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Mystery: How DO fish end up in isolated bodies of water?

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From ScienceDaily:

How do fish end up in isolated bodies of water when they can’t swim there themselves? For centuries, researchers have assumed that water birds transfer fish eggs into these waters — however, a systematic literature review by researchers at the University of Basel has shown that there is no evidence of this to date.

To objectively measure the lack of evidence, the Basel research team conducted a systematic literature review. The result shows that no in-depth scientific studies exist to prove that water birds disperse fish eggs.

To rule out the possibility that the unsuccessful search was due to their method, the researchers also used the same approach to look for evidence of the dispersal of aquatic invertebrates. In this case, they found numerous scientific publications supported by experiments and field studies.

For their study, the Basel researchers also reviewed online forums and surveyed around 40 experts from research, private institutions, and enviromental NGOs. Their aim was to determine the prevalence of the theory of fish dispersal by water birds both inside and outside the research community. The majority of experts that took part in the survey found the theory so plausible that they deemed the mystery to have been solved. However, none of them could draw on any empirical evidence.

“The lack of evidence does not mean that water birds are not responsible for the dispersal,” says Dr. Philipp E. Hirsch from the University of Basel. “But we simply do not yet know what roles are played by birds, humans and other processes.” Paper. (paywall) – Philipp Emanuel Hirsch, Anouk N’Guyen, Roxane Muller, Irene Adrian-Kalchhauser, Patricia Burkhardt-Holm. Colonizing Islands of water on dry land-on the passive dispersal of fish eggs by birds. Fish and Fisheries, 2018; DOI: 10.1111/faf.12270 More.

The researchers here deserve a lot of credit for just admitting that we don’t know how the fish get there. But in their field, there isn’t anything like canned Darwinblather they can just insert in order to imply that we do know. Just by admitting that we don’t know, we might find out faster. There won’t be a lot of intellectual substances like Darwinblather that must first be cleared away.

See also: Biogeography: Monkeys sailed the ocean blue?

