Evolution Intelligent Design

Hybridization is much more common and normal among animals than once thought

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Thank genomics for discovering that hybrid animals are not “misfits.” Recently, DNA from a whale skull showed that it was “the first-ever confirmed narluga, the son of a beluga dad and a narwhal mom.” There is reason to believe that there are more of them out there and that they may be fertile:

In the 20th century, animals such as mules and ligers that had parents of different species were considered biological flukes, but genetic sequencing is beginning to unravel the critical role of hybridization in evolution.

Ashley Yeager, “Hybrid Animals Are Not Nature’s Misfits” at The Scientist (May 1, 2021)

Yeager points out in the article that Darwinian Ernst Mayr cast doubt on hybridization as an important source of change so for decades few believed it could be. However,

As scientists began to look for other examples of hybridization in the wild, both past and present, they were not disappointed. Genetic analyses have revealed crosses between coyotes and gray wolves, polar bears and brown bears, chimpanzees and bonobos, finches in the Galapagos Islands, fish called sculpin, and even modern humans and Neanderthals…

Obviously not all cases of hybridization involved the equal swapping of genes to form a completely new creature, as appeared to often happen with the cichlids, but in just the last few years, “the consensus has been that hybridization in animals in particular is hugely widespread and much more common than was appreciated,” Schumer says. The question in the field now, she says, is if this gene swapping is common, “what is it doing?”

Ashley Yeager, “Hybrid Animals Are Not Nature’s Misfits” at The Scientist (May 1, 2021)


But isn’t hybridization cutting into a lot of the things Darwinism supposedly did?

6 Replies to “Hybridization is much more common and normal among animals than once thought

  1. 1
    AaronS1978 says:

    Hmmmmmmmm
    I do recall arguing with somebody on this ssite a few years back who had a 4 letter starting with m

    He even provided a high-level article from Wikipedia on the subject saying that I was wrong but right here is exactly what I was talking about plain as day and I am as right as rain

    Wonder where he went

  2. 2
    polistra says:

    Why would anyone think that hybrids are misfits? Farmers and animal breeders have known for thousands of years that hybrids are stronger than thoroughbreds.

  3. 3
    Bob O'H says:

    Polistra – what you’1re describing is an effect of inbreeding. Thoroughbreds are highly inbred (by definition!), so crossing them with a different thoroughbred will reduce the inbreeding effects. This is very different to the hybridisation discussed in the OP.

  4. 4
    aarceng says:

    This is pretty much what YECs would expect with descent with modification within the created kind.

  5. 5
    jerry says:

    Just what is a hybrid? Would breeding of two very distinct human ethnic groups create what is called a hybrid? I have no idea. It’s just a question? They can obviously interbreed.

    Are a large percentage of humans hybrids? Those carrying the small percentage of Neanderthal genes.

    Relevant to OP. Can male and female ligers interbreed?

  6. 6
    anthropic says:

    I’m wondering if the frequently observed phenomenon of hybrid vigor may be related to Dr Behe’s thesis of devolution. Organisms typically adapt by blunting or losing information, not gaining it, so by crossbreeding would gain back some of what was lost.

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