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Study Catches Birds Splitting Into Separate Species

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the it's-not-me-it's-you dept.

Education 153

webdoodle writes "A new study finds that a change in a single gene has sent two closely related bird populations on their way to becoming two distinct species. The study, published in the August issue of the American Naturalist, is one of only a few to investigate the specific genetic changes that drive two populations toward speciation."

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153 comments

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Thank God. . . (4, Funny)

MagusSlurpy (592575) | more than 5 years ago | (#28745411)

. . . for intelligently designing these species to evolve.

Re:Thank God. . . (5, Funny)

flydude18 (839328) | more than 5 years ago | (#28745467)

This isn't evolution, it's just God applying a patch.

Re:Thank God. . . (2, Funny)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 5 years ago | (#28745513)

but... proving God fallible would end all existence! Quick, soil yourself then cower in the nearest bunker!

Re:Thank God. . . (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28745703)

No. Obviously the birds sinned,and THAT'S what caused the need for the separation in species. That leaves one good, and the other sinful.

Re:Thank God. . . (4, Funny)

Hojima (1228978) | more than 5 years ago | (#28745793)

Actually, I prayed the day would come where we observe speciation. Wait a sec. Damn, he does exist. I guess it's back to offering virgin sacrifices to the great lord Zuthulu.

Re:Thank God. . . (3, Funny)

martas (1439879) | more than 5 years ago | (#28746011)

I'm all for sacrificing virgins, as long as you get a whore back...

Re:Thank God. . . (2, Funny)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 5 years ago | (#28748041)

Don't be so keen - slashdot makes for a ready supply of guaranteed virgins.

Re:Thank God. . . (1)

martas (1439879) | more than 5 years ago | (#28748869)

wow, i think we just set a record for largest number of >2 funny consecutive posts in a thread.

Re:Thank God. . . (1)

martas (1439879) | more than 5 years ago | (#28746003)

Thou shalt not question His patches, for they are always just. And yes, I am talking about Microsoft.

Re:Thank God. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28747857)

Actually the idea of God not contradicting himself and the resulting need for consistency in both the religious texts and in the world in general is a western, Christian concept. It is a concept that doesn't exist in very many religions. The bible is a remarkably consistent book, where you will not find direct contradictions. You will need quite a few verses before things start contradicting themselves.

But take as examples the "satanic verses", where allah claims another part of the quran was written by satan (this happened, "coincidentally", immediately after mohamed was confronted with an obvious contradiction) or the quranic verse that states allah contradicts himself often, however "it is only for good". You will find similar concepts in Buddhist theology (about the Buddha changing his mind), and certainly Buddhism has changed opinion many times in history. The most obvious example is the buddhist attitude toward conquest and taking slaves.

Some people say that this consistency in Christianity and the need it caused in the people for consistency in their theories about the world is what drove Christians to discover science (and certainly very important concepts were discovered for the sole reason of understanding the beauty of God, as Newton put it. You see, for Newton, part of the beauty of God was his ability to make the world work so perfectly with just a few very constant laws, and very few miracles*, which prompted him to search for those "few equations", to which he dedicated most of his life. And Newton is credited with those very essential of discoveries, integration and differentiation). It is also very true that the muslims had much better access to the basis of western science, the work of the greek "philosophers" (they were much more experimenters than they ever were philosophists in the current sense of the word), yet somehow muslim science did not develop (the only 2 examples of genuine progress in the muslim caliphate, Avicenna and Averroes, were both persecuted by their surroundings and their teachings died forgotten)

* as a contrast to the Christian idea of a "mechanical" God, aiding us by exceptional miracles, take the muslim concept : the world does, according to islam, not obey any physical laws, everything that happens, no matter how consistent, is a miracle (meaning the immediate result of direct interference from allah). You could literally say (and some muslim theologians actually go that far) that saying that apples fall from trees is blasphemy. After all, such a statement is denying that allah is directly involved in every apple falling from every single tree. In other words, saying that apples fall from trees "infringes on the sovereignty of allah to change his mind".

