Once again I make an attempt to open the question of created kinds, or baramins, or whatever you want to call them: groups within which there is common descent but between which there is not. This is an opportunity for the creationists who frequent TSZ to school me on the subject.
I ask one simple question to begin the discussion: how many different kinds of birds are there? (It should be obvious why I chose birds, but the choice was, from a scientific standpoint, arbitrary.) As a followup, how can you tell? If there are indeed separately created kinds, I would think the divisions would be obvious. Would you agree, and why or why not? In any case, I’m not asking for precision; an answer within an order of magnitude will do.
Here’s my answer: 1; all birds belong to the same kind. In fact they form an infinitesimal fraction of a kind, since all life on earth is related. We have discussed the evidence many times here: nested hierarchy, etc. There are no joints at which kinds can easily be carved. How about you?
What about ring species? Animals that live along a continuous gradient usually shaped like a ring with subspecies A,B,C,D,E,F,G. Each subspecies can breed with its immediate neighbors i.e. B can breed with A and C, D can breed with C and E, etc. but subspecies A and G are infertile and can’t breed with each other.
This happens in the real world as with the Ensatina salamanders in California.
What happens to your “kind” criteria then?
Here is a abstract problem with cancers.
The killer problem is a change in protein to protein interaction.
If mutational changes are delirious by taking out significant pieces of proteins (missing exon) and stopping they’re binding activity cancer is an extreme risk and that type of mutation becomes a dead end.
Sorry I omitted this part of the quote.
If you can show this occurred then my claim is refuted. The problem is your data is after the fact and not observation of the process in nature.
Ring species Bill. How does your “kind” scenario handle them?
I think these type of species are possibly different kinds with close enough genetics to marginally interbreed.
How can different kinds “marginally” interbreed? That made no sense whatsoever. There’s suppose to be this barrier which make it impossible for “kinds” to be even a little interfertile.
We know of hybrids like ligers and mules. They may be separate kinds or there may be a simple mutation caused the same kind to have breeding issues. Their fixation in the population is an interesting point.
All that being said I congratulate you for a good citation. Dr Wake is a friend of my brothers and will be interested that he was cited here.
Can you even see the problem, Bill?
I see the problem. The question is, what is the existence of hybrids telling us. Adapta made an important post. What is the cause of animals that can breed but have the genetic variation that make the offspring sterile?
This in its first light looks like an example of Darwinian evolution. The problem is that sterile offspring lead to a dead end to the evolutionary process.
Good thing you know better, huh?
No, since divergence is an important aspect of known evolutionary processes. If successful breeding continued, there would be no divergence.
Bill – it would appear that you have made up your mind and nothing anybody can offer – even hypothetically – could ever change your mind.
I asked you a hypothetical question in order to save you, me and everybody here time, effort and bandwidth.
You dodged my hypothetical question – by asking me a different question!
OK – I will answer your question, this one time – BUT I expect the courtesy of you THEN answering my question.
Answering your question – I know enough that neither YOU nor anyone else are in a position to demonstrate that there exists ANY difference regarding the status of “alternate splicing” as a means of differentiating kinds. You are grasping at conjectural straws.
Now – please answer my hypothetical question
I await your answer with bated breath
Will you believe I have not considered this before?
You seem to be missing what I am getting at. Let’s rephrase. Unless I am gravely mistaken, the Book of Genesis does not include a list of species to include in the SNAKE kind (is the all-caps compulsory?). It says this:
And you claimed this enables us to identify the SNAKE kind, because they all lost their legs as part of the curse, uniquely. So if we want to identify all members of the SNAKE kind this should be easy, since it includes all reptiles that crawl on their belly, right? Wrong. When you were confronted with slowworms this suddenly didn’t apply any more, because “they are not snakes”. Yes, of course they are; they crawl on their belly, so they must be of the SNAKE kind. How on earth did you decide they are not?
Then you are going to have a hard time dealing with eternal afterlife.
Wow Bill. You really gave away the game here. If different kinds are close enough to “marginally” interbreed (whatever that means) the differences are not unsurmountable to evolutionary change, and common descent becomes the more parsimonious explanation. Perhaps you would like to defend more inclusive kinds? Time to scale up.
It is telling us that two populations have not diverged to complete speciation yet.
