Category Archives: evo-devo

Unsuspected homology

In 1994, Gregory Wray, from the Department of Ecology and Evolution, SUNY at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY, wrote a review article entitled, ‘Developmental Evolution: New Paradigms an Paradoxes’ (Dev Gen 15:1-6).

Add Wray’s observations to the long list of observations (here, here, and here) that illustrate conventional evolutionary theory did not lead biologists to predict or anticipate the deep homology of developmental genes:

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Dwindling justification for pessimism about front-loading

To front-load evolution is an attempt to design future states through the present. To accomplish this, future evolutionary events would be dependent on the originally designed state that “expressed” itself across deep time. This original state would thus function to facilitate and provide some guidance to subsequent evolution (illustrative examples are provided here and here and here and here). While one might be tempted to believe that millions or billions of years of evolutionary noise would drown out the design signal from the past, research in developmental and evolutionary biology indicates there is a dwindling justification for such pessimism.

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