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Human evolution: Neanderthals were omnivores

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It turns out:

Abstract Neanderthal dietary reconstructions have, to date, been based on indirect evidence and may underestimate the significance of plants as a food source. While zooarchaeological and stable isotope data have conveyed an image of Neanderthals as largely carnivorous, studies on dental calculus and scattered palaeobotanical evidence suggest some degree of contribution of plants to their diet. However, both views remain plausible and there is no categorical indication of an omnivorous diet. Here we present direct evidence of Neanderthal diet using faecal biomarkers, a valuable analytical tool for identifying dietary provenance. Our gas chromatography-mass spectrometry results from El Salt (Spain), a Middle Palaeolithic site dating to ca. 50,000 yr. BP, represents the oldest positive identification of human faecal matter. We show that Neanderthals, like anatomically modern humans, have a high rate of conversion of cholesterol to coprostanol related to the presence of required bacteria in their guts. Analysis of five sediment samples from different occupation floors suggests that Neanderthals predominantly consumed meat, as indicated by high coprostanol proportions, but also had significant plant intake, as shown by the presence of 5ß-stigmastanol. This study highlights the applicability of the biomarker approach in Pleistocene contexts as a provider of direct palaeodietary information and supports the opportunity for further research into cholesterol metabolism throughout human evolution.

But why are we surprised? Actually, almost everyone will eat the salad plate if meat is not served on Friday. They may even come to like it. Even have a theory about it. Thus are cuisines born.

See “The Science Fictions series at your fingertips (human evolution) “ fopr why silly theories about our ancestors are compulsively fronted.

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So I guess Darwin was writing about vagueness and nonsense. I agree because nearly everything in his book was off the mark. Problems writing on an iPad jerry
Everybody is getting hung up on the term “species”, a completely man-made concept
So I guess Darwin was writing about vagueness and nonsense. I agree because nearly everything in his book was gong the mark. jerry
Fossil record, comparative anatomy, DNA analysis, molecular biology, isotope analysis, nylonase, antibiotic resistance, etc., etc., etc. but feel free to pretend that none of this evidence exists.
Evidence of what? Evolution? That is not the issue. The issue is how. So if you are going to tout any evidence, it has to relate to the mechanism. jerry
molecular biology?
ExPASy - Biochemical Pathways - interactive schematic http://web.expasy.org/cgi-bin/pathways/show_thumbnails.pl
skipping isotope analysis,,, nylonase?
Nylon Degradation – Analysis of Genetic Entropy Excerpt: At the phenotypic level, the appearance of nylon degrading bacteria would seem to involve “evolution” of new enzymes and transport systems. However, further molecular analysis of the bacterial transformation reveals mutations resulting in degeneration of pre-existing systems. The most studied of the nylon degrading bacteria is Arthrobacter sp. K172 (formerly Flavobacterium sp.70). This bacterium employs three enzymes for nylon degradation, EI (NylA), EII (NylB), and EIII (NylC), which are found on the plasmid, pOAD2.71, 72 EI and EIII (also NylC in Agromyces sp.) have been initially characterized.73, 72 They apparently hydrolyze the cyclic forms of some nylons, which provides a linear substrate for EII. However, no detailed analysis of the mutational changes of EI or EIII has yet been performed. The mutational changes of EII (6-aminohexanoatedimer hydrolase) have been characterized in detail. This analysis suggests that point mutations in a carboxyesterase gene lead to amino acid substitutions in the enzyme’s catalytic cleft. This altered the enzyme’s substrate specificity sufficiently that it could also hydrolyze linear nylon oligomers.74, 75 Yet, the EII enzyme still possesses the esterase function of the parent esterase. Thus, the mutational alteration results in a reduction of the parent enzyme’s specificity (Figure 4). This enables it to hydrolyze a wider range of oligomers that include nylon oligomers.76 Nonetheless, reduced specificity of a pre-existing enzyme is biochemically degenerative to the enzyme,77, 78 even if it provides a presumed phenotypic benefit. The “beneficial” phenotype of nylon degradation requires the a priori existence of the enzyme and its specificity. Its degeneration is not a mechanism that accounts for the origin of either the enzyme or its specificity.,,, http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/aid/v4/n1/beneficial-mutations-in-bacteria
antibiotic resistance?
