Convergent evolution News

Convergent evolution: Distantly related birds, same crests

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The second bird’s crest is result of single mutant gene/Sydney Stringer

From ScienceDaily:

A few years ago biologists found that a prominent change in pigeon plumage, head crests, could be traced to a mutation in a single gene. Now the research team has found an almost exact repeat in the evolutionary playbook in distantly related doves.

Evolutionary playbook? Doesn’t that imply a strategy? Oh wait, that’s heresy. Watch your language around Top People!

Evolutionary biologist Michael Shapiro and his team from the University of Utah made international headlines in 2013 when they found that a prominent change in pigeon plumage, head crests, could be traced to a mutation in a single gene.

Now, in the new advanced online edition of Molecular Biology and Evolution, the research team has found an almost exact repeat in the evolutionary playbook. A mutation in the same gene, EphB2, has led to a similar result in domesticated ringneck doves. The mutation causes the feathers on the back of the head and neck to grow up toward the head in a striking look.

“We know that many genes are involved in feather development, so it’s rather remarkable that the same gene appears to control the same trait in two distantly related species,” said Shapiro.

Next, armed with new DNA banks of bird species, Shapiro’s team will examine how far and wide this unique evolutionary twist may be found amongst other bird species and wild populations.

Here’s the abstract:

Head crests are important display structures in wild bird species and are also common in domesticated lineages. Many breeds of domestic rock pigeon (Columba livia) have crests of reversed occipital feathers, and this recessive trait is associated with a non-synonymous coding mutation in the intracellular kinase domain of EphB2. The domestic ringneck dove (Streptopelia risoria) also has a recessive crested morph with reversed occipital feathers, and interspecific crosses between crested doves and pigeons produce crested offspring, suggesting a similar genetic basis for this trait in both species. We therefore investigated EphB2 as a candidate for the head crest phenotype of ringneck doves and identified a non-synonymous coding mutation in the intracellular kinase domain that is significantly associated with the crested morph. This mutation is over 100 amino acid positions away from the crest mutation found in rock pigeons, yet both mutations are predicted to negatively affect function of the ATP-binding pocket. Furthermore, bacterial toxicity assays suggest that crest mutations in both species severely impact kinase activity. We conclude that head crests are associated with different mutations in the same functional domain of the same gene in two different columbid species, thereby representing striking evolutionary convergence in morphology and molecules. (paywall) – Convergent evolution of head crests in two domesticated columbids is associated with different missense mutations in EphB2. Anna I. Vickrey, Eric T. Domyan, Martin P. Horvath, and Michael D. Shapiro. Mol Biol Evol, June 23, 2015 DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msv140

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56 Replies to “Convergent evolution: Distantly related birds, same crests

  1. 1
    ppolish says:

    There is Design in Nature. Some argue “design” as a noun, some argue “design” as a verb. Those who argue “it’s just an APPEARANCE of design” are just wrong.

    Design as a noun, “Constructal Law”:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MHdfDzGypFM

    Yes, there are Design Rules guiding shape of birds. Real genuine design.

  2. 2
    Andre says:

    Darwinian evolution should buy a lotto ticket. It sure is lucky.

  3. 3
    lifepsy says:

    Meanwhile, evolutionists are currently arguing that “convergent evolution” does not occur at the genetic level. Of course when their phylogenetic models are forced to accommodate such a story, presto-‘I guess convergent evolution can do those sorts of things!’ Proving yet again that natural selection is their non-falsifiable creator god.

  4. 4
    Zachriel says:

    lifepsy: Meanwhile, evolutionists are currently arguing that “convergent evolution” does not occur at the genetic level.

    They do? Multiple studies have shown that phenotypic convergence can be related to changes in the same gene, e.g. toxin resistance in garter snakes, discussed in another thread.

  5. 5
    lifepsy says:

    Zachriel: They do?

    Yep they do. A classic evolutionary argument is that convergence can be distinguished from homology because the similarities are only phenotype.

    But as we can see, when phylogeny needs to be harmonized, evolutionists have no problem arguing that populations converged on the same mutations as well.

