Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community


Does exaptation show that nature is “not intelligent”?

Here’s a definition of exaptation: a trait, feature, or structure of an organism or taxonomic group that takes on a function when none previously existed or that differs from its original function which had been derived by evolution. – Merriam-Webster In other words, a feature that once served one purpose now serves another. How is that not intelligent? The earliest ancestors of turtles likely evolved shells not for protection, but to serve as platforms for burrowing underground. Legs seem neatly adapted for locomotion on land, but leg-like limbs were present in a 375-million-year-old fish known as Tiktaalik, and were likely used for propping the fish up in shallow water. There are exaptations in genes, too. A gene called Distal-less controls coloration on Read More ›