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Human effect on evolution of other species.

Posted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:22 pm
by Lance Kennedy
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2 ... ce+News%29

Data has now been gathered to show that numerous species of plants and animals are evolving new traits in response to human influence. Human built structures, and human created chemicals, and human modified environments are driving changes in genomes in many species. This, logically, will eventually result in lots of new species.

We know that mass extinctions of the past are followed by mass speciation, and numerous new forms of life. For example, the loss of dinosaurs was followed by thousands of new species of birds and mammals. If humans are driving a new mass extinction, will this also result in mass speciation, and thousands of new forms of life?

Re: Human effect on evolution of other species.

Posted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:32 pm
by Gawdzilla Sama
When a niche is open, something fills it.

Re: Human effect on evolution of other species.

Posted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:41 pm
by scrmbldggs
Makes one wonder what we might drive into this one. :-P

Re: Human effect on evolution of other species.

Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:07 am
by Poodle
Unless we manage to kill off all other forms of life on the planet, then yes. Like it or not, humans are natural and, by simple extension, so are their products and effects. We haven't yet approached an artificial KT event.

That's on a optimistic day, at least.

Re: Human effect on evolution of other species.

Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:42 am
by bobbo_the_Pragmatist
Like it or not, humans are "by definition" may be natural BUT WHAT WE DO: is not. Its in the language: natural vs man-made. Man-Made: NOT made by nature. A difference worth keeping in mind.

but to the equation offered, we are already creting a KT event that is going on right now. so....for every species evolving to live off our poisons and detritus, there are 1000's dying off. If you want to suggest 1000's of new forms of life coming into being, the math would be millions going out.

Re: Human effect on evolution of other species.

Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:03 pm
by Gawdzilla Sama
Poodle wrote:Unless we manage to kill off all other forms of life on the planet, then yes. Like it or not, humans are natural and, by simple extension, so are their products and effects. We haven't yet approached an artificial KT event.

That's on a optimistic day, at least.

Nuclear weapons are natural? Really? Next time I go mushroom hunting I'll pick up some nukes?

Re: Human effect on evolution of other species.

Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:58 pm
by Gord
I try to effect the evolution of other species by only killing off the healthy ones. That way, whatever evolves next should be pretty easy to outrun or beat in an arm-wrestling match.

Re: Human effect on evolution of other species.

Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:27 pm
by Poodle
Mild disagreement projection (project, project, project).

Yes, what humans do is natural. bobbo and Gawd. How could it be otherwise? A panda eats shoots and leaves - that's natural. Humans make things and some of them are powerful (like nukes), but without humans they couldn't exist. Therefore they are natural, as they follow from nothing but natural phenomena (OK - they're also artificial by definition, but they exist as the result of natural phenomena).

My statement was directed at Lance's question. Basically, if we do not destroy the entire environment with our antics, then my opinion is that perfectly normal speciation will tend to fill any gaps we create.

This is in no way a recommendation or the stuff of my wishes. But I think it holds out some hope.

Re: Human effect on evolution of other species.

Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:35 pm
by Gawdzilla Sama
Poodle, you are assuming that "natural" means "allowable", or "it's okay, happens all the time!" But we are supposed to be a thinking species, and should be cognizant of the results of our actions. It's "natural" that things die, but shooting all our kids in a drunken rage just doesn't seem "natural" to me.

Re: Human effect on evolution of other species.

Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:37 pm
by bobbo_the_Pragmatist
Poodle. Really????? BY DEFINITION. Of course..... everything "in" the universe is "natural." but by definition, a man made construct that is easy to see is the subset of "natural" that is created by man, and only by man. Without Man...the man made things in the universe would not exist. A watch does not naturally exist..... like the Nukes. man is turning this man made intellectual application to modifying (again "man-made") himself and will soon be unnatural himself.

Or............. skip the subtlety, the distinction..... an sure, everything in the Universe is Natural..... BECAUSE THAT IS HOW YOU DEFINE IT.

See how that works?

Re: Human effect on evolution of other species.

Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:39 pm
by Gawdzilla Sama
Monosodium glutamate isn't "natural".

Re: Human effect on evolution of other species.

Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:51 pm
by Poodle
Well, it was worth a try. OK - it's tenuous argument, but what I'm trying to get at is that humans are the root cause. I'm an optimist - I hope that we will come to our senses at a point short of completely {!#%@} the world up. If we do, speciation stands a chance in the long term - the last line in Lance's post may be correct.

@Gawdzilla ... Tomatoes? Or is MSG found only in human-bred varieties?

Re: Human effect on evolution of other species.

Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:53 pm
by Gawdzilla Sama
Poodle wrote:Well, it was worth a try. OK - it's tenuous argument, but what I'm trying to get at is that humans are the root cause. I'm an optimist - I hope that we will come to our senses at a point short of completely {!#%@} the world up. If we do, speciation stands a chance in the long term - the last line in Lance's post may be correct.

