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Convergent evolution: Insects and centipedes solved same problems differently

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Strigamia maritima/Carlo Brena

According to the recent genome map of Strigamia maritima

From ScienceDaily:

“The use of different evolutionary solutions to similar problems shows that myriapods and insects adapted to dry land independently of each other,” said Chipman. “For example, comparing the centipede and insect genomes shows that they independently evolved different solutions to the same problem shared by all land-dwelling creatures — that of living in dry air.”

According to Chipman, the study found that despite being closely related to insects, the centipede lacks the olfactory gene family used by insects to smell the air, and thus developed its own air-sniffing ability by expanding other gene families not present in insects.

In addition, Chipman said, this specific group of centipedes live underground and have lost their eyes, together with almost all vision genes and genes involved in the body’s internal clock. They maintain enhanced sensory capabilities enabling them to recognize their environment and capture prey.

Note: The vid below notes that the centipede lacks a body clock, the implication being that the clock developed later than 400 mya, to which the ‘pede is dated.

Caution advised: That might turn out to be correct, but it is also possible that it just lost the body clock along the way, the way some weeds appear to have just lost genetic information about growing apart from certain crop plants (if they in fact did lose it). (Weeds are smarter than people but, like the Luminarians, they keep that a secret. 😉 )

Here’s the abstract:

Myriapods (e.g., centipedes and millipedes) display a simple homonomous body plan relative to other arthropods. All members of the class are terrestrial, but they attained terrestriality independently of insects. Myriapoda is the only arthropod class not represented by a sequenced genome. We present an analysis of the genome of the centipede Strigamia maritima. It retains a compact genome that has undergone less gene loss and shuffling than previously sequenced arthropods, and many orthologues of genes conserved from the bilaterian ancestor that have been lost in insects. Our analysis locates many genes in conserved macro-synteny contexts, and many small-scale examples of gene clustering. We describe several examples where S. maritima shows different solutions from insects to similar problems. The insect olfactory receptor gene family is absent from S. maritima, and olfaction in air is likely effected by expansion of other receptor gene families. For some genes S. maritima has evolved paralogues to generate coding sequence diversity, where insects use alternate splicing. This is most striking for the Dscam gene, which in Drosophila generates more than 100,000 alternate splice forms, but in S. maritima is encoded by over 100 paralogues. We see an intriguing linkage between the absence of any known photosensory proteins in a blind organism and the additional absence of canonical circadian clock genes. The phylogenetic position of myriapods allows us to identify where in arthropod phylogeny several particular molecular mechanisms and traits emerged. For example, we conclude that juvenile hormone signalling evolved with the emergence of the exoskeleton in the arthropods and that RR-1 containing cuticle proteins evolved in the lineage leading to Mandibulata. We also identify when various gene expansions and losses occurred. The genome of S. maritima offers us a unique glimpse into the ancestral arthropod genome, while also displaying many adaptations to its specific life history. Open access – Chipman, Ariel D.; Ferrier, David E. K.; Brena, Carlo; et al. The First Myriapod Genome Sequence Reveals Conservative Arthropod Gene Content and Genome Organisation in the Centipede Strigamia maritima. PLoS Biology, November 25, 2014 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1002005

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12 Replies to “Convergent evolution: Insects and centipedes solved same problems differently

  1. 1
    Zachriel says:

    Tetrapods also adapted to land independently.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    ‘Convergent evolution’ (homology in unexpected places) is much more problematic for Darwin’s theory than Darwinists let on, and is found to be much more widespread than originally thought.,,, Far more often than would be expected under the neo-Darwinian framework.

    Bernard d’Abrera on Butterfly Mimicry and the Faith of the Evolutionist – October 5, 2011
    Excerpt: For it to happen in a single species once through chance, is mathematically highly improbable. But when it occurs so often, in so many species, and we are expected to apply mathematical probability yet again, then either mathematics is a useless tool, or we are being criminally blind.,,, Evolutionism (with its two eldest daughters, phylogenetics and cladistics) is the only systematic synthesis in the history of the universe that proposes an Effect without a Final Cause. It is a great fraud, and cannot be taken seriously because it outrageously attempts to defend the philosophically indefensible.

    “Despite its complexity, C4 photosynthesis is one of the best examples of ‘convergent evolution’, having evolved more than 50 times in at least 18 plant families (Sage 2004; Conway Morris 2006).”

    “The reason evolutionary biologists believe in “40 known independent eye evolutions” isn’t because they’ve reconstructed those evolutionary pathways, but because eyes don’t assume a treelike pattern on the famous Darwinian “tree of life.” Darwinists are accordingly forced, again and again, to invoke convergent “independent” evolution of eyes to explain why eyes are distributed in such a non-tree-like fashion.
    This is hardly evidence against ID. In fact the appearance of eyes within widely disparate groups speaks eloquently of common design. Eyes are a problem, all right — for Darwinism.”

