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Author Topic:   Definition of Species
Big_Al35
Member
Posts: 384
Joined: 06-02-2010


Message 196 of 450 (572533)
08-06-2010 11:21 AM
Reply to: Message 195 by Percy
08-06-2010 10:54 AM


Re: Species Definition vs what matters (and why)
Really? What about this misconstrual of how much we know about T-Rex:

It's true we don't know much about TRex. 5 minutes on google will tell you that.

And what about this misconstrual of DNA's power to determine species boundaries:

If species boundaries are arbitrary they are arbitrary....what misconstrual?

And what about this objection based upon a misconstrual about scientists claims of finding common ancestors based upon an article you linked to:

I think you need to read that article again if you believe there has been a misconstrual. He clearly talks about the roots of our lineage and the earliest Homo found.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 195 by Percy, posted 08-06-2010 10:54 AM Percy has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 197 by jar, posted 08-06-2010 11:23 AM Big_Al35 has not yet responded
 Message 198 by Huntard, posted 08-06-2010 11:28 AM Big_Al35 has responded
 Message 199 by Wounded King, posted 08-06-2010 11:36 AM Big_Al35 has not yet responded

    
jar
Member
Posts: 31460
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 197 of 450 (572534)
08-06-2010 11:23 AM
Reply to: Message 196 by Big_Al35
08-06-2010 11:21 AM


Re: Species Definition vs what matters (and why)
Big_Al35 writes:

I think you need to read that article again if you believe there has been a misconstrual. He clearly talks about the roots of our lineage and the earliest Homo found.

What species are we? Are you under the impression that we are of a species called "Homo"?

Maybe that is your problem?


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 196 by Big_Al35, posted 08-06-2010 11:21 AM Big_Al35 has not yet responded

  
Huntard
Member (Idle past 579 days)
Posts: 2870
From: Limburg, The Netherlands
Joined: 09-02-2008


Message 198 of 450 (572535)
08-06-2010 11:28 AM
Reply to: Message 196 by Big_Al35
08-06-2010 11:21 AM


Re: Species Definition vs what matters (and why)
Big_Al35 writes:

It's true we don't know much about TRex. 5 minutes on google will tell you that.


Ten seconds on Google Scholar brought up 22.800 articles. Don't know much indeed.

If species boundaries are arbitrary they are arbitrary....what misconstrual?

You tried to pass it off as if DNA would make an end to the arbitrary nature of species boundaries.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 196 by Big_Al35, posted 08-06-2010 11:21 AM Big_Al35 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 200 by Big_Al35, posted 08-06-2010 4:43 PM Huntard has responded

    
Wounded King
Member (Idle past 2378 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 199 of 450 (572538)
08-06-2010 11:36 AM
Reply to: Message 196 by Big_Al35
08-06-2010 11:21 AM


Re: Species Definition vs what matters (and why)
He clearly talks about the roots of our lineage and the earliest Homo found.

Yes he does, in the context of where he sees research going in the future. He absolutely says nothing about identifying a common ancestor for the various species of Homo. It is also worth noting that something being the earliest homo found in no way necessitates it being the common ancestor of all subsequent species of Homo.

TTFN,

WK


This message is a reply to:
 Message 196 by Big_Al35, posted 08-06-2010 11:21 AM Big_Al35 has not yet responded

    
Big_Al35
Member
Posts: 384
Joined: 06-02-2010


Message 200 of 450 (572583)
08-06-2010 4:43 PM
Reply to: Message 198 by Huntard
08-06-2010 11:28 AM


Re: Species Definition vs what matters (and why)
Huntard writes:

Ten seconds on Google Scholar brought up 22.800 articles. Don't know much indeed.

Yeah...and they all contradict each other.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 198 by Huntard, posted 08-06-2010 11:28 AM Huntard has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 201 by Huntard, posted 08-06-2010 4:55 PM Big_Al35 has not yet responded
 Message 202 by Percy, posted 08-06-2010 5:17 PM Big_Al35 has not yet responded

    
Huntard
Member (Idle past 579 days)
Posts: 2870
From: Limburg, The Netherlands
Joined: 09-02-2008


Message 201 of 450 (572587)
08-06-2010 4:55 PM
Reply to: Message 200 by Big_Al35
08-06-2010 4:43 PM


Re: Species Definition vs what matters (and why)
Big_Al35 writes:

Yeah...and they all contradict each other.


