Trilobite fossils from the Cambrian Period
Trilobites are one of the most interesting living groups that suddenly emerged in the Cambrian Period and subsequently became extinct. They belong to the phylum Arthropoda, and are very complex creatures with hard shells, segmented bodies and complex organs. The fossil records have allowed a great deal of information to be obtained regarding the trilobite eye. It consisted of scores of tiny cells, each of which contains a pair of lenses. This eye structure is a marvel of creation.
Richard Fortey, an evolutionist paleontologist from London's Natural History Museum, says this about the extraordinary number of lenses possessed by some trilobites:
One of the most difficult jobs I ever attempted was to count the number of lenses in a large trilobite eye. I took several photographs of the eye from the different angles and then made enormous prints magnified large enough to see individual lenses. I started counting as one might "one, two, three, four" . . . and so on to a hundred or two. The trouble was that you had only to look away for an instant, or sneeze, to forget exactly where you were, so it was back again to "one, two, three."261
More than 3,000 lenses means the animal received more than 3,000 images. This clearly shows the scale of the complexity in the eye and brain structure of a creature that lived 530 million years ago, and displays a flawless structure that cannot have come into existence through evolution.
David Raup, a professor of geology from Harvard, Rochester and Chicago universities, says: "the trilobites 450 million years ago used an optimal design which would require a well trained and imaginative optical engineer to develop today."262
This extraordinarily complex structure in trilobites is by itself sufficient to invalidate Darwinism. No comparable complex creature existed in earlier geological periods, which shows that trilobites emerged with no evolutionary stages behind them.
The above fossils are trilobites, some of the highly complex invertebrates that appeared suddenly in the Cambrian Period, some 500 million years ago. The most significant feature in trilobites, and one that represents a major quandary for evolutionists, is their compound eyes. These eyes, which are highly advanced and complex, possess a multi-cell system. This system is identical to that found in modern spiders, bees, flies and other creatures. The fact that such a complex structure emerged abruptly in creatures living 500 million years ago demolishes evolutionist claims based on the idea of coincidence.
This extraordinary state of affairs in the Cambrian period was more or less known when Charles Darwin wrote his book The Origin of Species. It had been observed in the fossils from that period that life emerged suddenly in the Cambrian, and that trilobites and certain other invertebrates made a spontaneous appearance. That is why Darwin had to refer to the situation in his book. At that time, the Cambrian Period was known as the Silurian Period. Darwin touched on the subject under the heading, "On the sudden appearance of groups of allied species in the lowest known fossiliferous strata," and wrote the following about the Silurian Period:
. . . I cannot doubt that all the Silurian trilobites have descended from some one crustacean, which must have lived long before the Silurian age, and which probably differed greatly from any known animal . . . Consequently, if my theory be true, it is indisputable that before the lowest Silurian stratum was deposited, long periods elapsed, as long as, or probably far longer than, the whole interval from the Silurian age to the present day; and that during these vast, yet quite unknown, periods of time, the world swarmed with living creatures. To the question why we do not find records of these vast primordial periods, I can give no satisfactory answer. 263
Fossils from the Cambrian Period show that both trilobites, with their complex bodies, and other living things with very different anatomy all emerged suddenly, thus demolishing Darwin's conjectures. In his book, Darwin wrote: "If numerous species, belonging to the same genera or families, have really started into life all at once, the fact would be fatal to the theory of descent with slow modification through natural selection." 264 Some 60 different classes began life suddenly and simultaneously in the Cambrian Period. This confirms the picture described by Darwin as a "fatal" blow.
261. Richard Fortey, Trilobite, Eyewitness to Evolution, Vintage Books, 2000, p. 98.
262. David Raup, "Conflicts Between Darwin and Paleontology," Bulletin, Field Museum of Natural History, Vol. 50, January 1979, p. 24.
263. Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, 1859, pp. 313-314.
264. Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species: A Facsimile of the First Edition, Harvard University Press, 1964, p. 302.