You seem to know more than paleontologists who are still figuring it out.
No one knows how life formed on Earth. We are all in the same boat trying to figure it out.
I often see this kind of attitude from creationists and ID advocates and I can't help but find it rather sad.
As Percy says above, whilst there are things we do not know, there are many things that we have learned. Similarly, whilst there are many difficulties involved in studying the ancient past, it is still possible to learn something.
I quite agree with you that no-one has ever seen the origin of life or a living Cambrian life-form. These are genuine difficulties in studying the ancient history of living things. Where we differ is in how we approach these difficulties. You seem to be suggesting, as so many creationists seem to, that we simply throw up our hands and despair of ever knowing anything about the ancient past. I think that is rather sad. I also think that it represents a rather naive view of how scientists operate.
Palaeontologists are perfectly aware of the problems in studying something like the Cambrian explosion. They are aware that there are no eye-witnesses. They are aware that they must make their inferences from the rocks. They are aware that the fossils do not come with convenient labels. They can't know everything, but the difference is that they seek to work within these limits in order to learn as much as they possibly can. Does this mean that they must accept the limits of their method? Certainly. But does it mean that they should give up, that nothing can be learned at all? No, of course not.
It seems to me that rather than humility, what you are advocating is a profound lack of intellectual curiosity. I can't see how that can possibly be a good thing.
How little you know about me. How few of my posts you have read.
Taz mentioned a couple of extremely basic facts about the Cambrian Explosion and you reacted with incredulity. You seem to entertain very great doubts about even the most elementary facts about that period. To me, this seems too extreme a level of doubt. There are some things about the Cambrian that can be known.
Nature develops life through identifiable systems and processes but we choose to explain the evolution of life as the result of arbitrary cosmic events and chromosomal abnormalities
I challenge you to find me a single textbook on the subject of evolution that uses that definition. You won't find it. It's not there, because that's just an idiosyncratic definition that you made up.
But this is not how Nature works - look at how a plant grows, how a baby gestates, how a butterfly forms - in each case the development of life is part of a system with transformative stages - just like our fossil record. Does this not make you curious?
All you have done here is draw a loose poetic parallel between two separate concepts. The fossil record does not resemble a developing butterfly in any meaningful sense. It resembles what it is; the physical remains of billions of generations of living things.
You're not saying anything concrete.
You dismiss my argument as religiously driven and I am baffled.
That was not my intent. I merely saw similarities between your position and the attitude commonly exhibited by creationists. You both seem to cast doubt upon the reliability of scientific conclusions.
Wouldn't it be preferable to view our evolution as a system, like the growth of a flower, in which we could identify where we are in the growth cycle?
Only if it were true. So far you have not offered anything that suggests this is true.
Isn't that the goal of scientific enquiry to identify patterns and regularities and thereby uncover a process that enables us to make predictions?
Precisely what predictions does your flower/evolution analogy make? How can they be confirmed?
I know what I am saying is unusual,
It really isn't. You are suggesting a sort of "third way" between science and spirituality. It's a common kind of accommodation position. The problem is that faith brings nothing to the mix. It doesn't help us understand nature any better. It might be aesthetically pleasing, but it has nothing concrete to offer scientific pursuits.