Monday, September 30, 2013

Explanation or Wishful Thinking?

One of my favorite personal exercises while perusing an evolutionary biology textbook is mentally distinguishing factual explanation from wishful thinking. In the area of (1) the origin of life on earth and (2) the origin of new species, evolutionists are hard pressed to avoid proposing a series of fortuitous circumstances to explain either (1) or (2). The Seventh Edition AP text Biology by Neil A. Campbell and Jane B. Reece, described as “the most successful majors biology text in the world,” speculates how conditions on early earth may have generated life on earth. Predictably, secular biology textbooks do not suggest the possibility that life arose on earth by supernatural means. Rather, they propose a set of naturalistic “What if…?” questions to channel our thinking.

The AP Biology authors propose that life must have arisen when self replicating molecules and a metabolism-like source of life’s building blocks (nucleotides) may have been produced by molecules which already had “…some of the properties associated with life, including simple reproduction and metabolism, as well as an internal chemical environment different from that of their surroundings.” Readers of the Biology textbook are then asked, “How did that happen?” The textbook authors then offer their readers a speculative set of “necessary conditions.” They generously supply phrases like could have formed, can discharge, if…then, probably, can make, provided that, may have occurred, perhaps, might have, must have, would have, and could have.

We shift to a different resource to focus our attention on another origins question. Stephen C. Meyer’s 2013 volume Darwin’s Doubt discusses the origin of novel species along the timeline of Earth’s history. In particular, how do we explain the sudden appearance of the remarkable Cambrian Explosion animals? Such animals appeared in the record from the “top down.” In a word, they lacked precursors. They betrayed the evolutionary doctrine of “descent with modification.”

Meyer’s Chapter 11, entitles “Assume a Gene,” discusses many events to invoke evolutionary scenarios which “postulate that modern genes arose as the result of these various mutational processes—processes that they envision as having shaped genes during a long evolutionary history. Since the information in modern genes is presumably different from the information in the hypothetical ancestor genes, they regard the mutational mechanisms that are allegedly responsible for these differences as the explanation for the origin of genetic information…But an obvious error comes in mistaking a hypothetical scenario for either a demonstration of fact or an adequate explanation.”

Wholesale changes in genes must occur, evolutionists postulate, before new species are produced. One such wholesale change in genes is termed “exon shuffling” which results in production of necessary new protein folding. Even though our readers are not familiar with these processes, they may understand that such processes have not been observed in the laboratory or proven to have occurred in nature. They are hypothetical, but accepted as factual by most professional biologists. Assertions by evolutionists about exon shuffling, like many other statements about postulated mutational mechanisms, blurs the distinction between theory and evidence.

Those searching for the truth concerning the origin of new species are required to search the evidence to judge carefully what is true and what is false. Much evidence comes from the record of fossils. Do we trust the rhetoric of evolutionists? They counsel us that “genes emerge and evolve very rapidly.” Genes are “hypermutable,” they claim, and undergo “rapid, adaptive evolution.” Fancy sounding terms are accepted at face value. Fortuitous juxtaposition of suitable sequences, de novo origination, chimerical gene fusion, retropositioning, or extensive refashioning of the genome do not substitute for contrary evidence. The Cambrian Explosion was a naturalistic event only in the wishful thinking of committed evolutionists.

The unmistakable signature of the Creator is written in Cambrian strata.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Conway Morris Musings

Since 1972 Simon Conway Morris has explored the outcrops of fossil-bearing rocks from the Middle Cambrian geologic period. He has championed human understanding of some of the most astonishing discoveries in paleontology ever made. Knowledge of the so-called Cambrian Explosion (CE), a geologically sudden profusion of novel phyla, has been known since Darwin expressed concern that the phenomena did not fit with his gradualistic concept of evolution. Conway Morris highlighted the rapid time frame of the Cambrian event along with the wonder of Cambrian diversity still being discovered by today’s paleontologists. The world recognizes Conway Morris as a foremost expert on the startling Cambrian event.

