We can now determine, easily and relatively cheaply, the detailed chemical architecture of genes ; and we can trace the products of these genes ( enzymes and proteins ) as they influence the course of embryology . In so doing we have made the astounding discovery that all complex animal phyla - arthropods and vertebrates in particular - have retained, despite their half-billion years of evolutionary independence, an extensive set of common genetic blueprints for building bodies.
"'Babies of course are not human — they are animals, and have a very ancient and ramified culture, as cats have, and fishes, and even snakes; the same in kind as these, but much more complicated and vivid, since babies are, after all, one of the most developed species of the lower vertebrates. In short, babies have minds which work in terms and categories of their own which cannot be translated into the terms and categories of the human mind.'"lewis padgett
Geoffrey also recognized that the opposite orientations of gut and nervous system posed a problem for his claim that insects and vertebrates represent different versions of the same archetypal animal - and he proposed the first account of the inversion theory to resolve this threat to unification. ...Geoffroy pursued the... aim of establishing a "unity of type" that could generate both arthropods and vertebrates from the same basic blueprint. ...The single grand design includes a gut in the middle and the main nerve cords somewhere on the periphery.stephen jay gould
Later evolutionary theorists of linear progress had to advance the overtly physical and historical claim that an ancestral lineage of arthropods actually turned over to become the first vertebrates (for the classical statement of the inversion theory, see William Patten, The Grand Strategy of Evolution , 1920).stephen jay gould
How ironic. In order to avoid the "nutty" theory of inversion, Gaskell invented the even odder notion of stomachs turning into brains with new guts forming below. No wonder then, that later biologists cast a plague on both speculative houses and opted instead for the obvious alternative: arthropods and vertebrates do not share the same anatomical plan at all, but rather represent two separate evolutionary developments of similar complexity from a much simpler common ancestor that grew neither a discrete gut nor a central nerve cord.stephen jay gould
Independent derivation meshed beautifully with the triumph, from the 1930's on, of a strict version of Darwinism based on the near ubiquity of adaptive design built by natural selection... Arthropods and vertebrates do share several features of functional design. But those similarities only reflect the power of natural selection to craft optimal structures independently in a world of limited biomechanical solutions to common functional problems - an evolutionary phenomenon called convergence .stephen jay gould
Flies can eat toads! (Although astonishment may be lessened in noting that the tiny toads are much smaller than enormous fly larvae.) Unusually large insects and maximally small vertebrates have also been featured in the few other recorded cases of such reversals - frogs, small birds, even a mouse, consumed by praying mantids, for example.stephen jay gould
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