The Origin of Species According to the Fossil Record
When Charles Darwin published his On the Origin of Species in 1859, he set out his own ideas on their origin and claimed that this was based on various mechanisms of the imaginary evolutionary process.
According to his thinking, evolution led to minute changes in species through these mechanisms; and these differences then increased, until every new living species developed from some previous one, as a result of very small changes. Again according to the theory, living species are not distinguished from one another by major anatomical differences, but begin diverging from one another through minuscule variations.
This implies that all living things are related to one another. One living species experienced random and gradual changes over a period of time lasting for millions of years, at the end of which its descendents have developed into another species entirely. In that case, evidence of the long transformation period—fossils of at least some of the various intermediate forms—should exist in the Earth’s fossil record. Since they lived in a kind of transitional period, many of these transitional forms had yet to complete the development of their more sophisticated organs, and must have been deformed, crippled and deficient in some way.
Since this supposed process of evolutionary change lasted for millions of years, these alleged intermediate forms must have existed on Earth for almost the entire intervening time—and should have left a great many surviving traces in the fossil record.
That is exactly what Darwin believed. He expected that later fossil researchers would unearth the intermediate forms in question that would thus confirm his claim. He formulated his theory in the light of this hope—which was devoid of any scientific basis.
Darwin’s theory required that countless intermediate forms must once have lived—and as he himself stated:
... that the number of intermediate and transitional links, between all living and extinct species, must have been inconceivably great.1
He expressed the same idea in other parts of his book:
If my theory be true, numberless intermediate varieties, linking most closely all the species of the same group together, must assuredly have existed… Consequently evidence of their former existence could be found only amongst fossil remains.2
According to Darwin, all living things are descended from one another. Therefore, various intermediate species must have existed during this imaginary process of transition. And many of them must have been deficient and deformed. Yet Darwin was wrong: The fossil record constantly produces examples of flawless, perfect organisms. The Cambrian is one of the clearest manifestations of the fact that all living things are created by Allah.
However, Darwin was also aware that no such intermediate-form fossils had yet been found—and admitted that this fact was a major dilemma that threatened his theory. That is why, in the chapter titled “Difficulties on Theory,” he wrote:
Why, if species have descended from other species by insensibly fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms? Why is not all nature in confusion, instead of the species being, as we see them, well defined? . . . But, as by this theory innumerable transitional forms must have existed, why do we not find them embedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth? . . . Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain; and this perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.3
According to Darwin, species, differentiating themselves by way of minuscule changes, must first have formed families, then orders, then classes and finally phyla—the largest division in the living world that separates living things in terms of their basic anatomical structures.
Yet the fossil findings were incompatible with Darwin’s theory!
In Darwin’s day, it was not known that the DNA within a cell contains enough information to fill an encyclopedia consisting of many volumes. The living cell was thought to be merely a water-filled sac. Fossil discoveries in Darwin’s day were also limited. Thanks to advances in science and new fossil excavations, the subsequent 150 years showed that living things never underwent evolution. A century and a half after Darwin, Darwinism is in an evident state of collapse.
Cambrian fossils discovered in Wales dealt a severe blow to the classification with which Darwin set out his theory. The Cambrian Period (from 542 to 488 million years ago), the oldest in the history of multi-cellular organisms, represented the sudden emergence of a great many phyla and classes of animals, all in their fully formed states, in an environment where only single-celled organisms had existed before. To put it another way, biology operated in the exact opposite manner of what Darwin predicted: Phyla emerged along with individual species, not afterward.
No doubt, this was a matter of concern for any evolutionist! Darwin himself was well aware of the results already emerging from the fossil discoveries of his own day, and he described this as one of the gravest difficulties that could threaten his theory:
Consequently, if my theory be true, it is indisputable that before the lowest Silurian* [Cambrian] 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...4
When Darwin learned that some of the most fundamental classes of the animal world appeared suddenly in the oldest known rock strata, he described this as a “serious” problem, and said, “The case at present must remain inexplicable, and may be truly urged as a valid argument against the views here entertained.5
However, in Darwin’s view, this problem was only an ostensible one, because he believed that the difficulty would be resolved in the future. For that reason, he claimed as a sort of alibi that, the history of the Earth was not preserved well in the fossil record. According to Darwin, complex organic entities had indeed appeared long before the formation of Cambrian strata, and their fossil remains must have been left behind somewhere in the oldest—and so far, unknown—sedimentary rocks laid down in the history of the Earth.6
Cambrian fossil beds had been altered due to heat and pressure—much as sedimentary limestone is transformed into metamorphic marble—for which reason all traces of fossils in those rocks might well have been eradicated. He therefore maintained that all the major animal groups had erroneously been ascribed as appearing during the Cambrian Period. One day, according to Darwin, detailed fossil researches and excavations would inevitably reveal those missing specimens.7
But Darwin was wrong!