Conway Morris is a Christian, an unusual qualification among today’s evolutionary paleontologists. He was at odds with evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould concerning the fossilized Cambrian animals of the Burgess Shale. Gould recognized their uniqueness and their geologically sudden appearance on earth, but essentially argued that if the tape of life were rerun from Cambrian time, we would end up with an entirely different world which would include the absence of human beings. Conway Morris, on the contrary, stated evolution is not random and unpredictable, but may be the result of “convergent evolutionary processes.” Convergence describes unique anatomical or functional features appearing in completely unrelated species. Creation scientists view the origin of convergence as the work of a creator using the same design ideas multiple times. Conway Morris’s concept of convergence may or may not signify God’s use of a common design. It may signal a mysterious outcome of evolution.

In 2005 Conway Morris was interviewed via telephone by Hugh Ross and Fazale Rana who guided 40 participants of Reasons to Believe’s August 2013 “Burgess Shale Adventure” to Lake Louise and Yoho National Park in the Canadian Rockies. In the RTB interview Conway Morris denies being a creationist. For some creationists, Conway Morris’s disavowal of the creationist label may be at odds with his Christian claims. The interview was conducted in the spirit of dialogue, not as a debate. Likewise, an interview with The Christian Post was conducted in 2007. Many points made by Conway Morris in such interviews have been made by virtually all theistic evolutionists. My personal quest has been to understand the viewpoint of theistic evolutionists, if not to agree.

Conway Morris seeks to probe the theological implications of science and in particular, the process of evolution. He pronounces the Ediacaran (Pre-Cambrian) roots of the Cambrian Explosion to be “reasonable.” He claims that many other evolutionary radiations such as the later sudden appearance of flowering plants were not unique. Questions about the triggering mechanisms for the Cambrian Explosion (oxygenation, snowball events) are “not worth asking.” He acknowledges metaphysical or theological implications of convergence, especially the rise of human intelligence, to be worthwhile, but also claims acknowledgement of such events “too simple a reading.” Conway Morris does not object to philosophers “jumping in,” but claims “science is uncertain,” (a claim with which professional scientists would concur). To the question of detection of the “Creator’s signature,” Conway Morris answered that “we have scientific questions and scientific answers,” therefore, belief in God’s signature “is a matter of personal belief.”

Is God a sort of “engineer?” Does man’s sometimes humorous imagery of God wearing a white beard transfer to an imagery of God wearing a white (lab) coat? Conway Morris finds such imageries are useful to neither scientists nor theologians. How could scientists answer such questions? With respect to special timing of events on earth, he counsels we could make such conclusions if we wish.

Conway Morris would not, per se, ascribe convergence phenomena to a divine mind. There is no one to one correspondence, because God is completely “other.” God can be known through the Incarnation. But conflation of science and theology does not do service to either one. We need to exercise deeper thinking instead of recognizing a “metaphysical finger.” Conway Morris believes evolution is true. Creation accounts in the Bible are peoples’ efforts to “get hold of reality.” In so doing, we impoverish both science and theology, he says.

In The Christian Post 2007 interview Conway Morris thought science and faith were more complementary to one another rather than helping him understand his faith and “prove God.” He views biology as “a little more intractable than physics or chemistry” with their reliance on the periodic table and the Big Bang. Therefore, science “wonderfully explain(s) the organization of the universe, but that’s really all it claims to do, and I think it does that very successfully.” Conway Morris does not see intelligent design as science. Intelligent design theorists claim, for all intents and purposes, “God did it.” He says, “One can imagine where that could be the case; it’s certainly not the universe we live in.” In the Christian Post interview, he repeats the idea that intelligent design is bad theology and bad science. But he enjoys various opportunities to speak about the broad topic of natural theology.

Conway Morris claims alienation from many colleagues owing to his negative view of materialism and what he sees as intellectual consistency in Christianity and its “frankly overwhelming” historical evidence. He counsels us to “remember what happened on that early Sunday morning in April AD 33.

Professional scientists are wedded to the principle of separation of the realms of science and theology. They counsel us that, “Science works that way.” They do not espouse being informed by theists that God may have entered our dimensions to miraculously initiate new life forms--to reorganize genetic molecular arrangements to “create” something new, for example. To do so would be “unscientific” by definition. Theistic evolutionary scientists may acknowledge this possibility or reality, but would not incorporate it under the purview of their professional operational guidelines. To do so would alienate them from colleagues, among other realities. The “rules of the game” of science have been firmly set in stone.

