimming animals helped to kick-start the diversification of life on the sea floor over half a billion years ago."


"Causes of the Cambrian Explosion—the rapid appearance in the fossil record of a diverse animal fauna around 540-500 million years ago—remain hotly debated. Although it probably included a combination of environmental and ecological factors, the establishment of a system to transfer energy from the area of primary production (the surface ocean) to that of highest diversity (the sea floor) played a crucial role.

"Even though relatively small for a radiodont (FIG), Pahvantia was 10-1000 times larger than any mesoplanktonic primary consumers, and so would have made the transfer of energy from the surface oceans to the deep sea much more efficient. Primary producers such as unicellular algae are so small that once dead they are recycled locally and do not reach the deep ocean.

"In contrast large animals such as Pahvantia, which fed on them, produce large faecal pellets and carcasses, which sink rapidly and reached the seafloor, where they become food for bottom-dwelling animals.

***

"The study has produced the most up-to-date analysis of evolutionary relationships between radiodonts. It shows that filter feeding evolved twice, possibly three times in this group, which otherwise essentially comprised fearsome predators such as Anomalocaris canadensis from the Burgess Shale in Canada.

"Pahvantia adds to an ever-growing body of evidence that radiodonts were vital in the structure of Cambrian ecosystems, in this case linking the primary producers of the surface waters to the highly diverse fauna on the sea floor."

Comment: An early example of balance of nature. And once again, a highly complex animal with no demonstrated precursor from the Ediacaran.

Cambrian Explosion: a complex animal from Utah

by Balance_Maintained @, U.S.A., Sunday, September 16, 2018, 04:04 (625 days ago) @ David Turell

Many new areas are opened to the Cambrian fossils, this one in Utah has been known for almost 50 years and is hig holy complex and helps in the food chain:

https://phys.org/news/2018-09-half-billion-year-old-fossils-clues-life-sea.html

"With Dr. Rudy Lerosey-Aubril from New England University (Australia), he meticulously re-examined fossil material collected over 25 years ago from the mountains of Utah, USA.

***

"Twenty hours of work with a needle on the specimen while submerged underwater exposed numerous, delicate microscopic hair-like structures known as setae. This revelation of a frontal appendage with fine filtering setae has allowed researchers to confidently identify it as a radiodont – an extinct group of stem arthropods and distant relatives of modern crabs, insects and spiders.

"'Our new study describes Pahvantia hastasta, a long-extinct relative of modern arthropods, which fed on microscopic organisms near the ocean's surface," says Stephen Pates. "We discovered that it used a fine mesh to capture much smaller plankton than any other known swimming animal of comparable size from the Cambrian period. This shows that large free-swimming animals helped to kick-start the diversification of life on the sea floor over half a billion years ago."


"Causes of the Cambrian Explosion—the rapid appearance in the fossil record of a diverse animal fauna around 540-500 million years ago—remain hotly debated. Although it probably included a combination of environmental and ecological factors, the establishment of a system to transfer energy from the area of primary production (the surface ocean) to that of highest diversity (the sea floor) played a crucial role.

"Even though relatively small for a radiodont (FIG), Pahvantia was 10-1000 times larger than any mesoplanktonic primary consumers, and so would have made the transfer of energy from the surface oceans to the deep sea much more efficient. Primary producers such as unicellular algae are so small that once dead they are recycled locally and do not reach the deep ocean.

"In contrast large animals such as Pahvantia, which fed on them, produce large faecal pellets and carcasses, which sink rapidly and reached the seafloor, where they become food for bottom-dwelling animals.

***

"The study has produced the most up-to-date analysis of evolutionary relationships between radiodonts. It shows that filter feeding evolved twice, possibly three times in this group, which otherwise essentially comprised fearsome predators such as Anomalocaris canadensis from the Burgess Shale in Canada.

"Pahvantia adds to an ever-growing body of evidence that radiodonts were vital in the structure of Cambrian ecosystems, in this case linking the primary producers of the surface waters to the highly diverse fauna on the sea floor."

Comment: An early example of balance of nature. And once again, a highly complex animal with no demonstrated precursor from the Ediacaran.

Not to mention that their feeding system had to "evolve" multiple times.

--
What is the purpose of living? How about, 'to reduce needless suffering. It seems to me to be a worthy purpose.

Cambrian Explosion: a study tries to reduce the gap

by David Turell @, Monday, September 17, 2018, 19:26 (623 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

This study claims that the Ediacarans were a complex ecologic group and perhaps more complex than realized. What they skip over is the complexity in the Cambrian animals that is the real gap:

https://phys.org/news/2018-09-earth-oldest-animals-complex-ecological.html

"Ediacaran fossils have a slightly bizarre appearance not shared by any modern animal groups. For decades, researchers believed these enigmatic fossils were ecologically simple. However, borrowing a method from modern ecology—fitting species to relative abundance distributions—Vanderbilt University paleontologist Simon A.F. Darroch and his team learned that these organisms were more like modern animals than once thought.

"The analyses showed that a majority of fossil assemblages bear the hallmarks of being ecologically complex, and Ediacara biota were forming complex communities tens of millions of years before the Cambrian explosion. The creatures lived partially submerged in what was once the ocean floor, some of them suspension feeding, others filter feeding, still others passively absorbing nutrition. A few were even mobile.

"Complex communities are ones that comprise species competing for numerous different resources or species that create niches for others (as in many modern-day ecosystems). The team found that the signature of complex communities extends all the way back to the oldest Ediacaran fossils. In other words, as soon as macroscopic life evolved, it began forming diverse ecological communities not unlike those in the present day.

"'The main impact of our work was testing between the simple and complex models for Ediacaran ecosystems," said Darroch, an assistant professor in Vanderbilt's Earth and Environmental Sciences Department.

"'Supporting a simple model would suggest that these mysterious organisms were universally primitive, sharing the same basic ecology and all competing for the same resources," he said. "Support for the complex model would instead suggest that they likely competed for a variety of different resources, just like modern animals. Our analyses support the complex model, illustrating that—even though they may look bizarre—these mysterious fossils may have far more in common with modern animals than we thought."

***

"'The main impact of our work was testing between the simple and complex models for Ediacaran ecosystems," said Darroch, an assistant professor in Vanderbilt's Earth and Environmental Sciences Department.

"'Supporting a simple model would suggest that these mysterious organisms were universally primitive, sharing the same basic ecology and all competing for the same resources," he said. "Support for the complex model would instead suggest that they likely competed for a variety of different resources, just like modern animals. Our analyses support the complex model, illustrating that—even though they may look bizarre—these mysterious fossils may have far more in common with modern animals than we thought."

"The fossils formed one of the few simple communities in the analysis, suggesting that these organisms were ecologically stressed. That lends support to the idea that the Ediacara biota were gradually going extinct in the run-up to the Cambrian explosion. Although it's an exciting idea, Darroch said, it's only one data point and will need much more research to prove."

Comment: Ecology in the Ediacaran might be complex. Balance of nature always must be, but the gap is in phenotype, the complexity of the Cambrian guys who followed a dying group. The impression this article makes is like 'fake news' in science!

