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Florida Lizards Evolve Rapidly, Within 15 Years and 20 Generations

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posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 03:29 PM
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originally posted by: PhotonEffect
This is what strikes me about attempts to explain evolution as just so stories.
First natural selection could only occur over painstakingly slow and long time horizons. That was the rule under Darwin. Now the rules have changed, it would seem.


They certainly have. Science updates and changes its position all the time as new evidence comes to light. Science certainly doesn't care about what Darwin has to say on the matter anymore, maybe you shouldn't either. Punctuated Equilibrium


But more importantly here, is the article/study is stating this new behavior found in the lizards (perching higher up in the trees) developed first, followed by the physical adaptation to suit that behavior. How does this happen?


Well, if the lizard had a mutation that was benign, and didn't get bred out. The mutation would likely be unused in its current environment, but then when the invasive species arrived, the mutation went from being benign to beneficial. Always remember mutations are beneficial, benign, or harmful based on the organism's environment. If the environment changes, the mutation could change status.


The adaptation is supposed to allow for the higher perching, not the other way around, right? Wouldn't larger toe pads be required before the behavior?


Evolution doesn't work in a logical sequence. It is a very haphazard process. Stop trying to rationalize why a certain trait evolved before another trait. It doesn't work that way. I could just as easily ask why humans still have wisdom teeth despite not needing them anymore (and our jaws now being too small to hold that many teeth in our heads).
edit on 14-11-2014 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)




posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 03:29 PM
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originally posted by: Gully

originally posted by: intrepid
I was just discussing this on FB. Is it micro-evolution? Is it adaptation? I personally lean towards the latter.

I would say it's evolution - survival of the fittest. Random mutations led to larger toe-pads so the anole's that could get higher survived and the others did not. The genes of larger toe-pad anole's became dominant...that is evolution.


It's only evolution if they stop being able to interbreed with anoles who have short toe pads. That's when a new species occurs. Until then, it's adaption same as what happens to dogs. They are all still the same species no matter how different they look.



posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 03:30 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

No it's micro-evolution. Macro-evolution is when the species changes to a new species. They are both still evolution though.
edit on 14-11-2014 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 03:41 PM
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a reply to: Grimpachi


No and no.

It is very simple. Those that couldn't hang on to higher perching died removing them from the gene pool where the traits from those that could hang on remained and passed those traits on which resulted in the species all having larger toe pads.


No no my friend. You're not at all addressing what I said. So here begins the dance-


First of all- your explanation has little merit. Unfortunately there is no verifiable proof for how/why the larger toe pads were "selected for". You made that up, took a guess, hence demonstrating the point I made about "just so stories" masquerading as explanations for natural selection .

The article clearly states, as I quoted in my previous post that the lizards climbed the trees and perched higher up to avoid the invading competitor. Then it states they evolved the larger toe pads in response to this. In case you missed it:


On small islands in Florida, we found that the lizard Anolis carolinensis moved to higher perches following invasion by Anolis sagrei and, in response, adaptively evolved larger toepads after only 20 generations.


Would you like to try again?

( you've posted that same video all over this site. did you make it or something?)



posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 03:57 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t


They certainly have. Science updates and changes its position all the time as new evidence comes to light. Science certainly doesn't care about what Darwin has to say on the matter anymore, maybe you shouldn't either. Punctuated Equilibrium

Isn't it grand! The problem is they (the scientific community) chastise those who go against the original position as if it's the standard rule that can't be broken. Anyone who would've suggested that evolution can occur in less than 20 generations would have been mocked not too long ago.

And yeah, I don't care much about what Darwin had to say either, except people keep holding him up on a pedestal.


Well, if the lizard had a mutation that was benign, and didn't get bred out. The mutation would likely be unused in its current environment, but then when the invasive species arrived, the mutation went from being benign to beneficial. Always remember mutations are beneficial, benign, or harmful based on the organism's environment. If the environment changes, the mutation could change status.

Most mutations are either neutral or deleterious. But you are ignoring what the study is saying, which I quoted. Care to address it directly? Behavior before adaptation? Or Adaptation before behavior?


Evolution doesn't work in a logical sequence. It is a very haphazard process. Stop trying to rationalize why a certain trait evolved before another trait. It doesn't work that way. I could just as easily ask why humans still have wisdom teeth despite not needing them anymore (and our jaws now being too small to hold that many teeth in our heads).

