If you listen to Darwinblather, you’d never think to ask. (As the rest of us face the road ahead. Yes, it is all as out of touch as it sounds.)
BEACON Researchers at Work: The Origin of a Species? [D]espite all the fantastic work done since Darwin’s day, speciation is still mysterious. Speciation is complex, multifaceted, tricky to study, and, most importantly, hard to “catch in the act.” It would help if we had a model system in which we could study speciation in fine detail as it occurs, examine and manipulate the processes involved, and to do so over a humanly reasonable time scale. More.
In short, no one knows.
But courts and governments demand public funding for this stuff.
Why is that fair? If we leave out publicly funded, government-approved attacks on traditional religious communities, why IS it fair?
Look, I (O’Leary for News) am not saying speciation doesn’t occur. I guess so, but don’t really care.
I want to talk about something else, something I do care about: The evidence base for Darwinism-based speciation wouldn’t get a drunk driver convicted. Why don’t we have a problem when students are hearing it shouted in tax-funded schools?
See also: Talk to the fossils: Let’s see what they say back
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28 Replies to “What is a “species” anyway?”
Species: A History of the Idea
How would you know?
I mean, seriously, the “species problem” is part of most intro to evolution courses, covered in every intro textbook I know about and has been a central question in evolutionary biology since the field began.
If you are looking for “blather” then it’s hard to imagine a better example than this post.
Whaaa? I’m glad I didn’t have a drink in my mouth when I read that.
That question is asked and discussed – in length – in just about every work on Darwinism starting with Origin of Species to the modern day.
So you guys are saying you don’t even know “what a species is anyway”. Fine. But why so testy?
Glad Good User Name didn’t have a drink in his mouth too.
So WHY is speciation still a big problem?
Something so obvious can’t be solved?
Look, where News lives, not only can basic property rights be solved but private vs. municipal SNOW dumping rights can be solved.
You can’t solve basic problems? So why do you people think the rest of us should go on paying taxes for your nonsense?
Don’t tell us that Europeans bow down and pay. We aren’t Europeans (maybe you didn’t notice. Read the fine print).
Combine “go forth and multiply” with “free will” and some interesting stuff happens.
This “speciation” process is a continual process. Guided, Purposeful. Fascinating. Not surprising though.
Well, go on. Solve it for us. Please. If it’s so obvious then you’ll be able to explain any counter-examples we try to throw at you.
What on earth are you going on about News? And what is the “obvious” solution we apparently miss?
For anyone interested in the actual science of evolutionary biology, this is a good start. It makes it clear what is known about speciation and which details are still part of a debate.
Bob O’H at 7, you gloriously miss the point: We don’t want to pay taxes or be compelled by court orders to front anything to do with Darwinism if YOU can’t answer that question.
We don’t ask for funding or legislation because we admit we don’t know. Not so Darwin’s mob.
You want funding but you don’t know either. Why?
Evolution Berkeley Edu is blather central, WD400. Like telling a liberal to go visit Fox News for info:)
Cal Berkeley has some great Evo Bio research going on – but the researchers ain’t involved with that website lol.
News – you’re claiming that this is a basic, simple problem. But, as anyone who’s studied the problem will tell you, it’s not. Read John Wilkin’s book to find out more.
I’m imagine the reason people think research into speciation and species is interesting is because they think it is worthwhile trying to learn about the real world out there, even if it is so messy that it can be difficult to reconcile it with neat, simple ideas (like everything can be categorised into discrete species).
Testy? I’d say it’s more humorous than anything, that someone would be so unaware of something that’s discussed in pretty much every book and class on a subject, and yet write so much about it. That’s the very definition of “blather”.
My question is, why is someone so testy about “Darwinblather” when they apparently haven’t picked up any of these books?
What makes you think it should be obvious?
And you realize that the question of how to define a species is separate than the question of the origin of species, right? (Although they are obviously related.)
Umm, I have noticed that I’m not European. (I’m not sure who “we” is supposed to be though.)
I’m not sure what kind of funding you’re referring to. But I don’t have a problem with tax dollars being used to teach what the leading theories are in science class, if that’s what you mean.
And I don’t think tax dollars should only go towards investigating answers to questions that we already know the answer to.
As I’ve pointed out before, Darwin himself had no idea what a “specie” was and freely declared any 2 animals to be the same or different species based on his personal preference that day. That is, per Darwin there are 3 species of domestic dogs (not the 1 specie we recognize today) and there is only 1 specie of pigeon (not the more than 300 species we recognize today).
And then of course there is the problem with Darwin’s Finches. We already know that the specimens Darwin saw never represented 12 separate species. The only remaining question is whether the 3 or 4 current “species” are in fact all members of a single specie with variation between individuals.
So count me with the guys who don’t understand what a specie is. I personally like the practical test of producing viable offspring that can themselves reproduce, but I get the idea that most of the current classifications are still done based on morphology.
Citation for this? I think you are confused by the fact Darwin (rightly) said all domestic pigeons descent from a single species.
