Darwins Finches evolve

Vajradhara

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Namaste all,

http://apnews.excite.com/article/20060713/D8IR8MEG1.html

WASHINGTON (AP) - Finches on the Galapagos Islands that inspired Charles Darwin to develop the concept of evolution are now helping confirm it - by evolving.

A medium sized species of Darwin's finch has evolved a smaller beak to take advantage of different seeds just two decades after the arrival of a larger rival for its original food source.

The altered beak size shows that species competing for food can undergo evolutionary change, said Peter Grant of Princeton University, lead author of the report appearing in Friday's issue of the journal Science.
Grant has been studying Darwin's finches for decades and previously recorded changes responding to a drought that altered what foods were available.

It's rare for scientists to be able to document changes in the appearance of an animal in response to competition. More often it is seen when something moves into a new habitat or the climate changes and it has to find new food or resources, explained Robert C. Fleischer, a geneticist at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and National Zoo.

metta,

~v
 
Vajradhara said:
Namaste all,

http://apnews.excite.com/article/20060713/D8IR8MEG1.html

WASHINGTON (AP) - Finches on the Galapagos Islands that inspired Charles Darwin to develop the concept of evolution are now helping confirm it - by evolving.

A medium sized species of Darwin's finch has evolved a smaller beak to take advantage of different seeds just two decades after the arrival of a larger rival for its original food source.

The altered beak size shows that species competing for food can undergo evolutionary change, said Peter Grant of Princeton University, lead author of the report appearing in Friday's issue of the journal Science.
Grant has been studying Darwin's finches for decades and previously recorded changes responding to a drought that altered what foods were available.

It's rare for scientists to be able to document changes in the appearance of an animal in response to competition. More often it is seen when something moves into a new habitat or the climate changes and it has to find new food or resources, explained Robert C. Fleischer, a geneticist at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and National Zoo.

metta,

~v

Not that I don't believe in Evolution or anything, but these changes (from a creationist point of view) only serve to prove "micro-evolution" as opposed to "macro-evolution".

Cretionists seem to believe that evolution 'within' a species is possible, but evolving from one species into a completely new species is another matter.

.
 
:D Hmmm, a divergence from other hot threads? A fresh start on an old topic? Do I dare take the bait? :D

How about Homo Floresiensis? Now that is an intriguing discovery! ;) Or perhaps the connection between the Solutrean and Clovis cultures and the implications? Or the long history behind the Wild Man tradition? Or the Neandertal / Cro-Magnon hybrid child? These finds have a direct impact on modern human society, with possible religious ramifications as well.

More so I would think than denoting yet another new "species" by the size of their nose. Or by the color of their skin, I.Q. or shoe size, for that matter. ;)

'Nuf said on my part, I've spoken my piece on the old threads about this subject. I think I'll leave this one alone for now, and leave it for the newbies. :D
 
Actually, I have to be a canker here, and point out that indeed we're only seeing small adaptions within a species, rather than development of completely new species.

Humans have been manipulating the physical form of dogs for thousands of years, and despite an incredible range of adaptations, I don't believe we've actually created any new species of dog - merely variations on a theme.

So the finches shows that species can adapt - but we've seen this before. What we've not seen is a clear transistion between species.

No, I'm not downplaying evolution - I'm just trying to downplay expectations that the finches article can serve as a strong proof. :)
 
Tis my understanding that is what Darwin and Origin of a Species never did... find the origin of a species.

Ok 123, do we have to search high and low or will you provide links to what you alluded to?
 
Namaste all,

Biological Evolution = Change in Allele frequencies in a population over time.

that is certainly what happened with the finches.

i really don't understand the hang up.

moreover, the idea of "micro" and "macro" are really unusual. how long does it take for "micro" to become "macro"? this is a CreationISM gambit that is not based on anything but a desire to denigrate the theory.

i should point out that Darwin was a Christian when he developed the theory, however, there were others before him that had, independently, come up with the same sort of thing. none of them, however, had the luxury of seeing the Galapagos Islands.

one wonders how people think that modern medicine works if evolution isn't valid. you've heard of the "super bugs" like MSRA and MSRE, i am certain.

metta,

~v
 
I'm not denying evolution...just wondering out of all the fossils we've discovered...out of the thousands of species...all we ever see is interspecies change...in every single case we have a missing link...we can never get from a-z on any species change because we always have a hole...

Doesn't seem like scientfic proof to me...I personally would like to see the gaps filled.
 