Is that your best explanation for understanding evolution?
Stop trying to rationalize it?
It's not a logical sequence?
Wow, just wow.

It's a very important question to ask, I think: what comes first- the adaptation or the behavior? The study is saying that in this case it was the behavior yet I'm not sure they have proof of that. But maybe I missed it.


edit on 14-11-2014 by PhotonEffect because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 03:57 PM
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a reply to: PhotonEffect

Actually that has been the second time I have "ever" posted that video. Don't be a drama queen.

You just admitted that natural selection played a part so did you not watch the video because it is evident that natural selection is part of evolution.

Lets try again. Larger toe pads were a mutation that became beneficial and those traits were passed on in further generations where now it is the norm.

Why are you having such a hard time understanding that. Try watching the video it explains quite well. Or simply read above your post because KrazyShot went into more detail.

Anyway evolution has been achieved.



posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 04:04 PM
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a reply to: Grimpachi



Anyway evolution has been achieved.

Sure.

I have my issues with natural selection which I won't get into right now.

But since you believe in it, why don't you explain how the larger toe pads were selected for, this time with verifiable proof, or at least without having to resort to guesses.

Or, you could address what the study is saying- which is that the larger toe pads evolved in response to the lizards change in behavior - i.e. climbing higher up the tree. Forget the stupid video.



posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 04:25 PM
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a reply to: PhotonEffect




I have my issues with natural selection which I won't get into right now.


Of course you do.



But since you believe in it, why don't you explain how the larger toe pads were selected for


I have already explained why should I explain again just go back and read.



this time with verifiable proof, or at least without having to resort to guesses.


Well you could start by reading the study in the OP or book a trip down here to the College of Natural Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin or even visiting Florida to verify the findings yourself.



Or, you could address what the study is saying- which is that the larger toe pads evolved in response to the lizards change in behavior - i.e. climbing higher up the tree. Forget the stupid video.


The video isn't stupid but if you refuse to watch it that would be stupid. I am not going to explain what the video lays out so hopefully you can keep up.



After contact with the invasive species, the native lizards began perching higher in trees, and, generation after generation, their feet evolved to become better at gripping the thinner, smoother branches found higher up.


There was a change in the environment. IE invasive species. They then changed their behavior.


over the course of 15 years and 20 generations, their toe pads had become larger, with more sticky scales on their feet.


Those born with longer toe pads and better gripping ability (mutations) were able to survive better and pass on their DNA (natural selection) where now larger toe pads and stickier scales are predominant feature in the species.

Evolution achieved. It is really very simple but if you don't get it then you probably don't want to.
edit on 14-11-2014 by Grimpachi because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 04:26 PM
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Which came first: higher perching or larger feet? I would guess that the larger feet already existed to some degree in the breeding individuals, so basically the article is poorly written. I would have dinged it as an editor. The way it's worded makes it sound like the lizards perched higher and thus their offspring were magically born with large feet. No, they already had larger feet and bred with other lizards that had large feet thus enhancing the desirable trait making for offspring with even bigger feet ...

This is selective breeding, only with natural pressure, adaptive pressure doing the selecting.

The lizards are only a new species inasmuch as a color variant of a cichlid in one of the African Rift Lakes is a new species. Basically, you cannot keep two color variants together as they will freely interbreed, and they are listed as the same species but with a locality tag to separate them. For example, Altolamprologus compressiceps Chaitika "red" and Alrolamprologus compressiceps Maswa "Yellowfin" are the same species of fish. If you keep individuals in the same aquarium, they will freely interbreed even though they look quite different in terms of their coloration. The difference comes from how the local populations have been separated by some geographic feature or another and have thus developed differing colorations in order to best survive their areas.

The offspring of the two variants will still be Altocomps, but won't be either Maswa Yellowfin or Chaitika Red anymore. Just as I suspect that if you breed a long-toed lizard to a short-toed lizard, the offspring will still be the same anole, just not exactly perfectly long or short-toed.

At best, we are talking about tacking on a sp. long-toe to the local lizard pop.



posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 04:34 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko




The offspring of the two variants will still be Altocomps, but won't be either Maswa Yellowfin or Chaitika Red anymore. Just as I suspect that if you breed a long-toed lizard to a short-toed lizard, the offspring will still be the same anole, just not exactly perfectly long or short-toed.


Your right you will get some with long toes and some with short toes and depending on the environment one will have a better chance of survival until eventually the less helpful feature is bred out of the gene pool.



posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 04:40 PM
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a reply to: Grimpachi



I have already explained why should I explain again just go back and read.

