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Why are there so many “species”? Well, maybe there aren’t.


But in the current mess, how would we know? From Noah K.Whiteman at BigQuestionsOnline:

Counting the number of herbivorous insect species that scientists have identified reveals a remarkable possibility: insects that feed on living plants may be the most species-rich group of organisms ever to have evolved in the history of life on the planet. This includes extinct lineages such as the Palaeodictyoptera — among the first herbivorous insects to have evolved. Only unnamed microbes might be more diverse (although this hypothesis is controversial). Parents in some future colony on Mars could someday read to their children the bedtime story The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle and with that story illustrate the essential nature of the two most diverse life forms on our planet: herbivorous insects and flowering plants.

Chemical coevolution between plants and herbivorous insects has produced not only a vast range of drugs that have been exploited by humans for millennia but also a profusion of species. This, then, may help us understand how plants and the insects that eat them — which constitute most species of life on earth — evolved. Modern genomics, coupled with classic evolutionary theory and natural history observations allow us to see how this process unfolds.More.

The article sounds like a Darwinian time warp. We don’t hear of the many problems about how a species is even determined, let alone about how hybridization and horizontal gene transfer fuzz the picture. Are there really one thousand “species” of cichlid in Lake Malawi?

Why are there so many species? Well, first thing, maybe there aren’t. One problem is that speciation has a meaning for Darwinians (or neo-Darwinians or whatever) that it lacks for others. It allegedly demonstrates that Darwinism (natural selection acting on random mutation) all by itself produces thousands of distinct new species. So the concept must be maintained even when, not only is the evidence contrary, but the idea, as they propound it, it has largely ceased to cohere or make any sense.

Until we know how much reversible plasticity there is in genomes, we can’t know how many species there are. But we can have biologists trading numbers around with no serious science basis.

File:HungryCaterpillar.JPG By the way, The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a great board book for small kids (three years?). They tend to “get” that the caterpillar is eating its way through the book.

See also: Twice as many bird species in the world as formerly thought? Have the species’ ability to hybridize and produce fertile offspring been tested? One asks because, in general, the concept of speciation is currently a mess.


Nothing says “Darwin snob” like indifference to the mess that the entire concept of speciation is in

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Pearlman - can you give some link to this? I'm afraid I don't understand what you mean by "base ‘Min’". Bob O'H
Baraminology by Todd Elder and other references and observations in RCCF - The Recent Complex Creation Framework help shed light on how many base 'Min' there are Pearlman
tommy hall, here is another 'top down' feature of organisms you may appreciate.
Post-Darwinist - Denyse O'Leary - Dec. 2010 Excerpt: They quote West et al. (1999), “Although living things occupy a three-dimensional space, their internal physiology and anatomy operate as if they were four-dimensional. Quarter-power scaling laws are perhaps as universal and as uniquely biological as the biochemical pathways of metabolism, the structure and function of the genetic code and the process of natural selection." They comment, "In the words of these authors, natural selection has exploited variations on this fractal theme to produce the incredible variety of biological form and function', but there were severe geometric and physical constraints on metabolic processes." "The conclusion here is inescapable, that the driving force for these invariant scaling laws cannot have been natural selection. It's inconceivable that so many different organisms, spanning different kingdoms and phyla, may have blindly 'tried' all sorts of power laws and that only those that have by chance 'discovered' the one-quarter power law reproduced and thrived." Quotations from Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini, What Darwin Got Wrong (London: Profile Books, 2010), p. 78-79. https://uncommondescent.com/evolution/16037/ The predominance of quarter-power (4-D) scaling in biology Excerpt: Many fundamental characteristics of organisms scale with body size as power laws of the form: Y = Yo M^b, where Y is some characteristic such as metabolic rate, stride length or life span, Yo is a normalization constant, M is body mass and b is the allometric scaling exponent. A longstanding puzzle in biology is why the exponent b is usually some simple multiple of 1/4 (4-Dimensional scaling) rather