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 […]
But don’t tell Mother Jones’s readers: The Census of Marine Life closing ceremony was meant to celebrate the fact that humans had, for the first time, estimated how many species there were in the sea. The Sloan Foundation, which partially funded the $650 million, 10-year project, organized the event. Scientists had been trying to uncover […]
The world’s simplest animal is trichoplax adhaerens. It is so simple that researchers wisely decided to forego the venerable Biological Species Concept that depends on an animal’s form (tricoplax doesn’t have much of a form) and just use genetics. But when evolutionary biologist Michael Eitel sequenced the genomes of several thousand of them, he was […]
Earlier this month, 15 genomes were released. The Vertebrate Genomes Project aims to sequence every extant vertebrate species—there are about 66,000—and to make them of the highest possible value. … “What we thought was a ‘genome’ back [when G10K was launched] really wasn’t suitable for in-depth studies,” G10K cofounder David Haussler, a computational biologist at […]
The pythons invading Florida have been found to be Burmese-Indian hybrids, which means that they may be more adaptable than hoped. From ScienceDaily: The study also found that at least a few of the snakes in the invasive South Florida population are not 100 percent Burmese pythons. Instead, the genetic evidence shows at least 13 […]
Consider this item on the recent find of the remains of a girl from 90,000 years ago: The discovery of the first-known offspring of parents from two different hominin species took scientists by surprise. While evidence has been pointing to interbreeding among the ancestor species of modern humans, the direct link is being hailed as […]
From ScienceDaily: Animals that have either migrated to or been introduced in Central Europe — such as the Asian bush mosquito or the Asian ladybeetle — feel extremely comfortable in their new homes due to changing climatic conditions. If these newcomers are genetically compatible with local species, they may crossbreed and produce hybrids, which can […]
To cut to the chase, the system is a mess. What does that say for theories like neo-Darwinism which are based on the mess and depend on its swirling currents?
The concept of speciation in general is a huge mess (see links below), principally because it is taken as confirmation of explicitly Darwinian evolution (you know, On the Origin of Species and all that… ). It’s the same sort of problem as when a religious sect seeks to confirm a miracle. They degrade the definition and damage the concept.
From Sukanya Charuchandra at The Scientist: Two species of yeast, one of which is used in the biotechnology and food industries to make bioethanol and sourdough bread, while the other causes yeast infections, have been found to be one and the same, according to research published in PLOS Pathogens today (July 19). And, the researchers […]
The “biological species concept” is yet another textbook dead zone. From ScienceDaily: Dr Addisu Mekonnen and colleagues at The University of Oslo, Norway, looked at the genetic diversity of the two populations of Bale monkeys. Analysis of mitochondrial DNA suggested strong genetic differences between the Bale monkeys who lived in continuous forests or fragmented forests. […]