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So Darwinian evolution never did produce a sixth finger?

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In “How the Mole Got Its Twelve Fingers” (ScienceDaily, Sep. 7, 2011) , we learn:

Polydactyly is a hereditary anomaly that is relatively common in both humans and animals.

That depends on what you mean by “relatively common.” Most humans would regard anyone with six fingers as abnormal.

Try putting a ring on the hand of a six-fingered person. Especially if it is destined for a particular finger.

As it happens, most additional digits are not functional. Still,

Moles also have additional fingers. In their case, however, the irregularity compared to the five-finger formula of land vertebrates is the norm. An international team of researchers headed by paleontologists from the University of Zurich has now uncovered the background to the development of the mole’s extra “thumb”: A bone develops in the wrist that stretches along the real thumb, giving the paw a bigger surface area for digging.

So it is a power assist for the thumb. For example,

Unlike the other fingers on the mole’s hand, the extra thumb does not have moving joints. Instead, it consists of a single, sickle-shaped bone. Using molecular markers, the researchers can now show for the first time that it develops later than the real fingers from a transformed sesamoid bone in the wrist. In shrews, however, the mole’s closest relative, the extra thumb is lacking, which confirms the researchers’ discovery.

So the extension isn’t a “real finger” exactly.

The five-fingered limb is much easier to subtract from than add to. That’s the fundamental problem with Darwinian evolution. There is an original law, probably based on design.

See also: Evolution is smart enough to do subtraction, not addition

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4 Replies to “So Darwinian evolution never did produce a sixth finger?

  1. 1
    Robert Byers says:

    If a YEC guy might add something.
    The bible mentions a giant who had on feet six toes/each side.
    We believe the bible is true and so this was a fact.
    So it means that size alone for a human being would demand an extra toe.
    The reader is expected to understand the extra toe is part of the man being a giant (say10 or 12 etc feet and high body) .
    So it teaches that the body innately reacts to its own program.
    The size trigger is hit in the fetus etc and the whole gene framework adapts to this.
    Nature doesn’t give us a particular number of digits but rather we simply get what we need.
    So the mole is a minor adaptation that shows the flexibility of genes.
    Gene changing I believe is from triggers in biology.
    So the origin of much of biology to adapt. No intermediates ned apply.

  2. 2
    David W. Gibson says:

    The five-fingered limb is much easier to subtract from than add to. That’s the fundamental problem with Darwinian evolution. There is an original law, probably based on design.

    While it might be easier to subtract than add digits, the assertion that this is so seems contrary to the presented material, all of which is concerned with additional digits. Polydactyl cats are also fairly common in some regions, and the condition is congenital – it breeds true.

    The assertion of an original law also seems inconsistent with the provided information, all examples that break this law. And all of which resulted from mutations which have been specificially identified.

    So this is kind of like showing several tables with six legs, and concluding from this that (1) there is a design law limiting tables to four legs; and (2) less than four legs is more likely! Baffling conclusions in light of the evidence (unless, of course, these conclusions are not based on evidence.)

  3. 3
    tjguy says:

    Actually adding a digit is not a big deal. The information needed for a digit is already encoded in the genes. No new information is being generated here. I agree that losing a digit is easier for evolution to do, but adding a digit when there are others already present, is not really a problem either because the information already exists.

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