Evolutionary blunders?
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14-03-2011, 02:41 PM
 
Evolutionary blunders?
First and foremost, I apologize for any nooby-ness my posts contain. I absolutely love evolution, if I could get a stable career off of studying animals and their evolutionary history, I think I'd wet myself every morning. BUT YES, I was watching the Inside Nature's Giants episode where they dissect the giraffe. At the third part of the episode, Dawkins enthusiastically searches for the Laryngeal nerve because it's a recurring evolutionary blunder in most animals. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYuK0Qja8...F&index=3) But yea, point being, Do you guys know any more examples like this?

Of course there are numerous, but if possible, i'd like to have a nice list of them. One of the things I always try to explain more than anything is the fact that evolution is a complete mistake, and this helps greatly.

Feel free to post vestigial organs and such, but I'm looking for things more like the nerve mentioned above, because it's a nerve that's still used, it's just poorly designed.
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14-03-2011, 04:23 PM
RE: Evolutionary blunders?
Well, your eye for one is built backwards, picking up visual images by the rods and cones (aka wires, I may be mistaken on the correct terms) and transfering this information into a lens, which transfers it to the brain that processes the images and edits out the blind spot (which we have because of this failed design. General logic says that a lens filtering information through "wires" to the brain should be how you percieve things, this is how we design cameras, video recorders, and anything else that picks up images.

Another vestigial part as far as humans are concerned is the male nipple. While being evolutionarily advantageous (in the event of the mother of a child dieing that male can lactate) they do not serve a purpose in modern world. However, apparently this trait was not evolved for advantage but because of prenatal processes, so I am not really sure if it counts.
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14-03-2011, 08:18 PM
RE: Evolutionary blunders?
Whales, dolphins and snakes have pelvis's and small leg bones that usually don't protrude from the body. female elephants have tushes (very small tusks), again, not large enough to protrude from the body. Multiple birds species have vestigial wings.
http://higheredbcs.wiley.com/legacy/coll...06-05.html
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/vestiges/appendix.html
http://chopstop5.blogspot.com/2010/05/to...birds.html
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_CIRBn1Vfd2w/TM...+cindy.jpg
http://www.foxnews.com/images/237335/0_6...olphin.jpg
And just for the lols: http://missinguniversemuseum.com/Exhibit6.htm

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use." - Galileo

"Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do." - Voltaire
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15-03-2011, 07:59 AM
RE: Evolutionary blunders?
Education - yummy Big Grin

Atheism is a religion like OFF is a TV channel !!!

Proud of my genetic relatives Big Grin
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17-03-2011, 06:15 PM
RE: Evolutionary blunders?
Well we have vestigial organs as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_vestigiality

You can find a good list of human vestigial organs there. Peace.

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17-03-2011, 07:32 PM
 
RE: Evolutionary blunders?
I was thinking less of vestigal organs, but more of functional body parts that are just poorly designed. Organs that work, but there's no way that any engineer in their right mind would design it that way.
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17-03-2011, 08:49 PM
 
RE: Evolutionary blunders?
Something I learned time and time again was that Evolution didn't do something for no reason. If an organism develops a structure (or loses one), it didn't do so for no reason; a selection pressure caused it to evolve that way. So a vestigial organ is just the loss of that organ, which is just an important evolutionary transition as gaining an organ so I wouldn't call it a blunder.

First of all, not all snakes have vestigial hindlimbs, and those who do have hindlimbs and remnants of pelvic girdle are thought to be more 'ancestral' than those who don't. We recently discovered a fossil from the late Cretaceous of a snake with full hindlimbs (I had to stick this in here, I'm writing a paper on Eupodophis, so it's sort of my baby XD). So as I said earlier, I don't consider vestigial organs/structures to be blunders, as there was a reason why the organism lost them.

As for flightless birds, that's also not a blunder at all either. As a matter of fact, flightlessness in birds comes as a trade-off to bigger body size. I believe when a bird reaches approximately 12kg, its body size becomes too heavy for flight. Penguins, therefore, traded off a bigger body size for the ability to fly (although they technically 'fly' underwater; they use their wings for swimming). Bigger body size increases the animal's fitness so flightlessness isn't really useless as many think it is.
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17-03-2011, 09:08 PM
 
RE: Evolutionary blunders?
(17-03-2011 08:49 PM)mBear Wrote:  Something I learned time and time again was that Evolution didn't do something for no reason. If an organism develops a structure (or loses one), it didn't do so for no reason; a selection pressure caused it to evolve that way. So a vestigial organ is just the loss of that organ, which is just an important evolutionary transition as gaining an organ so I wouldn't call it a blunder.

Look back to the laryngeal nerve referenced in my first post. That's something done for pretty much no reason. Evolution isn't perfect, it does make mistakes.
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17-03-2011, 09:22 PM
 
RE: Evolutionary blunders?
(17-03-2011 09:08 PM)Cdf50 Wrote:  
(17-03-2011 08:49 PM)mBear Wrote:  Something I learned time and time again was that Evolution didn't do something for no reason. If an organism develops a structure (or loses one), it didn't do so for no reason; a selection pressure caused it to evolve that way. So a vestigial organ is just the loss of that organ, which is just an important evolutionary transition as gaining an organ so I wouldn't call it a blunder.

Look back to the laryngeal nerve referenced in my first post. That's something done for pretty much no reason. Evolution isn't perfect, it does make mistakes.

I know, I never said evolution is perfect Smile I meant to add in a comment about the laryngeal nerve being the only Evolutionary 'mistake' I've ever heard of, but I'm sure more do exist.
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17-03-2011, 09:22 PM
RE: Evolutionary blunders?
We have gills in the embryo stage.....
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