No you didn't. You made something up without any evidence. What good is natural selection if you can't explain how it happened without resorting to assumptions and guesses? Can you verify that your explanation is correct? I'll be more than happy to concede. Really.


Well you could start by reading the study in the OP or book a trip down here to the College of Natural Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin or even visiting Florida to verify the findings yourself.

I did read it. Maybe you should read it.

There was a change in the environment, yes. Then the affected lizard altered its behavior (by climbing higher up in trees) in response, check. Only after that, according to the study, did the affected lizards evolve the necessary equipment (larger and stickier toe pads) to allow the behavior.

In case you missed it right there in your quoted material- the behavior came first, followed by the adaptation. That's mighty convenient isn't it?



posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 04:40 PM
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a reply to: Grimpachi

Exactly.

So, this is an example of adaptive and natural selection pressures, but until we actually have long-toed anoles who cannot breed back to the short-toed ones, this isn't any different than the case of the peppered moth. It also was simply marked as having two color variants - f. typical and f. carbonaria. Both are still the same species of moth.



posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 04:58 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko

Which came first: higher perching or larger feet? I would guess that the larger feet already existed to some degree in the breeding individuals, so basically the article is poorly written. I would have dinged it as an editor. The way it's worded makes it sound like the lizards perched higher and thus their offspring were magically born with large feet. No, they already had larger feet and bred with other lizards that had large feet thus enhancing the desirable trait making for offspring with even bigger feet ...


It was taken right from the published study. www.sciencemag.org...


This latest study is one of only a few well-documented examples of what evolutionary biologists call "character displacement," in which similar species competing with each other evolve differences to take advantage of different ecological niches. A classic example comes from the finches studied by Charles Darwin. Two species of finch in the Galápagos Islands diverged in beak shape as they adapted to different food sources.


Can't anyone see the issues with the way evolution is explained as a solution to a need or problem? It's not just in this article and study, but every where we read about evolution. But then we're told to view it only as "an illogical and haphazard sequence of events", as our good friend Krazysh0t said.



posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 05:09 PM
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a reply to: ketsuko



No one said they had speciated to the point where they couldn't interbreed with other anoles. They have just said that species has evolved longer toe pads in a short amount of time as a result to a change in environment. If neanderthals were still around we could still interbreed with them but that doesn't change the fact that both species evolved down different paths.

Sometimes mutations are beneficial sometimes they aren't. The beneficial mutations remain in the gene pool through natural selection. With enough mutations over time you will see speciation. Speciation is when you will see an inability to interbreed. That is generally measured in millions of years.

Sometimes non beneficial mutations occur such as.


Sometimes recessive genes are turned on such as this.


Natural selection is what would continue those mutations in the gene pool if they are beneficial.

The lizards have evolved but like I said no one has said they evolved to the point where speciation has occurred.


Evolution is the change in the inherited characteristics of biological populations over successive generations. Welcome to Evolution 101!
edit on 14-11-2014 by Grimpachi because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 14 2014 @ 06:17 PM
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originally posted by: PhotonEffect
Isn't it grand! The problem is they (the scientific community) chastise those who go against the original position as if it's the standard rule that can't be broken. Anyone who would've suggested that evolution can occur in less than 20 generations would have been mocked not too long ago.


Science doesn't care about what scientists and their egos think. The good thing about science is that eventually the truth gets out despite ingrained beliefs. The evidence just ends up too compelling for newer models.


And yeah, I don't care much about what Darwin had to say either, except people keep holding him up on a pedestal.


The only people who bring up Darwin are the Creationists. Everyone else just recognizes him as the first scientist to write about evolution (not even the first to theorize about it).


Most mutations are either neutral or deleterious. But you are ignoring what the study is saying, which I quoted. Care to address it directly? Behavior before adaptation? Or Adaptation before behavior?


It doesn't matter. Either could happen first. I already told you that.



Is that your best explanation for understanding evolution?
Stop trying to rationalize it?
It's not a logical sequence?
Wow, just wow.


You missed the point of that paragraph.


It's a very important question to ask, I think: what comes first- the adaptation or the behavior? The study is saying that in this case it was the behavior yet I'm not sure they have proof of that. But maybe I missed it.


Well you are happy to go over the data and determine which came first, if it is possible. But like I said, either is likely.
edit on 14-11-2014 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 15 2014 @ 11:11 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

The good thing about science is that eventually the truth gets out despite ingrained beliefs.

