Wish I knew more about convergent evolution
by phil on Thursday Mar 12, 2009 4:48 PM
If photosynthesis is so useful, how come animals didn't evolve it?
I wish I knew more about convergent evolution:
In his book Wonderful Life, Steven Jay Gould argues that if the tape of life were re-wound and played back, life would have taken a very different course. Simon Conway Morris counters this argument by arguing that convergence is a dominant force in evolution, and that since the same environmental and physical constraints act on all life, there is an "optimum" body plan which life will inevitably evolve towards, with evolution bound to stumble upon intelligence - a trait of primates, crows and dolphins - at some point. Convergence is difficult to quantify, so there is no way to objectively resolve this argument.