    It’s just one more demonstration on the non-falsifiable and amorphous ‘evolution did it’ story-telling nature of your darwinian creation ideology.

  6. 6
    Zachriel says:

    lifepsy: A classic evolutionary argument is that convergence can be distinguished from homology because the similarities are only phenotype.

    Darwin proposed the electric organ in fishes evolved from muscle tissue multiple times . The hypothesis was confirmed last year. See Gallant et al., Genomic basis for the convergent evolution of electric organs, Science 2014.

  7. 7
    ppolish says:

    “Darwin proposed the electric organ in fishes evolved from muscle tissue multiple times .”

    And there is a guided purposeful process underlying this “evolve”. Repeatable process.

    Arguing that electric organs “evolve” in a purposeless unguided accident is bad science. Bad math and bad philosophy to boot.

  8. 8
    lifepsy says:

    Zachriel: Darwin proposed the electric organ in fishes evolved from muscle tissue multiple times . The hypothesis was confirmed last year. See Gallant et al., Genomic basis for the convergent evolution of electric organs, Science 2014.

    What is your point? I know evolutionists are having to rationalize “convergence” this way now, see the subject of this posting. But the general community still argues that homoplasies are easily identifiable by unique genetic structure.

    And by the way, those electric organs could be changed to homology tomorrow if it was more favorable to a favored phylogenetic model. Traits can be flip-flopped from homology to homoplasy as needed. Nothing was objectively confirmed.

  9. 9
    Zachriel says:

    ppolish: And there is a guided purposeful process underlying this “evolve”. Repeatable process.

    Do you have evidence that an intelligence was involved in the evolution of the electric organ? Any idea why it was Darwin, based on evolutionary principles, who predicted results only discovered last year?

    lifepsy: But the general community still argues that homoplasies are easily identifiable by unique genetic structure.

    You pointed to a “classic evolutionary argument”. Is Darwin not classical enough? Phylogeny is determined from the overall pattern of traits, molecular and morphological, not from individual traits, molecular or morphological.

    “It is incredible that the descendants of two organisms, which had originally differed in a marked manner, should ever afterwards converge so closely as to lead to a near approach to identity throughout their whole organisation.” — Darwin

    Perhaps you provide some specifics instead of just repeating your claim.

    lifepsy: Nothing was objectively confirmed.

    What about Gallant et al. did you find in error?

  10. 10
    ppolish says:

    I said “guided” and “purposeful”, Zachriel. “Intelligence” is different. “Guided” and “purposeful” allow accurate prediction. Made it easy for Dawrin to predict. No brainier.

  11. 11
    Zachriel says:

    ppolish: I said “guided” and “purposeful”, Zachriel. “Intelligence” is different.

    Others on this forum use the term differently.

    Silver Asiatic: Guidance is a function of intelligence.

    ppolish: “Guided” and “purposeful” allow accurate prediction.

    Just to clarify, is there scientific evidence that the orbit of the asteroid Ceres is “purposeful”?

  12. 12
    Virgil Cain says:

    Zachriel:

    Do you have evidence that an intelligence was involved in the evolution of the electric organ?

    Yes. Do you have evidence that natural selection was involved in the evolution of the electric organ?

    What about Gallant et al. did you find in error?

    It is speculation, ie not based on experiment, as in there isn’t any experiment that shows an electric organ can evolve from something that wasn’t an electric organ.

  13. 13
    Virgil Cain says:

    Just to clarify, is there scientific evidence that the orbit of the asteroid Ceres is “purposeful”?

    There is scientific evidence that gravity was designed for a purpose.

  14. 14
    ppolish says:

    Yes Zach, orbit of Ceres is guided. Purposeful no. Evolution is guided (by gravity & a whole lot more. Lot more). And unlike the orbit of Ceres, Evolution is purposeful.

    Orbits lol.

  15. 15
    Zachriel says:

    Virgil Cain: It is speculation

    In fact, the paper includes considerable empirical research. Any idea why it was Darwin, based on evolutionary principles, who predicted results only just confirmed last year?

