Cambrian crustaceans put arthropod origins back, according to a report in Nature , vol 449, p595, 4 Oct 2007. Xi-guang Zhang of Yunnan University, China and colleagues from Universities of Leicester and Ulm, have found three previously unknown fossil crustaceans in Lower Cambrian rocks in China. One of the new fossils is described as “markedly similar to those of living cephalocarids, branchiopods and copepods”. These creatures are considered to be highly evolved types of crustaceans, so the researchers suggest the newly found fossils’ “stratigraphical position provides substantial support to the proposition that the main cladogenic event that gave rise to the Arthropoda was before the Cambrian.”

Editorial Comment: “Arthropoda” are animals with exoskeletons and jointed limbs, and include crabs, lobsters and insects. Cambrian rocks are usually considered to be the oldest rocks containing complex creatures with any hard structures such as an exoskeleton. Because the scientists who did this study believe that such complex creatures took millions of years to evolve from simple creatures, they have to believe in a “cladogenic event”, i.e. the formation of a new kind of animal, before these rocks were laid down.

As the new fossils are “markedly similar” to living arthropods, Occam’s Razor would suggest it is simpler to say that arthropods show no evidence of evolving simply because they were created as fully formed functional creatures in the beginning, and have reproduced after their kind ever since these rocks were laid down – just as Genesis says. But the unpopularity of that explanation is a reminder that science insists today on naturalistic explanations that exclude God even if He was involved. (Ref. shellfish, invertebrates, origin)

Evidence News 9 April 2008