Speciation caught in the act.

Creationism, Intelligent Design, and Evolution.
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Speciation caught in the act.

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:25 pm

The Cave-Dwelling Crocodiles of Gabon
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Lots of pictures at the link.
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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by TJrandom » Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:12 pm

Nice...

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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by Gord » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:26 am

Creationists won't believe it's evolution until one turns into a cat. But that wouldn't be evolution, it would be friggin' magic, so they'd still be wrong.
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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:14 pm

Gord wrote:Creationists won't believe it's evolution until one turns into a cat. But that wouldn't be evolution, it would be friggin' magic, so they'd still be wrong.
Of course magic is basically what they already believe in, so from their point of view they are simply rejecting a bad school of magic for a good one.

This can be seen in one very common line of attack on the theory of evolution. That it does not have the virtues believers claim for their religion. For example it will not offer moral guidance nor save your soul from Hell.

All true, but missing the point.
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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:14 pm

Gord is so right.

This crocodile example is a good one, but not the only one. There are now a number of cases where one species has been observed, over a study period, to evolve into a new species. Cichlid fish in African lakes and geckos in the Caribbean come to mind, but a simple Google search will reveal more.

But religious nutters will not believe any of it.

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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by Cadmusteeth » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:12 am

They won’t believe it because they don’t want to.

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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by Gord » Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:11 am

And yet they believe someone once turned into a pillar of salt. ;)
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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by TJrandom » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:08 am

Gord wrote:And yet they believe someone once turned into a pillar of salt. ;)
Inquiring minds want to know... when passing said pillar, to test if it was really salt, just where did people lick? :?

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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:25 am

In the area around the Dead Sea there are plenty of naturally occurring approximately human sized pillars of salt.

OK it's a stretch to suppose one of them used to be a woman who used to live near there, and the specific pillar is not identified, but one thing is certain.

No licking allowed. :mrgreen:
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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by Matthew Ellard » Tue Sep 18, 2018 3:18 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:There are now a number of cases where one species has been observed, over a study period, to evolve into a new species.
I think the clearest example, to use against anti-evolutionists, would be evolved penicillin resistant bacteria.

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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:19 pm

Won't work, Matthew.
There is no rationality to appeal to. Creationists now generally accept what they call "microadaptation " and they will classify antibiotic resistance as such. They just claim that microadaptation does not lead to speciation.

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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by landrew » Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:27 pm

Matthew Ellard wrote:
Lance Kennedy wrote:There are now a number of cases where one species has been observed, over a study period, to evolve into a new species.
I think the clearest example, to use against anti-evolutionists, would be evolved penicillin resistant bacteria.
That one doesn't work. It only inspires ridicule and disbelief in the connection between monkey and human. I've heard it raised in debates before, and it leads to nothing.
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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by Gawdzilla Sama » Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:32 pm

Abdul Alhazred wrote:In the area around the Dead Sea there are plenty of naturally occurring approximately human sized pillars of salt.

OK it's a stretch to suppose one of them used to be a woman who used to live near there, and the specific pillar is not identified, but one thing is certain.

No licking allowed. :mrgreen:
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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by TJrandom » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:17 pm

Ah, no wonder he left her behind...

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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by Gord » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:36 pm

TJrandom wrote:
Gord wrote:And yet they believe someone once turned into a pillar of salt. ;)
Inquiring minds want to know... when passing said pillar, to test if it was really salt, just where did people lick? :?
I've never heard of anyone passing a pillar of salt, but it certainly sounds like it would sting.
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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by scrmbldggs » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:37 pm

:lol:


Cadmusteeth wrote:They won’t believe it because they don’t want to.
For them it's "If pics, it didn't happen."
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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by Wordbird » Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:01 am

Gord wrote:Creationists won't believe it's evolution until one turns into a cat. But that wouldn't be evolution, it would be friggin' magic, so they'd still be wrong.
Nothing says it can't, it would just take so long that no one would ever see it, and by the time someone did see the cat, they would be creationist otters who finally overthrew the atheist otters, and what they'd refuse to believe is that it was ever a crocodile.
TJrandom wrote:Ah, no wonder he left her behind...
My reaction would be to tell God to turn me into a pillar of salt too, so I could stay beside her forever.

