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Real evidence for evolution? Are we actually seeing speciation?

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Real evidence for evolution? Are we actually seeing speciation?

Old 06-05-06, 06:56 PM
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Real evidence for evolution? Are we actually seeing speciation?

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releas...-efi060106.php

Public release date: 1-Jun-2006

Contact: Susan S. Lang
[email protected]
607-255-3613
Cornell University News Service

Electric fish in Africa could be example of evolution in action

Avoiding quicksand along the banks of the Ivindo River in Gabon, Cornell neurobiologists armed with oscilloscopes search for shapes and patterns of electricity created by fish in the water.

They know from their previous research that the various groups of local electric fish have different DNA, different communication patterns and won't mate with each other. However, they now have found a case where two types of electric signals come from fish that have the same DNA.

The researchers' conclusion: The fish appear to be on the verge of forming two separate species.

"We think we are seeing evolution in action," said Matt Arnegard, a neurobiology postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Carl Hopkins, Cornell professor of neurobiology and behavior, who has been recording electric fish in Gabon since the 1970s.

The research, published in the June issue of the Journal of Experimental Biology, describes how some of these fish violate an otherwise regular pattern of mating behavior, and so could be living examples of a species of fish diverging into separate species.

The electric fish -- known as mormyrids -- emit weak electric fields from a batterylike organ in their tails to sense their surroundings and communicate with other fish. Each species of mormyrid gives off a single characteristic electric impulse resulting in the flash of signals, indicating, for example, aggression, courtship and fear. While the fish may be able to understand other species' impulses, said Arnegard, "They seem to only choose to mate with other fish having the same signature waveform as their own."

Except for some, Arnegard has discovered.

When he joined Hopkins' lab, the team was about to publish descriptions of two separate species. But when Arnegard decided to take a genetic look at these particular fish, he couldn't find any differences in their DNA sequences.

"These fish have different signals and different appearances, so we were surprised to find no detectable variation in the genetic markers we studied," Arnegard said.

Because all of the 20 or so species of mormyrid have distinct electric signals, Arnegard believes the different impulses of the fish he studies might be their first step in diverging into different species.

"This might be a snapshot of evolution," Arnegard said.

Understanding how animals become different species, a process known as speciation, is a major concern in understanding evolution. Arnegard's fish may allow researchers to test if a specific type of speciation is possible.

One common type of speciation is geographically dependent. Animals diverge into separate species because they become physically isolated from each other. Eventually, genes within each group mutate so that the groups can no longer be considered to be of the same species.

Another type of speciation, which many scientists have found harder to imagine, involves animals that live in the same geographic location but, for some reason, begin to mate selectively and form distinct groups and, ultimately, separate species. This so-called sympatric speciation is more controversial because there have been few accepted examples of it to date.

"Many scientists claim it's not feasible," Arnegard said. "But it could be a detection problem because speciation occurs over so many generations." These Gabon fishes' impulses, however, can change very quickly in comparison. So Arnegard suspects that the different shapes of the electric impulses from these mormyrids might be a first step in sympatric speciation.

One the other hand, the fish could be a single species. "This could be just a polymorphism, like eye color in humans, that violates the fishes' general evolutionary pattern but doesn't give rise to separate species," said Arnegard, who will return to Gabon in June to conduct further tests, funded by the National Geographic Society.
OldDude - could you tell us what you think?

kvrdave - could you tell us why this is wrong?
Old 06-05-06, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by movielib
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releas...-efi060106.php



OldDude - could you tell us what you think?
I'm not saying it is proven, but it is plausible and interesting.

We have tended to assume separate species means a rigid "can't mate" at least not successfully. However, some of the odd pairings (from related species) that humans have forced (beefaloes, ligers, etc), it is quite likely that "CHOOSE not to mate" (in the wild, when "their own kind" are around too) comes first, and "can't mate" comes after much, much more evolution.

Well worth studying, and potentially better answers to how speciation occurs.
Old 06-06-06, 12:41 AM
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Originally Posted by movielib
kvrdave - could you tell us why this is wrong?
Crap, that means I have to actually read the whole thing.


Electric fish in Africa could be example of evolution in action
Case Closed!!!

We think we are seeing evolution in action
Good Night, Irene!