Shit happens. The real problem is that the Designer acted with very poor foresight here. Isn’t that odd, though?
Well, I realized about that problem myself, but, there being so many other human beings around, I doubt I could claim originality.
Thanks for reading.
And again, that’s a biased sample, and an after-the-fact problem (or after-the-establishment-of-some-evolutionary-outcome). From biased samples you cannot know if there’s changes in splicing that have from neutral to semi-neutral effects. So what’s your point if not that there’s deleterious mutations? And if that’s your point, so what? In which way would examples of deleterious mutations prove that there can only be deleterious mutations?
Just look around you. How many identical human beings you see around yourself? Not that many? There! Now you have proof that there’s tons and tons of selectively neutral mutations. Congratulation on your newly gained knowledge!
It’s always new information Bill. No way around. Each individual life form is new information Bill. If you don’t believe it, well, show me a single life form that doesn’t take anything from its environment. Well, that energy input/output is information Bill.
Wrong. Mutations that break down the sequence are selected against, and only the successful ones continue for eons and eons. Again, there’s a rich resource of successful sequences that have an accumulated history of success. Is this really that hard to understand?
If deleterious mutations weren’t selected against, and positive mutations weren’t selected for, and successful mutants didn’t reproduce and recombine, then we’d have a slightly similar situation. But phone numbers don’t have long histories of success embedded, nor do they come in enormous variant forms with from conserved, to slightly divergent, to spectacularly divergent functions, “each useful to its possessor.”
Bill, you have now established that interbreeding or the lack of it is not a signal that two species belong to the same or different kinds. Time to abandon that criterion and look for another.
As a mathematician, I take “almost infinite” to be a synonym for “finite”.
Wait! It DOES!!
Yeah, too bad.
Time for spinning.
You know that how? Never mind, you don’t.
But I’m responding for a reason that will be lost on you yet is worth pursuing. The legless lizards happen to have evidence quite similar to that of snakes of having had legs once, in fact even more evidence of it. Yet you think that for snakes it’s due to “the curse,” while somehow for legless lizards it’s something else.
Well, what else? I suppose creationists would look at the losses and say, well, that’s not evolution of fitness, but of course the losses occur at the same time that fitness is being selected for, in the form of lengthening bodies (and especially tails in legless lizards) and serpentine locomotion. And if it’s supposed to be “microevolution,” that’s the kind of “microevolution” that produces rather major changes, in both losses and in gains.
That would assume the interbreeding that causes sterile off spring is the same as interbreeding that causes fertile offspring. Finding a single case exception does not rule out the hypothesis.
‘If any one of them can explain it,’ said Alice (she had grown so large in the last few minutes that she wasn’t a bit afraid of interrupting him), ‘I’ll give him sixpence. I don’t believe there’s an atom of meaning in it.
Reptiles is not a category that god created. its a human one and, i say, wrong. it doesn’t exist in nature. iTs just grouping trivial traits between unrelated creatures.
I see the serpent/snake example as a excellent way of looking at kinds..
It could only be that all snakes losing their legs means god saw them as one kind.
For the serpent was cursed uniquely. why would non related kinds lose their legs unless they were the same kind.
Slowworms are not like snakes in most traits. Their leglessness is a special case of survival in places. being a reptile means nothing to me. Its not a reptile.
The snakes is scored by great numbers of traits. Leglessness is just one of them.
You can tell.
And there you have it. You can tell that they’re snakes. Come on, Corneel.
But proteins have much larger non functional sequence space then phone numbers do. A phone number with possible 100 friends to call has 10^8 greater non functional space then functional space. Just to bind ATP a small protein (80 AA) has 10^11 more non functional space then functional space. This is why I think Fishers model does not work.
I know we recommended it to you, but you never read Arrival of the Fittest, did you, Bill?
ETA: Hint: If you’re able to understand it, you won’t like it.
Well here’s one kind of bird, the Falcon:
I don’t care if Fisher’s model works or not. I don’t even know the model. What I know is that scientists have experimentally isolated functional peptides using evolutionary processes (from my latest search, they continue doing do time and again). What I know is that there’s loads and loads of functional proteins, most of them belonging to pretty successful protein families, all with lots of variants, available for evolution to go on. What I know is that there’s plenty of successful DNA and RNA sequences too. So, whatever model might fail or not fail, whatever “functional space” you might complain about, is inconsequential to the panorama offered both by experimentation and by the evidence in nature.
