Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Cambrian Explosion

There was the Big Bang, and then there was the Biological Big Bang, also known as the Cambrian Explosion.  People that want to discredit the Theory of Evolution often point this second Big Bang as the evidence.  The BBB refers to the sudden appearance of a new category (phylum) of life on earth approximately 540 million years ago.  This new phylum was the animal kingdom and includes all the animals alive today as well as some that are now extinct. 

The Big Bang Theory states that the universe (and time) began with a huge explosion approximately 13.7 billion years ago.  Multicellular life appeared on earth approximately 1 billion years ago.  The BBB fascinates people because the new phylum appeared on the scene in a very brief period of time, like in the blink of an eye, when considering how much time had passed previous to this.  One scientist has compared the timeline to a football field.  The appearance of a single-celled organism is one goal line and life as we know it today is the other goal line.  If you move down the field from the first goal line toward the other, you encounter life forms such as sponges, jellyfish and worms.  Passing the 50-yard line, that is all you see.  Then, at the 16-yard line, on the far end of the field, in the space of a single stride, all other forms of animals, including those alive today, suddenly appear.  That is the BBB, the Cambrian Explosion.  I read that Darwin himself found that the Cambrian Explosion cannot be explained by his theory.  His thought was that missing links would be found in the fossil record that would indicate a much slower evolutionary development.  To my knowledge, these missing links have never been found.

Okay, so could it be that there is a God and that he had a hand in this?  The first creation account in the Book of Genesis states that God made the animals, including man, on the sixth day of the seven-day story of creation.  It looks to me like we were down to the 16 yard line at that point.  Could it be that Genesis and the fossil record are in agreement?  Do science and faith agree?  This, of course, requires that a “day” could actually mean perhaps as much as 14 yards on the football field, or several billions years.

Now there is one more thing that intrigues me.  If God’s purpose in creating the universe was to bring about the existence of man, why did God create dinosaurs only to have them go extinct long before man appeared on earth (all of which occurred on the sixth day)?  I’ve read that the entire universe exists for man’s benefit.  God created man to have a curious nature.  Perhaps it is a matter of creating something for man to be curious about so that there would exist such fields as astronomy and archaeology for his benefit.  My prayer for today:  Lord, help us to recognize you in our observations of the universe and help all of us to come to know your divine truth so that we may always maintain the precious gift of faith.  Amen.    

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