Reductio Ad Absurdumlatest example in the recent stream of findings of “rapid evolution,” which seem to be coming at an ever increasing pace, is that with the finding of graphite in a 4.1 billion year zircon, life on Earth may have started, err, “almost instantaneously.” Someone tell the angels that Oparin can now rest in peace, for his 1924 prediction that origin of life research would be solved “very, very soon” has finally come to pass. Life arose “almost instantaneously”—though we suspect Oparin was hoping for a bit more detail.
The problem is that with its inexorable march of progress, science just continues to narrow those evolutionary time windows. Darwin insisted evolution required hundreds of millions of years, but the Cambrian Explosion, and all the other so-called Big Bangs of the historical record—which tell us that the appearance of everything from flowers to horses was punctuated rather than gradual—must have occurred in no more than a few million years.
It means the evolutionary tree is the exact opposite of what evolutionists expected. Rather than the slow, gradual, buildup of diversity over the eons of time, instead bursts of radically new species appeared out of nowhere, over and over, only to be winnowed out by extinction.
And it all started with the first life. Except that where a few tens of millions of years once seemed to be available, which itself was inadequate, that speck of graphite now leaves us with nothing but an evolutionary nanosecond.