Tuesday, November 16, 2010


So, I have been reading some evolution papers for one of my classes and this is the second time this has popped up so I figured I would post it. The paper this is from is listed on the bottom of the post.

The classic objection to hopeful monsters - that a pig with wings has no chance of finding a similarly endowed mate - misses the point that if you have one pig with wings, there are more where that came from - in the developmental pathways of the relatives of Archaeoptopig.
when pigs fly

Rachootin, S. P., Thomson, K. S. 1981.Epigenetics, paleontology, and evolution. Proc. 2nd. Int. Congr. Syst. Evol. Biol. Evolution Today, ed. G. G. E. Scudder, J. L. Reveal, pp. 181-93. Pittsburgh: Carnegie-Mellon Univ. Press


  1. Isn't this "classic objection" an objection only if you assume that the mutation is recessive? If wings make a single Archaeoptopig a particularly attractive mate, there could still be lots of Arhaeoptopigs in the next generation.

  2. I think the point is more like if you see one, it means there are others around. If the genes are available in the one it has to be available in a large group of them. There is no way only one could be produced. Also the odds of seeing one and there only being the one are so astronomical that there is a good chance there are others.


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