Q @ 11: Well said. Truth Will Set You Free
RVB8, in our day, the IDEOLOGY of evolutionary materialistic scientism is imposed on science as an institution, on formal and informal science education and increasingly on public policy as a result. Let me add from Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary:
i•de•ol•o•gy (?a? di??l ? d?i, ??d i-) n., pl. -gies. 1. the body of doctrine or thought that guides an individual, social movement, institution, or group. 2. such a body forming a political or social program, along with the devices for putting it into operation.
Your suggestion, above was contemptuous and ill advised. FYI, I lived through an ideology driven mini civil war and went to a uni where I cut my eye teeth on Marxists. Do you seriously imagine that I would not understand what an ideology is or how it relates to what has been happening ton science and science education? KF PS: Here is a cat out of the bag admission that has been drawn to your attention already:
. . . to put a correct [--> Just who here presume to cornering the market on truth and so demand authority to impose?] view of the universe into people's heads
[==> as in, "we" the radically secularist elites have cornered the market on truth, warrant and knowledge, making "our" "consensus" the yardstick of truth . . . where of course "view" is patently short for WORLDVIEW . . . and linked cultural agenda . . . ]
we must first get an incorrect view out [--> as in, if you disagree with "us" of the secularist elite you are wrong, irrational and so dangerous you must be stopped, even at the price of manipulative indoctrination of hoi polloi] . . . the problem is to get them [= hoi polloi] to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world [--> "explanations of the world" is yet another synonym for WORLDVIEWS; the despised "demon[ic]" "supernatural" being of course an index of animus towards ethical theism and particularly the Judaeo-Christian faith tradition], the demons that exist only in their imaginations,
[ --> as in, to think in terms of ethical theism is to be delusional, justifying "our" elitist and establishment-controlling interventions of power to "fix" the widespread mental disease]
and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth
[--> NB: this is a knowledge claim about knowledge and its possible sources, i.e. it is a claim in philosophy not science; it is thus self-refuting]
. . . . To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists [--> "we" are the dominant elites], it is self-evident
[--> actually, science and its knowledge claims are plainly not immediately and necessarily true on pain of absurdity, to one who understands them; this is another logical error, begging the question , confused for real self-evidence; whereby a claim shows itself not just true but true on pain of patent absurdity if one tries to deny it . . . and in fact it is evolutionary materialism that is readily shown to be self-refuting]
that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality [--> = all of reality to the evolutionary materialist], and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test [--> i.e. an assertion that tellingly reveals a hostile mindset, not a warranted claim] . . . . It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us [= the evo-mat establishment] to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [--> another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [--> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door . . . [--> irreconcilable hostility to ethical theism, already caricatured as believing delusionally in imaginary demons]. [Lewontin, Billions and billions of Demons, NYRB Jan 1997,cf. here. And, if you imagine this is "quote-mined" I invite you to read the fuller annotated citation here.]
KF, Exactly. The obsessive denial of God, as demonstrated, stunts free scientific investigation. Science needs to be free to consider all paths of inquiry, even if it seems to point to Darwinism or Intelligent Design. Unless Nature can create itself from non-existence, a supernatural cause for the beginning of space-time, mass-energy, and all of existence must be inferred. Every other explanation eventually devolves into a version of the Monty Python's Dead Parrot skit. -Q Querius
kairos @9, 'ideological imposition'....? I said the answer to fish arriving in isolated bodies of water has, and had, a 'natural' reason. You misunderstand the word 'ideology' I think. My answer is that of the scientific community; within the realm of the physical. Religion and 'ideology', are far more dependent upon, and compatible to, one another. Indeed it is 'science' that very often rains upon the 'ideological', and 'religious' parades: An enemy to both really. You appear both hyper ideological, and religious. A bad mix to bring to the scientific table. rvb8
RVB8, why did you inject god of gaps reasoning? The post is obviously about embracing the acknowledgement of ignorance and then leading that towards actual fresh investigation and thought instead of ideological imposition standing in for knowledge. KF kairosfocus
All I know is this; any implication in this post of a supernatural answer will be wrong. There is an answer, flooding, birds, humans, earthquakes, tornadoes, whatever. It is simply not, nor can it ever be, 'beyond natural'. rvb8
After millions and millions of years, they obviously evolved separately into nearly identical genomes! Or maybe it's due to multiverse probabilities somehow. Or a meteorite hitting a pond, scattering the fish. The bottom line is that the current lack of evidence doesn't seem to affect evolutionary theory, so why should this? -Q Querius
Flooding; the now isolated lakes were once connected to a water system; underground streams; fishnado; and humans. And it is true that the lack of a peer-reviewed paper of the phenomena is not evidence against its existence. So birds are still in play. Crater lake was barren for forever until humans stocked it. And my fishing record is an indication the lakes and streams around my house are also barren. :) ET
"I suspect the answer to this question is “flooding.”" I think that flooding is obviously responsible for much of this. Beaver dams often raise the level of rivers and lakes to the point where the water makes its way into a different watershed. However, this is unlikely responsible for fish in mountain lakes, or in extremely isolated high elevation lakes. I like ET's sharknado theory. https://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/rainingfrogs.html Molson Bleu
ET, There you go finding purpose in nature. :) Andrew asauber
Fishnadoes. Tornadoes that scoop up fish from one body of water and drop them in another. :cool: And then there are people. People have been known to take fish from one place and take them to another. ET
I suspect the answer to this question is "flooding." If a massive flood occurs, this frees fish up to move elsewhere, and, as the waters receded, they may be 'sucked' into drainage areas. PaV
It might be interesting to see if fish end up in odd places more often in territory with frequent hailstorms and tornados, vs areas with less violent convection. Gustfronts and tornados occasionally scoop up live fish and frogs, but would frequently pick up smaller items like eggs. polistra

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