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Convergent evolution

Convergent evolution: Sleeping behavior in plants evolved independently multiple times

At ScienceDaily: "It is now clear that sleeping behavior has evolved independently in various plant groups and at different times in the course of Earth's history, so it must have some ecological benefits to the parent plant," [Stephen] McLoughlin continued. Read More ›

At Science Daily: Bacteria and humans have similar defenses against viruses

Any life form needs a strategy for dealing with viruses. Humans, bacteria, and perhaps countless other life forms may have hit on the same one - convergent evolution Read More ›

Unique octopus genes seem to have appeared from nowhere

The octopus — a highly intelligent short-lived exothermic invertebrate — should sink lectern-splintering Darwinism — but then the octo does not have tenure and many of the lectern splinterers do. That’s life. But so is finding out the facts. Read More ›

Simon Conway Morris on his new book on Evolution, Convergence, and Theism

Sean Carroll: Simon Conway Morris is a paleontologist and evolutionary biologist who’s new book is From Extraterrestrials to Animal Minds: Six Myths of Evolution. He is known as a defender of evolutionary convergence and adaptationism — even when there is a mass extinction, he argues, the resulting shake-up simply accelerates the developments evolution would have made anyway. Read More ›

At Mind Matters News: Octopuses create an “origin of intelligence” conundrum

The evolution of intelligence in mammals and birds could be dismissed as a fluke. Finding far-distant intelligent life forms suggests a pattern instead. But what is it? Read More ›

At ScienceDaily: “astonishingly similar biomechanical solutions” for ingesting liquid food have evolved in widely distant animal groups.

There is a fundamental conceptual error in that last remark by Alexander Blanke (though it may have been something he felt forced to say): The question is not whether a sucking pump would be an advantage but how it could have arisen independently twice by natural selection acting on random mutations within the time available. And no, “natural selection” is not supposed to be a synonym for “hocus pocus.” Read More ›

Common ancestry: If the Khan Academy must front Darwinism, why use such unconvincing arguments?

Because of widespread convergent evolution, claims about common ancestry can’t be based on similarity of form alone — any more than we can assume that two people who look quite similar (body doubles) must be closely related. Life is more complex than that. Read More ›

Convergent evolution: Cricket ears turn out to be a lot like vertebrate ears

At Evolution News: Other than location (in the heads of vertebrates and on the legs of insects), the functional similarities of the CA to the mammalian cochlea are striking, except that the cochlea is 40 times as long as the insect hearing organ! It’s a remarkable example of convergence already, and there is more to come. Read More ›

At Mind Matters News: Exoplanets: The same laws of physics means similar life forms

Even on Earth, life forms of widely differing ancestry, arrive at the same solutions to physics problems, leading scientists note. On Simon Conway Morris's view, life forms that fly on exoplanets will do what birds, bats, and insects do here, they say. Intelligent species may even look roughly like us. Read More ›

Convergent evolution seen in “hardwiring” of brains to perceive numbers

Crows don’t have a prefrontal cortex so, as Offord notes, [the researchers] suggested convergent evolution (convergence on a common goal rather than common ancestry) as an explanation [for having skills similar to macaques']. Even so, they say, the quality is probably innate. [Interesting, how often convergent evolution is invoked these days.] Read More ›

Claim: Modern crocodiles are evolving rapidly

Into what? Crocobirds? Smithsonian Magazine is anxious for us to know that they are NOT "living fossils." They have evolved a lot, we are told, though admittedly they are evolving around in a circle. It would be interesting to know why stasis became such a threatening concept in some quarters. Read More ›

New Video Presentation on YouTube: Intelligent Design & Scientific Conservatism

I have recently posted a new video on my Intelligent Design YouTube channel. In this video I discuss several areas in the philosophy of science and modern evolutionary biology, and their relationship to ID. These thoughts were prompted initially by an interesting paper by philosopher of science Jeffrey Koperski ‘Two Bad Ways to Attack Intelligent Design, and Two Good Ones’. Koperski thinks that one good way to critique ID is to point out that it violates principles like ‘scientific conservatism’. Because there are several potential naturalistic mechanisms on the table, even if orthodox neo-Darwinism fails, ID is an unnecessary proposal. To turn to design explanations would be to adjust our theories too drastically. I argue against this claim, concluding that Read More ›