No they don't, which you would know, if you had read but a single one of them.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 200 by Big_Al35, posted 08-06-2010 4:43 PM Big_Al35 has not yet responded

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 18870
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 202 of 450 (572592)
08-06-2010 5:17 PM
Reply to: Message 200 by Big_Al35
08-06-2010 4:43 PM


Re: Species Definition vs what matters (and why)
Big_Al35 writes:

Yeah...and they all contradict each other.

Can I suggest that unless you have a meaningful point to make that is actually true that you resist the urge to post?

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 200 by Big_Al35, posted 08-06-2010 4:43 PM Big_Al35 has not yet responded

    
RAZD
Member
Posts: 20155
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 203 of 450 (572608)
08-06-2010 6:59 PM
Reply to: Message 177 by Big_Al35
08-06-2010 5:20 AM


Re: Species Definition vs what matters (and why)
Hi Big_Al35,

I think it's fair to say that species cannot be determined unless you know their DNA. All the other criteria for determining species can only give best guesses. Maybe DNA is also a best guess.

Thanks for not reading 90% of my post and misconstruing the rest.

We can absolutely determine that pelycodus divided into several different species during the time of the fossil chart ("The diagram covers about five million years."), because of the separation of breeding populations.

This is what is important.

The graphic does not show you where to define the arbitrary speciation events, as those are subjective, however it does show that evolution -- the change in frequency and character of hereditary traits in breeding populations in response to ecological opportunites -- is an ongoing process, and it shows that sometimes that process leads to parent populations giving rise to two or more daughter populations.

This is what is important.

Whether we give them names or not is immaterial to the fact that several speciation events are observed to have occurred, and the evolution is observed as a continual process over the time period covered.

Therefore evolution and speciation account for the diversity observed in this fossil record.

... unless you know their DNA. All the other criteria for determining species can only give best guesses. Maybe DNA is also a best guess.

Curiously, even knowing the DNA does not help, as all you are doing is adding another element to use in making a subjective determination of when arbitrary speciation occurrs -- the DNA changes by a certain amount (if you can measure it for extinct species, which makes it virtually useless for MOST species).

If the difference in DNA does not result in any apparent difference in observable traits nor in behavior nor in survival nor in breeding ... does it really mean you have a new species because x% (your subjective arbitrary measurement level for separating species) is different?

Curiously, we can agree that species classifications are highly subjective, often completely arbitrary, and subject to change, and yet still use these classifications for the study of evolution in particular and biology in general. This is because scientists agree on using the published classifications for contextual clarity, rather than creating confusion by everyone using their own subjective classifications. The classifications of species is not a simple short list, but one based on a thorough comparison of many traits, including every bone in a skeleton that can be measured and quantified.

And the only real "controversy" is whether we have a genus with several species or a species with several varieties, all descended from a common ancestral population in either case.

They are necessarily arbitrary classifications for ~99% of organisms, because we only know that there are two different species when a non-arbitrary speciation event has occurred.

That doesn't mean that species designations are not useful in describing populations of organisms.

It certainly does not mean that evolution -- the change in frequency and character of hereditary traits in breeding populations in response to ecological opportunites -- is not an ongoing process,

OR that speciation -- the division of a parent population into two or more reproductively isolated daughter populations due to different evolution in daughter populations living in different ecologies, and a reduction in gene flow between them -- does not occur.

We could do away with species classifications altogether and only use cladograms based on hereditary traits, and the results would be the same, it would just be more difficult to discuss without names for the cladogram branches.

Enjoy.

Edited by RAZD, : ing


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 177 by Big_Al35, posted 08-06-2010 5:20 AM Big_Al35 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 204 by Big_Al35, posted 08-10-2010 8:18 AM RAZD has responded

  
Big_Al35
Member
Posts: 384
Joined: 06-02-2010


Message 204 of 450 (573165)
08-10-2010 8:18 AM
Reply to: Message 203 by RAZD
08-06-2010 6:59 PM


Re: Species Definition vs what matters (and why)
RAZD writes:

Thanks for not reading 90% of my post and misconstruing the rest.

Sorry if I found 90% of your post of very little interest to the point of boredom and as for the other 10%...I wouldn't use the word misconstrue, I would use the word disagree.

RAZD writes:

Curiously, even knowing the DNA does not help, as all you are doing is adding another element to use in making a subjective determination of when arbitrary speciation occurrs -- the DNA changes by a certain amount (if you can measure it for extinct species, which makes it virtually useless for MOST species).

