Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Does the Cambrian explosion disprove Darwinian evolution?

I made you all suffer this week by reading two long posts on the origin of life:

So now I’m going to be nice and let you learn about the Cambrian explosion through videos! Yeah! Because it’s Friday.

What is the Cambrian explosion?

Same story as always. Primitive tribes of atheists living during pre-scientific times naively attributed the diversity of life to the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s noodly appendage, working over billions of years. But then science progressed, discoveries were made, and all rational people accepted that virtually all the basic body plans emerged, fully-formed, in a 3-5 million year period, about 540 million years ago. And no new body plans have emerged since.

The best explanation of the sudden origin of nearly all animal body plans in the blink of an eye is that an intelligent designer provided the required software code for all of these brand new body plans. New instructions, like new Java code or new English sentences, require an intelligent cause. Period.

Part 1: (7:50)

Part 2: (3:25)

Yes, the people in the videos have Ph.Ds from Cambridge, Yale, Berkeley, etc. They are much smarter than any atheists, and they win any debates with atheists that dare to debate them. (Which is why atheists prefer censorship instead of debate, and blind faith instead of evidence)

Don’t worry, if you are an atheist, I’m sure that the noodly appendage of the hopeful Flying Spaghetti Monster will eventually overturn decades of scientific progress very soon, and then you can be comfortable avoiding moral obligations, being self-centered, thinking you are better than other people, and pursuing happy feelings at the expense of the liberties and rights of other people.

Further study

Advanced students can read more about the Cambrian explosion a published peer-reviewed book chapter (Michigan State University Press, 2003) or in a peer-reviewed research paper (Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 2007).

If you are totally lost on the question of origins, you can watch two DVDs that are now online at Youtube. Both videos are by Illustra Media. This is the place for complete beginners to get started.

Here are the 2 playlists:

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16 Responses

  1. Stephen says:

    I’m not sure, but, well, is it possible that our gallant wintery knight is being just a wee bit sarcastic towards the ‘brights’?

  2. kreitsauce says:

    Gotta love the sarcasm here! I laughed the whole way through, and I enjoyed the video links as well.

    • Christians have got to get into the habit of appraising the beliefs of their neighbors in the context of a friendship and then frankly pointing out where those beliefs disagree with the laws of logic, nature and history. It does our neighbor no good to build a life on lies that are easy to correct. We just have to understand that telling the truth is more important than being accepted and admired. In any case, some liberty-minded atheists secretly like to be friends with authentic Christians.

  3. Evan says:

    Hey Wintery, what exactly do you believe about evolution/creation?

    I’ve been a fan of Answers In Genesis and their YEC views, but I suddenly realized that most of their beliefs about the age of the earth are based on a somewhat blind faith in their interpretation of Genesis, and I’m not sure that’s the way you should go about things..

    I think evolution has some fatal flaws, but there’s also a lot of evidence for it. What’s your take on it, with relation to the origin of man?

    • I’m an old earth progressive creationist. I basically accept the standard dates and I think that God intervened to fine-tune the entire universe, including our galaxy, star and planet. I think God intervened to create all life except for micro-evolution within types. I believe in animal death before the Fall, a literal Adam and Eve, a literal garden of Eden, a literal Fall, and a local flood. And the most important thing of all: I believe that God’s creative activity at the big bang, in the fine-tuning, at the origin of life, and the Cambrian explosion, in the cell, etc. are all measurable and knowable. In other words, the universe looks designed, and it looks designed at the level of a layman and at the level of Francis Collins. I believe in Romans 1 and John 1. God created, God designed, we all know it intuitively, we can all know it empirically, and the only people who deny it do so for non-scientific reasons, i.e. – sin.

      I’m also a huge supporter of intelligent design purely on scientific grounds. I think evolution is USELESS in being able to create anything outside of observable adaptations and minor speciation due to geographic isolation or bacterial resistance, etc. Evolution cannot do ANYTHING like what is claimed for it by atheists. Molecules-to-man evolution is the equivalent of belief in a flat-earth, or belief in global warming. No exaggeration. It’s Climategate and hide-the-decline applied to biology.

      • wgbutler777 says:

        I agree with everything WK said. I hold the same exact views.

        WK – I am curious as to what your model of Genesis 1 is. Is it day-age (aka Hugh Ross) or framework hypothesis?

        wgbutler777

        • Day-age. Please point me to something on the framework hypothesis, who believes that and what have they written?

          • The framework hypothesis was introduced as a possible interpretation of Genesis by Augustine. More recently I think it’s been endorsed byMeredith Kline and Henri Blocher, but a lot of people have criticised it as inadequate; it’s used by both theistic evolutionists and progressive creationists. I think I remember reading something by Wayne Grudem, for example, who argued against the FH.

      • str8tawk vs atheism says:

        Hi WK, your site is a help to me. I have a few questions though.

        I hold to the young Earth doctrine and worldwide flood.

        You say, “I believe in animal death before the Fall,.”