  16. 16
    Zachriel says:

    ppolish: orbit of Ceres is guided. Purposeful no.

    Thanks for the answer. We’re still confused on your use of the term “guided” though. What do you mean by “guided”?

    ppolish: Evolution is purposeful.

    Is that a scientific claim? If so, what are the testable entailments of the claim?

  17. 17
    Virgil Cain says:

    Zachriel:

    In fact, the paper includes considerable empirical research.

    The paper does not demonstrate that such a transformation is possible. The paper doesn’t tell us what genes were involved nor how many mutations it took.

    Any idea why it was Darwin, based on evolutionary principles, who predicted results only just confirmed last year?

    Your use of the word “confirmed” does not match that word’s meaning.

  18. 18
    Zachriel says:

    Virgil Cain: The paper does not demonstrate that such a transformation is possible.

    The paper provides empirical evidence consistent with the hypothesized evolution of the electric organ.

    Virgil Cain: The paper doesn’t tell us what genes were involved

    You didn’t read the paper, obviously.

  19. 19
    ppolish says:

    Zach, “Convergent Evolution” is purposeful evolution. Scientific evidence is piling up in Bio Science.

    Modern Physics is adding evidence by the mountainfull. Design & Purpose:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=MHdfDzGypFM

  20. 20
    Virgil Cain says:

    Zachriel:

    The paper provides empirical evidence consistent with the hypothesized evolution of the electric organ.

    By “empirical” you mean “it looks like it could be”, then yeah. However there still isn’t any experimental data that confirms it.

    You didn’t read the paper, obviously.

    If they know the genes then an experiment would be easy to confirm the speculation.

  21. 21
    Virgil Cain says:

    Shockingly Fishy Conclusions:

    Evolutionary spin doctors try to explain how the electric eel, and five other groups of electric fish, evolved their electrifying characteristics independently.

  22. 22
    Zachriel says:

    Virgil Cain: By “empirical” you mean “it looks like it could be”, then yeah.

    Empirical refers to scientific observation. In this case, the observations support the hypothesis.

  23. 23
    Virgil Cain says:

    Zachriel:

    Empirical refers to scientific observation.

    No one has observed an electric organ evolve. You lose.

  24. 24
    Zachriel says:

    Virgil Cain: No one has observed an electric organ evolve.

    No one has traveled to the interior of the Sun to directly observe the fusion reactions hypothesized to occur there. Rather, in science, one deduces empirical entailments from the hypothesis, then tests those entailments. If the entailments are confirmed, then the hypothesis is considered supported, though not proved.

  25. 25
    Virgil Cain says:

    OK then, what are the entailments of blind watchmaker evolution producing electric organs. Please be specific and show your work.

  26. 26
    Zachriel says:

    Virgil Cain: what are the entailments of blind watchmaker evolution producing electric organs.

    “Blind watchmaker” is an analogy, not a scientific concept. But if you want details of how the electric organ evolved, try reading Gallant et al.

  27. 27
    Virgil Cain says:

    Zachriel:

    “Blind watchmaker” is an analogy, not a scientific concept.

    “Blind watchmaker” refers to natural selection, which is a failed analogy to artificial selection. Are you saying tat natural selection is not a scientific concept?

    What are the entailments of natural selection and/ or drift producing electric organs. YOU brought up entailments now either you can post what those are or you can continue with your nebulous claims.

    But if you want details of how the electric organ evolved, try reading Gallant et al.

    They only have speculation based on the assumption. If they had something real then they should be able to demonstrate it experimentally.

    If we want science with details then we wouldn’t recommend evolutionism. Einstein had some very specific predictions from his equations but evolutionism doesn’t have anything close to that.

  28. 28
    Zachriel says:

    Virgil Cain: What are the entailments of natural selection and/ or drift producing electric organs.

    “Natural selection, working for the good of each being and taking advantage of analogous variations, has sometimes modified in very nearly the same manner two parts in two organic beings.” — Darwin

    Specifically, Darwin posited that electric organs evolved from muscle tissue, as supported by Gallant et al.

