Tuesday, January 10, 2006


The Worm Turns

At the Kansas anti-science hearings in Topeka last May, the intelligent design advocates -- almost to a man -- rejected common ancestry under cross-examination by pro-science attorney Pedro Irigonegaray.

A number were quite indignant that humans might share a common ancestor with worms.

Now it turns out that we humans have retained DNA sequences, called introns, from a very ancient ancestor -- worm-like creatures that lived more than 550 million years ago -- that have been lost in simpler animals such as the fly. This indicates, according to an international team of scientists including Dr David Ferrier of Oxford’s Department of Zoology, that humans are one of the most slowly evolving species. The findings were published in a recent edition of the journal Science.

This finding is going to be tough to take for those ID activists who have a strongly held, if largely unexamined, dislike for our great-great-great grandaddies -- the worm.


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