    In fact, Simon Conway Morris has a website documenting hundreds, if not thousands, of examples of unexpected ‘convergence’:

    Map Of Life – Simon Conway Morris

    Simon Conway Morris: “Fossil evidence demands a radical rewriting of evolution.” – March 2012
    Excerpt: “The idea is this: that convergence – the tendency of very different organisms to evolve similar solutions to biological problems – is not just part of evolution, but a driving force. To say this is an unconventional view would be something of an understatement.”

    Convergent evolution seen in hundreds of genes – Erika Check Hayden – 04 September 2013
    Excerpt: “These results imply that convergent molecular evolution is much more widespread than previously recognized,” says molecular phylogeneticist Frédéric Delsuc at the The National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) at the University of Montpellier in France, who was not involved in the study. What is more, he adds, the genes involved are not just the few, obvious ones known to be directly involved in a trait but a broader array of genes that are involved in the same regulatory networks.

    Same Old Darwinian Drivel – June 26, 2014
    Excerpt: the six electric fish lineages, all of which ‘evolved’ independently, used essentially the same genes and developmental and cellular pathways to make an electric organ,

    Fish Have a Toolbox and Several Other Findings – Cornelius Hunter – June 28, 2014
    Excerpt: “Hence in the several fishes furnished with electric organs, these cannot be considered as homologous, but only as analogous in function. Consequently there is no reason to suppose that they have been inherited from a common progenitor; for had this been the case they would have closely resembled each other in all respects. Thus the difficulty of an organ, apparently the same, arising in several remotely allied species, disappears,”
    Charles Darwin
    ,,,, today’s study nullifies Darwin’s second argument. As we saw above, Darwin argued that the designs of the (many) different electric organs were sufficiently different that they must have arisen independently, and so they would not form a common descent pattern.
    But the new study, which peers deeper into the data, down to the genetic level, finds no such differences.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    If Darwinism is true, why are centipedes, like all other insects, unchanged in the fossil record for tens of millions of years?

    Fossilized centipedes

    If Darwinism is true, why is the fossil record overwhelmingly characterized by sudden appeance and stasis?

    Scientific study turns understanding about evolution on its head – July 30, 2013
    Excerpt: evolutionary biologists,,, looked at nearly one hundred fossil groups to test the notion that it takes groups of animals many millions of years to reach their maximum diversity of form.
    Contrary to popular belief, not all animal groups continued to evolve fundamentally new morphologies through time. The majority actually achieved their greatest diversity of form (disparity) relatively early in their histories.
    ,,,Dr Matthew Wills said: “This pattern, known as ‘early high disparity’, turns the traditional V-shaped cone model of evolution on its head. What is equally surprising in our findings is that groups of animals are likely to show early-high disparity regardless of when they originated over the last half a billion years. This isn’t a phenomenon particularly associated with the first radiation of animals (in the Cambrian Explosion), or periods in the immediate wake of mass extinctions.”,,,
    Author Martin Hughes, continued: “Our work implies that there must be constraints on the range of forms within animal groups, and that these limits are often hit relatively early on.
    Co-author Dr Sylvain Gerber, added: “A key question now is what prevents groups from generating fundamentally new forms later on in their evolution.,,,

    “The point emerges that if we examine the fossil record in detail, whether at the level of orders or of species, we find’ over and over again’ not gradual evolution, but the sudden explosion of one group at the expense of another.”
    Paleontologist, Derek V. Ager (Department of Geology & Oceanography, University College, Swansea, UK)

    “It is a feature of the known fossil record that most taxa appear abruptly. They are not, as a rule, led up to by a sequence of almost imperceptibly changing forerunners such as Darwin believed should be usual in evolution…This phenomenon becomes more universal and more intense as the hierarchy of categories is ascended. Gaps among known species are sporadic and often small. Gaps among known orders, classes and phyla are systematic and almost always large.”
    G.G.Simpson – one of the most influential American Paleontologist of the 20th century

    “Given the fact of evolution, one would expect the fossils to document a gradual steady change from ancestral forms to the descendants. But this is not what the paleontologist finds. Instead, he or she finds gaps in just about every phyletic series.” –
    Ernst Mayr-Professor Emeritus, Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University

    “What is missing are the many intermediate forms hypothesized by Darwin, and the continual divergence of major lineages into the morphospace between distinct adaptive types.”
    Robert L Carroll (born 1938) – vertebrate paleontologist who specialises in Paleozoic and Mesozoic amphibians

    “In virtually all cases a new taxon appears for the first time in the fossil record with most definitive features already present, and practically no known stem-group forms.”
    Fossils and Evolution, TS Kemp – Curator of Zoological Collections, Oxford University, Oxford Uni Press, p246, 1999

    Living Fossils Interview with Dr. Carl Werner – video (13:38 minute mark) (fossils that have not changed for tens of millions of years

    As to tetrapods,,

    Tiktaalik Blown “Out of the Water” by Earlier Tetrapod Fossil Footprints – January 2010
    Excerpt: The tracks predate the oldest tetrapod skeletal remains by 18 Myr and, more surprisingly, the earliest elpistostegalian fishes by about 10 Myr.

