March 28, 2008 | David F. Coppedge

Explaining Two Billion Years Without Evolution

How does an evolutionist explain the perception that (within their timeline), no multicellular animals emerged for two billion years after the origin of life?  Jonathan Wells has compared this to walking down a football field and encountering nothing but single cells till the 60 yard line, then boom! – all the animal phyla with their complex body plans suddenly appear in one step.  A new plot was “discovered” by researchers at UC Riverside: the microbes were waiting for shipments of oxygen and molybdenum to arrive.
    Science Daily reported how Tim Lyons and his research buddies measured oxygen and molybdenum traces in black shales thought to correspond to the time before the Cambrian explosion.  The idea is that “Molybdenum is a key micronutrient for life and serves as a proxy for oceanic and atmospheric oxygen amounts.”
    Measuring elements in rocks is one thing, but the authors assumed that the mere presence of these two elements in greater amounts was sufficient to supercharge evolution.  Here are some examples from the press release, titled “Reason For Almost Two Billion Year Delay In Animal Evolution On Earth Discovered.”

  • Suspecting that deficiencies in oxygen and molybdenum might explain this evolutionary lag
  • “These molybdenum depletions may have retarded the development of complex life such as animals for almost two billion years of Earth history,” Lyons said.  “The amount of molybdenum in the ocean probably played a major role in the development of early life.  As in the case of iron today, molybdenum can be thought of as a life-affirming micronutrient that regulates the biological cycling of nitrogen in the ocean.”
  • “These steps in oxygenation are what gave rise ultimately to the first animals almost 600 million years ago — just the last tenth or so of Earth history.
  • For animal life to commence, survive and eventually expand on Earth, a threshold amount of oxygen — estimated to be on the order of 1 to 10 percent of present atmospheric levels of oxygen — was needed.
  • “By tracking molybdenum in shales rich in organic matter, we found the deep ocean remained oxygen- and molybdenum-deficient after the first step.  This condition may have had a negative impact on the evolution of early eukaryotes, our single-celled ancestors. [Clinton Scott, grad student]
  • “So one question is: Did this global glaciation [Snowball Earth] play a role in the increasing abundance of oxygen which, in turn, enabled the evolution of animals?” [Scott]

One gets the distinct impression that they believe evolution was poised like a chained racehorse, held back by a deficiency of two elements; otherwise, it surely would have exploded into complex forms much earlier.  Is this what the original paper in Nature claimed?1  Yes, but with a lot less fanfare and confidence:

  • The oxidation state of the Proterozoic ocean between these two steps and the timing of deep-ocean oxygenation have important implications for the evolutionary course of life on Earth but remain poorly known.
  • Subsequent expansion of sulphidic conditions after about 1,800 Myr ago maintained a mid-Proterozoic molybdenum reservoir below 20 per cent of the modern inventory, which in turn may have acted as a nutrient feedback limiting the spatiotemporal distribution of euxinic (sulphidic) bottom waters and perhaps the evolutionary and ecological expansion of eukaryotic organisms.
  • These results and our estimates for the size of the oceanic reservoir are consistent with the hypothesis that the drawdown of Mo into sulphidic environments may have worked to restrict the occurrence and the evolutionary path of eukaryotes through the bioinorganic bridge linking Mo to N bioavailability.
  • Our interpretation of Mo cycling in the Late Neoproterozoic suggests that modern redox and nutrient cycles were well established by 551 Myr, shortly after the initial oxidation of the deep ocean, and that the appearance of the first large animals followed not only the oxidation of the deep ocean but also the establishment of modern biogeochemical cycles.

1.  Scott, Lyons et al, “Tracing the stepwise oxygenation of the Proterozoic ocean,” Nature 452, 456-459 (27 March 2008) | doi:10.1038/nature06811.

Well, what do you know? (always a good question for a scientist).  They just found another building block of lie (03/19/2008).  Better check and see if Enceladus received its molybdenum shipment yet (03/26/2008 commentary).
    You will understand science reporting about evolution these days when you memorize the Darwin Party M.O. (and that’s not the chemical symbol for molybdenum here, but modus operandi).  A review.
• Step 1: Assume evolution.
• Step 2: Observe a fact.
• Step 3: Make up a story to show how the fact might fit in with the assumption of evolution.
Tomorrow’s entry will describe another part of the process:
• Step 4: Attack, ridicule, hate, persecute and destroy anyone who questions the Darwin Party orthodoxy.

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