Convergent evolution Evolution Intelligent Design

Eric Holloway: To what extent does life simply invent itself as it goes along?

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Eric Holloway argues that the evidence does not really support common descent, not the way Talk Origins believes and we were taught in school:

According to a popular anti-creationist website Talk Origins, one of the strongest pieces of evidence for evolution and common descent is the phylogenetic signal. In their view, when we look at specific properties across multiple species — number of legs, presence or absence of wings, the presence of a gene, a configuration of nucleotides in the genome, etc. — such properties will form a strongly nested hierarchy. We should expect to see such a strongly nested hierarchy if organisms evolved from one another and therefore a “family tree” links all the organisms together. However, if a property that appears only on a branch, it will be shared only by that branch’s leaves. Leaves on a different branch will not have that property.

Eric Holloway, “To what extent does life simply invent itself as it goes along?” at Mind Matters News

It turns out we don’t see that. And convergent evolution is a better explanation for a great many things. But maybe life can’t just invent itself without an inventor either. And human inventions illustrate that point.


You may also enjoy: Evolution and artificial intelligence face the same basic problem. Think of the word ladder game, where we transform one word into another by changing only one letter at a time.

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