New evidence that natural selection is a general driving force behind the origin of species

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TJ Esq in one of the comments provided me with a link to the following article New evidence that natural selection is a general driving force behind the origin of species. The article describes the work by Daniel J. Funk, Patrik Nosil, and William J. Etges titled Ecological divergence exhibits consistently positive associations with reproductive isolation across disparate taxa PNAS published February 21, 2006, 10.1073/pnas.0508653103

“This helps fill a big gap that has existed in evolutionary studies,” says Daniel Funk, assistant professor of biological sciences at Vanderbilt University. He authored the study with Patrik Nosil from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia and William J. Etges from the University of Arkansas. “We have known for some time that when species invade a new environment or ecological niche, a common result is the formation of a great diversity of new species. However, we haven’t really understood how or whether the process of adaptation generally drives this pattern of species diversification.”

The paper is also being discussed at the discussion boards and John Wilkins commented on this work on his blog.

Abstract

To what degree is the divergent adaptation responsible for life’s phenotypic variety also responsible for generating the millions of species that manifest this variation? Theory predicts that ecological divergence among populations should promote reproductive isolation, and recent empirical studies provide support for this hypothesis in a limited number of specific taxa. However, the essential question of whether ecology plays a truly general role in speciation has yet to be systematically evaluated. Here we address this integral issue using an approach that adds an ecological dimension to comparative studies investigating the relationship between reproductive isolation and divergence time. Specifically, we quantify ecological divergence for >500 species pairs from eight plant, invertebrate, and vertebrate taxa and statistically isolate its association with reproductive isolation. This approach demonstrates a highly consistent and significant positive association between ecological divergence and reproductive isolation across taxa. This relationship was also observed across different aspects of ecological divergence and components of reproductive isolation. These findings are highly consistent with the hypothesis that ecological adaptation plays a fundamental and taxonomically general role in promoting reproductive isolation and speciation.

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The most tested theory in science - Natural Selection - has new and improved evidence to support it says Pim Van Meurs on Panda’s Thumb. Excuse me, but haven’t the NeoDarwinian dogmatists been saying for years that Natural Selection is as w... Read More

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After following the link to the article “New evidence that natural selection is a general driving force behind the origin of species” I found new evidence of the ID forces still spending money on google ads.

Does this mean that this new evidence for evolution is brought to us, in part, by the generous spending of the Discovery Institute?

You can get the whole paper here, and find some analysis here. For greater depth read The Ecology of Adaptive Radiation (Oxford Series in Ecology and Evolution).

Whether this intelligent cause identified through the scientific method is (or is not) “god” cannot be answered by the science alone and is therefore outside the scope of the theory of intelligent design.

One should start by figuring out if the question is answerable at all before one speculates as to what discipline/study/religion/etc is capable of answering it. But, after thousands of years of the greatest minds pondering this question, I’m doubtful that the “great minds” at the Discovery Institute and elsewhere are up to the task.

Another nonexistent transitional fossil was identified recently, yielding info on the lizard -> snake transition.

Another nonexistent transitional fossil was identified recently, yielding info on the lizard -> snake transition.

Very cool–fits well with Bryan Fry’s venom research and Chris Caprette’s eye work. It seems the snake-varanid relationship is close to clinched now.

Nice picture of that snake skull (and a more detailed picture) here.

My own paper isn’t published yet but I thought I’d get it kind of pre-reviewed here. It’s called “Political divergence exhibits consistently positive associations with intellectual and logical isolation across disparate religious denominata.”

In short, I study to what degree is divergent political adaptation responsible for fundamentalists’ incredulo-typic variety also responsible for generating the millions of specious arguments that manifest this variation?

Theory predicts that political divergence among variously fanatical populations of cultists should promote intellectual isolation, and recent empirical studies provide support for this hypothesis in a limited number of specific denominata.

One of my colleagues explains: “We have known for some time that when fundies invade a new political environment or niche, a common result is the formation of a great diversity of new species of denial and obfuscation. However, we haven’t really understood how or whether the process of political adaptation generally drives this pattern of sect diversification.”

Specifically, I quantify political divergence for >500 species pairs from eight fundamentalist, mainstream, and pseudoprogressive denominata and statistically isolate its association with intellectual isolation.

For instance, general biblical literalism, when entering into the relatively new environment of DNA knowledge in the 1950’s and 1960’s, appears to have experimented with a wide variety of new designs and selected to fill all possible niches of incredulity and denial, creating a literal explosion of muddled interpretation, strawmania, and slick vocabularium.

Under the selection pressures brought to bear through scientific smackdown and general logical fisking, political expediency bore out scientific creationism, old and new earth subspecies, intelligent design and divine design branches, front-loading apologiaxa, panspermic gambitoids, and complexiticians, to name a few.

Only some of the youngest species of the designia family seem to carry the genes for cheaptuxedoism, as this seems to be a newer adaptation to the pressures which greatly reduced the numbers of its ancestral biblicalcreation lines.

My findings are highly consistent with the hypothesis that political adaptation plays a fundamental and secto-culto-nomically general role in promoting intellectual isolation and anti-evolutionist speciation, along with resultant economic exploitation.

Yeah…but were you there? No matter how long you stare at a monitor it’ll never change into a snake. You might as well stare at a bacterium and see if it acquires a nucleus. That’s what intelligent design predicts. Scientifically everything is so improbable that nothing will ever happen

no matter how long you look at it until the intelligent designer intervenes in order to help you understand that the most important thing in the observable universe is to do exactly what Pat Robertson tells you to do so that when the rapture comes you wont be left behind. This is what makes ID so useful education-wise. We all know snakes come from staffs just like they did in The Ten Commandments. Who needs Darwin when we’ve got Charlton Heston? Kudos to Lenny for correctly predicting the Varanid-serpent connection. This confirms my suspicion that it takes a diapsid to know one,

Very cool—fits well with Bryan Fry’s venom research and Chris Caprette’s eye work. It seems the snake-varanid relationship is close to clinched now.

