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New species evolve in bursts - Red Queen hypothesis of gradual evolution undermined.
Nature News ^ | 9 December 2009 | Kerri Smith

Posted on 12/10/2009 9:27:01 AM PST by neverdem

New species might arise as a result of single rare events, rather than through the gradual accumulation of many small changes over time, according to a study of thousands of species and their evolutionary family trees.

This contradicts a widely accepted theory of how speciation occurs: that species are continually changing to keep pace with their environment, and that new species emerge as these changes accrue. Known as the 'Red Queen' hypothesis, it is named after the character in Lewis Carroll's book Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There who tells a surprised Alice: "Here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place."

The Red Queen hypothesis rests on the idea that species must continuously evolve just to hang on to their ecological niche. That gradual evolution is driven by the constant genetic churn of sexual selection.

A consequence of this is that all of the species in a particular family, or genus, gradually evolve to form new species at the same rate.

But Mark Pagel and his team at the University of Reading, UK, challenge this idea. In a paper published today in Nature, they compared four models of speciation — one of which was the Red Queen hypothesis — to see which best explains the rate of speciation in more than 100 species groups from the animal and plant kingdoms, including bumblebees, turtles, foxes and roses.

They looked at the lengths of branches in thousands of species'...

--snip--

The team's findings might stir things up in the world of evolutionary biology. "It really goes against the grain because most of us have this Darwinian view of speciation," says Pagel. "What we're saying is that to think about natural selection as the cause of speciation is perhaps wrong."

(Excerpt) Read more at nature.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Testing
KEYWORDS: catastrophism; creation; evolution; godsgravesglyphs; intelligentdesign; naturalselection; science; velikovsky
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Venditti, C., Meade, A. & Pagel, M. Nature advance online publication doi:10.1038/nature08630 (2009).

The computer model will be attacked!

1 posted on 12/10/2009 9:27:03 AM PST by neverdem
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To: neverdem
Without making a claim about the veracity of the program or the conclusions, just commenting on the statements....

New species might arise as a result of single rare events, rather than through the gradual accumulation of many small changes over time, according to a study of thousands of species and their evolutionary family trees.

How convenient. A Scientific Process that is exceptional, rare, unrepeatable, and gives us exactly what we need to explain what we see.

Gee, I think creation is a "single rare event" which gives rise to a new species.

2 posted on 12/10/2009 9:35:09 AM PST by CharlesWayneCT
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To: neverdem

The bigger issue is that if biologists abandon Darwin’s natural selection model, what will creationists call evolutionary biologists?


3 posted on 12/10/2009 9:38:01 AM PST by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: CharlesWayneCT
Gee, I think creation is a "single rare event" which gives rise to a new species.

Both worldviews depend heavily on faith. I have faith in God as the creator of mankind. Unfortunately, the amount of faith required to believe in Evolution is so vast that I find I cannot be a believer.

4 posted on 12/10/2009 9:41:54 AM PST by ClearCase_guy (Play the Race Card -- lose the game.)
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To: CharlesWayneCT
One of the Biblical Creations has God bringing in plants and such ~ presumably from a galactic nursery somewhere.

It's been pretty clear since the taming of the first Alpaca that speciation is not driven by "natural" or "otherwise" selection.

You have to mess with the animal's reproductive opportunities first. Not too far back a bacteria was discovered in the Amazon that reconfigured the shape of the sexual organs in insects ~ with the result that many new species can arise in a very short time on, for example, a single tree!

You try doing that to human beings and you'll have a fight on your hands, and besides they'll just use in vitro!

5 posted on 12/10/2009 9:43:51 AM PST by muawiyah (Git Out The Way)
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To: CharlesWayneCT
"I think creation is a "single rare event" which gives rise to a new species."

Somebody or something would have to be pretty busy holding a new creation "event" for each and every species on the planet, but a nice try.

I think it is relevant to consider that Homo Sapiens and related / associated groups developed along different lines when isolated from others like them. Also, when not challenged or intermixed, there probably is greater tendency to remain the same. (By the way, those long leaps took a loo-oong time themselves.)

The money quote seems to be: "We think people will come around because it will start to unravel some mysteries about speciation,"

Seems like that's what science should be all about.

6 posted on 12/10/2009 9:51:53 AM PST by norton (No tagline here, Just move along.)
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To: norton

UNder conventional evolutionary theory, there is a falsifiability test, although it is complicated. When the scientists finish mapping the genomes of what they believe to be related species, they “simply” have to show how to start with some common ancestor, and then through a series if individual mutations, map gene sequences from the ancestor to both final related species.

With the stipulation that at EACH step on the way, the resulting organism must be viable and reproducable, and it would help if it was an improvement over the norm so it had a reasonable chance of reproducing.

It is my guess that they will never find the path from one species to another, but that is because I don’t believe you can go from one to another through a series of simple step mutations ALL of which are viable, reproducable, and selectable.

However, if this new theory is correct, they won’t have to find the series of mutation steps, because there won’t be one, just this rare huge change.


