Friday, September 25, 2009

Flatfish Gradual Evolution   posted by DavidB @ 9/25/2009 03:25:00 AM

Having recently posted on the subject of Charles Darwin's 'gradualism', I was pleased to see a news report on research showing the gradual evolution of the distinctive head of flatfish, which, like many of Picasso's portraits, have both eyes on the same side of the face. In Darwin's time this case was raised, especially by St George Mivart, as a fatal objection to the theory of gradual evolution by natural selection, since (it was argued) there would be no advantage to having one eye gradually moving around the face from one side to the other. The new research claims to show that this is precisely what happened. I am not sure whether the research is entirely new, because I vaguely recall something similar before, but the new study is presumably fuller and more definitive.

Added: The researcher, Matt Friedmann, had an article in Nature last year. The Abstract is here.