Traits evolve by common ancestry, evolutionists claim—except when they don’t, which is all too common.
“Convergent evolution,” the Darwinists’ explanation for similarities that could not have evolved by homology or common ancestry, keeps popping up in the most unusual places. For example, Evolution News & Views analyzed cases among marine creatures that hit on identical swimming strategies in groups as diverse as flatworms, cephalopods and fish. Also called homoplasy, convergence seems to be the rule more than the exception, as these articles suggest:
Spider venom is very similar to centipede venom, even though their branches split 500 million years prior, Science Daily says. Does this falsify evolution? No, it confirms it, Science Magazine claims. “It’s cool that it happens in similar ways for two very different and unrelated arthropod groups,” says Trine Bilde, an evolutionary ecologist at Aarhus University in Denmark. But, “it is common in biology that evolution comes up with similar ‘solutions.’ ”
Natural sunscreens are showing up in very diverse organisms, Science Magazine reports. The sunscreens consist of mycrosporine-like amino acids (MAAs) that provide protection from solar UV rays. They have been found in “bacteria, algae, and marine invertebrates … marine fishes … amphibians, reptiles, and birds, suggesting that such internal sun protection could be widespread.”
Fly developmental switches have been lost and regained in various groups of flies, Science Daily claims. “The genes that drive embryonic polarity are not conserved across flies and their evolutionary replacement does not seem to be rare at all,” a researcher at U of Chicago says. “The hijacking of this early developmental pathway by novel or newly evolved genes happens at a much higher frequency than previously thought.” It also happens “in a very short amount of time,” he adds.
Like human, like fly: An article on PhysOrg claims that the “Biological clockwork of human beings and flies [is] comparable” despite them being extremely far apart on Darwin’s tree diagram. The article includes watchmaker language: “Although both homologous receptors do not act in an identical way, the fact that they modulate the expression of clock genes in Drosophila as well as in mammals demonstrates that very distant organisms, displaying different circadian activities, can present the same type of biological clock gears.”
Diving birds: How many specialized adaptations would it require for a flying bird to be able to dive and swim underwater? It would seem to require multiple mutations to eyes, wings, feathers, lungs, beaks, feet and other parts, to say nothing of instincts. Science Daily shouts, “Go fish!” in another case of convergence: “A new study of some primitive birds from the Cretaceous shows how several separate lineages evolved adaptations for diving.”
Bee together: Convergence is also claimed for independent cases where solitary insects evolved group therapy. Science Magazine published a paper by 52 evolutionists claiming, “We compared the genomes of 10 bee species that vary in social complexity, representing multiple independent transitions in social evolution.…”
Warning cues: What organisms could be more diverse in their evolutionary history than plants and animals? Yet they evolved warning cues independently, another article in Science Daily asserts. This problem dates back to Darwin and Wallace. Readers may be unaware that “Despite a number of attempts, however, no satisfactory evolutionary mechanism for the origin of warning cues has been proposed.” Maybe giving it a name like “concurrent reciprocal selection” can help.
Update 6/15/15: Four evolutionists responded in PNAS to an earlier paper by Schopf, a microfossil hunter, who had pointed to “extreme stasis” in bacteria over billions of years (2/04/15). Apparently they don’t like his appeal to long ages without continuous Darwinian evolution. Their solution? Convergent evolution, of course: “We hypothesized that cyanobacterial (and possibly bacterial) evolution is characterized by serial convergence… For example, convergence has also been observed in cyanobacteria dwelling in hot springs, which are considered one of the oldest habitats with living organisms.… In conclusion, we are convinced that the long evolutionary stasis in bacteria is only elusive and might be explained by serial convergence of phenotypic traits, which masks possible continuous metabolic, genetic, and ecological changes.” This new Darwinian maxim might be termed, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”
Convergent aliens: Speculating about independent origins of similar traits can get downright silly. Live Science printed a speculation by Fergus Simpson (NOT Homer’s brother) who thinks aliens will be bear-size. Don’t believe it? He has the math to prove it. Some critics aren’t buying it. They say it’s “not clear if humans are a random sample of intelligent beings.”
This last one is like the joke about the two fishermen who found a good fishing spot. One suggests, “How’s about we mark an X on the boat where the fishing is good?” The other fisherman, appalled at this expression of imbecility, tries to reason with him. “That’s stupid. Can’t you see that would never work? What if we take out another boat next time?”
Homoplasy is quite amazing. It’s astonishing that so many evolutionists, trained at different universities in different countries, would converge on the same illogic over and over.