Is Antibiotic Resistance evidence for evolution? - 'The Fitness Test' - video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYaU4moNEBU List Of Degraded Molecular Abilities Of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria: http://www.trueorigin.org/bacteria01.asp (Ancient) Cave bacteria resistant to antibiotics - April 2012 Excerpt: Antibiotic-resistant bacteria cut off from the outside world for more than four million years have been found in a deep cave. The discovery is surprising because drug resistance is widely believed to be the result of too much treatment.,,, “Our study shows that antibiotic resistance is hard-wired into bacteria. It could be billions of years old, but we have only been trying to understand it for the last 70 years,” said Dr Gerry Wright, from McMaster University in Canada, who has analysed the microbes. http://www.scotsman.com/news/health/cave-bacteria-resistant-to-antibiotics-1-2229183#
Thus AB, since this evidence is not being ignored as you insinuated, but was looked at carefully, do you care to present ANY real evidence for Darwinian evolution that can withstand scrutiny? bornagain77
AB,,, Fossil record?
Scientific study turns understanding about evolution on its head - July 30, 2013 Excerpt: evolutionary biologists,,, looked at nearly one hundred fossil groups to test the notion that it takes groups of animals many millions of years to reach their maximum diversity of form. Contrary to popular belief, not all animal groups continued to evolve fundamentally new morphologies through time. The majority actually achieved their greatest diversity of form (disparity) relatively early in their histories. ,,,Dr Matthew Wills said: "This pattern, known as 'early high disparity', turns the traditional V-shaped cone model of evolution on its head. What is equally surprising in our findings is that groups of animals are likely to show early-high disparity regardless of when they originated over the last half a billion years. This isn't a phenomenon particularly associated with the first radiation of animals (in the Cambrian Explosion), or periods in the immediate wake of mass extinctions.",,, Author Martin Hughes, continued: "Our work implies that there must be constraints on the range of forms within animal groups, and that these limits are often hit relatively early on. Co-author Dr Sylvain Gerber, added: "A key question now is what prevents groups from generating fundamentally new forms later on in their evolution.,,, http://phys.org/news/2013-07-scientific-evolution.html “The point emerges that if we examine the fossil record in detail, whether at the level of orders or of species, we find’ over and over again’ not gradual evolution, but the sudden explosion of one group at the expense of another.” Paleontologist, Derek V. Ager (Department of Geology & Oceanography, University College, Swansea, UK) “It is a feature of the known fossil record that most taxa appear abruptly. They are not, as a rule, led up to by a sequence of almost imperceptibly changing forerunners such as Darwin believed should be usual in evolution…This phenomenon becomes more universal and more intense as the hierarchy of categories is ascended. Gaps among known species are sporadic and often small. Gaps among known orders, classes and phyla are systematic and almost always large.” G.G.Simpson – one of the most influential American Paleontologist of the 20th century “Given the fact of evolution, one would expect the fossils to document a gradual steady change from ancestral forms to the descendants. But this is not what the paleontologist finds. Instead, he or she finds gaps in just about every phyletic series.” – Ernst Mayr-Professor Emeritus, Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University “What is missing are the many intermediate forms hypothesized by Darwin, and the continual divergence of major lineages into the morphospace between distinct adaptive types.” Robert L Carroll (born 1938) – vertebrate paleontologist who specialises in Paleozoic and Mesozoic amphibians “In virtually all cases a new taxon appears for the first time in the fossil record with most definitive features already present, and practically no known stem-group forms.” Fossils and Evolution, TS Kemp – Curator of Zoological Collections, Oxford University, Oxford Uni Press, p246, 1999
comparative anatomy?
How to Talk About "Evolution" - Tom Bethell - October 18, 2012 Excerpt: What about the evidence for universal common ancestry? It can be summarized by the word "homology." To understand homology, think of the similarity of mammalian forelimbs. But we have to be careful how we define it. Ernst Mayr tried to co-opt it by definition. After Darwin, he wrote, the most "meaningful definition" of homology was: "A feature in two or more taxa is homologous when it is derived from the same (or a corresponding) feature of their common ancestor." Jonathan Wells and Paul Nelson criticized this as follows: "What Darwin proposed as the explanation for homology became its definition. For many biologists, the post-Darwinian (or phylogenetic) definition of homology has replaced the structural (or morphological) definition." These biologists hope to smuggle into their definitions what they should show in their demonstrations. It's hard to believe that someone as highly placed as Ernst Mayr, resting on his Harvard laurels, didn't know what he was doing. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/10/how_to_talk_abo065431.html Repeated acquisition and loss of complex body form characters: Cornelius Hunter - December 2011 Excerpt: In other words, morphological patterns in biology, including the pentadactyl structure, do not fit the common descent model. This has evolutionists doing mental gymnastics as limbs and other designs must come and go as needed to make sense of evolution. They are lost, then reevolved, then lost, then whatever. It is all just storytelling. http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2011/12/repeated-acquisition-and-loss-of.html Investigating Evolution: Homology - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgXT9sU6y18 "But if it is true that through the genetic code, genes code for enzymnes that synthesize proteins which are responsible (in a manner still unknown in embryology) for the differentiation of the various parts in their normal manner, what mechanism can it be that results in the production of homologous organs, the same 'patterns', in spite of their not being controlled by the same genes? I asked this question in 1938, and it (still) has not been answered." Embryologist Sir Gavin deBeer, Homology, An Unsolved Problem, Oxford Biology Reader, 1971 Homology -- do common structures imply common ancestor? (14:17 minute mark - Different Genes involved in generating similar structures) - video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ydajcf2SBw&feature=player_detailpage#t=862
DNA analysis?