Cambrian Explosion: a study tries to reduce the gap

by Balance_Maintained @, U.S.A., Tuesday, September 18, 2018, 00:30 (623 days ago) @ David Turell

This study claims that the Ediacarans were a complex ecologic group and perhaps more complex than realized. What they skip over is the complexity in the Cambrian animals that is the real gap:

https://phys.org/news/2018-09-earth-oldest-animals-complex-ecological.html

"Ediacaran fossils have a slightly bizarre appearance not shared by any modern animal groups. For decades, researchers believed these enigmatic fossils were ecologically simple. However, borrowing a method from modern ecology—fitting species to relative abundance distributions—Vanderbilt University paleontologist Simon A.F. Darroch and his team learned that these organisms were more like modern animals than once thought.

"The analyses showed that a majority of fossil assemblages bear the hallmarks of being ecologically complex, and Ediacara biota were forming complex communities tens of millions of years before the Cambrian explosion. The creatures lived partially submerged in what was once the ocean floor, some of them suspension feeding, others filter feeding, still others passively absorbing nutrition. A few were even mobile.

"Complex communities are ones that comprise species competing for numerous different resources or species that create niches for others (as in many modern-day ecosystems). The team found that the signature of complex communities extends all the way back to the oldest Ediacaran fossils. In other words, as soon as macroscopic life evolved, it began forming diverse ecological communities not unlike those in the present day.

"'The main impact of our work was testing between the simple and complex models for Ediacaran ecosystems," said Darroch, an assistant professor in Vanderbilt's Earth and Environmental Sciences Department.

"'Supporting a simple model would suggest that these mysterious organisms were universally primitive, sharing the same basic ecology and all competing for the same resources," he said. "Support for the complex model would instead suggest that they likely competed for a variety of different resources, just like modern animals. Our analyses support the complex model, illustrating that—even though they may look bizarre—these mysterious fossils may have far more in common with modern animals than we thought."

***

"'The main impact of our work was testing between the simple and complex models for Ediacaran ecosystems," said Darroch, an assistant professor in Vanderbilt's Earth and Environmental Sciences Department.

"'Supporting a simple model would suggest that these mysterious organisms were universally primitive, sharing the same basic ecology and all competing for the same resources," he said. "Support for the complex model would instead suggest that they likely competed for a variety of different resources, just like modern animals. Our analyses support the complex model, illustrating that—even though they may look bizarre—these mysterious fossils may have far more in common with modern animals than we thought."

"The fossils formed one of the few simple communities in the analysis, suggesting that these organisms were ecologically stressed. That lends support to the idea that the Ediacara biota were gradually going extinct in the run-up to the Cambrian explosion. Although it's an exciting idea, Darroch said, it's only one data point and will need much more research to prove."

david Comment: Ecology in the Ediacaran might be complex. Balance of nature always must be, but the gap is in phenotype, the complexity of the Cambrian guys who followed a dying group. The impression this article makes is like 'fake news' in science!

Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't this precisely what I predicted?

--
What is the purpose of living? How about, 'to reduce needless suffering. It seems to me to be a worthy purpose.

Cambrian Explosion:study reduces the Ediacaran period

by David Turell @, Friday, December 21, 2018, 18:54 (528 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

A definite earlier time frame for the Cambrian has reduced the Ediacaran transition to 410,000 years for this simple multicellular group:

https://phys.org/news/2018-12-uranium-lead-dating-cambrian-explosion-younger.html

"Using uranium-lead dating, Senckenberg scientists, in cooperation with an international team, were able to date the onset of the "Cambrian explosion" to precisely 538.8 million years ago. During the "Cambrian explosion," all currently known "blueprints" in the animal kingdom appeared within a few million years, while at the same time the so-called "Ediacara biota" – a group of unique, specialized life forms – became extinct.

"The ancestors of today's snails, insects, worms, bivalves, crustaceans, sea stars, vertebrates, and ultimately even humans – they all began with the "Cambrian explosion," which served as the starting point of modern life on earth.

***

"The international research team dated suitable minerals from several volcanic ash layers in Southern Namibia by means of the uranium-lead method. This uses the radioactive decay chain of uranium in the mineral zircon to determine the exact time of the rock's origin. "We took the samples at the boundary between the Precambrian and Cambrian – the two geological eras can easily be distinguished by their respective fossils," explains Linnemann. "Our highly precise dating shows that the "Cambrian explosion" occurred approximately 2 million years later than we had previously assumed."

"Moreover, the scientists' data series reveal that the development of the fauna took place within a very short period. The transition from the "Ediacara biota" – multi-celled but very simply organisms – to the diverse Cambrian life forms occurred over less than 410,000 years. "From a geological point of view, this represents a veritable sprint," according to the research team. Based on the current study, this rapid faunal change may be best explained as a kind of "biological arms race": New fundamental traits accelerated the subsequent evolution and fueled the next "adaptive breakthrough." "For example, if an organisms became increasingly mobile and fed on prey, previously even less mobile animals had to come up with new ways to protect themselves – which may have led to the rapid development of shells or skeletons. One achievement thus engendered the next – and, by necessity, within a shortened period of time," says Linnemann in summary. (my bold)

Comment: The striking finding is the brief time the Ediacarans existed. The Cambrians are so complex they required the appearance of an enormous number of beneficial mutations to create the new organ systems that were required. The bolded area above is based on the usual Darwinian survival trope. This gap requires a designing mind working at full speed driving the evolution.

Cambrian Explosion:study reduces the Ediacaran period

by dhw, Saturday, December 22, 2018, 11:47 (527 days ago) @ David Turell

quote: "Moreover, the scientists' data series reveal that the development of the fauna took place within a very short period. The transition from the "Ediacara biota" – multi-celled but very simply organisms – to the diverse Cambrian life forms occurred over less than 410,000 years. "From a geological point of view, this represents a veritable sprint," according to the research team. Based on the current study, this rapid faunal change may be best explained as a kind of "biological arms race": New fundamental traits accelerated the subsequent evolution and fueled the next "adaptive breakthrough." "For example, if an organisms became increasingly mobile and fed on prey, previously even less mobile animals had to come up with new ways to protect themselves – which may have led to the rapid development of shells or skeletons. One achievement thus engendered the next – and, by necessity, within a shortened period of time," says Linnemann in summary. (David’s bold)

DAVID: The striking finding is the brief time the Ediacarans existed. The Cambrians are so complex they required the appearance of an enormous number of beneficial mutations to create the new organ systems that were required. The bolded area above is based on the usual Darwinian survival trope. This gap requires a designing mind working at full speed driving the evolution.

Even if 410,000 (4,100 centuries!) is regarded as a “short” time, each generation must rapidly find means of survival if it comes under threat, and so the “usual Darwinian trope” makes perfect sense. This is more than can be said of the hypothesis that your God had to specially design this vast variety of organs and organisms to provide lots of different foods for all the different varieties of organisms in order to keep life going until he could specially design the only variety of organs/organisms he wanted to design: i.e. the brain of H. sapiens.

