If evolution could develop a complex structure once, defying all probability, then maybe it could do it multiple times, some evolutionists theorize.
For the birds: Different groups of birds evolved ultraviolet vision several times, Science Daily claimed. A two-amino-acid mutation might be within the edge of evolution to allow the receptor to shift its sensitivity, but that’s not the whole story:
Anders Ödeen and Olle Håstad, who performed this research commented, “There are two different amino acid alterations that can each change bird colour vision from violet to ultraviolet. One particular single nucleotide change has occurred at least 11 separate times. In general during evolution once a colour shift has occurred all species from this ancestor keep it meaning that the rest of the eye and physiology, must also evolved to ‘cement’ in the new colour sensitivity.”
For the fungi: A paper in PLoS ONE last November had this to say about fruiting body evolution in fungi:
Fungi sharing ostiolar or sealed fruitbodies represented the most advance form, which include Dothideomycetes, Eurotiomycetes and Sordariomycetes. This trait evolved independently at least three times.
For the appendix: Science Now trumpeted this improbable headline without blushing: “Appendix Evolved More Than 30 Times.” In so doing, the article undercut another old evolutionary notion: vestigial organs.
The appendix may not be useless after all. The worm-shaped structure found near the junction of the small and large intestines evolved 32 times among mammals, according to a new study. The finding adds weight to the idea that the appendix helps protect our beneficial gut bacteria when a serious infection strikes.
The article proceeded to show that Darwin’s belief the appendix was a useless (vestigial) remnant is no longer considered valid. After all, animals as diverse as beaver, koalas and porcupines have them; “in other words, the feature is much more common among mammals than once thought.”
Now, an international team of researchers that includes Heather F. Smith, an evolutionary biologist at Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona, and William Parker, a surgeon who studies the immune system at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, says it has the strongest evidence yet that the appendix serves a purpose. In a new study, published online this month in Comptes Rendus Palevol, the researchers compiled information on the diets of 361 living mammals, including 50 species now considered to have an appendix, and plotted the data on a mammalian evolutionary tree. They found that the 50 species are scattered so widely across the tree that the structure must have evolved independently at least 32 times, and perhaps as many as 38 times.
Randolph Nesse (U of Michigan) had an interesting take on this conclusion. “The conclusion that the appendix has appeared 32 times is amazing,” he said. “I do find their argument for the positive correlation of appendix and cecum sizes to be a convincing refutation of Darwin’s hypothesis” (about the appendix being vestigial). One critic, trying to help, trimmed the number down to 18 “clear-cut cases” of independent evolution. Readers might want to recall how evolutionists responded years ago when concluding that wings must have evolved independently 3 times in stick insects (1/16/2003).
Observers should notice that it is Darwinians’ prior commitment to evolution that forces them to allege multiple miracles of improbability. Otherwise, it would clearly look like evidence for creation: each animal equipped with what it needs to survive. Since the evolutionists appear poised to search for a function for the appendix, the question of why the majority of mammals don’t need one would be a good research project for creationist or evolutionist.