One of the phyla that emerged suddenly in the Cambrian period is the phylum Chordata, These are a sub-class of vertebrates, with a central nervous system. Vertebrates are divided into such basic classes as fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.
Since evolutionist paleontologists regard every living phylum as the evolutionary continuation of another, they claim that the Chordata evolved from another, invertebrate phylum. However, like all phyla, members of the phylum Chordata appeared suddenly in the Cambrian Period, which invalidates that theory right from the outset. The oldest member of the phylum, a sea creature with a long body rather resembling a worm's at first glance is, known as Pikaia. 141 It emerged at exactly the same time as species in all the other phyla that could be proposed as its ancestor, and with no previous intermediate form.
In his book Vertebrate Animals, the evolutionist biologist Professor Mustafa Kuru refers to the absence of such an intermediate form: "There is no doubt that the Chordata formed from invertebrate animals. However, the absence of any fossil that might shed light on the passage between invertebrates and Chordata has caused many hypotheses on this subject to be jettisoned." 142
If there is no intermediate form, how can one say that there is "no doubt" about this evolution? Blindly accepting a hypothesis with no evidence to support it is dogmatic rather than scientific. Indeed, after going into a lengthy account of evolutionist assumptions regarding the origin of vertebrates, Professor Kuru once again has to admit that no evidence is available at all: "The views regarding the origin and evolution of the Chordata expressed above have always been treated with suspicion, since they are not based on a fossil record." 143
Evolutionist biologists sometimes offer the following sort of rationale: There is no fossil record regarding the origin of the Chordata and other vertebrates because invertebrates are soft-tissued and therefore leave no fossil traces behind. But in fact, there are many fossil invertebrate remains. All the living things from the Cambrian Period are invertebrates, and they have left tens of thousands of fossils behind them. Many fossils of soft-tissued creatures have been found in the Burgess Shale bed in Canada; scientists think that in regions such as Burgess Shale living things were quickly covered in layers of mud with low oxygen content and thus fossilized without their soft tissues having broken down.144
The theory of evolution hypothesizes that Chordata such as Pikaia gradually turned into fish. However, just as there is no intermediate form to support the idea of the evolution of Chordata, so there are none to support that of the evolution of fish. On the contrary, all the different categories of fish appear suddenly in the fossil record and with no ancestors preceding them. There are millions of invertebrate fossils, but nobody has ever found a single intermediate-form fossil. Fish dating back to the Cambrian Period, especially those discovered in China such as Haikouichthys and Myllokunmingia, invalidate evolutionist claims of gradual development. Philippe Janvier, a palaeontologist from the Museum of Natural History in Paris, states that these life forms found in China were "definitely vertebrates" and sets out their importance:
It's important because up to now the vertebrates were absent from the big bang of life, as we call it-that is, the great early Cambrian explosion, where all the major animal groups appeared suddenly in the fossil record . . . It is practically certain that these are vertebrates.145
141. Douglas Palmer, The Atlas of the Prehistoric World, Discovery Channel, London: Marshall Publishing, 1999, p. 66.
142. Mustafa Kuru, Omurgalı Hayvanlar, Ankara: Gazi Üniversitesi Yayınları, , 1996, p. 21.
143. Ibid., p. 27.
144. Douglas Palmer, The Atlas of the Prehistoric World, Discovery Channel, p. 6.
145. Richard Monastersky, "Waking Up to the Dawn of Vertebrates," Science News, Vol. 156, No. 19, 6 November 1999, p. 292.