Myth: multicellular life arose in the Cambrian


Creationists are much vested in the idea of “suddenly” — they love the idea of inserting the fingersnap of God into every abrupt transition. This is why they are infatuated with the Big Bang and the Cambrian Explosion, and why they flirted with the idea of renaming “Intelligent Design” to “Sudden Origins” theory. If something had no antecedents, no gradual build up, well then, we have to explain it with “God did it!”.

Unfortunately, the media plays along with it. I found a bit of scientific misinformation on the Raw Story — such obvious stupidity that anyone with any basic training in evolutionary biology would have caught it. I just gave my first year biology students an exam, and they would have caught it (I hope). Multicellular life did not arise in the Cambrian — it’s much older than that.

Here’s the story. A fossil of a multicellular organism was found, and…here comes the hype.

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The Atheist Disillusionment

I’ve been writing about atheism for about 10 years now. What has driven me is a combination of awe at the amazing insights produced by science, so much deeper and more substantial than any collection of myths, and a furious rage at the lies and injustice and corruption of humanity by religion. For a while there, in the middle, there was also an ebullience at the growing success of atheism, and hope that someday we would be able to cast aside the follies of faith. The awe is still here, the rage is still burning, but the optimism is fading and is being consumed by a new anger at the incompetence and betrayal of the self-appointed atheist leadership.

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A Pink Floyd poll!

We atheists are a heartless people. Dr Rubidium is trying to raise money for GeekGirlCon science, and to trick a certain sect of the musically elect to donate, she promised to listen to a whole Pink Floyd album. The moment has come. She is committed. She has bravely walked up to the mark and is now asking us which Pink Floyd album she has to listen to…with an internet poll. Uh-oh. She is asking for it.

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