Again I completely disagree. Scientists have already established that DNA is virtually a language in its own right. It has the same properties including things like grammar (stop codons), meaning (genes specify certain attributes), and purpose (coding for the head, torso, legs etc). They say that large chunks of DNA are apparently meaningless but this understanding might change overtime. eg we have different fingerprints, retinas etc....this uniqueness must also be coded into the DNA with some sort of randomization mechanism (using a unique seed) built in. This in itself would require huge amounts of DNA.

DNA works effectively for determining parentage and lineage, forensic investigation into crime and is now working very well for species identification. This isn't just words...it is happening right now. DNA is not entirely arbitrary...the code for the order in which your body parts develop and the location is hard coded. Nothing arbitrary about that.

But I understand how you guys operate now. Maybe you paleontologists and biologists have livelihoods and jobs at stake. It serves your purpose to keep the rest of us in ignorance. As long as DNA is considered arbitrary and a bit of a joke you can continue your fossil finding and your species discoveries. You can make all sorts of absurd claims of finding common ancestors, missing links, new discoveries etc...then when questioned you can claim that you never meant that at all. As no DNA is available for most species that have ever walked the earth no one can ever prove you wrong....eh?

Well good luck with that!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 203 by RAZD, posted 08-06-2010 6:59 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 205 by Percy, posted 08-10-2010 8:40 AM Big_Al35 has not yet responded
 Message 206 by crashfrog, posted 08-10-2010 3:49 PM Big_Al35 has not yet responded
 Message 207 by Blue Jay, posted 08-10-2010 4:37 PM Big_Al35 has not yet responded
 Message 208 by Wounded King, posted 08-10-2010 4:39 PM Big_Al35 has responded
 Message 209 by RAZD, posted 08-10-2010 11:02 PM Big_Al35 has responded

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 18870
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.4


Message 205 of 450 (573168)
08-10-2010 8:40 AM
Reply to: Message 204 by Big_Al35
08-10-2010 8:18 AM


Re: Species Definition vs what matters (and why)
Big_Al35 writes:

I wouldn't use the word misconstrue...

Al, your middle name is misconstrue.

No one said DNA sequences are arbitrary. Please try again.

I'd love to be more constructive and explain more clearly everything that was wrong in your message, but explaining things to you seems to worsen your understanding. Science attempts to describe reality. If reality is actually different than what science says then science is wrong. If you think evolution is a branch of science that incorrectly describes reality then merely point to the evidence from reality that says it's wrong. Simply misunderstanding what we say time and time again isn't getting this discussion anywhere.

--Percy

Edited by Percy, : Punctuation.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 204 by Big_Al35, posted 08-10-2010 8:18 AM Big_Al35 has not yet responded

    
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 206 of 450 (573262)
08-10-2010 3:49 PM
Reply to: Message 204 by Big_Al35
08-10-2010 8:18 AM


Re: Species Definition vs what matters (and why)
If you think DNA can determine parenthood and lineage, why don't you think it can determine when species are related?

Since those are the same thing, how could DNA be used to do one and not the other?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 204 by Big_Al35, posted 08-10-2010 8:18 AM Big_Al35 has not yet responded

  
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 981 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 207 of 450 (573267)
08-10-2010 4:37 PM
Reply to: Message 204 by Big_Al35
08-10-2010 8:18 AM


Re: Species Definition vs what matters (and why)
Hi, Big Al.

Big_Al35 writes:

DNA works effectively for determining parentage and lineage, forensic investigation into crime and is now working very well for species identification. This isn't just words...it is happening right now.

Yes, it is happening right now, and some of us on this very thread are very aware of what we can do with DNA, because we have personally done it, and are still doing it. Please keep that in mind as you continue this discussion.

Honestly, the overtly definitive manner in which you write things that your audience knows from personal experience are total crap is extremely irritating.

-----

Big_Al35 writes:

DNA is not entirely arbitrary...the code for the order in which your body parts develop and the location is hard coded. Nothing arbitrary about that.

Nobody said DNA is arbitrary.

People have said that deciding on an amount of DNA similarity that distinguishes two groups is arbitrary.

This is a misconstruction.


-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 204 by Big_Al35, posted 08-10-2010 8:18 AM Big_Al35 has not yet responded

  
Wounded King
Member (Idle past 2378 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 208 of 450 (573268)
08-10-2010 4:39 PM
Reply to: Message 204 by Big_Al35
08-10-2010 8:18 AM


Pushing back the boundaries of ignorance.
I love this.