A New Model for Evolution: A Rhizome - Didier Raoult - May 2010 Excerpt: Thus we cannot currently identify a single common ancestor for the gene repertoire of any organism.,,, Overall, it is now thought that there are no two genes that have a similar history along the phylogenic tree.,,,Therefore the representation of the evolutionary pathway as a tree leading to a single common ancestor on the basis of the analysis of one or more genes provides an incorrect representation of the stability and hierarchy of evolution. Finally, genome analyses have revealed that a very high proportion of genes are likely to be newly created,,, and that some genes are only found in one organism (named ORFans). These genes do not belong to any phylogenic tree and represent new genetic creations. http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2010/05/new-model-for-evolution-rhizome.html Logged Out - Scientists Can't Find Darwin's "Tree of Life" Anywhere in Nature by Casey Luskin - Winter 2013 Excerpt: the (fossil) record shows that major groups of animals appeared abruptly, without direct evolutionary precursors. Because biogeography and fossils have failed to bolster common descent, many evolutionary scientists have turned to molecules—the nucleotide and amino acid sequences of genes and proteins—to establish a phylogenetic tree of life showing the evolutionary relationships between all living organisms.,,, Many papers have noted the prevalence of contradictory molecule-based phylogenetic trees. For instance: • A 1998 paper in Genome Research observed that "different proteins generate different phylogenetic tree[s]."6 • A 2009 paper in Trends in Ecology and Evolution acknowledged that "evolutionary trees from different genes often have conflicting branching patterns."7 • A 2013 paper in Trends in Genetics reported that "the more we learn about genomes the less tree-like we find their evolutionary history to be."8 Perhaps the most candid discussion of the problem came in a 2009 review article in New Scientist titled "Why Darwin Was Wrong about the Tree of Life."9 The author quoted researcher Eric Bapteste explaining that "the holy grail was to build a tree of life," but "today that project lies in tatters, torn to pieces by an onslaught of negative evidence." According to the article, "many biologists now argue that the tree concept is obsolete and needs to be discarded.",,, Syvanen succinctly summarized the problem: "We've just annihilated the tree of life. It's not a tree any more, it's a different topology entirely. What would Darwin have made of that?" ,,, "battles between molecules and morphology are being fought across the entire tree of life," leaving readers with a stark assessment: "Evolutionary trees constructed by studying biological molecules often don't resemble those drawn up from morphology."10,,, A 2012 paper noted that "phylogenetic conflict is common, and [is] frequently the norm rather than the exception," since "incongruence between phylogenies derived from morphological versus molecular analyses, and between trees based on different subsets of molecular sequences has become pervasive as datasets have expanded rapidly in both characters and species."12,,, http://www.salvomag.com/new/articles/salvo27/logged-out.php
Humbled: "B_g, you would be hard pressed to identify a change from one generation to the next, as in your slime to sloth example, because in reality it never happened. No evidence exists to support such a claim either." Fossil record, comparative anatomy, DNA analysis, molecular biology, isotope analysis, nylonase, antibiotic resistance, etc., etc., etc. but feel free to pretend that none of this evidence exists. Acartia_bogart
More from Ann Gauger on why humans didn’t happen the way Darwin said - July 2012 Excerpt: Each of these new features probably required multiple mutations. Getting a feature that requires six neutral mutations is the limit of what bacteria can produce. For primates (e.g., monkeys, apes and humans) the limit is much more severe. Because of much smaller effective population sizes (an estimated ten thousand for humans instead of a billion for bacteria) and longer generation times (fifteen to twenty years per generation for humans vs. a thousand generations per year for bacteria), it would take a very long time for even a single beneficial mutation to appear and become fixed in a human population. You don’t have to take my word for it. In 2007, Durrett and Schmidt estimated in the journal Genetics that for a single mutation to occur in a nucleotide-binding site and be fixed in a primate lineage would require a waiting time of six million years. The same authors later estimated it would take 216 million years for the binding site to acquire two mutations, if the first mutation was neutral in its effect. Facing Facts But six million years is the entire time allotted for the transition from our last common ancestor with chimps to us according to the standard evolutionary timescale. Two hundred and sixteen million years takes us back to the Triassic, when the very first mammals appeared. One or two mutations simply aren’t sufficient to produce the necessary changes— sixteen anatomical features—in the time available. At most, a new binding site might affect the regulation of one or two genes. https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/intelligent-design/more-from-ann-gauger-on-why-humans-didnt-happen-the-way-darwin-said/ Book Review – Meyer, Stephen C. Signature in the Cell. New York: HarperCollins, 2009. Excerpt: As early as the 1960s, those who approached