Cambrian Explosion:study reduces the Ediacaran period

by David Turell @, Saturday, December 22, 2018, 15:41 (527 days ago) @ dhw

quote: "Moreover, the scientists' data series reveal that the development of the fauna took place within a very short period. The transition from the "Ediacara biota" – multi-celled but very simply organisms – to the diverse Cambrian life forms occurred over less than 410,000 years. "From a geological point of view, this represents a veritable sprint," according to the research team. Based on the current study, this rapid faunal change may be best explained as a kind of "biological arms race": New fundamental traits accelerated the subsequent evolution and fueled the next "adaptive breakthrough." "For example, if an organisms became increasingly mobile and fed on prey, previously even less mobile animals had to come up with new ways to protect themselves – which may have led to the rapid development of shells or skeletons. One achievement thus engendered the next – and, by necessity, within a shortened period of time," says Linnemann in summary. (David’s bold)

DAVID: The striking finding is the brief time the Ediacarans existed. The Cambrians are so complex they required the appearance of an enormous number of beneficial mutations to create the new organ systems that were required. The bolded area above is based on the usual Darwinian survival trope. This gap requires a designing mind working at full speed driving the evolution.

dhw: Even if 410,000 (4,100 centuries!) is regarded as a “short” time, each generation must rapidly find means of survival if it comes under threat, and so the “usual Darwinian trope” makes perfect sense. This is more than can be said of the hypothesis that your God had to specially design this vast variety of organs and organisms to provide lots of different foods for all the different varieties of organisms in order to keep life going until he could specially design the only variety of organs/organisms he wanted to design: i.e. the brain of H. sapiens. (my bold)

You have turned logic on its head. According to you, the rapid change is blamed on a survival threat. There is no evidence of that, only your theory. Your BIG IF, bolded, is assumed because of Darwin 's assumptions that a struggle for survival drives major changes. There has never been any evidence for it. Only design explains the gap. As an analogy an Ediacaran organism is as simple as a travois used by plains Indians compared to a Cambrian organism as an 18-wheeler. No Ediacarans survived. They were replaced totally! That doesn't look like survival to me. You keep telling me to debate you, not Darwin, but your theories are polluted by your previous inculcation from your readings of Darwin.

Cambrian Explosion:study reduces the Ediacaran period

by dhw, Sunday, December 23, 2018, 09:25 (526 days ago) @ David Turell

QUOTE: "Moreover, the scientists' data series reveal that the development of the fauna took place within a very short period. The transition from the "Ediacara biota" – multi-celled but very simply organisms – to the diverse Cambrian life forms occurred over less than 410,000 years. "From a geological point of view, this represents a veritable sprint," according to the research team. Based on the current study, this rapid faunal change may be best explained as a kind of "biological arms race": New fundamental traits accelerated the subsequent evolution and fueled the next "adaptive breakthrough." "For example, if an organisms became increasingly mobile and fed on prey, previously even less mobile animals had to come up with new ways to protect themselves – which may have led to the rapid development of shells or skeletons. One achievement thus engendered the next – and, by necessity, within a shortened period of time," says Linnemann in summary. (David’s bold)

DAVID: The striking finding is the brief time the Ediacarans existed. The Cambrians are so complex they required the appearance of an enormous number of beneficial mutations to create the new organ systems that were required. The bolded area above is based on the usual Darwinian survival trope. This gap requires a designing mind working at full speed driving the evolution.

dhw: Even if 410,000 (4,100 centuries!) is regarded as a “short” time, each generation must rapidly find means of survival if it comes under threat, and so the “usual Darwinian trope” makes perfect sense. This is more than can be said of the hypothesis that your God had to specially design this vast variety of organs and organisms to provide lots of different foods for all the different varieties of organisms in order to keep life going until he could specially design the only variety of organs/organisms he wanted to design: i.e. the brain of H. sapiens. (David's bold)

DAVID: You have turned logic on its head. According to you, the rapid change is blamed on a survival threat. There is no evidence of that, only your theory. Your BIG IF, bolded, is assumed because of Darwin 's assumptions that a struggle for survival drives major changes. There has never been any evidence for it. Only design explains the gap. As an analogy an Ediacaran organism is as simple as a travois used by plains Indians compared to a Cambrian organism as an 18-wheeler. No Ediacarans survived. They were replaced totally! That doesn't look like survival to me. You keep telling me to debate you, not Darwin, but your theories are polluted by your previous inculcation from your readings of Darwin.

Once more, NOBODY knows the cause of speciation or of the Cambrian explosion. NOBODY can do anything other than provide a theory. There has never been any evidence that a supernatural being suddenly decided to do away with Ediacarans and invent lots of new organs and organisms in order to provide more food for these lots of new organisms until he could design the only thing he really wanted to design, which was the brain of H. sapiens. The theory that a change in the atmosphere allowed for a new range of organisms, which in turn led to the process described above by Linnemann, at least makes sense. Nobody is denying the enormous leaps in complexity, and I accept your criticism that we have no evidence to prove that organisms are capable of such leaps. If we had the evidence, the theory would become a fact. The theory that survival plays a major role in evolution is not a Darwinian pollutant. I think Darwin was absolutely right, and in any case I regard it as sheer common sense that survivability is of vital importance to the evolutionary process. See "Divine purposes and methods".

Cambrian Explosion:study reduces the Ediacaran period

by David Turell @, Sunday, December 23, 2018, 16:07 (526 days ago) @ dhw

QUOTE: "Moreover, the scientists' data series reveal that the development of the fauna took place within a very short period. The transition from the "Ediacara biota" – multi-celled but very simply organisms – to the diverse Cambrian life forms occurred over less than 410,000 years. "From a geological point of view, this represents a veritable sprint," according to the research team. Based on the current study, this rapid faunal change may be best explained as a kind of "biological arms race": New fundamental traits accelerated the subsequent evolution and fueled the next "adaptive breakthrough." "For example, if an organisms became increasingly mobile and fed on prey, previously even less mobile animals had to come up with new ways to protect themselves – which may have led to the rapid development of shells or skeletons. One achievement thus engendered the next – and, by necessity, within a shortened period of time," says Linnemann in summary. (David’s bold)

DAVID: The striking finding is the brief time the Ediacarans existed. The Cambrians are so complex they required the appearance of an enormous number of beneficial mutations to create the new organ systems that were required. The bolded area above is based on the usual Darwinian survival trope. This gap requires a designing mind working at full speed driving the evolution.

dhw: Even if 410,000 (4,100 centuries!) is regarded as a “short” time, each generation must rapidly find means of survival if it comes under threat, and so the “usual Darwinian trope” makes perfect sense. This is more than can be said of the hypothesis that your God had to specially design this vast variety of organs and organisms to provide lots of different foods for all the different varieties of organisms in order to keep life going until he could specially design the only variety of organs/organisms he wanted to design: i.e. the brain of H. sapiens. (David's bold)

DAVID: You have turned logic on its head. According to you, the rapid change is blamed on a survival threat. There is no evidence of that, only your theory. Your BIG IF, bolded, is assumed because of Darwin 's assumptions that a struggle for survival drives major changes. There has never been any evidence for it. Only design explains the gap. As an analogy an Ediacaran organism is as simple as a travois used by plains Indians compared to a Cambrian organism as an 18-wheeler. No Ediacarans survived. They were replaced totally! That doesn't look like survival to me. You keep telling me to debate you, not Darwin, but your theories are polluted by your previous inculcation from your readings of Darwin.

dhw: Once more, NOBODY knows the cause of speciation or of the Cambrian explosion. NOBODY can do anything other than provide a theory. There has never been any evidence that a supernatural being suddenly decided to do away with Ediacarans and invent lots of new organs and organisms in order to provide more food for these lots of new organisms until he could design the only thing he really wanted to design, which was the brain of H. sapiens. The theory that a change in the atmosphere allowed for a new range of organisms, which in turn led to the process described above by Linnemann, at least makes sense. Nobody is denying the enormous leaps in complexity, and I accept your criticism that we have no evidence to prove that organisms are capable of such leaps. If we had the evidence, the theory would become a fact. The theory that survival plays a major role in evolution is not a Darwinian pollutant. I think Darwin was absolutely right, and in any case I regard it as sheer common sense that survivability is of vital importance to the evolutionary process. See "Divine purposes and methods".

