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One hundred and one unsolved puzzles in evolutionary development (evo-devo)?

Quirks of Human Anatomy

Here, from Lewis I. Held, Jr., author of Quirks of Human Anatomy,:

One trait that seems to have gotten stuck at a single point in its Morphospace is reptile teeth, which remained conical (like those of crocodiles) for more than 100 million years [1357], despite the fact that dental heterogeneity (molars, canines, etc.) would have offered tremendous advantages for chewing different types of food [1587]. Did the right mutations simply never occur [1309,1484], or was it just too hard to concoct the right binding site combinations for the relevant trans-acting transcription factors [1687,2325]? No one knows.

Many other cases of stasis are just as intriguing [959,2824,2861], especially with regard to why certain crannies in “niche space” have stubbornly resisted invasion for eons immemorial [227,482]. Ecologists have toyed with these irritating riddles via game theory [2692], but the ultimate answers are hiding in the genome [793,1303].

Or not? What about the epigenome?

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4 Responses to One hundred and one unsolved puzzles in evolutionary development (evo-devo)?

  1. 1

    ba77 (paraphrasing): “Oh, it’s too hard to figure out how to go faster than the speed of light!”

    Well, while you continue to make these arguments from incredulity concerning matter traveling faster than the speed of light, science will keep marching towards figuring out how to make warp drive possible. This “things simply cannot go faster than light” argument is a science stopper, and I wish you guys would can it.

  2. 2

    wrong freakin’ article. I never thought that this would happen to me…

  3. This highlights the major problem for the current theory of evolution- the same problem I have been bringing up for decades- namely:

    No one knows if the transformations required by universal common descent are even possible.

  4. 4

    This highlights the fact that the genome does not contain the information related to biological form. It does encode the proteins and RNAs that are certainly important to development, but these do not explain why structures form as they do and also why there is so much morphological diversity when there is a broad conservation of genetic information.

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