Convergent evolution Intelligent Design

Spiders and ants independently developed baskets for carrying sand

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From Nature:

Desert spiders are master engineers

A spider living in the Sahara Desert excavates its burrow by hauling out bundles of sand fastened with silken cords, while another carries sand balls in a ‘basket’ of its own bristles.

A similar basket evolved independently in desert ants, the authors note.More.

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

5 Replies to “Spiders and ants independently developed baskets for carrying sand

  1. 1
    Dionisio says:

    Another example of the unlimited creative power of RV+NS 🙂

  2. 2
    Dionisio says:

    Convergent evolution

    In evolutionary biology, convergent evolution is the process whereby organisms not closely related (not monophyletic), independently evolve similar traits as a result of having to adapt to similar environments or ecological niches.

    It is the opposite of divergent evolution, where related species evolve different traits.

    On a molecular level, this can happen due to random mutation unrelated to adaptive changes; see long branch attraction.

    This reminds me of the Cold War years, when something called “convergence theory” was considered heretic in the Soviet Union.

    Early Convergence Theory

    Early convergence theorists believed that even countries that are polar opposites in their views on economic development (like communist and capitalist nations) will develop along the same path. Some promoters of convergence theory, such as Andrei Sakharov, a Russian dissident, human rights activist, and nuclear physicist, advocated the development of convergence theory as a way to lessen tensions between Russia and the United States.

  3. 3
    OldAndrew says:

    What exactly does the first variation in the process of evolving basket-weaving look like?

    The behavior has to be small enough that it can result from a single genetic variation. What would that be? I doubt that anyone has even attempted to answer that.

    The same behavior must simultaneously be great enough that it becomes the determining factor in reproductive variance. It must be great enough that it outweighs countless other factors that might affect that variance, including random bad luck.

    It’s even worse if you go back a few steps. Why do spiders dig holes? Once upon a time there was a spider that mutated a random nervous disorder that caused to it occasionally kick a grain of sand from here to there for no reason. That spider then had a reproductive advantage and passed on its random behavior because …? And once all of the spiders were doing that, the process repeated. Another spider mutated leading to another behavioral change, which was also selected because …?

    Meanwhile everything else that these spiders might evolve has to go on hold while they carefully and unintentionally cultivate this lineage of behaviors that will one day lead to them having holes to live in.

    RM+NS explains everything as long as the explanation doesn’t include any RM or NS.

  4. 4
    Latemarch says:


    Well yeah, of course it sounds so unlikely when you put it like that “;^)

  5. 5
    Dionisio says:

    You don’t understand evolution. 🙂

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