How did we go from noxious slime to man?

Here’s another (of many blogs) that try to make sense of the Cambrian explosion where the body plans of all major animal phyla were laid down, almost in a creationist kind of design: Cambrian explosion. It is assumed by some that all of this occurred in a span of only 20 million years, which in geologic terms, is the blink of an eye. Put another way, consider that life on earth had been plodding along for 3.4 billion years as little more than bacterial slime prior to the Cambrian explosion.  Twenty million years is less than 0.6% of the time period in which life existed prior to the Cambrian explosion! Some say that snowball earth (Rodinia) generated the oxygen necessary for the evolution of multicellular life. Without sufficient oxygen, multicellular life would never have occurred and would die quickly today without it. Even if this did provide conditions necessary for multicellularity, it provides no ready explanation for how it occurred so quickly compared to previous rates of evolution. By quickly, I mean a rate of evolution that was as much as 170 times faster! The best analogy for this kind of rapid evolution is by comparing it to computer evolution. Computers did not evolve one or two transistors at a time (single point mutations). They evolved rapidly by first generating integrated circuits, then chips, then larger more complex chips composed of smaller chips, then motherboards, then intranet servers, then the internet, and  finally, the cloud. To get a better “feel for this blog, start at the Introduction.


About frankabernathy

I am a retired cell biologist and alumnus of Ohio State University. I became interested in chromosomes as far back as the 1960's when I wrote a term paper on the effects of radiomimetic drugs on chromosomes. I was fascinated at how they could break apart and reform new structures so easily. I became further involved in the early 1970's after taking a cytogenetics course at the University of Arkansas. I took that knowledge with me to Ohio State in 1980 where I eventually worked on my research and completed my Ph.D. dissertation, "Studies on Eukaryotic DNA Superstructure". My studies and later research suggested that the DNA within the eukaryotic chromosome is not the simple, linear molecular thread so widely suggested in all the classic textbooks published today. Instead, it may be the culmination of a geologically rapid set of endosymbiotic events where microorganisms plug into each other to create something greater than themselves. Feel free to contact me at
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