  29. 29
    Virgil Cain says:

    “Natural selection, working for the good of each being and taking advantage of analogous variations, has sometimes modified in very nearly the same manner two parts in two organic beings.” — Darwin

    A nebulous concept if there ever was one and nothing referring to electric organs.

    Specifically, Darwin posited that electric organs evolved from muscle tissue, as supported by Gallant et al.

    In what way was the concept supported by Gallant seeing that Gallant doesn’t know if such a transformation is possible?

  30. 30
    Zachriel says:

    Virgil Cain: A nebulous concept if there ever was one and nothing referring to electric organs.

    Do we have to quote the entire paragraph, the entire chapter, or the entire book? Darwin, Origin of Species 1859.

    Virgil Cain: In what way was the concept supported by Gallant seeing that Gallant doesn’t know if such a transformation is possible?

    By determining the common toolkit that allowed for convergence, a simplified and selectable pathway.

  31. 31
    Virgil Cain says:

    Zachriel:

    Do we have to quote the entire paragraph, the entire chapter, or the entire book? Darwin, Origin of Species 1859.

    No, reality already stepped in and refuted Darwin.

    By determining the common toolkit that allowed for convergence, a simplified and selectable pathway.

    Speculation based on the assumption. Also Gallant cannot account for that toolkit and neither can natural selection.

    Again if Gallant had something real then experiment would confirm it. We await that experiment. Absent that please read the article linked to in comment 21

  32. 32
    Zachriel says:

    Virgil Cain: No, reality already stepped in and refuted Darwin.

    You claimed that the quote phrase above had nothing to do with electric organ. You should have been able to find the context from the citation provided, but here’s the paragraph in question.

    Darwin: The electric organs offer another and even more serious difficulty; for they occur in only about a dozen fishes, of which several are widely remote in their affinities. Generally when the same organ appears in several members of the same class, especially if in members having very different habits of life, we may attribute its presence to inheritance from a common ancestor; and its absence in some of the members to its loss through disuse or natural selection. But if the electric organs had been inherited from one ancient progenitor thus provided, we might have expected that all electric fishes would have been specially related to each other. Nor does geology at all lead to the belief that formerly most fishes had electric organs, which most of their modified descendants have lost. The presence of luminous organs in a few insects, belonging to different families and orders, offers a parallel case of difficulty. Other cases could be given; for instance in plants, the very curious contrivance of a mass of pollen-grains, borne on a foot-stalk with a sticky gland at the end, is the same in Orchis and Asclepias, genera almost as remote as possible amongst flowering plants. In all these cases of two very distinct species furnished with apparently the same anomalous organ, it should be observed that, although the general appearance and function of the organ may be the same, yet some fundamental difference can generally be detected. I am inclined to believe that in nearly the same way as two men have sometimes independently hit on the very same invention, so natural selection, working for the good of each being and taking advantage of analogous variations, has sometimes modified in very nearly the same manner two parts in two organic beings, which owe but little of their structure in common to inheritance from the same ancestor.

    Virgil Cain: Also Gallant cannot account for that toolkit and neither can natural selection.

    That wasn’t the purpose of the study. Rather, it was to find how evolution was able to adapt muscle tissue as an electric organ in widely disparate vertebrate species.

  33. 33
    Virgil Cain says:

    No, reality already stepped in and refuted Darwin.

    Zachriel:

    Darwin: The electric organs offer another and even more serious difficulty; for they occur in only about a dozen fishes, of which several are widely remote in their affinities. Generally when the same organ appears in several members of the same class, especially if in members having very different habits of life, we may attribute its presence to inheritance from a common ancestor; and its absence in some of the members to its loss through disuse or natural selection. But if the electric organs had been inherited from one ancient progenitor thus provided, we might have expected that all electric fishes would have been specially related to each other. Nor does geology at all lead to the belief that formerly most fishes had electric organs, which most of their modified descendants have lost.

    Nothing about any prediction of what electric organs evolved from.