Our current knowledge regarding the pre-Cambrian is doubtless much more complete than it was in Darwin’s time. Ever since then, enormous research has been conducted into pre-Cambrian fossils—and the emerging results have actually made the problems facing evolutionists even more difficult, rather than resolving Darwin’s original concerns. New Cambrian fossil beds were discovered in Canada, Greenland and China.8All that was obtained from the pre-Cambrian was a number of single-celled organisms. There was no trace of any fossil similar to Cambrian ones, or which could be regarded as their ancestors.
Darwin thought that the evidence necessary to prove his theory would be obtained through future fossil discoveries. However, improvements in technology and advances in the fields of genetics, biology, biochemistry and medicine, and the wide-ranging fossil findings, all revealed facts that would totally eliminate his theory.
That the Cambrian strata exhibit a wide spectrum of such complex living things is by itself sufficient to undermine Darwin’s fundamental claims concerning the origin of species. Darwin did not live to witness these new fossil discoveries, which he would no doubt have described as a tragedy for his theory. But these findings did present a severe dilemma for his followers. Discoveries in the Cambrian fossil beds shattered their claims regarding the origin of species.
But what was the great difference between the Cambrian and other previous eras? What was it about Cambrian organisms that so worried evolutionists?
We may examine this question from various different angles:
In Darwin’s day, the living cell was thought of as merely a sac filled with liquid. Scientists of the Victorian era were ignorant of the organelles in the cell and its other microscopic structures. Nobody knew that the DNA molecule contained enough information to fill many volumes of an encyclopedia. It was thought that if a baby was born handicapped, that was because of fears the mother had experienced during the gestation process.
In Darwin’s time it was believed that the soil of a land being plowed away could change that region’s climate. People imagined that outer space was a colorless fluid known as ether and that if people’s hands were severed over the course of a few generations eventually children without any hands would be born. The electron microscope did not yet exist in 1859. Neither did the refrigerator (which was invented only in 1938), the telephone (1876), the typewriter (1867), or even the ballpoint pen (1863). Researchers of the time tried to understand natural phenomena by means of such rudimentary equipment as compasses, thermometers and the like.
Accordingly, in the days when Darwin was making his studies and conjectures, research into biology and the knowledge resulting from that research were very limited.
In Darwin’s day, it was estimated that the Cambrian Period extended no further back than 60 million years. According to this view, the Earth was estimated to be only around 200 million years old.9(It is now estimated to be 4.6 billion years old.)
In Darwin’s day, all branches of science were in a relatively primitive state. For that reason, conjectures regarding the imaginary evolutionary process were left dependent upon advancing science and technology and the opportunities that these were expected to provide. The expectation that future fossil discoveries would shed light on what was then unknown led the public to regard the theories put forward as completely reasonable.
In Darwin’s day, the cell was thought to be just a sac of liquid. No one realized that it was a very complex structure whose DNA contained enough information to fill millions of encyclopedia pages. Laboratories and the equipment they employed were also very primitive. Such branches of science as genetics and biochemistry were virtually unknown.
In this era, when not even proteins had yet been discovered, Darwin was unaware of the complexity of life. He imagined that under these conditions, the validity of the theory of evolution he proposed would gradually emerge. Yet scientific progress and fossil findings overturned his expectations.
Ever since, in fact, attempts have continued uninterrupted to find specimens of intermediate forms that might account for species’ sudden appearance in the Cambrian Period. Paleontologists still hope to find a few specimens from the pre-Cambrian that are recognizably similar to Cambrian fossils, which can let them construct a supposedly evolutionary progression between the Cambrian and earlier periods.
Stephen Jay Gould
150 years went by. Advances in science and technology elicited important information. Developments in such specialized fields as biochemistry, biophysics, genetics and molecular biology demonstrated there is such complete perfection in Earth’s living things at the molecular level that they could not possibly have evolved.
Discoveries in the field of paleontology have unearthed a large portion of the fossils still concealed in the Earth’s sedimentary crust, but revealed not one single intermediate form that might justify the illusory process of evolution that Darwin had postulated.
This was the 21st century’s most important contribution with regard to paleontology. A large part of the world had been excavated, and many fossil specimens had been obtained as a result of wide-ranging research. In terms of the missing Cambrian “intermediate form” fossils that Darwin imagined would be eventually discovered, the fact that emerged was a most surprising one for Darwinists: All complex organisms thought to be half a billion years old and more in fact belonged to the Cambrian Period.
Pre-Cambrian fossil beds gave up no specimens revealing any transition to the Cambrian species. In the Cambrian Period, a stunning complexity and variety emerged quite suddenly all of which disappeared again after the Cambrian. This was really a most extraordinary state of affairs.
