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Genetic Changes In Mice 'Question Evolution Speed'
Ananova ^ | 5-21-2003

Posted on 05/21/2003 4:53:28 PM PDT by blam

Genetic changes in mice 'question evolution speed'

A species of mouse has evolved dramatically in just 150 years, showing genetic change can occur much faster than was thought possible.

The discovery was made by accident by two American biologists studying the genetic make-up of a common wild mouse in Chicago.

Dr Dennis Nyberg and Dr Oliver Pergams, both from the University of Illinois at Chicago, analysed DNA samples from 56 museum specimens of the white-footed mouse dating back to 1855, and 52 wild mice captured from local forests and parks.

They found startling genetic differences between the 19th century and modern mice.

Only one of the present-day mice had DNA that matched that of mice collected before 1950.

While fast evolutionary change has been seen in fruit flies, such rapid evolution in a mammal has not been reported before.

The scientists, whose findings appear in the journal Nature, believe humans may have been partly responsible for the "new" mice.

"Settlers may have brought in mice with the favourable gene that were able to out-compete mice with the native variant," said Dr Pergams.

Story filed: 18:18 Wednesday 21st May 2003

TOPICS: Heated Discussion
KEYWORDS: crevolist; genetics
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To: js1138
I found about 20 web sites devoted entirely to turning scientists words against them.

You know this is another example of the phony rhetoric of evolutionists. If someone who is not an evolutionist asserts something then they say the statement is not valid because it is prejudiced, ignorant, fake, etc., etc.. However, if the proof is given from someone who is an evolutionist, then they say it is a misquote, an alteration of the statement, etc., etc. etc. In other words - heads I win, tails you lose.

And the evolutionists accuse those who post quotes from evolutionists even when the fact that the person did indeed hold such views is absolutely unrefutable such as Gould's and Eldredge's statement that the Cambrian explosion totally disproves Darwinian evolution. They proved that they did indeed mean that statement with their work and writings FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES and the evolutionists still call those who quote them liars for repeating their word.

Another example is my being accussed of misquoting Darwin when I quote the long passage (without ellipsis or anything) of his conclusion to the Origins where he defines the theory of evolution. Even this is called a lie!

Now to the charge made by evolutionists at those who dare quote statements which disprove evolution from evolutionists is to ask 'then why did these people make these statements'? Are they idiots who do not know what they are saying - in print yet? Are they indulging in doubletalk and trying to deceive by making such statements? In short why did they say such words? I am sure no one had a gun pointed at their heads when they wrote them.

Perhaps the reason such statements are made by evolutionists is that the facts mentioned in them are totally undeniable. Did you guys think of that?

1,701 posted on 05/29/2003 7:35:03 PM PDT by gore3000
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To: donh
except in environments, like the mud of the ocean floor, where the conditions don't change much.

The coelacanth - the fish in question which has remained unchanged for 380 million years does not live on the ocean floor. Further, the environment comprises not just the physical environment of weather and habitat, but competing species. Are you going to assert that no new species evolved during the 380 million years in which the coelacanth has been around in the ocean???????????????

1,702 posted on 05/29/2003 7:40:21 PM PDT by gore3000
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To: DManA; Stultis; RadioAstronomer; Nakatu X; Aric2000; longshadow; Lurking Libertarian
I somehow ended up on the first page of this thread today, and read the posts there thinking they were fresh. I took some interest in the "army ant" issue discussed there and went off to do some reading on it before I noted how "old" (relatively speaking) that page was. Nonetheless, the results are interesting enough that I present them to you now.

The original exchange was as follows:

[DManA wrote:] The article says, in clear English, that today's army ants are exactly the same as their ancestors 100 million years ago.

[Stultis wrote:] Which is clearly hyperbole, since it also says all living army ants are descended from these "exactly the same" ancestors, yet living army ants vary significantly in morphology and behavior, and comprise different species.

[DManA wrote:] Is this hyperbole? "Biologists have wondered why army ants, whose queens can't fly or get caught up by the wind, are yet so similar around the world. Army ants have evolved only once and that was in the mid-Cretaceous period," says Sean Brady, a Cornell postdoctoral researcher in entomology, whose study was conducted while he was doctoral candidate at the University of California-Davis.

I got curious about the actual study, so after reading the Cornell press release, I went and bought a copy of the actual study from PNAS Online ("Evolution of the army ant syndrome: The origin and long-term evolutionary stasis of a complex of behavioral and reproductive adaptations").

The first thing I found is that there's a reason why creationists really ought to break their habit of learning their "science" from a) creationist sites or b) press releases (and why evolutionists more often than not read the primary literature, which is something I've almost never seen a creationist doing).

