Convergent evolution News

Convergence: Venom in fish evolved 18 times

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eel w. venom fang on roof of mouth/W. Leo Smith

From ScienceDaily:

“For the first time ever, we looked at the evolution of venom across all fishes,” said lead author William Leo Smith, assistant curator at the University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute. “Nobody had attempted to look across all fishes. Nobody had done sharks or included eels. Nobody had looked at them all and included all fishes in an evolutionary tree at the same time.”

According to Smith, the 18 independent evolutions of venom each pose an opportunity for drug makers to derive therapies for a host of human ailments.

“Fish venoms are often super complicated, big molecules that have big impact,” he said. “Venom can have impacts on blood pressure, cause local necrosis, breakdown of tissue and blood, and hemolytic activity — it prevents clotting to spread venom around prey. Venom is a neurotoxin. The average response is incredible pain and swelling.” Paper. (paywall) – W. Leo Smith, Jennifer H. Stern, Matthew G. Girard, Matthew P. Davis. Evolution of Venomous Cartilaginous and Ray-Finned Fishes. Integrative and Comparative Biology, 2016; icw070 DOI: 10.1093/icb/icw070

The fact that these “super complicated” systems evolved eighteen different times pretty much rules out a Darwinian origin (natural selection acting on random mutation). No wonder they are rethinking evolution.

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

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3 Replies to “Convergence: Venom in fish evolved 18 times

  1. 1
    Lee Spetner says:

    The paper by Smith et al is free. No Paywall.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Convergent evolution is the ultimate get out of jail free card for Darwinists. Find fossils or genes that can’t possibly be explained by common ancestry? Why just invoke ‘convergent evolution’ and go about your day as if you have actually explained something scientifically rather than just ‘explained away’ a falsifying evidence!

    Moreover, unexpected similarity in widely divergent species is not just found at the gross morphological level, but is also now, very unexpectedly, found at the molecular level as well

    Darwinism Versus the Octopus: An Evolutionary Dilemma – Eric Metaxas – September 08, 2015
    Excerpt: What’s the difference between evolutionary theory and an octopus? Well, one is a slippery, color-changing escape artist that can get out of any tough situation and the other is an aquatic invertebrate.,,,
    The key to this uncanny intelligence is the octopus’ so-called “alien” nervous system, brain, and eyes. But these features are not alien to the animal kingdom at all. In fact, they’re quite common in higher vertebrates. The octopus genome shares key similarities with ours, including the development of high-powered brains and “camera eyes” with a cornea, lens, and retina.
    Now here’s the problem for evolution: according to Neo-Darwinists, we’re not related to octopi—at least not within the last several hundred million years. That means all of these genes, complex structures, and incredible capabilities came about twice.
    The researchers who sequenced the octopus genome call this “a striking example of convergent evolution,” or the supposed tendency of unrelated creatures to develop the same traits in response to environmental pressures. Isn’t that just a fancy way of saying a miracle happened twice?
    But the octopus isn’t the only such miracle. “Convergent evolution” is all over nature, from powered flight evolving three times to each continent having its own version of the anteater. Think about that. As one delightfully un-self-conscious “Science Today” cover put it, convergent evolution is “nature discover[ing] the same design over and over.” Well, good for nature!
    But as Luskin argues, there’s a better explanation for a tentacled mollusk having a mammal’s brain and human eyes. And that explanation is common design by an intelligent Engineer. And like all good engineers, this this one reused some of His best designs.
    Now that explanation isn’t going to satisfy Darwinian naturalists. And they’ll probably keep on invoking “convergent evolution” when faced with impossible coincidences in nature.
    But hopefully knowing a more straightforward explanation leaves you forearmed—or should I said “eight-armed”?

    The octopus genome and the evolution of cephalopod neural and morphological novelties – August 13, 2015
    Excerpt: the independent expansions and nervous system enrichment of protocadherins in coleoid cephalopods and vertebrates offers a striking example of convergent evolution between these clades at the molecular level.

    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.

    Problem 7: Convergent Evolution Challenges Darwinism and Destroys the Logic Behind Common Ancestry – Casey Luskin February 9, 2015
    Excerpt: Whenever evolutionary biologists are forced to appeal to convergent evolution, it reflects a breakdown in the main assumption, and an inability to fit the data to a treelike pattern. Examples of this abound in the literature,,,,
    Biochemist and Darwin-skeptic Fazale Rana reviewed the technical literature and documented over 100 reported cases of convergent genetic evolution.126 Each case shows an example where biological similarity — even at the genetic level — is not the result of inheritance from a common ancestor. So what does this do to the main assumption of tree-building that biological similarity implies inheritance from a common ancestor? With so many exceptions to the rule, one has to wonder if the rule itself holds merit.,,,

    Podcast: Casey Luskin on How Convergent Evolution Turns the Logic of Common Ancestry on Its Head

    “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.”

    “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).”

    Of related note:

    Falsification of Natural Selection and Universal Common Descent Within Population Genetics – video

  3. 3
    Robert Byers says:

    AHA. Convergent evolution strikes again. it strikes , with venom, at evolutionisms likelyness instinct.
    It didn’t evolve but rather is a common reply for a common need from a common blueprint affecting all biology. A better hunch.
    i bet its not 18. Probably in living/extinct fish its hundreds.
    Imagine all the selection on mutations9never mind dead ends) that must go to bring about the same result. ! Unlikely eh.

    Another point is about healing.
    They say this study might help to bring ideas on drugs. WELL i say convergent evolution doesn’t help. Its all chance trails. A better idea is to presume a common blueprint and then find how twisting details could make better drugs. A better hope and option.
    Evolutionism presumptions get in the way, I think, of healing mankind.

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