    Rather, it was to find how evolution was able to adapt muscle tissue as an electric organ in widely disparate vertebrate species.

    “Evolution” is a nebulous term. Perhaps you are unaware of what ID is and what it is arguing against. Also Gallant doesn’t know if an electric organ can evolve in a population that never had one. All they have done is assume electric organs did evolve and then speculate as to how that may have happened. Next they need some way to test that speculation.

  34. 34
    Zachriel says:

    Virgil Cain: Nothing about any prediction of what electric organs evolved from.

    From the same chapter:

    “The electric organs of fishes offer another case of special difficulty; it is impossible to conceive by what steps these wondrous organs have been produced; but, as Owen and others have remarked, their intimate structure closely resembles that of common muscle; and as it has lately been shown that Rays have an organ closely analogous to the electric apparatus, and yet do not, as Matteuchi asserts, discharge any electricity, we must own that we are far too ignorant to argue that no transition of any kind is possible.”

    Virgil Cain: Also Gallant doesn’t know if an electric organ can evolve in a population that never had one.

    What Gallant shows is that the electric organ is just a modified muscle.

  35. 35
    Virgil Cain says:

    Zachriel:

    What Gallant shows is that the electric organ is just a modified muscle.

    Except they didn’t show any such thing. Obviously you are just a gullible chump who accepts anything it thinks supports its position.

    Again if Gallant had something real then experiment would confirm it. We await that experiment. Absent that please read the article linked to in comment 21

  36. 36
    Zachriel says:

    Virgil Cain: The paper doesn’t tell us what genes were involved.

    You didn’t read the paper, obviously.

    Virgil Cain: Again if Gallant had something real then experiment would confirm it.

    Actually, the paper is chock-full of empirical results. If you have issues with the paper, please be specific.

  37. 37
    Virgil Cain says:

    Zachriel- If they know what genes are involved then they need to conduct the experiment to see if their hypothesis has any merit. Obviously you are ignorant as to how science works.

    If you have issues with the paper, please be specific.

    They didn’t conduct the experiment that would verify if their musings had any merit. They have no idea if an electric organ can evolve from a population that never had one.

    Obviously you are just a gullible chump who accepts anything it thinks supports its position.

  38. 38
    Zachriel says:

    Virgil Cain: They didn’t conduct the experiment that would verify if their musings had any merit.

    In other words, you can’t point to an specifics of the paper that you find problematic.

  39. 39
    Virgil Cain says:

    Zachriel:

    In other words, you can’t point to an specifics of the paper that you find problematic.

    They never verified their speculations. It is incomplete.

    You can’t point to any specifics that demonstrate that electric organs evolved in a population that never had one.

  40. 40
    Zachriel says:

    Virgil Cain: They never verified their speculations.

    We asked for specifics. Try reading the paper, and tell us what about the paper you find problematic.

  41. 41
    Virgil Cain says:

    Zachriel:

    We asked for specifics.

    And we provided them.

    You can’t point to any specifics that demonstrate that electric organs evolved in a population that never had one. Try reading the paper, Zachriel.

  42. 42
    Virgil Cain says:

    Shockingly Fishy Conclusions:

    Evolutionary spin doctors try to explain how the electric eel, and five other groups of electric fish, evolved their electrifying characteristics independently.

    and

    Electric fish exist—there is no question of that. But their existence does not prove that they evolved. Convergent evolution is their explanation simply because they can’t explain it any other way.

  43. 43
    Zachriel says:

    Virgil Cain: You can’t point to any specifics that demonstrate that electric organs evolved in a population that never had one.

    We did. The authors provided evidence of a selectable, evolutionary pathway from muscle tissue to the electric organ.

  44. 44
    Virgil Cain says:

    You can’t point to any specifics that demonstrate that electric organs evolved in a population that never had one.

    Zachriel:

    We did. The authors provided evidence of a selectable, evolutionary pathway from muscle tissue to the electric organ.

    The authors didn’t provide any such thing. If they had then they would have produced an experiment to confirm it. No confirming experiment means they don’t have any science. No science means science doesn’t care what they say.