than a multiple of 1/3, as would be expected from Euclidean (3-Dimensional) scaling. http://www.nceas.ucsb.edu/~drewa/pubs/savage_v_2004_f18_257.pdf Of Life's Laws And Unity - May 11, 2016 Excerpt: Life obeys certain allometric scaling laws that seem to reveal a sort of overarching design principle at work. We don't know what this principle is, although it's probably related to optimization: What's the best shape for the least amount of energy consumption? A famous allometric law is known as Kleiber's Law, where the metabolic rate of an animal grows as its mass to the 3/4 power. (The metabolic rate can be measured in terms of the rate at which an animal consumes oxygen, for example.) Although there are small variations (due to motion, disease, aging), the relation holds over a wide range of masses. (There are disputes for very small animals without a circulatory system.) Geoffrey West, Brian Enquist and James Brown proposed a model based on blood flow to explain this and a few other general allometric scaling laws with body weight observed in animals (for a review paper see this): Apart from Kleiber's Law mentioned above, life span scales as 1/4 power (so take two square roots of the mass), and heart rate as -1/4 power. Put together, these two laws explain why all species have a similar amount of heartbeats, 1.5 billion, over their life spans. Pause for amazement. The laws are not absolutely precise but do indicate a common trend across an enormous variety of living creatures. On Monday night, I was on a panel on Complexity with Geoffrey West at the New York Academy of Sciences. At some point, I asked West whether alien life, if it exists, would follow the same sort of unifying allometric laws. With a twinkle in his eye, West replied, a big smile on his face: "Well, I can only speculate here, but it seems plausible that this sort of design principle for life does have universal characteristics." It would be amazing if life as we don't know it is, after all, life as we do know it. http://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2016/05/11/477607869/of-life-s-laws-and-unity
The reason why ’4-Dimensional’ quarter power scaling laws are impossible for Darwinian evolution to explain is that Natural Selection operates at the 3-Dimensional level of the organism and the ’4-Dimensional’ quarter power scaling law are simply ‘invisible’ to natural selection. The reason why 4-Dimensional things are, for all practical purposes, completely invisible to 3-Dimensional things is best illustrated by ‘flatland’:
Dr Quantum - Flatland - video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWyTxCsIXE4
The second part of this following video, at the 10:08 minute mark, also covers quarter power scaling
The abject failure of Natural Selection on two levels of physical reality – video (2016) (princess and the pea paradox & quarter power scaling) https://youtu.be/ISu-09yq2Gc?t=609
Moreover, there is also another 'top down' argument that is devastating to the atheist's worldview as a whole. Both General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics are built upon what can be termed 'top down', i.e. higher dimensional', mathematics: Specifically, the state-space of quantum mechanics is an infinite-dimensional function space. Some physical theories are also by nature high-dimensional, such as the 4-dimensional general relativity.
The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences - Eugene Wigner - 1960 Excerpt: We now have, in physics, two theories of great power and interest: the theory of quantum phenomena and the theory of relativity.,,, The two theories operate with different mathematical concepts: the four dimensional Riemann space and the infinite dimensional Hilbert space, http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc/MathDrama/reading/Wigner.html
Not so surprisingly, it was two Christians who originally laid down the basis for the 'higher dimensional' mathematics that eventually enabled Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity to be formulated
The Mathematics Of Higher Dimensionality - Gauss & Riemann - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/6199520/the_mathematics_of_higher_dimensionality_gauss_riemann/
The 'top down', higher dimensional, nature of Quantum Mechanics is weird enough so that I don't really have to point out its many bizarre features, yet the 4 Dimensional space-time of nature General Relativity has one particularly bizarre feature that many people do not fully realize yet. From a 3-dimensional (3D) perspective, any particular 3D spot in the universe is to be considered just as 'center of the universe' as any other particular spot in the universe is to be considered 'center of the universe'. This centrality found for any 3D place in the universe is because the universe is a 4D expanding hypersphere, analogous in 3D to the surface of an expanding balloon. All points on the surface are moving away from each other, and every point can be considered central to the expansion, if that’s where you live.