When did we, as a species, ever have "sense"?

Re: Human effect on evolution of other species.

Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:18 pm
by bobbo_the_Pragmatist
Poodle wrote:Well, it was worth a try.
How is forcing a wrong argument ever worth a try? ((Its good in poker...but your hand is still most important?))

Poodle wrote:OK - it's tenuous argument,
You made no argument. All you did was try to establish a tautology by having your definition exclude common parlance.

Poodle wrote: what I'm trying to get at is that humans are the root cause.
Meaning whatever humans are the cause of makes natural vs not natural completely irrelevant. ((Hence my detailed and negative review.))

Poodle wrote: the last line in Lance's post may be correct.
The last line of Lance's post is about as relevant as your own. Where conditions for life exist: there will always be speciation..........naturally. Lance's post amounts to a big so what? NOBODY CARES, nor should they, what specieation takes place as humans saw off the evolutionary branch we swing from.

AGAIN: We are in a human caused KT event RIGHT NOW.

AGAIN: Do the math: extinct minus new = so what.

Re: Human effect on evolution of other species.

Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:38 pm
by Poodle
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
Poodle wrote:Well, it was worth a try. OK - it's tenuous argument, but what I'm trying to get at is that humans are the root cause. I'm an optimist - I hope that we will come to our senses at a point short of completely {!#%@} the world up. If we do, speciation stands a chance in the long term - the last line in Lance's post may be correct.

When did we, as a species, ever have "sense"?


I'll work on that one.

Re: Human effect on evolution of other species.

Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:48 pm
by Poodle
bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
Poodle wrote:Well, it was worth a try.
How is forcing a wrong argument ever worth a try? ((Its good in poker...but your hand is still most important?))


I'm not at all sure it was wrong, bobbo. I'll allow you that it was probably not too relevant,

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
Poodle wrote:OK - it's tenuous argument,
You made no argument. All you did was try to establish a tautology by having your definition exclude common parlance.


Not at all sure about this one either. You appear to be telling me that nothing humans do is natural.

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
Poodle wrote: what I'm trying to get at is that humans are the root cause.
Meaning whatever humans are the cause of makes natural vs not natural completely irrelevant. ((Hence my detailed and negative review.))


See above.

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:
Poodle wrote: the last line in Lance's post may be correct.
The last line of Lance's post is about as relevant as your own. Where conditions for life exist: there will always be speciation..........naturally. Lance's post amounts to a big so what? NOBODY CARES, nor should they, what specieation takes place as humans saw off the evolutionary branch we swing from.


The last line of Lance's post is what Lance's post was about. It's called speculation. Someone cares, obviously.

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:AGAIN: We are in a human caused KT event RIGHT NOW..


My opinion is that we're nowhere near anything like the KT event. We have been very damaging and could go on to be even more so. I hope not.

Re: Human effect on evolution of other species.

Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:36 pm
by bobbo_the_Pragmatist
Ha, ha.................. there is no speculation when the issue is simple and direct cause and effect. All that ALWAYS happens is life evolving to fill every niche.

You evidently are not aware that current theory is that the extinction event following the meteor impact took 1000's if not millions of years if not totally misconstrued and conflated. http://palaeo.gly.bris.ac.uk/communicat ... page1.html

............and you really don't appreciate the level of extinction going on right now...........its very rapid in geologic scale, hardly noticeable in human scale.............so, which scale you going to use when comparing the Anthropocene to the KT event? The only thing you are relating to is an asteroid hitting Earth.... rather than being hit by mankinds co2 waste product.=================>>>>> "Scientists estimate we’re now losing species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the background rate," ((bobbonote: very much on par with KT)) http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/prog ... on_crisis/

Re: Human effect on evolution of other species.

Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:22 pm
by Poodle
No, I hadn't seen that, bobbo - but I read it rather differently. However, we're sideslipping a little. Lance's point wasn't whether or not human activity is more or less destructive than the KT event but whether our predations will result in increased speciation.

Even so, I do not accept human activity as an event equating to KT. We are animals which developed on this planet and our activities, no matter how damaging, are the results of natural earth-bound development. We have, indeed, developed damaging technologies in a relatively short time but we have not even approached the huge whammie which KT was. In certain cases, we have even halted and reversed decline, which KT never did.

However, to repeat the point, we are capable of damage. The question is whether the current animal population of the planet will develop in ways which will overcome that damage. You never know - we may be the impetus which supercharges the development of slugs and turns them into the dominant intelligent species in our galaxy.

Re: Human effect on evolution of other species.

Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:05 pm
by OlegTheBatty
Humans are natural, and make artifacts - things which would not otherwise exist.

