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Swedish meteorite said to have triggered mass destruction and opened the way for life’s post-Cambrian explosion.
Everyone has heard of the “Cambrian explosion”—the sudden appearance of innumerable complex life forms deep in the fossil record—life’s first “big bang.” Evolutionists believe that earth was filled with animals by this evolutionary extravaganza and that then, about 515 million years ago, the whole process hit a snag. Perhaps earth’s seas were too full. But evolution, the story goes, just couldn’t continue producing biodiversity at breakneck speed.1
So what could have a triggered the diverse explosion of life recorded in the fossil record’s next layer, Ordovician rock? Meteorites from a Swedish limestone quarry may hold the key, evolutionists believe, and stonecutters at Thorsberg limestone quarry just found a new piece of the puzzle. They think this yet-to-be-named 470-million-year-old “Mysterious Object” from space may be the magic bullet that blew Cambrian life to smithereens and opened the ecological niches needed for life’s “second big bang.”
Over the past twenty years stonecutters harvesting flooring stones from the pink limestone quarry in southern Sweden have recovered over a hundred “fossil meteorites”—meteorites fossilized within fossil-bearing sedimentary rock layers in Sweden. Until now all were “L-chondrites,” stony meteorites of relatively low iron content thought to have come from the same parent asteroid. Researchers reporting in Earth and Planetary Science Letters believe they have now found among them a unique meteorite, perhaps a remnant of a smaller asteroid that collided with the L-chondrites’ parent asteroid and triggered a 10 million year meteor shower of stupendous magnitude and destructive power.
Evolutionary researchers have observed that this space rock differs from those embedded with it. But the significance they ascribe to it goes far beyond such observable data.
“This was the largest documented asteroid break-up event of the past 3 billion years,” says University of Lund geologist Birger Schmitz, lead author of the paper. “The asteroid impact at the end of the Cretaceous period, believed to have killed the non-avian dinosaurs, was tiny in comparison.”
Though weathered, worn, and largely decomposed, this space rock differs from its fellow fossil meteorites. It is not one of the common stony meteorites that comprise most of the meteorites found on earth. So what is special about this particular space rock? Answers in Genesis geologist Dr. Andrew Snelling explains:
It has been documented for 20 years that meteorites have been found fossilized in sedimentary rock layers, the most notable being a series of limestone beds in southern Sweden. In a quarry where limestone is excavated for floor stones, over 100 fossil meteorites have been found so far. All have been identified as L-chondrites, belonging to one of the three groups of ordinary stony meteorites, which are common among the meteorites falling to the earth’s surface today and recovered for study.
Now it has been reported that an unusual fossil meteorite has been found in the top bed of the limestone in the same quarry. This fossil meteorite is totally different, analyses suggesting it could be a new type of meteorite, similar to a group called winonaites, which belong among the rare primitive achondrites (stony meteorites not containing round mineral clusters called chondrules). However, it needs to be emphasized that what was found and identified as this fossil meteorite had weathered and decomposed to clay and calcite (calcium carbonate), with the only tell-tale mineral left being one called chrome spinel. The tiny crystals of this mineral were thus analyzed and compared to those found in meteorites to identify what this fossil meteorite may have originally been.
Could this unusual meteorite have been part of another asteroid, one that hit the “parent” of the numerous L-chondrites? Perhaps. Dr. Snelling explains:
It is of course unusual to find such a different meteorite among a large group of meteorites in the same area. It is now well established that most meteorites are fragments of asteroids, produced when asteroids collide or disintegrate as a result of being pulled out of orbit in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter due to the gravitational effects of Jupiter and Saturn. Some of the fragments may eventually hurtle through the earth’s atmosphere where they disintegrate further, and the pieces land on the earth’s surface over small areas. If enough asteroid fragments continue to arrive from the same source moving in the same trajectory, an area could be repeatedly showered with meteorites.
This appears to be the case in these limestone beds in southern Sweden. It has even been suggested that all the L-chondrite fossil meteorites resulted from the collision of an asteroid with an L-chondrite composition with another asteroid whose composition was hithertofore unknown. Now they believe they have found this winonaite-like fragment from the culprit, the other colliding asteroid.