You Technically Are the Center of the Universe – May 2016 Excerpt: (due to the 1 in 10^120 finely tuned expansion of the 4-D space-time of General Relativity) no matter where you stand, it will appear that everything in the universe is expanding around you. So the center of the universe is technically — everywhere. The moment you pick a frame of reference, that point becomes the center of the universe. Here's another way to think about it: The sphere of space we can see around us is the visible universe. We're looking at the light from stars that's traveled millions or billions of years to reach us. When we reach the 13.8 billion-light-year point, we're seeing the universe just moments after the Big Bang happened. But someone standing on another planet, a few light-years to the right, would see a different sphere of the universe. It's sort of like lighting a match in the middle of a dark room: Your observable universe is the sphere of the room that the light illuminates. But someone standing in a different spot in the room will be able to see a different sphere. So technically, we are all standing at the center of our own observable universes. https://giphy.com/gifs/xT4uQEEBWRiB2gcxbO https://mic.com/articles/144214/you-technically-are-the-center-of-the-universe-thanks-to-a-wacky-physics-quirk
Thus, all in all, the Christian Theist, as far as the science itself is concerned, is sitting very pretty in his belief that God created the universe and all life on earth Verse:
Psalm 115:2-3 Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God? But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.
great stuff, born again........it's clear that evolutionists have flipped reality upside down and passed it off as "science." Biological changes over time are just evidence that individual organisms have a suite of adaptive, nonrandom mechanisms that spring into action and allow them to survive/reproduce better when the need arises. The "bottom up" story whereby random/haphazard/fortuitous mutations plus selection adapt and then build populations over millions of years is nothing short of the biggest intellectual scam of all time. To think about how many millions of people have been lied to and duped over the decades by the leftist scientific community can only leave one dumbstruck. And here's something else: if you take mutations (alterations in the base code) out of the equation on the micro, (replaced by plasticity, epigenetics or whatever else) then suddenly the darwinists have no explanation for the buildup of the genome. The two must go hand in hand; genetics and morphology must both climb "Mount Improbable" together.... But if the vast majority of adaptive morphological changes in nature are decoupled from random mutations (plus selection), then suddenly today's genomes have no explanation as to how they got built up. These two top-down arguments (one regarding the fossil record, the other regarding the nature of adaptive changes) are devastating to the evolutionists' science -- and worldview as a whole. tommy hall
Just how vastly different the alternative splicing patterns are between different species is highlighted in the following article:
Widespread Expansion of Protein Interaction Capabilities by Alternative Splicing - 2016 In Brief Alternatively spliced isoforms of proteins exhibit strikingly different interaction profiles and thus, in the context of global interactome networks, appear to behave as if encoded by distinct genes rather than as minor variants of each other.,,, Page 806 excerpt: As many as 100,000 distinct isoform transcripts could be produced from the 20,000 human protein-coding genes (Pan et al., 2008), collectively leading to perhaps over a million distinct polypeptides obtained by post-translational modification of products of all possible transcript isoforms (Smith and Kelleher, 2013). http://iakouchevalab.ucsd.edu/publications/Yang_Cell_OMIM_2016.pdf
A little reminder as to the 'strikingly different interaction profiles for proteins that act as if encoded by distinct genes', Behe’s limit for generating just 2 new protein-protein binding sites by Darwinian processes is 1 in 10^40,
Kenneth Miller Steps on Darwin’s Achilles Heel – Michael Behe – January 17, 2015 Excerpt: Miller grants for purposes of discussion that the likelihood of developing a new protein binding site is 1 in 10^20. Now, suppose that, in order to acquire some new, useful property, not just one but two new protein-binding sites had to develop. In that case the odds would be the multiple of the two separate events — about 1 in 10^40, which is somewhat more than the number of cells that have existed on earth in the history of life. That seems like a reasonable place to set the likely limit to Darwinism, to draw the edge of evolution. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/01/kenneth_miller_1092771.html Michael Behe – Observed (1 in 10^20) Edge of Evolution – video – Lecture delivered in April 2015 at Colorado School of Mines 25:56 minute quote – “This is not an argument anymore that Darwinism cannot make complex functional systems; it is an observation that it does not.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9svV8wNUqvA
