But Meyer says Darwin was aware of the Cambrian period (“at first commonly called the Silurian” (Darwin’s Doubt, p. 6)). Meyer says, “it was a challenge to his theory because he anticipated that the mechanism of natural selection, acting on random variations, would have to work very slowly and gradually. He thought that the variations would be slow, minute, and incremental. If they were big, the mechanism would create deformities that would not survive, so he thought the mechanism needed to generate small and incremental variations. And that would take a lot of time.”
As noted, Darwin was aware of the Cambrian Explosion, but hoped that future discoveries would somehow nullify the significance of the Cambrian. However, they have not.
Meyer told my listeners, “What we see in the fossil record is the abrupt appearance of these animal forms. [Darwin] knew of some of them in his time. But he anticipated or hoped that subsequent generations of fossil-hunters and paleontologists would discover the ancestral precursors to these animal forms in the lower pre-Cambrian layers.”
What has happened since Origins was first published in 1859? “In fact,” says Meyer, “what's happened is that more and more Cambrian animals have been discovered---most of which have still lacked these ancestral forms. And so we have this pattern of very abrupt, discontinuous appearance, in contrast with the picture of the history of life, which Darwin drew of a slow, gradual, unfolding of life.”
This problem for Darwinism is not just in the fossils. The so-called missing links are still missing. But Meyer also notes, “It's this deeper problem of coming up with a mechanism that explains complex animal life, especially in the wake of all the things we discovered in the last 50, 60 years in biology about the importance of information---digital code and other forms of information that are stored in DNA and elsewhere in the cell.”
Meyer adds, “It's just like in computer science. If you want to have a new function on your computer, you've got to have lots of code, lots of instruction. If you want to build these complex animal forms, we now know, you need information, you need instructions. And that's the crucial question that is really creating an impasse in evolutionary theory. Where does that information come from?”
Oh, I get it---“In the beginning was the Word…”