  45. 45
    Zachriel says:

    Virgil Cain: The authors didn’t provide any such thing.

    That’s your claim. Now tell us specifically why you disagree with the findings.

    Darwin hypothesized that the electric organ evolved from muscle tissue, but had no idea how it could have happened. Gallant et al. provide the how, supporting Darwin’s hypothesis.

    Our analysis suggests that a common regulatory network of transcription factors and developmental pathways may have been repeatedly targeted by selection in the evolution of EOs, despite their very different morphologies. Moreover, our work illuminates convergent evolution of EOs and emphasizes key signaling steps that may be foci for the evolution of tissues and organs in other organisms.

  46. 46
    Virgil Cain says:

    Zachriel:

    Now tell us specifically why you disagree with the findings.

    We already told you and you have already choked on them.

    Darwin hypothesized that the electric organ evolved from muscle tissue, but had no idea how it could have happened.

    And that is true today- no one has any idea if such a thing could happen.

    Gallant et al. provide the how, supporting Darwin’s hypothesis.

    No, they didn’t. Only experimentation which demonstrates such a thing can support Darwin. Absent of that all there is is speculation based on the assumption.

  47. 47
    Virgil Cain says:

    Our analysis suggests that a common regulatory network of transcription factors and developmental pathways may have been repeatedly targeted by selection in the evolution of EOs, despite their very different morphologies. Moreover, our work illuminates convergent evolution of EOs and emphasizes key signaling steps that may be foci for the evolution of tissues and organs in other organisms.

    That would work if and only if it requires fewer than 3 specific mutations:

    Waiting for Two Mutations: With Applications to Regulatory Sequence Evolution and the Limits of Darwinian Evolution– And that means it didn’t happen the way you think.

  48. 48
    Zachriel says:

    Virgil Cain: Only experimentation which demonstrates such a thing can support Darwin.

    The paper is full of empirical observations. They went to a lot of trouble to collect the data. It would be reasonable to refer to the data before waving your hands.

    Virgil Cain: We already told you and you have already choked on them.

    “Is not!” is not a specific objection. To be specific, you have to refer to the supporting data.

  49. 49
    Virgil Cain says:

    Zachriel:

    The paper is full of empirical observations.

    Heh.

    To be specific, you have to refer to the supporting data.

    There isn’t any specific evidence presented in the paper that demonstrates an electric organ can evolve in a population that never had one. From the data and assuming the different electric organs did evolve from populations that did not have one, they speculated on how it might have happened.

    “Is not!” is not a specific objection.

    Your childish misrepresentations are not an argument.

  50. 50
    Zachriel says:

    Virgil Cain: Heh.

    Non-responsive.

    Virgil Cain: Your childish misrepresentations are not an argument.

    That’s exactly what you did. You can object to any research paper with the exact same sentence.

    alter VC: There isn’t any specific evidence presented in the paper that demonstrates that the Earth moves.

    alter VC: There isn’t any specific evidence presented in the paper that demonstrates that atoms exist.

    alter VC: There isn’t any specific evidence presented in the paper that demonstrates {whatever you put in here}.

    To address the specifics means that your objection has to be specific to the paper itself.

    Virgil Cain: From the data and assuming the different electric organs did evolve from populations that did not have one, they speculated on how it might have happened.

    They did more than speculate. They provided a plausible pathway, as hypothesized by Darwin.

  51. 51
    Virgil Cain says:

    Zachriel, Using “empirical” and “observation” together doesn’t make any sense, given the definition of empirical. So the fact that you posted “empirical observations” proves that you are clueless when it comes to science.

    To address the specifics means that your objection has to be specific to the paper itself.

    Well if the paper isn’t specifically about the evolution of electric organs then why did you bother baldly posting it?

    From the data and assuming the different electric organs did evolve from populations that did not have one, they speculated on how it might have happened.

    Zachriel:

    They did more than speculate.

    That is all they did.

    They provided a plausible pathway, as hypothesized by Darwin.

