Ecology Intelligent Design speciation

This California story shows what a mess the whole concept of speciation is in

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Reading it is most instructive so here goes: A small grey songbird, the coastal California gnatcatcher has been “ the epicenter of a legal brawl for nearly 28 years” since it was listed under the Endangered Species Act in the U.S.:

Some relevant facts:

Found along the Baja California coast, from down south in El Rosario, Mexico to Long Beach, Calif., its natural habitat is the rapidly declining coastal sagebrush that occupies prime, pristine real estate along the West Coast. When this particular gnatcatcher, Polioptila californica, was granted protection, the region’s real estate developers went to court to get it delisted.

Central to their argument, which was dismissed in a federal court, was whether it was an independent species or just another population of a more widely found gnatcatcher. This distinction would dictate its threatened status. Evolutionary biologists have developed a new approach to genomic species delineation that improves upon current methods and could impact similar policy in the future.

This approach is based on the fact that in many groups of organisms it can be problematic to decide where one species begins and another ends.

“In the past, when it was challenging to distinguish species based on external characters, scientists relied on approaches that diagnosed signatures in the genome to identify ‘breaks’ or ‘structure’ in gene flow indicative of population separation. The problem is this method doesn’t distinguish between two populations separated geographically versus two populations being two different species,” said Jeet Sukumaran, computational evolutionary biologist at San Diego State University and lead author of a study published May 13 in PlOS Computational Biology.

“Our method, DELINEATE, introduces a way to distinguish between these two factors, which is important because most of the natural resources management policy and legislature in our society rests on clearly defined and named species units.”

San Diego State University, “A new approach to identify genetic boundaries of species could also impact policy” at ScienceDaily

Many issues are worth raising, including whether “species” is a clear enough concept to warrant being a measure, as opposed to, say, role in an ecology. When is it wise to intervene to preserve something? Goals driven by passions are often misguided and wasteful.

The main point to glean from all this is that “speciation” may be — at best — a fluid concept and at worst, a talking point intended to drive Darwinism home. Reasonable conservation causes are not well served by this stuff. They may — understandably — alienate the public.

The paper is open access.

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

5 Replies to “This California story shows what a mess the whole concept of speciation is in

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Darwinists, with their reductive materialistic foundation,simply lack the proper framework in order to properly differentiate species from one another.

    At New Scientist: Questioning The Idea Of Species – Nov. 2020
    Excerpt: Take the apparently simple organising principle of a species. You might have learned at school that a species is a group of individuals that can breed to produce fertile offspring. But this is just one of at least 34 competing definitions concocted over the past century by researchers working in different fields.,,,,
    https://uncommondescent.com/darwinism/at-new-scientist-questioning-the-idea-of-species/

    As the headline of the following article stated, “What is a species? The most important concept in all of biology is a complete mystery”

    What is a species? The most important concept in all of biology is a complete mystery – July 16, 2019
    Excerpt: Enough of species?
    This is only the tip of a deep and confusing iceberg. There is absolutely no agreement among biologists about how we should understand the species. One 2006 article on the subject listed 26 separate definitions of species, all with their advocates and detractors. Even this list is incomplete.
    The mystery surrounding species is well-known in biology, and commonly referred to as “the species problem”. Frustration with the idea of a species goes back at least as far as Darwin.,,,
    some contemporary biologists and philosophers of biology have,,, suggested that biology would be much better off if it didn’t think about life in terms of species at all.,,,
    https://theconversation.com/what-is-a-species-the-most-important-concept-in-all-of-biology-is-a-complete-mystery-119200

    In fact, Charles Darwin himself admitted that he did not have a rigid definition for what the term ‘species’ actually meant when he stated that, “I look at the term species as one arbitrarily given, for the sake of convenience.,,,”

    “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.”
    – Charles Darwin

    As should be needless to say, the inability of a supposedly scientific theory, a supposedly scientific theory that seeks to explain the “Origin of Species” in the first place, to clearly define what a species actually is is a clear indication that that supposedly scientific theory cannot possibly be the proper ‘scientific’ explanation for the “Origin of Species” in the first place!

    The reason that Darwinists can never give a proper ‘scientific’ definition for what a species actually is is because, as the following article touches upon, the concept of species turns out to be an abstract, i.e. immaterial, conceptualization of the immaterial mind. i.e. the ‘true object of our knowledge’.

    As the following article states, ”a crucial feature of human reason is its ability to abstract the universal nature from our sense experience of particular organisms.”,,, ” this denial (of true species) is a grave error, because the essence of the individual (the species in the Aristotelian sense) is the true object of our knowledge.”

    Darwin, Design & Thomas Aquinas
    The Mythical Conflict Between Thomism & Intelligent Design by Logan Paul Gage
    Excerpt:,,, 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.
    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.,,,
    https://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=23-06-037-f

    Within their reductive materialistic framework, (where everything is held to be constant flux), Darwinists simply have no foundation for grounding the abstract, i.e. immaterial, concept of ‘species’.