However, the claims made by Darwin’s followers that there are insufficient fossils, made as an excuse for the missing fossils in question, were proved to be totally unfounded. The Harvard University evolutionist paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould had no qualms about making this admission:
The most famous such burst, the Cambrian explosion, marks the inception of modern multicellular life. Within just a few million years, nearly every major kind of animal anatomy appears in the fossil record for the first time. . . . The Precambrian record is now sufficiently good that the old rationale about undiscovered sequences of smoothly transitional forms will no longer wash.10
The realization that the present-day fossil record is entirely adequate represents a major disappointment for evolutionist paleontologists. Along with providing no evidence for evolution, the fossils obtained so far have also eliminated a number of false pieces of evidence.
The fabricated and deceptive evidence put forward by proponents of evolution has been entirely eliminated with (1) detailed studies of the fossils obtained, (2) examples of “living fossils” that go back, unchanged, for millions of years, and (3) the realization of the existence of stasis (stability) in fossils of the same creatures from different periods in time. (For more specifics, see www.living-fossils.com.) In other words, far from confirming Darwin’s expectations, fossil research has provided results that he never foresaw.
The evolutionist David M. Raup, former director of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, has this to say:
We are now about 120 years after Darwin, and the knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species, but the situation hasn’t changed much. The record of evolution is still surprisingly jerky and, ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transitions than we had in Darwin’s time. By this I mean that some of the classic cases of Darwinian change in the fossil record, such as the evolution of the horse in North America, have had to be discarded or modified as a result of more detailed information—what appeared to be a nice, simple progression when relatively few data were available, now appear to be much more complex and much less gradualistic. So Darwin’s problem has not been alleviated in the last 120 years . . .11
The evolutionist zoologist David Kitts interprets the facts presented by the fossil record as a “difficulty” for evolutionists:
. . . paleontology. . . had presented. . . difficulties. . . the most notorious of which is the presence of ‘gaps’ in the fossil record. Evolution requires intermediate forms . . . paleontology does not provide them.12
A time 1.2 billion years before our own, when single-celled organisms with a single nucleus dominated the Earth... Towards the beginning of the Cambrian Period, however, sponge-like organisms containing a few different cells appeared. The Cambrian is not when the supposed descendants of these life forms emerged, but when living things completely independent of them, complex and in an enormous variety, did so. This sublime creation, which Darwinists are unable to explain, is one of the flawless works of Allah.
The fact revealed by paleontology is that the pre-Cambrian Period was one in which only single-celled organisms existed. In the environment of 1.2 billion years ago, single-celled organisms with a nucleus containing DNA were the dominant form of life. Towards the beginning of the Cambrian, sponge-like organisms emerged, consisting of only a few different cells. Those cells were now specialized, with each performing its own separate functions. However, these organisms still had no comprehensive internal structures, nervous systems or muscle fibers.13In other words, they were very different from the later Cambrian life forms.
The Cambrian fossil record has revealed the characteristics of an enormous variety of living things, all appearing suddenly and independently of one another. And these are not the descendents of the organisms described above!
The California University evolutionist biologist James W. Valentine makes this confession: The fossil record is of little use in providing direct evidence of the pathways of descent of the phyla or of invertebrate classes. Each phylum with a fossil record had already evolved its characteristic body plan when it first appeared, so far as we can tell from the fossil remains. And no phylum is connected to any other via intermediate fossil types [emphasis added]. Indeed, none of the invertebrate classes can be connected with another class by a series of intermediates. The relationships among phyla and classes must be inferred on the basis of their resemblance. However, even the most sophisticated techniques of phylogeny analysis have thus far failed to resolve the great differences of opinion concerning the relationships among phyla (or among many classes as well).14
Valentine admits that the fossil record constitutes no evidence for evolution, and that living things emerged suddenly wherever on Earth they may be found. To put it another way, he—and other experts—are forced to admit that no evolution took place in the ages preceding the Cambrian. Instead of imaginary pre-Cambrian intermediate-form fossils, we encounter an increasing number of complex Cambrian organisms. This fact prompted Bruce Runnegar, the California University evolutionist and professor of paleontology, to make this admission:
As might be expected, the paleontologists have concentrated on the fossil record and have therefore provided wealth of information on the early history of a great variety of invertebrate groups, but little insight into their origins.15
The fossil record is the sole foundation on which the theory of evolution relies. However, the fossil record’s very sufficiency—the fact that a large part of the Earth’s strata have been excavated—is enough to make it abundantly clear that living things never underwent evolution. No evolutionary process ever took place.
Statements by evolutionists to the effect that “the fossil record is sufficient and no intermediate form has yet been encountered” are actually a simple admission that there’s not the slightest evidence to support the theory of evolution.
