Evidence for design demands radical evolution rewrite

posted in: Evolution | 5
Simon Conway Morris at Cambridge
Simon Conway Morris at Cambridge
Paleobiologist Simon Conway Morris, of Burgess Shale fame, says that examination of the fossil evidence demands a radical rewriting of evolution. Why so?

In an interview with the University of Cambridge’s alumni magazine (Issue 65, Lent 2012, pp. 32–35) Conway Morris says it’s because of “convergence”.

That’s the tendency of very different organisms to evolve similar solutions to biological problems. He wrote of this phenomenon extensively in his 2003 book Life’s Solution.

Conway Morris illustrates with the “camera eye”—“the kind of eye which you are using to read this feature.” That eye comprises a lens suspended between two fluid-filled chambers.

Conway Morris points to the octopus, which:

“has a camera eye which is remarkably similar to our own. … And yet we know that the octopus belongs to an invertebrate group called the cephalopod molluscs, evolutionarily very distant indeed from the chordates to which we belong.

“The common ancient ancestor of molluscs and chordates could not possibly have possessed a camera eye, so quite clearly they have evolved independently. The solution has been arrived at by completely different routes.”

Or, as the interview explained, “evolution has converged on a solution.”

Convergence is a simple word used to hide evidence for design. Convergence means that the Creator used similar designs for similar functions in unrelated creatures.

The interview continues: “Most biologists agree that convergence is a common occurrence; but Conway Morris goes a step further, believing that evolution converges on the best possible solution, rather than on a best fit, random solution.”

Conway Morris says his discussion of convergence has lead many commentators to accuse him of being a creationist—something he finds amusing, but says is rubbish.

Of course, Conway Morris has to distance himself from creation explanations because scientific institutions have been taken over by a philosophy of naturalism. They are committed to finding naturalistic solutions. No matter what evidence is found, creation is forbidden. Anyone advocating a creationist solution will likely lose their job (see Expelled).

Conway Morris concludes that “the manner in which life constructs itself must be dealing with some other principle which we’ve failed to identify.”

Failed to identify! 150 years of evolutionary research but its basic principle has not been identified? It’s amusing how our intelligent, academic culture is confounded by the clear, simple evidence for design in the living world.

And they will continue to be confounded so long as they refuse to allow a Divine foot in the door.

Further Reading

Review of Life’s Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe (pdf) by Simon Conway Morris, in which he deals extensively with convergence.

5 Responses

  1. Convergence or Design? | Bully's Blog

    […] with Professor Simon Conway Morris. I sent the link to my expert friend, Tas Walker, and he has discussed it a little less briefly: Paleobiologist Simon Conway Morris, of Burgess Shale fame, says that […]

  2. Steve Drake

    Seems this ‘principle’ that has yet to be identified, is pretty intelligent to have have solved a ‘camera eye’ for two vastly different evolutionary histories. Must be kind of shy as well.

  3. ashley

    You don’t have to be a science-ignoring young Earth creationist to contemplate the possibility of evolution converging “on the best possible solution” (something you label an acceptance of ‘design’ – and Conway Morris is a Christian and not an atheist).

    Tas Walker responds:
    It is one thing to contemplate the possibility but it is another to test the idea against reality. Our experience with what we do know about reality means that things like camera eyes are the product of intelligent design. It’s the stubborn refusal to contemplate that possibility that is leading these ‘scientists’ into a confusing dead end.

  4. ashley haworth-roberts


    Are you suggesting that camera eyes are ‘irreducibly complex’?

    Hi Ashley,
    Your eye is a marvel of design. Every time you and I look in the mirror we should thank God for his gift of sight, praise him for his power and wisdom, and ask him for spiritual sight that we might know and serve him better. Here are a few articles about the amazing design in your eyes and mine:

  5. Wade

    Indeed, it doesn’t require a Ph.D. in mathematics to grasp the radical unlikelihood of very separate lines of supposedly random processes converging on the same very complex result. This corollary of the design complexity argument really ups the ante for evolutionists. I would really like to hear someone of their persuasion REASONABLY explain how evolution could account for such a mathematical impossibility.