This post title is a deliberate attention-getter. Radiation is seldom used in this context of creationism. The term commonly signals some sort of energy transfer carried by electromagnetic waves. For example, light is a form of natural radiation composed of electromagnetic waves. Radio and television waves are man-made electromagnetic radiation similar to light with substantially different wave lengths. In the context of paleontology and origins science, however, a radiation signals a completely different phenomenon. Radiations are a vital part of evolutionary theory.
In contrast with the traditional evolutionary concept of gradual change in earth’s life forms, naturalistic scientists need a mechanism to explain why most evolutionary episodes actually occur relatively suddenly. The suddenness may be represented graphically by steps on a stairway. A linear representation of a gradual incline does not represent how life has developed on earth. Several years ago an evolutionary scientist proposed biological origins analogs to the “Big Bang” physical beginning of our universe. He called the phenomena “Biology’s Big Bangs.” Here is a link to my past post:
Evolutionists see the development of the present complexity of life on earth as a naturalistic random process driven by traditional evolutionary mechanisms such as mutation and natural selection. To strengthen their evolutionary paradigm biologists have developed new theoretical explanations for the “fits and starts” processes powering evolution, including gene flow, genetic drift, and others. However, only “natural selection” is likely to adapt a population to its environment, they hold. In this popular phrase, the key word is “natural.” It just happens “naturally.”
Re-enter the term radiation. Under the banner “evolutionary radiation” there exists a secondary term in evolutionary literature. It is called “adaptive radiation.” The Wikipedia definition reads, “Adaptive radiation is a process in which organisms diversify rapidly into a multitude of new life forms, particularly when a change in the environment makes new resources available and opens environmental niches.” The key term in their definition: rapidly.
We have highlighted the startling radiation of the Cambrian Explosion, the sudden proliferation of new animal phyla with no reasonable antecedents preceding them in the fossil record. Evolutionists assign other geologically sudden appearances to the category of radiations marking the arrival of fish, reptiles, land plants, insects, birds and mammals. For those interested in more specifics, you may consult resources detailing the Cambrian Explosion, the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event, the Mesozoic-Cenozoic Radiation, and the Cretaceous Radiation.
Most radiations are characterized by sudden changes of past life forms in the geological columns we observe. Believers in naturalistic evolution are untroubled by these many rapid appearances. They claim (1) sudden appearances, (2) lack of legitimate antecedents, (3) missing transitional species, and (4) stasis of existing species do not weaken their theorized evolutionary paradigm. Stephen C. Meyer decries the obvious error in mistaking a hypothetical scenario for an adequate explanation.
We now introduce the new term creationist radiations into our personal blog glossary. The numerous sudden appearances of animals and plants as recorded in the paleontological record, including the very recent advent of fully modern human beings in the image of God, strikes creationists as a sequence of divine creation events. To those who “think creationally,” not evolutionarily, the proposals of creation events and supernaturally initiated design are not difficult to endorse using discoveries and principles of science. Our newly-minted term creationist radiations refers to rapid creation events on earth producing the glorious diversity of new forms of living things.
Psalm 104:27-30, when combined with physical evidence of divine creation and design, is a powerful two-edged sword of affirmation for a creationist mentality. This passage speaks of God’s provision of food for earth’s creatures. It suggests periodic extinction events on this planet, and God’s creative Spirit to renew the face of the earth (to re-create) following the multiple extinction events over eons of geologic history. This powerfully suggestive passage harmonizes theology and science:
(Living things) all look to (God) to give them their food at the proper time. When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things. When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away your breath, they die and return to the dust. When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth. (Psalm 104:27-30 NIV)