In further note to developmental gene regulatory networks, if a dGRN (developmental gene regulatory network) subcircuit is interrupted the consequences are 'always catastrophically bad',,,
A Listener's Guide to the Meyer-Marshall Debate: Focus on the Origin of Information Question - Casey Luskin - December 4, 2013 Excerpt: "There is always an observable consequence if a dGRN (developmental gene regulatory network) subcircuit is interrupted. Since these consequences are always catastrophically bad, flexibility is minimal, and since the subcircuits are all interconnected, the whole network partakes of the quality that there is only one way for things to work. And indeed the embryos of each species develop in only one way." - Eric Davidson - developmental biologist http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/12/a_listeners_gui079811.html
Needless to say, since Darwinian evolution presupposes the unlimited plasticity of organisms, then the finding of inflexible, yet radically different, alternative splicing patterns, (i.e. developmental gene regulatory networks), and protein interaction networks between even supposedly closely related species is exactly the opposite finding for what would have been predicted by Darwinists. If Darwinian evolution were a normal science that was subject to rigorous testing, instead of being a unfalsifiable pseudo-science that relies on an almost endless litany of 'just so stories' to cover up embarrassing and persistent empirical shortcomings, this finding, by itself, should have been more than enough to falsify neo-Darwinian claims. Verse:
1 Thessalonians 5:21 but test everything; hold fast what is good.
Moreover, if I were to use genetic evidence to try to demarcate organisms into distinct entities, I would use developmental Gene Regulatory Networks, and/or alternative splicing patterns, to accomplish my demarcation of organisms. Whilst genes can be 'surprisingly similar' for widely different species,,,
Dolphin DNA very close to human, - 2010 Excerpt: They’re closer to us than cows, horses, or pigs, despite the fact that they live in the water.,,, “The extent of the genetic similarity came as a real surprise to us,” ,,, “Dolphins are marine mammals that swim in the ocean and it was astonishing to learn that we had more in common with the dolphin than with land mammals,” says geneticist Horst Hameister.,,, “We started looking at these and it became very obvious to us that every human chromosome had a corollary chromosome in the dolphin,” Busbee said. “We’ve found that the dolphin genome and the human genome basically are the same. It’s just that there’s a few chromosomal rearrangements that have changed the way the genetic material is put together.” http://www.reefrelieffounders.com/science/2010/10/21/articlesafari-dolphin-dna-very-close-to-human/ Kolber, J., 2010, Dolphin DNA very close to human, viewed 18th March 2012, Kumar, S., 2010, Human genes closer to dolphin’s than any land animal, Discovery Channel Online, http://biol1020-2012-1.blogspot.com/2012/03/human-and-dolphin-genomes.html Kangaroo genes close to humans Excerpt: Australia's kangaroos are genetically similar to humans,,, "There are a few differences, we have a few more of this, a few less of that, but they are the same genes and a lot of them are in the same order," ,,,"We thought they'd be completely scrambled, but they're not. There is great chunks of the human genome which is sitting right there in the kangaroo genome," http://www.reuters.com/article/science%20News/idUSTRE4AH1P020081118 Frogs and humans are kissing cousins - 2010 Excerpt: What's the difference between a frog, a chicken, a mouse and a human? Not as much as you'd think, according to an analysis of the first sequenced amphibian genome. The genome of the western clawed frog, Xenopus tropicalis, has now been analysed by an international consortium of scientists from 24 institutions, and joins a list of sequenced model organisms including the mouse, zebrafish, nematode and fruit fly. What's most surprising, researchers say, is how closely the amphibian's genome resembles that of the mouse and the human, with large swathes of frog DNA on several chromosomes having genes arranged in the same order as in these mammals. The results of the analysis are published in Science this week1. "There are megabases of sequence where gene order has changed very little,,,” http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100429/full/news.2010.211.html Efforts to make and apply humanized yeast – Oct. 13, 2015 Excerpt: A large proportion of yeast protein-coding genes that have been tested can be replaced with their human orthologs. http://bfg.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2015/10/13/bfgp.elv041.full.pdf+html
