Convergent Evolution vs The Evidence

In his book, Wonderful Life, evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould argues that if the tape of life were re-wound and played back, life would have taken a very different course but others claim this is not correct. Evolution they say relies on conditions of the environment which creates convergent organisms.

When a ‘theory’ such as evolution is considered scientific law, no further thought or scientific evidence is likely to follow but debates do happen in the realm of evolution but its sole purpose is to preserve it at all costs, not to look for alternatives. As you can imagine, evolution is pretty complex, because over many years that includes our present day, it get falsified and stories are added to it. In other words, the data predicts the theory rather than the theory predicting the data.

As a result, there are various parts of the development of evolution, where structure or behavior is said to have evolved in one or more organisms which have a direct common ancestor. In other words, they get their parts from previous generations and in some instances improve upon them. The other is when there is similarity in a structure or behavior which are genetically unrelated with no common ancestor. The path is then determined by “selective pressures” from the environment. In other words, they evolve features based on need.

For example, tuna are more closely related to seahorses than to marlins, which is making the branches on the fish family tree more complicated. Also, fish unaffected by the catastrophe that wiped out the dinosaurs and scientists don’t have an explanation yet on why.

“Now, Wainwright and a team of researchers have pieced together a new family tree for this gigantic brood, with more than 18,000 species living today. Using both genetic tools and fossils, the “phylogeny” reveals unexpected links between some spiny-rayed fish, such as tuna and seahorses. The findings were published July 15 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.”

“There are all these sorts of relationships no one had any inkling of,” Wainwright told LiveScience. “For a fish fanatic like me, these results are sort of life-changing. Until now, we really had no idea how these huge groups of fish were related.

Next there is co-evolution and mimicry.

In the story of co-evolution, mutations create change in the organism so it is suited to another organism. And mimicry is very much similar to co-evolution where one organism mutates to look and or behave like another totally different organism. It then benefits in some way from that relationship. For example, spiders that looked like ants.

How does a non-thinking process which uses random mutations to create new information which then creates new structures based on the needs of the organism in a particular environment? Random change to existing information doesn’t create new information! The fruit fly experiment comes to mind, where many generations were created in a perfect environment but after a period of time became not only resisted to change, but less fit! Mutation experiments have never shown any promise in creating a fit organism by adding more to the genome. Causing something to function is not the same as creating that something to function!

Science has shown DNA, cannot emerge on its own, protein is what builds DNA and information that is understood by the protein comes from DNA rather than the protein itself. When you discover completely unrelated animals or plants displaying the same engineering, it is not science to say, well that’s converge evolution!

Blind Cave Fish Across The World

Did similar-looking blind cave fish swim across the world or did they evolve separately or was it something else? Two hypotheticals that deal with “what if” were being presented to the public as explanations.

In the BBC, they report…

“A study in PLoS One showed Madagascan and Australian cave fish inherited their blindness from a common ancestor. Their forebears probably lived in caves on the prehistoric southern super-continent Gondwanaland. Then continental drift tore this family apart – transporting them to their current locations.”

Did the study really show that they fish inherited their blindness from a common ancestor? If it did, then what is this…

“One possibility was that the cave fishes had evolved independently, from terrestrial counterparts. Species adapt to environmental challenges and opportunities and – through a process of natural selection – only the fittest survive (click here). When separate species are exposed to the same selective pressures they often come up with the same solutions – a process known as convergent evolution.”

The previous post discussed “only the fittest survive” with another study on how a creature went unchanged for a supposed 500 million years in the evolutionary time frame and survived while a much more fancy creature with better traits went extinct. But the question remains, if the study “showed” inheritance through a common ancestor to explain why blind cave fish have similar characteristics but are 4000 miles apart then why are they including other speculation? Maybe it was shown after all!

Convergent evolution was also considered, “When separate species are exposed to the same selective pressures they often come up with the same solutions — a process known as convergent evolution.”

Here is what the researchers came up with in their explanation. They believe  two lands split 60 million years ago, leaving the two species of cave-dwellers 4,000 miles apart, no longer able to share a common gene pool.  But where is the evidence of two lands splitting 60 million years ago to separate the species?   Two lands splitting is a major phenomena, one of which cannot rest its evidence on two types of blind cave fish that are 4,000 miles apart!

Their explanation defies logic, first of all, blindness is degeneration (a loss of a trait) rather than evolution (new information gained).  In the creationist model, variations within a species is acceptable and observable without adding new genetic information that evolution requires in this case.

Unlike the BBC press release, the authors admitted in their study that evolutionary theory is not confident in the seat of scientific explanation here:

“A major issue plaguing our understanding regarding the evolution of cave animals has been a lack of basic information regarding the assembly of these biotas, including mechanisms of speciation and phylogenetic origin.” 

Just basic information regarding assembly along with mechanisms of speciation and phylogenetic origin is not understood in the story of evolution, then why are you trying to explain it then? Another thing that is illogical about their story, it doesn’t take 60 million years to go blind. A generation or two could do that! 60 million years is more time than the major transitions they claimed to have happened with mammals!

Also why would these blind cave fish go unchanged and remain in the same location for 60 million years being on opposite sides of the ocean looking more similar between each other than other gobies? Does that register as logic to you? The best explanation comes from the Biblical account where a global flood happened which is where creationists believe the flood had broke up the continents and spread them apart rapidly. Only pockets of fish populations would have survived which is why they were discovered where they are now rather than in places like India!

Evolutionary Hypothesis Goes Into Reverse

Some scientists are exploring a part of their story which requires certain genetic instructions and changes to embryonic development. The question they are trying to explain about their story is, how did fish grow feet? They conceptualized it this way…

“A team of researchers identified two new genes that are important in fin development. They report in the journal Nature that the loss of these genes could have been an “important step” in the evolutionary transformation of fins into limbs.”

“Marie-Andree Akimenko, from the University of Ottawa in Canada, led the research. She and her colleagues began their study by looking at the development of zebrafish embryos. They discovered two genes that coded for proteins that were important in the structure of fins.”

Who gave this team of researchers a grant to come up with this? Marie should do her government and the people of Canada a great favor and give the money back! Subtracting genes from animals which are already complex and poof new information emerges in that vacated space which then affects the structure of the animal is total nonsense! Is this how evolution works?  Does anyone consider this a ‘theory’? Generally evolutionists proclaim theories are well-tested and a consensus emerges to validate it to a ‘theory’ status.

And lastly, she  continues with the nonsense by claiming “whether the fin genes were knocked out to help make the transition.” Knocked out, by what or who? Further work is needed to confirm this ‘theory’ they say. Well let me tell you something, building new skyscrapers doesn’t require bulldozers!

They are going to be knocking themselves out by removing genes from fish to see what emerges. The BBC is certain that this supposed clue was going to shed light on Darwinian evolution, then makes a promise to the public while being misleading, “A study has shed light on a key genetic step in the evolution of animals’ limbs from the fins of fish, scientists say.” Did it really “shed light on a key genetic step” in the evolutionary story?