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Explanations to Cambrian Explosion.

  1. Aug 9, 2006 #1
    Just curious on the most recent theories to explain Biology's Big Bang (and the evolution-haters weapon of choice).
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 9, 2006 #2
    See this link:http://palaeo.gly.bris.ac.uk/Palaeofiles/Cambrian/Index.html
    Also classic Gould and Morris debate: http://www.americanscientist.org/te...etail/assetid/15570;jsessionid=aaa_EIrwpsMpCN
    Then we have Wikipedia:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambrian_explosion
    This site has many up to date scientific papers--as of April 2006:http://www.peripatus.gen.nz/paleontology/CamExp.html
    Then we have the out of box ideas--such as the suggestion that consciousness is the cause:http://www.quantumconsciousness.org/penrose-hameroff/Cambrian.html
    But I must disagree with analogy that Cambrian formation of phyla is similar to big bang formation of isotopes. Even ID folks agree that cambrian explosion spans 5-10 million years (but of course scientists suggest cambrian to be more like 40 million, more than enough time for strong selective pressure in a rapidly changing environment. Thus, nothing explosive, just fast tempo, like running instead of walking through your life journey.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 9, 2006
  4. Aug 15, 2006 #3
    Personally, I think a sort of synergy effect might have been at play. New species were appearing in the relative biotopical vacuum of early Earth. New species made for new niches and food-chains, which offered yet new opportunities for more species, etc, etc. All in an environment where the competition was limited, compared to later eras.

    In later eras, most new species needed to wedge their way into an already crowded and fiercely competitive "marketplace".

    You might compare it with the .com rage a decade or so ago: Anybody that could make a computer do something, or could put anything vaguely useful on the internet could do business.

  5. Aug 15, 2006 #4


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    Yes, I believe evolutionists would agree with this picture. Note that the competition level tend to descend from between kingdoms, phyla, and genera, to between species. And in addition to providing new niches, other organisms provide new threats (e.g. virus), which are a further spur to evolution, and a further synergy (Red Queen's Race).
  6. Aug 24, 2006 #5
    Not sure how recent, but “in the blink of an eye” by Andrew Parker, poses an intriguing idea:

    at the start of the Cambrian 543 MYA, animals only possessed light sensors not eyes. By 538 MYA the eye evolved and everything changed.
    i.e. You could no longer hide as light penetrates the entire medium, and evolution goes into high gear as new and efficient predators evolve.
    Just floating around in the ocean unprotected is a thing of the past.
  7. Aug 25, 2006 #6


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    just try telling that to phytoplankton :wink:
  8. Aug 28, 2006 #7
    There’s always an environment for the very small (too small to be seen). But I should point out the author is describing larger life in the Cambrian that gave rise to all the forms we see today, and intriguing range of evidences is presented. Was just wondering if this idea was given any merit.
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