One of the most spectacular events in the history of life, the Cambrian explosion, is brought to life through stunning animation in the new documentary Darwin’s Dilemma: The Mystery of the Cambrian Explosion released by Illustra Media September 15, 2009.
This major documentary, the third in Illustra’s internationally-acclaimed intelligent design series, probes one of the great mysteries of science, the Cambrian explosion, when in a moment of geological time complex animals first appeared on earth fully formed, without evidence of any evolutionary ancestors.
Charles Darwin viewed this as an inexplicable mystery. He had envisioned the evolution of life through a multitude of small, undirected steps. Yet, the fossil record reveals no such pattern of gradual development. Instead, early in the Cambrian period compound eyes, articulated limbs, sophisticated sensory organs and skeletons burst into existence seemingly out of nowhere.
“The big question that the Cambrian Explosion poses is where does all that new information come from?” says Dr. Stephen Meyer, a scientist featured in the documentary and author of the book Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design. “We know that new information can only come from intelligence, and so the burst of genetic information during the Cambrian era provides compelling evidence that animal life is the product of intelligent design rather than a blind undirected process like natural selection.”
Darwin’s Dilemma recreates the prehistoric world of the Cambrian era with state-of-the-art computer animation, and features interviews with numerous scientists, including leading evolutionary paleontologists Simon Conway Morris of Cambridge University and James Valentine of the University of California at Berkeley, marine biologist Paul Chien of the University of San Francisco, and evolutionary biologist Richard Sternberg, a Research Collaborator at the National Museum of Natural History. The film forms the conclusion of a trilogy of science documentaries by Illustra Media that includes the previous acclaimed films Unlocking the Mystery of Life and The Privileged Planet.