    Attenborough, read your mail: Evolution is messier than TV – February 2014 – with video
    Excerpt: The Polish trackways establish that Tiktaalik wasn’t anywhere near the first tetrapod, so the most important information about the transition to land doesn’t even include Tiktaalik at present.,,,
    Some fish today routinely spend time out of the water, using a variety of mechanisms. But there is no particular reason to believe that they are on their way to becoming full time tetrapods or land dwellers. So we would need to be cautious about assuming that specific mechanisms that might be useful on land are definitive evidence of a definite, permanent move to full-time land dwelling.
    A friend writes to point out a modern-day examples that illustrates this, the walking shark:

    Walk Like a Fish! – Ian Juby – (2014) video

    Three-dimensional limb joint mobility in the early tetrapod Ichthyostega : Published online 23 May 2012 – video with article
    Excerpt: The origin of tetrapods and the transition from swimming to walking was a pivotal step in the evolution and diversification of terrestrial vertebrates.,,, We conclude that early tetrapods with the skeletal morphology and limb mobility of Ichthyostega were unlikely to have made some of the recently described Middle Devonian trackways.

    “Tiktaalik has now joined the ranks of many debunked Darwinian fossils that litter the history of Darwinism. It’s just a fish people, a unique fish designed by its Creator, but nothing more. It provides no support for Darwinism.”

  4. 4
    Robert Byers says:

    Convergent evolution claims are the soft underbelly of error in evolutionism.
    everywhere one finds the same mechanical results for like needs in unrelated biology. very unlikely is evolution by mutation/selection was the mechanism.
    it seems rather a design idea of like need equals like reply. jUst like in physics.
    Common biological laws are there to be discovered behind most of biological change since the fall.
    evolution opposes laws of biology and sees instead chance. a rool of the great dice. in fact its very loaded and not rolling.
    common design predicts common results for common needs in different biological entities.
    just like in peoples looks.

  5. 5
    goodusername says:

    Convergent evolution: Insects and centipedes solved same problems differently

    I’m not sure why “convergent evolution” is in the subject line.

  6. 6
    Bob O'H says:

    I hope people around here appreciate the implications for CSI and related matters. A lot of that discussion revolves around the idea that there is a target for a search, but this post shows that there are different ways of solving a problem, i.e. there may be ore than one target and they could be disjoint. So if you identify a target post hoc, you might miss other perfectly valid solutions.

  7. 7
    Joe says:

    Bob O’H- it doesn’t matter as unguided evolution will always be impotent and unable to explain biological phenomena outside of diseases and deformities.

  8. 8
    ppolish says:

    Solving a Problem = guided purposeful evolution.
    Surviving a Problem = unguided purposeless evolution,

    The centipede did not solve/survive its way to eyesight or sense of smell – it lacks those skills/accidents.

    But did the centipede lose those skills or was the centipede created without them from the get go?

  9. 9
    Zachriel says:

    ppolish: The centipede did not solve/survive its way to eyesight or sense of smell – it lacks those skills/accidents.

    Evolutionary algorithms can solve problems, a process akin to tinkering.

  10. 10
    ppolish says:

    Agree Zachriel, although we may disagree if the tinkering is done in a casual or desultory way. I would argue causal. I would argue the “first tinker” was causal. The whole “tinker from nothing” seems like a cop out. Not scientific. A surrender to ignorance.

  11. 11
    Zachriel says:

    ppolish: Agree Zachriel, although we may disagree if the tinkering is done in a casual or desultory way.

    Not sure analogies, such as casual, really apply to evolution. Over the scales involved, evolution can look very decisive.

    ppolish: I would argue the “first tinker” was causal. The whole “tinker from nothing” seems like a cop out. Not scientific.

    Consider that there is a lot of research into abiogenesis, with some very interesting results, while there is no research into telic biogenesis.

    That doesn’t mean abiogenesis has been scientifically demonstrated, but it certainly should rescue it from being a “cop out”.

  12. 12
    ppolish says:

    “We hope that our explorations of the chemistry and physics behind the emergence of Darwinian evolution will lead to explanations for some of the universal properties of modern cells, as well as explanations of how modern cells arose from their simpler ancestors.”

    Yes, Zachriel, lots of hope. Nothing wrong with hoping. Hoping & Praying. Sometimes it works.

    But the Science behind the hoping & praying is still “over the heads” of current Science. They’re getting closer. Except that lab you linked to. Those guys/gals are modern alchemists.

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