Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Cambrian Explosion



There is a new video out from Illustra Media, the same people who made Unraveling the Mystery of Life and The Privileged Planet. It is called Darwin's Dilemma and is about the Cambrian Explosion, a geological period in which many original forms of animals appeared fully formed in the fossil record. I've never copied a video to my blog, and I don't know 1) how to do it and 2) whether it is within the Upload Terms of Google to do it with commercial previews. So, I'll just show you the above picture which is on their website and link to the video here, where you can see the trailer for Darwin's Dilemma.

The Cambrian Explosion, when so many full-fledged animals without intermediates started appearing, is estimated at about 530 million years ago. When you compare the graphs of what Darwin expected for fossil development and what has actually been found, it looks like these graphs from the Veritas Forum:


Darwin predicted a gradual appearance of simple forms in the fossil record which would diversify and become more complex (graph on left). Instead, you have the abrupt appearance of many complex forms at one time (right).

I look forward to seeing this film. I haven't seen Illustra Media's other films since I felt I've read a great deal concerning their subjects, but this one is a little different because it contains information about fossils over the entire Earth. I know something about fossils, but could use more education on them. What I've heard about this film makes me look forward to seeing it.

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