7 posted on 12/10/2009 10:03:27 AM PST by CharlesWayneCT
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To: neverdem
The idea of a neutral observer is impossible. Science is not the problem. It is scientists that create the problems in that they often find for what they are looking. Climategate is a prime example of the fallacy that scientists are disinterested observers. Scientists have a vested interest in defending Darwin's views. If Darwin were proven wrong, the theses, dissertations, and articles of millions of scientists would be nothing but scholarly crap. Science is closer to a religion than most people will admit.
8 posted on 12/10/2009 10:08:20 AM PST by Nosterrex
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To: norton
Amazing. This theory essentially throws out many of the concepts on which Darwinism is based (random mutations and natural selection combined with the opportunity that VERY long time periods provide) and just says that evolution can happen in a relative blink of the eye. That radical a shift in concept requires that evolutionists answer a few obvious questions about their prior dogmatic adherence to gradual change over huge time spans. What does that say? "Oops, we were wrong about all that stuff we so vehemently defended before, but we're right this time, just trust us. However, you creationists still can't possibly be right, even though we were so wrong."

Sounds like "punctuated equilibrium" all over again. None of this matters, though, because the biggest problem evolutionists have is not explaining how the raw materials of life arose (though that is difficult enough), but rather explaining how the INFORMATION that rides upon that substrate arose spontaneously. They cannot and never will be able to adequately explain how the extremely complex genetic code arose by chance. Codes don't arise by chance. They require an INTELLIGENCE to assign meaning to what would otherwise just be meaningless arrangements of chemicals.

9 posted on 12/10/2009 10:08:44 AM PST by noiseman (The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.)
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To: El Gato; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Robert A. Cook, PE; lepton; LadyDoc; jb6; tiamat; PGalt; Dianna; ...
Femina Sapiens in the Nursery - The conflict between parenting and career is hardwired in the female brain.

Like the male sex hormone testosterone, oxytocin is produced in the hypothalamus

IMHO, the author is probably confusing the specific hormone receptors with the hormones.

H1N1 influenza adopted novel strategy to move from birds to humans

Who Needs the Grid? A new fuel-cell technology promises to revolutionize access to cheap, clean energy.

Fear memories erased without drugs: A temporal twist to a therapeutic technique could block old terrors.

FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.

10 posted on 12/10/2009 10:17:44 AM PST by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: neverdem

I have complete faith in science. I trust what they find in their laboratories to be true and faithful.

Everytime an article or a post uses the phrases “scientific” or “scientist” I perk right up, save it to favorites and live my life by it.

I especially trust the scientists at the Climate Research Unit.

/SARC


11 posted on 12/10/2009 10:18:12 AM PST by gettinolder
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To: <1/1,000,000th%

The bigger issue is that if You mean WHEN biologists abandon Darwin’s natural selection model, what will creationists call evolutionary biologists?

Answer - MISTAKEN

12 posted on 12/10/2009 10:23:36 AM PST by RoadGumby (Ask me about Ducky)
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To: metmom; GodGunsGuts

Ping


13 posted on 12/10/2009 10:25:30 AM PST by RoadGumby (Ask me about Ducky)
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To: neverdem

Nothing says both mechanisms, gradual and “burst” can’t be going on at the same time. But I would tend to agree that new species probably evolve more in response to gross changes in the environment. Either way though, to get a new species, there would need to be an isolated population. Otherwise you’d get a changed species, but still only the one.


14 posted on 12/10/2009 10:27:43 AM PST by El Gato ("The Second Amendment is the RESET button of the United States Constitution." -- Doug McKay)
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To: <1/1,000,000th%
The bigger issue is that if biologists abandon Darwin’s natural selection model, what will creationists call evolutionary biologists?

They would not be abandoning "natural selection", just looking at the method by which it operates. That is more or less continuously, or in "punctuated equilibrium" manner.

This issue is hardly new. In fact I'd thought that the "fits and starts" model was more in favor. I know it is with me.

15 posted on 12/10/2009 10:30:13 AM PST by El Gato ("The Second Amendment is the RESET button of the United States Constitution." -- Doug McKay)
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To: RoadGumby; GodGunsGuts
The team's findings might stir things up in the world of evolutionary biology. "It really goes against the grain because most of us have this Darwinian view of speciation," says Pagel. "What we're saying is that to think about natural selection as the cause of speciation is perhaps wrong."

Now they need to come up with an explanation of what causes speciation. This should be fun.....


16 posted on 12/10/2009 10:45:19 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: El Gato
Nothing says both mechanisms, gradual and “burst” can’t be going on at the same time.

Way to cover all the bases. Then no matter which one pans out, you were right!

17 posted on 12/10/2009 10:46:42 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: metmom

Perhaps wrong. Yes. Perhaps


18 posted on 12/10/2009 10:48:34 AM PST by RoadGumby (Ask me about Ducky)
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To: RoadGumby
"What we've shown is that speciation is about happy accidents — rare events that happen in the environment that cause a species to speciate," says Pagel. These events could include a mountain range being thrust up or a shift in climate, he says.

*rare events*? *happy accidents*?

19 posted on 12/10/2009 10:54:25 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: metmom; neverdem

I always thought it was reproductive isolation of a population that is the main factor in speciation (or in the production of sub-species, for that matter). But then again, I could be wrong...


20 posted on 12/10/2009 10:58:21 AM PST by Pharmboy (The Stone Age did not end because they ran out of stones...)
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