the problem of the origin of life from the standpoint of information theory and combinatorics observed that something was terribly amiss. Even if you grant the most generous assumptions: that every elementary particle in the observable universe is a chemical laboratory randomly splicing amino acids into proteins every Planck time for the entire history of the universe, there is a vanishingly small probability that even a single functionally folded protein of 150 amino acids would have been created. Now of course, elementary particles aren’t chemical laboratories, nor does peptide synthesis take place where most of the baryonic mass of the universe resides: in stars or interstellar and intergalactic clouds. If you look at the chemistry, it gets even worse—almost indescribably so: the precursor molecules of many of these macromolecular structures cannot form under the same prebiotic conditions—they must be catalysed by enzymes created only by preexisting living cells, and the reactions required to assemble them into the molecules of biology will only go when mediated by other enzymes, assembled in the cell by precisely specified information in the genome. So, it comes down to this: Where did that information come from? The simplest known free living organism (although you may quibble about this, given that it’s a parasite) has a genome of 582,970 base pairs, or about one megabit (assuming two bits of information for each nucleotide, of which there are four possibilities). Now, if you go back to the universe of elementary particle Planck time chemical labs and work the numbers, you find that in the finite time our universe has existed, you could have produced about 500 bits of structured, functional information by random search. Yet here we have a minimal information string which is (if you understand combinatorics) so indescribably improbable to have originated by chance that adjectives fail. http://www.fourmilab.ch/documents/reading_list/indices/book_726.html Dr. Sanford calculates it would take 12 million years to “fix” a single base pair mutation into a population. He further calculates that to create a gene with 1000 base pairs, it would take 12 million x 1000 or 12 billion years. This is obviously too slow to support the creation of the human genome containing 3 billion base pairs. http://www.detectingtruth.com/?p=66 HISTORY OF EVOLUTIONARY THEORY - WISTAR DESTROYS EVOLUTION Excerpt: A number of mathematicians, familiar with the biological problems, spoke at that 1966 Wistar Institute,, For example, Murray Eden showed that it would be impossible for even a single ordered pair of genes to be produced by DNA mutations in the bacteria, E. coli,—with 5 billion years in which to produce it! His estimate was based on 5 trillion tons of the bacteria covering the planet to a depth of nearly an inch during that 5 billion years. He then explained that the genes of E. coli contain over a trillion (10^12) bits of data. That is the number 10 followed by 12 zeros. *Eden then showed the mathematical impossibility of protein forming by chance. http://www.pathlights.com/ce_encyclopedia/Encyclopedia/20hist12.htm Stephen Meyer – Functional Proteins And Information For Body Plans – video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4050681 Dr. Stephen Meyer comments at the end of the preceding video,,, ‘Now one more problem as far as the generation of information. It turns out that you don’t only need information to build genes and proteins, it turns out to build Body-Plans you need higher levels of information; Higher order assembly instructions. DNA codes for the building of proteins, but proteins must be arranged into distinctive circuitry to form distinctive cell types. Cell types have to be arranged into tissues. Tissues have to be arranged into organs. Organs and tissues must be specifically arranged to generate whole new Body-Plans, distinctive arrangements of those body parts. We now know that DNA alone is not responsible for those higher orders of organization. DNA codes for proteins, but by itself it does insure that proteins, cell types, tissues, organs, will all be arranged in the body. And what that means is that the Body-Plan morphogenesis, as it is called, depends upon information that is not encoded on DNA. Which means you can mutate DNA indefinitely. 80 million years, 100 million years, til the cows come home. It doesn’t matter, because in the best case you are just going to find a new protein some place out there in that vast combinatorial sequence space. You are not, by mutating DNA alone, going to generate higher order structures that are necessary to building a body plan. So what we can conclude from that is that the neo-Darwinian mechanism is grossly inadequate to explain the origin of information necessary to build new genes and proteins, and it is also grossly inadequate to explain the origination of novel biological form.’ – Stephen Meyer – (excerpt taken from Meyer/Sternberg vs. Shermer/Prothero debate – 2009) bornagain77
