Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Repeated acquisition and loss of complex body form characters: New Evidence for an Old Problem

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It is one of the most celebrated proof texts for evolution and at the same time a good example of what is wrong with the life science’s dominant paradigm. The pentadactyl structure—five digits (four fingers and a thumb for humans) at the end of the limb structure—is found throughout the tetrapods. The activities of this massive group of fauna include flying, grasping, climbing and crawling. Such diverse activities, evolutionists reason, should require diverse limbs. There seems to be no reason why all should need a five digit limb. Why not three digits for some, eight for others, 13 for some others, and so forth? And yet they all are endowed with five digits. And, evolutionists explain, this structure neatly fall into a pattern of common descent. Obviously the pentadactyl structure must be an artefact of common descent—a suboptimal design that was handed down from a common ancestor rather than specifically designed for each species. Darwin canonized this proof with one of his most cited passages:  Read more

Similarities indicate a connection, but the similarities alone do not tell us what the connection is. From this evidence alone, common descent is just as likely as common design. The same can be said for the differences. The existence of many varieties does not especially indicate Darwinism any more than it indicates Creationism. All it tells us is that our world is full of distinctly different things - things that may in fact be unrelated either by evolution or by design. If we are honest, we should not look at these evidences as evidence at all, but as phenomena that we interpret in the light of our preconceived notions of how the world works. APM

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