The BBC says Ants defy evolution. But I’m not sure why they would think that.

Apparently, army ants — which exist on several continents — were long thought to have evolved several times. New research suggests they evolved only once (about 100M years ago) and share a common ancestor. They have remained relatively unchanged since then.

Is BBC suggesting this lack of change “defies evolution”? Natural selection isn’t a process that must occur during any given geologic period. Species can remain unchanged as long as they can survive in their environment. Looks like the ants just worked out something pretty stable relatively early. If that’s the case, natural selection has done its job. Nothing more to be done. Mutations can occur, but they don’t have to (the X-Men notwithstanding).

What the ants are instead defying is the conventional wisdom of their evolutionary origin– but that makes a much less interesting headline, I guess.