This fact makes the existence of Almighty Allah, His creative artistry and infinite power, abundantly clear. Living things, with all their astonishing attributes, are created by Allah’s will, at whatever moment He chooses.
Yes, everything in the heavens and Earth belongs to Allah. Yes, Allah’s promise is true but most of them do not know it. He gives life and causes to die and you will be returned to Him. (Surah Yunus, 55-56)
The Pre-Cambrian Earth
Cambrian rocks no older than 550 My contained the earliest animal fossil record—arthropods, mollusks, brachiopods, and others. Below them there were no animal fossils [emphasis added]. Darwin himself conceded that his theory of evolution by natural selection required a history of previous populations for all these creatures to have descended from. Scientists hatched a brood of suggestions; all fossil-bearing rocks from the critical interval of animal evolution had been eroded or metamorphosed, or animals arose in freshwater lakes and only later entered the oceans. None proved satisfactory, and the wealth of animal fossils that defined the beginning of the Cambrian age remained an enigma.16
Logically enough, “the Pre-Cambrian Era” is the name given to the vast stretch of time between the formation of the Earth up to the Cambrian Period.
Eukaryotic organisms appear in the fossil record some 2 billion years ago. These organisms consisted of a single cell with a distinct nucleus and other organelles with a membrane, with DNA packed inside the nucleus—characteristics that are absent from prokaryotic cells. Between 3.5 billion and 600 million years ago, the Earth was populated only by prokaryotic and eukaryotic single-celled organisms. Therefore, these single-celled organisms constitute more than 85% of the life forms that have ever existed in the history of the planet.
Multi-celled organisms first appear in 600-million-year-old rock beds. The majority of these fossilized traces of organisms are poorly preserved and difficult to interpret, and often their existence can be deduced only from imprints and partial remains in mud. In structure they are generally flattened and appear to lack organs. They have no eyes or appendages permitting them to walk or swim—in short, they possess no complex physiological systems.
Therefore, for a very long time in the pre-Cambrian Period, life forms consisted only of single-celled organisms. Multi-celled organisms, most of whose characteristics are still unclear, appeared at the end of the pre-Cambrian.
In contrast to the limited nature of pre-Cambrian organisms, those of Cambrian Period are far wider ranging and literally flourishing in their diversity. This plethora of species drew the curtain on the long period during which organisms devoid of any organs prevailed, and ushered in a brand new age. Different ecosystems supported an extraordinary increase in biological complexity. During that period, flawless varieties of shelled marine invertebrates appeared at more or less the same time, and everywhere on Earth.
Anatomically, each of the living groups that emerged possessed unique bodily structures that enable us to easily distinguish them from one another. They comprise such distinct phyla as arthropods, brachiopods and mollusks, some specimens of which are still living today. The number of phyla that appeared in the Cambrian varies according to who is doing the interpreting, but averages around 50. Some Cambrian organisms were equipped with highly complex physiological structures and organs, such as compound eyes, gills, feelers, feet and stomachs, which structures had never existed before in any life form. In short, all the familiar forms of the hard-shelled invertebrates we see in today’s oceans first appeared in the Cambrian seas.
What makes the pre-Cambrian so important to evolutionists is that they believe it can provide clues about the species, which appeared in the Cambrian explosion, and offer evidence of their evolution—which never actually happened. According to evolutionists, all the ingredients of the Cambrian explosion should have appeared in the pre-Cambrian. All the supposed ancestors of the dozens of Cambrian life forms must have manifested themselves in the pre-Cambrian. Otherwise, the scenario of the evolution of living things would progress no further than being a conjecture, a speculation, a fantasy—and would be consigned to the shelf.
The more characteristics of Cambrian organisms were deduced from the examination of their fossils, the more importance the pre-Cambrian assumed. Increasing research and increased knowledge, however, provided only this information about the period: Nothing existed in the pre-Cambrian other than monocellular organisms.
The California University evolutionist professor of botany Daniel I. Axelrod described how pre-Cambrian rocks did not produce the fossils that had been hoped and sought for:
One of the major unsolved problems of geology and evolution is the occurrence of diversified, multicellular marine invertebrates in Lower Cambrian rocks on all the continents and their absence in rocks of greater age.17
The findings in question make one fact obvious: One of the empty gaps in the fossil record that evolutionists encounter constantly also appears in pre-Cambrian strata. Robert G. Wesson, a political scientist and also an evolutionist, discussed this aspect of the fossil record, which evolutionists cannot ignore:
The gaps in the record are real, however. The absence of a record of any important branching is quite phenomenal. Species are usually static, or nearly so . . . genera never show evolution into new species or genera [emphasis added], but replacement of one by another, and change is more or less abrupt.18
The picture revealed by paleontologists is that the Earth’s ecology of 4 billion years ago remained virtually unchanged until 600 million years ago. This long period of time featured a largely barren environment. Only single-celled organisms have ever been encountered.