Re:Thank God. . . (1, Informative)

canadian_right (410687) | more than 5 years ago | (#28747975)

"The bible is a remarkably consistent book"

I don't consider it consistent to demand you kill children who talk back to their parents in one place and demand you turn the other cheek in another to be consistent. Attempting to explain the many contradictions in the bible is a very active part of bible study.

Re:Thank God. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28748621)

It merely states, for the record, that children should not talk back to their parents. The demand that they be killed is something you've made up.

Also, if you want to be technical, it's about turning the other cheek if your neighbour does it. So if you want to be pedantic (and completely miss any of the intended meaning and context), let's see the contradiction :

don't let children talk back to their parents (punishment is not specified and therefore presumably up to the parents)
turn the other cheek towards neighbours

Can you please point out the contradiction ?

In order to arrive at the killing of children you'd need to associate the ten commandments, somehow equate them all as equally important, and then drag in the fact that people have been executed for not listening to "the ten commandments", without specifying further. Especially without specifying that those people that got executed were executed due to having comitted murder, which is indeed a violation of the ten commandments. Furthermore you'd have to believe that for a long time people executed persons for being impolite to their neighbours. Do you seriously believe that ?

Also the turning of the other cheek part is made, after a reference to the ten commandments. Therefore it would be reasonable to associate the turning the other cheek is associated with one of the ten commandments, and therefore

Re:Thank God. . . (1, Informative)

fredklein (532096) | more than 5 years ago | (#28748829)

It merely states, for the record, that children should not talk back to their parents. The demand that they be killed is something you've made up.

Deuteronomy 21:18-21

18 If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, 19 his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. 20 They shall say to the elders, "This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard." 21 Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.

Re:Thank God. . . (2, Interesting)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 5 years ago | (#28749023)

Okay, I thought you were referring to the ten commandments (you might like to cite a reference to be clearer).

Furthermore, even with literal interpretation, how is this equal to your statement ??? I'll repeat your statement about this verse :

I don't consider it consistent to demand you kill children who talk back to their parents

It doesn't seem to be talking about "talking back to parents" at all, unless I've suddenly forgotten the better part of the English language, it seems to be quite a bit softer than you exposed it, mentioning clearly an extended period of disobedience, neglect and substance abuse (none of which has anything but a casual association with "talking back"). I can't really understand why, I mean this is a harsh enough verse without you misrepresenting it.

The law specified here is basically a death penalty for extended drug abuse, and only after such abuse has resulted in serious consequences for the family and/or the society (note that, clearly, ABuse is specified, indicating that mild and/or social drug use was tolerated). Harsh, yes, certainly. Though not nearly as harsh as "killing children for talking back to their parents".

Of course, you might know that Christians don't actually use this book as a source of laws. This was the law as laid down by Moses (excluding the 10 commandments).

Your comment could probably serve as a criticism against Judaism, especially orthodox Judaism, which takes these laws to be a contemporary guide to living and enforcing law. No Christian agrees with them (since, you know, this little carpenter 2000 years ago made it quite clear exactly how to deal with these laws. All Christian application of the Bible is based on his actions, not on these laws directly).

You will find stonings of women, burning "enemies" alive in homes and so on in these books. They may be part of the bible, but Christians see this as a historical tale, featuring God. The part to be respected in the pentateuch are the ten commandments, and even then only insofar they match this little carpenter's representation of them, the rest is merely taken to be laws of the land of Caanaan. Those are certainly not taken to be divine revelation (again, except for the ten commandments).

Re:Thank God. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28749317)

That's a bad example since you're comparing Jewish tradition to Christian revision of Jewish tradition and calling it an inconsistency. I'm not saying there aren't inconsistencies; I'm sure there are plenty, since the Bible was written and then later compiled and edited by men. A better example would be one that came from the same testament at least, if not the same book.

