I object to what always appears to be self-fulfilling theories in evolution, e.g.
1. The angler fish evolved a long probe from its head to dangle as bait, with a bit of bio-illumination for good measure.
2. The proof is that the angler fish appears to use the body part as bait and the angler fish isnt extinct.
Forget the logic behind trying to justify the benefit of such an appendage in its early stages before it was long or bio-illuminate.
The claims made in evolutionary science seem a lot like those made with global warming, where the assertions of causality can take either side of the coin, and are always correct based on the premise that they cannot be proved to be false, e.g.
-If a bird is brightly colored, it is because the bright colors give it an advantage in mating, but if a bird has dull earth tones, it is because those colors camouflage the bird from predators. The proof is that both types exist; producing enough offspring and evading enough predators.
-Tree sloths evolved to be very slow to conserve energy and not attract predators, while monkeys are quick and nimble to evade predators. The proof is that they both exist despite having predators.
Ive always laughed at archeologists that find a handful of items and immediately begin to fabricate an entire civilization complete with beliefs, motivation, and folklore. Its complete fiction that cannot be proven to be untrue, thus one must accept the experts assertions. Questioning the archeologists assertions doesnt mean that I reject that the underlying artifacts actually exist, I just dont accept the following conjecture as fact.
Biologists should cease trying to ascribe specific reasons for specific evolution when there is no proof (like this article). In all likelihood, some changes (such as height or color) probably are attributed to better surviving changes in the environment, while other changes are likely a genetic quirk that the species manages to use or tolerate. Or there is some genetic mechanism, yet undetermined, that guides mutation.
There are some species, such as the phasmids, that defy mathematical plausibility, falling into the a trillion monkeys with a trillion typewriters arena. Even an atheist should have a lot of doubt that such things are purely the result of chance, 400 million years just isnt enough time. Its like seeing someone get a straight flush ten times in one night and not questioning how the cards are being shuffled.
Biologists should be open to the possibility that something besides random mutation is at work. In fact, the implausibility of the math should be pushing them to look for it. Just as the implausibility that tadpoles sprang from mud led to further inquiry.
Scientists that refuse to acknowledge incredibly implausible probabilities are no more believable than people who insist that the fossil record isnt real.
Any particular morphology would be exceedingly unlikely, when seen from the point of view of its predecessors.
But any particular morphology can be seen to be a very likely ancestor, when seen from the point of view of modern man with experience of the species that evolved from that particular morphology.
Yogi Berra said “Predicting is hard, especially about the future.”
Mutations can be random, survival of the fit is less random.