On Homology

Posted in Biology, Evolution, Science on  | 4 minutes | 2 Comments →

The phenomenon of homology refers to things that are corresponding or similar in position, value, structure and purpose. For example, many mammals share a common limb design that is versatile and lends well to a number of different functions. In Origin, Darwin notes in great detail the similar expressions of pentadactyl limb design as utilized by man for grasping, moles for digging, horses for movement and bats for flying. Further considering monkey and man, coyote and wolf, or fir and pine, the fact that different types and kinds of organisms share similarities in physical structure, biochemistry and embryonic patterns of development is argued as evidence that life must have descended from a common ancestor. Darwin cited the phenomenon of homology as the strongest evidence for his general theory of evolution. In the same vein, Miller and Levine also feel that homologous resemblance amongst organisms is compelling evidence: “The structural and biochemical similarities among living organisms are best explained by Darwin’s conclusion: living organisms evolved through gradual modification of earlier forms – descent from a common ancestor.”

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