Evolution Genetics Intelligent Design

Big Data study of termites forces rethink of their evolution

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But that’s not the main takehome point from this story.

From ScienceDaily:

When researchers construct a family tree, or phylogeny, they can do so using different genes. By looking at the differences in a gene between species, they can understand how closely-related those species are. Often, researchers construct a phylogeny using a single gene. This can, however, give an inaccurate picture of the relationship between species — and can incorrectly place them.

Instead of relying on a single gene, the OIST team used up to 4065 genes from each termite species to construct the phylogeny. This provides a more reliable picture of how different species are related. They included 55 termite species from across the globe, representing all major lineages.

This tree indicated that the Sphaerotermitinae is, in fact, a sister of the comb building Macrotermitinae, a well-studied subfamily of termites. The two sisters both build combs, although only in the Macrotermitinae does this involve the cultivation of fungi for food. Sphaerotermitinae combs, meanwhile, appear to contain bacteria, although the species are not yet identified.

What the team can say, however, is that comb building emerged only once, several million years after the loss of gut symbionts in the ancestor of all Termitidae. – Materials provided by Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University. Original written by Christopher Richardson. More.

No mention here of a paper; perhaps it’s being shopped around.

But notice “Often, researchers construct a phylogeny using a single gene. This can, however, give an inaccurate picture of the relationship between species — and can incorrectly place them.” So the industrious team studied “used up to 4065 genes from each termite species to construct the phylogeny.” Good for them. But it raises the question, why—in the age of Big Gene—doesn’t everyone do that, instead of loudly proclaiming an evolutionary history based on a handful of genes? One is much less inclined to dismiss the evidence of thousands than a handful.

Some people who whine that the public doubts their evolution theories may have only themselves to blame.


See also: Did Anyone Predict This? Cloned Cat Looks Nothing Like The Original

and

There’s a gene for that… or is there?

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10 Replies to “Big Data study of termites forces rethink of their evolution

  1. 1
    PavelU says:

    Here’s a paper providing strong evidence for macro evolution:

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-11215-8

    This paper leaves ID without valid arguments.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    PavelU claims that,, “Here’s a paper providing strong evidence for macro evolution”

    Yet the title of the paper states no such thing,

    “Evidence against tetrapod-wide digit identities and for a limited frame shift in bird wings”

    Translation: PavelU is hallucinating if he thinks this provides strong evidence for one species transforming into another. i.e. macro-evolution, It is basically all speculation with no empirical demonstration that it is even possible to transform one species into another species.

    You know PavelU, that whole ‘smoking gun’ thing?

  3. 3
    Latemarch says:

    BA77,

    Yet the title of the paper states no such thing,

    Nor does the paper itself prove nor provide evidence of macro-evolution.
    Either PavelU likes to citation bluff (this is the second paper I’ve read that doesn’t offer what he says it offers) or he finds these “just so” stories convincing.
    And to quote from the paper:

    We propose that the CDEGs represent a “digit differentiation tool kit” deployed for the individuation of different sets of digits in different lineages, depending on the evolutionary history and the adaptive needs of the species.

    The species knows its history and knows its needs and then uses a tool kit to adapt! Why is it that the evolutionists can’t avoid the language of teleology?

  4. 4
    Bob O'H says:

    No mention here of a paper; perhaps it’s being shopped around.

    Err, no it is mentioned. If you read the article, you’ll see it says “Writing in Current Biology, the team presents a new tree showing the relationship among termite families and subfamilies.”. Unfortunately they don’t give a link to the paper, but here it is.

    But it raises the question, why—in the age of Big Gene—doesn’t everyone do that, instead of loudly proclaiming an evolutionary history based on a handful of genes?

    Because it’s difficult and expensive, and most taxonomists don’t have the money.

  5. 5
    ET says:

    Bob O’H termites giving rise to more termites is not an example of macroevolution.

  6. 6
    PavelU says:

    This 2019 paper clearly shows how humans evolved from apes, but the ID folks will deny it.

  7. 7
    Latemarch says:

    PU@6
    Hah!
    I’ll admit, I’m a little slow on the pick up.

  8. 8
    ET says:

    PavelU:

    This 2019 paper clearly shows how humans evolved from apes, but the ID folks will deny it.

    No, it doesn’t. It is just more of the “it’s how the same genes are used differently” untestable trope.

    We don’t even know what makes a human a human or an ape an ape. So that would be a problem for Common Descent.

  9. 9
    Latemarch says:

    ET@8
    Best just to ignore Pavel
    He is just trolling with citation bluffs.

  10. 10
    ET says:

    I am a troll hunter. 😎

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