I'd die, but it would make a certain spiteful someone look like the {!#%@} he very well is.

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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by scrmbldggs » Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:38 am

Abdul Alhazred wrote:The Cave-Dwelling Crocodiles of Gabon
Amusing Planet

Lots of pictures at the link.
Ow. Being made to pose for those pics in the great outdoors must have hurt their beautiful eyes. :(
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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by KevinLevites » Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:13 am

Abdul Alhazred wrote:The Cave-Dwelling Crocodiles of Gabon
Amusing Planet

Lots of pictures at the link.
So...how do we know that this isn't what happened with the alligators in the New York City sewer system? :mrgreen:

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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by KevinLevites » Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:21 am

Seriously, though...I am very surprised by this discovery.

I like reptiles, and have kept them as pets.

All reptiles (except snakes) require unfiltered sunlight to survive, as they make certian forms of Vitamin D in their skin. Without sunlight, they can't properly metabolize calcium and phosphorus, and they die from metabolic bone disease.

Crocodillians are especially dependent upon sunlight for bone growth and heart function. Supplying the vitamins in the diet generally doesn't work. It has to be from sunlight (or artificial light source that mimics sunlight).

The fact that they can flourish in a cave is just as surprising to me as claiming that they can flourish without water.

A most interesting piece. Thank you for pointing it out.

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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by KevinLevites » Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:42 am

As for the anti-evolutionists, this issue of Biblical literalism was settled by Benjamin Franklin.

Franklin invented the lightning rod in 1752, and everybody thought it was an obscenity because lightning was from God (see Book of Job).

There was a town in Italy called Brescia, where the people (very pious and God-fearing) decided to store all the gunpowder (more than 100 tonnes) in the basements and catacombs of the local church, since God would never strike a church with lightning.

Well...the church steeple is the highest point in town, and--if you've stayed with me so far--the steeple was hit by lightning, the church caught fire, and the resulting explosion killed more than 3,000 people (most of them were, no doubt, quite pious and God-fearing) and destroyed more than one-sixth of the town. This happened in 1769, and like to imagine the image of Franklin shaking his head and muttering "Those stupid f-----ing idiots" under his breath when he heard about it.

Fighting against evolution is the same thing as refusing to put lightning rods on a church steeple.

I still don't see how they could have believed something so stupid as deciding that the church was the safest place to store gunpowder...even if we sink to their level and argue on their own terms.

Gunpowder (while having a few peaceful uses like construction) is a weapon. Can any rational person believe that a munitions dump is something that would be sacred to Christ and, somehow, exempt by a legal technicality? Did they believe that God is a lawyer?

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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by scrmbldggs » Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:04 am

No, they like(d) to believe, as any of the various groups, that "he" is on their - the only True Believer™ - side only.
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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by Gord » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:47 am

Wordbird wrote:
Gord wrote:Creationists won't believe it's evolution until one turns into a cat. But that wouldn't be evolution, it would be friggin' magic, so they'd still be wrong.
Nothing says it can't
The theory of evolution and the way we describe species says it can't. A crocodile could evolve into something that was so much like a cat that it could even reproduce with one, but it would still be "not a cat". That's because a cat is currently defined in part by the history of its speciation:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia
Family: Felidae
Subfamily: Felinae
Genus: Felis
Species: F. silvestris
Subspecies: F. s. catus
And a crocodile, but its speciation history: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crocodile
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Crocodilia
Family: Crocodylidae
Subfamily: Crocodylinae
The cat and the crocodile differentiated along their paths when one went the way of mammalia and the other went the way of reptilia. They can't undo that.

On the other hand, we could always change the definitions of "cat" and "crocodile" and the theory of evolution so that, if a crocodile should ever evolve so much that it could reproduce with a cat, then it would be a cat. But as it stands now, our classification system wouldn't allow for it be recognized as a cat.
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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by KevinLevites » Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:09 am

Gord, I agree somewhat, but I have a few quibbles on specifics becauae I may be confusing your points.

