Animals that are not closely related can display very similar characteristics. Evolutionary scientists say that these similar traits demonstrate “convergent evolution.”
According to Darwinian evolution, all life forms can trace their heritage to a common ancestor. From that first life form, branches diverged to form a tree of life. At some point, those branches diverge again. When two life forms develop a similar characteristic that their last common ancestor did not have, that is convergent evolution. There are many examples, such as dolphins and bats. Both use echolocation for navigating or finding food, but they cannot be closely related.
Animals that can fly include insects, birds, and mammals such as bats. Nobody claims that these creatures are closely related. However, they all use aerodynamic principles and wings to defy gravity. We see similar mouthparts in animals that suck blood, such as mosquitos and fleas. Both are insects but not closely related. We can say the same for insects that suck nectar from flowers, such as bees and butterflies.
Many plants produce edible fruits to encourage animals to scatter their seeds. That includes tomatoes, apples, and raspberries – which are not related. We find similar types of eyes in very dissimilar animals. Birds, butterflies, and even some plants use structural coloration, even though they are unrelated and live in very different ecosystems.
According to evolutionary scientists, one of the most dramatic examples of convergent evolution is found in thousands of plants that use ants to disperse their seeds. The plants attach “food bodies” called elaiosomes to their seeds. The elaiosomes are rich in nutrients to attract ants. The ants carry the seeds to their colonies, where they eat the elaiosomes and discard the seeds. How did over 11,000 plant species develop this technique more than 100 times independently? Evolutionists call it convergent evolution. Could it perhaps be evidence for design in plants?
Evolutionary scientists often give pat answers to explain how various species evolved the same traits independently. However, they say that all of these and many more examples of similarities in unrelated animals show convergent evolution. In other words, evolution is intelligent and uses the same ideas in various species. Or we could say that an intelligent Creator has used the same creative ideas in multiple species. Which is the best explanation? Evidence for design in living things calls for a Designer of life.
— Roland Earnst © 2023