Tuesday, January 21, 2003


Scientists think they've made yet another major breakthrough in evolutionary theory. By examining the insect 'walking sticks', scientists argue that 'they evolved from winged to wingless and back again. Walking sticks made the shift four times.' This is important as previously scientists held to a 'use it or lose it' belief--if an animal didn't use a particular function it would disappear and disappear forever.

But despite the hype, why can't this finding be explained as simply an inherent hereditary characteristic become recessive and then re-emerging? It would be similar to a family having red hair, that trait disappearing for awhile and then reappearing generations later. The genetic code was always there, just not activated. Instead these scientists seem to assume that the ability of flight redevoloped from scratch each time, which is quite simply hard to swallow. As always, scientists are faced with the information creation conundrum--how did this complex DNA code simply emerge, disappear and re-emerge time and again? And, of course, a walking stick with wings or without is still a walking stick. It's not something else or about to be.

[Thanks to Steve for the link via Susanna.]

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