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 […]
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…
If Neanderthals “diverged” from “modern humans” 800,000 years ago but many of us have Neanderthal genes (yeah, 23andMe stuff, for sure), what chance is there that much of the contention is based on the fact that we don’t really know enough to be sure of very many things?
Without a clearly understood concept of “species”, it’s hard to know what extinction even means. If all individual life forms are unique, then every death is an extinction. Where do we draw the line and why, exactly?
And maybe of how animals evolve over time.
Perhaps most groups of canines have never been very separate for any length of time and that fact may have served them well.
Just what the concept of “speciation” adds to the human picture is unclear. But it makes for news stories.
But notice how the story is told in such a way as to pretend that some type of Darwinism is happening when maybe it isn’t. Darwin’s Potemkin village?
They want to protect the dingo, mainly for Australian cultural reasons. Fine. Why not just admit that instead of cooking up some nonsense about “speciation”?
“It’s a perfect scenario for cooking up new species,” he said. What? Wait! This isn’t a “new species.” This is a holdover from 50 million years ago, during which it’s always been an obvious frog.
Ridley discusses several other scare claims that did not survive scrutiny and notes that the best estimate is that insect species are dying out at rates simliar to mammals and birds (1 to 5 per cent per century): “A problem, but not Armageddon.”
Actually, it is widely suspected that the red wolf is, generally, a hybrid of wolf and coyote that appears from time to time and thus can’t go extinct unless one of the two parent groups does.
It’s no wonder that biologists have debated whether this “reinforcement”form of natural selection even exists. If it does, it is acting as a purposeful agent. Now, if these researchers have found an instance of that, what does it mean?
From ScienceDaily: Scientists have shown that a bird found in Pennsylvania is the offspring of a hybrid warbler mother and a warbler father from an entirely different genus — a combination never recorded before now and which resulted in a three-species hybrid bird. This finding has just been published in the journal Biology Letters. “It’s […]
The abstract of a new paper, “Species as Models” by Jun Otsuka of Kyoto University (PhilSci Archive, 2018): This paper argues that biological species should be construed as abstract models, rather than biological or even tangible entities. Various (phenetic, cladistic, biological etc.) species concepts are defined as set-theoretic models of formal theories, and their logical […]