    Now we know that you are lying as Darwin was ignorant of genetics and as such could not have hypothesized a plausible pathway. Also what, exactly, makes it “plausible”? They have never actually tested it.

  52. 52
    Zachriel says:

    Virgil Cain: So the fact that you posted “empirical observations” proves that you are clueless when it comes to science.

    Still arguing semantics rather than substance. Not all observation is empirical, hence the use of the adjective. Here’s a typical example from the Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and another from the National Science Foundation:

    The method was to, in the first place, explore it by empirical observation. Look, but look carefully and systematically.
    http://www.iep.utm.edu/desc-sci/

    the research should be based on empirical observation or be subject to empirical validation or illustration
    http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm.....ms_id=5369

    Virgil Cain: if the paper isn’t specifically about the evolution of electric organs then why did you bother baldly posting it

    The title of the paper is “Genomic basis for the convergent evolution of electric organs”.

    Virgil Cain: That is all they did.

    They did far more than speculate. They tested Darwin’s original hypothesis by assembling the genome of the electric eel (Electrophorus electricus) and sequencing electric organ and skeletal muscle transcriptomes from three lineages that have independently evolved electric organs. That’s not speculation. That’s called scientific research.

    Virgil Cain: Now we know that you are lying as Darwin was ignorant of genetics and as such could not have hypothesized a plausible pathway.

    Darwin didn’t propose a plausible pathway, but hypothesized that a plausible pathway existed, one that was beyond his ken. From the chapter you didn’t read:

    Darwin: The electric organs of fishes offer another case of special difficulty; it is impossible to conceive by what steps these wondrous organs have been produced; but, as Owen and others have remarked, their intimate structure closely resembles that of common muscle; and as it has lately been shown that Rays have an organ closely analogous to the electric apparatus, and yet do not, as Matteuchi asserts, discharge any electricity, we must own that we are far too ignorant to argue that no transition of any kind is possible.

    Virgil Cain: Also what, exactly, makes it “plausible”?

    By showing the availability of a stepwise selectable pathway.

    Darwin’s hypothesis: muscles evolved into the electric organ (evolved meaning selectable stepwise adaptation).
    Gallant et al: Shows a plausible adaptive pathway.

    So Darwin predicted results only available 150 years into the future. Lucky guess?

  53. 53
    Virgil Cain says:

    Zachriel:

    Still arguing semantics rather than substance.

    Umm semantics is the argument, duh.

    The title of the paper is “Genomic basis for the convergent evolution of electric organs”.

    Titles don’t do anything. And that title definitely does not say that they did what you claimed.

    They did far more than speculate.

    No, they didn’t. Obviously you are confused.

    They tested Darwin’s original hypothesis by assembling the genome of the electric eel (Electrophorus electricus) and sequencing electric organ and skeletal muscle transcriptomes from three lineages that have independently evolved electric organs. That’s not speculation. That’s called scientific research.

    LoL! The speculation comes from thinking electric organs can evolve in populations that never had one. They assumed the lineages evolved their electric organs.

    From the chapter you didn’t read:

    We read it and it doesn’t help you.

    By showing the availability of a stepwise selectable pathway.

    And they didn’t do that. No one knows if mere muscle tissue can evolve into an electric organ.

    Without the experiment we mentioned they have nothing but musings and science confirms that fact.

  54. 54
    Virgil Cain says:

    Empirical evidence, data, or knowledge, also known as sense experience, is a collective term for the knowledge or source of knowledge acquired by means of the senses, particularly by observation and experimentation.

    – wikipedia

    Empirical observation is redundant.

  55. 55
    Zachriel says:

    Virgil Cain: Empirical observation is redundant.

    While all empiricism is based in observation, not all observation is empirical; hence we modify the term observation with the adjective empirical. We provided examples from authoritative sources.

    Virgil Cain: semantics is the argument

    Our position concerned the substantive findings of Gallant et al. Good luck with your semantic endeavors.

  56. 56
    Virgil Cain says:

    Zachriel:

    Our position concerned the substantive findings of Gallant et al.

    That you think there was a “substantive finding” shows how desperate your position really is.

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