An interesting sidelight is the scorn heaped upon theistic beliefs of brilliant scientists like Simon Conway Morris by fellow scientists who possess no theistic beliefs whatever. In such cases it appears their real objection transcends their operating principles as scientists. They have a strong aversion, even disdain for all theistic belief. Symptoms of this aversion are evident in the written and verbal abuse often heaped upon theistic scientists. We must be careful to avoid disparaging the faith of those we do not agree with, whether the disagreement relates to scientific interpretations or the finer points of scripture interpretation.    

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Burgess Creationism

One should not expect “Burgess Creationism” to appear on internet search engines. After a visit to the Canadian Yoho National Park I discovered the two words have both occurred in many internet search sites, but never joined as a formal term. Simon Conway Morris, pre-eminent Burgess Shale paleontologist, has written a book entitled The Crucible of Creation: The Burgess Shale and the Rise of Animals. Morris is an evolutionist, not a creationist. But he uses the term creation in a broad sense to highlight the Cambrian explosion--the initial, sudden manifestation of many never-before-seen animal phyla 530 mya. The sudden appearance of a plethora of novel animals retaining even their soft tissues in some detail still startles evolutionary scientists.

Apart from lingering exuberance inspired by the beauty of the Canadian Rockies in Banff and Yoho National Parks, I have spent many waking moments since our return contemplating the Burgess Shale phenomenon. The events of the visit and the discussions it provoked have triggered renewed awareness that the evolution vs. creation issue is of paramount importance for those who believe in the God of creation as well as those who do not.

The wide-ranging implications of the Burgess Shale animals provide powerful credence for the concept of periodic creation events on our planet. These creation events must be described in narrow terms. Some theistic evolutionists have begun to use the term “evolutionary creationism” to describe their beliefs concerning life’s origins. This term, however, really speaks of an evolutionary process for living things set in operation by God at the beginning. The meaning of creation, therefore, has diverged from its commonly accepted meaning prior to Charles Darwin.

The more imaginative recent hypotheses accounting for biological evolution do not begin to explain the so-called Cambrian explosion. Scripture begins the day five creation account with a phrase reminiscent of the Cambrian explosion: “Let the water teem with living creatures…” (Genesis 1:20). A reading of secular scientific commentary on the Cambrian period inspires us to appreciate the word “teem” in the context of both science and scripture.

Nick Matzke is former Public Information Project Director at the National Center for Science Education (NCSE). He has written many negative critiques of creationism and Intelligent Design. In a recent review of Stephen C. Meyer’s best-selling, just-published book appraising arguments for the unlikelihood of evolution working to produce the explosion of animal life as observed in Cambrian strata, Matzke echoes the lament of most evolutionists. They wonder “…what exactly is supposed to have happened at the Cambrian or anywhere else in geologic history?” Such questions are a cover for the real assertion that all events in the history of life on earth be explained by a naturalistic process. The profession of science has been configured toward naturalism since late in the 19th century. Since that time the gospel of naturalism has been spread publicly and militantly. All explanations, including the astonishing account of the Cambrian explosion, are expected to detail what happened according to a naturalistic process.

While preparing for the Canadian Rockies Burgess Shale Adventure, I encountered a neighbor during a morning walk. I expressed my feeling that the Reasons to Believe sponsors of the upcoming adventure would present the Cambrian explosion as a creation event. The proposal that the strange and simple life during the Pre-Cambrian somehow suddenly gave rise to the rich Cambrian biota in a virtual instant of geologic time does not trouble evolutionists. Naturalistic explanations must account for the onset of startling, novel Cambrian life forms no matter how absurd or bizarre the explanations may be.

The term “create” could be defined as a “reorganization of molecules.” Perhaps this speaks of “create” having acquired a meaning of “something from nothing” (bara) or several other Hebrew linguistic possibilities such asmake” (asah) or “form” (yasar). For our discussion, we propose that Cambrian animals were newly made or formed. These animals did not descend from other creatures. They were produced by an act of our Creator according to Genesis 1:20.

Our Christian worldview is supported by the evidence of creation as manifest by the Cambrian explosion and other historical geological records. The more we study the Cambrian event, the stronger the evidence for supernatural creation becomes. After studying pictures and museum specimens of the wonderful variety of Cambrian animals, we posit that our God is not only the Creator, but also a “playful artist.”

