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Author Topic:   More Evidence of Evolution - Geomyidae and Geomydoecus
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 96 (388891)
03-08-2007 3:41 PM


In other words - pocket gophers and their pubic lice.

Evolution gains another pillar of support when we find convergence between multiple phylogenies developed by multiple, independent means. For instance, the convergence between phylogeny developed from genetics and phylogeny developed from morphological characteristics of fossils. It's a basic principle of reason that when two independent groups, using independent methods, measure and get the same results, we strongly conclude that they're actually measuring something that's really there (like an evolutionary history) and not simply making it up. The odds of two parties working independently developing the same falsehood are very, very low.

Convergence between genetics and fossils aren't the only relevant convergences to speak of, however. I recently read an example of convergence between two genetically-derived phylogenies: The common pocket gopher (family Geomyidae) and species of the genus Geomydoecus, their pubic lice.

From the article:

quote:
Phylogenies based on mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (COI) sequences for 15 taxa of gophers and 15 species of Geomydoecus show considerable congruence (Fig. 2). More detailed comparisons of these phylogenies revealed that 8 of the 12 ingroup nodes (67%) show potential cospeciation events (Page and Hafner, 1996). This amount of cospeciation is more than expected by chance alone (P < 0.01; reconciliation analysis, as implemented in TreeMap 1; Page, 1995). These comparisons indicate that cospeciation between gophers and lice is extensive.

http://sysbio.oxfordjournals.org/content/53/1/165.full

Consider the plight of the pubic lice. Pocket gophers construct individual tunnel systems which one gopher will habitate; individual gophers rarely meet except to mate. Their lice are specialized, physically, for clinging to the hairs of their host; they are not highly mobile on other terrain. As a result, gopher pubic lice rarely encounter disparate individuals except when their hosts meet to mate.

From an evolutionary perspective, these ecological realities mean that gophers and their lice should undergo speciation in response to the same events; thus, we should see a large degree of convergence between the evolutionary histories of these organisms as their unrelated lineages speciate in parallel. That this prediction from ecology is satisfied by genetics is further support of the accuracy of evolutionary models.

On the other hand, from the perspective of creationism, where both of these species were created, independently, in recent time; and where the entire science of molecular phylogeny returns, not meaningful historical data, but random noise "interpreted" as meaningful; we should not expect to see such convergence. Any given species, no matter its ecology, should return results that are completely random and divergent from any other species.

That's not what we see, disproving creationism and lending support to evolutionary models. Parallel speciation, and the congruent phylogenies that result, supports evolution but cannot be reconciled with the creationist worldview.

Edited by crashfrog, : Fixed URL.


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AdminQuetzal
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 96 (388894)
03-08-2007 4:03 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.

  
NosyNed
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Posts: 8863
From: Canada
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Member Rating: 5.3


Message 3 of 96 (388919)
03-08-2007 7:14 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by crashfrog
03-08-2007 3:41 PM


The problem with this kind of support
This is good stuff Crash! And, as usual, you do a good job of presenting an analysis of an inference from it.

But there is a big problem with this kind of support for the evolutionary model --- it is too good. :)

It is detailed, rather precise and supports careful analysis (even including mathematics). It is powerful as science.

The problem is the folks that need "proof" are operating on a level of knowledge and conceptual understanding (and in some cases intelligence) that is light years below this. To them this sounds like cleaverly constructed baffle-gab. No light bulbs light up above their heads; no "ah-ha"s escape their lips. They can't even read what you've posted with any comprehension. The concepts are all alien to them.

These folk are operating as if we should find a fish fossil with fully formed, clawed, reptilian forearms for front fins. They have no hope of getting this.

ABE
'sides - they don't want to.

Edited by NosyNed, : a further tought


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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 96 (388923)
03-08-2007 7:42 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by NosyNed
03-08-2007 7:14 PM


Re: The problem with this kind of support
Fair enough - I don't expect much of a creationist response - but it shows an important principle in science in general and evolution in particular.

That principle is how scientific theories are supported by evidence. It's not that there's One Big Proof of evolution that, in the utterance, convinces all and removes all doubt; evolution is held up by a thousand little pillars. And each of those pillars represents a convergence of fact that is explainable only by evolution.

The evolutionary histories of the pocket gophers and their pubic lice were simply invention, there's no reason to think that they would match. But according to the ecology of their present, their pasts would be expected to be similar according to evolution. And they are.

That's the take-home message. Sure, when you run PCR-RFLP on mtDNA, and you're looking at a gel with a bunch of little bars on it, some interpretation comes into play.

But when you have a convergence like this, there's no interpretation possible but the evolutionary one. It's not simply a matter of "different interpretations" because there's no creationist interpretation of this phenomenon.


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Chiroptera
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Posts: 6805
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 6.2


Message 5 of 96 (388924)
03-08-2007 7:53 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by crashfrog
03-08-2007 7:42 PM


Re: The problem with this kind of support
Great post, crash. Exellent point.

Unfortunately, the creationists are going to yelp, "b-b-b-but, they're still gophers and lice!"

They will probably claim that these just microevolved together since the Flud. That goalpost was moved long ago, I'm afraid.

But I like it. Thanks for posting it.

Edited by Chiroptera, : added a word


Actually, if their god makes better pancakes, I'm totally switching sides. -- Charley the Australopithecine

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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 96 (388926)
03-08-2007 8:04 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Chiroptera
03-08-2007 7:53 PM


Re: The problem with this kind of support
Unfortunately, the creationists are going to yelp, "b-b-b-but, they're still gophers and lice!"

Sure. I advise them not to, since I would simply reply that this material substantiates molecular phylogeny, and molecular phylogeny substantiates macroevolution through deep time.

