Icons of ID: No preCambrian ancestors

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In my research related to Meyer’s paper I ran across the following:

From Jay Richards [1] we read in The Washington Post, August 21, 1999 an article on Darwinism and Design

Consider the hypothesis of universal common descent. Numerous molecular comparisons now suggest that bacteria, fungi, protozoa, plants and animals–while they share interesting commonalities–are not descended from a single organism. Fossil evidence reveals that the major groups of animals appeared relatively suddenly in the ‘Cambrian explosion,’ with no record of common ancestors.

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4 Comments

Let’s not forget that the Ediacaran biota has been known since 1949! While the phylogenetics of this strange group of critters is contentious, good candidates for a variety of phyla have been known since before many of the readers of this blog were born. For decades, YEC’s purposely omitted any discussion of the Ediacaran finds, but after years of criticism even Duane Gish had to alter his screed on Cambrian fossils to at least admit that Precambrian critters existed. Naturally, he took the position that these fossils weren’t ancestral to anything in the Cambrian. By now, fossils of this sort are known from nearly every continent. At this point, for any ID Creationist or fellow traveler to just ignore them shows just how poor their “research” must be.

Of course, fossils of single-celled organisms go back eons further, but they are usually conveniently overlooked. Did God create bacteria on the (-1) day?

Also, something I rarely see mentioned in any Cambrian Explosion discussion is the fact that the fossil record of the origins of plant “phyla” not only lack any similar “Explosive” event, plant “phyla” emerge over the whole length of the Phanerozoic! Any creationist who wants to somehow label the Cambrian Explosion as some sort of “creation event” has to conveniently overlook that no such “creation event” exists in the least for the plant kingdom. Were animals the only living things that were designed? Why no Cambrian Explosion for plants?

As a former teacher, I’ve heard the “teach the controversy” argument before. It strikes me that such rhetoric is successful in part because of a fundamental lack of knowledge about the scientific process among the general public. The question then becomes, what can we do about it?

I’m sure glad the NCSE is around. :)

Monsters of the Vendian!

Pubmed Science 2002 Jun 28;296(5577):2383-6 Proterozoic modular biomineralized metazoan from the Nama Group, Namibia. Wood RA, Grotzinger JP, Dickson JA.

Abstract: We describe a Proterozoic, fully biomineralized metazoan from the Omkyk Member (approximately 549 million years before the present) of the northern Nama Group, Namibia. Namapoikia rietoogensis gen. et sp. nov. is up to 1 meter in diameter and bears a complex and robust biomineralized skeleton; it probably represents a cnidarian or poriferan. Namapoikia encrusts perpendicular to the walls of vertical synsedimentary fissures in microbial reefs. This finding implies that large, modular metazoans with biologically controlled mineralization appeared some 15 million years earlier than previously documented. ====================

A fine animal, even though the 1 meter size refers to tentacles from a smaller center.

does this creature have a present day descendant

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This page contains a single entry by PvM published on August 31, 2004 10:39 PM.

Meyer v Universal Genetic Code: Common Descent was the previous entry in this blog.

Biologists as Victims of Communism is the next entry in this blog.

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