View Single Post
Old 10-14-2015, 01:09 PM
August West August West is offline
Join Date: May 2000
Location: The Cheese Belt
Posts: 4,766
Originally Posted by Senegoid View Post
No, it's not entirely nonsense. Random mutations tend to behave like a form of entropy: They tend to de-evolve from more elaborate structures toward more simple structures, UNLESS there is some adaptive preference toward the more elaborate structure.

For example: Certain species of mammals live in places where there is little or no light, and in these species, their eyes have tended to de-evolve and become vestigial. Bats, living in caves and coming out only at night, are famously blind. There are some species of dolphins that live in muddy river waters, and some of these species are nearly blind. Whales and dolphins, at some point in their history, had legs, but these have de-evolved. Some cetaceans have a vestigial pelvis and vestigial leg bones.

Yes, it's all in random mutations. But random mutations are as likely to add or subtract some structure. Absent some evolutionary pressure favoring the more elaborate structure, you tend to get regression.
Your bias as a sighted, legged creature is showing.

There's no reason to say "de-evolve", it's just evolution on a different path.