I'm not trying to knock evolution. :)

I simply think there are flaws in the "conventional" Dawkian view that needs to take more on board from people like Gould. Trouble is, with the Creationist argument being aggressively pushed, it's pushing people into polarised camps.

I subscribe to evolutionary theory, but I think there are serious flaws in some key mechanisms that are being overlooked in the rush to combat Creationism - and hence we get an unbalanced view of one of the most important ideas in modern science.

I'll try and write a book about it... :)
 
wil said:
I'm not denying evolution...just wondering out of all the fossils we've discovered...out of the thousands of species...all we ever see is interspecies change...in every single case we have a missing link...we can never get from a-z on any species change because we always have a hole...

Doesn't seem like scientfic proof to me...I personally would like to see the gaps filled.

Namatse wil,

science doesn't deal in "proofs" those are properties of math and other formal systems like logic.

science deals in evidence and the evidence for a change in allele frequiences in a population over time is quite strong, in my view.

do you know what retrovirii are?

metta,

~v
 
Namaste Brian,


"Dawkian" do you mean Dr. Dawkins?

his approach is quite aggressive and it isn't an approach that i perfer. though i understand the motivation and reasoning behind it.

to be frank with you that is precisely why science doesn't deal in proofs nor does it have laws, it has evidence and theories... when new evidence is introduced, the theory must change.

was it Eldridge and Gould that came up with Punctuated Equilibrium? that is one of the more compelling theories, in my view.

it should probably also be said that the debate in science is not if evolution happened. it has. the debate is over the mechanisms for such and i think that is often confusing to us non-scientist types.

metta,

~v
 
Vajradhara said:
....do you know what retrovirii are?....it has evidence and theories... when new evidence is introduced, the theory must change.
lol now that is the definition of micro to macro...I'd like to see one, just one mouse, a roach even, some species where we have something and we are going to go microscopic for our proof...and then it is ok, if it is proven wrong at some point in the future no big deal....we said it was only a theory...

Seriously those are some of the best arguments I've ever heard, a. we have proof...except it doesn't have arms, legs, or eyes, any of that tricky stuff that presents a problem....and b. it doesn't really matter, we don't say it is a fact, we call it a theory, we just demand you bow down and accept our theory completely until we get a new one for you...

I'm not seeing the difference between science and religion...seems both take a leap of faith.
 
Namaste wil,

thank you for the post.

wil said:
lol now that is the definition of micro to macro...I'd like to see one, just one mouse, a roach even, some species where we have something and we are going to go microscopic for our proof...and then it is ok, if it is proven wrong at some point in the future no big deal....we said it was only a theory...

i have no idea what you are talking about.

science deals in theory. perhaps you've heard of the Theory of Gravity?

Seriously those are some of the best arguments I've ever heard,

then you should do more investigation on this subject since those are not agumentations that i am making, simply correcting the oft expressed misconception that science deals in proof rather than evidence.

a. we have proof...

that is not something which i have advocated so i'm unclear why you attributing things which i did not say to me.

except it doesn't have arms, legs, or eyes, any of that tricky stuff that presents a problem....and b. it doesn't really matter, we don't say it is a fact, we call it a theory, we just demand you bow down and accept our theory completely until we get a new one for you...

let me have Dr. Gould explain this:

“Well evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts do not go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from apelike ancestors whether they did so by Darwin's proposed mechanism or by some other yet to be discovered.”

— "Evolution as Fact and Theory," Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes, New York: W. W. Norton, 1994, p. 254.


I'm not seeing the difference between science and religion...seems both take a leap of faith.

let me introduce you to the Scientific Method:

http://teacher.pas.rochester.edu/phy_labs/AppendixE/AppendixE.html

metta,

~v
 
I said:
I'll try and write a book about it... :)

Hey Brian, are you serious about this? I wish you would. I've always appreciated the balance, as well as open-mindedness, you bring to these conversations. Anyway, good posts above.

luna
 
Kindest Regards, Vajradhara!