Re:Thank God. . . (3, Funny)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#28745515)

Sounds more like a fork.

Re:Thank God. . . (4, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#28747279)

I've applied a fork to birds tons of times and you don't see anyone thanking me.

Re:Thank God. . . (0, Redundant)

WCLPeter (202497) | more than 5 years ago | (#28747663)

In his zeal to keep the birds from getting too high, his noodlyness simply pressed too hard with his appendage.

Re:Thank God. . . (1)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#28749311)

I'm a deist, you insensitive clod! If God has to issue a patch, he can't do it without hitting Ctrl+C, recompiling, and starting over!

Why Blacks and Asians (or Whites) can be Different (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28745597)

That the change of a single gene can create 2 different species should explain why Africans are so different from Asians (or Whites). We know that there are slight genetic differences between Africans and Asians (or Whites). Even a small difference can create great differences in intelligence. For example, the difference in IQ between Africans (including African-Americans) and Japanese (including Japanese-Americans) is about 20 points.

The politically correct reaction, which is also the wrong reaction, is to violently point at the "slightness" of the difference and to then claim that the "slightness" of difference means that all races are the same. The objector -- who is typically African and typically quite angry -- will accuse the person pointing out the difference to be a racist.

However, we should calmly look at the facts. Even small genetic differences can produce very large differences in appearance, behavior, and intelligence. These small differences explain the superior intellect possessed by Europeans and Japanese. The result, on a societal level, is that European society and Japanese society are richer, by several orders of magnitude, than African society. Africa is ia wasteland. Africans contributed almost nothing to the development of science and technology.

For further proof that ethnic groups differ in intelligence, look at Ashkenazi Jews [economist.com] . Subjected to centuries of discrimination, these Jews struggled to survive. Those who were not smart enough to overcome the discrimination died. Those who were smart enough to overcome the discrimination thrived. Over the course of centuries, this evolutionary pressure eventually boosted the IQ of Ashkenazi Jews. Albert Einstein is an Ashkenazi Jew.

Here is the bottom line. Africans (and African-Americans) are a failure because they lack the IQ to succeed. Affirmative action is wrong because their failure is not due to "oppression" from Asians and Whites. Africans are a failure because they lack the intelligence to succeed.

Re:Why Blacks and Asians (or Whites) can be Differ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28745667)

Post this under your name, AC!

Re:Why Blacks and Asians (or Whites) can be Differ (2, Informative)

IWannaBeAnAC (653701) | more than 5 years ago | (#28745749)

That is almost entirely wrong. The overwhelming historical difference between different peoples is one of technology, and ensuing positive feedback effects. It took thousands of years to develop farming (for example), and once you have farming, then it is possible to develop cities, schools, and civilization. How quickly (or even if) a society develops technologies depends primarily on environmental factors, not intelligence per se. The stone age, for example, began about 2.5 million years ago and only culminated in the development of farming on around 7000BC. If the rate of technological progress on another continent was only 1% different, then they would not yet have discovered farming! That doesn't imply anything about intelligence, just that very small changes can have big effect.

It would be interesting to put the AC parent poster in the wilds with no equipment, and see how quickly he/she develops some descent farming tools (as a precursor to rediscovering the microchip ;-)

Re:Why Blacks and Asians (or Whites) can be Differ (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 5 years ago | (#28748059)

It's a good point; I wonder how different the modern world would be if England had had no coal.

Re:Why Blacks and Asians (or Whites) can be Differ (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 5 years ago | (#28749009)

It's a good point; I wonder how different the modern world would be if England had had no coal.

And in stead would have (had) moral standing.

Please note roughly the same is valid for most leading nations of the past millennia.

Re:Why Blacks and Asians (or Whites) can be Differ (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28745753)

Then explain Obama, dickhead.
If blacks and whites were 2 different species, he wouldn't exist.