Evolutionists have made enormous efforts in order to account for this long gap. Yet all their explanations produced so far have been invalid and incapable of accounting for the lack of fictitious intermediate forms in the pre-Cambrian era.
Various evolutionists seek to account for this situation, which represents such a difficulty for their theory, in various ways. The evolutionist Niles Eldredge, for instance, takes refuge behind the following account:
We don’t see much evidence of intermediates in the Early Cambrian because the intermediates had to have been soft-bodied, and thus extremely unlikely to become fossilized.19
In fact, it’s surprising that Eldredge or any other scientist should offer such an explanation! That is because according to their scenario, no matter what the origin of shelled Cambrian life forms, still they must have possessed a complex structure, rather than being soft-bodied.
There are no intermediate forms in the fossil record. Crocodiles have left traces of themselves as crocodiles, squirrels as squirrels, and rabbits as rabbits. This also applies to the Cambrian Period, when evolutionists imagine the fictitious ancestors of all living things emerged. Yet in the fossil record, living things appear suddenly, with no intermediate characteristics with no ancestors preceding them, all in their full complex forms.
Moreover, this account is nothing more than a deception, because a good many fossils of single-celled organisms of the pre-Cambrian have survived, and many such specimens are available to researchers. Moreover, of those Cambrian life forms in the fossil record a large part of the soft tissues, including nervous systems, have survived. Right from the outset, therefore, pre-Cambrian and Cambrian rocks invalidate the fictitious claim that soft-bodied intermediate forms left no fossil traces behind them.
Indeed, Eldredge felt the need to make the following admission:
There is still a tremendous problem with the sudden diversification of multicellular life. There is no question about that. That’s a real phenomenon.20
Stephen Jay Gould—who, together with Eldredge, formulated the theory of punctuated equilibrium—makes an even more interesting confession:
I regard the failure to find a clear “vector of progress” in life’s history as the most puzzling fact of the fossil record.21
But actually, for anyone viewing the facts objectively and thinking logically, there is nothing surprising here at all. It’s perfectly natural that the Earth provides no information at all about any transitional process that never happened!
Only single-celled organisms have been recovered from pre-Cambrian rock beds, because they were the only organisms living at that time. The remains they left behind confirm this—as does our knowledge of the features of the Earth and its atmosphere during that time.
No evolution took place in the pre-Cambrian period, nor in the eras that came after it, and fossils prove this in the clearest possible way. Abundant fossils show that living things that existed millions of years ago were complete and fully formed, each one a marvel of creation; and that they were brought into being in a single moment, through the sublime Might of Allah. Paleontology, which is the only science that evolutionists have to rely on, has proved the fact of creation and totally invalidated the theory of evolution. (For details, see The Transitional Form Dilemma by Harun Yahya.)
Some of the advocates of evolution have accepted this. However, it appears that it will take some considerable time for certain of their colleagues to agree.
George Neville, an evolutionist and professor of geology from Glasgow University, admits the fact that the pre-Cambrian provides no intermediate form specimens and that for this, there is no other explanation than a “special creation”:
Granted an evolutionary origin of the main groups of animals, and not an act of special creation, the absence of any record whatsoever of a single member of any of the phyla in the Pre-Cambrian rocks remains as inexplicable on orthodox grounds as it was to Darwin.22
It is Allah Who created the single-celled creatures that lived in the pre-Cambrian, who determined their way of life and knows their every detail. It is Allah, too, Who created Cambrian creatures in all their wide variety, gave them all their widely different features and enabled them to live together. Allah is the Creator of all things. So long as evolutionists fail to see and admit this, all events regarding the history of the Earth will continue to leave them baffled.
In one verse of the Qu’ran, Allah states:
It is He Who originated creation and then regenerates it. That is very easy for Him. His is the most exalted designation in the heavens and the Earth. He is the Almighty, the All-Wise. (Surat ar-Rum, 27)
Ediacaran: A False Intermediate-Form Fauna*
The rocks that generally underlie the Cambrian rocks are simply called Precambrian rocks. Some are thousands of feet thick, and many are undisturbed—perfectly suitable for the preservation of fossils. If it is possible to find fossils of microscopic, single-celled, soft-bodied bacteria and algae, it should certainly be possible to find fossils of the transitional forms between those organisms and the complex invertebrates. Many billions times billions of the intermediates would have lived and died during the vast stretch of time required for the evolution of such a diversity of complex organisms. The world’s museums should be bursting at the seams with enormous collections of the fossils of transitional forms. As a matter of fact, not a single such fossil has ever been found! Right from the start, jellyfish have been jellyfish, trilobites have been trilobites, sponges have been sponges, and snails have been snails. Furthermore, not a single fossil has been found linking, say, clams and snails, sponges and jellyfish, or trilobites and crabs… 23(Duane T. Gish, Ph.D. in Biochemistry from University of California at Berkeley)
The Ediacara Hills in Australia, where the remains of pre-Cambrian life forms were discovered.
