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New Research on Animal Egg Orientation Shows “Unexpected” Diversity

embryonic development

When the first cell of an animal — the zygote — divides, it usually has a front end, and a back end, and this orientation will influence how the embryo develops. This orientation is inherited from the egg, where certain gene products are deposited, often at the front end of the egg. These so-called anterior determinants signal the basic, front-back, orientation which is fundamental for the later embryonic development. But as is typical in biology, the specific genes involved often are not conserved across different species. As the summary of recent research explains:

With very few exceptions, animals have “head” and “tail” ends that develop when they are an embryo. The genes involved in specifying these ends vary between species and even closely-related animals may use different genes for the same roles.

“Unexpected,” but Why?

As the paper in the journal eLife admits, this diversity of anterior determinants was “unexpected.” What the authors do not explain is why these findings are “unexpected.” Understanding this is crucial in order to appreciate fully the research.

When evolutionists refer to results as “unexpected,” they don’t usually elaborate because what they mean is that the results are “unexpected” according to their theory. In other words, the theory of evolution does not predict such findings.

This case is no different. In fact, evolution predicts the exact opposite. In different species, especially in closely related species, fundamental molecular machinery should be homologous. That is, similar genes and similar processes should drive fundamental processes.

Indeed, evolutionists have often celebrated this sort of finding. Consider how Christian de Duve exalts this supposed success of evolutionary theory on the first page of his book Vital Dust:

Life is one. This fact, implicitly recognized by the use of a single word to encompass objects as different as trees, mushrooms, fish, and humans, has now been established beyond doubt. Each advance in the resolving power of our tools, from the hesitant beginnings of microscopy little more than three centuries ago to the incisive techniques of molecular biology, has further strengthened the view that all extant living organisms are constructed of the same materials, function according to the same principles, and, indeed, are actually related. All are descendants of a single ancestral form of life. This fact is now established thanks to the comparative sequencing of proteins and nucleic acids

Or as Niles Eldredge put it with equal certainty:

The basic notion that life has evolved passes its severest test with flying colors: the underlying chemical uniformity of life, and the myriad patterns of special similarities shared by smaller groups of more closely related organisms, all point to a grand pattern of “descent with modification.”

Just One Difficulty

There’s only one problem. This is now known to be all false, and animal egg anterior determinants are yet another example of this monumental failure of evolutionary theory.

Evolution predicts the exact opposite. The genetics and molecular mechanisms involved in animal egg orientation should reveal a “grand pattern” of similarity across different species, especially closely related ones.

Evolutionists cannot have it both ways. They cannot prove their theory when the findings work for them, and softly walk away when the findings do not work. If Evidence X is a powerful proof text of evolution, then Evidence NOT X is a monumental falsification.

Oh, but those are the rules of science, and evolution was never bound by such inconveniences. The evolutionists have nothing more than unfounded speculation about how evolution could accomplish such a feat. As one of the evolutionists, Urs Schmidt-Ott, admitted:

We want to understand why there are certain developmental mechanisms that frequently exchange key players in evolution. What is it that allows this kind of evolutionary plasticity?

As the paper puts it, “In conclusion, flies evolved an unexpected diversity of anterior determinants …”. Evolutionists are clueless, yet in spite of their ignorance and the failures of their theory, they blindly assume all things evolved.

Photo: Chicken embryo, one week old, by Ben Skála (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Cross-posted at Darwin’s God.