Darwinian Gradualism vs Reality: No Contest
|March 14, 2011||Posted by PaV under Evolution, Darwinism, Cambrian explosion|
In the Early Edition of PNAS, there’s an article about the fly’s evolutionary tree. While not having access to the article, the supplemental information is available online.
In the abstract the authors note that:
. . . we use micro-RNAs to resolve a node with implications for the evolution of embryonic development in Diptera. We demonstrate that flies experienced three episodes of rapid radiation—lower Diptera (220 Ma), lower Brachycera (180 Ma), and Schizophora (65 Ma)—and a number of life history transitions to hematophagy, phytophagy, and parasitism in the history of fly evolution over 260 million y.
If you connect to the link below, and then scroll to the last page (p. 8), you’ll see the graph which compares the actual species diversity (clade size) versus the age of the fly grouping, and which includes dark lines indicating the “expected” relationship between “clade size” and “age”. The dark line is at a 45-degree angle, in conformity with the notion of Darwinian gradualism: that is, as organisms slowly evolve (a radiation outward from the major form), they slowly diverge morphologically, one from the other. So, the greater amount of time, the greater amount of diversity in a particular family of flies.
But what the graph demonstrates is that the diversification happened suddenly, and over a short period of time.
As usual, Darwinian expectations (weak predictions) prove to be wrong. ID predictions: if some major form is introduced, then micro-evolutionary forces, over rather short periods of time, will diversify the major forms, adapting the form more and more closely to existing niches in the ecosystem; viz, one form, then rapid radiation.
Where we part company with Darwinism is that we would expect the form to show up suddenly (an act of the designer). If you look closely at the PNAS provided graph, you’ll see that the average diversity is tracked by a line that is drawn from top directly down to the bottom: that is, a “sudden”, or, in the words of the authors, a “rapid” radiation.
Here we go again. More information. More discrepancies with Darwinian theory. More correspondence with ID thought.
But, of course, Darwinians are right. Just ask them.