One of the most interesting of the many different species that suddenly emerged in the Cambrian Age is the now-extinct trilobites. Trilobites belonged to the Arthropoda phylum, and were very complicated creatures with hard shells, articulated bodies, and complex organs. The fossil record has made it possible to carry out very detailed studies of trilobites' eyes. The trilobite eye is made up of hundreds of tiny facets, and each one of these contains two lens layers. This eye structure is a real wonder of design. David Raup, a professor of geology at Harvard, Rochester, and Chicago Universities, says, "the trilobites 450 million years ago used an optimal design which would require a well trained and imaginative optical engineer to develop today."
The extraordinarily complex structure even in trilobites is enough to invalidate Darwinism on its own, because no complex creatures with similar structures lived in previous geological periods, which goes to show that trilobites emerged with no evolutionary process behind them. A 2001 Science article says:
Cladistic analyses of arthropod phylogeny revealed that trilobites, like eucrustaceans, are fairly advanced "twigs" on the arthropod tree. But fossils of these alleged ancestral arthropods are lacking. ...Even if evidence for an earlier origin is discovered, it remains a challenge to explain why so many animals should have increased in size and acquired shells within so short a time at the base of the Cambrian.
Very little was known about this extraordinary situation in the Cambrian Age when Charles Darwin was writing The Origin of Species. Only since Darwin's time has the fossil record revealed that life suddenly emerged in the Cambrian Age, and that trilobites and other invertebrates came into being all at once. For this reason, Darwin was unable to treat the subject fully in the book. But he did touch on the subject under the heading "On the sudden appearance of groups of allied species in the lowest known fossiliferous strata," where he wrote the following about the Silurian Age (a name which at that time encompassed what we now call the Cambrian):
For instance, I cannot doubt that all the Silurian trilobites have descended from some one crustacean, which must have lived long before the Silurian age, and which probably differed greatly from any known animal
Consequently, if my theory be true, it is indisputable that before the lowest Silurian stratum was deposited, long periods elapsed, as long as, or probably far longer than, the whole interval from the Silurian age to the present day; and that during these vast, yet quite unknown, periods of time, the world swarmed with living creatures. To the question why we do not find records of these vast primordial periods, I can give no satisfactory answer.
Darwin said "If my theory be true, [the Cambrian] Age must have been full of living creatures." As for the question of why there were no fossils of these creatures, he tried to supply an answer throughout his book, using the excuse that "the fossil record is very lacking." But nowadays the fossil record is quite complete, and it clearly reveals that creatures from the Cambrian Age did not have ancestors. This means that we have to reject that sentence of Darwin's which begins "If my theory be true." Darwin's hypotheses were invalid, and for that reason, his theory is mistaken.
The record from the Cambrian Age demolishes Darwinism, both with the complex bodies of trilobites, and with the emergence of very different living bodies at the same time. Darwin wrote "If numerous species, belonging to the same genera or families, have really started into life all at once, the fact would be fatal to the theory of descent with slow modification through natural selection."-that is, the theory at the heart of in his book. But as we saw earlier, some 60 different animal phyla started into life in the Cambrian Age, all together and at the same time, let alone small categories such as species. This proves that the picture which Darwin had described as "fatal to the theory" is in fact the case. This is why the Swiss evolutionary paleoanthropologist Stefan Bengtson, who confesses the lack of transitional links while describing the Cambrian Age, makes the following comment: "Baffling (and embarrassing) to Darwin, this event still dazzles us."
The Origin of Tetrapods
Another matter that needs to be dealt with regarding trilobites is that the 530-million-year-old compound structure in these creatures' eyes has come down to the present day completely unchanged. Some insects today, such as bees and dragonflies, possess exactly the same eye structure. This discovery deals yet another "fatal blow" to the theory of evolution's claim that living things develop from the primitive to the complex.
As we said at the beginning, one of the phyla that suddenly emerged in the Cambrian Age is the Chordata, those creatures with a central nervous system contained within a braincase and a notochord or spinal column. Vertebrates are a subgroup of chordates. Vertebrates, divided into such fundamental classes as fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals, are probably the most dominant creatures in the animal kingdom.
Because evolutionary paleontologists try to view every phylum as the evolutionary continuation of another phylum, they claim that the Chordata phylum evolved from another, invertebrate one. But the fact that, as with all phyla, the members of the Chordata emerged in the Cambrian Age invalidates this claim right from the very start. The oldest member of the Chordata phylum identified from the Cambrian Age is a sea-creature called Pikaia, which with its long body reminds one at first sight of a worm. Pikaia emerged at the same time as all the other species in the phylum which could be proposed as its ancestor, and with no intermediate forms between them. Professor Mustafa Kuru, a Turkish evolutionary biologist, says in his book Vertebrates:
There is no doubt that chordates evolved from invertebrates. However, the lack of transitional forms between invertebrates and chordates causes people to put forward many assumptions.
If there is no transitional form between chordates and invertebrates, then how can one say "there is no doubt that chordates evolved from invertebrates?" Accepting an assumption which lacks supporting evidence, without entertaining any doubts, is surely not a scientific approach, but a dogmatic one. After this statement, Professor Kuru discusses the evolutionist assumptions regarding the origins of vertebrates, and once again confesses that the fossil record of chordates consists only of gaps:
The views stated above about the origins of chordates and evolution are always met with suspicion, since they are not based on any fossil records.
Evolutionary biologists sometimes claim that the reason why there exist no fossil records regarding the origin of vertebrates is because invertebrates have soft tissues and consequently leave no fossil traces. However this explanation is entirely unrealistic, since there is an abundance of fossil remains of invertebrates in the fossil record. Nearly all organisms in the Cambrian period were invertebrates, and tens of thousands of fossil examples of these species have been collected. For example, there are many fossils of soft-tissued creatures in Canada's Burgess Shale beds. (Scientists think that invertebrates were fossilized, and their soft tissues kept intact in regions such as Burgess Shale, by being suddenly covered in mud with a very low oxygen content.
The theory of evolution assumes that the first Chordata, such as Pikaia, evolved into fish. However, just as with the case of the supposed evolution of Chordata, the theory of the evolution of fish also lacks fossil evidence to support it. On the contrary, all distinct classes of fish emerged in the fossil record all of a sudden and fully-formed. There are millions of invertebrate fossils and millions of fish fossils; yet there is not even one fossil that is midway between them.
Robert Carroll admits the evolutionist impasse on the origin of several taxa among the early vertebrates:
We still have no evidence of the nature of the transition between cephalochordates and craniates. The earliest adequately known vertebrates already exhibit all the definitive features of craniates that we can expect to have preserved in fossils. No fossils are known that document the origin of jawed vertebrates.
Another evolutionary paleontologist, Gerald T. Todd, admits a similar fact in an article titled "Evolution of the Lung and the Origin of Bony Fishes":
All three subdivisions of bony fishes first appear in the fossil record at approximately the same time. They are already widely divergent morphologically, and are heavily armored. How did they originate? What allowed them to diverge so widely? How did they all come to have heavy armor? And why is there no trace of earlier, intermediate forms?