Evolution Made Cavefish Go Blind? | The Institute for Creation Research

Evolution Made Cavefish Go Blind?

Evolution maintains that as more time passes, living things evolve to acquire better and more useful traits. As such, shouldn't the loss of a useful trait, such as eyesight, be regarded as the opposite of evolution? Not so, say recent news reports on blind fish.

Biologists compared DNA sequences from 11 populations of cavefish (Astyanax mexicanus), which are a blind variation of the Mexican tetra fish, to 10 related fish populations that have the ability to see. Since they can interbreed, they "are the same species."1

A New York University news release attributed the fishes' loss of sight to "convergent evolution," which makes little sense if evolution, as neo-Darwinists describe it, is supposed to generate new features and functions.

The blind fish do not trace their lineage to just one blind ancestor. In fact, the study authors wrote in BMC Evolutionary Biology, "The results also demonstrate that cave populations in the region studied arose at least five times independently and derive from two different ancestral stocks."2

Lead researcher Martina Bradic said, "Whatever the advantage of the eyeless condition, it may explain why different populations of A. mexicanus cave fish have independently evolved the same eyeless condition, a striking example of convergent evolution."1 The study authors also wrote that these fish "will continue to be a rich source for study of adaptive evolution."2

But obtaining the fish sight system required an input of a massive quantity and quality of information. And making the fish blind merely required the loss of some of that information. How could attributing these opposite processes to "evolution" be scientifically accurate?

The study of blind cavefish can undoubtedly contribute valuable insight into the genetics of trait variations and the fishes' potential to adapt and survive in varied environments. But because evolution is supposed to make new traits or develop new and useful genetic information, mere losses and variations should not be called evolution.

References

  1. Advantages of Living in the Dark: The Multiple Evolution Events of 'Blind' Cavefish. New York University news release, January 20, 2012.
  2. Bradic, M. et al. 2012. Gene flow and population structure in the Mexican blind cavefish complex (Astyanax mexicanus). BMC Evolutionary Biology. 12: 9.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on February 7, 2012.

The Latest
NEWS
Human Genome 20th Anniversary—Junk DNA Hits the Trash
The first rough drafts of the human genome were reported in 2001 (one in the private sector and one in the public sector).1-2 Since then, after...

NEWS
Bacterial Proteins Use Quantum Mechanics
Researchers have found a dimmer switch inside a protein. It tunes the protein’s configuration to take advantage of quantum mechanics during photosynthesis....

NEWS
Dr. Bill Cooper, ICR’s Adjunct Professor, Now in Glory
Earlier last month on March the 9th, Dr. William R. Cooper, ICR’s Master Faculty (known to ICR-SOBA’s faculty as “Dr. Bill” since...

NEWS
Inside April 2021 Acts & Facts
How will ICR expand biblical creation education this year? How do fossilized fish and land creatures confirm Genesis history? Does recent research support...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Bees
You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation with ICR’s special Creation Kids learning...

ACTS & FACTS
Pleasure in Our Purpose
Eric Liddell was one of the most famous athletes of the 20th century and perhaps the greatest that Scotland ever produced. An international rugby player,...

APOLOGETICS
Beware Sinkholes and Other Failing Foundations
The sudden falling of some Christian schools can be compared to tiankengs, the geological term used for sinkholes that are at least 300 feet deep.1,2...

ACTS & FACTS
The Painted Desert: Fossils in Flooded Mud Flats
Brian Thomas, Ph.D., and Tim Clarey, Ph.D. The Painted Desert stretches across 120 miles of northern Arizona. Its sedimentary rocks show bright...

ACTS & FACTS
Does Recent Research Support Human Evolution?
In 1997, the Institute for Creation Research ran an Acts & Facts article on the lack of compelling evidence regarding our supposed evolution from...

ACTS & FACTS
Building a Perfectly Optimal Flying Machine
For thousands of years, people have dreamed of flying because they witnessed birds and knew it was possible. Inspired by a study of birds, the Wright...