The Classification of Living Things Fossils Reject the "Tree of Life"
The Burgess Shale Fossils Molecular Comparisons Deepen Evolution's Cambrian Impasse
Trilobites vs. Darwin The Origin of Vertebrates The Origin of Tetrapods
Speculations About Cœlacanth Physical Obstacles to Transition from Water to Land
The Origin of Reptiles Snakes and Turtles Flying Reptiles Marine Reptiles












 The Burgess Shale Fossils

Lewin continues to call this extraordinary phenomenon from the Cambrian Age an "evolutionary event," because of the loyalty he feels to Darwinism, but it is clear that the discoveries so far cannot be explained by any evolutionary approach.

What is interesting is that the new fossil findings make the Cambrian Age problem all the more complicated. In its February 1999 issue, Trends in Genetics (TIG), a leading science journal, dealt with this issue. In an article about a fossil bed in the Burgess Shale region of British Colombia, Canada, it confessed that fossil findings in the area offer no support for the theory of evolution.

The Burgess Shale fossil bed is accepted as one of the most important paleontological discoveries of our time. The fossils of many different species uncovered in the Burgess Shale appeared on earth all of a sudden, without having been developed from any pre-existing species found in preceding layers. TIG expresses this important problem as follows:

It might seem odd that fossils from one small locality, no matter how exciting, should lie at the center of a fierce debate about such broad issues in evolutionary biology. The reason is that animals burst into the fossil record in astonishing profusion during the Cambrian, seemingly from nowhere. Increasingly precise radiometric dating and new fossil discoveries have only sharpened the suddenness and scope of this biological revolution. The magnitude of this change in Earth's biota demands an explanation. Although many hypotheses have been proposed, the general consensus is that none is wholly convincing.62

Marrella: One of the interesting fossil creatures found in the Burgess Shale fossil bed.

These "not wholly convincing" hypotheses belong to evolutionary paleontologists. TIG mentions two important authorities in this context, Stephen Jay Gould and Simon Conway Morris. Both have written books to explain the "sudden appearance of living beings" from the evolutionist standpoint. However, as also stressed by TIG, neither Wonderful Life by Gould nor The Crucible of Creation: The Burgess Shale and the Rise of Animals by Simon Conway Morris has provided an explanation for the Burgess Shale fossils, or for the fossil record of the Cambrian Age in general.

Deeper investigation into the Cambrian Explosion shows what a great dilemma it creates for the theory of evolution. Recent findings indicate that almost all phyla, the most basic animal divisions, emerged abruptly in the Cambrian period. An article published in the journal Science in 2001 says: "The beginning of the Cambrian period, some 545 million years ago, saw the sudden appearance in the fossil record of almost all the main types of animals (phyla) that still dominate the biota today."63 The same article notes that for such complex and distinct living groups to be explained according to the theory of evolution, very rich fossil beds showing a gradual developmental process should have been found, but this has not yet proved possible:

This differential evolution and dispersal, too, must have required a previous history of the group for which there is no fossil record.64

The picture presented by the Cambrian fossils clearly refutes the assumptions of the theory of evolution, and provides strong evidence for the involvement of a "supernatural" being in their creation. Douglas Futuyma, a prominent evolutionary biologist, admits this fact:

Organisms either appeared on the earth fully developed or they did not. If they did not, they must have developed from pre-existing species by some process of modification. If they did appear in a fully developed state, they must indeed have been created by some omnipotent intelligence.65

The fossil record clearly indicates that living things did not evolve from primitive to advanced forms, but instead emerged all of a sudden in a fully formed state. This provides evidence for saying that life did not come into existence through random natural processes, but through an act of intelligent creation. In an article called "the Big Bang of Animal Evolution" in the leading journal Scientific American, the evolutionary paleontologist Jeffrey S. Levinton accepts this reality, albeit unwillingly, saying "Therefore, something special and very mysterious - some highly creative "force" - existed then."66

62 Gregory A. Wray, "The Grand Scheme of Life," Review of The Crucible Creation: The Burgess Shale and the Rise of Animals by Simon Conway Morris, Trends in Genetics, February 1999, vol. 15, no. 2.
63 Richard Fortey, "The Cambrian Explosion Exploded?," Science, vol. 293, no. 5529, 20 July 2001, pp. 438-439.
64 Richard Fortey, "The Cambrian Explosion Exploded?," Science, vol. 293, no. 5529, 20 July 2001, pp. 438-439.
65 Douglas J. Futuyma, Science on Trial, Pantheon Books, New York, 1983, p. 197.
66 Jeffrey S. Levinton, "The Big Bang of Animal Evolution," Scientific American, vol. 267, November 1992, p. 84.