Whilst genes can be 'surprisingly similar' for widely different species, developmental Gene Regulatory Networks, and/or alternative splicing patterns in particular, are found to be vastly different between even supposedly closely related species:
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/?articles.view%2FarticleNo%2F33782%2Ftitle%2FEvolution-by-Splicing%2F Alternative splicing of RNA rewires signaling in different tissues, may contribute to species differences - December 21, 2012 Excerpt: After analyzing vast amounts of genetic data, the researchers found that the same genes are expressed in the same tissue types, such as liver or heart, across mammalian species. However, alternative splicing patterns—which determine the segments of those genes included or excluded—vary from species to species.,,, The results from the alternative splicing pattern comparison were very different. Instead of clustering by tissue, the patterns clustered mostly by species. "Different tissues from the cow look more like the other cow tissues, in terms of splicing, than they do like the corresponding tissue in mouse or rat or rhesus," Burge says. Because splicing patterns are more specific to each species, it appears that splicing may contribute preferentially to differences between those species, Burge says,,, Excerpt of Abstract: To assess tissue-specific transcriptome variation across mammals, we sequenced complementary DNA from nine tissues from four mammals and one bird in biological triplicate, at unprecedented depth. We find that while tissue-specific gene expression programs are largely conserved, alternative splicing is well conserved in only a subset of tissues and is frequently lineage-specific. Thousands of previously unknown, lineage-specific, and conserved alternative exons were identified; http://phys.org/news/2012-12-evolution-alternative-splicing-rna-rewires.html Gene Regulation Differences Between Humans, Chimpanzees Very Complex – Oct. 17, 2013 Excerpt: Although humans and chimpanzees share,, similar genomes, previous studies have shown that the species evolved major differences in mRNA (messenger RNA) expression levels.,,, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131017144632.htm Expanding ENCODE - Aug. 2014 Latest Encyclopedia of DNA Elements data enable researchers to compare genome regulation across species Excerpt: Ho and his coauthors also found key differences in the structure of heterochromatin between species.,,, ,,,these data show that “heterochromatin is not the same thing in different organisms, not only in terms of distribution but also in terms of composition.” http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/40891/title/Expanding-ENCODE/
Evolutionists Are Losing Ground Badly: Both Pattern and Process Contradict the Aging Theory – Cornelius Hunter – July 2012 Excerpt: Contradictory patterns in biology include the abrupt appearance of so many forms and the diversity explosions followed by a winnowing of diversity in the fossil record. It looks more like the inverse of an evolutionary tree with bursts of new species which then die off over time. http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2012/07/evolutionists-are-losing-ground-badly.html “Darwin had a lot of trouble with the fossil record because if you look at the record of phyla in the rocks as fossils why when they first appear we already see them all. The phyla are fully formed. It’s as if the phyla were created first and they were modified into classes and we see that the number of classes peak later than the number of phyla and the number of orders peak later than that. So it’s kind of a top down succession, you start with this basic body plans, the phyla, and you diversify them into classes, the major sub-divisions of the phyla, and these into orders and so on. So the fossil record is kind of backwards from what you would expect from in that sense from what you would expect from Darwin’s ideas." James W. Valentine - as quoted from "On the Origin of Phyla: Interviews with James W. Valentine" - (as stated at 1:16:36 mark of video) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtdFJXfvlm8&feature=player_detailpage#t=4595 Erwin and Valentine's The Cambrian Explosion Affirms Major Points in Darwin's Doubt: The Cambrian Enigma Is "Unresolved" - June 26, 2013 Excerpt: "In other words, the morphological distances -- gaps -- between body plans of crown phyla were present when body fossils first appeared during the explosion and have been with us ever since. The morphological disparity is so great between most phyla that the homologous reference points or landmarks required for quantitative studies of morphology are absent." Erwin and Valentine (p. 340) http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/06/erwin_valentine_cambrian_explosion073671.html