Nice picture of that snake skull (and a more detailed picture) here.

No burrowing adaptations, I note.

;>

No burrowing adaptations, I note.

What would those be, a narrower head?

Mr. Chatfield, are you implying something about IDers’ heads with that comment?

Yeah…but were you there? No matter how long you stare at a monitor it’ll never change into a snake. You might as well stare at a bacterium and see if it acquires a nucleus. That’s what intelligent design predicts. Scientifically everything is so improbable that nothing will ever happen.

“ID: Don’t stare, you’ll spook the Designer!”

“If snakes are descended from monitors, how come we still have monitors?”

Gotcha!!

Why are we getting all this overemphasis on natural selection ? I thought that Darwinism was based on both natural selection and beneficial random mutations. I don’t have a big problem with natural selection – i.e., survival of the fittest. However, I do have a big problem with beneficial random mutations and also with the propagation of those random mutations in organisms using sexual reproduction.

Nobody cares what you have a problem with, troll.

Larry said: “I don’t have a big problem with natural selection — i.e., survival of the fittest. However, I do have a big problem with beneficial random mutations and also with the propagation of those random mutations in organisms using sexual reproduction.”

No, Larrandy, your problem is that you have no understanding or education on modern biology and will still try to speak about it as if you were the foremost expert in the world (in both evolution and any other topic, including laws).

Your complete and utter lack of anything resembling honesty is only surpassed by your hypocrisy - I still remember you trying to say that using an alias on the internet was somehow a point against the arguments, back when you fisrt joined as Larry Fafarman, Andy.

Hope that helps,

Grey Wolf

Dembski responds (sort of). http://www.uncommondescent.com/inde[…]archives/864

I posted to his blog, but rarely does he allow my comments to appear. We’ll just have to see.

–

Conflating. Natural selection as an engine of adaptation is well-established. This study shows that natural selection is an engine of reproductive isolation (speciation), as well.

“Dembski responds (sort of).”

That isn’t Dembski, but DaveScot, who seems still uncapable of understanding that there is always more studying to do on any scientific subject. He rathers prefer to pull out of where the sun doesn’t shine an answer that he feels confortable with and then declare it is true.

Not that I doubt Dembski wouldn’t have posted something along the same lines.

Hope that helps,

Grey Wolf

Jesus Larry, you have more problems than just random mutation!

I think Larry is an undecover satanist. All he has done so far is to discredit fundies (by his words and actions on this blog) as well as the fundie God.

Yeah…but were you there? No matter how long you stare at a monitor it’ll never change into a snake.

I once stared down a cat. That ought to be worth something.

Andy writes “Why are we getting all this overemphasis on natural selection ? I thought that Darwinism was based on both natural selection and beneficial random mutations.

I don’t have a big problem with natural selection — i.e., survival of the fittest. However, I do have a big problem with beneficial random mutations and also with the propagation of those random mutations in organisms using sexual reproduction.”

Gee whizz Andy,

Thats the fun part.

If this is evidence, where are the new species?

BWE,

I find that Independent article to be a tad chauvanistic.

But while blondes may have had more fun at the dawn of time, researchers at City University in London last year found that modern men responded more positively to pictures of brunettes and redheaded women than to their blonde counterparts.

Experts said that as relations between men and women have evolved, men may have become more attracted by brains, represented in their psyche by brunettes, than the more physical charms of blond hair.

I guess I don’t get it. Why would a blonde be more “physically charming” than a brunette? It’s presuming that blondes are more attractive outright, which is just silly.

“As the role of women has evolved, men’s expectations of women have changed,” Professor Ayton said. “They are looking for more intense, equal partnerships and appearance has a large role to play. It is even possible that certain hair colours can indicate wealth and experience.”

And this doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. I certainly don’t get any financial cues from hair color at all. I would get that from clothing or even skin tone, maybe even hair texture and style (from expensive care products and salons) but not the color.

Silly article. Silly research.

Syntax Error: not well-formed (invalid token) at line 5, column 6, byte 207 at /usr/local/lib/perl5/site_perl/5.16/mach/XML/Parser.pm line 187.

Perhaps Johnny’s point is,

“Goddidit”

My name is Legion Wrote:

I don’t have a big problem with natural selection — i.e., survival of the fittest. However, I do have a big problem with beneficial random mutations

So how precisely do you explain the Nylon Bug? One little frame shift and suddenly it can eat nylon - sounds pretty beneficial to me.

and also with the propagation of those random mutations in organisms using sexual reproduction.

Why on Earth would sexual reproduction be a problem? Last I checked, chromosomes were passed along mostly intact.

Comment #82771

Posted by Jason on February 28, 2006 05:16 PM (e)

“As the role of women has evolved, men’s expectations of women have changed,” Professor Ayton said. “They are looking for more intense, equal partnerships and appearance has a large role to play. It is even possible that certain hair colours can indicate wealth and experience.”

And this doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. I certainly don’t get any financial cues from hair color at all. I would get that from clothing or even skin tone, maybe even hair texture and style (from expensive care products and salons) but not the color.

And that’s where you’d be wrong. There is noted and systemic difference in earnings between blondes and those with brown hair in corporate America. Right or wrong, blondes are, as the theory I’m more familiar with goes, perceived as less capable and thus get promoted slower and earn less.

It’s always a problem when one’s unconscious bias’ toward “equality” get in the way of believing the data. The subjective interpretation of the reasons for the difference may not be right. But the data is there: Blondes make less money.

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This page contains a single entry by PvM published on February 27, 2006 1:10 PM.

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