Ediacaran fauna represents multi-celled organisms that lived in the pre-Cambrian, between 620 and 543 million years ago. Fossils discovered on the Ediacara hills in Australia, and dating back some 600 million years to the late pre-Cambrian, were regarded as a ray of hope for evolutionists who had failed to obtain any results from previous excavations. Evolutionists sought to interpret the variety observed in multi-celled Ediacaran organisms as an evolutionary process that extended to Cambrian life forms.
Modern evolutionist scientists claimed that these fossils could be used to account for the Cambrian Period, and they came up with various theories. However, none of the efforts they made along these lines could be proven with any scientific findings, and remained hollow.
The fossils discovered in 1946 by the Australian geologist Reginald Spriggs in the Ediacara Hills in Australia’s Flinders Mountains dated back 580 to 560 million years. Scientists gave the name “Ediacaran” to this geological period preceding the Paleozoic. Some multi-celled Ediacaran organisms that appeared suddenly during this period were regarded with great excitement as intermediate forms by evolutionist scientists. Because of these fossils’ proximity in time to the Cambrian period, evolutionists took them to be of great importance.
Following the discovery in Australia of many fossils from this period, specimens from the same age were found in Southern Namibia, Russia, Great Britain, Sweden, Canada and America as well. Thorough examination of all these fossils showed that the 16 or so different species found in the Ediacara strata had left behind no remains of their hard tissues.24To put it another way, these creatures were entirely soft-bodied.
It is true that a wide variety of multi-celled organisms emerged suddenly in Ediacaran-period strata, immediately following after the pre-Cambrian. However, their forms were completely unique and different from those of the later Cambrian life forms. Unlike Cambrian life forms, they had no hard tissues, no complex structures and organs. They were generally shaped like ferns, pouches or discs. These organisms had various sensory extensions, but no apparent head sections or respiratory, nervous or digestive systems. They had no complex physiological systems, and their features are generally unclear.
The fact that these multi-cellular organisms emerged immediately before the Cambrian led to their being the subjects of considerable speculation. Every evolutionist scientist trying to account for Cambrian life forms looked for an ancestor by formulating a theory on Ediacaran life forms.
For example, the evolutionist paleontologist Martin Glaessner and his colleagues claimed that in this fauna, they could detect certain features belonging to present-day phyla, but that these fossilized remains were not sufficiently well preserved to be able to identify their characteristics.
Another evolutionist, Adolf Seilacher, believed that jellyfish would have been preserved as depressions in the sand. The Ediacaran jellyfish, however, appeared as bumps on the undersides of sandstone beds. In his view, this implied that those animals lived on the bottom mud rather that floating in the water.25For Stephen Jay Gould of Harvard University, these fossils were unsuccessful “experiments” that had taken place during the transition to the great variety of species in the Cambrian.For the Oregon University paleontologist Gregory Retallack, the Ediacaran fossils were not even animals. In his opinion, they were probably lichens—symbiotic species emerging from fungi and algae living together. They were able to feed by way of photosynthesis and their impressions were preserved in sandstones up to 5 kilometers deep.26
As we have seen, there was no consensus even among evolutionists regarding the Ediacaran Period. What really matters is that none of these claims provides any explanation for the sudden, later explosion of life that occurred during the Cambrian. None provided any clues as to where the supposed ancestors of Cambrian life forms had been. In addition, they gave no account of the origin of these new forms of Ediacaran fauna, which are described in so very different terms from Cambrian life forms. For that reason, Ediacaran species actually represent another major difficulty for evolutionists, rather than any ray of hope.
The University of California at Berkeley, Museum of Paleontology website says this about the creatures of the period:
The question of what these fossils are is still not settled to everyone’s satisfaction; at various times they have been considered algae, lichens, giant protozoans, or even a separate kingdom of life unrelated to anything living today. Some of these fossils are simple blobs that are hard to interpret and could represent almost anything. Some are most like cnidarians, worms, or soft-bodied relatives of the arthropods. Others are less easy to interpret and may belong to extinct phyla. But besides the fossils of soft bodies, Vendian rocks contain trace fossils, probably made by wormlike animals slithering over mud.27
For evolutionists still speculating about a few fossils belonging to Ediacaran fauna, the situation became even more precarious when fossils from the Ediacaran began being found in other parts of the world. The newly discovered fossils exhibit more complex features than the former ones, yet it is still impossible to link these to Cambrian life forms. This only emphasizes that a great variety of new species emerged during the period in question.