Note I have fully described God as designing organisms that are built for survival. That is an obvious. Evolution is a process of building from one stage onto another more advanced stage. Survival must occur until it is no longer necessary at that particular stage. Raup called it "Bad Luck" from his Darwin viewpoint. Linnemann makes sense only if organisms can speciate on their own and make the giant leaps in form and physiology that major speciation implies. Your reliance on survival as a driving force is a direct repudiation of any possibility of God existing.

Cambrian Explosion:study reduces the Ediacaran period

by dhw, Monday, December 24, 2018, 08:51 (525 days ago) @ David Turell

I have transferred this discussion to "Divine purposes and methods".

Cambrian Explosion: trying to remove the gap

by David Turell @, Monday, March 11, 2019, 18:14 (448 days ago) @ dhw

The abstract of this articles makes a blatant attempt to get rid of the gap, but what does it really tell us? Not much:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-019-0821-6

"Abstract

The ‘Cambrian Explosion’ describes the rapid increase in animal diversity and abundance, as manifest in the fossil record, between ~540 and 520 million years ago (Ma). This event, however, is nested within a far more ancient record of macrofossils extending at least into the late Ediacaran at ~571 Ma. The evolutionary events documented during the Ediacaran–Cambrian interval coincide with geochemical evidence for the modernisation of Earth’s biogeochemical cycles. Holistic integration of fossil and geochemical records leads us to challenge the notion that the Ediacaran and Cambrian worlds were markedly distinct, and places biotic and environmental change within a longer-term narrative. We propose that the evolution of metazoans may have been facilitated by a series of dynamic and global changes in redox conditions and nutrient supply, which, potentially together with biotic feedbacks, enabled turnover events that sustained multiple phases of radiation. We argue that early metazoan diversification should be recast as a series of successive, transitional radiations that extended from the late Ediacaran and continued through the early Palaeozoic. We conclude that while the Cambrian Explosion represents a radiation of crown-group bilaterians, it was simply one phase amongst several metazoan radiations, some older and some younger."

Comment: This glosses over the gap which still exists. Yes, there were bilatarians before the Cambrian and yes, the Cambrians were bilateral, but only the Cambrians had a full set of differently functioning organs, styles of motility, eyes, etc. This is another example of having to carefully interpreting the blatant PR as atheist scientists try any way they can to obliterate the gap.

Cambrian Explosion: trying to remove the gap

by David Turell @, Thursday, March 14, 2019, 14:56 (445 days ago) @ David Turell

The abstract of this articles makes a blatant attempt to get rid of the gap, but what does it really tell us? Not much:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-019-0821-6

"Abstract

The ‘Cambrian Explosion’ describes the rapid increase in animal diversity and abundance, as manifest in the fossil record, between ~540 and 520 million years ago (Ma). This event, however, is nested within a far more ancient record of macrofossils extending at least into the late Ediacaran at ~571 Ma. The evolutionary events documented during the Ediacaran–Cambrian interval coincide with geochemical evidence for the modernisation of Earth’s biogeochemical cycles. Holistic integration of fossil and geochemical records leads us to challenge the notion that the Ediacaran and Cambrian worlds were markedly distinct, and places biotic and environmental change within a longer-term narrative. We propose that the evolution of metazoans may have been facilitated by a series of dynamic and global changes in redox conditions and nutrient supply, which, potentially together with biotic feedbacks, enabled turnover events that sustained multiple phases of radiation. We argue that early metazoan diversification should be recast as a series of successive, transitional radiations that extended from the late Ediacaran and continued through the early Palaeozoic. We conclude that while the Cambrian Explosion represents a radiation of crown-group bilaterians, it was simply one phase amongst several metazoan radiations, some older and some younger."

Comment: This glosses over the gap which still exists. Yes, there were bilatarians before the Cambrian and yes, the Cambrians were bilateral, but only the Cambrians had a full set of differently functioning organs, styles of motility, eyes, etc. This is another example of having to carefully interpreting the blatant PR as atheist scientists try any way they can to obliterate the gap.

I didn't offer the title of the article:

"Integrated records of environmental change and evolution challenge the Cambrian Explosion"

The article does not challenge the gap, but makes a big hubbub about the activity in the Ediacaran period when many soft-bodied forms did appear. The 'gap' is in the magnitude of the differences in the biologic forms within the two periods of time. The magnitude of evolutionary change in the Ediacaran is obvious but this article uses a sleight-of-hand writing to make it seem activity alone can hide the gap. Ridiculous propaganda.

Cambrian Explosion: trying to remove the gap

by David Turell @, Tuesday, March 26, 2019, 00:54 (434 days ago) @ David Turell

Another transparent attempt:

https://cosmosmagazine.com/palaeontology/inside-out-ediacaran-fossils-might-represent-i...

"The Ediacarans are weird-looking things. Estimated to be over 560 million years old, they offer the best answer to Darwin’s dilemma: what preceded the Cambrian explosion which spawned the prototypes of most modern animals 541 million year ago?

"But Ediacaran organisms, the ancient fossils of which have been found worldwide, throw up their own dilemmas. For one, what exactly were they? Some resemble plants but aren’t because they lived in seas too deep to access light; others have a trifold symmetry that doesn’t exist anymore. But some were bilaterally symmetrical and these are the best candidates for prototypes of today’s animals.

"But beyond Darwin’s dilemma lies another one – more mundane, but no less pressing to scientists.

"Ediciacarans were soft bodied, evidenced by the fact that fossils depict them folded over or with bits torn off. How then did they fossilise? They aren’t like trilobites or dinosaur bones.
Rather than petrified 3D replicas of the original, they are impressions stamped into sandstone.

***

"Now palaeontologist Ilya Bobrovskiy from the Australian National University (ANU) and colleagues have come up with a new explanation. No death masks are required, they say. Rather, they propose in an article in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, the flow properties, or rheology, of different sediments could explain the imprints.

“'It’s a welcome addition,” says Guy Narbonne, a palaeontologist from Queens University in Canada, who works on Ediacaran sites in Newfoundland, “but it does not necessarily do away with other models.”

"The death mask theory to explain Ediacaran impression fossils holds up well for places such as Australia’s Flinders Ranges – where the fossils were first discovered in 1947 at a site called Ediacara Hills – and Mistaken Point in Newfoundland.

***

"When it comes to the mechanism of preservation at the White Sea, “it’s been a blank”, says Narbonne, “I think this paper is important, arguing that the prevailing preservation mechanisms are not part of the equation.”

"He adds, though: “It doesn’t eliminate other possibilities. Like all good science, it raises nearly as many questions as it answers.”

"For Jim Gehling, a palaeontologist at the South Australian Museum and expert on the Flinders Ranges Ediacarans, the theory “fails to explain the vast array of photographed and cast specimens of Dickinsonia fossils that include evidence of torn specimens, folded over specimens and serial ‘resting traces’ — regarded as evidence of staged movement.”

