Convergence - Convergence The authors misunderstanding of...

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Convergence The authors' misunderstanding of basic concepts is particularly obvious in their presentation of convergence. They treat the similarity of the bones musculature, nerves and development of hands in humans and moles as if it were no different than the gross similarity in the outlines of mole paws and mole cricket forelimbs. This sort of basic misunderstanding is what a biology textbook is supposed to clarify, not promulgate. The arguments presented in the discussion of convergence have no basis in the scientific literature, but trace back to the beginnings of modern creationism. Common function vs. common ancestry Summary of problems: We determined above that homology, as defined by Darwin, is similarity in structure and position that occurs because species share a common ancestor that also exhibited the basic structural motif. If the similarity is not due to common ancestry, the structures would not be homologous. As Wagner (1988) pointed out, homologs are expected to have a similar position with respect to other structures in different species and their component parts are expected to have a similar position with respect to each other. Furthermore, homologs should be historically contingent in the sense that common descent is the only way to explain the presence of this invariant feature. Hence, before structures meet the criteria for homology, biologists evaluate alternative
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This note was uploaded on 11/08/2011 for the course BIOLOGY BSC1086L taught by Professor Leostouder during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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Convergence - Convergence The authors misunderstanding of...

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