One common type of speciation is geographically dependent. Animals diverge into separate species because they become physically isolated from each other.
Actually this is a good example of something that is put out as fact that is merely theory. I have talked about it before, but the geographic isolationism is supposed to be what happened to make us come from chimps, as chimps stayed in W. Africa 5 million years ago and were geographically isolated from E. Africa which gave rise to the bipedal primates. That is, until the first ever chimp fossil was found, and it happened to be found in E. Africa showing that there was no isolation present, and the fossil was found to be only 500,000 years old.

Basically the assumption is that evolution MUST be true, so the question is how do we get speciation. Hey, wait...I'll bet some of it happened by a species being geographically isolated and one group adapted to the environment differently while the other stayed the same. Now prove me wrong, bitches!!!

This might be a snapshot of evolution
Aside from the let me ask you how this could actually be tested.

Another type of speciation, which many scientists have found harder to imagine, involves animals that live in the same geographic location but, for some reason, begin to mate selectively and form distinct groups and, ultimately, separate species. This so-called sympatric speciation is more controversial because there have been few accepted examples of it to date.

"Many scientists claim it's not feasible," Arnegard said. "But it could be a detection problem because speciation occurs over so many generations."
This clearly is perfect reasoning. Evolution must be true, so when it happens that we do not two species together, they used to be, but were geographically isolated. But the miracle that is evolution, a random process of change with no direction, can also produce the same speciation when the organisms are in the same spot. So evolution occurs when there is a change in the environment, except when that isn't what we see, and then it simply happens? The simplest solution to a problem is generally not evolution.

One the other hand, the fish could be a single species. "This could be just a polymorphism, like eye color in humans, that violates the fishes' general evolutionary pattern but doesn't give rise to separate species,"
No freaking way! Don't lay off now, man. This could be as huge as chimp/human hybridization!!!!


Okay, that's all I got for now.
Old 06-06-06, 07:21 AM
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I got answers from the two people I asked.

Pretty much what I expected.

Thread can be closed now.

Last edited by movielib; 06-06-06 at 07:24 AM.
Old 06-06-06, 07:28 AM
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This is obviously a devious trick orchestrated by SATAN in honor of June 6, 2006.
Old 06-06-06, 07:29 AM
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"Man, that fish throws a fugly spark. Who'd want to be with her."

Thus, it begins.
Old 06-06-06, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
This could be as huge as chimp/human hybridization!!!!
Didn't W say something about human-animal hybrids? I'm still trying to make sense of that one.

http://www.humananimalhybrid.net/

http://www.cafepress.com/human_animals
Old 06-06-06, 07:36 AM
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As electric fish et al "evolve" we on the other hand devolve:



(someone hadda put it here)

-Gunshy
Old 06-06-06, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by OldDude
"Man, that fish throws a fugly spark. Who'd want to be with her."

Thus, it begins.
Old 06-06-06, 09:06 AM
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Id like to see them test the waters. There could be significant levels of mercury (from mining operations) or fertilizer from over farming up river. If there are high levels of pollutants in the water, it could be the reason these fish get their signals scrambled.
Old 06-06-06, 04:33 PM
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I'm thinking Global Warming is to blame
Old 06-06-06, 04:39 PM
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Old 06-06-06, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
I consulted my lawyer. He concluded there is no God, and charged me $1000.
Only pay him if he does the "Jump in the Lions Den" test.
Old 06-06-06, 05:42 PM
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Old 06-06-06, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by OldDude
We have tended to assume separate species means a rigid "can't mate" at least not successfully. However, some of the odd pairings (from related species) that humans have forced (beefaloes, ligers, etc), it is quite likely that "CHOOSE not to mate" (in the wild, when "their own kind" are around too) comes first, and "can't mate" comes after much, much more evolution.
Actually, that's exactly what I was taught in my undergraduate biology classes.
Old 06-06-06, 07:23 PM
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<img src=http://daisydownunder.com/images/ta11.jpg>
"You do not question evolution. It is a simple thing. It is the word of Vaal."
Old 06-07-06, 07:56 AM
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Dave, your entire post seems somewhat disingenuous. You know that scientists are loathe to speak in absolute terms -- the very nature of the scientific method dictates the use of terms like "could be" and "might be". It's like one of those ID lunatics going on about the "theory" of evolution, as if the use of that term was synonymous with "conjecture". And complaining that evolution is not the "simplest solution" does not speak to its veracity -- after all, the "simplest solution" school of thought would tell us that the world is flat, and the sun spins around the Earth. The simplest solutions are rarely the ones that hold up.

