The Cambrian Explosion
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05-07-2017, 01:55 AM (This post was last modified: 05-07-2017 02:03 AM by SeaJay.)
The Cambrian Explosion
I also posted this on the 'Ex Christian' website.

I hope you believe me by now that I'm not here pushing agendas, I come here looking for answers to questions I have. Not sure if anyone remembers but my story is a complicated one (http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...-Believe).

I've been reading up on the Cambrian Explosion 543 million years ago, and it's worrying me, quite a bit. Reason being, the science community does not know why the CE took place the way it did. The following is taken from this website:

http://burgess-shale.rom.on.ca/en/scienc...hp#explain

"Why did the Cambrian explosion happen when it did, and why was it such a unique event? While there is no current consensus among scientists, most researchers agree the explosion cannot be ascribed to a single, simple causal mechanism. The potential triggers can be classified in three main categories: environmental, genetic, and ecological. Deciphering the impact of each of these factors remains one of the most important challenges faced by palaeontologists today."

I read about the three main triggers but none of them are convincing and/or believed with any real conviction by the scientific community. :/

This is worrying. I thought the evolutionary fossil record was such that, whilst it never claimed to be 100% undeniably correct, it was a pretty solid explanation for life on earth. I believe to some extent it still is; it definitely shows us 'how' life evolves over time, but this sudden emergence of simple bacterial life forms to hard-shelled complex organisms during the Cambrian Explosion of 543 million years ago is problematic for me because the science community cannot explain it. It's like my faith in science just took a nosedive and suddenly all those things you hear in Christian circles about God exposing the hubris of learned men start flooding back.

Up until this moment, science had the answers to everything I looked for, and in that respect, it gave me answers to questions the Bible proposed. That's a naive statement of mine (to believe science had all the answers), but for me, personally, that was the case.

Now though, in the lack of any real evidence agreed upon by the scientific community, it takes as much faith to believe the Cambrian Explosion was not initiated by God than to believe it might have been. It's almost like 50%-50% odds.

21 So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

Looking at the above verse I'm sat thinking, what if the creation story in the Bible isn't supposed to be read like a science paper, but is just a way to get across to us the knowledge that God created life?

To put it another way, I'm reminded of Galileo's quote: "The Bible shows the way to go to heaven, not the way the heavens go."

Whilst "most researchers agree the explosion cannot be ascribed to a single, simple causal mechanism", and whilst there's evidence of life before the Cambrian Explosion, it is different enough that science can't explain how it got from A to B and that causes me anxiety because now, my leaning is more toward the belief that Christianity is true and that means hell is again a real possibility. That's an overly simplistic way of looking at it, I know some might say I'm just invoking a 'god of the gaps' point of view, but I can't help it. That's how I feel right now.

This is the first time science hasn't had an adequate explanation for me and it's quite worrying. I feel I am on very shaky ground here.

Any suggestions?

Thanks all.

EDIT: Ironically, the best explanation I've read (currently) about the Cambrian Explosion, comes from this Christian website who uphold the theory of Evolution.

http://biologos.org/common-questions/sci...-explosion

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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05-07-2017, 02:20 AM
RE: The Cambrian Explosion
(05-07-2017 01:55 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  I also posted this on the 'Ex Christian' website.

I hope you believe me by now that I'm not here pushing agendas, I come here looking for answers to questions I have. Not sure if anyone remembers but my story is a complicated one (http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/forum/...-Believe).

I don't believe you.

Quote:I've been reading up on the Cambrian Explosion 543 million years ago, and it's worrying me, quite a bit. Reason being, the science community does not know why the CE took place the way it did. The following is taken from this website:

http://burgess-shale.rom.on.ca/en/scienc...hp#explain

"Why did the Cambrian explosion happen when it did, and why was it such a unique event? While there is no current consensus among scientists, most researchers agree the explosion cannot be ascribed to a single, simple causal mechanism. The potential triggers can be classified in three main categories: environmental, genetic, and ecological. Deciphering the impact of each of these factors remains one of the most important challenges faced by palaeontologists today."

Maybe check more reputable sources first? Like Nature?

[...]Biologists have argued for decades over what ignited this evolutionary burst. Some think that a steep rise in oxygen sparked the change, whereas others say that it sprang from the development of some key evolutionary innovation, such as vision. The precise cause has remained elusive, in part because so little is known about the physical and chemical environment at that time.

But over the past several years, discoveries have begun to yield some tantalizing clues about the end of the Ediacaran. Evidence gathered from the Namibian reefs and other sites suggests that earlier theories were overly simplistic — that the Cambrian explosion actually emerged out of a complex interplay between small environmental changes that triggered major evolutionary developments.[...]


Quote:I read about the three main triggers but none of them are convincing and/or believed with any real conviction by the scientific community. :/

There is no need for belief here. Also even article you cited says something about most researchers.

Quote:This is worrying. I thought the evolutionary fossil record was such that, whilst it never claimed to be 100% undeniably correct, it was a pretty solid explanation for life on earth.

Evolution deals with changes in organism and how said changes came to be if I'm not mistaken. It isn't about explaining origins of life.

