In Bedbugs, Scientists Don't See a Model of Evolution

From the DNA of bat-biting and people-biting bedbugs, researchers from Tulsa to Prague have demonstrated that bedbugs are still bedbugs. In fact, despite their disturbing resurgence in domestic dwellings, bedbugs are showing no sign of becoming anything else, other than more-difficult-to-eradicate bedbugs. Genetic analysis supports the hypothesis that today's common bedbug originated in bat-caves and, having transitioned to cave-dwelling people, then developed populations with a preference for people and people's houses. But is that a model for Darwinian evolution?

Darwin's Darlings?

"For something that is so hated by so many people, it might just be a perfect model organism for evolutionary questions," says University of Tulsa's Warren Booth, coauthor of a study in Molecular Ecology. Variants of the same species — Cimex lectularius — bite bats and humans. Booth's study demonstrates they do not normally interbreed. Booth says the human-biter is "right on the cusp" of diverging into a new species.

A New York Times journalist — in "In Bedbugs, Scientists See a Model of Evolution" — claims the bedbug shows how Darwinian evolution works. Of course, Darwin held that through natural processes life evolved in all its complexity from simple life-forms through modification and selection. The NYTimes author asserts that the bedbug illustrates Darwin's conclusion that "from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved."

[Read the rest of the article at Answers in Genesis.]