The press release did indeed say that "because since the reign of the dinosaurs, about 100 million years ago, army ants in essence have not changed a bit". But this is just the reporter's piss-poor misunderstanding (and therefore misrepresentation) of what the study *actually* determined. Nowhere in the study itself is there any hint of a claim that army ants "haven't changed a bit" in the past 100 million years.

What it *does* say is:

The army ant syndrome of behavioral and reproductive traits (obligate collective foraging, nomadism, and highly specialized queens) has allowed these organisms to become the premiere social hunters of the tropics [...] Results strongly indicate that the suite of behavioral and reproductive adaptations found in army ants throughout the world is inherited from a unique common ancestor [...] Because no known army ant species lacks any component of the army ant syndrome, this group represents an extraordinary case of long-term evolutionary stasis in these adaptations.
In other words, the three *characteristics* which make an army ant what it is (1. foraging in groups -- most non-army ants use scouts, 2. nomadic lifestyle -- most non-army ants nest in one place, 3. flightless queens which can pump out *millions* of eggs) came into being 100 million years ago and have persisted ever since. Needless to say, that's quite a different thing than the much more general "army ants haven't changed a bit" claim the reporter made.

Nor is the press release's headline accurate or supported by the study ("Army ants, as voracious as ever, have defied evolution for 100 million years, Cornell entomologist finds ").

There's nothing in the study about "defying evolution". The only thing I could find which the reporter might have (very badly) mistaken for such a claim is where the author points out that previous *assumptions* (which were recognized to be no more than assumptions) were that "old world" and "new world" army ants may have evolved separately from non-army ancestors on their respective continents. Instead, this study finds, there was a single army-ant ancestor and all modern army ant families/species descended from them. So the results of this study "defy" previous presumptions about how army ants may have evolved, but hardly "defy" evolution itself.

Someone shoot that reporter...

Meanwhile, the study's findings are interesting in their own right, and add yet more data to the massive mountains of hard evidence *for* evolution (which insulting cartoons by our resident creationists do nothing to refute).

Using a variety of measures (DNA base-pair sequences consisting of three nuclear and one mitochondrial gene totalling 3538 basepairs from each of the 49 extant ant species, fossil evidence, and 116 morphological metrics), the author's mathematical analysis produced a cladistic tree for both army ants and many non-army ant species as follows:

The letters (A-H) indicate points in time where the subsequent "branches" are known to have already existed, because representatives from each "branch" have been disocovered in the fossil record.

The branches marked with "*" are branches where the ML tree analysis produced results with "a posterior probability of >95% after independent Bayesian phylogenetic analysis".

As described in the press release, this does indeed clearly indicate that all modern army ants (species shown in bold type) descended from a common ancestor, instead of from two or more common ancestors which were themselves not army ants.

It's also interesting to note that all the "old world" (OW) and "new world" (NW) army ants are separate branches of the oldest split of the army ant family tree. This demonstrates that, as previously presumed, the lifestyle of the army ant (especially, wingless queens) precludes any cross-continental "crossovers", where some species had (during the last 100 million years) managed to travel from one continent to another and take up new residence there.

This correct presumption -- along with the incorrect presumption that army ants had appeared more recently than 100 million years ago -- was the basis for the original assumption that old-world and new-world army ants had perhaps evolved independently (on their respective continents).

Instead, this DNA and morphological analysis (which, by the way, does *not* depend on a "genetic clock") strongly indicates that army ants first arose approximately 105 million years ago.

The reason that this is such an interesting result is that it *very* closely matches the known time of existence of the Cretaceous super-continent of Gondwana, *and* the time of the old-world/new-world army ant split matches the known time of the break-up of that supercontinent into separate continents which contain what is now South America (on one side) and Africa (on the other), the respective homes of the new-world and old-world army ants.

In other words, the analysis strongly matches an evolutionary model in many different ways, including several I haven't even mentioned here.

First, the fact that such a "family tree" works out *at all* is strong evidence that evolution has actually taken place. If instead ants of various species and/or "kinds" had been separately created, there's no reason at all that their DNA details *and* their fossil traces *and* their morphological details would so neatly fit a timewise evolutionary tree of common descent *at all*. For just one example, if the species at the top of the tree and the bottom of the tree shared a characteristic gene sequence, while the other species didn't (because, say, God felt they each would benefit from it), then the entire tree structure would be blatantly violated. Instead, every time DNA/morphological data is analyzed in this way, even across widely divergent species like cows and giraffes and whales, an implied "tree of common descent" is inarguably implied by the evidence.

Second, in this case, the "family tree" implied by the evidence "just happens" to *exactly* match geologic events which would be expected to explain parts of the tree if it came about via evolution. For example, if all modern army ants had a common ancestor, then at some point in time the ancestral army ant must have arisen at a particular geographic location (obviously). This would be a problem if, for example, the data implied that this happened at a time before ants existed at all, or after army ants were known to exist in fossils, etc. And yet, when the available evidence is objectively analyzed by a mathematical algorithm with no ideological ax to grind, the results beautifully match an evolutionary origin consistent with the known fossil record, timewise.

