Local maxima

Silas offers a good explanation for why dragonflies don't just "figure out" how to fly in the shade. I think it is on target... as far as it goes.

My goal in this post and the previous one has not been to knock existing evolutionary explanations as incorrect. I am just pointing out that they leave a lot unexplained. (And we would expect as much in the average scientific theory.)

For instance, wouldn't it seem a little easier for fireflies to make the transition from flying in sunlight to flying in shade and sunlight, than for creatures that don't fly and don't have wings to transition to creatures that do fly and do have wings? It's as though your mechanic told you it was impossible to turn you plane that only flies in the daytime to one that can also fly at night, but definitely he could turn your car into a plane.


  1. Assuming that all animals started out not flying, some must (mutation by mutation , with each individual mutation giving them some advantage) have developed wings and aerial ability. Others must have had mutations that would have started them on the path to flying - but for some environmental reasons these mutation had no advantage so they stayed earth-bound. The reason for flying v not-flying might be quite complex but would in theory make sense if all data was known to evolutionary biologists.

    So it may well be that dragonflys do occasionally have mutations that would start them on the path to flying in the shade - but either these adaptions were of no benefit, so they didn't stay in the gene pool, or they start an evolutionary branch that after other adaptions lead to the evolution of a species other than the dragonfly, that is better designed to hunt mosquitoes in the shade.


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