November 15, 2012 | David F. Coppedge

Evolutionists Hear Whopping Case of Convergent Evolution

You won’t believe your ears when you hear what a team of evolutionists claims evolved by “convergent evolution.”

The sense of hearing would easily qualify as one of the most complex of senses, not that the others aren’t too.  But to imagine the eardrum, the finely-tuned ossicles of the mammalian middle ear, and the cochlea with its “piano keyboard” of frequency sensors, evolving by chance would surely represent a major challenge to evolution.  Now, however, a team of evolutionists just claimed in Science Magazine a case of “Convergent Evolution Between Insect and Mammalian Audition.”  A katydid in a rainforest has an analogous 3-part mechanism for hearing, despite diverging from the common ancestor back in the Cambrian period, according to the evolutionary timeline.  The abstract states confidently,

In mammals, hearing is dependent on three canonical processing stages: (i) an eardrum collecting sound, (ii) a middle ear impedance converter, and (iii) a cochlear frequency analyzer. Here, we show that some insects, such as rainforest katydids, possess equivalent biophysical mechanisms for auditory processing. Although katydid ears are among the smallest in all organisms, these ears perform the crucial stage of air-to-liquid impedance conversion and signal amplification, with the use of a distinct tympanal lever system. Further along the chain of hearing, spectral sound analysis is achieved through dispersive wave propagation across a fluid substrate, as in the mammalian cochlea. Thus, two phylogenetically remote organisms, katydids and mammals, have evolved a series of convergent solutions to common biophysical problems, despite their reliance on very different morphological substrates.

Detecting the mechanism of katydid hearing was never possible in such detail before.  The cochlear analogue in the katydid, which they named the “acoustic vesicle,” is so small (600 millionths of a meter), it required x-ray microtomography and other state-of-the-art techniques to elucidate its structure.  Yet in a remarkable diagram, the authors compared the three parts of a human ear and katydid ear side by side, showing how analogous the structures are.

Physiologists know that “Cochlear hair cells receive mechanical inputs at specific frequencies, depending on their position along the stiffness gradient of the basilar membrane. This ‘piano keyboard’ mapping, or tonotopic organization, is the canonical mechanism for frequency selectivity in mammals.”  What would they think of a comparable piano keyboard mechanism in the ear of an insect?

The authors preached the convergence theme with repetition, stating it six times, including the headline.  For example, they said, “Our results reveal a notable case of convergence, whereby organisms with the most remote phylogenetic histories (such as mammals and katydids), have evolved to hear in a markedly analogous way.”  Ronald R. Hoy chimed right in with the convergence chorus in his Perspectives piece, “Convergent Evolution of Hearing,” in the same issue of Science.  He said that the researchers “show that although the hearing organ of a rainforest insect looks very different from a human ear, it can be divided into the same three functional entities, providing evidence for convergent evolution.”

Later, New Scientist jumped on the “convergent evolution” bandwagon without missing a beat.  The article quoted a Cambridge biologist not involved in the study saying, “This is an amazing example of convergent evolution in hearing structures between very distantly related animals.

None of the authors thought to consider this new evidence as a challenge to evolution.   Instead, they treated the convergence concoction as demonstrable fact.  “The parallelism in anatomy and function is the result of convergent evolution between the ears of humans and katydids. It is as surprising as it is remarkable,” Hoy said.

One can imagine fairy tales, too, that are surprising and remarkable.  Did evolutionary theory predict this?  No.  This was a surprise.  It was a remarkable surprise.  If you had trouble imagining a blind, aimless process producing a super-sensitive vibrating drum attached to a series of intricate levers that connect to a piano keyboard frequency analysis system, transducing acoustic energy into mechanical energy and then into fluid energy, increasing sensitivity at each step – if you can imagine evolution producing all that once, now imagine it happening twice.

This goes to show that evolutionists believe in miracles.  Natural selection is their “Abracadabra” to generate sophisticated systems in living things.  No demonstration is required; no one gets to look behind the curtain and follow the train of random mutations from deaf cell to hearing animal.  If Abracadabra doesn’t work the first time, say it with emphasis, adding Mishikabula, Bippity Boppity Boo.


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  • ozredneck22 says:

    At least Christians admit that they believe in miracles, but Evolutionists RELY on miracles

  • rockyway says:

    1. “Convergent Evolution Between Insect and Mammalian Audition.”

    – We can see in this example how determinative basic worldview assumptions are in science. What the creationist sees as ‘evidence’ against evolution [or a failed prediction] the evolutionist sees in an entirely (model friendly) way.

    If E. is one’s bedrock position all things will be interpreted in light of it and nothing will lead one to question it. You can take the whole creationist arsenal (of critiques against E.) and committed evolutionists have interpreted every one of these ‘anomalies’ in an E. friendly way.

    We can see why debating biological minutiae is so frustrating and why it never comes to anything. In biology the model is utterly determinative. Stories are easy and cheap; you can get them two for a penny.

    The claim of convergent evolution [CE] comes about as follows; since we know E. is true, what has to be the explanation here? Since there is no direct line of descent the answer has to be CE. The claim isn’t true or false; it’s a necessary, model dependent conclusion.

    2. “…although the hearing organ of a rainforest insect looks very different from a human ear, it can be divided into the same three functional entities, providing evidence for convergent evolution.”

    – No. This ear does not provide evidence for CE – this is done by the introduction of a mythical process. All the ‘evidence’ Darwinists have in this case is the supposed existence of a magical process. This is as far from observational science as one can get.
    Q. “How do we know CE is a valid concept?” A. “It happens so many times.”

  • rockyway says:

    A further thought; what does this discovery (not easy and not cheap) do to the story of a bone from the reptilian jaw ‘migrating’ to the mammalian ear? i.e. if it didn’t happen in the Katydid it wouldn’t need to be the case in mammals either (even if we accept e. theory, or some parts of it).

  • atheos27 says:

    Seeing as how insects don’t have internal bones, it would have been impossible for it to happen in a katydid. Convergence happens. Miracles don’t.

  • atheos27 says:

    ??? I am in no way trying to get into an argument here, I was simply responding to rockyway’s comment about the mammalian jaw bone migrating to the ear. He said that if it didn’t happen in the katydid it wouldn’t need to be the case in mammals either. My intention was to point out the fact that since insects do not have an internal skeleton there would be no way for a jaw bone to migrate to the ear. I did not think that my comment needed an explanation, next time I will be sure to elaborate a bit more.

    Did that make enough sense for you?

    • Editor says:

      Perhaps you should have made it clear you were responding to another comment rather than to the article. Also, your statement, “Convergence happens. Miracles don’t” is an unargued assertion of bias based on your worldview assumptions, not an argument. Any sufficiently improbable convergence is tantamount to a miracle, so that is quibbling about words.

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