Furthermore, red flags would be raised if the time-and-place of the calculated origin happened to fall in a place where army ants would be highly unlikely to have gotten from their point of origin to the separate continents where they are seen today (e.g. South America and Africa). But lo and behold, the analysis shows the time-and-place of the calculated origin to be at a time when those two continents were known to be joined.

Furthermore, the calculated split between old-world and new-world army ants is found to fall at a time when the continents themselves split apart, perfectly explaining how and why the populations on each new continent, now isolated, should (and thus did) diverge into families of species which evolved in unrelated directions from each other (thus forming species that, while all still army ants in lifestyle, show characteristic differences).

And so on and so on.

Again and again, every time studies and analyses like this -- and every other conceivable type -- are performed, the results "just happen" to fall in a way that makes perfect sense if modern (and fossil) life had arisen from earlier life forms in a common-descent, evolutionary process, like individual jigsaw puzzle pieces all of which form a smooth, coherent picture (albeit with some pieces still not yet discovered) where all the pieces found so far all mesh smoothly with their neighbors.

If evolution is *not* true, why does the jigsaw puzzle formed by the mountains of evidence so well match the evolutionary picture predicted by the theory?

We now return you to the creationists' "rebuttal via cut-and-paste images".

1,703 posted on 05/29/2003 7:43:18 PM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: Ichneumon
Your renewal of the red herring will still not succeed. It is clear that you are out and out lying in the following statement The final straw was when you developed a one-note runaround based on your own self-contradictory statements about whether transistors could or could not be considered as back-to-back diodes,

I was perfectly clear ---I know circuit design shortcuts. I know that you can use a transistor as a diode in a pinch. After all, it "consists" of back-to-back diodes in a sense. You see I was the one that brought up the back-to-back. Now to create a red herring this is how you responded Trollish Behavior #9: Not only "in a sense", Troll, but in actuality. Stop squirming, Troll. I called you on that characterization and you haggled on for a while until you stated this A transistor is "back-to-back diodes" in the sense of its internal construction at the semi-conductor level. . What a hypocrite.

Now I continue to refuse to follow your red herring and you continue to wave them. It won't work. My point has been proven on the transistor. Now are you still going to build that circuit to get real data? Or are you going to continue to rant on? In any case, I have at least given indication that I look at things since I have described somewhat of the capabilities of one of the evolved circuits(the one we have some information on). What the heck have you done except call names and obfuscate?

1,704 posted on 05/29/2003 7:43:29 PM PDT by AndrewC
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To: Ichneumon
Evos don't know their schlock from science !
1,705 posted on 05/29/2003 7:44:56 PM PDT by f.Christian (( apocalypsis, from Gr. apokalypsis, from apokalyptein to uncover, from apo- + kalyptein to cover))
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To: gore3000
I'm sure you have on occasion quoted Darwin correctly, but I wasn't referring to you, but to ALS, who posted a fraudulent quote that was fabricated from two separate quotes -- each abridged in a way that falsely implied Darwin didn't believe in his own theory. The attribution was false, the use of elipsis was false, and most importantly, the result was a blatent falsehood.

And my google search did turn up pages and pages of sites that featured this fabriction.

All of this has nothing to do with the truth of evolution, but it speaks to the character of the poster, and it speaks to the integrity of the sites that feature the quote.

1,706 posted on 05/29/2003 7:45:07 PM PDT by js1138
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To: Junior
Dude, half of those guys lived before Darwin was even born.

So what? Half of them by your own admission were around after the charlatan Darwin spewed his abominable theory. Yet no one would say they are not great scientists. Evos always say that only evolution is science, that one cannot reject evolution and be a scientist, that evolution is the basis of all science and such blather.

More important, just one of those alone, all by himself, Louis Pasteur, has done more to benefit mankind than all the evolution 'science' has done for mankind.

1,707 posted on 05/29/2003 7:47:12 PM PDT by gore3000
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To: PatrickHenry
The Ultimate Creation vs. Evolution Resource [ver 20].

One must wonder how someone who has supposedly inbibed freely from such a source is totally unable to contribute anything to this thread besides placemarkers and insults. Perhaps the link is to absolutely stupid bable which you are unwilling to discuss???????

If one wants solid facts about evolution, check out Evidence Disproving Evolution which has references from real articles not a bunch of blogs by nobodies at TalkOrigins.

1,708 posted on 05/29/2003 7:51:27 PM PDT by gore3000
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To: gore3000
That the only legitimate way to determine if two individuals are of the same species is to see if they can mate and produce viable offspring. This is science.

No, that's your ridiculous misunderstanding of science. But what else is new?

Only an evolutionist follower of the charlatan Darwin would call such a test ridiculous.