"Palaeontologist Alex Liu from Cambridge University, UK, sees a middle path. “I think that the most likely scenario is that both early cementation and the effects of rheology acted in combination to preserve Ediacaran fossils in the Flinders and elsewhere,” he says."

Comment: The Ediacaran fossils that are found do not show internal organs and this study blames that on the methods of fossilization. The approach seems to be: If there were organs, perhaps the Cambrian gap isn't so big? That ignores the vast phenotypic changes in the Cambrian. Among Darwinists hope springs eternal.

Cambrian Explosion: an other area of Cambrian fossils

by David Turell @, Thursday, July 18, 2019, 05:24 (320 days ago) @ David Turell

In Utah, and an older level than others:

https://jgs.lyellcollection.org/content/176/4/609.abstract

"Abstract
The Spence Shale Member of the Langston Formation is a Cambrian (Miaolingian: Wuliuan) Lagerstätte in northeastern Utah and southeastern Idaho. It is older than the more well-known Wheeler and Marjum Lagerstätten from western Utah, and the Burgess Shale from Canada. The Spence Shale shares several species with these younger deposits, yet it also contains a remarkable number of unique species. Because of its relatively broad geographical distribution, and the variety of palaeoenvironments and taphonomy, the fossil composition and likelihood of recovering weakly skeletonized (or soft-bodied) taxa varies across localities. The Spence Shale is widely acknowledged not only for its soft-bodied taxa, but also for its abundant trilobites and hyoliths. Recent discoveries from the Spence Shale include problematic taxa and provide insights about the nature of palaeoenvironmental and taphonomic variation between different localities."

Comment: Nothing new. They find some new forms and have no explanation as to why the Cambrian is so different from what preceded except more oxygen appeared. No help for poor Darwin who recognized the danger of the Cambrian gap to his theory

Cambrian Explosion: another complex organism

by David Turell @, Thursday, September 12, 2019, 05:28 (264 days ago) @ David Turell

Recently discovered, and very complex:

https://www.livescience.com/nightmare-creature-multitool-head.html?utm_source=ls-newsle...

"A spiky, armor-plated "walking tank" with bulging eyes, a shield on its butt and a head like a Swiss army knife scuttled along the seafloor more than 500 million years ago, snapping up prey with a deadly pair of mouth pincers called chelicerae.

"Researchers discovered astoundingly well-preserved fossils of these thumb-size predators in 2012, and a new study recently described the creatures, determined to be a previously unknown species now dubbed Mollisonia plenovenatrix. Scientists have found dozens of fossils of this species in recent years that include preserved soft tissue of the mouthparts, along with the animals' multiple legs and bulbous eyes.

"The mouth pincers, in particular, caught scientists' attention. Chelicerae are found in a diverse group of animals called chelicerates; the group includes more than 115,000 species alive today, among them spiders, scorpions and horseshoe crabs. These fossils provided the oldest evidence to date of these mouth appendages. But these robust pincers may have originated in an unknown species that is even older, the study said."

Comment: very early in the Cambrian and way more complex than anything in the Ediacaran, despite all efforts to imply the gap is not that large..

Cambrian Explosion: another complex organism

by dhw, Thursday, September 12, 2019, 10:05 (263 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: very early in the Cambrian and way more complex than anything in the Ediacaran, despite all efforts to imply the gap is not that large…

Yet another extraordinary creature apparently specially designed by your God to eat/be eaten in order to keep life going for 3.X billion years until he decided to specially design the only thing he had ever wanted to design - H. sapiens?

Cambrian Explosion: another complex organism

by David Turell @, Thursday, September 12, 2019, 15:23 (263 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: very early in the Cambrian and way more complex than anything in the Ediacaran, despite all efforts to imply the gap is not that large…

dhw: Yet another extraordinary creature apparently specially designed by your God to eat/be eaten in order to keep life going for 3.X billion years until he decided to specially design the only thing he had ever wanted to design - H. sapiens?

The bold is your humanized version of my God. You are asking why He shouldn't be impatient like us humans would be and get right to it. My God knows exactly what He has to do and does it in very logical fashion. Of course your humanized God looks silly.

Cambrian Explosion: another complex organism

by dhw, Friday, September 13, 2019, 10:46 (262 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Yet another extraordinary creature apparently specially designed by your God to eat/be eaten in order to keep life going for 3.X billion years until he decided to specially design the only thing he had ever wanted to design - H. sapiens?

DAVID: The bold is your humanized version of my God.

It’s you who keep telling us that H. sapiens was his goal!

DAVID: You are asking why He shouldn't be impatient like us humans would be and get right to it. My God knows exactly what He has to do and does it in very logical fashion. Of course your humanized God looks silly.

There is nothing logical about having a single goal and then having to do a billion other things because you’ve decided not to pursue that goal for 3.X billion years! It is your illogical interpretation of your God’s motives and methods that looks silly! And the fact that you have no idea why he would choose such a method to implement such a purpose does not exactly lend credence to your fixed belief! And yet again, why do you think your interpretation is less "humanizing" than the proposal that your God actually wanted the whole bush (as opposed to "having to" create it), and humans were not the ONLY thing he wanted?

Cambrian Explosion: another complex organism

by David Turell @, Friday, September 13, 2019, 15:46 (262 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: Yet another extraordinary creature apparently specially designed by your God to eat/be eaten in order to keep life going for 3.X billion years until he decided to specially design the only thing he had ever wanted to design - H. sapiens?

DAVID: The bold is your humanized version of my God.

dhw: It’s you who keep telling us that H. sapiens was his goal!

DAVID: You are asking why He shouldn't be impatient like us humans would be and get right to it. My God knows exactly what He has to do and does it in very logical fashion. Of course your humanized God looks silly.

dhw: There is nothing logical about having a single goal and then having to do a billion other things because you’ve decided not to pursue that goal for 3.X billion years!

Silly comment: God started to pursue His goal when He created the universe 13.78 years ago. Everything else followed in order.

dhw: It is your illogical interpretation of your God’s motives and methods that looks silly! And the fact that you have no idea why he would choose such a method to implement such a purpose does not exactly lend credence to your fixed belief! And yet again, why do you think your interpretation is less "humanizing" than the proposal that your God actually wanted the whole bush (as opposed to "having to" create it), and humans were not the ONLY thing he wanted?

From another thread: " You keep contorting my line of reasoning. I view our reality as created by God. Therefore, everything we know about our reality is the result of God's choices and actions. Nothing humanizing as I don't question the results, and our specialness indicates His goal.

Cambrian Explosion: another complex organism

by dhw, Saturday, September 14, 2019, 09:35 (261 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: Yet another extraordinary creature apparently specially designed by your God to eat/be eaten in order to keep life going for 3.X billion years until he decided to specially design the only thing he had ever wanted to design - H. sapiens?

DAVID: The bold is your humanized version of my God.

dhw: It’s you who keep telling us that H. sapiens was his goal!

DAVID: You are asking why He shouldn't be impatient like us humans would be and get right to it. My God knows exactly what He has to do and does it in very logical fashion. Of course your humanized God looks silly.

dhw: There is nothing logical about having a single goal and then having to do a billion other things because you’ve decided not to pursue that goal for 3.X billion years!

DAVID: Silly comment: God started to pursue His goal when He created the universe 13.78 years ago. Everything else followed in order.

But that does not mean his goal was H. sapiens!!!!!

