Andrew Parker (zoologist)

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Andrew Parker (born 1967) (Ph.D. Macquarie University) was a Royal Society University Research Fellow and is a Research Associate of the Australian Museum and University of Sydney. He was characterised by The Times as "one of the three most important young scientists in the world for his work in investigating and answering the great riddle of the Cambrian explosion."[1] Since 2003 he has lived in Oxfordshire, in the United Kingdom.

Light Switch Theory[edit]

In his 2003 book In the Blink of an Eye, Parker proposes that the Cambrian Explosion, the sudden diversification in animal fossil forms at the start of the Cambrian Period, was due to the development of the vision faculty and the consequent intensification of predation.[1] In particular he concludes that predation with vision led to the development of hard body parts, explaining why the fossil record displayed the Cambrian Explosion at this point in time. Several reviews by scientists in the field were highly critical of the book and its central hypothesis, with a detailed review in American Scientist describing it as "basically muddled", using "arguments that are simply incorrect" that "embarrassingly, leads him into a series of frankly fantastic speculations".[2]

His 2006 book, Seven Deadly Colours, describes the variety of methods of producing colour that have evolved in nature, and their implications for animal lifestyles.[3]

Parker is also a former agnostic. His 2009 book The Genesis Enigma argues that the Book of Genesis (and especially chapter 1) is surprisingly accurate and in accord with science. This causes him to conclude that the author of Genesis was directly inspired by God. Parker rejects creationism and intelligent design.[4]


This Andrew Parker should not be confused with Andrew Parker, professor of physiology at St. John's College, Oxford, whose work includes research into binocular vision.


  1. ^ a b Parker, Andrew (2003). In the Blink of an Eye: How Vision Sparked the Big Bang of Evolution. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Pub. ISBN 0-7382-0607-5. 
  2. ^ Conway Morris S (2003) Book review in American Scientist, July/Aug,
  3. ^ Parker, Andrew (2006). Seven Deadly Colours: the genius of nature's palette and how it eluded Darwin. Free Press. ISBN 0-7432-5941-6. 
  4. ^ Parker, Andrew (2009). The Genesis Enigma: Why the Bible is Scientifically Accurate. Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-61520-5. 

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