I wouldn't use the word misconstrue, I would use the word disagree.
...
Again I completely disagree.

You then go on to make a load of ridiculous wrong statements about genetics which you have clearly misconstrued.

It has the same properties including things like grammar (stop codons)

No, it doesn't. You need to learn the difference between analogy and reality. Can you point me to the grammatical elements which tell me to skip ahead and miss out four paragraphs? A stop codon is not a full stop.

eg we have different fingerprints, retinas etc....this uniqueness must also be coded into the DNA with some sort of randomization mechanism (using a unique seed) built in. This in itself would require huge amounts of DNA.

Total bollocks, the randomising element doesn't need to be in the DNA, it is provided by the variable nature of the environment, the stochastic nature of the physical world.

Insisting that somehow the random elements must have been coded into DNA is just the even more absurd flip side of the argument that the non-random patterned elements of DNA must have been coded in. When in reality we have perfectly viable naturalistic mechanisms which account for both the 'information' we find in DNA and the variable nature and effects of environmental factors on development.

It serves your purpose to keep the rest of us in ignorance.

Then how kind of you to strive to maintain your ignorance at such a high level.

TTFN,

WK


This message is a reply to:
 Message 204 by Big_Al35, posted 08-10-2010 8:18 AM Big_Al35 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 212 by Big_Al35, posted 08-16-2010 8:28 AM Wounded King has responded

    
RAZD
Member
Posts: 20155
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 209 of 450 (573339)
08-10-2010 11:02 PM
Reply to: Message 204 by Big_Al35
08-10-2010 8:18 AM


Re: Species Definition vs what matters (and why)
Hi Big_Al35, in addition to what others have posted let me add this:

But I understand how you guys operate now. Maybe you paleontologists and biologists have livelihoods and jobs at stake. It serves your purpose to keep the rest of us in ignorance. As long as DNA is considered arbitrary and a bit of a joke you can continue your fossil finding and your species discoveries. You can make all sorts of absurd claims of finding common ancestors, missing links, new discoveries etc...then when questioned you can claim that you never meant that at all. As no DNA is available for most species that have ever walked the earth no one can ever prove you wrong....eh?

Rather than the conspiracy theory you have just asserted, the alternative is that scientists realize the limitations of finding DNA for all the extinct species, and this is why they use alternative methods for determining hereditary traits (ie traditional morphological studies that have been used for a couple hundred years or so), and do not claim - as you seem to - that DNA is necessary to accomplish this.

What we do know is that DNA can be used to form trees of descent by the patterns of parentage left behind in descendants, and that this agrees to a very high degree with the traditional trees of descent based on the morphological patterns of parentage left behind in fossils and descendants.

This agreement is, amusingly, independent of arbitrary species designations, but entirely consistent with cladograms based on DNA and cladograms based on morphology, and the patterns of descent from common ancestors in both those cladograms being the same.

Enjoy


we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
Rebel American Zen Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


• • • Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click) • • •

This message is a reply to:
 Message 204 by Big_Al35, posted 08-10-2010 8:18 AM Big_Al35 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 210 by Big_Al35, posted 08-16-2010 8:00 AM RAZD has responded

  
Big_Al35
Member
Posts: 384
Joined: 06-02-2010


Message 210 of 450 (574483)
08-16-2010 8:00 AM
Reply to: Message 209 by RAZD
08-10-2010 11:02 PM


Re: Species Definition vs what matters (and why)
RAZD writes:

Rather than the conspiracy theory you have just asserted, the alternative is that scientists realize the limitations of finding DNA for all the extinct species, and this is why they use alternative methods for determining hereditary traits (ie traditional morphological studies that have been used for a couple hundred years or so), and do not claim - as you seem to - that DNA is necessary to accomplish this.

Wow...great learning has made you go mad. If you continue in this vein I suspect you would eventually disappear up your own ass. I think you mean to say that scientists realize that DNA offers far more answers and solutions than are currently on offer using the alternative methods. These answers may not be what they want to hear. And anyway they don't have access to DNA from fossil evidence so this discussion is moot.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 209 by RAZD, posted 08-10-2010 11:02 PM RAZD has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 211 by Wounded King, posted 08-16-2010 8:09 AM Big_Al35 has not yet responded
 Message 217 by RAZD, posted 08-16-2010 7:31 PM Big_Al35 has not yet responded

    
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