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Worms challenge idea that complexity just arises from simplicity

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arrow worm (chaetognath)/Zatelmar ( CC BY-SA 3.0 )

Maybe it’s the other way around in many cases. The arrow worm has recently been placed on the “evolutionary tree” in a way that is creating a challenge. Japanese scientists have decided that the two hundred or so species of arrow worm belong to a group that consists of much simpler organisms than themselves:

“Arrow worms are predators, they have nervous systems, they have developed sensory organs; but the other organisms they’re grouped with are much simpler,” says molecular geneticist and first author Ferdinand Marlétaz.

“If you place arrow worms here, it means there was probably a lot of independent simplification, rather than the independent emergence of complexity.”Nick Carne, “Weird worms challenge complexity argument” at Cosmos

Of course, if all members of the group were complex from a very early time, that would mean … we don’t go there. Just think, there was a time when anyone could recite a Darwinian explanation for everything in their sleep. Sweet dreams.

See also: Worm gives up sexual reproduction, loses 7000 genes

Giant Shipworm Found Alive Is Example Of Devolution


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Devolution: Getting back to the simple life

Ed, There isn't any scientific theory of evolution. There never has been. ET
No one is an expert by what is meant by evolutionary theory. It is an elusive and evolving thing.
I have no problem with theories “evolving”. That is how science works. It is an iterative process. All I meant was that,, other that the mandatory courses I took in my early college years, I have not followed it extensively. My entire career since college has been in the analytical chemistry field. Needless to say, there is not much need to remain current on evolutionary theory when you are trying to measure low levels of mercury in fish tissue. Ed George
No one is an expert by what is meant by evolutionary theory. It is an elusive and evolving thing. ET
I am definitely not an expert on what is meant by evolutionary theory but it is my understanding that their point is that future complexity can arise from existing complexity. But that ultimately, billions of years ago, it had to arise from relative simplicity. Ed George

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