Odd fish contradicts intelligent-design argument

By | July 14, 2008

This is a repeat. Same story, different source, but this one says it well.

The discovery of a missing link in the evolution of bizarre flatfishes–each of which has both eyes on the same side of its head–could give intelligent design advocates a sinking feeling. CT scans of 50-million-year-old fossils have revealed an intermediate species between primitive flatfishes (with eyes on both sides of their heads) and the modern, lopsided versions, which include sole, flounder, and halibut. So the change happened gradually, in a way consistent with evolution via natural selection–not suddenly, as researchers once had little choice but to believe, the authors of the new study say. The longstanding gap in the flatfish fossil record has long been explained by a “hopeful monster”–scientific jargon for an unknown animal blessed with a severe but helpful mutation that was passed down to its descendants. Ever since a geneticist invoked the hopeful-monster explanation in the 1930s, it has been the conventional wisdom for the origin of modern flatfishes. Intelligent design advocates have seized on the idea of instant flatfish rearrangement as evidence of God or another higher being intentionally creating new animal forms. Intelligent design advocates often cite the relative scarcity of transitional species in the fossil record as evidence of the intentional creation of species. – mysterytopia

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