Monday, September 16, 2013

Evolution by Persuasion

The BioLogos organization vigorously promotes evolution. It is presented as totally compatible with Christian belief. BioLogos does not promote traditional theistic creationism as it was conceived before the Darwinian revolution. Instead, BioLogos has lately repackaged creationism. It now promotes “Evolutionary Creationism” (EC). William Lane Craig recently answered a question posed to him about EC. He stated, “Evolutionary creationism is the currently chic name given to what we used to call theistic evolution (TE), which is the view that the current evolutionary paradigm is entirely adequate so that the evolution of presently observed biological complexity requires no causal input from God.”

Craig articulately outlines his doubts about the paradigm of evolution in his lengthy letter response. “The extrapolation of the Darwinian mechanisms from peppered moths to fruit flies and finch beaks to the production and evolution of every living thing is a breathtaking extrapolation of brobdingnagian proportions. We know that in science such extrapolations often fail…..When I, as an objective observer, look at the evidence, it seems to me that we haven’t been shown any good reason to think that the neo-Darwinian mechanisms are sufficient to explain the evidence of the extraordinary diversity of life that we see on this planet during the time available.” 

My recent participation in the “Burgess Shale Adventure” sponsored by Reasons to Believe has refocused my attention to the monumental wonder posed by the so-called Cambrian Explosion (CE), a startling example of the sudden “biological complexity” William Lane Craig addressed. Perhaps even the most unwavering evolution proponents are hard pressed to explain the CE within a traditional evolutionary apologetic. Stephen C. Meyer’s current blockbuster Darwin’s Doubt also rivets readers to the virtual irrationality that the CE can be explained within an evolutionary context.

The BioLogos organization has launched a campaign to promote their concept of evolutionary creationism. Traditional creationism and evolutionary creationism are poles apart. It appears evolution has lately been repackaged and aligned with the term creationism to aggressively persuade segments of the evangelical Christian community. One link on the BioLogos website, “View questions by Category,” directs readers to “Responses to Arguments Against the Science of Evolution.” We ask what young person desires to be characterized   against science? Evolution is not science, we respond. Rather, it is a theory birthed under the banner of science. The persuasive power of a well presented theory is considerable, especially if the theory itself is characterized as science.   

Several well-known geologists of Darwin’s time doubted the new theory sweeping through the scientific community, including Louis Agassiz, Roderick Murchison, and Adam Sedgwick. The latter voiced the opinion that the Cambrian animal fossils appeared to pop up out of nowhere into the geological column. Meyer claims, “The sudden appearance of the Cambrian animals was merely the most outstanding incidence of a pattern of discontinuity that extends throughout the geological column.” The discontinuities continue throughout the Paleozoic, including the four subsequent periods following the Cambrian. In the Triassic period following the Paleozoic, animals such as the dinosaurs and turtles emerged. These step-like sudden appearances were not exceptions, but rather the rule. In the ages to follow, many other major groups of animals appeared on the geological timeline in step-like fashion following extinctions.

Stephen C. Meyer presents a convincing, extensive rebuttal to evolution in his most recent book Darwin’s Doubt. He reminds readers that the fossil record should not present a top-down pattern of life appearances under the paradigm of evolution and defends this point in detail. Evolution is generally supposed to work toward increasing complexity from initial simplicity. Meyer explains how micro-evolutionary changes and other gene-regulatory mutations might affect features such as wing-coloration but not the rapid evolution of new body plans. Generating new phyla in a short time, on the other hand, is clearly wishful thinking for the evolutionist.

BioLogos personnel are strongly persuasive in their blogs and articles concerning evolution on their website. I was struck by the subheading “Does the Cambrian Explosion pose a challenge to evolution?” I was also struck by the confident denial that the CE poses any challenge. Perhaps many readers have not seriously questioned evolution and anomalies such as the CE. They willingly take the word of evolutionary bio-scientists whose powers of persuasion are excessive. Frequently I have encountered non-scientists or people professionally trained in other disciplines who subscribe to evolution’s broad paradigm on the strength of their confidence in persuasive evolutionary “specialists.” That community is powerfully driven by a philosophy of naturalism in their science investigation.

Evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould has uttered many curious statements during his famous career. Gould is presented as an apologist for evolution even in BioLogos literature. For example, Gould is quoted claiming “pure, unadulterated luck” is as important to our (human) arrival as was natural selection. He does not mention any sort of creationism. We note that Gould, the author of the theory of “punctuated equilibrium,” initially described PE’s sudden appearances of new species several decades ago as “paleontology’s trade secret” and attempted to explain it by proposing creative theories such as “allopatric speciation,” discounting the traditional “natural selection” pillar of evolution. BioLogos also avows that the CE does not present a “challenge to the fundamental correctness of the central thesis of evolution, the descent of all living species from a common ancestor.”

BioLogos apologists for evolution reassure their readers that several million years is “plenty of time” to generate the numerous novel phyla of the CE. They cite other periods in geologic history claiming, “…there are other times of very rapid evolutionary change recorded in the fossil record—often following times of major extinction.” Even adherents of naturalistic evolution deny that macroevolution could occur in such a short time. Accordingly, perhaps theistic evolutionists may acknowledge that what they consider rapid evolutionary change really signals supernatural creation events.

The creation vs. evolution discussion has lately moved from a national discussion issue into narrower discussions within our religious institutions, including churches and colleges. Shortly after mid-twentieth century public opinion polls suggested that most Americans believed that God either supernaturally created human beings or guided evolution, we now, a half century later, are discussing “evolutionary creationism.” The discussion really is a disguised form of creation vs. evolution struggles which came to prominence decades ago. EC does not differ from naturalistic evolution in any significant respect. Humans descended from a simple common ancestor, according to EC. We now openly promote evolution under the banner of “Evolutionary Creationism.”

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Signature of Creation

Personal handwritten signatures bear unique characteristics of the signer. Ordinarily the distinctiveness of the signer is difficult to conceal. Handwriting experts have the ability to identify genuine as well as fraudulent signatures. Sources claim individual handwriting may reveal characteristics of the signer and do not change significantly over time. The term “signature” has been broadened from its original usage to denote a set of human characteristics unrelated to personal handwriting. It may reveal identity in ways other than personally created graphics.

Our post title suggests the universe with its present and past characteristics of time, space, matter, and energy bears a signature of the Creator and the Creator’s work. In particular, life on Planet Earth bears the signature of the Creator in ways distinct from the many lifeless worlds now visible beyond our Solar System. Scientists have provided a portrait of earth history, including the history of earth’s life forms in the past several hundred years. This history was only vaguely imagined prior to the Scientific Revolution.

Earth’s life forms provide signatures of the Creator and His acts of creation in a variety of ways. We glory in the wonder of the characteristics of life and the wondrously designed and integrated body systems of humans and other life forms. Scientists speculate on the nature of human consciousness. Even secular scientists acknowledge human ability to define concepts of God-consciousness or the ultimate meaning of human existence. Genesis 1:27 is the earliest scriptural account of the presence of God’s image in humanity. Judeo-Christian scripture is an account of man’s desire to nourish (or resist) our awareness of the Image of God.

Many theistic scientists have addressed the signature of creation in terms of the origin of life, the sequence of life’s presence on earth, and the “adequate cause” of the present manifestation of earth life. Theistic evolutionists and creationists characterize the signatures of creation in substantially divergent ways. Naturalistic evolutionists do not believe the record of earth life possesses any signature of a divine Creator. Some “evolutionary” creationists may conceive of the Creator’s signature as their personal perception of evolution as God-authored in the beginning, blending into the “now” with God presently acting as observer and sustainer. It is worth noting that their “signature of the Creator” consists of a concept. Of course, most theists embrace the idea that the orderliness of matter in the natural realm may be a signature of the Creator.

To old earth creationist organizations such as our blog host Ankerberg Theological Research Institute (ATRI) and Reasons to Believe (RTB), the signature of creation is left indelibly in the record of ancient fossils for us to inspect. In August RTB offered a Burgess Shale Adventure to the Canadian national parks Banff and Yoho. The latter is the location of one of the world’s two best sites revealing the startling sudden appearance of Cambrian Explosion biota on this planet. In the two most famous sites, the Burgess Shale of Yoho and at the Chengjiang site in China, unique conditions preserved even the soft tissue of specimens representing several dozen phyla appearing suddenly on earth without precursors. From the old earth creationist perspective, this event, poorly explained by contemporary proposals of evolutionists, appears to be an astonishing creation event of divine origin.

