Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community


“Lost” coral species found “inside” another species

Of course, the story raises the question of just how important saving "species" (see speciation) is. A shift in an ecology can be critical but the disappearance, reappearance, or brand new development of a hard-to-distinguish species may not have much environment impact. Read More ›

Supposedly: Hundreds of new mammal species remain undetected

Look, it is probably true that hundreds of genuine species remain undetected. But in the absence of any rigorous standards for declaring a species, won’t claims like this be used merely for political purposes? Oh, and another paper: “Astonishing!: Separate species frequently hybridize!” Third paper: That’s a big problem! Give us money for extensive efforts to prevent it…. We need legislation…!" Read More ›

Evolution problems: “Species” is such a mess of a concept

And evolutionary biologists keep looking for examples in nature, with meagre results. One way of attempting to demonstrate speciation is to seize on inconsequential genetic changes and inflate their importance. Read More ›

Researchers: “Junk DNA” plays a key role in speciation

At Phys.org: When the researchers deleted a protein called Prod that binds to a specific satellite DNA sequence in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, the flies' chromosomes scattered outside of the nucleus into tiny globs of cellular material called micronuclei, and the flies died. "But we realized at this point that this [piece of] satellite DNA that was bound by the Prod protein was completely missing in the nearest relatives of Drosophila melanogaster," Jagannathan said. "It completely doesn't exist. So that's an interesting little problem." Read More ›

How things have changed! Even Darwin’s Finches’ defenders are spooked

Peter and Rosemary Grant, the iconic Darwinian speciation couple, are backtracking in the face of new evidence that it doesn’t really work that way. On the other hand, this is a great time to be a recovering Darwinist. The world is much more interesting than that. Read More ›

Researchers find Philippine group to have highest known Denisovan ancestry

Don’t you just love the way the writer refers to the Denisovans as a “species” that went “extinct” (like Tyrannosaurus?) As Darwinism dies out, its usages begin to sound more and more, well, quaint. Read More ›

From the Smithsonian Magazine on newly unearthed Dragon Man (homo longi)

Much of the text is the usual interminable ingroup squabble among Darwinians about “human speciation” but we do learn things of interest: "The Dragon Man appears to be a 50-something male who was likely a very large and powerful individual. The authors suggest his small hunter-gatherer community settled on a forested floodplain in a Middle Pleistocene environment that could be harsh and quite cold. " Read More ›

Tigers, lions, ligers … what’s the future? From the hybridization files

In reply to the reader who wondered the other day if ligers (lion plus tiger) can breed and produce offspring, the answer is yes. The results give rise to big kitties with a horde of odd names to describe the crosses: ti-tigon, ti-liger (tig-liger), li-tigon, li-liger. But only the females are fertile. Read More ›

This California story shows what a mess the whole concept of speciation is in

Many issues are worth raising, including whether "species" is a clear enough concept to warrant being a measure, as opposed to, say, role in an ecology. When is it wise to intervene to preserve something? Goals driven by passions are often misguided and wasteful. Read More ›

Taking aim at species classifier Carl Linnaeus for racism — but not Darwin

Now, how on earth did Haeckel get the idea of “social Darwinism”? Or is it “social Derwoodism.” Surely Haeckel can’t have been riffing of the celebrated Brit toff who wrote all this racist stuff? Whatever, Darwin still has an asbestos reputation among the Woke. Anyone can be blamed for the generally racist attitudes of 19th century scientists except the man who did so much to pass them on. Read More ›