Acartia_bogart, neo-Darwinists claim that given enough time the improbable becomes probable. i.e. Evolution, no matter how improbable, becomes certain if you allow enough time according to their reasoning. Thus to counter such simplistic reasoning in the power of time to work miracles, here are a few notes to the contrary of what the neo-Darwinists take on blind faith in the power of time; William Lane Craig - If Human Evolution Did Occur It Was A Miracle - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUxm8dXLRpA Quote from preceding video - In Barrow and Tippler’s book The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, they list ten steps necessary in the course of human evolution, each of which, is so improbable that if left to happen by chance alone, the sun would have ceased to be a main sequence star and would have incinerated the earth. They estimate that the odds of the evolution (by chance) of the human genome is somewhere between 4 to the negative 180th power, to the 110,000th power, and 4 to the negative 360th power, to the 110,000th power. Therefore, if evolution did occur, it literally would have been a miracle and evidence for the existence of God. William Lane Craig “So there we have it. The amount of time currently available for life to evolve is of the order of time N (billions of years), but according to Chaitin’s toy model, Darwinian evolution should take at least time N^2, or quintillions of years. That fact troubles Chaitin, and it should. But at least he has the honesty to admit there is a problem.” Dr. VJ Torley https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/intelligent-design/a-hypothetical-question-for-neo-darwinists-on-the-age-of-the-earth/ A review of The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism Excerpt: The numbers of Plasmodium and HIV in the last 50 years greatly exceeds the total number of mammals since their supposed evolutionary origin (several hundred million years ago), yet little has been achieved by evolution. This suggests that mammals could have “invented” little in their time frame. Behe: ‘Our experience with HIV gives good reason to think that Darwinism doesn’t do much—even with billions of years and all the cells in that world at its disposal’ (p. 155). http://creation.com/review-michael-behe-edge-of-evolution Don't Mess With ID by Paul Giem (Durrett and Schmidt paper)- video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JeYJ29-I7o Waiting Longer for Two Mutations – Michael J. Behe Excerpt: Citing malaria literature sources (White 2004) I had noted that the de novo appearance of chloroquine resistance in Plasmodium falciparum was an event of probability of 1 in 10^20. I then wrote that ‘for humans to achieve a mutation like this by chance, we would have to wait 100 million times 10 million years’ (1 quadrillion years)(Behe 2007) (because that is the extrapolated time that it would take to produce 10^20 humans). Durrett and Schmidt (2008, p. 1507) retort that my number ‘is 5 million times larger than the calculation we have just given’ using their model (which nonetheless “using their model” gives a prohibitively long waiting time of 216 million years). Their criticism compares apples to oranges. My figure of 10^20 is an empirical statistic from the literature; it is not, as their calculation is, a theoretical estimate from a population genetics model. http://www.discovery.org/a/9461 The Evolutionary Accessibility of New Enzyme Functions: A Case Study from the Biotin Pathway – Ann K. Gauger and Douglas D. Axe – April 2011 Excerpt: We infer from the mutants examined that successful functional conversion would in this case require seven or more nucleotide substitutions. But evolutionary innovations requiring that many changes would be extraordinarily rare, becoming probable only on timescales much longer than the age of life on earth. http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/index.php/main/article/view/BIO-C.2011.1/BIO-C.2011.1 When Theory and Experiment Collide — April 16th, 2011 by Douglas Axe Excerpt: Based on our experimental observations and on calculations we made using a published population model [3], we estimated that Darwin’s mechanism would need a truly staggering amount of time—a trillion trillion years or more—to accomplish the seemingly subtle change in enzyme function that we studied. http://biologicinstitute.org/2011/04/16/when-theory-and-experiment-collide/ Is There Enough Time For Humans to have Evolved from Apes? Dr. Ann Gauger Answers - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KN7NwKYUXOs bornagain77
B_g, you would be hard pressed to identify a change from one generation to the next, as in your slime to sloth example, because in reality it never happened. No evidence exists to support such a claim either. humbled
wd400 claims: "words are our servants, and as long as we all know what we are talking about you can use them however you want." Ironically, says the Darwinian wordsmith who could care less about what the empirical evidence actually says! Darwinists have no empirical evidence that material processes can generate functional information over and above what is already present in life (Behe), much less do they have evidence of speciation. "Despite a close watch, we have witnessed no new species emerge in the wild in recorded history. Also, most remarkably, we have seen no new animal species emerge in domestic breeding. That includes no new species of fruitflies in hundreds of millions of generations in fruitfly studies, where both soft and harsh pressures have been deliberately applied to the fly populations to induce speciation. And in computer life, where the term “species” does not yet have meaning, we see no cascading emergence of entirely new kinds of variety beyond an initial burst. In the wild, in breeding, and in artificial life, we see the emergence of variation. But by the absence of greater change, we also clearly see that the limits of variation appear to be narrowly bounded, and often bounded within species." Kevin Kelly from his book, "Out of Control" The Receding Myth of "Junk DNA" - Jonathan Wells - October 6, 2011 