Mysterious fossils find place on the tree of life

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LogicalSceptic
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Mysterious fossils find place on the tree of life

Postby LogicalSceptic » Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:47 pm

The article states:

Hyoliths were present from the beginning of the Cambrian period about 540 million years ago, during a rapid burst of evolution that gave rise to most of the major animal groups.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-38585325

During a rapid burst of evolution?
This isn't Darwinism, slow gradual variation with natural selection.
A bit of a cop out to explain away the sudden appearance of the Cambrian life forms.
I suppose this is the atheist equivalent of "God of the gaps".

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Re: Mysterious fossils find place on the tree of life

Postby Poodle » Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:10 pm

I would have thought it's more "there's a whole world out there with no competition". I would have found it more puzzling had there NOT been a rapid development of varietals.

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Re: Mysterious fossils find place on the tree of life

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:23 pm

LogicalSceptic wrote:The article states:

Hyoliths were present from the beginning of the Cambrian period about 540 million years ago, during a rapid burst of evolution that gave rise to most of the major animal groups.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-38585325

During a rapid burst of evolution?
This isn't Darwinism, slow gradual variation with natural selection.
A bit of a cop out to explain away the sudden appearance of the Cambrian life forms.
I suppose this is the atheist equivalent of "God of the gaps".

Nope, it's just that there were plenty of open niches. Things evolved in all kinds of directions.

Hallucigenia:

Image

Anomalocaris:



And one little fish with a backbone, first time for that!

Image

Lauren Sallan was peering through her microscope, studying a fossil specimen of Tarrasius, when she noticed something odd. Its spine was divided into five sections, as it is in every tetrapod, the group of four-limbed, land-dwelling animals that includes humans. The only problem: Tarrasius was a fish.
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Re: Mysterious fossils find place on the tree of life

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:24 pm

And the reason there were so many niches open was that Snowball Earth had just thawed out.
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Re: Mysterious fossils find place on the tree of life

Postby Matthew Ellard » Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:23 pm

LogicalSceptic wrote:During a rapid burst of evolution? This isn't Darwinism, slow gradual variation with natural selection. A bit of a cop out to explain away the sudden appearance of the Cambrian life forms. I suppose this is the atheist equivalent of "God of the gaps".


I strongly suggest you buy a cheap copy of Stephen Gould's "Eight little piggies".
https://www.amazon.com/Eight-Little-Pig ... 0393311392

Professor Gould offers reasons for rapid bursts of evolution and gives some really good examples in a series of essays. It is quite amazing to see the variety of creatures that fill a rapid environmental change on Earth and Professor Gould offers some plausible explanations as to why the large variety dies out quickly leaving a more limited range of evolved evolutionary strategies.

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Re: Mysterious fossils find place on the tree of life

Postby corymaylett » Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:02 pm

LogicalSkeptic wrote:During a rapid burst of evolution?
This isn't Darwinism, slow gradual variation with natural selection.


I've never liked the term "Darwinism," since it might suggest a belief system or a trendiness in thought of some kind.

Darwin proposed a theory of natural selection which results in organisms evolving over multiple generations based upon their ability to survive and reproduce in a changing and less-than-ideal environment. At its core, that's it, and that fundamental aspect of the theory is quite likely the most studied, tested and verified theory in all of science — at least the biological sciences.

Beyond the theory's foundations, were speculations, gaps in knowledge and inaccuracies in certain assumptions. These problems, however, do not invalidate the theory; they simply provide room for new discoveries and refinements to an incomplete, yet rock-solid theory that forms the foundation of modern biology.

Rapid evolutionary bursts run counter to Darwin's assumptions of a slow, steady rate of evolution, but Darwin had no evidence of those sudden evolutionary bursts and no understanding of the molecular processes involved in genetics. So was Darwin wrong about some aspects of his larger theory? Yes, definitely, but those errors do not undermine the fundamental aspects of the theory.

A meteorologist might predict with a high degree of confidence that it will snow tomorrow, then go on to say with a lower degree of confidence that the snow will begin between 9 and 10 am. When it turns out the snow doesn't begin until early afternoon, does this invalidate the science of meteorology or just suggest that there is room for additional discoveries and understanding?

Similarly, natural selection is as close to a sure-thing theory as any that's ever been developed. Even so, I'm all but certain additional discoveries will be made that will improve, fill out and provide additional information to make the theory more complete — even as it upsets previous notions and assumptions about how the details of evolution work in practice and in certain situations.

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Re: Mysterious fossils find place on the tree of life

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:04 pm

Thylacine wrote:
I've never liked the term "Darwinism," since it might suggest a belief system or a trendiness in thought of some kind.

Calling modern evolutionary science "Darwinism" is like calling modern aeronautic engineering "Wrightism".
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Re: Mysterious fossils find place on the tree of life

Postby LogicalSceptic » Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:42 pm

Thanks for your replies.
What sort of time period are we talking about with the rapid evolution?

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Re: Mysterious fossils find place on the tree of life

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Wed Jan 18, 2017 2:41 pm

LogicalSceptic wrote:Thanks for your replies.
What sort of time period are we talking about with the rapid evolution?

Tens of millions of year. "Rapid" in geologic scales.
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Re: Mysterious fossils find place on the tree of life

Postby Monster » Wed Jan 18, 2017 3:48 pm

"Rapid evolution" sounds nonsensical. I think "rapid speciation" would be better.
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Re: Mysterious fossils find place on the tree of life

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Wed Jan 18, 2017 3:52 pm

Monster wrote:"Rapid evolution" sounds nonsensical. I think "rapid speciation" would be better.

Either is better than Goddiditism. "The whole world and Universe were formed on Day Two." :roll: :lol:
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Re: Mysterious fossils find place on the tree of life

Postby LogicalSceptic » Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:08 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Either is better than Goddiditism. "The whole world and Universe were formed on Day Two." :roll: :lol:


Sun & moon on day 4. :!:

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Re: Mysterious fossils find place on the tree of life

Postby LogicalSceptic » Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:35 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
LogicalSceptic wrote:Thanks for your replies.
What sort of time period are we talking about with the rapid evolution?

Tens of millions of year. "Rapid" in geologic scales.


I found this:
The theory of the Cambrian Explosion holds that, beginning some 545 million years ago, an explosion of diversity led to the appearance over a relatively short period of 5 million to 10 million years of a huge number of complex, multi-celled organisms.


Here:
http://www.fossilmuseum.net/Paleobiolog ... losion.htm

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Re: Mysterious fossils find place on the tree of life

Postby OlegTheBatty » Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:17 pm

It depends, too, on which changes one is talking about.

Wiki wrote:The Cambrian explosion or Cambrian radiation[1] was the relatively short evolutionary event, beginning around 541 million years ago in the Cambrian period, during which most major animal phyla appeared, as indicated by the fossil record.[2][3] Lasting for about the next 20[4][5]–25[6][7] million years, it resulted in the divergence of most modern metazoan phyla.[8] Additionally, the event was accompanied by major diversification of other organisms.[note 1] Prior to the Cambrian explosion,[note 2] most organisms were simple, composed of individual cells occasionally organized into colonies. Over the following 70 to 80 million years, the rate of diversification accelerated by an order of magnitude[note 3] and the diversity of life began to resemble that of today.[11] Almost all the present phyla appeared during this period,[12][13] with the exception of Bryozoa, which made its earliest known appearance later, in the Lower Ordovician.[14]


The More significant the changes, the longer they took.

Sex was the new kid on the block. While sex had been around for a while, it really became popular around this time. The Trilobite Club was hopping crawling with it.
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