Hot topics in Evolution.

Richard M Kliman rkliman at ruacad.ac.runet.edu
Mon Apr 10 16:40:09 EST 1995

In article <Pine.3.89.9504080902.A553892692-0100000 at miavx1.acs.muohio.edu> MTMASON at MIAVX1.ACS.MUOHIO.EDU ("Matthew T. Mason") writes:
>I agree with the idea that God started a Creation, but then allowed 
>Evolution to work upon His work.  One of the large journals (Science I 
>believe)has just released data that has significant evident pointing 
>toward the evolution of the human eye from a compound eye source.  The research found the gene 
>that controls the eye and when over expressed caused multiple eyes on the 
>body of Drosophila.  The gene was then removed from the fly embryo and a 
>developmental gene from a mouse was inserted and eye formation occurred.
>Matthew Thomas Mason
>masonmt at muohio.edu

I don't think this is exactly what the article said (Halder, Callaerts 
and Gehring [1995] Science 267:1788).  They were able to ectopically 
express Drosophila-type eyes in flies tranformed with either the 
Drosophila gene "eyeless" or the mouse homologue.  What they seem to have 
demonstrated is that the genetic "trigger" for eye development is older 
than the common ancestor of insects and vertebrates - not that vertebrate 
eyes have evolved from an insect-like ancestral form.  In fact, other 
protostomes (e.g., cephalopods) have eyes that are structurally much more 
like ours than like those of insects.  It appears that eyes, per se, are 
very old, suggesting homology at the level of the *existence* of eyes.  
How eyes evolved in various evolutionary lineages is then a different matter.

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