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Parasitism Evolved at Least 223 Times Among Animals?

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From American Council on Science and Health:

As Kramer from Seinfeld demonstrated, sponging off of other people can be a successful life strategy. The same is true for many members of the Animal Kingdom. In a new study published in Biology Letters, researchers Sara Weinstein and Armand Kuris from the University of California-Santa Barbara show that parasitism independently evolved many more times than originally thought.

To conduct their analysis, Weinstein and Kuris examined how often parasitism evolved from non-parasitic ancestors. They concluded that it evolved at least 223 times, far more than the previous estimate of 60.More.

Actually, DEvolved.

See also: Why devolution works


Evolution appears to converge on goals—but in Darwinian terms, is that possible?

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4 Replies to “Parasitism Evolved at Least 223 Times Among Animals?

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Speaking of parasites. Darwinian evolution itself is a parasitic pseudo-science that survives off the prestige of being falsely associated with the success of the hard sciences.

    “In fact, over the last 100 years, almost all of biology has proceeded independent of evolution, except evolutionary biology itself. Molecular biology, biochemistry, and physiology, have not taken evolution into account at all.”
    Marc Kirschner, Boston Globe, Oct. 23, 2005

    “While the great majority of biologists would probably agree with Theodosius Dobzhansky’s dictum that “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution”, most can conduct their work quite happily without particular reference to evolutionary ideas. Evolution would appear to be the indispensable unifying idea and, at the same time, a highly superflous one.”
    A.S. Wilkins, editor of the journal BioEssays, Introduction to “Evolutionary Processes” – (2000).

    “Certainly, my own research with antibiotics during World War II received no guidance from insights provided by Darwinian evolution. Nor did Alexander Fleming’s discovery of bacterial inhibition by penicillin. I recently asked more than 70 eminent researchers if they would have done their work differently if they had thought Darwin’s theory was wrong. The responses were all the same: No.
    I also examined the outstanding biodiscoveries of the past century: the discovery of the double helix; the characterization of the ribosome; the mapping of genomes; research on medications and drug reactions; improvements in food production and sanitation; the development of new surgeries; and others. I even queried biologists working in areas where one would expect the Darwinian paradigm to have most benefited research, such as the emergence of resistance to antibiotics and pesticides. Here, as elsewhere, I found that Darwin’s theory had provided no discernible guidance, but was brought in, after the breakthroughs, as an interesting narrative gloss.
    In the peer-reviewed literature, the word “evolution” often occurs as a sort of coda to academic papers in experimental biology. Is the term integral or superfluous to the substance of these papers? To find out, I substituted for “evolution” some other word – “Buddhism,” “Aztec cosmology,” or even “creationism.” I found that the substitution never touched the paper’s core. This did not surprise me. From my conversations with leading researchers it had became clear that modern experimental biology gains its strength from the availability of new instruments and methodologies, not from an immersion in historical biology.”
    Philip S. Skell – (the late) Emeritus Evan Pugh Professor at Pennsylvania State University, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. – Why Do We Invoke Darwin? – 2005

    Science owes nothing to Darwinism – Jonathan Wells – video

    “Evolutionary biology, in contrast with physics and chemistry, is a historical science — the evolutionist attempts to explain events and processes that have already taken place. Laws and experiments are inappropriate techniques for the explication of such events and processes. Instead one constructs a historical narrative, consisting of a tentative reconstruction of the particular scenario that led to the events one is trying to explain.”
    Ernst Mayr – Darwin’s Influence on Modern Thought – Nov. 2009 – Originally published July 2000

    “Truth be told, evolution hasn’t yielded many practical or commercial benefits. Yes, bacteria evolve drug resistance, and yes, we must take countermeasures, but beyond that there is not much to say. Evolution cannot help us predict what new vaccines to manufacture because microbes evolve unpredictably. But hasn’t evolution helped guide animal and plant breeding? Not very much. Most improvement in crop plants and animals occurred long before we knew anything about evolution, and came about by people following the genetic principle of ‘like begets like’. Even now, as its practitioners admit, the field of quantitative genetics has been of little value in helping improve varieties. Future advances will almost certainly come from transgenics, which is not based on evolution at all.”
    (Jerry Coyne, “Selling Darwin: Does it matter whether evolution has any commercial applications?,” reviewing The Evolving World: Evolution in Everyday Life by David P. Mindell, in Nature, 442:983-984 (August 31, 2006).)

    Darwinian Medicine and Proximate and Evolutionary Explanations – Michael Egnor – neurosurgeon – June 2011
    Excerpt: 4) Evolutionary explanations by themselves are worthless to medicine. All medical treatments are based on detailed proximate explanations.

    In fact, just like living parasites hinder their hosts instead of helping them, Darwinian explanations hinder scientific progress rather than helping it. For example, besides the false claims of junk DNA and vestigial organs from Darwinists, billions of dollars are wasted on drug testing because of false evolutionary assumptions:

    What scientific idea is ready for retirement? – Mouse Models
    Excerpt: A recent scientific paper showed that all 150 drugs tested at the cost of billions of dollars in human trials of sepsis failed because the drugs had been developed using mice. Unfortunately, what looks like sepsis in mice turned out to be very different than what sepsis is in humans. Coverage of this study by Gina Kolata in the New York Times incited a heated response from within the biomedical research community.
    AZRA RAZA – Professor of medicine and director of the MDS Centre, Columbia University, New York

    Comparing the human and chimpanzee genomes: Searching for needles in a haystack – Ajit Varki1 and Tasha K. Altheide – 2005
    Excerpt: we have many characteristics that are uniquely human. Table 1 lists some of the definite and possible phenotypic traits that appear to differentiate us from chimpanzees and other “great apes”2. For the most part, we do not know which genetic features interact with the environment to generate these differences between the “phenomes”3 of our two species. The chimpanzee has also long been seen as a model for human diseases because of its close evolutionary relationship. This is indeed the case for a few disorders. Nevertheless, it is a striking paradox that chimpanzees are in fact not good models for many major human diseases/conditions (see Table 2) (Varki 2000; Olson and Varki 2003).

    Animal Testing Is Bad Science: Point/Counterpoint
    Excerpt: The only reason people are under the misconception that animal experiments help humans is because the media, experimenters, universities and lobbying groups exaggerate the potential of animal experiments to lead to new cures and the role they have played in past medical advances.,,,
    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has noted that 92 percent of all drugs that are shown to be safe and effective in animal tests fail in human trials because they don’t work or are dangerous.,,,
    Physiological reactions to drugs vary enormously from species to species. Penicillin kills guinea pigs but is inactive in rabbits; aspirin kills cats and causes birth defects in rats, mice, guinea pigs, dogs, and monkeys; and morphine, a depressant in humans, stimulates goats, cats, and horses.

  2. 2

    Well said, bornagain77. I could tolerate Darwinists more easily if they weren’t such arrogant hypocrites. Theirs is a secular religion based almost completely on blind faith and speculation. Darwinian evolution is certainly not based on empirical science.

  3. 3
    Robert Byers says:

    AHA. It could only be. They have to admit this. Did really selection get it just right this many, many more, times? It seems unlikely selection could do this but instead something else is going on.

  4. 4
    tjguy says:

    Parasitism: the ultimate example of CONVERGENCE!

    Add the word Convergence and repeat as necessary – even 223 times! It’s simple. It solves any and all problems.

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