The Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve Does Not Refute Intelligent Design

In the prior post, I discussed challenges to the claim that our supposed fish-ancestry dictates that the recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN) must take a circuitous route from the brain to the larynx. Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that common ancestry between mammals and fish is the best explanation for the nerve’s path. Would that refute intelligent design? Evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne assumes that ID is incompatible with common ancestry, which it isn’t. As one pro-ID biologist wrote me on this topic, “this is only a problem for design if one assumes design means designed from scratch for each taxon, and if one believes that the designer would necessarily use the shortest distance between two points (in other words, Read More ›

Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig: Under Neo-Darwinism, the Recurrent Laryngeal Nerve Must Have a Rational Design

In his book Why Evolution is True, evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne claims that “Imperfect design is the mark of evolution; in fact it’s precisely what we expect from evolution.” (p. 81) He makes this prediction because “[n]ew parts don’t evolve from old ones, and we have to work well with the parts that have already evolved. Because of this, we should expect compromises: some features that work pretty well, but some not as well as they might, or some features–like the kiwi wing–that don’t work at all, but are evolutionary leftovers.” (p. 81) Thus according to Coyne, evolution predicts that some features will work well, some will work not-so-well, and some will work not at all. This is not exactly Read More ›