Dolphins and Porpoises and…Bats? Oh My! Evolution's Convergence Problem

I have recently been reading George McGhee’s Convergent Evolution: Limited Forms Most Beautiful. McGhee’s book is a gripping read, and it favorably cites the work of both Michael Denton and Douglas Axe, ID-friendly scientists well known to readers of ENV. The book documents a multitude of cases of convergent evolution (homoplasy), the phenomenon of repeated evolution. When similarity is thought to have arisen by means of common ancestry, the features in question are said to be “homologous.” When similarity is thought to have arisen by means other than common ancestry, the features are said to be “analogous.”

Those who subscribe to universal common ancestry interpret biological similarity of sequence, structure and anatomy as resulting from descent with modification from a common ancestral source. ID proponents who question common ancestry typically interpret biological similarity as resulting from a common blueprint. Is there a way to evaluate which of these two competing hypotheses better fits the evidence?

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