December 10, 2006 | David F. Coppedge

To Get Complex Life, Just Add Oxygen

A story is circulating in the science news media that a burst of complex organisms in the Cambrian coincided with a rise in oxygen in the atmosphere.  Reporters seem to be drawing a cause-and-effect relationship.  Examples:

  1. News@Nature:  “A sharp increase in the amount of oxygen in the air may have sparked the evolution of complex animal life.
  2. Queen’s University:  “Finding an answer to Darwin’s Dilemma: Oxygen may be the clue to first appearance of large animals, says Queen’s prof.”
  3. Science Daily:  “The close connection between the first appearance of oxygenated conditions in the world’s oceans and the first appearance of large animal fossils confirms the importance of oxygen as a trigger for the early evolution of animals, the researchers say.”

The news relates to a paper published on Science Express.  The abstract shows that the premise is built on mere circumstantial evidence:

Animals have an absolute requirement for oxygen, and an increase in late Neoproterozoic oxygen concentrations has been forwarded as a stimulus for their evolution.  The iron content of deep-sea sediments show that the deep ocean was anoxic and ferruginous before and during the Gaskiers glaciation 580 million years ago, becoming oxic afterward.  The first known members of the Ediacara biota are found shortly after the Gaskiers glaciation, suggesting a causal link between their evolution and this oxygenation event.  A prolonged stable oxic environment may have permitted the emergence of bilateral motile animals some 25 million years later.

In a similar story (but further back in the evolutionary timeline), Science Now reported another chemical key to life.  “How in the world did life emerge on a planet composed only of simple chemical compounds?  Scientists say they may have found part of the answer in a mineral that seems to act as an effective catalyst for the earliest organic processes.”  The article calls this mineral, sphalerite, as “Nature’s Jump-Starter.”


1Canfield et al, “Late-Neoproterozoic Deep-Ocean Oxygenation and the Rise of Animal Life,” Science, published Online December 7, 2006, Science DOI: 10.1126/science.1135013.

There it is: the dead giveaway that the Darwinists are conjuring up miracles again: the word emergence.  This is how they dazzle the world with their wizardry and dupe the press.  The mere utterance of the word sends reporters into a trance, where dreams of evolution come true.  In their mythical lands of Ediacara and Gaskiers in the long-lost kingdom of Muddle Earth, the trolls and orcs forge monsters under the sea, their fires stoked with the miracle-working ether of oxygen, under the direction of Sauron’s minion, Tinker Bell.
    Anything is possible in fiction.  Here, the only things required to make complex life emerge are requirements themselves.  “Animals have an absolute requirement for oxygen,” the wizards pronounce, so they add the magic ingredient to their potion, and presto!*  Complex animals with eyes, jointed articulating limbs, fins, molecular machines and coded languages simply emerge from the mix.  In the second article, a well-known chemical evolutionist (aka alchemist), in charmèd spirit, rejoices at the discovery of another putative philosopher’s stone that may bring us “a lot closer to understanding the chemical origins of life.”  Aren’t you fortunate to be living in the Age of Enchantment, where all you have to do is believe.
    The pesky creationists spoil this phantasmagoric vision.  They’re shaking the bed of the dreaming scientists, shouting “Wake up!  Wake up!  You’re late for work!”  No wonder they are so despised.

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Categories: Dumb Ideas, Origin of Life

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