And wouldn't they find that rebuttal embarrassing? Good thing I warned them...


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MartinV 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4119 days)
Posts: 502
From: Slovakia, Bratislava
Joined: 08-28-2006


Message 7 of 96 (388967)
03-09-2007 1:19 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by crashfrog
03-08-2007 7:42 PM


Re: The problem with this kind of support

But when you have a convergence like this, there's no interpretation possible but the evolutionary one. It's not simply a matter of "different interpretations" because there's no creationist interpretation of this phenomenon.

As you know I don't have problem with evolution. But I don't see how the example support darwinistic explanation of the evolution. I would say that such congruence even contradicts "random mutation" conception as source of it.


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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8863
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003
Member Rating: 5.3


Message 8 of 96 (388968)
03-09-2007 1:21 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by MartinV
03-09-2007 1:19 PM


contradicting the source
It would be helpful if you explained your reasoning behind this.

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Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6805
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 6.2


Message 9 of 96 (388971)
03-09-2007 1:42 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by NosyNed
03-09-2007 1:21 PM


Re: contradicting the source
It'll have something to do with sharks and crocodiles, I suspect.


Actually, if their god makes better pancakes, I'm totally switching sides. -- Charley the Australopithecine

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MartinV 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4119 days)
Posts: 502
From: Slovakia, Bratislava
Joined: 08-28-2006


Message 10 of 96 (388973)
03-09-2007 2:03 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by NosyNed
03-09-2007 1:21 PM


Re: contradicting the source
I suppose that every convergence in Nature is explained by darwinist by random mutation as its primary source. If there is no random mutation then natural selection have nothing to operate upon.

So this case maybe support evolution but I do not see how it support darwinistic explanation of it.

Edited by MartinV, : No reason given.


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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 11 of 96 (388979)
03-09-2007 2:22 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by MartinV
03-09-2007 2:03 PM


Re: contradicting the source
So this case maybe support evolution but I do not see how it support darwinistic explanation of it.

I still don't think we understand your objection. This supports evolution because it's irrefutable proof that these two organisms have a verifiable history in evolutionary time; their individual phylogenies corroborate each other, and by extension, the tools and procedures used to develop those phylogenies.

If these two organisms had no evolutionary history, and the science of molecular phylogeny was invalid, there would be no such convergence. If you don't understand how all that substantiates evolution by random mutation and natural selection, then I suspect it's because you're not clear on how this data was developed.

Added by edit: It's also proof that speciation occurs due to Darwinian mechanisms, and not by any saltational or preprogrammed means. The assertion that two completely unrelated organisms would be "programmed" to speciate in the same way, at the same position in time and space, is ridiculous; but that's exactly what would have to happen to observe parallel speciation under a saltational mechanism. This convergence is proof that speciation is caused by Darwinian mechanisms.

Edited by crashfrog, : No reason given.


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MartinV 
Suspended Member (Idle past 4119 days)
Posts: 502
From: Slovakia, Bratislava
Joined: 08-28-2006


Message 12 of 96 (388980)
03-09-2007 2:31 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by crashfrog
03-09-2007 2:22 PM


Re: contradicting the source

Added by edit: It's also proof that speciation occurs due to Darwinian mechanisms, and not by any saltational or preprogrammed means. The assertion that two completely unrelated organisms would be "programmed" to speciate in the same way, at the same position in time and space, is ridiculous; but that's exactly what would have to happen to observe parallel speciation under a saltational mechanism. This convergence is proof that speciation is caused by Darwinian mechanisms.

It's only proof for darwinists.I see explanation that two unrelated organisms speciate in the same way via undirected random mutation picked up by natural selection as utterly ridiculous and as darwinistic fancy.


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crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 13 of 96 (388983)
03-09-2007 2:47 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by MartinV
03-09-2007 2:31 PM


Re: contradicting the source
I see explanation that two unrelated organisms speciate in the same way via undirected random mutation picked up by natural selection as utterly ridiculous and as darwinistic fancy.

They speciate the same way because of the way they live, as I explained. They speciate the same way because the pubic lice are forced into the same population distribution as the gophers, because the lice only meet to mate when the gophers do.

I've never claimed that they mutate the same way; mutation, really, has nothing to do with what we're talking about. What we're talking about is their evolutionary histories, which are constrained to converge under Darwinian mechanisms because of their ecology. Under creationism or saltational mechanisms, there would be no such constraint, because speciation would occur based on their separate individual programs, not their environment.

There's nothing fanciful about the data, which you haven't even addressed. And you provide absolutely no explanation under any alternative to evolution for why these organisms would experience parallel speciation.


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Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6805
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 6.2


Message 14 of 96 (388984)
03-09-2007 3:05 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by MartinV
03-09-2007 2:31 PM


You are confused!
quote:
I see explanation that two unrelated organisms speciate in the same way via undirected random mutation picked up by natural selection as utterly ridiculous and as darwinistic fancy.

Sure. But "darwinists" don't say that unrelated organisms speciate in the same way. In fact, that sentence doesn't make sense, whether you are a darwinist or not.


Actually, if their god makes better pancakes, I'm totally switching sides. -- Charley the Australopithecine

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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 8863
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003
Member Rating: 5.3


Message 15 of 96 (388986)
03-09-2007 3:36 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by MartinV
03-09-2007 2:31 PM


MV's critisism is?
It's only proof for darwinists.I see explanation that two unrelated organisms speciate in the same way via undirected random mutation picked up by natural selection as utterly ridiculous and as darwinistic fancy.

Yea, yea, you don't have to repeat yourself. We know what you think.

What exactly is wrong with the reasoning presented in this particular case and what alternative explanation do you have?

It seems you are, yet again, simply ranting with no foundation for your own personal idiosyncratic opinions.


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