Intelligent Design speciation

Claims for a new cat “species”

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One of sixteen such known “cat-fox” felines in northern Corsica was captured:

While resembling a domestic cat in some ways, the ring-tailed feline measures 90 centimetres (35 inches) from head to tail, has “very wide” ears, short whiskers and “highly developed” canine teeth.

Maureen Cofflard, “Corsica’s ‘cat-fox’: On the trail of what may be a new species” at Phys.org
The "cat-foxes" were known about in Corsica but not scientifically identified because they remain remote and nocturnal
A cat-fox, later released

That’s impressive! Toby, one of the editorial assistants at Uncommon Descent News, is a feline who is only 70 cm (30 inches) from head to tail. And those “cat-fox” teeth are amazing! But …

“By looking at its DNA, we could tell it apart from the European wildcat, Felis silvestris silvestris. It’s close to the African forest cat, Felis silvestris lybica, but its exact identity is still to be determined,” Benedetti adds.

Maureen Cofflard, “Corsica’s ‘cat-fox’: On the trail of what may be a new species” at Phys.org

The odd thing is that no data are offered to the public as to why the subject is not just a “feral cat,” a cat who lives around but not with humans. How much do the genetic differences matter? If the cat-fox found itself among feral cats, would it just blend in? If it would, why doesn’t that matter to classification?

Image may contain: indoor
Toby

To what extent has the “biological species concept” become a mere means of generating publicity for research or political action for environmental causes? The research and causes are doubtless worthwhile but we still seek an informative classification method.

By the way, this cat can’t be related to the fox. No one specifically makes that claim but it is left hanging.

See also: Researchers: Purebred dogs are not biological species

and

A physicist looks at biology’s problem of “speciation” in humans

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6 Replies to “Claims for a new cat “species”

  1. 1
    vmahuna says:

    I was told by a friend of mine that cats have never been “domesticated”. They’re simply wild animals that choose to live near humans to get the free food. Assuming they are “domesticated”, cats were the LAST animal domesticated. When humans started storing big piles of grain in anticipation of turning it into Beer (the cause of Civilization), cats began wandering in to hunt the rats and mice trying to eat the Beer makin’s, thus creating “barn cats”. For millennia, Barn Cats were MUCH more common than House Cats. So is this just another Barn Cat?

  2. 2
    News says:

    For sure, it’s just another cat. The way humans produced the fireside kitty was to handle and feed young kittens so that they do not see humans as enemies; quite the opposite. It helps if their mom is domestic too because she encourages the humans to do that. Not all animals will respond that way. But the domestic cat is an exception. One way of looking at it is, you become Mommy Kitty for the rest of the kitten’s life.

  3. 3
  4. 4
    john_a_designer says:

    Are there really separate species of cats? If so why do we observe so many behavioral similarities between the different “species?”

    Take as on example the “love bite.” A few years ago, for example, a neighbor’s cat Checkers (he was called that because of his large, squarish looking, black and white spots) use to come over to visit me and my cat. Because Checkers owner’s husband was allergic to cats (at least that is what he claimed) Checkers was not allowed in their house, though he did have a cat door so he could use to go in and out of their unheated garage. So it was a real treat for Checkers, especially during the winter, to come over for a visit. He would get my attention by banging up against the outside screen door and I would let him in. Thankfully he knew enough to do this just during the day and not in the middle of the night.

    While at first he was little stand-offish over time he became very affectionate. One of the ways he showed his affection towards me to give me a gentle love bite on the hand. I had to be very trusting because Checkers was a very large and dominant alpha male who could more than hold his own in a fight. My cat was his little buddy who, on more than one occasion, he went out of his way to protect. Ironically, even though my cat gave me love bites I didn’t trust him the way I did Checkers. My cat would first give me a hand hug by wrapping his front paws around my hand and then bite it really hard! He didn’t ever break the skin but it did hurt. I was afraid one time he would go too far.