Excerpt: Farrell is shocked by my statement in The Myth of Junk DNA that biologists have never observed speciation (the origin of a new species) by natural selection. He refers to "extensive work being done in the field" by two biologists, H. Allen Orr and Matthew L. Niemiller. But Orr and Niemiller study the genetics of existing species and try to find evidence supporting hypotheses about their origins. As I documented in my 2006 book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design, there is nothing in the scientific literature showing that they or any others have ever observed the origin of a new species by natural selection. In plants, new species have been observed to originate by chromosome doubling (polyploidy). But speciation by polyploidy is not due to natural selection (nor to genetic drift, another process mentioned by Farrell), and even evolutionary biologists acknowledge that polyploidy does not solve Darwin's problem. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/10/post_32051651.html Natural Selection and Evolution's Smoking Gun, - American Scientist - 1997 “A matter of unfinished business for biologists is the identification of evolution's smoking gun,”... “the smoking gun of evolution is speciation, not local adaptation and differentiation of populations.” Keith Stewart Thomson - evolutionary biologist “The central question of the Chicago conference was whether the mechanisms underlying microevolution can be extrapolated to explain the phenomena of macroevolution. At the risk of doing violence to the position of some people at the meeting, the answer can be given as a clear, No.” Roger Lewin - Historic Chicago 'Macroevolution' conference of 1980 All examples of speciation put forth by materialists all turn out to be trivial examples of reproductive isolation: "The closest science has come to observing and recording actual speciation in animals is the work of Theodosius Dobzhansky in Drosophilia paulistorium fruit flies. But even here, only reproductive isolation, not a new species, appeared." from page 32 "Acquiring Genomes" Lynn Margulis. The Trouble with Darwin by Kas Thomas - February 16, 2014 Excerpt: Darwin's landmark work was called The Origin of Species, yet it doesn't actually explain in detail how speciation happens (and in fact, no one has seen it happen in the laboratory, unless you want to count plant hybridization or certain breeding anomalies in fruit flies). Almost everything in evolutionary theory is based on "survival of the fittest," a tautology that explains nothing. ("Fittest" means most able to survive. Survival of the fittest means survival of those who survive.) The means by which new survival skills emerge is, at best, murky. Of course, we can't expect Darwin himself to have proposed detailed genetic or epigenetic causes for speciation, given that he was unaware of the work of Mendel, but the fact is, even today we have a hard time figuring out how things like a bacterial flagellum first appeared. When I was in school, we were taught that mutations in DNA are the driving force behind evolution, an idea that is now thoroughly discredited. The overwhelming majority of non-neutral mutations are deleterious (reducing, not increasing, survival). This is easily demonstrated in the lab. Most mutations lead to loss of function, not gain of function. Evolutionary theory, it turns out, is great at explaining things like the loss of eyesight, over time, by cave-dwelling creatures. It's terrible at explaining gain of function. It's also terrible at explaining the speed at which speciation occurs. (Of course, The Origin of Species is entirely silent on the subject of how life arose from abiotic conditions in the first place.) It doesn't explain the Cambrian Explosion, for example, or the sudden appearance of intelligence in hominids,,, http://bigthink.com/devil-in-the-data/the-trouble-with-darwin etc.. etc... bornagain77
Everybody is getting hung up on the term "species", a completely man-made concept. If you follow every lineage, generation to generation, from slime to sloth (the peak of evolution), you would be hard pressed to identify a change from one generation to the next. And each generation would be able to reproduce and produce viable offspring with members from the previous or the next generation. So it is impossible to draw a definite line delineating when a new species has split from the parental population. These changes only become obvious over large periods of time. When there are gaps in the fossil record, the IDists claim that evolution has never shown the change from one species to another. When the fossil record shows closer affinity between fossils (e.g., humans and neanderthals), the IDists claim that they are the same species so, again, evolution has not been demonstrated. Acartia_bogart
No, because your Irish neighbour and you are part of a population that is so connected by so much gene flow that the lineage as a whole is largely dragged along in one direction. wd400
wd400, So a working definition of a species could be a lineage? So I am a different species than my Irish neighbor? In my apartment block there are 400 different species of humans? phoodoo
An lineages of individuals continue on... wd400
"A trajectory is a path that some object follows" I am with you so far, a trajectory is a path. So how does an individual follow a path? They exist and then they die. That is the only path they take. phoodoo
I am not sure what this is supposed to mean, but since evolution has no trajectory, let’s just assume it is a meaningless oxymoron.
