extinction Intelligent Design

Some species thought to be extinct may simply be “lost”

Apart from loss of habitat due to human encroachment, it would be interesting to know whether there is much study of patterns that govern extinctions — that is, natural extinctions. Paleontologist David Raup (1933–2015) wrote quite a good book on the topic, Extinction: Bad Genes or Bad Luck in 1991 but it’s not clear how much has been done since then.

extinction Intelligent Design

Result of “de-extinction” project not very encouraging

Researchers: Yet despite their best efforts, the scientists were unable to recover nearly 5% of the Christmas Island rat’s genome. Many of the missing genes were related to immunity and olfaction, two highly important functions for the animal. “It’s not just the irrelevant stuff that you’re not going to get back,” Gilbert said. “And so what you’ll end up with is nothing like what went extinct.”

Evolution extinction Intelligent Design

Can the fallout from mass extinctions enable prediction of patterns in evolution?

The description of the research makes clear that evolution is seen as an intelligent agent, like a coach deploying players. “Think of this as the biosphere’s version of choosing starters and benchwarmers based on height and weight more than skill after losing a big match. There may well be a logic to this game plan in the arc of evolution.” But can evolution be both mindless and a strategic coach?