    If researchers truly want to properly differentiate species from one another, they should, number one, completely drop their Darwinian framework, and number two, use completely unique mtDNA sequences and alternative splicing patterns.

    Why should mitochondria define species? – 2018
    Excerpt: The particular mitochondrial sequence that has become the most widely used, the 648 base pair (bp) segment of the gene encoding mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI),,,,
    The pattern of life seen in barcodes is a commensurable whole made from thousands of individual studies that together yield a generalization. The clustering of barcodes has two equally important features: 1) the variance within clusters is low, and 2) the sequence gap among clusters is empty, i.e., intermediates are not found.,,,
    https://phe.rockefeller.edu/news/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Stoeckle-Thaler-Final-reduced.pdf

    Sweeping gene survey reveals new facets of evolution – May 28, 2018
    Excerpt: Darwin perplexed,,,
    And yet—another unexpected finding from the study—species have very clear genetic boundaries, and there’s nothing much in between.
    “If individuals are stars, then species are galaxies,” said Thaler. “They are compact clusters in the vastness of empty sequence space.”
    The absence of “in-between” species is something that also perplexed Darwin, he said.
    https://phys.org/news/2018-05-gene-survey-reveals-facets-evolution.html

    Evolution by Splicing – Comparing gene transcripts from different species reveals surprising splicing diversity. – Ruth Williams – December 20, 2012
    Excerpt: A major question in vertebrate evolutionary biology is “how do physical and behavioral differences arise if we have a very similar set of genes to that of the mouse, chicken, or frog?”,,,
    A commonly discussed mechanism was variable levels of gene expression, but both Blencowe and Chris Burge,,, found that gene expression is relatively conserved among species.?On the other hand, the papers show that most alternative splicing events differ widely between even closely related species. “The alternative splicing patterns are very different even between humans and chimpanzees,” said Blencowe.,,,
    http://www.the-scientist.com/?.....plicing%2F

  2. 2
    polistra says:

    Endangered species laws are prima facie anti-Darwin. They are explicitly DENIALISTS for natural selection and mutation. They claim instead that life never adapts, so we must decide at all times who belongs in which habitat.

    We’re now applying the same anti-science rule to immunity. We’ve officially declared that immune systems do not exist. People are incapable of adapting to microbes. So we must decide at all times who gets the “jab” and becomes immune, and we must decide who can occupy which habitat based on jab status.

  3. 3
    Querius says:

    Darwinism thrives on paradox, so to demand consistency or principle from a nineteenth century racist fantasy that simply adapts to any new discoveries–or ignores them–is simply asking too much. Darwinism is a sort of intellectual putty that forms around observations and wishful thinking.

    In biological classification, there are people who are either “splitters” or “lumpers.” The splitters classify every variation as a new and inevitably endangered species, while lumpers assert that there’s a certain amount of variation in any species. Subspecies are a compromise.

    Personally, I think it would be more helpful to abandon the idea of “species” in favor of a more general system that recognizes normal curves for sets of phenotypes. Even better would be to focus on classifying organisms by genotypes–variations in families of DNA with the idea that chunks of DNA travel between types of organisms. It’s my understanding that the genetics of the platypus is even more of a Frankenstein than its phenotype.

    But, unfortunately, Darwinism has pretty much halted scientific progress in this area. Furthermore, as each human generation adds approximately 100-150 new mutations, all of which have been deleterious to different degrees, it’s become clear that humans will become extinct due to genetic entropy. Only intelligent scientific intervention will be able to restore the human genome. The logic goes like this:

    Since we have the technology to control evolution, don’t we also then have the moral imperative to do so?

    It seems that such a program was initiated about 80-90 years ago to create a “master race.” Certainly, German scientists at that time enthusiastically embraced this corollary of Darwinism through eugenics, selective human breeding, and “benevolent” treatment of inferior or damaged human genomes. Surely, this was a highly scientific action to initiate for the goal of saving humanity.

    Right? Or not?

    -Q

  4. 4
    BobRyan says:

    According to Darwin, it’s all about survival of the fittest. Protecting any animal from extinction violates the laws of nature. If a species is not strong enough to survive, then how dare the Darwinists demand they be protected. Species come and go with most having already died out. They stand in the way of their own beliefs.

    Man, if the Darwinists are rights, has no responsibility to stopping the extinction of a weaker species. If man is nothing more than animal, there should be no expectation to be something more than what we are.

    It is only when design is taken into account and man was designed with free will that anyone can argue man has to be responsible for anything. Free will means there is a choice to kill off a species or not kill off a species. Any other predator would simply kill them off with no thought about ending any species.

    Somewhere in the mid to late 1600s, the dodo bird went extinct. They were hunted to some degree, but it wasn’t man that led to the extinction. Other species, like dogs were introduced to the island. The other species ate their eggs and ate the birds. Survival of the fittest went to the species introduced to the island.

  5. 5
    jerry says:

    This video is not about species or lack of clarity on just what a species is It’s about saving a cute little bird. However, 98% of it’s nesting area is in Mexico.

    My guess is that zero coast lines are free of development in Southrrn California so it’s inland areas that being referred to.

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