    The following video shows a very similar love bite behavior on the part of another wild species of large cat towards a naturalist who has befriended them.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1sFPqO9tRQ

    I see the same behaviors that I see in a common house cat. What do you think?

    This guy is either very courageous or totally nuts. I thinks it’s more the latter than the former. Apparently that’s what he concedes.

  5. 5
    ScuzzaMan says:

    I’ve never seen any good reason to change from the definition of old: if they produce viable offspring, they’re the same species.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    The main problem for Darwinists is not the fact that they have never demonstrated the origination of a new species in the first place,,,

    “But where is the experimental evidence? None exists in the literature claiming that one species has been shown to evolve into another. Bacteria, the simplest form of independent life, are ideal for this kind of study, with generation times of 20 to 30 minutes, and populations achieved after 18 hours. But throughout 150 years of the science of bacteriology, there is no evidence that one species of bacteria has changed into another, in spite of the fact that populations have been exposed to potent chemical and physical mutagens and that, uniquely, bacteria possess extrachromosomal, transmissible plasmids. Since there is no evidence for species changes between the simplest forms of unicellular life, it is not surprising that there is no evidence for evolution from prokaryotic to eukaryotic cells, let alone throughout the whole array of higher multicellular organisms.”
    – Alan H. Linton – emeritus professor of bacteriology, University of Bristol – Scant Search For a Maker – April 20, 2001

    Tom Bethell’s Rebuke to Fellow Journalists: A Skeptical Look at Evolution Is Not Beyond Your Powers – January 31, 2017
    Excerpt: Experimentation shows that organisms “evolve” — only to revert to a mean, a predictable “Reversion to the Average,” as famed breeder Luther Burbank put it. Species “inhabit ‘plateaus’ of limited space upon which variants are free to roam,” says Bethell. Artificial selection, beloved by Darwin, can “push” varieties around the plateau, nothing more.
    Stasis and extinction, not transmutation, is observed.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....03461.html

    ,,, instead the main problem for Darwinists is that they, with their reductive materialistic framework, lack the wherewithal to even define what a species truly is in the first place,,,

