Wednesday, March 10, 2010
On page 80, Jerry Coyne describes one case of embryological evidence supporting evolution. As embryos, human fetuses have a fine, downy coat of hair called "lanugo," which is usually shed about a month before birth when it's replaced by the more sparsely distributed hair with which we're born. There is no need for humans to have a coat of hair in the womb because the temperature inside the womb is warm enough, and thus, it's explained as a remnant of our primate ancestry, given that fetal monkeys also develop a coat of hair at about the same stage of development which they actually keep. Coyne goes on to say that "while embryology provides such a gold mine of evidence for evolution, textbooks often fail to point this out." Why do you suppose this is? Are there certain flaws in the reasoning that embryology supports the theory of evolution? Provide other examples of how embryology supports evolution, and try to identify any flaws in those examples.
Posted by Sara Bahmanyar at 8:29 PM