Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Real Problem With Convergence

Worse Than Lightning Striking Twice

Biology is full of convergence—repeated designs in distant species. Marsupials and placentals, for instance, are mammals with different reproductive designs (placentals have significant growth in the embryonic stage attached to the nutrient-rich placenta whereas marsupials have no placenta and experience significant development after birth) but otherwise with many similar species. The marsupial flying phalanger and placental flying squirrel, for example, have distinctive similarities, including their coats that extend from the wrist to the ankle giving them the ability to glide long distances. But evolutionists must believe that these distinctive similarities evolved separately and independently because one is a marsupial and the other is a placental, and those two groups must have divided much earlier in evolutionary history. Simply put, evolution’s random mutations must have duplicated dozens of designs in these two groups. Isn’t that kind of like lightning striking twice?

It is kind of like lightning striking twice but for evolutionists—who already have accepted the idea that squirrels, and all other species for that matter, arose by chance mutations—this is not difficult to believe. It simply happened twice rather than once (or several times, in the cases of a great many convergences).

What is often not understood however, by both evolutionists and their critics, is that convergence poses a completely different theoretical problem. Simply put, a fundamental evidence and motivation for evolution is the pattern of similarities and differences between the different species. According to evolutionary theory, the species fall into an evolutionary pattern with great precision. Species on the same branch in the evolutionary tree of life share a close relationship via common descent. Therefore they share similarities with each other much more consistently than with species on other branches.

This is a very specific pattern, and it can be used to predict differences and similarities between species given a knowledge of where they are in the evolutionary tree.

Convergence violates this pattern. Convergence reveals striking similarities across different branches. This leaves evolutionists struggling to figure out how the proverbial lightning could strike twice, as illustrated in a recent symposium:

Does convergence primarily indicate adaptation or constraint? How often should convergence be expected? Are there general principles that would allow us to predict where and when and by what mechanisms convergent evolution should occur? What role does natural history play in advancing our understanding of general evolutionary principles?

It is not a good sign that here in the twenty first century evolutionists are still befuddled by convergence, which is rampant in biology, and how it could occur. This certainly is a problem for the theory.

But a more fundamental problem, which evolutionists have not reckoned with, is that convergence violates the evolutionary pattern. Regardless of adaptation versus constraint explanations, and any other mechanisms evolutionists can or will imagine, the basic fact remains: a fundamental evidence and prediction of evolution is falsified.

The species do not fall into the expected evolutionary pattern.

The failure of fundamental predictions—and this is a hard failure—is fatal for scientific theories. It leaves evolution not as a scientific theory but as an ad hoc, story-telling, procedure. The species reveal the expected evolutionary pattern—except when they don’t. In those cases, they reveal some other pattern.

So regardless of where you position yourself in this debate, please understand that attempts to explain convergence under evolutionary theory, while important in normal science, do nothing to remedy the underlying theoretical problem, which is devastating.

Religion drives science, and it matters.

26 comments:

  1. Hi Cornelius
    Do you have an idea when the concept of convergent evolution started. Why wasn't this point a major bottleneck for the TOE?

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    1. Good question Bill. Would be interesting to trace the history of the awareness. Darwin did address it tangentially, but an awareness of the sheer magnitude of convergence did not seem to develop until later in 20th c. By that time evolution was fully accepted, so convergence, as well as the many other emerging problems, are viewed as research problems--not problems that go beyond normal science.

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  2. LOL! You're really scraping the bottom of the barrel here Cornelius.

    Convergence occurs in evolution because there are only a finite number of biomechanical solutions to the problems of survival faced by species. It is therefore no surprise that sometimes distantly related species hit on a very similar solution. Sharks and dolphins are both streamlined not because God likes that form but because that shape moves most efficiently through the water. We even see such convergence at the molecular level where the physical properties of the prestin gene aid the reception of high frequency echo location sounds in some species of both bats and whales. It's simple physics, no POOFING magic required.

    Convergent evolution is only a problem to those ignorant or dishonest enough to ignore what science knows on the topic.

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    1. It's simple physics

      Oh that is beautiful.

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  3. Cornelius, why did you cut off this part of the abstract where the author goes on to explain the paper answers the questions you quote mined?

    "Does convergence primarily indicate adaptation or constraint? How often should convergence be expected? Are there general principles that would allow us to predict where and when and by what mechanisms convergent evolution should occur? What role does natural history play in advancing our understanding of general evolutionary principles? In this introductory article, I address these questions, review several generalizations about convergent evolution that have emerged over the past 15 years, and present a framework for advancing the study and interpretation of convergence. Perhaps the most important emerging conclusion is that the genetic mechanisms of convergent evolution are phylogenetically conserved; that is, more closely related species tend to share the same genetic basis of traits, even when independently evolved."

    That wasn't very honest of you, was it?

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    1. "Cornelius, why did you cut off this part of the abstract where the author goes on to explain the paper answers the questions you quote mined?"
      That was a rhetorical question, right?

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    2. No, it "wasn't very honest of you" to suggest a design pattern supports evolution or changes anything from the above. As your fellow evolutionist admitted, “If these were the result of the same DNA, you might have an argument.” That is precisely what the text you so proudly bolded explains.

      https://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2017/05/the-real-problem-with-convergence.html?showComment=1495336285065#c1766470537426000614

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    3. more closely related species tend to share the same genetic basis of traits, even when independently evolved.