You present a fairly narrow-minded view of what evolution is all about. It's not just about random benevolent mutations, or about geographic isolationism -- it's about the very nature of life itself, always changing, adapting, evolving. What is the alternative that you present? That God himself made every living thing exactly as we see it today about 6,000 years ago? Or that a Supreme Being personally supervised or controlled the mutation of certain species over the course of hundreds of millions of years in order to ensure diversity?

You know perfectly well that science works by identifying the most likely and plausible explanation for a set of events, and then works to prove or disprove those suppositions. Since you clearly don't "buy in" to evolution, what more plausible theory do you support?
Old 06-07-06, 08:27 AM
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Rogue Scientist Has Own Scientific Method
Old 06-07-06, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by NCMojo
Since you clearly don't "buy in" to evolution, what more plausible theory do you support?
<img src="http://cecelia.physics.indiana.edu/life/video/2001/monolith.JPG" />
Old 06-07-06, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by NCMojo
Dave, your entire post seems somewhat disingenuous. You know that scientists are loathe to speak in absolute terms -- the very nature of the scientific method dictates the use of terms like "could be" and "might be". It's like one of those ID lunatics going on about the "theory" of evolution, as if the use of that term was synonymous with "conjecture". And complaining that evolution is not the "simplest solution" does not speak to its veracity -- after all, the "simplest solution" school of thought would tell us that the world is flat, and the sun spins around the Earth. The simplest solutions are rarely the ones that hold up.

You present a fairly narrow-minded view of what evolution is all about. It's not just about random benevolent mutations, or about geographic isolationism -- it's about the very nature of life itself, always changing, adapting, evolving. What is the alternative that you present? That God himself made every living thing exactly as we see it today about 6,000 years ago? Or that a Supreme Being personally supervised or controlled the mutation of certain species over the course of hundreds of millions of years in order to ensure diversity?

You know perfectly well that science works by identifying the most likely and plausible explanation for a set of events, and then works to prove or disprove those suppositions. Since you clearly don't "buy in" to evolution, what more plausible theory do you support?
It seems to me that dave's biggest issue (and I would agree with him), is that that the title makes a much stronger assertion than the data in the body of the article.

Based on some of the statements and data presented in the article, the title could very well have been "Electric fish in Africa could be nothing special", but, instead, they chose to focus on the much more marketable evolution aspect of it.
Old 06-07-06, 11:40 AM
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I think a lot of scientific discoveries hype their findings to the fullest in order to get funding. Its just marketing.
Old 06-07-06, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by NCMojo
You present a fairly narrow-minded view of what evolution is all about. It's not just about random benevolent mutations, or about geographic isolationism -- it's about the very nature of life itself, always changing, adapting, evolving.
This is what bothers me about evolution. You just nailed it on the head. It "evolving." Evolution is whatever you need it to be. When the observations don't fit, you make up a new part of the theory that will adjust for it because you cannot get rid of the theory. The theory cannot be disproved. The theory must survive, so anything that does not fit with the theory must be adapted to it.

Other theories in science can be disproved. In fact, every theory I can think of can be disproved. Can you think of a way to disprove Evolution? That is my complaint with it. It is a religion. There is no way to disprove it.

Most theories in science that are "good" theories like Big Bang Cosmology get more and more refined as time goes on. But evolution does not. It gets more and more disjointed. It does not refine. And yet there can be no alternative so we must bow down to the giant theory that cannot be proven wrong.

"Modern" science rejects the idea that any principle cannot be explained naturalistically. That bias alone leaves you in a position where if something did not occur naturallistically, science will forever look for an incorrect answer. You might argue that science cannot allow any supernatural explanations or it wouldn't be science, but that is pure crap.

But having even mentioned that, it is now time for people to run in fear and announce that religion will take over science and we will go back to the days of Gallileo and there will be no advancement because religious people will always just say "That's the way God did it." That is also crap, but if it makes people feel better, we can have the same lack of evidence and sit back and say, "Well, that's the way Evolution works." every time new unexplained things pop up.

Damn near every time evolution has made predictions, it has failed. But since evolution must be true, we have never given up on it, but rather we have adjusted the theory. That sounds great, and a good theory will incororate new data, but that is all evolution can do.

What is the alternative that you present? That God himself made every living thing exactly as we see it today about 6,000 years ago?
I get real tired of being compared to a young earth creationist and find it insulting. I have taken the time to go over your poor understanding on things like Noah's Flood where I never get a response from you, and yet I still have to be treated like I am some moron who thinks that dinosaur bones were placed by Satan to deceive us all.

