Convergence or Design?

“Convergence is a simple word used to hide evidence for design.”

Last week, Peter Leithart commented on an interview with Professor Simon Conway Morris. I sent the link to my expert friend, Tas Walker, and he has discussed it a little less briefly:

Paleobiologist Simon Conway Morris, of Burgess Shale fame, says that examination of the fossil evidence demands a radical rewriting of evolution. Why so?

In an interview with the University of Cambridge’s alumni magazine (Issue 65, Lent 2012, pp. 32–35) Conway Morris says it’s because of “convergence”.

That’s the tendency of very different organisms to evolve similar solutions to biological problems. He wrote of this phenomenon extensively in his 2003 book Life’s Solution.

Conway Morris illustrates with the “camera eye”—“the kind of eye which you are using to read this feature.” That eye comprises a lens suspended between two fluid-filled chambers.

Conway Morris points to the octopus, which:

“has a camera eye which is remarkably similar to our own. … And yet we know that the octopus belongs to an invertebrate group called the cephalopod molluscs, evolutionarily very distant indeed from the chordates to which we belong.

“The common ancient ancestor of molluscs and chordates could not possibly have possessed a camera eye, so quite clearly they have evolved independently. The solution has been arrived at by completely different routes.”

Or, as the interview explained, “evolution has converged on a solution.”

Convergence is a simple word used to hide evidence for design. Convergence means that the Creator used similar designs for similar functions in unrelated creatures.

The interview continues:

“Most biologists agree that convergence is a common occurrence; but Conway Morris goes a step further, believing that evolution converges on the best possible solution, rather than on a best fit, random solution.”

Conway Morris says his discussion of convergence has lead many commentators to accuse him of being a creationist—something he finds amusing, but says is rubbish.

Of course, Conway Morris has to distance himself from creation explanations because scientific institutions have been taken over by a philosophy of naturalism. They are committed to finding naturalistic solutions. No matter what evidence is found, creation is forbidden. Anyone advocating a creationist solution will likely lose their job (see Expelled).

Conway Morris concludes that “the manner in which life constructs itself must be dealing with some other principle which we’ve failed to identify.”

Failed to identify! 150 years of evolutionary research but its basic principle has not been identified? It’s amusing how our intelligent, academic culture is confounded by the clear, simple evidence for design in the living world.

And they will continue to be confounded so long as they refuse to allow a Divine foot in the door.

Further Reading
Review of Life’s Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe (pdf) by Simon Conway Morris, in which he deals extensively with convergence.

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