    Darwin, Design & Thomas Aquinas
    The Mythical Conflict Between Thomism & Intelligent Design by Logan Paul Gage
    Excerpt: First, the problem of essences. G. K. Chesterton once quipped that “evolution . . . does not especially deny the existence of God; what it does deny is the existence of man.” It might appear shocking, but in this one remark the ever-perspicacious Chesterton summarized a serious conflict between classical Christian philosophy and Darwinism.
    In Aristotelian and Thomistic thought, each particular organism belongs to a certain universal class of things. Each individual shares a particular nature—or essence—and acts according to its nature. Squirrels act squirrelly and cats catty. We know with certainty that a squirrel is a squirrel because a crucial feature of human reason is its ability to abstract the universal nature from our sense experience of particular organisms.
    Think about it: How is it that we are able to recognize different organisms as belonging to the same group? The Aristotelian provides a good answer: It is because species really exist—not as an abstraction in the sky, but they exist nonetheless. We recognize the squirrel’s form, which it shares with other members of its species, even though the particular matter of each squirrel differs. So each organism, each unified whole, consists of a material and immaterial part (form).,,,
    One way to see this form-matter dichotomy is as Aristotle’s solution to the ancient tension between change and permanence debated so vigorously in the pre-Socratic era. Heraclitus argued that reality is change. Everything constantly changes—like fire, which never stays the same from moment to moment. Philosophers like Parmenides (and Zeno of “Zeno’s paradoxes” fame) argued exactly the opposite; there is no change. Despite appearances, reality is permanent. How else could we have knowledge? If reality constantly changes, how can we know it? What is to be known?
    Aristotle solved this dilemma by postulating that while matter is constantly in flux—even now some somatic cells are leaving my body while others arrive—an organism’s form is stable. It is a fixed reality, and for this reason is a steady object of our knowledge. Organisms have an essence that can be grasped intellectually.
    Denial of True Species
    Enter Darwinism. Recall that Darwin sought to explain the origin of “species.” Yet as he pondered his theory, he realized that it destroyed species as a reality altogether. For Darwinism suggests that any matter can potentially morph into any other arrangement of matter without the aid of an organizing principle. He thought cells were like simple blobs of Jell-O, easily re-arrangeable. For Darwin, there is no immaterial, immutable form. In The Origin of Species he writes:
    “I look at the term species as one arbitrarily given, for the sake of convenience, to a set of individuals closely resembling each other, and that it does not essentially differ from the term variety, which is given to less distinct and more fluctuating forms. The term variety, again, in comparison with mere individual differences, is also applied arbitrarily, for convenience’s sake.”
    Statements like this should make card-carrying Thomists shudder.,,,
    The first conflict between Darwinism and Thomism, then, is the denial of true species or essences. For the Thomist, this denial is a grave error, because the essence of the individual (the species in the Aristotelian sense) is the true object of our knowledge. As philosopher Benjamin Wiker observes in Moral Darwinism, Darwin reduced species to “mere epiphenomena of matter in motion.” What we call a “dog,” in other words, is really just an arbitrary snapshot of the way things look at present. If we take the Darwinian view, Wiker suggests, there is no species “dog” but only a collection of individuals, connected in a long chain of changing shapes, which happen to resemble each other today but will not tomorrow.
    What About Man?
    Now we see Chesterton’s point. Man, the universal, does not really exist. According to the late Stanley Jaki, Chesterton detested Darwinism because “it abolishes forms and all that goes with them, including that deepest kind of ontological form which is the immortal human soul.” And if one does not believe in universals, there can be, by extension, no human nature—only a collection of somewhat similar individuals.,,,
    Implications for Bioethics
    This is not a mere abstract point. This dilemma is playing itself out in contemporary debates in bioethics. With whom are bioethicists like Leon Kass (neo-Aristotelian and former chairman of the President’s Council on Bioethics) sparring today if not with thoroughgoing Darwinians like Princeton’s Peter Singer, who denies that humans, qua humans, have intrinsic dignity? Singer even calls those who prefer humans to other animals “speciesist,” which in his warped vocabulary is akin to racism.,,,
    If one must choose between saving an intelligent, fully developed pig or a Down syndrome baby, Singer thinks we should opt for the pig.,,,
    https://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=23-06-037-f

    In other words, if something is not composed of particles or does not have physical properties (e.g., mass, energy, orientation, position, etc), it is abstract, i.e., spiritual. Numbers, mathematics, logic, truth, distance, time, beauty, ugliness, species, person, information, etc.. etc.. fall in that category. It is amazing how many things fall in that category even though most of us, including scientists, swear they exist physically.

    What Does It Mean to Say That Science & Religion Conflict? – M. Anthony Mills – April 16, 2018
    Excerpt: Barr rightly observes that scientific atheists often unwittingly assume not just metaphysical naturalism but an even more controversial philosophical position: reductive materialism, which says all that exists is or is reducible to the material constituents postulated by our most fundamental physical theories.
    As Barr points out, this implies not only that God does not exist — because God is not material — but that you do not exist. For you are not a material constituent postulated by any of our most fundamental physical theories; at best, you are an aggregate of those constituents, arranged in a particular way. Not just you, but tables, chairs, countries, countrymen, symphonies, jokes, legal contracts, moral judgments, and acts of courage or cowardice — all of these must be fully explicable in terms of those more fundamental, material constituents.
    In fact, more problematic for the materialist than the non-existence of persons is the existence of mathematics. Why? Although a committed materialist might be perfectly willing to accept that you do not really exist, he will have a harder time accepting that numbers do not exist. The trouble is that numbers — along with other mathematical entities such as classes, sets, and functions — are indispensable for modern science. And yet — here’s the rub — these “abstract objects” are not material. Thus, one cannot take science as the only sure guide to reality and at the same time discount disbelief in all immaterial realities.
    https://www.realclearreligion.org/articles/2018/04/16/what_does_it_mean_to_say_that_science_and_religion_conflict.html

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