As Valentine hinted at, there are 'yawning chasms' in the 'morphological space' between the phyla which suddenly appeared in the Cambrian Explosion,,,
"Over the past 150 years or so, paleontologists have found many representatives of the phyla that were well-known in Darwin’s time (by analogy, the equivalent of the three primary colors) and a few completely new forms altogether (by analogy, some other distinct colors such as green and orange, perhaps). And, of course, within these phyla, there is a great deal of variety. Nevertheless, the analogy holds at least insofar as the differences in form between any member of one phylum and any member of another phylum are vast, and paleontologists have utterly failed to find forms that would fill these yawning chasms in what biotechnologists call “morphological space.” In other words, they have failed to find the paleolontogical equivalent of the numerous finely graded intermediate colors (Oedleton blue, dusty rose, gun barrel gray, magenta, etc.) that interior designers covet. Instead, extensive sampling of the fossil record has confirmed a strikingly discontinuous pattern in which representatives of the major phyla stand in stark isolation from members of other phyla, without intermediate forms filling the intervening morphological space." Stephen Meyer - Darwin’s Doubt (p. 70)
Moreover, this top down pattern in the fossil record, which is the complete opposite pattern as Darwin predicted for the fossil record, is not only found in the Cambrian Explosion, but this 'top down', disparity preceding diversity, pattern is also found throughout the fossil record subsequent to the Cambrian explosion as well.
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 In Allaying Darwin's Doubt, Two Cambrian Experts Still Come Up Short - October 16, 2015 Excerpt: "A recent analysis of disparity in 98 metazoan clades through the Phanerozoic found a preponderance of clades with maximal disparity early in their history. Thus, whether or not taxonomic diversification slows down most studies of disparity reveal a pattern in which the early evolution of a clade defines the morphological boundaries of a group which are then filled in by subsequent diversification. This pattern is inconsistent with that expected of a classic adaptive radiation in which diversity and disparity should be coupled, at least during the early phase of the radiation." - Doug Erwin What this admits is that disparity is a worse problem than evolutionists had realized: it's ubiquitous (throughout the history of life on earth), not just in the Cambrian (Explosion). http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/10/in_allaying_dar100111.html
Simply put, there is no 'smooth blending of defining characteristics' as would be predicted on Darwinian presuppositions but a sudden appearance of distinct kinds as would be predicted on the Biblical perspective. Dr. Arthur Jones, who did his Ph.D. thesis in biology on cichlids, (fish), comments on the distinctiveness of 'kind'
“For all the diversity of species, I found the cichlids to be an unmistakably natural group, a created kind. The more I worked with these fish the clearer my recognition of “cichlidness” became and the more distinct they seemed from all the “similar” fishes I studied. Conversations at conferences and literature searches confirmed that this was the common experience of experts in every area of systematic biology. Distinct kinds really are there and the experts know it to be so. – On a wider canvas, fossils provided no comfort to evolutionists. All fish, living and fossil, belong to distinct kinds; “links” are decidedly missing.” Dr. Arthur Jones – did his Ph.D. thesis in biology on cichlids – Fish, Fossils and Evolution – Cichlids at 29:00 minute mark (many examples of repeated morphology in cichlids) – video http://edinburghcreationgroup.org/video/14
Moreover, cichlid speciation is attributed to the 'inbuilt' 'phenotypic plasticity' of the organism. The variation of cichlid's is not the result of any new information being added to the organism via Darwinian processes:
