Convergent Evolution?

by / January 28, 2016

convergent evolution dolphins cs4k

Did you know dolphins/toothed whales and bats use the same kind of system to “see” with sound? Scientists call this ability “echolocation” [I bet you can figure out why: echo + location!] and it is really fun to learn about.

Here’s where things get tricky for an Evolutionist. They don’t believe there was a common echolocating ancestor for both dolphins and bats. So, how did such different animals both get the same ability?

convergent evolution bats cs4k

Creationists don’t have a hard time with this. We know the same Designer God used a really good idea to help two of His creatures. He programmed them both with the same type of skill to help one in murky water and another in the dead of night (or caves).

But, what about people who choose to believe the only way anything can do anything is because of mutations? Do they throw up their hands and say, “I give up. There must be a smart Creator behind such amazing things!” Well, a few have, but most just turn to another kind of “just so story” to explain these amazing similarities.

They call their story Convergent Evolution:

Octopus eye (Photo credit: Derek K. Miller)

Octopus eye (Photo credit: Derek K. Miller) The appearance of apparently similar structures in organisms of different lines of descent. Origin: 1965–70

The Free Dictionary: The appearance of similar forms and/or functions in two or more lines not sufficiently related phylogenetically to account for the similarity.

Phylogenetic tree showing evolutive relationships, genetic distance, and convergent evolution among waxbills (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Phylogenetic tree showing evolutive relationships, genetic distance, and convergent evolution among waxbills (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The evolutionary development of similar structures in two or more species, often widely separated phylogenetically, in response to similarities of environment; for example, the wing-like structures in insects, birds, and flying mammals.

Does this really explain anything? Is it even scientific? Can you test this, observe this, experiment with this? Well, they’ve been trying, but haven’t gotten anything like “convergent evolution” to happen in a lab.

You might have your parents help you do a GoodSearch for “convergent evolution” and see the kinds of things this process is supposed to have done. Here are some examples I’ve found. Just be prepared for their unwavering confidence that convergent evolution actually happened:

• The Journal Nature: Bats and dolphins may have developed echolocation via similar mutations
• Genome Research: Comparative Analysis of Gene Expression for Convergent Evolution of Camera Eye Between Octopus and Human
• Wikipedia is brave enough to list a whole bunch more

Here’s the bottom line. No human being was around when the first dolphin, bat, or octopus began. We all have to believe something we didn’t see.

Creationists have chosen to trust the God who was there and told us about what He did in the Bible. Many people don’t want to do this, so they come up with other ideas. But either they are the people who invented the ideas or they trust the people who did.

Who will you trust?

P.S. Echolocation is one of the things we’ve studied to use in our own technology. Know what we call it? Sonar. We’ve been using Biomimicry for way longer than we’ve been using the title!

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Romans 1:22-23

Some Creationist articles on convergent evolution:

Creation Ministries International: Are look-alikes related?

Answers in Genesis: Do Genetic Similarities in Bats and Dolphins Echo Evolutionary Convergence?

Institute for Creation Research: How Some Insects Can Eat Poisonous Plants
also Evolution Made Cavefish Go Blind?

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Hi, I’m Cheri Fields: 2nd generation homeschooling mom of six, pastor’s wife, writer, and science lover. There is a wealth of information available to help people see how trustworthy God and His testimony in the Bible is. The key is to explain concepts simply so they can be understood by anyone. This is my goal, and I’ve had a lot of fun tackling areas where the world tests our faith.

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