There is parallel evolution, where unrealted animals may look the same and act the same because they're an evolutionary product of a similar environment. The recently extinct Thylacine and the wolf may qualify here...but they can't mate because they're unrelated animals.

Yet it seems possible that a crocodile could evolve into an animal that could reproduce with a cat...but it would require an improbable string of coincidences that are so unlikely that it probably wouldn't happen in the lifetime of the Universe if we could imagine that, somehow, all the mass of the Universe was converted into crocodiles.

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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by Gord » Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:26 am

I'm talking about the way we define things. It's basically an argument over semantics. An improbable string of coincidences could happen that resulted in crocodiles speciating into something that could mate with a cat, but our definitions would still say it's not a cat.

This is trivial, though, as reality doesn't care what we call it.
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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by Abdul Alhazred » Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:17 am

KevinLevites wrote:
Abdul Alhazred wrote:The Cave-Dwelling Crocodiles of Gabon
Amusing Planet

Lots of pictures at the link.
So...how do we know that this isn't what happened with the alligators in the New York City sewer system? :mrgreen:
You mean the blind albino alligators?

Image

Of course it has. ;)
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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by Wordbird » Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:05 pm

Gord wrote:The theory of evolution and the way we describe species says it can't. A crocodile could evolve into something that was so much like a cat that it could even reproduce with one, but it would still be "not a cat". That's because a cat is currently defined in part by the history of its speciation:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia
Family: Felidae
Subfamily: Felinae
Genus: Felis
Species: F. silvestris
Subspecies: F. s. catus
And a crocodile, but its speciation history: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crocodile
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Crocodilia
Family: Crocodylidae
Subfamily: Crocodylinae
The cat and the crocodile differentiated along their paths when one went the way of mammalia and the other went the way of reptilia. They can't undo that.
Crocodiles certainly could evolve into mammals because reptiles did this before. The cats produced would not be called Felis Catus, but they could still be cats.

If another spurt of mammals were produced from reptiles independently of the first line of mammals, they would be properly classified into an entirely different order. I stress properly because if it happened in such a way that the resulting cats were indistinguishable from regular cats, there's a chance the otters in the future might not know about it.

Also, humans. What many of us are today is part Neanderthal, and probably other partially speciated hominids too. We don't say we're "not humans" because of this.
KevinLevites wrote:Yet it seems possible that a crocodile could evolve into an animal that could reproduce with a cat...but it would require an improbable string of coincidences that are so unlikely that it probably wouldn't happen in the lifetime of the Universe if we could imagine that, somehow, all the mass of the Universe was converted into crocodiles.
Correct. For a species to randomly evolve into something that could breed with something so distantly related is improbable beyond reason, but it's not impossible.

We could even meet aliens and be able to breed with them. It's just spectacularly unlikely.

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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by TJrandom » Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:38 pm

I met a woman who was certainly alien, and we bred just fine.... in fact I hear that all women are aliens... :mrgreen:

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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by Gord » Fri Sep 21, 2018 12:18 am

Wordbird wrote:
Gord wrote:The theory of evolution and the way we describe species says it can't. A crocodile could evolve into something that was so much like a cat that it could even reproduce with one, but it would still be "not a cat". That's because a cat is currently defined in part by the history of its speciation:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia
Family: Felidae
Subfamily: Felinae
Genus: Felis
Species: F. silvestris
Subspecies: F. s. catus
And a crocodile, but its speciation history: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crocodile
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Crocodilia
Family: Crocodylidae
Subfamily: Crocodylinae
The cat and the crocodile differentiated along their paths when one went the way of mammalia and the other went the way of reptilia. They can't undo that.
Crocodiles certainly could evolve into mammals because reptiles did this before.
But they wouldn't be considered mammals by our system. They would be called by an entirely different class.
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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by Wordbird » Fri Sep 21, 2018 6:22 am

Gord wrote:But they wouldn't be considered mammals by our system. They would be called by an entirely different class.
Stress on the word called.