That's a statement of in-grained belief in itself.

And truth? What "truth" are you referring to? Scientific "truth" is a consensus; becomes the established rule; only to be changed, then re- established, etc etc, rinse and repeat. The so called "truth" is elusive my friend.

We should mean to say that science is an approximation of this truth thereof. It's an attempt to get closer to "it", whatever "it" is. But "it" will never be attained, so let's put down the pom poms and get back to reality here.


The only people who bring up Darwin are the Creationists. Everyone else just recognizes him as the first scientist to write about evolution (not even the first to theorize about it).

If you say so.


It doesn't matter. Either could happen first. I already told you that.

How does a behavior to utilize a particular adaptation (for survival) appear before the adaptation itself? What do you mean it doesn't matter? Of course it does. Maybe not to you, perhaps because you're unable to explain it. But I would like to understand. It's an important evolutionary question.

Either could happen first you say? Great, would you mind citing examples, with supporting evidence, of adaptations that occurred after the behavior, just like the OP study is saying.


You missed the point of that paragraph.

No, I don't believe I did.



posted on Nov, 17 2014 @ 07:29 AM
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originally posted by: PhotonEffect
That's a statement of in-grained belief in itself.

And truth? What "truth" are you referring to? Scientific "truth" is a consensus; becomes the established rule; only to be changed, then re- established, etc etc, rinse and repeat. The so called "truth" is elusive my friend.

We should mean to say that science is an approximation of this truth thereof. It's an attempt to get closer to "it", whatever "it" is. But "it" will never be attained, so let's put down the pom poms and get back to reality here.


So because the real truth is ever elusive we should never narrow down our view of the truth to make it closer align to the real truth?

Finding the truth is a process, it isn't accomplished through a one and done method. You keep whittling away at falsehoods and assumptions as much as possible. Just because the real truth may never be attained, doesn't mean we can't seek it.


How does a behavior to utilize a particular adaptation (for survival) appear before the adaptation itself? What do you mean it doesn't matter? Of course it does. Maybe not to you, perhaps because you're unable to explain it. But I would like to understand. It's an important evolutionary question.


Because the behavior could happen then a mutation could occur that makes it easier, OR the mutation could happen and the behavior occurs to utilize the mutation. Is it really that hard to conceptualize? If the article says that the behavior happened first, then so be it. It really isn't out of the realm of possibility. You are getting hung up on a minor detail.


Either could happen first you say? Great, would you mind citing examples, with supporting evidence, of adaptations that occurred after the behavior, just like the OP study is saying.


Fish crawling out of the water then mutating to have limbs. Land animals swimming out to sea and evolving fins (whales). Obviously to make that jump the behavior would have to come before the mutation. A fish mutating limbs underwater would just die.
edit on 17-11-2014 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 17 2014 @ 10:30 AM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t

So because the real truth is ever elusive we should never narrow down our view of the truth to make it closer align to the real truth?

I never said that nor implied it, so not sure why you're asking this question. But you're right about it being just "our view" of the truth.


Finding the truth is a process, it isn't accomplished through a one and done method. You keep whittling away at falsehoods and assumptions as much as possible. Just because the real truth may never be attained, doesn't mean we can't seek it.

Again who said anything about not trying to seek it out? Certainly not me. I admire your tenacity defending all things science, but these "falsehoods" or "assumptions" are often times what science propagates as "truths" until new and better theories gain acceptance. The truth is all around us but we can't ever know it. If there's anything that science has shown, it's that.


Because the behavior could happen then a mutation could occur that makes it easier, OR the mutation could happen and the behavior occurs to utilize the mutation. Is it really that hard to conceptualize?

It's not hard to conceptualize it unless within the rigid evolutionary framework that we're told is the "truth". Your response is a typical, "eh, it's just the way it is", sweep it under the rug, and move on, type of attitude. You seem okay to accept without question what is being told to you by the scientific community. I'm not that way, if you couldn't tell. But to each his own.

Physical adaptations, in many cases, require complex [innate] behaviors to utilize them properly. Otherwise the organism can face certain extinction. We're told that both innate behaviors and phenotypic adaptations will result from different mutations. So two chance mutations must occur at right around the same time for this to all work out for the species. I'm intrigued by the coincidences, but not very satisfied with the 'just so' explanations.

I'd be curious if the researchers of this study noticed any other useful mutations on the anoles, or if it was just the larger toepads.