I am confused by what you say:
Biological Evolution = Change in Allele frequencies in a population over time.
yet:
…modern anthropology has done away with the term "race" altogether as we are, in fact, all of the human race.
There is an irreconcilable dichotomy arising, further fueled by recent genetic findings. I must lay a little ground work in order for others to understand. First, if "anthropology" makes this claim that humans are a single "race," and this position is not based solely on politics, and humans are but another animal; then how does one account for the recent announcement around Christmas dealing with a mutant gene in the genome of Caucasoid populations?
http://www.comparative-religion.com/forum/ancient-lore-and-mythology/applied-anthropology-4598.html
post 6 and 8

Wherein the researchers discovered that a mutant gene is responsible for fair skin in Caucasoid peoples compared with Negroid peoples. Yet, this mutant gene is not responsible for fair skin in Mongoloid peoples. That tells me there are at least three distinct sub-species of humans per "change in Allele frequencies in a population over time," assuming humans are "but another animal." Whether one looks to the genetic antiquity of the Bushmen, Laplanders and Ainu peoples, or the mythological explanation of Noah's sons Shem, Ham and Japeth; the concept of three distinct "sub-species" of humans exists with this train of thought, and cannot be adequately reconciled with "modern anthropology has done away with the term 'race' altogether as we are, in fact, all of the human race." The logical conclusion, and political danger, of "Biological Evolution = Change in Allele frequencies in a population over time" leads to Eugenics. This is the latent conflict with gauging "speciation" by a cosmetic adaptation such as beak size, nose size, skin color, I.Q. or shoe size.

We cannot have both. Either one statement is true, or the other, but not both together under the same guise of science and anthropology… :)

This has been an underlying point I have striven to bring forth in my previous discussions. We both know I can get carried away on this subject, hence my reason to refrain. But I do want this one crucially salient point brought forward. Perhaps I have left some of the newer people scratching their heads wondering what I am getting at. Yet, I know full well others here who have participated in the previous discussions know exactly what I am getting at. :D

With this I will bow out to let this thread develop as it will.

Peace, to one who I greatly respect.
 
Vajradhara said:
it should probably also be said that the debate in science is not if evolution happened. it has. the debate is over the mechanisms for such

Indeed, but I fear too often the discussion and debate over different mechanisms gets drowned out in the general polarised Evolution vs Creationism argument.

lunamoth said:
Hey Brian, are you serious about this?

Well, I've started something a couple of weeks back, and have 2 chapters written. But I've started many books before. :)
 
Keep writing Brian. Someone should be able to come up with some viable answers. It might as well be you.

When it comes to the discussion at hand, I approach the subject from the viewpoint of the operation of complex systems. Nature is a complex system; and, subsets of this uber system are plants, animals, electromagnetic radiations, earth's weather patterns and atmosphere, geological shifts in earth's foundational materials, and even materials and animate and inanimate objects modified and created by intelligent beings, since these are, by definition, only expedient and transitory rearrangements of natural complex systems re-fashioned to suit our needs. Everything within this categorization is entirely composed of a fixed number of naturally occuring elements, arranged with each other in varying combinations. As far as we are able to see in the observable universe this all seems to be the case.

So think of all our earthly realities as nested sets of macro and micro complex systems that tend to come into being naturally or artificially, that exist for differing time spans in certain forms, and then tend to transform themselves because of environmental necessities into other sorts of complex systems. Such transformed systems are not necessarily very different from what came before, but just different enough in order to, perhaps, adapt more effeciently to the new and changed environmental order.

Water is a complex system, yet it may exist in at least three forms on the earth or in the atmosphere; steam, liquid, or as a solid. The phase changes that mark the shifts between the forms exhibit hallmark patterns at the molecular and atomic levels as the changes progress. But these hallmark patterns are dormant once the stability of a new phase is attained.

This same or similar process takes place in living organisms as they change to adapt over time to environmental variabilities. If a Finch species in the Galapagos Islands adapts its beak characteristics to adapt to new food source conditions, it may or may not signal a permanent change in the animal and the establishment of a new species. It's a question of how long the new stability lasts. It depends upon one's definition of permanence. Beaks may change within another ten years or so because of other needed adaptations to feeding conditions. Can that also be considered a species change ? I believe that this is all a matter of degree and time spans.

Science is a series of measurements and observations that describe conditions in our environments of complex systems. It and its findings are always subject to adjustment and change depending upon the relative stabilities over time of what is being observed and measured. Looking at past objects gives us a series of pictures of past realities frozen in time, and by stringing enough of them together science has the ability to determine and, now, digitally model, over time, whether phenomena such as global warming trends are real, and what the causes might be. But these methods, such as stringing together humanoid fossils to determine our heritage, are notoriously incomplete because of the lengthy time periods involved. Actually, digital archaeogenetic analyses are currently yielding more fascinating versions and pictures of what we are and where we came from.

In living complex systems these things are much more difficult to theorize upon and to reach concrete conclusions about. These systems are much more sensitive to many more variables than, say, water is. They must also react and mesh with atmospherics, light, electro/geomagnetic variances, nutrient availabilities, etc., so there are many more things to observe and measure to determine accuracy and applicabiliy of any explanatory theories which may be derived in the process.

