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Mouse set to be 'evolution icon'

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posted on Aug, 28 2009 @ 11:47 AM
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Within just a few thousand years, generations of the mice have evolved a sandy-coloured coat camouflaging themselves from predators.

Most striking is that these mice acquired the mutation for pale fur naturally, then rapidly passed it on.

That makes the fast-evolving deer mouse one of the best examples yet studied of "true" natural selection in action.


news.bbc.co.uk...

I was going to post this in the science forum but over there people would just say "wow, very interesting" and where's the fun in that?


In addition to just how interesting it is I think this also more fully and vividly answers one common criticism of the evidence for evolution. I often hear the argument that there are no examples of new information being created in a species’ existing genome. This is incorrect anyway and from the context it’s usually asked it doesn’t ever really seem to understand the concept of information in the strict, scientific and biological sense. However I usually take it to mean that the person is saying that there are no natural examples of new genes being created and that the offspring of one animal will always have the same genes as the parent and any change is due to slight variation in a specific gene.

This study, imho, provides a simple, concise and vivid example in answer to that, albeit flawed, question.




posted on Aug, 28 2009 @ 01:03 PM
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lol - I've been checking back on this thread for a while now - still no replies! That's what you get when you put it in the creationism forum!

Excellent find and good news, this is good ammo for those evolution-deniers, well done OP S&F!



posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 09:50 AM
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reply to post by AltruisticNarcissist
 


lol I did think that this might get a few more replies. Especially considering that there is a thread not a few places away from this one that actually makes the argument…

“If Macro Evolution where true you need to show that new information was created in the DNA. Yet there is not one example of clear, empirically supported examples of information-gaining, beneficial mutations. Mutations that are expressed virtually always result in loss of information or corruption of the gene.”

www.abovetopsecret.com...

Where is this person? Hmm,



posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 09:55 AM
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reply to post by Mike_A
 


Consider me stupid..lol.. But I thought a new coat for protection would be more adapation than evolution? Also this bothers me too, generations of Mice, chances are and I am being serious here, chances are that mouse had this DNA code already. Its not uncommon, my parents have brown eyes, my grandparents have brown eyes, my sister has blue eyes. The only one in the family to have blue eyes, the doctor said its probably because our great grand Father had blue eyes and now my niece has blue eyes. Would that be considered evolution to because blue eyes are more appealing to men?

Pretty cool though, but I think its more adapation than evolution.


[edit on Aug 29th 2009 by TheMythLives]



posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 10:13 AM
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reply to post by TheMythLives
 



Consider me stupid..lol.. But I thought a new coat for protection would be more adapation than evolution?


It sounds like you’re thinking of speciation, i.e. the point at which two organisms become so genetically different that they are unable to exchange genetic information and thus are considered different species. This is evolution but change within a species is also evolution. Speciation can’t happen without smaller changes happening first since such changes must necessarily be small enough to allow the organism to survive and reproduce.

This discovery doesn’t show speciation but it is a very good example of the generation of new genes, which is part of the evolutionary process.


Also this bothers me too, generations of Mice chances are and I am being serious here, chances are that mouse had this DNA code already.


That’s the point of the study; it shows that this change is due to a new gene and not a variation in the existing genome as is the case for eye colour etc.


Would that be considered evolution to because blue eyes are more appealing to men?


Essentially yes, though to be more correct evolution really should pair such changes with natural selection. A mutation by itself isn’t really evolution, a mutation that is beneficial and is thus past on, becoming a stable feature in a population is.



posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 10:21 AM
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reply to post by Mike_A
 


Gotcha. You explained it a little better their, it just seemed like BBC worded something wrong. But wouldn't the arrival of a new gene still not be considered evolution only because this gene could bring a faster death rate to the mice? or something else negative? Could it lead to just being a Mutation, eventually?



posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 11:12 AM
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reply to post by TheMythLives
 


Not sure what you mean. Could you rephrase the question?



posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 11:15 AM
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reply to post by Mike_A
 


Sure, this new gene that has been discovered could it possibly lead to it not being evolution, but a harmful mutation? Causing sickness or disease? I'm all for it being evolution, but I want to make sure I understand



posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 11:19 AM
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reply to post by Mike_A
 


I think plenty of Creationists accept that there is natural selection. But natural selection doesn't prove morphing into a new species.