Re:Why Blacks and Asians (or Whites) can be Differ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28746195)

Read TFA, dickhead, the darwinist whackjobs are not talking about where mating is not possible, but where a population no longer wants to mate with certain of its members. Like if everyone who wasn't black stopped mating with anyone black. They're saying then that that would be the start of blacks becoming their own separate species. Like I said, whackjobs.

Re:Why Blacks and Asians (or Whites) can be Differ (2, Interesting)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 5 years ago | (#28748077)

I hate to feed the trolls, but you're actually right on that one. If two groups of people really did stop mating outside of their groups, they would differentiate over time. However, it would take a long-long time. Certainly much longer than it took for the racial differentiation we see today, which was tens of thousands of years (and a whole lot of geographic separation) in the making. However, the modern trend of fast transportation and mingling global population means it will almost certainly not happen; we're much more likely to form a single quasi-homogeneous genepool over time.

Re:Why Blacks and Asians (or Whites) can be Differ (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | more than 5 years ago | (#28746785)

Africans (and African-Americans) are a failure because they lack the IQ to succeed. Affirmative action is wrong because their failure is not due to "oppression" from Asians and Whites. Africans are a failure because they lack the intelligence to succeed.

Try telling that to George Washington Carver while you're eating a peanut-butter sandwich. :D

(Use the Google first [google.se] before modding me off-topic, please.)

Re:Why Blacks and Asians (or Whites) can be Differ (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28747323)

Try telling that to George Washington Carver while you're eating a peanut-butter sandwich. :D

History is a highly mutable thing [about.com] . (Apparently the inventor of something no longer matters, only who patented it. Is the world ending yet? I want off, but I don't want to miss anything) :P

Re:Why Blacks and Asians (or Whites) can be Differ (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28747735)

Why the non sequitur about some other black inventor? Apparently, Carver only applied for 3 patents, so that line of thought is also a non sequitur:

http://inventors.about.com/od/cstartinventors/a/GWC.htm [about.com]

Nice Job.

Re:Why Blacks and Asians (or Whites) can be Differ (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28747841)

How is it a Non Sequitur? I was just going to comment on another black inventor: existence thereof; however, when I looked for references this time MANY of them tried to discredit him, specifically talking about his lack of a patent. I guess he thought it was obvious, since you could already use a spark gap, and a spark plug is just a disposable gap. So it turned into a diatribe about patents and racism.

Re:Why Blacks and Asians (or Whites) can be Differ (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28747853)

That guy's invention of the spark plug has nothing to do with whether George Washington Carver came up with peanut butter or not; it is entirely possible to read your comment without clicking on the link and come to the conclusion that you are arguing that GWC patented peanut butter after someone else had already invented it.

Re:Why Blacks and Asians (or Whites) can be Differ (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28748071)

it is entirely possible to read your comment without clicking on the link and come to the conclusion that you are arguing that GWC patented peanut butter after someone else had already invented it.

It's entirely possible to read the Encyclopedia Britannica and come to the conclusion that gay aliens from Jupiter are stealing our atmosphere. What does that have to do with me?

Re:Why Blacks and Asians (or Whites) can be Differ (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28748089)

Whatever dude. I mean that a clear headed reader with no other context could easily read your comment and reasonably come to the conclusion that you were making an argument about George Washington Carver (your comment is entirely devoid of the context that you claimed in your first reply; you might have had that context, but you didn't provide it to your readers).

Anyway, if you think that you logically connected your initial comment to the parent comment, know that we disagree.

Re:Why Blacks and Asians (or Whites) can be Differ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28748871)

From wiki:

Carver did market a few of his peanut products. The Carver Penol Company sold a mixture of creosote and peanuts as a patent medicine for respiratory diseases such as tuberculosis. Other ventures were The Carver Products Company and the Carvoline Company. Carvoline Antiseptic Hair Dressing was a mix of peanut oil and lanolin. Carvoline Rubbing Oil was a peanut oil for massages.

A patent medicine, a hair oil, and a massage oil. None of which are peanut butter.