The Variety of Life in the Ediacaran Period and Evolutionists’ Inconsistencies
“It is considered likely that all the animal phyla became distinct before or during the Cambrian, for they all appear fully formed, without intermediates connecting one form to another,”.28 says evolutionist Douglas Futuyma, New York University’s professor of evolutionary biology.
Ediacaran life forms were intriguing-looking organisms, very different from the single-celled organisms that came before them. However, they bore no resemblance to Cambrian life forms, which emerged suddenly just as Ediacaran life forms.
Ediacaran life forms were interesting creatures with very different characteristics from those that came both before and after them. Dickinsonia, around half a meter in length, Palaeophragmodictya, a sponge-like organism with a flattened appearance, and Aspidella, with small cavities on its surface, were just a few of the Ediacaran life forms. Some of these bore no resemblance to any creatures living today. A few, however, had similar features to present-day jellyfish, starfish, sponges and crinoids. The emergence of these unusual-looking creatures opened a wide divergence of opinion among evolutionists. The Cambridge University evolutionist Simon Conway-Morris said, “The problem is that the same fossils are interpreted in completely different ways by different people.” 29
However, subsequent discoveries made in Russia confirmed that these were actually multi-celled organisms with certain complex characteristics. Various Dickinsonia specimens were found, as well as Kimberella fossils, which resembled teardrops in shape and had scalloped edges. The remains left behind by Kimberella showed that these creatures were capable of movement. In other words, they did not live and reproduce in one place, as did the single-celled creatures before them. They had organs and extensions that permitted them to walk.30Ediacaran fossils found in Newfoundland had brush-like appendages rather resembling hairs, and these creatures consisted of various colonies. Each of these animals’ hair-like extensions was divided into at least three separate parts. The end parts extended forwards. Such microscopic extensions could be seen in even the smallest of these creatures.31Therefore, Ediacaran life forms were not merely simple collections of fluid-filled cells, as some scientists imagine.
Evolutionists made enormous efforts in order to establish an evolutionary scenario for how these very different life forms all emerged in the same period; and set all these fossils out in different orders. However, those found in Namibia were incompatible with those discovered in Scotland, and those found in Russia failed to match those discovered in England. The efforts to link these fossils—which failed to constitute a coherent whole among themselves—with Cambrian life forms represented a severe disappointment for evolutionists. No fossil evidence linked Cambrian life forms to any organisms that had existed before them. The remains of these perfectly preserved pre-Cambrian fossils refuted the long history of gradual change predicted by Darwin’s theory.32
Ediacaran life forms were intriguing-looking organisms, very different from the single-celled organisms that came before them. However, they bore no resemblance to Cambrian life forms, which emerged suddenly just as Ediacaran life forms.
Examples of Ediacaran life forms:
Simon Conway-Morris admitted this evident fact in these words:
Nevertheless, it remains true that the overall differences between the faunas of Ediacaran and Cambrian age are much more striking than any similarities. These differences cannot be simply be explained by the dilution of an Ediacaran component by a crowd of Cambrian newcomers. Rather, the change that occurred between the two faunas looks much more like a case of replacement.33
Darwinists maintain that supposedly, the ancestors of Cambrian life forms left no traces behind because they were soft-tissued. Yet the earliest fossils of bacteria, dating back 3.5 billion years, totally do away with these deceptive evolutionist claims.
As it became apparent that the life forms that emerged in the Cambrian were so very different from those that had appeared in the Ediacaran, some evolutionists ascribed the failure to find the supposed “ancestors” of Cambrian life forms to the scattered, dispersed nature of the fossil record. Some maintained that the supposed ancestors of Cambrian life forms were either very small, or else had failed to fossilize because of their soft body structure. Others, through various molecular comparisons, referred to an imaginary ancestor that had lived millions of centuries before the Cambrian.
None of these, or any similar claims, had any scientific basis, and certainly went no further than being hypotheses. The idea of “dispersed fossil record” was rejected by many paleontologists. Sufficient pre-Cambrian and Cambrian fossils had been found, and paleontologists were convinced that if there had been any ancestor anywhere, it would have been discovered by now.
The claim that organisms from before the Cambrian had left behind no fossilized remains because they were small and soft-bodied is, as we have already seen, highly unrealistic. In order to see just how unrealistic it is, only consider the fact that microfossils of bacteria have been discovered in rocks dating back nearly 3 billion years.34In the Ediacaran period, therefore, had there existed living things with a soft structure and a complexity comparable to that of Cambrian life forms, they would inevitably have left traces in the fossil record. Yet the organisms we have from the Ediacaran consist of various multi-celled species, completely different from and independent of the phyla that would later emerge.
And despite their being soft-bodied, these have left traces behind in the fossil record.