Fish crawling out of the water then mutating to have limbs. Land animals swimming out to sea and evolving fins (whales). Obviously to make that jump the behavior would have to come before the mutation. A fish mutating limbs underwater would just die.

It's unfortunate we couldn't test this first hand just to be sure.



edit on 17-11-2014 by PhotonEffect because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 17 2014 @ 11:34 AM
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originally posted by: PhotonEffect
I never said that nor implied it, so not sure why you're asking this question. But you're right about it being just "our view" of the truth.


So what were you implying with the first half of that last post I responded to you with then? You go on and on about not being able to know the truth like it is a futile effort to pursue it then say that you never meant that at all. So was all that text just useless filler, random musings, or something else?


Again who said anything about not trying to seek it out? Certainly not me. I admire your tenacity defending all things science, but these "falsehoods" or "assumptions" are often times what science propagates as "truths" until new and better theories gain acceptance. The truth is all around us but we can't ever know it. If there's anything that science has shown, it's that.


The only things I defend from science are established things with established evidence. The only way I would doubt the findings in the article saying that the behavior came first then the mutation, is if evolution was faulty. I've looked at the evidence for evolution (despite your brash assumption that I blindly believe science without question on things) and have ascertained that evolution is most likely true.

Therefore if the article says that the behavior came first then the mutation, fine. It's not like I can't imagine a way for that to happen. It's not like it violates evolutionary theory or anything.


It's not hard to conceptualize it unless within the rigid evolutionary framework that we're told is the "truth". Your response is a typical, "eh, it's just the way it is", sweep it under the rug, and move on, type of attitude. You seem okay to accept without question what is being told to you by the scientific community. I'm not that way, if you couldn't tell. But to each his own.


Evolution isn't very rigid at all. It is actually quite flexible. That is the reason why no real scientist cares about what Darwin has to say about evolution anymore. Evolutionary theory has been modified over time to leave him in the dust. If evolutionary theory was rigid, then Creationists' concerns about Darwin may hold a bit more weight than they do now since the theory would be exactly the same as it was back then.

The only one who is making it rigid, is you. You are trying to argue that the mutation must come first, then the behavior. The article disagrees, I disagree, and The Modern Evolutionary Synthesis Theory disagrees. Sounds like you are the one who needs to expand their definition of what evolution says and does.


Physical adaptations, in many cases, require complex [innate] behaviors to utilize them properly. Otherwise the organism can face certain extinction. We're told that both innate behaviors and phenotypic adaptations will result from different mutations. So two chance mutations must occur at right around the same time for this to all work out for the species. I'm intrigued by the coincidences, but not very satisfied with the 'just so' explanations.


Yes, in many cases. But that phrases implies not all cases. Therefore it's possible. What's the problem?


I'd be curious if the researchers of this study noticed any other useful mutations on the anoles, or if it was just the larger toepads.


It's possible, but that's how science works. Evidence is compiled, results analyzed, and new questions for further study are asked.


It's unfortunate we couldn't test this first hand just to be sure.


Yes, yes it is.
edit on 17-11-2014 by Krazysh0t because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 17 2014 @ 12:12 PM
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a reply to: Krazysh0t




The only one who is making it rigid, is you. You are trying to argue that the mutation must come first, then the behavior. The article disagrees, I disagree, and The Modern Evolutionary Synthesis Theory disagrees. Sounds like you are the one who needs to expand their definition of what evolution says and does.


No no no -- I don't disagree with the article at all, and that's not what I'm arguing! I'm playing devils advocate (not very well apparently) because current views of evolutionary theory don't accept any notions related to behavior triggering adaptations. That's what the article is implying and that's what I'm interested in finding out about. I think this type of adaptive plasticity is quite a ubiquitous phenomenon in evolution, as I see it, but I'm not sure the scientific community is thrilled about the implications. For a while they considered it a nuisance, so they hand wave it. But now more than ever there is some serious research going into. You're right. The days of Darwinian evolution are over.

But no, I don't think that evolution as the phenomenon is rigid at all. Only the current beliefs and theories about it are.

Evolution is quite plastic, which I think this article demonstrates, but not for reasons that current science wants to deal with.

I've been reading up on phenotypic plasticity, and I think this points more towards the "truth" about how evolution actually works on a grander scale and how responsive and interactive it actually is. It's still a bit "new" in that only more recently have scientists begun to take a closer more serious look into this phenomenon.
edit on 17-11-2014 by PhotonEffect because: (no reason given)



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