Really? You finally appear in this thread, and that’s all you have to say?
I don’t think we have a way to validate this but I will agree for the sake of argument.
I would concede that you have an interesting argument as science is always tentative.
The issue we a dealing with is that we don’t have a map on how a genome configuration creates a human or an ape starting with a Zygote. Some of the considerations known at this point are:
Alternative splicing patterns
Gene expression patterns
No, I can’t Robert. And perhaps you should ask yourself whether you can, considering that you went from this:
I am good with this for now. What Fisher did not know is that DNA, exons and proteins were part of mathematical sequences. This was a game changer. Back to bird kinds 🙂
there is this stain on my pants and I don’t know where its coming from
This is beginning to sound a bit desperate. Why do you need the complete genotype-to-phenotype map to decide that chimps and humans are the same kind?
So are you conceding that you have no idea why humans and chimps couldn’t have evolved non-magically from a common ancestral species?
Are you making the argument that humans and chimps are the result of a single shared ancestor?
Maybe caution is warranted with this monster claim.
Your hero knows what every scientifically literate person knows: We share a common ancestor with chimps.
You look pitiful trying to cast doubt on it.
It’s hard to imagine Bill caring about the evidence, however strong.
Well, at least you know now that Darwinian evolution in particular, and evolution in general, make sense.
Let’s continue here since you don’t want to fall and sin against your dogma, yet I don’t mind meeting you on your turf.
Just look all over your dog and won’t find any “Canis Lupus”
DNA is just another piece of information, not place card.
Bottom line: species/speciation are failed concepts. Already said: the fertility “barrier” is however arbitrary, inadequate for closely related species, and irrelevant to the vast group of asexually reproducing organisms.
Point was Neanderthals are widely viewed as different species. Accept you were wrong and move on. Disagreement shows species/speciation are failed concepts.
Those that believe the “reproductive isolation” story point to minor adaptations, which they call “speciation” (implying stability) and then ask us to extrapolate these small changes into the dramatic transmutations imagined yet never observed by Darwin or his followers. This is a classic trick – employed extensively by magicians, cinematographers and con artists among others – where one thing is shown and the brain then “sees” another that is not there.
Also, “reproductive isolation” is not the only fairy tale: peripatric (isolated peripheral), parapatric (adjacent), sympatric (overlapping).
You just told me no horizontal gradualism because “they just conveniently died”.
You misread: “what we see instead is distinct families with LIMITED variations within the family”. “Arbitrary”? Then you confirm taxonomy is bogus.
It shows. But you missed the point: Since you’d fail evolutionary biology then you have no business trying to argue against it. You’re just ridiculing yourself.
You’re really into the strawman thing, aren’t you? The name is arbitrary, but the relationships, based on the genetics of the organisms, are not.
Of course “place card” is a metaphor. But the genome reliably informs us of the place of dogs in the tree of life.
That doesn’t mean they’re failed concepts. Biology is inherently fuzzy, but the idea of species works quite well most of the time.
I wasn’t wrong. You have just forgotten the point I took issue with. And disagreement doesn’t show the concept to be failed, just that it must take evolution into acount, something you refuse to do.
No, sorry. You still don’t seem to know what “speciation” means.
You have just listed three forms of speciation as if they prove some point. But what point?
No, you don’t understand the concept. If one species becomes two species (that’s speciation, remember?), the two populations begin more or less identical. Then if populations change over time, the two will gradually become different. There will be nothing in the middle, without any extinction at all.
You once more confuse the names with the groups being named. There’s no such thing as a “family” in nature, but there are clades, some of which we have agreed to call families. There are clades more inclusive than any given family and clades less inclusive, any of which could have been called a family had anyone felt like it. Now of course there’s limited variation within a family; there can’t be unlimited variation within any finite group. But that doesn’t mean what you imagine it does.
Yes, one may hope you’re also not a flat-earther or a geocentrist, though I’ve certainly met creationists who were each. But you haven’t managed to articulate any problems with evolutionary biology yet.
Here is my question:
Did ostriches use to fly?
Out of interest, where did you obtain your current understanding of evolution, convergent or otherwise?
Edited out because after John’s excellent answer, I have nothing to add.