When evolutionists find the same design in otherwise very different species, they say that, like lightning striking twice, the design evolved independently in the two different evolutionary lineages. They will appeal to common environmental “induction,” developmental “plasticity,” and other serendipitous cartoon explanations that don’t actually tell us anything about how such astronomically unlikely events could have occurred. Particularly when these distant species are in completely different environments to begin with.
For example, humans and squid share uncannily similar, incredibly detailed and complicated, vision systems. This in spite of the fact their environments are very different. [Side note: Evolutionists dismiss this profound contradiction because the squid photocells are not inverted as the human’s are. This would be like travelling to a distant planet and finding a Lexus automobile with the steering wheel on the passenger side, and therefore dismissing all the similarities as meaningless].
And these repeated designs, in otherwise different species, are rampant in biology. It is not merely a rare occurrence which perhaps evolution could explain as an outlier. That the species do not fall into an evolutionary tree pattern is well established by science.
But it’s worse than this. These repeated designs do not merely occur twice, in two distant species. They often occur repeatedly in a variety of otherwise distant species. So now the evolutionist must not only believe that there are many of these miraculous repeating design events, but that in most cases, they repeat multiple times.
The first step to explaining something away is to give it a name. And so evolutionists have labeled this awkward evidence as recurrent evolution. As a recent paper explains:
The recent explosion of genome sequences from all major phylogenetic groups has unveiled an unexpected wealth of cases of recurrent evolution of strikingly similar genomic features in different lineages.
In addition, many instances of a third more puzzling phylogenetic pattern have been observed: traits whose distribution is “scattered” across the evolutionary tree, indicating repeated independent evolution of similar genomic features in different lineages.
And how to explain these puzzling, unexpected patterns? Evolutionists have a dizzying array of speculative hypotheses:
Cases of genomic recurrence caused by ratchet mutations are fundamental to understanding the evolutionary constraints and canalizations that shape the way in which the “genomespace,” as the morphospace, is explored through evolution, underscoring predictability in the overall outcome of neutral mutation, whether or not this will be “constructive.” … Other quasineutral changes that have been repeatedly used as substrate for molecular innovations suggest that certain genomic traits confer evolutionary flexibility, opening new venues that can be explored during evolution. Thus, their mere presence would be indicative of evolutionary potential, allowing specific hypotheses about the occurrence of typically accompanying features.
That, for those unfamiliar with evolution, is what passes as science. Such speculation is acceptable, because everyone agrees evolution is a fact. One way or another, it must have occurred:
We believe that the wealth of recurrent genomic features indicate unappreciated similarity of fundamental forces across lineages.
In other words, there is no level of “recurrence” that could harm evolution. It simply reveals some unknown “fundamental forces” across lineages which must have done the heavy lifting because, after all, evolution is a fact.
It is easy to appeal to “fundamental forces” across lineages. But why would they produce the same designs over and over? It would be like finding a Boeing 747 jet airliner on a distant planet and concluding that “Well, they have gravity too.”
Not only is recurrent evolution an unlikely hypothesis due to the fundamental probabilities involved, but in many cases evolutionists won’t even have their usual strong selection explanation to fall back on. This because many genomic recurrences don’t seem to be all that necessary:
What forces may explain genomic recurrence? In contrast to recurrent anatomical or physiological characters, which are usually (and reasonably) assumed to reflect adaption, often due to shared peculiarities of the organisms' environmental niches, the potential causes of observed recurrent genomic features are more diverse and may be very different for different recurrent traits—indeed, in some cases, the adaptative value of repeated genomic outcomes is dubious.
And just as convergent evolution was found to be far more widespread than the evolutionist’s worst nightmare, so too will recurrent evolution be found to be widespread:
The diverse instances discussed here represent only a subset of the known cases of repeated evolution at the genome level that have been found largely serendipitously, suggesting that recurrent patterns of genome evolution are widespread.
And if we needed further proof that common descent’s failure is inconsequential for evolutionists, because common descent was never part of evolution’s theoretical core, here it is.
As ancestrally shared features are the result of a common evolutionary history, shared features evolved by recurrent evolution are often the result of common evolutionary forces acting on different lineages.
If the pattern fits the evolutionary tree, then it is explained as common evolutionary history. If not, then it is explained as common evolutionary forces. Heads I win, tails you lose.
Common descent has always been an auxiliary hypothesis for the simple reason that evolution’s theoretical core does not mandate common descent, or anything else for that matter, aside from its insistence that the species arose naturally. Beyond that, anything goes.
Evolutionists insist the species arose naturally, their religion requires it.