Beavers are natural and make artifacts.

Wasps are natural and make artifacts.

Natural vs not-natural is not a useful distinction.

Re: Human effect on evolution of other species.

Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:09 pm
by OlegTheBatty
There are not yet many species which require human made environments to exist. AFAIK, the only one is a bacteria that eats plastic - and even then, maybe it has a larger potential diet than that, and does not actually require the plastic.

We will have succeeded when there is, for example, a salamander that NEEDS parking garages in order to survive and procreate.

Re: Human effect on evolution of other species.

Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:18 pm
by Gawdzilla Sama
OlegTheBatty wrote:Humans are natural, and make artifacts - things which would not otherwise exist.

Beavers are natural and make artifacts.

Wasps are natural and make artifacts.

Natural vs not-natural is not a useful distinction.

Humans make atomic bombs.

Re: Human effect on evolution of other species.

Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:19 pm
by OlegTheBatty
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
OlegTheBatty wrote:Humans are natural, and make artifacts - things which would not otherwise exist.

Beavers are natural and make artifacts.

Wasps are natural and make artifacts.

Natural vs not-natural is not a useful distinction.

Humans make atomic bombs.

Wasps make wasp nests. Ask people which they would rather sit next to on a bus.

Re: Human effect on evolution of other species.

Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:28 pm
by bobbo_the_Pragmatist
The animal constructs is a valid response/contribution/fine point. It is "different" from "non-living" artifacts...if artifacts is even the right word. I agree everything can be thought of as "natural" as opposed to supernatural...but it is a subset that is easily distinguishable from non-living processess. Whether or not this distinction is useful--depends on the subject.

Poodle: reread the links. You are WAY OFF in appreciating the time frames. You might also be confusing the high die off of "individuals" at the time of the asteroid impact...but species die off is a related but different issue.

Lance and I guess you need to sum up both sides of the equation: how many species lost vs how many species created. Only looking at half the equation can never be meaningful.

Re: Human effect on evolution of other species.

Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:34 pm
by Gawdzilla Sama
OlegTheBatty wrote:
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
OlegTheBatty wrote:Humans are natural, and make artifacts - things which would not otherwise exist.

Beavers are natural and make artifacts.

Wasps are natural and make artifacts.

Natural vs not-natural is not a useful distinction.

Humans make atomic bombs.

Wasps make wasp nests. Ask people which they would rather sit next to on a bus.

The White Anglo Saxon Protestant or the stinging insect.

How long do I have to decide?

OR

Which would you rather try to recover from, a wasp sting or a air burst 1,000 feet over your head?

Re: Human effect on evolution of other species.

Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:54 pm
by OlegTheBatty
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
OlegTheBatty wrote:
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
OlegTheBatty wrote:Humans are natural, and make artifacts - things which would not otherwise exist.

Beavers are natural and make artifacts.

Wasps are natural and make artifacts.

Natural vs not-natural is not a useful distinction.

Humans make atomic bombs.

Wasps make wasp nests. Ask people which they would rather sit next to on a bus.

The White Anglo Saxon Protestant or the stinging insect.

How long do I have to decide?


Either one, unless they try to talk, then definitely the stinging insect.

OR

Which would you rather try to recover from, a wasp sting or a air burst 1,000 feet over your head?


That's just it. I don't need to recover from the airburst. One moment, I is; next moment, I isn't.

Re: Human effect on evolution of other species.

Posted: Fri Jan 06, 2017 11:04 pm
by Gawdzilla Sama
Equivalence of wasp and air burst is minimal, and actually quite irrelevant.

Re: Human effect on evolution of other species.

Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 6:31 pm
by Lance Kennedy
Just a point on extinction rate. Bobbo is being quite excessive in his claims. The truth is that no one actually knows the extinction rate, though all sorts of wild claims are made. Currently, there are 10 to 20 extinctions per year that we can be sure of. There are a wide range of calculations to try to estimate how many extinctions are happening that we cannot measure. They range from perhaps 100 per year to hundreds of thousands. I tend to lean more towards the 100 figure.

THe problem is that all the estimates are based on calculations, which in turn are based on various assumptions. Each and any of those assumptions could be wrong, and probably are.

Re: Human effect on evolution of other species.

Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 1:58 am
by Matthew Ellard
Lance Kennedy wrote:Data has now been gathered to show that numerous species of plants and animals are evolving new traits in response to human influence.
I think the simplest and most obvious example would be dairy cows.
dairy cow sabre tooth.jpg
dairy cow modern.jpg
:D

Re: Human effect on evolution of other species.

Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 2:16 am
by bobbo_the_Pragmatist
Lance: I agree current extinction rates are pretty soft. Very "if - then" which isn't scientific. Whole lot of animals on the edge though..... if not all of us except for cockroaches and rats?