A trajectory is a path that some object follows. In this case the path is through time and the space of possible phenotype. Populations that are connected by a lot of gene flow share an evolutionary path because genetic changes can spread across the population as a whole. Populations that are mainly isolated maintain their own evolutoinary paths and cannot be influenced by changes in other populatins. In other words, lack of gene flow the major driver of speciation in sexually-reproducing species, but no the sina qua non as the Biological Sepecies Concept would state. wd400
words are our servants, and as long as we all know what we are talking about you can use them however you want. The truth in the case of neanderthals is that you have a lineage of humans that independently set out from Africa before modern humans arose, introgressed with modern humans when some of less African then maintained a distinct identity when the two lineages lived (more or less) along side each other. I'm happy to call that a species, but the term we use to describe the lineage is of very little consequence. The species concept has very little to do with the origin of new alleles. Species are just the big lineages through which genetic-lineages pass. New allele form within species, but speciation. wd400
Evolutionary trajectory? I am not sure what this is supposed to mean, but since evolution has no trajectory, let's just assume it is a meaningless oxymoron. phoodoo
A better definition of species might be a lineage capable of maintaining it’s own evlutionary trajectory. In this case neanderthals remained identifiably neanderthal-ish for thousands of years after the introgression and so did humans.
So does that mean that Australian natives are a different species from Africans? Just what is evolutionary trajectory? I am not sure this definition has any meaning in the evolution debate but maybe you could explain it in layman's terms and why it is relevant. The evolution debate is all about the origin of new alleles. How does this deal with that issue. Maybe we should go back to the most frequent definition of species (inner breeding as a definition) and just use varieties. This was the definition that Peter and Rosemary Grant were using to show that the Galapagos finches were all one species. So lions and tigers are varieties of some species and horses and zebras are varieties of some species. It would clear up a lot of misconceptions. It doesn't mean that one cannot use evolutionary trajectory for different fields of inquiry. jerry
In fact, that everyone without recent African ancestry has about the same amount fo neanderthal DNA, including polynesians suggests hybridisation was very rare and probably happened in a few generations in the levant shortly after the Out of Africa migrations. Othewrise you'd expect greater variance in Neanderthal admixture among individuals and more neanderthal DNA in people from Europe (who lived alongside neanderthals) and those in Polynesia or Papua (who didn't). As to species concepts - there are at least 20 for you to choose from. Although the biolgical species concept (an intebreeding population) is often the one taught in high school it's not the only (or probably the most commonly used) one in science. As goodusername points out, rigid application of the rule would make pretty much all big cats one species, and I shudder to think how many plant species you end up with. A better definition of species might be a lineage capable of maintaining it's own evlutionary trajectory. In this case neanderthals remained identifiably neanderthal-ish for thousands of years after the introgression and so did humans. I'd happily call each lineage a species, even if I don't think it's worth having an argument about what we name a lineage. wd400
It’s still hard to say how common that was though, and the ability to interbreed doesn’t automatically mean they were of the same species, unless you consider, say, lions and tigers to be of the same species, and horses and zebras, etc.
Everyone who is not of direct African descent has Neanderthal DNA in their genome. So I guess it was pretty wide spread. You just rejected the most common definition of species. Do you have a replacement? If we are to determine if we have a new species, we should have criteria. jerry
The re-classification of the Neanderthal from knuckle dragging primate to fully modern human is just one of the many ridiculous evolutionary fairy-tales real science has had to deal with.
I've never heard a single evolutionist claim that the Neandtheral was a knuckle-walker. The few times I've heard that claim it's always been from Creationists. There hasn't been a re-classification of Neanderthals. The debate is ongoing today as it did a century ago. Part of the problem is that there are many definitions of "species" and "sub-species," etc. I believe the evidence suggests that Neanderthals can, and did, interbreed with anatomically modern humans. It's still hard to say how common that was though, and the ability to interbreed doesn't automatically mean they were of the same species, unless you consider, say, lions and tigers to be of the same species, and horses and zebras, etc. The difference, genetically, between any human and a neanderthal is far greater than the difference between any two modern humans. We also see this in their anatomy. It's somewhat a matter of opinion whether that means they are a separate species though. IMO, I'd categorize them as a sub-species of human. goodusername
(the closest thing to a "knuckle dragging" neanderthal reconstruction would be Boule's drawings from the early 20th century. But these were based on the skeleton on an arthritic specimen and Boule's own imgination -- it didn't take long for "Darwinists" to work out the species would have stood upright) wd400
The re-classification of the Neanderthal from knuckle dragging primate to fully modern human is just one of the many ridiculous evolutionary fairy-tales real science has had to deal with.
