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.”
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.
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.
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. “
Let’s just say, paleontologists need Neanderthals and Denisovans to be “different species.”
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.
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.
If a big survey of the giraffe genome can’t tell us the answers to the most puzzling questions about one of the most remarkable animals, where should we look for answers next?
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.
Maybe they are descended from wolves but never really became dogs?
Their results don’t seem to have supported classical Darwinism but they have a really hard time explaining that.
Can someone explain the Darwinian neurosis about “species”?
One can talk about the cichlid “burst” that lasted ten million years but now, the term “explosion” has become politically incorrect usage to describe the Cambrian because shut up.
Look on the bright side. Darwinism may be endangered but the birds aren’t, or not necessarily. Hey, we can live with that.
It’s good news that they are thinking this way. If we’re going to vote money and legislation for environmental protection, we do need useful working classifications. Why waste time, money and energy “saving” a “species” that doesn’t really exist as a separate entity when some whole ecologies are critically endangered? And it doesn’t matter how we choose to classify the “species” within them. At least these are more constructive discussions to be involved in than attacking or defending Darwinism.