Convergent evolution Intelligent Design

Researchers: Toothed and non-toothed (baleen) whales evolved similar features independently

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In parallel evolution:

The researchers say that multiple lines of evidence — from the skull anatomy and teeth, to the flipper and vertebral column — show that this large dolphin (a toothed whale in the group Odontoceti) was a top predator in the community in which it lived. They say that many features of the dolphin’s postcranial skeleton also imply that modern baleen whales and modern toothed whales must have evolved similar features independently, driven by parallel evolution in the very similar aquatic habitats in which they lived.

“The degree to which baleen whales and dolphins independently arrive at the same overall swimming adaptations, rather than these traits evolving once in the common ancestor of both groups, surprised us,” says Robert Boessenecker of the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina. “Some examples include the narrowing of the tail stock, increase in the number of tail vertebrae, and shortening of the humerus (upper arm bone) in the flipper.

Cell Press, “15-foot-long skeleton of extinct dolphin suggests parallel evolution among whales” at ScienceDaily

Paper. (open access)

The problem parallel (convergent) evolution creates for Darwinism is that the available chances for purely random hits on solutions to problems are reduced if the solutions developed independently, instead of being derived from a common ancestor. Convergent evolution better fits a theory of evolution that involves front-loading, however it happens.

See also: Evolution appears to converge on goals—but in Darwinian terms, is that possible?

and

Billion-year-old Trichoplax has everything needed for a nervous system but no system It’s almost like the nervous system is software that was never used.?

10 Replies to “Researchers: Toothed and non-toothed (baleen) whales evolved similar features independently

  1. 1
    jawa says:

    Martin_r may elaborate on this
    🙂

  2. 2
    BobRyan says:

    From the OP:

    “The degree to which baleen whales and dolphins independently arrive at the same overall swimming adaptations, rather than these traits evolving once in the common ancestor of both groups, surprised us,” says Robert Boessenecker of the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina.

    It is surprising only to Dawinists, but would be more accurate to say impossible given the randomness of macro-evolution. As with all other evidence disproving macro-evolution, this will be ignored, written off or attacked. If mutations are random, why do positive mutation survive and not randomly become negative? You cannot have macro-evolution and random mutations, any more than you can have laws of physics without something creating the laws.

  3. 3
    ET says:

    Maybe someday someone will figure what makes a whale a whale. Until we know that we cannot say, scientifically, that whales evolved from non-whales.

  4. 4
    jawa says:

    What did the whales evolve from? What’s their closest ancestor? What did they evolve into?

  5. 5
    Retired Physicist says:

    @Jawa, uh, they evolved into whales.

  6. 6
    ET says:

    Yes, whales evolved into more whales. Unfortunately no one can test the claim that whales evolved from non-whales. And because of that the claim is not scientific. Someday, that may change.

  7. 7
    Fasteddious says:

    ET @6 Of course one cannot test whether whales came from non-whales experimentally. However, science can test that hypothesis by looking realistically at what would be needed to create a whale from a non-whale , and the time frame involved for known and reasonably expected mechanisms. Choose any potential progenitor and identify the “mutations” or “design changes” required to change it into a whale of any sort. Then suggest a variety of known or reasonably possible mechanisms that could produce those changes in a sequential fashion in such a way that any intermediary life form posited would at least be viable. Finally, determine how fast those steps could reasonably be expected to occur within the constraints of the suggested mechanisms themselves. If the resulting sequence looks credible and fits the available fossil time frame, then you have a potential winner that could be published for comment or critique.
    Of course, ID people have done this, at least in outline, for the mechanism of Darwinian evolution: random mutation plus natural selection. And they have shown that the supposed sequence is neither credible, not plausible, even in theory. The number of mutations required, the low probability of their occurrences by chance, and the time required to fix them in any reasonable population work together to negate that mechanism from serious consideration – at least by anyone taking an honest look.
    On the other hand, possible mechanisms for ID could achieve this sequence of events in the allowed time frame. For one thought experiment in that direction, see: http://thopid.blogspot.com/201.....tions.html
    Clearly intelligently directed genome modification, combined with selective breeding could accomplish the task given enough lab resources and long-term interest.

  8. 8
    ET says:

    Considering that over the past 2 million years voles have been evolving 60-100x faster than the average vertebrate in terms of creating species*, and they are all still voles, whales from terrestrial mammals doesn’t stand a chance. 😎

    * Voles- all that evolution and just more voles

  9. 9
    doubter says:

    Fasteddious @7

    A good overview. I would only differ at your surmise that “Clearly intelligently directed genome modification, combined with selective breeding could accomplish the task given enough lab resources and long-term interest.”.

    Since the 1980s a well-kept inconvenient and embarrassing secret (to Darwinism) has been that the DNA of the genome is grossly inadequate in information carrying capacity to account for the huge amount of information required during embryogenesis to form a human infant or any of the other higher and most complex animals. The positional, biochemical and other data required during development to form the immensely complicated integrated structure is many orders of magnitude greater than the total base pair information carrying capacity of the genome. Some genes do carry instructions on development, but this only influences development. There is a huge difference between influencing development and carrying all the requisite data required for the immensely complex process.

    So most of the information must be stored in some probably immaterial form and sequentially exquisitely carefully decoded by some mechanism both of which are unknown to biology, and obviously out of reach of Darwinian processes. Even if the bulk of the data is somehow carried by other cellular components and organelles like the cytoskeleton it would be out of reach of Darwinian processes. Any sort of advanced intelligent genome modification (as long as it is limited to the genome) isn’t even in principle capable of the macro-evolution of whales.

  10. 10
    ET says:

    Whales allegedly evolved from even-toed ungulates- hoofed mammals. Take a look and tell us if it looks like the whale’s flipper came from a hoofed mammal: what the hoof?

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