What they say here.
Researchers have made a surprising discovery in the aquifers beneath the Western Australian desert, which challenges the traditional Darwinian view of evolution. They have discovered that a species of blind predatory water beetles — living underground for millions of years — express vision genes (opsin) which are usually only found in species with eyes.
Are these people at ScienceDaily playing our song?
According to Dr Tierney, the genetic mechanisms that lead to the reduction of traits over time (regressive evolution) has intrigued biologists for hundreds of years because traditional Darwinian views of evolution as an adaptive process may not necessarily apply.
“Evolution is often perceived as a ‘directional’ or ‘adaptive’ process but this is not always the case. These beetles have provided us with credible preliminary evidence for non-adaptive evolution,” says Dr Tierney.
“Non-adaptive evolution or Neutral Theory is when there is no selective pressure on a gene, resulting in an accumulation of random mutations in the gene sequence over time,” he says.
But if we don’t know whether evolution aims in any direction or not, doesn’t that knock the wind out of most theories about it?