Here's why it's ridiculous -- by your straw-man misrepresentation of this "scientific test", it would be impossible to "scientifically" demonstrate that humans and Tyrannosaurus Rex are different species from each other, because it's not possible to do a test-mating between the two.

Thus, you've made a fool of yourself. QED.

Sorta shows that evolutionists are not scientists.

Well, it shows why *you* wouldn't qualify as one, certainly.

I want to hear if even any of your fellow *creationists* want to side with you on this one...

1,709 posted on 05/29/2003 7:51:28 PM PDT by Ichneumon
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Well, it looks like we won...

Only if your goal was to destroy any type of adult discussion, thereby driving away anyone who might actually have learned a thing or two about modern science.

But then, from reading your posts, and those of your creationist compatriots, I'm pretty sure that *is* the game you're playing, and you *have* won by those self-made rules.

How proud you must be.

1,710 posted on 05/29/2003 7:53:30 PM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: Lurking Libertarian
Theistic evolutionist is more like it.

No, Darwin was an atheist as he amply showed in his private correspondence. He was too dishonest to say so in public though.

1,711 posted on 05/29/2003 7:54:38 PM PDT by gore3000
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The chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is shown by man attaining to a higher eminence - in whatever he takes up - than woman can attain-whether requiring deep thought, reason, or imagination, or merely the use of the senses and hands." Charles Darwin,
'The Descent of Man', vol. II, p. 327.)

Gee, I thought he was only a racist, an atheist and an advocate of the murder of the weak, but it turns out he was also a woman hater. What a sorry piece of garbage evolutionists follow.

1,712 posted on 05/29/2003 7:57:59 PM PDT by gore3000
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To: gore3000
No, Darwin was an atheist

Well, on this point ALS and I agree with each other, and disagree with you.

1,713 posted on 05/29/2003 8:00:48 PM PDT by Lurking Libertarian (Non sub homine, sed sub Deo et lege)
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To: Aric2000
They have some very good information, and so far have dumped any and all arguments you and the other on this thread have made in the dumpster.

A total lie. Show ONE (1) of my arguments on this thread that have been put in the dumpster.

1,714 posted on 05/29/2003 8:01:46 PM PDT by gore3000
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To: Dataman
Here's your answer. See "transitional fossil"

A non-working link. You once again refuse to confront any of the evidence.

1,715 posted on 05/29/2003 8:02:55 PM PDT by Lurking Libertarian (Non sub homine, sed sub Deo et lege)
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To: Lurking Libertarian
Lurkers, please note: evidence of transitional forms was posted back at post # 1169

No, that is not evidence at all. Links are not evidence. Unnamed skulls are not evidence. If you have evidence, post it here. If you cannot bother cutting and pasting it so that we all can see it and discuss it then it is not worth anyone's bother.

The evolutionists are always 'linking' because they hope no one will look at the nonsense they are linking to and believe that their claims. Put your evidence here for all to see.

1,716 posted on 05/29/2003 8:08:09 PM PDT by gore3000
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Why don't you go pound it?
1,717 posted on 05/29/2003 8:10:12 PM PDT by stanz (Those who don't believe in evolution should go jump off the flat edge of the Earth.)
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To: gore3000
Then give ONE (1) example of where an evolutionist has proposed a non-materialistic explanation for a species arising. Just one example from Darwin, Gould or Dawkins is all you need. You should be able to find one if what you say is true.

Once again you shift the burden of proof because you know that your lies are indefensable. YOU are the one making the claim that evolution claims that only material mechanisms are responsible for the appearance of new species, so the burden of proof is upon YOU to demonstrate that evolution makes any such claim.
1,718 posted on 05/29/2003 8:12:48 PM PDT by Dimensio (Sometimes I doubt your committment to Sparkle Motion!)
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To: js1138
cells die of asphyxiation.

The question is not what people die of. There are numerous reasons why organisms die, roaches often die from being stepped on for example. However, that is not the question which you and your fellow evolutionists have been circling around but not answering - what is the material difference between an organism one minute before death and one minute after death? The answer is none, except that it is alive at one point and dead the next. Therefore materialism is proved false. As Shakespeare would say, there are things in heaven and earth which your silly little theory cannot account for.

1,719 posted on 05/29/2003 8:18:29 PM PDT by gore3000
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To: js1138
How large is the gene pool in single celled organisms, and are they in danger of extinction?

I never counted them, have you? Seriously though, the number of single celled organisms is enormous. In fact in spite of their small size they constitute some 90% of the bio-mass on earth. They have also been around since the beginning of life - AND HAVE FOUND ABSOLUTELY NO NEED TO EVOLVE THEMSELVES INTO MORE COMPLEX CREATURES!.

1,720 posted on 05/29/2003 8:23:28 PM PDT by gore3000
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