Vestigial limb muscles in human embryos show common ancestry—for the gazillionth time

Why Evolution Is True

There are three kinds of vestiges that constitute evidence for evolution (the sub-claim of that theory that modern species share common ancestors), and I mention all three in Why Evolution is True:

1.) Vestigial traits that persist in modern species but either have no adaptive function or a function different from that served in their ancestors. The vestigial ear muscles of humans are one, the flippers of penguins (functional, but not for flying in the air) is another, the coccyx in humans (sometimes with attached “tail muscles” that can’t move it) is a third.

2.) Vestigial genes that are functional in our relatives (and presumably in our ancestors) that have been inactivated in some modern species. There is no explanation for these “dead genes” save that they were useful in ancestors but aren’t useful any longer. Examples are “dead” genes that code for egg yolk proteins in humans (but don’t…

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