Xxxxx

Under Natural wonders and evolution of whales:

QUOTE: "Early whales probably tried many different ways of swimming,” says Vautrin. He suggests that the first group to evolve the modern undulating mechanism may have out-competed the others.

DAVID: What is new is an explanation that forelegs may have dog-paddled for propulsion before changing into steering mechanism, which changes the anatomic arrangements of bones and muscles. What is not known is whether these protowhales swam on the surface or were more aquatic, and developed the required complex physiological changes. I still view God doing the design changes which are obviously stepwise. My bold of your sentence is not as I have imagined arm to flipper changes. There were stages as designed by God from hoof to flipper. A pure hoof would have very little propulsion so I assume they entered the water with some early changes.

So now we have your God, whose one and only purpose is to design H. sapiens, specially designing one stage of pre-whale after another – having provided a few alterations before pre-whales entered the water – and the reason why he preprogrammed the first cells with all these changes or, alternatively, kept popping in to do another dabble, was to provide a food supply to keep life going, because he had decided to take 3.X billion years before starting to specially design all the different stages of hominin and homo that would eventually lead to you and me. No wonder you have no idea why he chose such a process. :-(

Cambrian Explosion: another complex organism

by David Turell @, Saturday, September 14, 2019, 20:05 (261 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: There is nothing logical about having a single goal and then having to do a billion other things because you’ve decided not to pursue that goal for 3.X billion years!

DAVID: Silly comment: God started to pursue His goal when He created the universe 13.78 years ago. Everything else followed in order.

dhw: But that does not mean his goal was H. sapiens!!!!!

My view, Adler's and many believers feel we are so extraordinary we were His primary purpose and decided to use evolution and finally evolve us.


Xxxxx

Under Natural wonders and evolution of whales:

QUOTE: "Early whales probably tried many different ways of swimming,” says Vautrin. He suggests that the first group to evolve the modern undulating mechanism may have out-competed the others.

DAVID: What is new is an explanation that forelegs may have dog-paddled for propulsion before changing into steering mechanism, which changes the anatomic arrangements of bones and muscles. What is not known is whether these protowhales swam on the surface or were more aquatic, and developed the required complex physiological changes. I still view God doing the design changes which are obviously stepwise. My bold of your sentence is not as I have imagined arm to flipper changes. There were stages as designed by God from hoof to flipper. A pure hoof would have very little propulsion so I assume they entered the water with some early changes.

dhw; So now we have your God, whose one and only purpose is to design H. sapiens, specially designing one stage of pre-whale after another – having provided a few alterations before pre-whales entered the water – and the reason why he preprogrammed the first cells with all these changes or, alternatively, kept popping in to do another dabble, was to provide a food supply to keep life going, because he had decided to take 3.X billion years before starting to specially design all the different stages of hominin and homo that would eventually lead to you and me. No wonder you have no idea why he chose such a process. :-(

I'll remind you, I don't question God's choices, w hile you envision a humanized God who makes foolish choices in your view.

Cambrian Explosion: another complex organism

by dhw, Sunday, September 15, 2019, 10:26 (260 days ago) @ David Turell

dhw: There is nothing logical about having a single goal and then having to do a billion other things because you’ve decided not to pursue that goal for 3.X billion years!

DAVID: Silly comment: God started to pursue His goal when He created the universe 13.78 years ago. Everything else followed in order.

dhw: But that does not mean his goal was H. sapiens!!!!!

DAVID: My view, Adler's and many believers feel we are so extraordinary we were His primary purpose and decided to use evolution and finally evolve us.

There we go again: his “primary purpose”. So what were his “secondary” purposes? According to you, he created the universe and life in order to design us, decided not to design us for 3.X billion years, and therefore had to design billions of non-human life forms etc. because: “those designs were required interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time he knew he had decided to take”. You admit that you have no idea why he chose this method: “Haven’t you realized by now, I have no idea why God chose to evolve humans over time”. Do Adler and many believers support this theory? And do they have any idea why your God would choose such a method to fulfil his “primary” purpose? Or are they as clueless as you?:-(

DAVID: I'll remind you, I don't question God's choices, while you envision a humanized God who makes foolish choices in your view.

I’ll remind you that you don’t question your highly subjective and completely illogical (“foolish”, if you like) interpretation of God’s choices, and once again I ask you to explain why a God who designs an autonomous inventive mechanism is more human that a God who preprogrammes or dabbles umpteen different stages of whale in order to cover the time he has decided to take in order to fulfil his primary purpose. Please answer.

Cambrian Explosion: another complex organism

by David Turell @, Sunday, September 15, 2019, 18:31 (260 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: There is nothing logical about having a single goal and then having to do a billion other things because you’ve decided not to pursue that goal for 3.X billion years!

DAVID: Silly comment: God started to pursue His goal when He created the universe 13.78 years ago. Everything else followed in order.

dhw: But that does not mean his goal was H. sapiens!!!!!

DAVID: My view, Adler's and many believers feel we are so extraordinary we were His primary purpose and decided to use evolution and finally evolve us.

dhw: There we go again: his “primary purpose”. So what were his “secondary” purposes? According to you, he created the universe and life in order to design us, decided not to design us for 3.X billion years, and therefore had to design billions of non-human life forms etc. because: “those designs were required interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time he knew he had decided to take”. You admit that you have no idea why he chose this method: “Haven’t you realized by now, I have no idea why God chose to evolve humans over time”. Do Adler and many believers support this theory? And do they have any idea why your God would choose such a method to fulfil his “primary” purpose? Or are they as clueless as you?:-(

No one knows the true reasons for God's choices. Once again believers know we can see His works, and therefore history tells us what He did, not why. And have you forgotten that the universe started 1.78 billion years ago? That is when God started on His quest to create humans. Why haven't you complained about that point considering your 'impatient' view of God?


DAVID: I'll remind you, I don't question God's choices, while you envision a humanized God who makes foolish choices in your view.

dhw: I’ll remind you that you don’t question your highly subjective and completely illogical (“foolish”, if you like) interpretation of God’s choices, and once again I ask you to explain why a God who designs an autonomous inventive mechanism is more human that a God who preprogrammes or dabbles umpteen different stages of whale in order to cover the time he has decided to take in order to fulfil his primary purpose. Please answer.

I have answered over and over and above. It is obvious God chose to evolve humans, since I assume God is in full charge of His works. Your quasi-humanizing of God makes your God look illogical. My view of God is entirely logical to me. We see very different Gods at the root of our dispute.

Cambrian Explosion: another complex organism

by dhw, Monday, September 16, 2019, 10:22 (259 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: My view, Adler's and many believers feel we are so extraordinary we were His primary purpose and decided to use evolution and finally evolve us.

dhw: There we go again: his “primary purpose”. So what were his “secondary” purposes? According to you, he created the universe and life in order to design us, decided not to design us for 3.X billion years, and therefore had to design billions of non-human life forms etc. because: “those designs were required interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time he knew he had decided to take”. You admit that you have no idea why he chose this method: “Haven’t you realized by now, I have no idea why God chose to evolve humans over time”. Do Adler and many believers support this theory? And do they have any idea why your God would choose such a method to fulfil his “primary” purpose? Or are they as clueless as you?

DAVID: No one knows the true reasons for God's choices. Once again believers know we can see His works, and therefore history tells us what He did, not why.