Cichlid speciation attributed to “plasticity” – December 7, 2016 Excerpt: There is increasing evidence that phenotypic plasticity can promote population divergence by facilitating phenotypic diversification and, eventually, genetic divergence. When a ‘plastic’ population colonizes a new habitat, it has the possibility to occupy multiple niches by expressing several distinct phenotypes. These initially reflect the population’s plastic range but may later become genetically fixed by selection via the process of ‘genetic assimilation’ (GA). Through this process multiple specialized sister lineages can arise that share a common plastic ancestor – the ‘flexible stem’,,, https://uncommondescent.com/speciation/cichlid-speciation-attributed-to-plasticity-now/
Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig, retired director of Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding, elucidates to correct, non-Darwinian, pattern of speciation in the following article
A. L. Hughes’s New Non-Darwinian Mechanism of Adaption Was Discovered and Published in Detail by an ID Geneticist 25 Years Ago – Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig – December 2011 Excerpt: The original species had a greater genetic potential to adapt to all possible environments. In the course of time this broad capacity for adaptation has been steadily reduced in the respective habitats by the accumulation of slightly deleterious alleles (as well as total losses of genetic functions redundant for a habitat), with the exception, of course, of that part which was necessary for coping with a species’ particular environment….By mutative reduction of the genetic potential, modifications became “heritable”. — As strange as it may at first sound, however, this has nothing to do with the inheritance of acquired characteristics. For the characteristics were not acquired evolutionarily, but existed from the very beginning due to the greater adaptability. In many species only the genetic functions necessary for coping with the corresponding environment have been preserved from this adaptability potential. The “remainder” has been lost by mutations (accumulation of slightly disadvantageous alleles) — in the formation of secondary species. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/12/a_l_hughess_new053881.html
wd400 states:
"Species are a mess, so any scientific approach to understanding them is going to be messy. Unless you have a sure-fire way to delimit them?"
de·lim·it verb determine the limits or boundaries of.
To basically restate, and expand upon, exactly what I said to Bob O'H yesterday:
Bob O'H: “explain how we should classify individuals into species cleanly.”
Stop trying to fit everything into a Darwinian narrative would be a huge step in the right direction. Gradual evolution would expect a smooth blending of defining characteristics which would ruin any objective nested hierarchy, i.e. ruin any attempt to 'classify individuals into species cleanly'.
“But how could a division of the organic world into distinct entities be justified by an evolutionary theory that proclaimed ceaseless change as the fundamental fact of nature?”,,, "Darwin lamented: "We shall have to treat species as... artificial combinations made for convenience.,, we shall at least be freed from the vain search for the,, undiscoverable essence of the term species." Stephen Jay Gould, “A Quahog Is a Quahog,” Natural History (August/ September 1979), “Species Are Not Specious” New Scientist (August 2, 1979). Taxonomic nested hierarchies don’t support Darwinism – May 14, 2013 Excerpt: Taxonomic nested hierarchies don’t support Darwinism or common descent, actually the opposite. Michael Denton convincingly argued that nested hierarchies can be used to argue against macro evolution.,,, In sum, the nested hierarchies in taxonomy don’t need Darwinism, in fact, Darwinism distorts the ability to actually see the nested hierarchies, and finally nested hierarchies based on taxonomy are evidence against Darwinism. https://uncommondescent.com/darwinism/taxonomic-nested-hierarchies-dont-support-darwinism/
In fact, besides the attempted classification of life forms into distinct types being directly contrary to the 'smooth blending of defining characteristics' that we would expect from the gradual 'bottom up' Darwinian scenario, the fossil record itself reveal a 'top down' pattern. A 'top down' pattern of sudden appearance of distinct 'kinds' and then rapid variation from that distinct kind, then followed by long term stasis, with never a complete departure from the basic form of that distinct kind.
