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The BioLogos Forum is designed to foster a serious and comprehensive discussion of Christian faith and the sciences. We believe that charitable engagement of different perspectives within the Church helps sharpen our thinking and deepen our commitment to the truth that is hidden in Christ. So while many of the articles and videos under the distinctive Forum banner come from BioLogos staff and Senior Fellows, we feature a range of voices, including those that disagree with us and with each other. Unless otherwise noted, views expressed are those of the authors, not necessarily of The BioLogos Foundation. You can read more about what we believe here, and join the conversation in the comments section at the end of each post.

New Limbs from Old Fins, Part 1

New Limbs from Old Fins

Stephen Matheson presents common descent by evolution as the best explanation for the universal pattern found in tetrapod limbs. He discusses initially the evolution and development of limbs in specifically vertebrate tetrapods. He looks at the question of origins and further digs into amazing fossil discoveries. He then gives evidence of evolution from fish to tetrapods by discussing the similarities in the anatomy, development, and genetic systems associated with this amazingly common pattern in vertebrate appendages.

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New Limbs from Old Fins, Part 1

New Limbs from Old Fins, Part 1

These animals, in all of their magnificent variety, seem to be built in very similar ways. It's as though some kind of master plan has been tweaked over and over, to make a huge collection of variations on a theme.
September 08, 2011 
Stephen Matheson 
History of Life 
22
 
New Limbs from Old Fins, Part 2: Comparative Anatomy

New Limbs from Old Fins, Part 2: Comparative Anatomy

Critics of evolution sometimes portray the theory as an untestable historical conjecture, depicting it as fundamentally different from experimental science in the lab. But the hunt for the earliest tetrapods was an effort to test a hypothesis that had generated a prediction.
September 16, 2011 
Stephen Matheson 
History of Life 
35
 
New Limbs from Old Fins, Part 3: Homology

New Limbs from Old Fins, Part 3: Homology

The fossil data paint a picture of common descent. This means that, in some sense, a limb is a fin or, more specifically, a modified fin. In biology, there is a specific term for this kind of relationship. It's called homology.
September 22, 2011 
Stephen Matheson 
History of Life 
12
 
New Limbs from Old Fins, Part 4: Gene Expression

New Limbs from Old Fins, Part 4: Gene Expression

Biologists have learned a lot about the network of gene expression that leads to the patterning of animals during development. Animals as different as fish and mice are sketched out in form by the expression of the same genes. The patterning of tetrapod limbs has become a classic example.
September 29, 2011 
Stephen Matheson 
History of Life 
41
 
New Limbs from Old Fins, Part 5

New Limbs from Old Fins, Part 5

Until quite recently, there were fairly compelling reasons to think that the development of hands and feet involved completely new processes. Beginning just a few years ago, however, new data began to point to a different conclusion.
October 06, 2011 
Stephen Matheson 
History of Life 
1
 
New Limbs from Old Fins, Part 6

New Limbs from Old Fins, Part 6

We will conclude our series by addressing two interesting questions that have come up along the way and by looking closely at the meaning of purpose and design in the context of evolutionary explanation.
October 20, 2011 
Stephen Matheson 
History of Life 
25