So saying that there have always have been three distinct varieties of humans and that they correspond with the stories concerning Noah's three sons may be true, but it could also just be a convenient metaphor to explain our possible genotype, phenotype, and cultural histories. In a like manner we might regard random genetic mutations within the human system to be transitory and not necessarily indicative of species change. It is clear that autism, attention deficit disorder, juvenile diabetes, increased allergen sensitivities and the like signal changes in the human system. But are they changes that signal some immense movement towards a permanent shift in the makeup of our species ? Maybe, maybe not. Time will tell.

But these days some epidemiologists are concerned that our species' shift away from living in natural as opposed to constructed environments over the past 150 years or so may be enough of an environmental imposition upon our system's stabilities to force cascades of genetic changes that may profoundly change all of us in significant ways.

flow....:cool:
 
Namaste juan,

thank you for the post.

juantoo3 said:
Kindest Regards, Vajradhara!

I am confused by what you say:

yet:

There is an irreconcilable dichotomy arising, further fueled by recent genetic findings.

the terms "race" and "ethnicity" are two different orders of classification used to denote different aspects of the being, as far as i can tell. further, i suggest that the "irreconcilable dichotomy" is more of a classifcation issue

I must lay a little ground work in order for others to understand. First, if "anthropology" makes this claim that humans are a single "race," and this position is not based solely on politics, and humans are but another animal; then how does one account for the recent announcement around Christmas dealing with a mutant gene in the genome of Caucasoid populations?

it seems like you are suggesting that different ethnic groups are different species of human. i would strongly disagree with such a notion. all of which, however, seem somewhat outside the scope of the OP. moreover, humans have plenty of mutations within their genetic code...

anthropology is a bit different than taxonomy, iirc.


Wherein the researchers discovered that a mutant gene is responsible for fair skin in Caucasoid peoples compared with Negroid peoples. Yet, this mutant gene is not responsible for fair skin in Mongoloid peoples. That tells me there are at least three distinct sub-species of humans per "change in Allele frequencies in a population over time," assuming humans are "but another animal."

how have determined that these genetic mutations constitute a new "sub-species" category in standard taxonomy?

surely you do not dispute that all humans are able to interbreed, do you?

Whether one looks to the genetic antiquity of the Bushmen, Laplanders and Ainu peoples, or the mythological explanation of Noah's sons Shem, Ham and Japeth; the concept of three distinct "sub-species" of humans exists with this train of thought, and cannot be adequately reconciled with "modern anthropology has done away with the term 'race' altogether as we are, in fact, all of the human race."

modern humans, Homo Sapien Sapien, on the male side are all related to the african Bushmen.

http://www.pupress.princeton.edu/chapters/i7442.html

The logical conclusion, and political danger, of "Biological Evolution = Change in Allele frequencies in a population over time" leads to Eugenics.

only if one subscribes to certain view points which are not based on anything but a desire for power and worldly influence.

it is the logical conclusion of Social Darwninism that, however, is quite outside the scope of this thread.

We cannot have both. Either one statement is true, or the other, but not both together under the same guise of science and anthropology… :)

reality does not seem to be bi-valent regardless of how often our view points are. reality is multi-valent and, as such, has a myriad of manners in which beings are assembled.

the two statements are addressing different areas and they are both correct statements. naturally, as our information grows so does our understanding.

metta,

~v
 
Woah, everybody's using loads of SAT words here, but I'm going to try and contribute something intelligent anyway...:)

wil said:
I'm not denying evolution...just wondering out of all the fossils we've discovered...out of the thousands of species...all we ever see is interspecies change...in every single case we have a missing link...we can never get from a-z on any species change because we always have a hole...

Doesn't seem like scientfic proof to me...I personally would like to see the gaps filled.

Now, what I remember from my weekly three-hour-nap entitled "Biology 101" is that you can't say that A is a separate species from C unless they can't interbreed. But in order to know whether or not they can't interbreed, you have to have living examples around to play with. Vaj mentioned, how long does it take for micro to become macro? Say you've got fossil evidence of creature A, and somewhat later fossil evidence of creature B, and even later fossil evidence of creature C. For the sake of convenience you label them three different species. But if C evolved from B evolved from A, how do you know who could have interbred with whom? If dogs were suddenly wiped off the face of the earth, how would future generations know that chihuahuas could interbreed with great danes, and that they weren't separate species?

The point I am clunkily trying to make here is that maybe the gaps are filled already, we just can't recognize it because we don't have any eohippi around to try and mate with a horse.
 
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