WorldNetDaily & the Cambrian Explosion

Buffoon Award

You won’t believe what we found at the website of WorldNetDaily (WND) — described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page. It’s in their honor that our jolly buffoon logo is displayed above this post.

Their headline is Another Cambrian discovery discredits evolution. That link only takes you to a one-paragraph excerpt from a “news” item they found elsewhere, but which they thought was important enough to be brought to the attention of their readers.

What is the news item that WND decided to promote? It’s an article found at the website of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the granddaddy of all creationist outfits. Yes, dear reader, that’s where WND goes for their science news! To them, ICR is a credible source of information.

Here’s the ICR article: Another Cambrian Discovery Discredits Evolution. Yes, that’s the same headline WND used. It’s the usual creationist nonsense about the so-called Cambrian “explosion,” but because of WND’s endorsement we’ll discuss it briefly. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

A fossil creature from the phylum Entoprocta (invertebrate animals that have tentacles and lacking a mineralized skeleton) was found in marked abundance (over 400 individuals) in Burgess Shale. The Burgess is a sedimentary layer that’s purportedly part of the Cambrian period about a half-billion years ago, according to evolutionists.

You can get a better understanding of what they’re talking about by reading this from PhysOrg: Ancient critter could be the granddaddy of shellfish. PhysOrg tells about one interesting feature:

On the upper part, the creature’s mouth lay adjacent to its anus, with the two organs connected by a U-shaped gut and encircled by a “crown” of foldable tentacles, the scientists found.

But why was ICR interested in such an obscure organism? And what was so important that this item attracted the attention of the venerable WND? ICR tells us in their next sentence:

The problem for paleontologists is that the supposedly 520 million year old creature looks exactly like its living counterparts, only up to 8 eight times larger.

Aha! They got us! This thing hasn’t evolved in over 500 million years! Darwin was a fool! Let’s read on:

In the Cambrian system, the fossils represent an explosion of complex multicellular life forms — hence the term “Cambrian Explosion.” The problem for evolution is that the Cambrian explosion occurs suddenly with no transitional forms preceding it. Furthermore, many of the types of fossils found in the Cambrian layer are represented by modern organisms, such as entoprocts, that are alive and well today.

Yes, the Cambrian explosion. That geological period lasted around 50 million years, and as we explained in The Mystery of the Cambrian “Explosion”, that was enough time for literally billions of generations for the simple creatures then living, which is sufficient for lots of evolving to occur. And if a species is successful in its environment, although some of its descendants may drift away and evolve in various directions, there’s no reason for the parent stock to become extinct. We’re skipping most of the IRC article, but here’s their final paragraph:

Clearly, a majority of the fossil record was formed as a result of the year-long global Flood recorded in Genesis, making it one of evolution’s greatest enemies. The original diversity of organisms were created by God to reproduce “after their kind,” which is why fossils like the entoproct are complex, fully formed, and similar to their modern living counterparts.

That was important enough for the editors of WND that they headlined it for their readers — so they could learn the latest creation science. WND keeps earning their Buffoon logo, over and over again.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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14 responses to “WorldNetDaily & the Cambrian Explosion

  1. Lewis Thomasonn

    Let’s see the ” supposedly 520 million year old creature looks exactly like its living counterparts, only up to 8 eight times larger.” than the current counter part but it hasn’t changed,therefore evolution is false. Seems like a size reduction of that magnitude is a change over time in a species.

  2. Alex Shuffell

    They should have added that all mammals found from the rocks dating back to the Cambrian period also look exactly like those mammals found up until the Cretaceous period 350 million years later.

  3. …which is why fossils like the entoproct are complex, fully formed…

    Boy, that’s a killer for evolution. After all, if evolution is true, extinct fossil creatures should only be partially formed. We should not be finding complete animals in the Burgess shale, we should find only simple parts lying around waiting to evolve into fully formed organisms. A tentacle here, a bit of shell there….

    Unfortunately, the ICR does not explain to us how the global flood of 6000 years ago selectively laid down the Burgess shale with it’s “billions of fossils”, unique to that specific layer and existing nowhere else.

  4. Alex Shuffell

    Ed, it’s very obvious how the flood laid down down the cambrian fossils near the bottom. When a flood comes the shellfish and molluscs are the first to go.