Will you start a new thread when they are no longer mice? That's when it will get interesting!



posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 11:55 AM
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reply to post by TheMythLives
 


Oh I see.

Evolution is a process that involves a genetic change in an organism; this change either helps the animal survive and reproduce, hinders the animal, or is neutral. If it is beneficial then this organism will have an advantage over its peers and so will spread its genetic information through the population. It is at this point evolution can be said to have occurred.

If the change is a disadvantage then the organism will not be able to spread its genes. Therefore it can’t get to the stage where one can say evolution has occurred.

In this case the process has already happened, a genetic change has taken place, it’s stable and has spread. That’s evolution.

By definition this new gene is beneficial otherwise it wouldn’t have spread; it can’t cause disease or other internal negative effects because that would require another change either in this gene or others. It’s like saying “can a carrot suddenly become poisonous”, not without a change taking place.

A change in the environment can mean that the change becomes a hindrance but that doesn’t mean the prior process that lead to the spread of that change didn’t happen. So even if that happens it doesn’t negate the fact that evolution took place.

I hope that helps answer your question.

reply to post by Valhall
 



I think plenty of Creationists accept that there is natural selection. But natural selection doesn't prove morphing into a new species.


Well that’s a misunderstanding of evolution.

As per one of my earlier posts you are talking about speciation. That is also evolution but what is described in the OP article is also considered evolution.


Will you start a new thread when they are no longer mice?


Do you mean you want to see a mouse produce a dog or would you be happy with a species of mouse diverging into another species?

The latter is what evolution predicts and what is observed. Long term (millions of years) speciation is what produces the huge range of morphological differences in species.

Part of this misunderstanding is to do with taxonomy imo. You won’t see a mouse produce a dog because “dog” is, by the way it is classified, necessarily very different to a mouse. However a Jack Russell is no more a different species compared to a Deer Mouse than a Field Mouse is.


But this is all beside the point; I didn’t post this thread to prove speciation. I only posted it to answer the often claimed “there are no examples that show the creation of new genes”.



posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 12:49 PM
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I understand the difference between speciation and adaptation. This particular instance is adaptation. I don't particularly see the "wow-ness" of it, though. I mean there are myriad examples of adaptation - usually reversible if the environment changes to where the adapted trait is no longer beneficial.

Yeah - I want to see the mouse turn into a honeybee...because I think that's where we're all ultimately headed anyways. After all, the honeybee is virtually unchanged since 40,000,000 years ago which would tend to point to it being at its perfected form.



posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 12:59 PM
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reply to post by Mike_A
 


Thanks Mike, gotcha!
I still think evolution might be jumping the gun here, but still its definately a certain possibility. Its all very fascinating! Star and flag for you Mike for bringing this to my attention!



posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 01:04 PM
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reply to post by Valhall
 



This particular instance is adaptation.


I agree.


I don't particularly see the "wow-ness" of it, though.


From an evolution/creationism debate standpoint I suppose it depends on whether you do or have accepted the argument that there are no known instances that show the generation of new genes. If you have never taken that position then this isn’t that important. If you have ever said that, well then this is that instance.

This isn’t about adaption; the point is that it is an example of the emergence of new genes.


Yeah - I want to see the mouse turn into a honeybee...because I think that's where we're all ultimately headed anyways. After all, the honeybee is virtually unchanged since 40,000,000 years ago which would tend to point to it being at its perfected form.


But that’s not evolution.

Evolution has no notion of perfection, it is not conscious, it has no goal (other than to survive and reproduce) and it is not progressive (things don’t get better).