So I suppose Darwin was just being ironic when he named his book “Origin of Species”.
Man, that NSF funded Beacon site IS world class Darwin Blather. Mostly harmless and mostly useless.
And as has been pointed out before, Darwin didn’t believe that there were multiple species of dogs – although he did believe that the one recognized species of dog may have been the result of hybridization of several species of wolf. This was in dispute among biologists until dna testing. And he certainly didn’t believe that there was a single species of pigeon. He wrote that there was one species of domestic pigeon.
Of course, Darwin did admit that’s it’s difficult to define species, and to discern when separate populations should be declared as separate species, but that’s precisely what one would expect if speciation is via some gradual process.
We hardly know such a thing. Most biologists say there’s 13, although some say less and some say there’s more.
First, biologists can’t even agree on what a species is.
Second, however it is that species come to exist, the evidence that it’s by RM+NS is sorely lacking.
Perhaps new species arise by organisms purposely modifying their genomes.
“But I don’t have a problem with tax dollars being used to teach what the leading theories are in science class, if that’s what you mean.”
Who has a problem with that?
But, if you are referring to NDE and it’s pop-culture, personally preferred philosophically fueled derivative speculations and just so stories passed of as “science”, then to many, you are promoting what very much appears to be “pseudoscience”. Vast amounts of REAL AND NECESSARY verification by sufficient empirical evidence MISSING. And probably never achievable.
And I can imagine that tens of millions of others, if properly informed, would have a HUGE problem with public funding of that.
Put the limited resources to use in scientific pursuits that find cures for the suffering that we have to deal with in a very practical sense. PLEASE!
NDE, Bpragmatic? Is that a “Near Darwin Experience”? Close to death one hopes they left the world a better place than when they started? Guided Purposeful Evo right there.
He didn’t believe that dogs would revert to wolves if left to bred randomly, but that has now been demonstrated to have taken place. Or, so I have heard.
Darwin believed this because he believed in his “Law of Divergence.” This “Law,” of course, is undermined by the fact that dogs revert to wolves. But why let that slow any one down.
The article referenced in the OP was written back in March of 2013. 2 1/2 years have passed since then. He said he was going to try and verify if these new cit+ bacteria could be classified as a new species. Any results yet? Haven’t heard. Lenski’s experiments are often presented as a prime example of evolution in action, but notice how long it took for just one little thing to “evolve”! 33,000 generations! Imagine how many years that adds up to if we look at this in relation to humans. How long is 33,000 generations for humans? 660,000 years if we make one generation 20 years! And, on top of that, there are other complications that would slow things down for humans.
“the evolutionary opportunities for humans would be far, far less, due to the small population numbers limiting the number of mutational possibilities; and the much larger genome, which cannot sustain a similar mutation rate without error catastrophe; i.e. extinction; and sexual reproduction means that there is 50% chance of failing to pass on a beneficial mutation.” [From an article on creation.com]
Plus, the type of change documented in Lenski’s experiment is not the type that Materialists need to see in order to for Darwinian type of evolution to become reality.
Here are two quotes from this article(
Well, I think for the most part the breeding of dogs is pretty random. I don’t think most people are careful to keep breeds pure, for instance. Most pet dogs are mutts.
I did a quick search for something that sounds like what you’re referring to but didn’t find anything.
Do you mean that a population of dogs if left in the wild and – if they manage to survive – will become more wolf-like? I don’t doubt that, and I doubt Darwin would either. Certainly the ornamental characters that have been bred into certain breeds would disappear, and there would probably be an increase in size. And so they would gradually look more like wolves in certain ways.
But they aren’t going to change into “grey wolves” or any other wolf species, but will remain their own species (that’s assuming they don’t interbreed with wolves, of course.)
I was just reading today that the Lenski experiments do show evolution but that Lenski refused to admit it!
“NDE, Bpragmatic? Is that a “Near Darwin Experience”? Close to death one hopes they left the world a better place than when they started? Guided Purposeful Evo right there.”
I think many understand NDE as Neo-darwinian evolution, and that this term actually has some sort of technical “scientific” overarching meaning that is supposed to encompass convincing amounts of “empirical evidence” to support it’s conjecture.
I believe that many feel this is not true. Does that make sense to you?
I don’t think there are species. God didn’t create species. Only kinds. The case is people. People are different in looks in groups but we are never called species.
So point is how do biological entities change their looks from a original look??
Those mechanisms can lead to a spectrum in differences from the original.
So it can be innate, like in people, or by selection in minor ways or other options.
The results led to changes and so then new populations but species is only a reference to these different populations. Not to whether they can breed together.
I say marsupis are just placentals with pouches. I say bears/wolves/seals are all from a single kind off the ark. I say marine mammals are from land creatures that came off the ark.
And so on. breeding competence is irrelevant in classification.
It ignores the option of other mechanisms to bring bio change.
Makes sense now, Bpragmatic, thanks, I read NDE as Near Death Experience oops.
The Grants think there is one species of finches on the Galapagos. They all can interbreed. Of course the Grants don’t know anything about these finches.