Wells: The ScienceDaily report, like so much other reporting on evolution, is hype.
One wonders, is it possible that a number of other species of shark could convert to “walking” if they had to? That is, they don’t need to evolve the trait from scratch; they need the circumstances that makes it a useful behavior.
Yes, of course they do. But imagine anyone asking such a question years ago for any purpose except to show that it ain’t so: Stamp OUT Darwin Doubt!! was the permitted approach. But now we read doubt about Darwinian speciation in typical think mags.
But the cichlids were absolutely POSTER fish for natural selection acting on random mutation (Darwinism) to produce new species! If even cichlids can’t do Darwinism reliably, how important a vector in evolution can it be?
In short, the new find suggests that some species don’t really exist; they are just the same type of dino with different horns.
This retired historian of science thinks it might even be okay to question the “biological ‘species’ concept”.
So different sets of genes can result in identical looking birds? This is getting as complicated as the butterflies.
Of course, sexual selection could spark new species. Lots of events could. At least in theory. The problem is, it must persist generation after generation to make and maintain a difference. How often can it work that way unchecked in an ecology where a great many other shaping events are happening at the same time?
The entire history of Kettlewell’s Peppered Moth experiment is littered with problems: doctored photographs, wrong assumptions and slim evidence, followed by genetic analysis revealing that the protein exons coding for color were not changed, but, rather, a transposon (non-random) was inserted in an intron (“junk DNA”). And now there’s this paper. It seems that the Read More…
But what if these “Homo species”were never sharply differentiated groups? Cutting edge techniques might turn up many more such “species”/groups in the near future, comprising a sort of “United Nations” of deceased cultures.
Wilcox: “Perhaps this could all be resolved if the scientific community simply agreed upon a definition for each rank, but there’s no consensus for that.” If modern biology began with “On the Origin of Species,” many may be willing to live with chaos to protect the sacred history.
For all we know, this type of hybridization could be common. If it’s a bottom dweller, who was looking? Maybe hybridization plays a bigger role in evolution than we supposed. And then schoolbook Darwinism plays a smaller one.
To what extent has the “biological species concept” become a mere means of generating publicity for research or political action for environmental causes? The research and causes are doubtless worthwhile but we still seek an informative classification method.
Let’s read the Nature abstract: Nature (2019) Article | Published: 15 May 2019 Total synthesis of Escherichia coli with a recoded genome Julius Fredens, Kaihang Wang, Daniel de la Torre, Louise F. H. Funke, Wesley E. Robertson, Yonka Christova, Tiongsun Chia, Wolfgang H. Schmied, Daniel L. Dunkelmann, Václav Beránek, Chayasith Uttamapinant, Andres Gonzalez Llamazares, Thomas Read More…
Their assertion shows, of course, what as mess the biological species concept is. If anyone does think all those breeds of dogs are really species, well…