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Convergent Genetic Evolution in Lichen Species

Casey Luskin

ScienceDaily has recently reported:

A Duke research team has found that lichen that seem identical in all outward appearances and produce the same internal chemicals are in fact two different species, one living in North America and one in Australia. They’re an example of “convergent evolution,” in which two species evolve separately but end up looking very similar, like the Tasmanian wolf and the American wolf.

So basically this is convergent genetic evolution such that two supposedly distantly related lichen species “seem identical in all outward appearances and produce the same internal chemicals.” Now what are the odds of that? (Or is convergent evolution another example of an epicycle used to explain away data that contradicts common ancestry?)


Casey Luskin

Associate Director, Center for Science and Culture
Casey Luskin is a geologist and an attorney with graduate degrees in science and law, giving him expertise in both the scientific and legal dimensions of the debate over evolution. He earned his PhD in Geology from the University of Johannesburg, and BS and MS degrees in Earth Sciences from the University of California, San Diego, where he studied evolution extensively at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. His law degree is from the University of San Diego, where he focused his studies on First Amendment law, education law, and environmental law.



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