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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by Gord » Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:25 am

Wordbird wrote:
Gord wrote:But they wouldn't be considered mammals by our system. They would be called by an entirely different class.
Stress on the word called.
Exactly. That's why I said before,
Gord wrote:...It's basically an argument over semantics.
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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by TJrandom » Sun Sep 23, 2018 3:34 am

Cat Gord got it on with a fishie
Said it couldn`t produce a new beastie
Evolution stepped in
Created a Gord twin
So now we have catfishies.

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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by Gord » Sun Sep 23, 2018 5:16 am

Poetry is bad
It is spreading ev'rywhere
Haikus have mountains
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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by Poodle » Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:08 am

Interesting - TJ got limerick structure wrong and Gord got haiku structure wrong. I'm trying to work out the possible combinations of piss-taking, or not knowing, or anything else.

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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by Gord » Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:21 am

All I did was 5-7-5 and then threw in a mountain at the end. And yes, I personally consider that to be taking the piss at pretending to write an haiku.

I also consider it a piss-take to say "an haiku". :P
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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by Gord » Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:26 am

Here's a video by Aron Ra that speaks to the problem of our classification system(s):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4A-dMqEbSk8

Quotes from the video:
"Paraphyletic" means the offspring aren't part of their ancestral family anymore, which of course is biologically impossible.
Polyphyletic = multiple origins
The same thing can't evolve twice!
What this is saying is that we are not just what we currently are, but we are also what we have evolved from. In other words, a crocodile that evolved into something that can successfully mate with a cat would still be a crocodilian (modified and speciated into something new, but with crocodile ancestry and therefore still part of that family) and not a cat at all, because cats by definition did not evolve from crocodiles.
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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by TJrandom » Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:54 am

Poodle wrote:Interesting - TJ got limerick structure wrong and Gord got haiku structure wrong. I'm trying to work out the possible combinations of piss-taking, or not knowing, or anything else.
Whaaa rimelicks have structure - who knew? :mrgreen:

Ahhh... twern`t humorous enough.... ;)

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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by Lance Kennedy » Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:36 pm

Actually, the whole discussion about a crocodile evolving into something that can mate with a cat is total bull-{!#%@} anyway. The odds against that happening are equivalent to, as Hitch Hikers said, quantum uncertainty making a woman's knickers suddenly shift a meter to the right.

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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by Gord » Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:18 am

Lance Kennedy wrote:Actually, the whole discussion about a crocodile evolving into something that can mate with a cat is total bull-{!#%@} anyway. The odds against that happening are equivalent to, as Hitch Hikers said, quantum uncertainty making a woman's knickers suddenly shift a meter to the right.
Enough to keep our hopes up? Enough to talk about for one or two pages on the Skeptics forum? I mean, BS is a pretty popular topic amongst us skeptics. I just spent two hours looking into "Civil War killing of a pteradactyl", for jeebus' sake!
"Knowledge grows through infinite timelessness" -- the random fictional Deepak Chopra quote site
"Imagine an ennobling of what could be" -- the New Age BS Generator site
"You are also taking my words out of context." -- Justin
"Nullius in verba" -- The Royal Society ["take nobody's word for it"]
#ANDAMOVIE
Is Trump in jail yet?

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Re: Speciation caught in the act.

Post by TJrandom » Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:33 am

Gord wrote:
Lance Kennedy wrote:Actually, the whole discussion about a crocodile evolving into something that can mate with a cat is total bull-{!#%@} anyway. The odds against that happening are equivalent to, as Hitch Hikers said, quantum uncertainty making a woman's knickers suddenly shift a meter to the right.
Enough to keep our hopes up? Enough to talk about for one or two pages on the Skeptics forum? I mean, BS is a pretty popular topic amongst us skeptics. I just spent two hours looking into "Civil War killing of a pteradactyl", for jeebus' sake!
And and and... I hear tell that Texans mate with their heifers all of the time. Who knows, they may even be mating with their cats. Maybe not their crocodiles - they do have some pride, don`t they?