Precisely. According to you, Adler only uses us as a means to prove God’s existence. So who supports your theory that your God specially designed every life form etc. to cover the time he had decided to take before beginning to design the only thing he wanted to design?

DAVID: And have you forgotten that the universe started 1.78 billion years ago? That is when God started on His quest to create humans. Why haven't you complained about that point considering your 'impatient' view of God?

You state your quest-for-humans theory as if it were fact! I might as well ask if you’ve forgotten that 1.78 billion years ago God started on his quest to create a vast variety of life forms, and his method was to design an inventive mechanism that would do its own designing, though he could always dabble if he wished to.

DAVID: I'll remind you, I don't question God's choices, while you envision a humanized God who makes foolish choices in your view.

dhw: I’ll remind you that you don’t question your highly subjective and completely illogical (“foolish”, if you like) interpretation of God’s choices, and once again I ask you to explain why a God who designs an autonomous inventive mechanism is more human than a God who preprogrammes or dabbles umpteen different stages of whale in order to cover the time he has decided to take in order to fulfil his primary purpose. Please answer.

DAVID: I have answered over and over and above. It is obvious God chose to evolve humans, since I assume God is in full charge of His works. Your quasi-humanizing of God makes your God look illogical. My view of God is entirely logical to me. We see very different Gods at the root of our dispute.

Let us remind ourselves that for you, “evolve” means specially design, and still you refuse to answer why it is more “humanizing” or “quasi-humanizing” and less logical to propose a God who gives free rein to evolution than to propose a fully-in-charge God who specially designs different stages of whale (times a few million other examples) in order to cover the time till he specially designs umpteen hominins and homos before specially designing the only thing he wants to design, which is H. sapiens.

Cambrian Explosion: another complex organism

by David Turell @, Monday, September 16, 2019, 17:06 (259 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: My view, Adler's and many believers feel we are so extraordinary we were His primary purpose and decided to use evolution and finally evolve us.

dhw: There we go again: his “primary purpose”. So what were his “secondary” purposes? According to you, he created the universe and life in order to design us, decided not to design us for 3.X billion years, and therefore had to design billions of non-human life forms etc. because: “those designs were required interim goals to establish the necessary food supply to cover the time he knew he had decided to take”. You admit that you have no idea why he chose this method: “Haven’t you realized by now, I have no idea why God chose to evolve humans over time”. Do Adler and many believers support this theory? And do they have any idea why your God would choose such a method to fulfil his “primary” purpose? Or are they as clueless as you?

DAVID: No one knows the true reasons for God's choices. Once again believers know we can see His works, and therefore history tells us what He did, not why.

dhw: Precisely. According to you, Adler only uses us as a means to prove God’s existence. So who supports your theory that your God specially designed every life form etc. to cover the time he had decided to take before beginning to design the only thing he wanted to design?

ID thinks He designed everything. I agree.


DAVID: And have you forgotten that the universe started 13.78 billion years ago? That is when God started on His quest to create humans. Why haven't you complained about that point considering your 'impatient' view of God?

dhw: You state your quest-for-humans theory as if it were fact! I might as well ask if you’ve forgotten that 13.78 billion years ago God started on his quest to create a vast variety of life forms, and his method was to design an inventive mechanism that would do its own designing, though he could always dabble if he wished to.

God used evolution from the start of the universe and during the interim until we appeared about 325,000 years ago. I assume and believe those were God's works.


DAVID: I'll remind you, I don't question God's choices, while you envision a humanized God who makes foolish choices in your view.

dhw: I’ll remind you that you don’t question your highly subjective and completely illogical (“foolish”, if you like) interpretation of God’s choices, and once again I ask you to explain why a God who designs an autonomous inventive mechanism is more human than a God who preprogrammes or dabbles umpteen different stages of whale in order to cover the time he has decided to take in order to fulfil his primary purpose. Please answer.

DAVID: I have answered over and over and above. It is obvious God chose to evolve humans, since I assume God is in full charge of His works. Your quasi-humanizing of God makes your God look illogical. My view of God is entirely logical to me. We see very different Gods at the root of our dispute.

dhw: Let us remind ourselves that for you, “evolve” means specially design, and still you refuse to answer why it is more “humanizing” or “quasi-humanizing” and less logical to propose a God who gives free rein to evolution than to propose a fully-in-charge God who specially designs different stages of whale (times a few million other examples) in order to cover the time till he specially designs umpteen hominins and homos before specially designing the only thing he wants to design, which is H. sapiens.

As above, I have stated our Gods differ. Mine is totally in change and always knows what He wants to accomplish/produce. Yours is a humanized mamby/pamby laid back caricature of God.

Cambrian Explosion: another complex organism

by dhw, Tuesday, September 17, 2019, 10:11 (258 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: No one knows the true reasons for God's choices. Once again believers know we can see His works, and therefore history tells us what He did, not why.

dhw: Precisely. According to you, Adler only uses us as a means to prove God’s existence. So who supports your theory that your God specially designed every life form etc. to cover the time he had decided to take before beginning to design the only thing he wanted to design?

DAVID: ID thinks He designed everything. I agree.

But please tell us which ID-ers support the view that God designed every life form etc. in order to fill in the time he had decided to wait before beginning to design the only thing he wanted to design: H. sapiens.

DAVID: And have you forgotten that the universe started 13.78 billion years ago? That is when God started on His quest to create humans. Why haven't you complained about that point considering your 'impatient' view of God?

dhw: You state your quest-for-humans theory as if it were fact! I might as well ask if you’ve forgotten that 13.78 billion years ago God started on his quest to create a vast variety of life forms, and his method was to design an inventive mechanism that would do its own designing, though he could always dabble if he wished to.

DAVID: God used evolution from the start of the universe and during the interim until we appeared about 325,000 years ago. I assume and believe those were God's works.

A personally reasonable assumption/belief for any believer. As always, you leave out the bit that doesn’t make sense, as summarized umpteen times, including in this post (above and below) and also under “Natural Wonders and Evolution”.

dhw: Let us remind ourselves that for you, “evolve” means specially design, and still you refuse to answer why it is more “humanizing” or “quasi-humanizing” and less logical to propose a God who gives free rein to evolution than to propose a fully-in-charge God who specially designs different stages of whale (times a few million other examples) in order to cover the time till he specially designs umpteen hominins and homos before specially designing the only thing he wants to design, which is H. sapiens.

DAVID: As above, I have stated our Gods differ. Mine is totally in charge and always knows what He wants to accomplish/produce. Yours is a humanized mamby/pamby laid back caricature of God.

And still you refuse to say why a hidden (your word) God who designs an autonomous inventive mechanism, and watches with interest (as you have suggested in the past) what that mechanism produces, is more human – let alone namby pamby – than a God who has one purpose and decides not to fulfil it for 3.X billion years, and therefore “has to” (your words) design millions of life forms etc. etc. to “cover the time” (your words) he has decided to take, though you “have no idea” (your words) why he would choose this method of fulfilling this purpose.

Cambrian Explosion: another complex organism

by David Turell @, Tuesday, September 17, 2019, 14:50 (258 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: ID thinks He designed everything. I agree.

dhw: But please tell us which ID-ers support the view that God designed every life form etc. in order to fill in the time he had decided to wait before beginning to design the only thing he wanted to design: H. sapiens.