Cambrian Explosion Ruins Darwin’s Tree of Life (2 minutes in 24 hour day) – video (2:55 minute mark) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vA2LDiWeWb4
, as Dr. Wells points out in the preceding video, Darwin predicted that minor differences (diversity) between species would gradually appear first and then the differences would grow larger (disparity) between species as time went on. i.e. universal common descent as depicted in Darwin's tree of life. What Darwin predicted should be familiar to everyone and is easily represented in the following graph.,,,
The Theory - Diversity precedes Disparity - graph http://www.veritas-ucsb.org/JOURNEY/IMAGES/F.gif
But that 'tree pattern' that Darwin predicted is not what is found in the fossil record. The fossil record reveals that disparity (the greatest differences) precedes diversity (the smaller differences), which is the exact opposite pattern for what Darwin's theory predicted.
The Actual Fossil Evidence- Disparity precedes Diversity - graph http://www.veritas-ucsb.org/JOURNEY/IMAGES/G.gif Timeline graphic on Cambrian Explosion - 'Darwin's Doubt: Stephen Meyer' (Disparity preceding Diversity) - infographic http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/07/its_darwins_dou074341.html Investigating Evolution: The Cambrian Explosion Part 1 – (4:45 minute mark - upside-down fossil record) video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DkbmuRhXRY Part 2 – video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZFM48XIXnk Challenging Fossil of a Little Fish Excerpt: "In Chen’s view, his evidence supports a history of life that runs opposite to the standard evolutionary tree diagrams, a progression he calls top-down evolution." Jun-Yuan Chen is professor at the Nanjing Institute of Paleontology and Geology http://www.fredheeren.com/boston.htm Jerry Coyne's Chapter on the Fossil Record Fails to Show "Why Evolution is True" - Jonathan M. - December 4, 2012 Excerpt: Darwin's theory would predict a cone of diversity whereby the major body-plan differences (morphological disparity) would only appear in the fossil record following numerous lower-level speciation events. What is interesting about the fossil record is that it shows the appearance of the higher taxonomic categories first (virtually all of the major skeletonized phyla appear in the Cambrian, with no obvious fossil transitional precursors, within a relatively small span of geological time). As Roger Lewin (1988) explains in Science, "Several possible patterns exist for the establishment of higher taxa, the two most obvious of which are the bottom-up and the top-down approaches. In the first, evolutionary novelties emerge, bit by bit. The Cambrian explosion appears to conform to the second pattern, the top-down effect." Erwin et al. (1987), in their study of marine invertebrates, similarly conclude that, "The fossil record suggests that the major pulse of diversification of phyla occurs before that of classes, classes before that of orders, orders before that of families. The higher taxa do not seem to have diverged through an accumulation of lower taxa." Indeed, the existence of numerous small and soft-bodied animals in the Precambrian strata undermines one of the most popular responses that these missing transitions can be accounted for by them being too small and too-soft bodied to be preserved. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/12/jerry_coynes_c067021.html
I'm sorry, but this is not an answer. Is there a surefire way we are missing? If not, which issues that we currently ignore are preventing us from finding it? wd400
wd400 at 1: No "surefire way to delmit them" can be envisioned until the issues are seriously on the table. The Royal Society chickening out on a number of basic issues around how evolution happens means many absurd statements around speciation to come. News
So... FWIW, no one thinks that "Darwinism (natural selection acting on random mutation) all by itself produces thousands of distinct new species". Joe Felesenstein and others showed that we recombination will undue selection too rapidly for this to work. The more interesting question is undertanding the conditions under which selection can contribute to speciation. As to the "mess"? Species are a mess, so any scientific approach to understanding them is going to be messy. Unless you have a sure-fire way to delmit them? N wd400

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