        What then are your thoughts on Rom. 5.12?

        Sin entered the world because one man sinned. And death came because of sin. Everyone sinned, so death came to all people. Rom.5.12

        You also say, “and a local flood.”

        If the Genesis Flood was only a local flood what do you do with the Scriptures which state otherwise?

        Gen. 6.17 “I am going to bring a flood on the earth. It will destroy all life under the sky. It will destroy every living creature that breathes. Everything on earth will die.”

        Only Noah and seven other humans along with the land creatures entered the ark.

  4. Evan says:

    My views are becoming very close to what you’ve just described. I think one of the major problems of evolution is its inability to produce information.

    Have you checked out Gerald Schroeder’s scientific analysis of the day-age creation? (I believe that’s what it is)

    And, I would also like to read about the framework theory!

  5. wgbutler777 says:

    I’m familiar with Gerald Schroeder as well. I bought his book on cosmic time and think that it may have some merit. It’s basically a modified version of the day-age theory that says that the days were literal 24 hour days from God’s perspective (cosmic time) but while 24 hours of time were passing if you were standing next to God billions of years were passing in our pocket of the Universe and on Earth.

    I can see how it could be true and is consistent with verses in the Bible that say that a thousand years is like a day to God.

    The problem I have with this theory (and day-age) is that it is a little inconsistent with the order of events of Genesis 1, and requires alot of creativity and explaining away of certain things in Genesis 1 in terms of order.

    Recently I’ve gravitated towards the framework hypothesis. It basically states that Genesis 1 is written in a triadic poetic fashion typical of other ancient writings and is essentially a poem, or song, demonstrating a much greater point that God created the Universe and everything in it and emphasizes certain point of Hebrew theology.

    Here are some links that describe it:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Framework_interpretation_%28Genesis%29

    http://www.asa3.org/ASA/education/origins/fw.htm

    http://www.upper-register.com/papers/framework_interpretation.html

    http://www.thirdmill.org/files/english/theology/79611~10_4_99_5-20-49_PM~TH.Futato.Rained.2.pdf

    It is actually quite popular in the Presbyterian church and has been advanced by various Hebrew Bible scholars.

    At first glance it seems intuitively true, more so than day-age, and requires much less work to defend as well. I’m still in the process of forming my opinion about what I think is right but right now I’m a little more comfortable with this theory than with day-age.

    I’d greatly value any insights from you guys as to what you think about it.

    wgbutler777

    • Jason says:

      But even Richard Dawkins brings up a valid point; the framework hypothesis raises a conflict with original sin – if adam and eve are poetic expressions of man and earth, than what of the original act of disobedience? It does not make any literary sense, poetic or not, from the framework perspective.

      @Evan – the problem with your statemen is that popular darwinian evolutionary theory does in fact produce a lot of information – so much so that it is the basis for why so many scientists adhere to it as fact.

      If, on the other hand, you mean information in the literal sense, then the argument falls flat because one cannot prove that evolution does not produce biological information, this is inherent in the definition of the theory which implies that it would take time on a geological scale in order to observe a change, which is not possible to do and therefore disprove.

      @Wintery Knight – You cannot sit in both camps at once. One of the leading cahmpions for ID ardently opposes such a stance (i.e., believing in the intervening God theory and ID), and I would have to agree with him. Check out “God and Evolution” if you are interested in this statement.

      To the OP, and all who are out to disprove evolutionary theory – There is a big problem here. ID-ers, creationists, and anti-evolutionists collectively say that evolution is not proven and therefore has no grounds to be used as scientific fact. Then, in the same breath many of these folks turn around and claim that certain theories (e.g. the cambrian explosion, irreducible complexity, etc) disprove evolution. How can something be disproven, if it has never been proven? The way to errode the false foundtaions of evolutionary theory is not to attack it head on with corrosive argumentation…that is the very reason why we have people like Dawkins and Hitchens running around spouting nonsense and ignoring philisophical considerations of the origin of morality, they are counter-attackers appealing to people looking for a reason to hate on the idea of moral accountability. The way it is done is the same way that evolution became widely accepted as infallible fact, with time and evidence…not by proudly proclaiming “I’m right and you’re wrong!” in the public circle.

  6. Abr4ham says:

    Great post. Thank you for taking the time to create it.

    End time scoffers are willingly ignorant of creation, the flood, and the coming judgment (paraphrase 2 Peter 3:3-7)

    Here is a short (< 10 min) video showing a small scale reproduction of the geologic column using the flood model.

    Clip from "The Earth in Space and Time"
    by Walter Veith (Amazing Discoveries)

    Here is a link to the article about the Cambrian Explosion mentioned in the film clips from the original post:

    When Life Exploded

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,983789-2,00.html

    Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: Matthew 7:7

  7. [...] Does the Cambrian Explosion disprove Darwinian evolution? by blogger Wintery Knight. [...]

  8. [...] Does the Cambrian Explosion disprove Darwinian evolution? by blogger Wintery Knight. [...]

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