Marsupials Embryos Develop Differently From “Virtually Every Other Vertebrate”

The 2011 edition of Ken Miller textbook Biology states, “Similar patterns of embryological development provide further evidence that organisms have descended from a common ancestor.” (p. 469) But what happens when supposedly similar types of organisms have very different patterns of embryological development? Would that count as evidence against common ancestry? In fact, researchers are finding striking differences in the development of vertebrates. A recent ScienceDaily release from November 30, 2010, “Marsupial Embryo Jumps Ahead in Development,” states: Duke University researchers have found that the developmental program executed by the marsupial embryo runs in a different order than the program executed by virtually every other vertebrate animal. “The limbs are at a different place in the entire timeline,” said Anna Read More ›

But Isn’t There a Consilience of Data That Corroborates Common Descent?

In my previous post, we saw that Eugenie Koonin argued that a formal test of universal common ancestry (UCA) “is unlikely to be feasible” but yet he claimed that the evidence in support of UCA “by comparative genomics is overwhelming.” Such thinking is common among evolutionists, who seek to to demonstrate UCA by finding a consilience of multiple lines of evidence in favor of it. In his Nature paper, Douglas Theobald similarly seeks to support UCA through a consilience of multiple lines of evidence: UCA is now supported by a wealth of evidence from many independent sources, including: (1) the agreement between phylogeny and biogeography; (2) the correspondence between phylogeny and the palaeontological record; (3) the existence of numerous predicted Read More ›