Wonders of the Living World

Curiosity, awe, and the meaning of life


Simon Conway Morris: What is convergent evolution?

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The conditions on planet earth have constrained or channelled the processes of evolution, so that the same solutions to the same problems keep cropping up again and again. One example is the camera eye, which has evolved independently several times – including in humans and octopuses. Convergent evolution is so common, it shows that the course of evolution is not completely open-ended, but there is some inevitability about it.