Bat and Dolphin Genes Converge according to New Scientist and ScienceNOW 25 Jan 2010, BBC News 26 Jan 2010 and ScienceDaily 27 Jan 2010. Bats and whales are both mammals, but are otherwise about as different as two kinds of animals can be. Apart from basic mammal features, the only thing they have in common is that some bats and some whales (dolphins and sperm whales) use echolocation (sonar) to navigate and find food. Two groups of researchers have now studied a gene for an inner ear protein named prestin in bats, whales and some other mammals. They found that dolphins and echolocating bats had the same gene. Non-echolocating bats and whales had prestin genes similar to other mammals. Sperm whales, which use lower frequencies for their sonar, had a very similar, but not identical gene, to dolphins and echolocating bats.

The researchers claim they have found an example of convergent evolution due to the prestin gene in bats and dolphins acquiring the same mutations needed for high frequency hearing. Convergent evolution is the explanation for a problem summarised in the ScienceDaily article: “if you draw a phylogenetic tree of bats, whales, and a few other mammals based on similarities in the prestin sequence alone, the echolocating bats and whales come out together rather than with their rightful evolutionary cousins.” The researchers were surprised by how much the bat and dolphin gene sequences matched. Stephen Rossiter of the University of London, one of the researchers, commented: “it is generally assumed that most of these so-called convergent traits have arisen by different genes or different mutations. Our study shows that a complex trait – echolocation – has in fact evolved by identical genetic changes in bats and dolphins.” He went on to say: “We were surprised by the strength of support for convergence between these two groups of mammals and, related to this, by the sheer number of convergent changes in the coding DNA that we found.”

BBC, ScienceDaily

Editorial Comment: This study exposes the uselessness of evolutionary trees, and of evolutionary theory in general, with its flaws covered over by the amazing faith of evolutionists. It makes it so obvious that the term “convergent evolution” is a meaningless jargon term to cover any similarity which the evolutionists can’t fit into their current family tree. The study does not explain where how or when the prestin gene or any of the other additional features associated with echolocation, such as the brain circuits needed to interpret the echoes, came into being. Since no-one has ever observed a non-echolocating animal evolve into one that uses echolocation, the enormous faith of Dawkins and Darwin and their followers is a cover for their ignorance. The claim that echolocation evolved by naturalistic processes once, let alone twice by exactly the same genetic changes, is faith disguised in pseudo science terms. It is a far more reasonable faith to believe that bats and dolphins have the same gene for the same protein because the same Creator designed it to work as part of a cleverly designed system. (Ref. design, cetaceans, hearing)

Evidence News 17 Feb 2010