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Evolution as loss of function: Newly discovered blind legless lizard

Looks like a worm. Here:

The blind reptile looks like a snake, but it is actually a lizard that has evolved to live underground – losing its legs to enable it to push through the soil by wriggling its body.[ ... ]

“Also most lizards are able to blink and snakes can’t,” Dr Daltry continued. “Although this new [underground] lizard has no eyes at all.”

- Victoria Gill, “blind legless lizard species discovered in Cambodia” BBC News, May 10, 2011

Rube’s kid: My science teacher pinned up a picture of this new lizard on the tackboard and said, There! Darwin was right! New species form all the time, acquiring new traits through natural selection …

Rube: Just a minute, son. Did she say that blind and legless are “new traits”? She really said that? You sure? Hmmm. Where’s that homeschooling mag those people gave me?

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11 Responses to Evolution as loss of function: Newly discovered blind legless lizard

  1. This is an obvious example of evolution in action.

    This is not a lizard that lost it’s sight, it’s a lizard in the process of evolving new eyes.

    This is not a lizard that lost it’s legs, it’s a lizard in the process of evolving new legs.

    Sheesh. Such lack of imagination.

  2. Gain of blindness and squirming functions, clearly.

  3. 3

    They should move it to a another environment and check for the sudden appearance of cecal valves.

    That’s where the action is.

  4. In “Not By Chance” Dr Spetner compared neo-darwinism to the to a free-market process of losing money on every sale and thinking you can make it up in volume- that is selling more.

    The strange thing is that is what the evidence leads us to.

  5. Joseph,
    Simply everyone knows that if you sum together a vast number of tiny-tiny-tiny negative numbers, the sum may well be a positive number. Sheesh! ;)

  6. no no no.

    The negative numbers must be very very large. The larger the better.

    And as we all know, if they are large enough, they will wrap around and become positive!

  7. Well they did remove rock from Mt Rushmore in order to make the Presidential faces. So perhaps there is something to it. :cool: :razz:

  8. Apparently, this lizard is adapted to an ecological niche, resulting in bodily modification. Why must you believe that evolution is only gain-of-function?

  9. Apparently, this lizard is adapted to an ecological niche, resulting in bodily modification. Why must you believe that evolution is only gain-of-function?

    I was just having a little fun here, I think most were too. Though the idea that evolution can involve loss of function isn’t new around here. I’d be willing to guess it’s agreed to in these parts.

  10. Joseph, incredible insight!

    The faces of the presidents were formed out of rock by getting rid of something else.

  11. Though the idea that evolution can involve loss of function isn’t new around here. I’d be willing to guess it’s agreed to in these parts.

    For some it’s a downright axiom.

    The world and everything in it was created perfect, without defect. It’s all downhill from there.

    To admit that any organism can gain function without that gain coming at the loos of some “better” function is anathema.

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