      So under evolution, we would be forced to say that the same design is created by the same molecular mechanism in similar species, yet it is *not* a consequence of common descent. IOW, the evolutionary pattern, which is claimed as such powerful evidence for evolution, is broken. The same design, created by the same molecular mechanism, in similar species, might be a consequence of common descent, or then again as in these examples, it might not be. Therefore this cannot be powerful evidence for evolution. That was the point of the OP, which your bolded text reinforces. 2 points for own goal.

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  4. "Convergence violates this pattern. Convergence reveals striking similarities across different branches."

    Convergence reveals striking similarities in phenotype across different branches. If these were the result of the same DNA, you might have an argument.

    There are only so many ways for a quadruped to fly, or glide, or swim fast. Physics dictates this. As such, striking similarities in phenotypes are inevitable. But if you would bother to look beneath the skin you will find striking differences in how they achieve the same end point.

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    1. If these were the result of the same DNA, you might have an argument.

      So "same DNA" in species separated 100 mya would be a problem?

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    2. So "same DNA" in species separated 100 mya would be a problem?

      Are you kidding? Nothing is a problem for Darwinists. And I predict that this is precisely what will be found in the genetic record of distant species. I'm surprised it has not been found yet.

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    3. If these were the result of the same DNA, you might have an argument.

      And if not the same DNA it shows that DNA is not the determining factor.

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    4. WS
      "There are only so many ways for a quadruped to fly, or glide, or swim fast. Physics dictates this. As such, striking similarities in phenotypes are inevitable. But if you would bother to look beneath the skin you will find striking differences in how they achieve the same end point."

      Are you making the claim that natural selection can evolve flight more that once?

      How many molecular changes do you think are required to go from a land dwelling animal to a flying animal?

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    5. Are you making the claim that natural selection can evolve flight more that once?

      Flight has evolved at least four different ways - in bats, birds, insects, and pterosaurs.

      Why did your Unintelligent Designer have to re-invent the wheel so many times?

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    6. Dirt worshipper proudly writes:

      Why did your Unintelligent Designer have to re-invent the wheel so many times?

      Nobody is reinventing the wheel, you brainless worm. There is such a thing as art and variety in art and it can be observed all over the biosphere. If the intelligent designers were reinventing the wheel, there would not be so much genetic commonality between the species. The tree of life is the ultimate sign of the intelligent reuse of previous designed stuff. You idiots refuse to accept this truth because you are gutless.

      Now, what you bozos are deathly afraid of is that the same complex genetic sequences will be found in distant species for a trait that appeared independently at different times. You will defecate on yourselves when that happens because your BS will be unmasked for everyone to see.

      Get a clue, Mr. gutless Dirt worshipper.

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    7. LOL! As always Louis, you are by far the best spokesman for ID the evolutionary sciences could ever hope for. :)

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    8. Go pound sand or something and see if I care. The end comes sooner than you think. Gutless dirt worshipper.

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    9. GR:
      Flight has evolved at least four different ways - in bats, birds, insects, and pterosaurs.

      That is your untestable opinion, anyway.

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    10. "How many molecular changes do you think are required to go from a land dwelling animal to a flying animal?
      723. :)

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  5. The problem with Darwinian evolution is that lightning never strikes at all. It never happens because the curse of dimensionality kills all lightning strikes dead before they can even be conceived. The size of the search space prohibits it. It's simple math but Darwinists are too stupid to get it. It's a form of cowardice, really. It takes guts to accept the truth and Darwinists are gutless worms, every single one of them.

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  6. The way I understand it is that in science we don't do proofs, we use the preponderance of evidence. This means that we look at the quality of the evidence as well as the quantity. The evidence for evolution based on thw ovwrall pattern has so many exceptions to the pattern that need to be explained away that it means that the evidence is of poor quality.

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  7. Straight from the mouth of babes - evolution is necessary to protect secularism (the science doesn't matter):

    When Dr. Snelling, a creationist scientist, applied for a permit to study the Grand Canyon the Park Service vetted the proposal with three evolutionists. In rejecting the proposal Dr. Huntoon says: "[It] is not a question of fairness to all points of view, but rather adherence to your narrowly defined institution mandate predicated in part on the fact that ours is a secular society as per our constitution."

    http://www.conservativenewsandviews.com/2017/05/11/creation/grand-canyon-legal-battleground/

    Religion drives science, and it matters.

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  8. Dr. Hunter, there's a Phys.Org article today on a marine reptile where convergence is invoked again. You might be interested.

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  9. Amen . BINGO. Convergent evolution is the soft underbelly of evolutionist error!
    I say marsupials are just placentals.
    However its a interesting point brought up here.
    They do make thier trees and predictions about biology based on likeness in traits.
    So convergence actually defeats this. why should likeness work if always convergence is a threat??
    If any trait/series of traits is a path then convergence in nature destroys the concept its a path.
    Anyways.
    A marsupial wolf is just another wolf like everywhere else.
    Both evos and creos need to allow other options for mechanisms that bring likeness.
    Only in marsupials the likeness is the marsupial traits and a few others. no big deal.

    If mr Hunter reads this i ask him. Does he think marsupial lions, moles, bears, wolves, squirrels were created on creation week and carried on the ark and migrateds, carpooling , to Austraklia/south america?
    Or they are just minor adapted creatures , the same as the rest, upon migration to those areas.
    Did god create marsupial squirrels and our squirrels??

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  10. "A marsupial wolf is just another wolf like everywhere else."

    Except, of course, it faces in the other direction.

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