Physorg pointed out another interesting perspective on the new organ within the lizards:
"Cecal valve evolution probably went hand-in-hand with a novel association between the lizards on Pod Mrcaru and microorganisms called nematodes that break down cellulose, which were found in their hindguts"
In the first of the above two links, Joe Francis talks about the immune system potentially being a part of detecting and picking up symbiotic partners. It would be interesting to know if that is how the symbiotic association began, and if that is also what facilitated the growing of the cecal valve.
In 36 years, a group of lizards which were separated onto a different island from the rest of their species had:
In case you didn't notice the bolding, it was the development of the new organ that I found most interesting. Now, when I say "new", that just means new to them. The cecal valve is present in a number of species. However, it was not present in the population which the island was seeded with.
This gives a lot of creedence to the front-loaded "toolbox" concept of Intelligent Design. That is, species have an available set of rapidly-deployable changes which can be induced as needed. Many parts of this toolbox are shared by many related and non-related organisms.
The fact that in only 36 years all of these changes happened indicate that it was part of a built-in process.
TelicThoughts has a very interesting discussion on what the requirements of building materials might be for designing life. Check it out - very interesting discussion! I don't think many of them understood my arguments relating to complexity theory. I hope to expound some of those out in a more extended manner soon.
Welcome to the new blog! I am currently working on getting an RSS feed up and running soon, and comments enabled again. I hope you like the new look and the new content as we get it posted. I'm still working on a better title -
when I get comments working you can post suggestions below!