“Cambrian Fossil Pushes Back Evolution of Complex Brains,” reported the Science Daily on Oct. 10, 2012. But if we dig a little deeper, we realize that this discovery provides a more severe challenge to Darwinism in regard to the fossil record.
Science Daily introduces the new discovery in these words:
The remarkably well-preserved fossil of an extinct arthropod shows that anatomically complex brains evolved earlier than previously thought and have changed little over the course of evolution. … Embedded in mudstones deposited during the Cambrian period 520 million years ago in what today is the Yunnan Province in China, the approximately 3-inch-long fossil, which belongs to the species Fuxianhuia protensa, represents an extinct lineage of arthropods combining an advanced brain anatomy with a primitive body plan. … "No one expected such an advanced brain would have evolved so early in the history of multicellular animals," said Strausfeld, a Regents Professor in the UA department of neuroscience.
But as Casey Luskin explains here (see the second half of his article), this discovery is actually bad news for Darwinists because it makes the Cambrian explosion all the more “explosive.” Let me provide you with some background information so you can make sense of how this latest discovery increases the degree to which the Cambrian explosion provides an evidential challenge to Darwinism.
The Cambrian explosion refers to the geologically sudden appearance of more than half of all the animal phyla (basic animal body plans) within a window of 10 million years or less in the early part of the Cambrian period of earth history--a period that began 542 million years ago when Earth was largely covered with a vast ocean. (If you are a committed to a young earth view of creation, at least you could assume for the sake of argument that the universe is old and see how there would still be strong evidence against Darwin’s theory). This sudden appearance of animal body plans occurred without any clear evidence of evolution from earlier life forms. Critics of Darwinism argue that this counts as strong evidence against the universal common descent of all life from one common source.
So, what can we say about this latest unexpected news about an very advanced brain in a creature that first appeared in the Cambrian explosion? The sudden appearance of most animal body plans in the early Cambrian period now also includes the sudden appearance of an amazingly sophisticated brain. So, this discovery makes the Cambrian explosion all the more explosive and thus even more challenging to the theory of evolution by natural selection.
Read about another discovery concerning a Cambrian animal that also makes the Cambrian explosion a bigger problem for Darwinists here. (See the first half of Casey Luskin's article).