Simon Conway-Morris had this to say on the subject:
[German paleontologist Adolf] Seilacher has pioneered a radical alternative. He suggests that the Ediacaran fossils are certainly not cnidarians, arthropods or annelids, and might not even be metazoans. One reason to think he might be correct is the highly anomalous preservation of these fossils. Despite being almost entirely soft-bodied, the Ediacaran fossils are typically preserved in relatively coarse-grained sediments (siltstones and sandstones) deposited in shallow, turbulent water—the last place a paleontologist could normally expect or look for preservation of soft parts.35
In 1984, Natural History magazine published a long article by Stephen Jay Gould concerning the Ediacaran fossils in Australia. Gould stated that, as in the Cambrian, these life forms shared a basic mode of organization, with their unique characteristics. By the time Cambrian life forms emerged to replace Ediacaran ones, the latter had become extinct. Therefore, Cambrian life forms were not more advanced forms of Ediacaran ones, and Ediacaran forms could not be the ancestors of Cambrian species. With their soft bodies and unique features, Ediacaran life forms were very different from Cambrian ones, which had hard exoskeletons and were much more complex.36Faced with this significant fact, Gould was forced to make the following confession:
As we survey the history of life since the inception of multicellular complexity in Ediacaran times, one feature stands out as most puzzling—the lack of clear order and progress through time among marine invertebrate faunas.37
Simon Conway-Morris’s admission on the subject took this form:
Apart from the few Ediacaran survivors, . . . there seems to be a sharp demarcation between the strange world of Ediacaran life and the relatively familiar Cambrian fossils.38
In 1983, a series of conferences was held to resolve the question of the origin of Cambrian species. On the fourth day of this assembly, organized jointly by Science News and the International Geological Correlation Project committee, the scientists voted that it be postponed indefinitely in order to determine the boundary between the Cambrian and pre-Cambrian periods, to serve as a reference point for all future research.
After the postponement, Allison Palmer of the Geological Society of America made the following statement:
I don’t think we’re going to have an easy time. We are all going to go away unhappy in varying degrees.39
No subsequent assembly or conference would produce any consensus either because there was no evidence linking Ediacaran life forms to the Cambrian. Neither was there any evidence regarding the evolution of these organisms.There has never been any evolution on Earth. Evolutionist scientists have spent years looking for something that never happened and for which there is not the slightest evidence, and have embarked on enterprises that could never produce any results.
Moreover, evolutionists who had spent a century and a half toiling to resolve the origin of Cambrian life forms now needed to account for the origin of the many complex forms that had emerged in the Ediacaran. All the strata they excavated with such high hopes—and all the fossils they found—produced evidence that constantly worked against them.
The Russian paleontologist Mikhail Fedonkin, head of the Moscow Paleontology Institute Precambrian Organisms Laboratory, said this on the subject:
We are now in the situation Charles Darwin found himself in about 150 years ago. He was puzzled by the absence of the ancestors of the Cambrian invertebrates, considering this fact as a strong argument against his theory of gradualistic evolution of species. We do not know the ancestors of the Vendian [Ediacaran] fauna as well, and like the Cambrian biota, it appeared suddenly in a “complete state.”.40
What evolutionists refuse to understand is that living things feel no need to assume a completed state at the end of any particular process, because they were created in a single moment, with their special bodily structures, perfect metabolic systems, flawless functions and genetic compatibility bestowed upon them. Almighty Allah, Who created them with His infinite knowledge and intelligence, possesses a sublime creative artistry that produces infinite beauties. It is enough for Allah to so wish it for a being to come into existence. All things in heaven and Earth belong to Allah, and it is an easy matter for Him—Who created the universe, the planets and human beings, and Who constantly produces delights and blessings for us—to create all of them.
4- Jonathan Wells, Icons of Evolution (Science or Myth, Why Much of What We Teach About Evolution is Wrong?), Regnery Publishing, 2000, s. 35 - Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species: A Facsimile of the First Edition, Harvard University Press, 1964, s. 313-314
5- Jonathan Wells, Icons of Evolution (Science or Myth, Why Much of What We Teach About Evolution is Wrong?), Regnery Publishing, 2000, s. 37 - Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, s. 351 – http://www.learnthebible.org/creation_science_cambrian_explosion_disproves_evolution.htm
22- T. Neville George, “Fossils in Evolutionary Perspective,” Science Progress, sayı 48, No. 189, Ocak 1960, s. 5 - http://www.learnthebible.org/creation_science_cambrian_ explosion_disproves_evolution.htm
40- Mikhail Fedonkin, "Vendian body fossils and trace fossils," Early Life on Earth. Nobel Symposium No. 84 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1993), s. 370-388 - http://www.creationapologetics.org/editorials/cambrian.html