Still No Explanation for the Cambrian Explosion

Still No Explanation for the “Cambrian Explosion”

Author: Stephen Caesar
Subject: Paleontology
Date: 5/31/2004


By Stephen Caesar

Associates for Biblical Research

The “Cambrian Explosion” has been discussed often in this column. This is the term paleontologists use to describe the sudden, massive explosion of complex life at the beginning of the geological era known as the Cambrian, which, according to flawed dating methods, is placed at around 540 million years ago. Evolutionists have been unable to come up with any explanation as to why and how there could have been such a rapid, colossal, planet-wide explosion of complex, multicellular life-forms with no evolutionary background preceding them. In the words of Simon Conway Morris, a professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at Cambridge University: “What, if anything, triggered the dramatic adaptive radiations of metazoans (organisms having differentiated tissues such as muscle and nerves) about 540 million years ago, an event colloquially referred to as the Cambrian ‘explosion’[?]” (2003: 366).

Prof. Morris asked this question in his review of In the Blink of an Eye by evolutionist Andrew Parker, who theorizes that this extremely sudden, worldwide appearance of advanced life-forms in our planet’s early oceans was triggered by the development (allegedly via evolution) of eyes and eyesight. According to Parker, vision opened the doors for animals to perceive the world around them, resulting in predation, protection, camouflage, pursuit, escape, etc. (Ibid.).

Morris, however, dismisses this theory: “At first sight it is an appealing hypothesis, but as presented it is in fact no more convincing than any of the other speculations that have been wheeled out to explain the Cambrian explosion….Some of these earlier ideas have been so vague as to be untestable…” (Ibid.).

One problem Morris points out is the highly complex and advanced eye of the trilobite (a major thorn for evolutionists, as discussed previously in this column). Morris points out that trilobites don’t appear in the fossil record until quite some time AFTER the Cambrian explosion (Ibid). He further notes that the major problem with Parker’s theory is the same problem with all non-Biblical theories for the sudden appearance of life on Earth:

“It is because of the constant confusion of cause and effect that the Cambrian explosion remains so difficult to explain. To argue, as Parker does, that on one day (a Tuesday?) one trilobite saw and so began a process that changed the world is hopelessly simplistic” (Ibid. 367).

What all evolutionists are missing in their stumbling attempts to explain the Cambrian explosion is Gen. 1:20-21: “And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.”


Morris, S.C. 2003. “On the First Day, God Said….” American Scientist 91, no. 4.

Stephen Caesar holds his master’s degree in anthropology/archaeology from Harvard. He is a staff member at Associates for Biblical Research and the author of the e-book The Bible Encounters Modern Science, available at

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