Another Example of Lineage-Specific Biology
Here is a video of Saltoblattella montistabularis, the only leaping cockroach of four thousand species of the unloved insect. The cockroach uses complex spring-loaded hind legs, with “grooved femora into which the tibiae engage fully in advance of a jump,” to accelerate at 23 g’s and out jump even grass hoppers. This tremendous leaping ability is quite useful in its native environment of tall sedge grass in South Africa. So naturally, that is why it evolved its leaping ability, as a researcher explained:
They’re in a vertically stratified environment. It’s awfully tough to get up and down [in sedge grass], so leaproaches evolved to do what grasshoppers do — jump between stems.
But that raises an interesting question. For as everyone knows, evolution has no foresight and there are no final causes. The researcher’s teleological language was merely figurative. The leaproach did not evolve “to do” anything. It was all just by chance.
What the evolutionist intended to convey is that the leaproach just happened to undergo a series of random mutations which together conferred its fantastic leaping design and ability which was then selected for because it was so advantageous.
But is this teleological language, which is rampant in the evolutionary literature and first noticed by Adam Sedgwick, merely for brevity? Is it nothing more than scientific shorthand?
We ask because every time it is said that evolution at one time evolved yet another peculiar and advanced design in one particular species which was then selected due to the one particular environment, it is therefore implied that evolution is at all times evolving most all designs in most all species in most all environments.
We just don’t know it because most of those designs were not selected because they were not advantageous at those times for those species in those environments.
In other words, evolution must be a hyperactive creator.
This must be true because otherwise we would have to say that evolution just happened to create only the advantageous designs at the right times, for the right species in the right environments.
And that would imply foresight, teleology and final causes, which we all know do not exist.
So the rampant use of teleological language might not be merely for brevity. It might not be nothing more than scientific shorthand. Perhaps the teleological language is rampant because, well, it sounds better.
Oh and one other thing. The leaproach’s fantastic design shows “remarkable convergence” with design of the grasshopper “with whom they share their habitat.” Just saying …