We ask, “What are some of the best signatures of creation to occur regularly in the geological record?” We answer, (1) many major animal groups appear with startling suddenness; (2) legitimate examples of fossil antecedents are not found; (3) there are disputed or non-existent transitional species; and (4) stasis is the rule during the tenure of existing species.

The signature of Creation is writ large in the record of the rocks in spite of loud crowing of evolutionists to the contrary. Nearly the entire bioscience profession is philosophically committed to the paradigm of evolution. Uncritically, many non-scientists take the word of professional scientists in their conclusions concerning evolution. Media bias also plays a role. This is defined as “the bias of journalists and news producers within the mass media, in the selection of which events and stories are reported and how they are covered.” The science profession has an active and loyal cadre of media reporters in many braches of science. Unvarnished truth is sometimes subsumed under the cover of their private agenda.

Creationism and Intelligent Design are sometimes reported by the science media as being equivalent. ID is said to be a cover for the real agenda of theistic creationism. Both are denigrated by many in the science community because they are said to promote non-science. We ask the same questions several secular, agnostic scientists have asked: Is creationism true? Is ID true? The question is not whether creationism and ID are perceived by the science community as being non-scientific. The question is, “What is true?”

Truth overwhelms all other philosophical agendas. If the fossil record reveals the signature of creation, we must allow the truth of creation to overwhelm the philosophical commitment to evolution and its dependence on naturalism. I call on theistic evolutionists to consider the serious consequences of embracing a false paradigm of naturalistic evolution. In the face of many signatures of creation in the record of nature, evolution is plainly not a settled issue.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Burgess Shale Discovery

A permanent plaque in the Canadian Rockies Yoho National Park reads:
Burgess Shale was placed on the World Heritage list at the 1980 meeting of the UNESCO world heritage committee as a site of outstanding universal value forming part of the national heritage of mankind. Dating from Middle Cambrian time more than 500 million years ago, it is one of the world’s most significant fossil sites. It has yielded more than 150 species of some 120 genera. The remarkably preserved soft-bodied marine animals, unique to Burgess Shale, are of major importance to evolutionary biology.

The Reasons to Believe organization sponsored a “Burgess Shale Adventure” to the Canadian Rockies from August 25-30. Hugh Ross (RTB founder) and Fazale Rana were the scholars interpreting daily discoveries during evening meetings.

The highlight of the adventure was a 9 km, 7 hour hike to the Mt. Stephen fossil beds. The 900 meter elevation ascent (and 900 meter descent) was characterized as “a difficult hike” with little disagreement from the participants. Over half of the group’s participants completed the hike led by Mount Burgess Geoscience Foundation guides.

Apart from our enjoyment of the sheer and magnificent beauty of Lake Louise and Banff National Park, there exists a potential for even deeper intellectual satisfaction for park inquisitors. The Burgess Shale communicates startling historical scientific truths. The initial appearance of dozens of phyla of living creatures in an unbelievably short period of earth’s geological history speaks to an unprecedented event. Biologists’ assignment of phylum classifications to numerous Burgess Shale creatures communicates a startling fact: These 500+ million-year-old creatures appeared suddenly, out of the proverbial “nowhere.” They seem to have no biological antecedents in older rocks.

To what event do we refer? Secular scientists unabashedly refer to this event as an explosion—the Cambrian Explosion. Imagine this improbable scenario: If a city springs up complete with homes and factories of varying architectural styles on previously unoccupied land virtually overnight, we may describe the event as unnatural or even supernatural. If such an event were actually to happen, we would be hard pressed to propose a natural explanation.

The RTB scholars did not propose similar colorful analogies to explain the Burgess Shale fossils. Rather, they used tested methods of scientific inquiry. The scholars did not propose unlikely naturalistic explanations for this phenomenon. In our day, most science professionals have ruled out any and all possible supernatural explanations in the world of our existence. We encourage our readers to examine the evidence uncovered by traditional methods of science, including causal adequacy. It is a part of the scientific method encouraged by the counsel of scripture.

We must consider the supernatural origin of sudden, novel species in the fossil record. Burgess Shale fossils provide an outstanding example. There exists no naturalistic explanation for the Burgess phenomenon. Rather, we are called upon to consider supernatural intervention for the sudden appearance of multitudes of novel Burgess Shale creatures. Use of the adjective evolutionary to describe the Cambrian Explosion is an inaccurate use of that term as commonly understood.