September 27, 2007 | David F. Coppedge

Don’t Just Sit There; Evolve

Have you ever wondered why your body doesn’t evolve?  After all, it is kind of like a population of trillions of organisms.  Why shouldn’t it follow the rules of natural selection?  Philip Ball asked this question in News@Nature recently.  “Evolution is usually thought of as something that happens to whole organisms,” he teased.  “But there’s no fundamental reason why, for multicelled organisms, it shouldn’t happen within a single organism too.”
    So why haven’t you evolved into something else by now?  The answer is as fascinating as it is unexpected: your body works overtime to keep you from evolving:

It’s not easy making a human.  Getting from a fertilized egg to a full-grown adult involves a near-miracle of orchestration, with replicating cells acquiring specialized functions in just the right places at the right times.  So you’d think that, having done the job once, our bodies would replace cells when required by the simplest means possible.
    Oddly, they don’t.  Our tissues don’t renew themselves by mere copying, with old skin cells dividing into new skin cells and so forth.  Instead, they keep repeating the laborious process of starting each cell from scratch.  Now scientists think they know why: it could be nature’s way of making sure that we don’t evolve as we grow older.

And it’s a good thing the body prevents you from evolving.  Ball explains that mutants would have a selective advantage to hijack your other cells without doing any work: “mutant cells that don’t do their specialized job so well tend to replicate more quickly than non-mutants, and so gain a competitive advantage, freeloading off the others,” he explained.  “In such a case, our wonderfully wrought bodies could grind to a halt.
    My, what would Charles Darwin think of that. 

This is too funny.  Not only did the pro-evolutionist writer Philip Ball knock off another Darwinian concept in the pro-Darwin rag Nature, he praised our “wonderfully wrought bodies” with their “near-miracle of orchestration” in language that would warm the heart of any believer in intelligent design.  My, what would Phillip Johnson think of that.

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