Monday, March 26, 2012

Kissing Cousins: We and the Octopus

If macro-evolution is a fact, then we should find that the precursors for our organs within our alleged ancestry or within related species and not in totally unrelated ones. If instead, the species of the various phyla reflect the hand of an intelligent Designer, we might instead find these traits spread out among the various living things as unconnected patterns in a patchwork quilt.

Interestingly, evolutionists have a term for this commonly found un-associated mosaic of traits - convergent evolution. Paleobiologist and evolutionist, Simon Conway Morris, reflects on one example:

·        The idea is this: that convergence – the tendency of very different organisms to evolve similar solutions to biological problems – is not just part of evolution, but a driving force. To say this is an unconventional view would be something of an understatement. To start with an example of convergence (itself an astonishing phenomenon), take the “camera eye” – an eye comprising a lens suspended between two fluid-filled chambers, and the kind of eye which you are using to read this feature…If you go to the octopus and, if you’re not too squeamish, dissect it, you’ll find that it has a camera eye which is remarkably similar to our own. And yet we know that the octopus belongs to an invertebrate group called the cephalopod mollusks, evolutionarily very distant indeed from the chordates to which we belong. Cambridge Alumni Magazine (#65 Lent, p. 32)

·        The common ancient ancestor of mollusks and chordates could not possibly have possessed a camera eye, so quite clearly they have evolved independently. The solution has been arrived at by completely different routes.

How is it that we and the Octopus share the same eye? Convergent evolution! How does this explain the existence of this strange relatedness? It doesn’t – not at all! It merely suggests that there must be some undiscovered force that causes nature to replicate itself in entirely different species on many occasions – a “driving force” that directs mindless evolutionary processes to find the identical adaptive solutions. Sounds like design to me!

Morris concludes that the evidences of “convergent evolution” require a radical rewriting of evolution. However, he doesn’t see an intelligent Designer as a necessary ingredient. Perhaps the Designer is just too radical.

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