  5. Ceteris Paribus

    PhysOrg mentions re a fossil that the ICR calls an entoproct: “[t]he creature’s mouth lay adjacent to its anus,…”

    For a second I that they were talking about an ex brother-in-law named “Duke”. But that creature never reproduced with my sister, so we have no information about whether the defining characteristic of his species was the product of genes or divine ID.

  6. Creationists have been using Cambrian fossils, especially those from lagerstatten (soft-bodied fossil deposits) such as Burgess Shale and Chengjiang to bash science and scientists for a long time.
    In 1999, I and other paleontologists were duped into attending a conference in China celebrating Cambrian-aged, Chengjiang soft-bodied fossils, and the Cambrian Explosion in general. Unbeknownst to us, it was the IDiots of the Dishonesty Institute who sponsored and partly ran the conference. Their wish was to get their IDiots’ published articles side-by-side with real paleontologists’ articles in a proceedings volume. “See? We do real science too!”
    Read the original “Wedge” document – you’ll see that this was one of their plans from the beginning.
    They were thwarted in their efforts, but I still feel lingering irritation at being used by these liars and charlatans. I remember others being incensed at the time too, when the truth came out. Ever since, I’ve been extra-ticked when I see creationists use Cambrian fossils to push their harmful nonsense.
    Grrr.
    But the fossils were great. And the Chinese were so nice to us – they treated us like emperors.
    Kudos to Curmy for responding to the creationist cult with unrelenting humorous mockery.

  7. So, they manage to make the leap from ancient organisms bearing a resemblance to primitive extant organisms to “global flood”. Lovely. Also, this whole thing just reeks of “why are there still monkeys?”.

  8. James St. John says: “Kudos to Curmy for responding to the creationist cult with unrelenting humorous mockery.”

    Among professionals, it’s sufficient to fight fantasies with facts; but creationism isn’t an in-house, professional quarrel. We’re trying to rescue the hearts and minds of the general public. How is that done? We’re out of the realm of science class here; we’re talking about mass-market politics, which isn’t much different from show biz.

    Facts are essential and they’re on our side, but when dealing with the public it’s sufficient merely to point to them. Going into details will put the audience to sleep. The public thinks facts are boring, they won’t read them or sit through a long discussion about them. Insults are tempting, but they’re a terrible tactic. Either side can play that game, and creationists are better at it because they’ve been practicing for centuries and aside from lies, that’s all they’ve got.

    So if facts are boring, insults are childish, and debates with clowns should be avoided anyway, then what else can we do? In my humble opinion, ridicule is best. Like they say in politics, you know you’ve lost when the late-night comedians are joking about you.

  9. James St. John: “Creationist cult”.

    That’s really good. We should use it often.

  10. I don’t get it. A lot of evolutionary scientists amd biologists have noted that if there is no reason to change, then animals remain largely the same. There are plenty of jellyfish and worms in the Cambrian strata that are pretty much identical to modern phyla. If anything, this discovery helps to prove evolution!

  11. doodlebugger

    Alex, Cambrian mammals are known to include, the not yet found, Cambrian cottontail a descendant of the PreCambrian bunny rabbit.
    This bunny is thought to have been an algal mound stromalite grazer in shallow saline seas and carbonate mud flats as land plants didn’t exist yet. ( except in the Garden of Eden, plant fossils of which have also not yet been found….. ahem. Creationist scientoids have not bothered to dig up a fossil because this.too obvious a scientific problem. The Cambrian cottontails had to eat fast as Noah’s flood rains drowned the bunnies and deposited sea shells and other stuff above that layer. The cretoid plesiosaur team straggling back from Africa without their plesiosaur…..will. be showing everyone a bunny fossil from the Cambrian soon.
    Rumor is that Paleozoic bunny fossills are in the rocks on top of Mount Everest where they went to try to survive Noah’s flood, unsuccessfully. A veritable Cambrian bunny cemetery exists up apperentlly.::)

  12. @Grum:
    The coelacanth.

  13. The only thing discredited by the discovery of these new fossils is the intelligence of the creationists.

  14. ////@Grum:
    The coelacanth.///

    New discoveries show the myth that the coelacanth has remained unchanged for eons is wrong:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120502133110.htm

    http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/532017/