And when I ask a simple question like "what began the universe?" or "how did life come from non life?" I get absolutely no answer, yet I am the moron because I see how an ancient text perfectly describes the nature of the universe, is the only holy text that actually says something counter-intuitive to its contemporaries like the universe had a begining, or the fact that the addition or subtraction of the mass of a feaking dime to the entire universe at its begining would have changed the mass density enough enough to make the universe sterile to the possibility of life and I refuse to believe it was random chance. All that can be taken on faith that science will provide an answer naturalistically, because there is no way a god could exist.

You know perfectly well that science works by identifying the most likely and plausible explanation for a set of events, and then works to prove or disprove those suppositions. Since you clearly don't "buy in" to evolution, what more plausible theory do you support?
I know that is what science claims to do, and does very well in a number of ways, but you are saying that it actually works to prove or disprove suppositions? Great. What could disprove evolution? What more plausible theory do I support? Since it would be supernatural, you wouldn't find it plausible despite the incredible evidence for it. Since you believe in a theory that calls for the necessity for life to begin from non life, yet have absolutely no way in which that can happen, why is yours more plausible? The great scientific answer is nothing but circular reasoning. "It must be able to happen naturally because it has happened." Great reasoning. No wonder my ideas are not plausible yet yours are.

And now....I SHALL EXPLODE!!!!

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Ahhhhhhhh, I will recooperate.
Old 06-07-06, 12:09 PM
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Dave supposedly doesn't believe in "new Earth" theories, and *still* spends all his time trying to disprove evolution whenever it comes up.

At least, that's how it looks from someone who can't be bothered to read dry science articles or boring rebuttals of them.
Old 06-07-06, 12:15 PM
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Hey, Dave, didn't mean to be insulting -- you'll see that I put in two postulates there, one covering the "young earth" and one covering the "watchmaker" hypothesis. Believing in the first one would indeed make you something of a moron -- I like the "Satan's bones" idea, by the way -- but I think there is a certain window of plausibility in the second. Indeed, the very existence of evolution -- the idea that "life finds a way" -- I find to be incredibly awe-inspiring, and not at all random or nihilistic.

I actually am not exactly sure where you actually stand. You don't put much stock in evolution... and you certainly do seem to exhibit a certain amount of skepticism when it comes to preordained religious thought... so what alternative hypothesis to evolution do you put the most credence in?

EDIT TO ADD: if you covered this in the Noah's Ark thing, I'll go and dig that up.
Old 06-07-06, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
This is what bothers me about evolution. You just nailed it on the head. It "evolving." Evolution is whatever you need it to be. When the observations don't fit, you make up a new part of the theory that will adjust for it because you cannot get rid of the theory. The theory cannot be disproved. The theory must survive, so anything that does not fit with the theory must be adapted to it.
There is a mountain of evidence in favor of evolution. The fossil record, for one. Every single fossil that is dug out of the ground is consistent with the theory of evolution. (When someone digs a T-Rex up in Wyoming that has a fossilized human in his belly, we can enter into some serious revisions to the theory.)

Originally Posted by kcrdave
Other theories in science can be disproved. In fact, every theory I can think of can be disproved. Can you think of a way to disprove Evolution? That is my complaint with it. It is a religion. There is no way to disprove it.
There has yet to be a viable alternative that is consistent with the fossil record and genetics. There is a huge amount of evidence there.

Nobody has yet to uncover anything that can outright disprove evolution. New discoveries are being made all the time that refine the theory, but nothing has yet shown up to flat-out contradict it.

Originally Posted by kvrdave
Most theories in science that are "good" theories like Big Bang Cosmology get more and more refined as time goes on. But evolution does not. It gets more and more disjointed. It does not refine. And yet there can be no alternative so we must bow down to the giant theory that cannot be proven wrong. [When the observations don't fit, you make up a new part of the theory that will adjust for it because you cannot get rid of the theory. ]
Allow me to introduce you to my friends dark matter and dark energy.

I believe you have a fundamental misunderstanding of what science can and can't do.

The theories of evolution and the big bang are not eternal and immutable. They're just the best theories we have that are supported by known evidence.

Science loves to be proven wrong. The Steady State Theory being a good example. Even Einstein subscribed to this one.

Theories aren't meant to explain everything perfectly. It's just the best we can do with what we have to work with.

Did you know that there are actually four different theories about why the Earth has a moon? And none of them has been fully disproven? (Though the fourth, and newest one, best fits the available evidence. The Nova article linked is a good example of how the scientific process and theory method works.)

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