The Burgess Shale region in the Canadian province of British Columbia contains a fossil bed now regarded as one of the most important paleontological discoveries of our time. The fossils in this region belong to very different species and appear suddenly, with no forerunners in earlier strata.
As we know, the theory of evolution maintains that all living species evolved in stages from other species that lived before them. The Burgess Shale fossils and similar paleontological discoveries, however, show that in contrast to this claim, different species actually emerged suddenly on Earth, with no forerunners preceding them.
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. 61
In this context, the journal refers to two famous evolutionist authorities Stephen JayGould and Simon Conway Morris. Both have written books in order to account—according to evolutionary theory—for the sudden appearance of species in the Burgess Shale. Gould’s book is titled Wonderful Life, and Morris’s, The Burgess Shale and the Rise of Animals. However, as stressed in Trends in Genetics, neither of these authorities is able in any way to account for either the Burgess Shale fossils or other fossils dating back to the Cambrian Period.
The picture revealed by the Cambrian Period fossils refutes the assumptions of the theory of evolution, while also providing significant evidence that living things were brought into being through a supernatural creation. The evolutionist biologist Douglas Futuyma describes 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. 62
Therefore, the fossil records show that living things did not follow a path from the simple to the complex, as evolution maintains, but instead appeared suddenly and perfectly formed. This, in turn, is evidence that life came about not through unconscious natural phenomena, but through a sublime creation. In “The Big Bang of Animal Evolution,” an article published in Scientific American, the evolutionist paleontologist Jeffrey S. Levinton admits as much, albeit reluctantly: “Therefore, something special and very mysterious—some highly “creative force”—existed then [at the Cambrian period].” 63
61 Trends in Genetics, February 1999.
62 Douglas J. Futuyma, Science on Trial, New York: Pantheon Books, 1983, p. 197.
63 Levinton, Jeffrey S.,“The Big Bang of Animal Evolution,” Scientific American, 267:84, November 1992.