You won’t see one organism turn into something completely different in one or two generations for reasons already stated.



posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 01:22 PM
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Originally posted by Mike_A


...there are no known instances that show the generation of new genes.



EXCUSE ME???? A mutated gene is a new gene. A beneficial mutated gene is a new gene that endures. The very article presents a second example.





But that’s not evolution.


Of course, it's not evolution. I think that's what I was referring to. It's stasis.



Evolution has no notion of perfection, it is not conscious, it has no goal (other than to survive and reproduce) and it is not progressive (things don’t get better).


Please stop this nature of addressing me. If you think i'm sitting here thinking that genes are mutating due to desire and their own little grand plan, you're way off base.

But there is a default end result to evolution - that which survives, produces survivable offspring, and continues to pass the evolved trait through those offspring. The more "durable" the genetic make up (to ALL environmental changes) without required further change, would be the logical end result of evolution - whether it had an intention or not.

The honeybee I'm telling you - we'll end up honeybees.


[edit on 8-29-2009 by Valhall]



posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 01:34 PM
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EXCUSE ME???? A mutated gene is a new gene. A beneficial mutated gene is a new gene that endures. The very article presents a second example.


Please read the entire thread, I am not suggesting that new genes do not emerge. However it is an argument that is often used in an attempt to disprove evolution.

As I posted, the argument is often made that all change is due to variation within genes and that there are no known instances where new genes have emerged.

The whole point of this thread is to provide a response to that argument.


Please stop this nature of addressing me. If you think i'm sitting here thinking that genes are mutating due to desire and their own little grand plan, you're way off base.


I can only go by what you post.

What you say about the honey bee is just not true, precisely because evolution has no goals etc. If you’re just being facetious say so now because it’s not coming across, blame the likes of Ray Comfort for that.



posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 01:56 PM
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Originally posted by Mike_A

What you say about the honey bee is just not true, precisely because evolution has no goals etc. If you’re just being facetious say so now because it’s not coming across, blame the likes of Ray Comfort for that.


I'm actually being very facetious with a very true statement. The honeybee is problematic, as are a few more species I could name.

I guess my point is that while these neat little critters color change is good for them - it does not point toward much more than what is fairly abundant in nature of the same type of mutation.



posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 02:29 PM
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What you are saying is akin to saying “yeah it’s made of water, very cold and it’s solid but it’s not ice!”

The change in genetic information in an organism followed by its spread through a population due to natural selection is evolution. It doesn’t matter if speciation happens or not; that by itself is still evolution.



posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 03:08 PM
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reply to post by Mike_A
 


So only if the genetic change is beneficial is it considered evolution. Hmm. That sounds a lot like only if the prayer is beneficial is it considered a miracle. Lol.



posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 04:51 PM
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Originally posted by Mike_A
What you are saying is akin to saying “yeah it’s made of water, very cold and it’s solid but it’s not ice!”

The change in genetic information in an organism followed by its spread through a population due to natural selection is evolution. It doesn’t matter if speciation happens or not; that by itself is still evolution.





Fortunately, I never said it wasn't. So I guess we're in violent agreement.



posted on Aug, 29 2009 @ 05:26 PM
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reply to post by Mike_A
 


This is a fantastic example of natural selection, but it is in no way an example of Darwinian Evolution.

We have many various species coming about today through natural selection, and that is how God designed us (as animals), but it is not to be taken as proof that one animal can change into another animal; as Darwin suggested.

Animals are capable of adapting to their environment, and this is a good thing. If animals had no way to adapt they would become rapidly extinct due to constant changes in their environment (both natural and man made). What animals do not have is the ability to evolve a trait which is not expressed by their genetic code (A mouse cannot grow wings). Fur color is something that can be introduced into a specie' genes, or come about naturally, through natural selection. Let's say the alleles for the sandy brown fur were not present in this species naturally. It could arise through reproduction with a compatible "species" that does carry the trait. This would then be passed on, and if it is a positive trait (ensures reproductive success) then all the better.

Darwinian evolution is not involved.



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