A list of names, and there are many is not necessary; follow uncommon descent website for a few days.

dhw: Let us remind ourselves that for you, “evolve” means specially design, and still you refuse to answer why it is more “humanizing” or “quasi-humanizing” and less logical to propose a God who gives free rein to evolution than to propose a fully-in-charge God who specially designs different stages of whale (times a few million other examples) in order to cover the time till he specially designs umpteen hominins and homos before specially designing the only thing he wants to design, which is H. sapiens.

DAVID: As above, I have stated our Gods differ. Mine is totally in charge and always knows what He wants to accomplish/produce. Yours is a humanized mamby/pamby laid back caricature of God.

dhw: And still you refuse to say why a hidden (your word) God who designs an autonomous inventive mechanism, and watches with interest (as you have suggested in the past) what that mechanism produces, is more human – let alone namby pamby – than a God who has one purpose and decides not to fulfil it for 3.X billion years, and therefore “has to” (your words) design millions of life forms etc. etc. to “cover the time” (your words) he has decided to take, though you “have no idea” (your words) why he would choose this method of fulfilling this purpose.

As usual I simply accept this was God's choice to use evolution and provide a huge bush of life for a food supply. God is not human and has his own reasons. Your complaint about Him is from human reasoning applied to Him.

Cambrian Explosion: another complex organism

by Balance_Maintained @, U.S.A., Thursday, September 12, 2019, 16:05 (263 days ago) @ David Turell

Recently discovered, and very complex:

https://www.livescience.com/nightmare-creature-multitool-head.html?utm_source=ls-newsle...

"... have found dozens of fossils of this species in recent years that include preserved soft tissue of the mouthparts, along with the animals' multiple legs and bulbous eyes.

Comment: very early in the Cambrian and way more complex than anything in the Ediacaran, despite all efforts to imply the gap is not that large..

How is there 'preserved soft tissue' after 500 million years?

--
What is the purpose of living? How about, 'to reduce needless suffering. It seems to me to be a worthy purpose.

Cambrian Explosion: another complex organism

by David Turell @, Thursday, September 12, 2019, 20:47 (263 days ago) @ Balance_Maintained

David: Recently discovered, and very complex:

https://www.livescience.com/nightmare-creature-multitool-head.html?utm_source=ls-newsle...

"... have found dozens of fossils of this species in recent years that include preserved soft tissue of the mouthparts, along with the animals' multiple legs and bulbous eyes.

Comment: very early in the Cambrian and way more complex than anything in the Ediacaran, despite all efforts to imply the gap is not that large..


Tony: How is there 'preserved soft tissue' after 500 million years?

The usual explanation is that a cast was formed around the soft tissues. Trilobite brains were described that way recently.

Cambrian Explosion: evolution since then is confusing

by David Turell @, Thursday, March 19, 2020, 22:13 (74 days ago) @ David Turell

The authors wonder why the sudden explosion followed by a seeming stasis in evolution:

https://phys.org/news/2020-03-evolution-cambrian-explosion.html

"The Cambrian Explosion was a pivotal event in the history of life half a billion years ago with the sudden appearance of dozens of distinctive animal body plans. After this initial burst of innovation, the appearance of new body plans slowed to a halt. This pattern has puzzled and intrigued scientists and led to hypotheses regarding the ecological and developmental influences on animal evolution.

"The study investigates the questions of whether this pattern resulted from abundant ecological opportunity early in the history of life, which became dampened with competition through time, or from evolutionary shifts in growth and development that limit evolutionary innovation through time.

***

"Bradley Deline—lead author in the study, from the University of West Georgia (USA)—assembled a team of experts to address this question by compiling the vast anatomical features found within echinoderms.

"This phylum that includes sea stars and sea urchins, was ideal for this study because it contains an incredible richness of forms and features, especially early in its evolutionary history.

***

"Scientists have argued that features defining animal body plans have become increasingly elaborate through time such that they become burdened by their own complexity. This burden could prevent change and would explain the lack of new phyla since the Cambrian Explosion.

"Recent studies in modern animals show genetic interactions that mirror this hypothesis in which the genes and gene interactions that govern complex features are conserved through time. However, modern animals are 500 million years removed from the origin of their phylum, such that these questions can only be answered with the fossil record.

"Colin Sumrall from the University of Tennessee (USA), worked to integrate this wealth of information with a new and expansive evolutionary tree of early echinoderms. This showed the steady exploration of body plans through time that ultimately became distinctive with the extinction of transitional forms.

"However, body plans' distinctiveness was subsequently diminished with animals independently converging on similar forms.

"'This highlights the amazing complexity within echinoderms with so many groups arriving on similar solutions to become successful," Sumrall explained. "There are many examples of echinoderms continuing to change dramatically long after the Cambrian Explosion."

"Co-author Jeffrey Thompson, from University College London (UK), suggested testing developmental mechanisms by comparing the evolutionary stability of both complex and simple features within echinoderms.

"'We see no difference in the stability or evolutionary patterns in simple and complex features," Thompson exclaimed. "Large-scale characters are flexible allowing echinoderms to routinely break through constraints allowing for continued evolutionary innovation."

"Therefore, based on the results of this study, the major factor limiting this vast potential for evolutionary change seems to be ecological opportunity rather than rigidly constrained developmental processes."

Comment: Of course echinoderms modified, but the question of why new phyla did not appear is not answered. Darwinists are drowning in their own static incomplete theories, and the Cambrian is still an unexplained huge gap that defies all natural theories.

Cambrian Explosion: Trilobites as predators

by David Turell @, Sunday, March 13, 2016, 15:17 (1541 days ago) @ David Turell

New research has found strong evidence of the methods Trilobites used to hunt for prey:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/02/160217140323.htm

"The Cambrian Period, which occurred between 541 million and 485 million years ago, is an important point in evolutionary history where most of the major groups of animals first appear in the fossil record. Often called the "Cambrian explosion," fossils from this time provide glimpses into evolutionary history as the world's ecosystems were rapidly diversifying.....fossils from southeast Missouri are helping scientists unlock clues about the behaviors of these predators and their interactions with their prey. Evidence shows that these ancient organisms were behaviorally sophisticated, tailoring their attacks for effectiveness.

"Using sophisticated three-dimensional laser scanning and digital photograph analyses, sections of the rocks revealed burrows or trails left behind by trilobites and their prey -- often worm-like creatures -- in ocean sediments. To the scientists, these intersecting trails show how the predators caught their prey. Additionally, previous studies by former MU geology professor, James Stitt, revealed that the trilobites had very large eyes, so the researchers were looking for clues as to how their anatomy played into their feeding habits.

"Tracks from the site showed that the predators attacked from above, moving alongside to use their many legs for more effective grappling of their prey. Further, predators preferentially selected smaller prey, indicating that they attacked their food rather than randomly bumping into it.

"'Predation, or the action of attacking one's prey, is a significant factor in evolution; this discovery is extremely important in the study of how organisms evolved in the Cambrian Period," Schiffbauer said. "In this study, we provide evidence that these trilobites were likely visual predators, displaying selectivity in seeking and hunting their food."

"'Because we had an abundance of samples from the site, we were able to conduct more rigorous statistical analyses" Huntley said. "Our findings are important not only because of the large sample size, but because these early arthropods displayed such sophisticated predatory behavior.'"

Comment: Trilobites have bifocal mineral lenses in their eyes to fight the distortion of seeing under water. This is sophistication of living design without precursors. Darwin cannot explain this.

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