Thursday, June 01, 2006

Scientists Find Lost World

Quarry workers inadvertently punched into A cave of wonders sealed off like a mason jar for 5 million years.

The cave, located 328 feet below ground in a limestone quarry, includes tunnels that extend about a mile and a half. Inside, a large underground lake holds the previously unknown species, some similar to scorpions and shrimp.

Of course, they're all toast now, since their survival was keyed to their isolation.

From what I've seen, everything there is similar to non-cave species, but is blind and colorless. Which is what evolution would predict for a lightless world. Eyes are incredibly expensive, genetically; and the ruthless work of natural selection offers no rewards for superfluous systems and parts. And of course, without eyes there's no point in building up color patterns.

"Evolution" is a misnomer; a regression is as much a part of it as complexity: The only prediction is that nothing will remain more complex than it need be.