Quote:I believe to some extent it still is; it definitely shows us 'how' life evolves over time, but this sudden emergence of simple bacterial life forms to hard-shelled complex organisms during the Cambrian Explosion of 543 million years ago is problematic for me because the science community cannot explain it.

Scientific community can not explain it or you think basing on one article that it can not? Also even if it can't be explained now it does not mean it won't be explained in the future.

Quote:It's like my faith in science just took a nosedive and suddenly all those things you hear in Christian circles about God exposing the hubris of learned men start flooding back.

That's your problem. Faith.

Quote:Now though, in the lack of any real evidence agreed upon by the scientific community, it takes as much faith to believe the Cambrian Explosion was not initiated by God than to believe it might have been. It's almost like 50%-50% odds.

Bullshit.

Evidence gathered from the Namibian reefs and other sites suggests that earlier theories were overly simplistic — that the Cambrian explosion actually emerged out of a complex interplay between small environmental changes that triggered major evolutionary developments.

What evidence do you have for existence of something called god?

Quote:21 So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

Looking at the above verse I'm sat thinking, what if the creation story in the Bible isn't supposed to be read like a science paper, but is just a way to get across to us the knowledge that God created life?

So if something don't fit then interpret it so it will fit?

Quote:To put it another way, I'm reminded of Galileo's quote: "The Bible shows the way to go to heaven, not the way the heavens go."

Bible shows what people back then believed.

Quote:Whilst "most researchers agree the explosion cannot be ascribed to a single, simple causal mechanism", and whilst there's evidence of life before the Cambrian Explosion, it is different enough that science can't explain how it got from A to B and that causes me anxiety because now, my leaning is more toward the belief that Christianity is true and that means hell is again a real possibility. That's an overly simplistic way of looking at it, I know some might say I'm just invoking a 'god of the gaps' point of view, but I can't help it. That's how I feel right now.

Even if scientists would be completely wrong in regard to cambrian explosion that wouldn't make shit that is christianity a iota more believable. It should stand on it's own merits not mistakes of others.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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05-07-2017, 02:26 AM
RE: The Cambrian Explosion
Look, its not easy to collect evidence/samles of events that happened 100s of mio years ago. All we can do is dig somehwere and look at the change in composition of the soil we are digging (okok, i am oversimplyfying a bit). So 1mm may corespond to millions of years, no less, and then for 500mio years the remains are left out in the environment to be shoved and pushed around. Then we come along and are looking for clues.....its hard work, dude!!

Also: "sudden" is relative. Please remember that while we are looking at suff that is (pretty demonstrably) 500mio old, "suddden" can be a process that happened over a few millions of years (i think for the CE they think about ca. 40mio years of so for thte actual "explosion" to happen) with is, in human terms a shitload of time.

Regarding your cognitive dissonance about god/christians and evolution:
Its not a weakness but a strenght of science to admit (and make differences between):
#1 we.dont.fucking.know we have absolutely no idea, not even a guess
#2 we do know what, but dont know how
#3 we dont know but are extrapolating from existing data/knowledge
#4 we are guessing, no data, nothing there, but we have an idea
#5 we are sure, we think we know

but we are open to new evidence
Thats called "intellectual honesty".

While christians and their purpoted god only have one state of mind:

"We know, irrespective of any evidence (existing, non-existing, confirming or contradicting, it doesnt matter to them)."

To claim to know, once and for all and for ever, admitting that nothing will change you rmind, ....thats intellectual bancruptcy.

Quote:Now though, in the lack of any real evidence agreed upon by the scientific community, it takes as much faith to believe the Cambrian Explosion was not initiated by God than to believe it might have been. It's almost like 50%-50% odds.

Except that it is not the same, not at all. We dont have "faith" in science. We trust the process and ideas that already happend to give correct and repeatable results in teh past. Thats a far cry from "i beleive, because, period".
We do have evidence, we just do not all agree on the conclusions. What do creationists have?: faith Do they have (warranted) trust in past experience? How often were they correct (unlike paleontologists)?

Just an hour ago i have read a german newspaper that they have found bones, indicating that homo sapiens mixed with Neanderthals much earlier than previously thought. Which in return gives room for quite a few new ideas specualtions (until we find more evidence) for how exaclty we ahve evolved in recent (on paleontological scales) time. What have christians researched in the meantime?

Ceterum censeo, religionem delendam esse
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05-07-2017, 02:35 AM
RE: The Cambrian Explosion
(05-07-2017 01:55 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  It's like my faith in science just took a nosedive
If people knew all the answer then we wouldn't need science or scientists anymore.
Science is a method of discovery.

There are some amazingly complex things about our world and the universe to unravel and understand. This is what scientists are doing, they are applying the scientific method in order to further understand via discovering further evidence and details. One discovery brings up another 100 questions, it shows that our scientific knowledge is forever getting more and more detailed.

Don't forget that the questions are a big part of the scientific method. Questions do not invalidate science they are the life's blood of science.
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05-07-2017, 02:37 AM
RE: The Cambrian Explosion

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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05-07-2017, 02:43 AM
RE: The Cambrian Explosion
Not sure why my post won't post so I've done it this way instead.

Szuchow's posts in blue.