What? Humans are primates, I don't think anyone scientists has claimed they knuckle walked and their has been ongoing debate since their discovery as to wether they deserved their own species or should be treated as a subspecies withing Homo sapiens. You sure you are letting a "belief system" cloud the way to read scientifc evidence? wd400
"I’m always amused here at the things evolution and Darwinism are blamed for." Darwinism is simply a belief system. A system in competition with other belief systems like Christianity, Islam etc. People can believe / worship whatever they like, that is their / your choice. My gripe is when the Darwin-faithful invent fairy-tales and parade it as science. The re-classification of the Neanderthal from knuckle dragging primate to fully modern human is just one of the many ridiculous evolutionary fairy-tales real science has had to deal with. This imbecilic idea originated not through careful examination of the scientific data, or following the scientific method, but more from an insane commitment to an old Victorian theory, a theory that has, for many, been elevated to a religion / belief system. It is this belief system that has left science in the state we find it today. Fact is, in reality anyway, Neanderthal has never been anything other than human. humbled
Another example of evolutionary fairy tales holding back science. It was always so blatantly obvious that since Neanderthal was fully human, like us, they would eat as we do with their likes and dislikes. But because of silly Victorian story telling, aka evolution, we have been led down the wrong path and as a result have gotten Neanderthal horribly wrong. Please close the coffin on this dead tired old theory.
I'm always amused here at the things evolution and Darwinism are blamed for. So if not for evolution, we would know the exact balance between meat and vegetation in the Neanderthal diet? How's that? Evolution has nothing to do with believing that Neanderthals ate mostly meat. One of the primary reasons for believing that Neanderthals ate meat almost exclusively is by looking at human populations that live in similar conditions, such as the inuit. And this study does support the idea that the Neanderthals ate mostly meat, it just does say that the amount of vegetation they ate may have been underestimated. There will surely be future discoveries requiring further adjustments in what we believe Neanderthals ate. goodusername
"Neanderthals are very closely related to us, but they ARE NOT the same thing as Homo sapiens, they are a separate species. " Absolute nonsense. The definition of a species is "a group of living organisms consisting of similar individuals capable of exchanging genes or interbreeding." Neanderthal and modern humans can and have interbred i.e they are the same species. "The Neandertal species did not go extinct, because it was never a separate species; instead population pockets of Neandertals died out around 30,000 years ago, whereas other Neandertal populations survived through interbreeding with their modern human brothers and sisters, who live on to this day." http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/our-neandertal-brethren/ So you got this horribly wrong. No surprise there though as this is an important doctrine for you folk. "This has been established by a plethora of evidence from fossils to DNA." All you are doing now is appealing to the consensus. In doing so you stop thinking for yourself. Either way you got this wrong, Neanderthal are fully human. "Yes, yet another transitional fossil!" Only in the fertile imaginations of the Darwin faithful my friend ;) humbled
///It was always so blatantly obvious that since Neanderthal was fully human, like us,/// To say that you're wrong will be a gross understatement. Neanderthals are very closely related to us, but they ARE NOT the same thing as Homo sapiens, they are a separate species. This has been established by a plethora of evidence from fossils to DNA. Now we have even discovered 430,000 year old fossils of proto-neanderthals, who had a mix of Neanderthal features plus ancient features found in the common ancestor of both Neanderthals and us. Yes, yet another transitional fossil! http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/jun/19/neanderthal-faces-spanish-cave Evolve
Um, I think you've got the emphasis wrong. This is a paper written by the guy who did field work at a Neanderthal site in Europe and was assigned to analyze the poop. So he did. And then you wrote up what he found in the poop, after running it through a couple really expensive machines. And the odds are that from now on he'll be type-cast as "the poop guy" and ALWAYS get assigned to analyze the poop on digs. And then he'll write up ANOTHER paper about ancient poop, not because he's interested in the subject but because that's the ONLY thing he worked on during the dig and he had to turn in a paper or he wouldn't be invited on the next dig. This isn't so much about "stretching the boundaries of Science" as it is about justifying the huge cost of field work on topics we already pretty well understand. Do they have separate conventions for The Poop Guys? I mean where EVERYBODY presents a paper on Ancient Poop? See also "The Gods Must Be Crazy", wherein the hero of the story explains to the girl that he's come to Africa to analyze elephant poop... mahuna
Another example of evolutionary fairy tales holding back science. It was always so blatantly obvious that since Neanderthal was fully human, like us, they would eat as we do with their likes and dislikes. But because of silly Victorian story telling, aka evolution, we have been led down the wrong path and as a result have gotten Neanderthal horribly wrong. Please close the coffin on this dead tired old theory. humbled

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