Evolution at Work
Evolutionists are certain these rays arose spontaneously even though they can’t explain how that could have happened.
The close relationship between taxa with and without ocelli suggests multiple gains or losses. Independent gains, possibly reflecting a pre-existing bias for eye-like structures among females and/or the existence of a simple mutational pathway for the origin of ocelli, appears to be the most likely explanation
For decades, the story of spider evolution went like this: As insects became more and more diverse, with some species taking to the skies, spiders evolved new hunting strategies, including the ability to weave orb-shaped webs to trap their prey. From that single origin, the story goes, orb-weaver spiders diverged along different evolutionary paths, leading to today, where several species weave similar -- though not identical -- webs. It's a good story, but there's just one problem -- Harvard scientists now know it's not true. The largest-ever phylogenetic study of spiders, conducted by postdoctoral student Rosa Fernández, Gonzalo Giribet, Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology, and Gustavo Hormiga, a professor at George Washington University, shows that, contrary to long-held popular opinion, the two groups of spiders that weave orb-shaped webs do not share a single origin.
“We’ve come to understand that not all repeat sequences are junk DNA,” said Pawel Michalak, an associate professor at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute. “These repetitive sequences are increasingly being recognized as agents of adaptive change. We discovered a larger than expected amount of genetic variation in these repeating sequences between the fly populations and saw that the variation resulted in potentially functional differences in important biological processes, such as stress resistance and mating.”
The biological roles of these place-jumping, repetitive elements are mysterious.
They are largely viewed as “genomic parasites,” but in this study, researchers found the mobile DNA can provide genetic novelties recruited as certain population-unique, functional enrichments that are nonrandom and purposeful.
“The first shocker was the sheer volume of genetic variation due to the dynamics of mobile elements, including coding and regulatory genomic regions, and the second was amount of population-specific insertions of transposable DNA elements,” Michalak said. “Roughly 50 percent of the insertions were population unique.”
These are really complex RNA structures. It takes a lot of computer memory to search for them in human cells. It wasn’t until the past decade that computers were fast and powerful enough to find these signals.