I don't believe you.
Fair enough. But I'm really not pushing any agenda.

Maybe check more reputable sources first? Like Nature?
Not sure what you mean exactly by nature. I am checking science which in this case deals with nature. Do you mean the website you linked to (nature)? Your post didn't show the actual link to the nature website until I quoted your post. I'll check it out, thanks.

There is no need for belief here. Also even article you cited says something about most researchers.
I was just hoping scientists would know more about what caused the CE and be more unified in their theory. Much like they are with the theory of gravity or similar.

Evolution deals with changes in organism and how said changes came to be if I'm not mistaken. It isn't about explaining origins of life.
I know. But the point here is they don't know how life changed/evolved to the extent it did in the CE.

Scientific community can not explain it or you think basing on one article that it can not? Also even if it can't be explained now it does not mean it won't be explained in the future.
Agreed. It's not just one article I've read, I'm currently researching it and that was the article that started it off.

Evidence gathered from the Namibian reefs and other sites suggests that earlier theories were overly simplistic — that the Cambrian explosion actually emerged out of a complex interplay between small environmental changes that triggered major evolutionary developments.
Thank you for this

What evidence do you have for existence of something called god?
Fair point.

So if something don't fit then interpret it so it will fit?
I'm not so much trying to make it fit, I just posted it for reference concerning what the Genesis account says.

Even if scientists would be completely wrong in regard to cambrian explosion that wouldn't make shit that is christianity a iota more believable. It should stand on it's own merits not mistakes of others.
Point taken.

“I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.” ~ Oscar Wilde
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05-07-2017, 02:47 AM
RE: The Cambrian Explosion
(05-07-2017 01:55 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  It's like my faith in science just took a nosedive
Faith isn't needed in Science.Trust? Maybe, but having "faith" is not how science works.

The fact the you've already stated about how scientists aren't 100% sure why this happens is a good thing, this means we have ideas but are still searching for the evidence to back it up. Whilst having a book that says "lol god did it" just doesn't cut the mustard, does it?

SeaJay, we've been around this block with you many times now. If you want to believe, thats fine, go do that. Just use the jelly-like thing in between your ears and think about things. Not knowing something isn't the same as "LOL God did it", because god did nothing....because god doesnt exist. And if there is a god, and they DID do it? how? Why? For what purpose? When it all boils down to it simply saying "and god diduth create the birds, the shell fish, the orangutans, the breakfast cereals..." is just a cop out and should NEVER be acceptable answer in any circumstance. EVER.

Religion and it's leaders have no fucking clue AT ALL. Science has evidence, and has the means to find out the answers, but sometimes we don't have ALL the answers, but we as a species, are using what we do know to find out AND developing new ways to get the information we need.

"I don't do magic, Morty, I do science. One takes brains, the other takes dark eye liner" - Rick
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05-07-2017, 02:49 AM
RE: The Cambrian Explosion
(05-07-2017 02:37 AM)SeaJay Wrote:  Not sure what you mean exactly by nature.

International Weekly Journal of Science.

Quote:I am checking science which in this case deals with nature. Do you mean the website you linked to (nature)?

Yes.

Quote:Your post didn't show the actual link to the nature website until I quoted your post. I'll check it out, thanks.

Link works for me without needing to quote.

Quote:I was just hoping scientists would know more about what caused the CE and be more unified in their theory. Much like they are with the theory of gravity or similar.

And you searched where? Not even 5 minutes of google search told me that new -
relatively speaking - questions are still being asked.

Quote:I know. But the point here is they don't know how life changed/evolved to the extent it did in the CE.

But they have theories that are being tested?

Science isn't like religion with it's granting instant if nonsensical answers.

Quote:I'm not trying to make it fit, I just posted it for reference concerning what the Genesis account says.

Why should anyone care what genesis says? It's myth no different than Edda, only sadly more popular thanks to indoctrination.

Edit: You messed the quote tags but I was able to reply to what you wrote regardless.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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05-07-2017, 03:42 AM
RE: The Cambrian Explosion
SeaJay, science isn't a faith thing. It's simply this:
  • If there is something you don't know, you admit it.
  • You constantly check that the things you *do* know, are true.
To check that things are true, and to discover new true things, we have the scientific method. Which is a simple procedure of hypothesis (something we want to check for truth) and experiment (the process of gathering evidence - actual *testing* as opposed to sitting on one's backside philosophising).

Faith is the opposite:
  • If there's something you don't know, God did it.
  • You constantly denigrate other religions and science because "they don't know the truth".
  • For bonus points you are indoctrinated into the belief that questioning the dogma is both dangerous and morally wrong.
To check things are true, and to discover new true things, people look to the past - scriptures, to "prophecies" and all kinds of weird mumbo-jumbo, to ever-more-improbable philosophical ideas, and to pure wishful thinking - prayer and the like.

This Cambrian explosion... so what if we don't know why or what happened? We do know that it happened - there's *evidence* for that. Would you have ever even heard of the Cambrian explosion if everyone just stuck to their silly religious books?

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(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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05-07-2017, 03:43 AM
RE: The Cambrian Explosion
Love it when believers grasp for straws.
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