Evolutionary researchers have observed that this space rock differs from those embedded with it. But the significance they ascribe to it goes far beyond such observable data. They believe it completes the tale of how a heavenly disaster catastrophically cleared the way for evolution to resume in a post-Cambrian Ordovician explosion of biodiversity.
For evolutionary scientists the Cambrian explosion—like the origin of life itself—is a mystery. The life forms in the fossil record below the Cambrian consist of nothing more complex than microbial mats called stromatolites, except for a few multi-cellular oddities and the famed Ediacaran fauna. If life evolved through progressively more complex kinds, where are the transitions? The sudden appearance in the Cambrian of so many complex forms of life, representatives of all but one of the animal phyla alive today, without evolutionary antecedents is a problem within the evolutionary saga.
Nothing about this latest claimed unusual fossil meteorite is inconsistent with such catastrophic meteorite bombardment of the earth during the Flood when these lime sediments were rapidly accumulating over such a vast area and catastrophically entombing these nautiloids.
But beyond the problem of getting life going in the first place and evolving the first big batch of complex living things found in the Cambrian, evolutionists are equally at a loss to explain an additional explosion and diversification of life forms apparent in the Ordovician layers of rock after what—from their worldview—seems to be a lull in evolutionary progress. Thus the idea that a lengthy destructive meteor shower made room for more evolution is appealing to evolutionists. The newly discovered meteorite, however, is actually no more of a smoking gun in this scenario than the 101 previously discovered L-chondrites in Thorsberg quarry’s Ordovician rock.
Clearly a lot of meteorites rained down onto what is now Sweden at some time in the past. Perhaps they were associated with terrible havoc. But is there perhaps another lens through which to view this cache of Swedish meteorites? Could they be part of an even bigger picture? Let’s consider the whole evolutionary story—about how long it took for these sediment layers containing the meteorites to accumulate.
Geologist Dr. Andrew Snelling explains:
The 100 or so fossil meteorites are scattered through the depth of these limestone beds, which together are just under 11 feet thick. This limestone is interpreted by uniformitarian geologists to have accumulated at a snail’s pace of 0.08 inches per 1000 years, according to their belief that the present slow accumulation of lime on the ocean floor is the rate at which limestones have always accumulated. At this postulated rate these limestone beds are claimed to have taken 1.75 million years to have been deposited, through which long time these meteorites progressively fell and were eventually buried and fossilized.
However, what is not so openly revealed is that entombed in these limestone beds with these fossil meteorites are abundant fossilized straight-shelled nautiloids, many up to about 16 inches long and about 2.5 inches thick. This begs the question—how could these fragile nautiloid shells be buried and preserved with their internal anatomy intact, and exhibit no signs of decay or erosion during such long periods when hardly any sediments were being deposited? And how could water deposit these limestone beds and their fossil contents so evenly over such a vast area of at least 100,000 square miles? Even though the fossilized nautiloid shells show no particular orientation, they had to be buried rapidly to be so well preserved. Such rapid sedimentation over such a wide area requires a catastrophic flooding event.
Could the biblically recorded global Flood—the record of which is also written in the fossil record—give us a more accurate lens through which to understand the Thorsberg meteorites? Dr. Andrew Snelling recalls:
We reported on this nearly three years ago in our Answers magazine, when I discussed the evidence of meteorites showering and impacting the earth during the catastrophic global Noah’s Flood cataclysm. Nothing about this latest claimed unusual fossil meteorite is inconsistent with such catastrophic meteorite bombardment of the earth during the Flood when these lime sediments were rapidly accumulating over such a vast area and catastrophically entombing these nautiloids.
So this fossil meteorite might be unusual, but its wider context only adds to the picture of how devastating and cataclysmic the global Flood was, when the continents were inundated by mountain-covering ocean waters that carried and buried marine creatures in widespread layers up on the continents while meteorites rained down from the heavens with the torrential rains. Such was the extent and intensity of God’s righteous judgment of man’s rampant sin and rebellion in Noah’s day.
How did all those meteorites end up in just eleven feet of Flood-deposited sediment? Perhaps the catastrophic meteor shower was a part of a much larger catastrophe that had nothing to do with evolution. Once again, biblical history gives us the key to understand what is dug out of the earth.
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