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Intelligent Design Based On The Cambrian Explosion

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Posted by Richard Ruquist on October 17, 2004 21:29:20 UTC

I had occasion last weekend to check Gould's new 1000+ page book on evolution. The Cambrian Explosion was discussed at length including Kauffman's explanation based on redesign once a threshold of complexity is reached. (Actually Kauffman's computer program just applies to molecules and the creation of life, not the Cambrian explosion. But it seems that even Gould makes the 'Leap of Faith' to all types of organisms.)

Anyway according to Gould, or I should say my understanding of Gould, the fossil record is not as clear cut as the Intelligent Designers would have you think. New lifeforms do appear suddenly, but not all in one 5 million year period of time some 530 million years ago.

For example, according to the "Brief History of the Universe' authored by John Baez, the first plants appeared 1.3 billion years ago, the first animals 670 million years ago, the first insects on land 395 million years ago, first reptiles-313 My ago, first flowers and dinasaurs-235 My ago, first birds- 150 My ago and first grass- 24 My ago. Also along the way there were several extinctions of most existing lifeforms at 440 My, 370 My, 251 My, 205 My and 67 My ago.

Baez does not even mention the so-called Cambrian explosion. At that time(530 My ago) all life seems to have been marine life and even if a great number of species were created at 530 My ago, most marine life was wiped out 440 My ago.

A Reform or refined interpretation of Genesis is that each day of Creation is a Commenerative Day. That is, it is the beginning of a form of life, but the full expression of each form is expressed in Genesis. For example, plants began first 1.3 By ago. But Genesis also mentions trees and flowers. Other passages in Genesis can be used to justify this interpretation.

However, even allowing for such a liberal interpretation, Genesis does not account for 5 days of extinction. It seems that if there is Intelligent Design, the designer uses trial and error.

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