Re:Why Blacks and Asians (or Whites) can be Differ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28749381)

Evidence of modern peanut butter comes from US patent #306727 issued to Marcellus Gilmore Edson of Montreal, Quebec, in 1884, for a process of milling roasted peanuts between heated surfaces until the peanuts reached "a fluid or semi-fluid state." As the product cooled, it set into what Edson described as "a consistency like that of butter, lard, or ointment."

and

George Washington Carver (January 1864[1][2] â" January 5, 1943)

means that, if GWC did "invent" peanut butter, it was as a teen. And then some Canadian guy found out and patented it.

Re:Why Blacks and Asians (or Whites) can be Differ (1)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 5 years ago | (#28747275)

I would argue that Asian culture is a lot richer than European culture. It's well-known how promiscuous and unfaithful white people (especially white women) are (England is the most promiscuous developed country in the world). Asians also have higher IQs (and I would argue higher EQs) than whites. Ashkenazi Jews are the only exception, but even then they seem to have relatively low EQs.

Re:Why Blacks and Asians (or Whites) can be Differ (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#28748469)

Just for fun...

The genetic differences between two individuals within a race are far greater than the genetic differences between races.

"Slightness" brings the statistical significance of the study into question. It also raises the question of other factors -- IQ can be improved, with practice, and recent IQ tests are even subject to education. Given the actual situation of these races, and the cultures involved, it's quite arrogant of you to suggest that it's purely genetic.

The "wasteland" that is Africa -- you don't suppose that had anything to do with the domination of whites under things like Apartheid? And certainly, subject to that much discrimination, wouldn't your Einstein effect apply? Never mind that natural selection takes more than just a few centuries to apply, at least to humans.

Here is the bottom line: You're a racist looking for a rational, scientific justification for your racism. But just like creationists, if you're intellectually honest, you'll find that justification at odds with reality.

But if you really want to play this game, blue states have a higher IQ, on average, than red states. Does this mean Democrats are smarter? If so, why would they elect Obama -- if you're right, he should be a "failure" who "lacks the intelligence to succeed."

How is this news? (3, Funny)

XPeter (1429763) | more than 5 years ago | (#28745413)

I know Slashdot has a reputation for late articles, but this was discovered by Darwin over a hundred of years ago, it's called natural selection. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_selection

Re:How is this news? (1)

Draek (916851) | more than 5 years ago | (#28745471)

That it happens was known, that it can happen as a result of a change in a single gene was not.

Re:How is this news? (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 5 years ago | (#28745717)

Yeah, it was. Problem is, they keep wanting to execute Darwin for heresy. I don't think they care if he's already dead.

But foolishly, folks, I'll be interested to see the 'intelligent design' behind this speciation. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to do some quick research to find a good pharaceutical company to invest in on Monday, as I'm sure the blood pressures of some of our more religious citizens is about to triple upon hearing this news...

Re:How is this news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28748105)

The Theory of Intelligent Design can be summed up as "somewhere(s), at some time(s), God, er strike that, some intelligent designer(s), did some thing(s), and as Intelligent Design is not a mechanistic theory we don't know and don't care about how it is/was/will be done." So clearly, you filthy Darwinist Athiest Socialist Materialist Satanist poopyhead, of course this is Intelligent Design, and how dare you oppress the Truth!

Re:How is this news? (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#28748923)

And the theory behind science is better? That theory comes about to at some point in time, stuff was just there and with no explanation, energy became part of the mix, a big bang happened that magically create the universe and all that we know but for some reason, Earth is magically the only planet to create life through a spark of energy and a mud puddle, and that unrepeatable process somehow created all of the hundreds of thousand millions different species of life as we know it or ever will. And we can even ignore the definition distinction between breeds and species to claim that a new breed is a speciation event and rule out all other miracles of faith.

Do they sound somewhat the same? Of course they do, some just except one interpretation over the other.

Re:How is this news? (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28749059)

Yes. It's a better theory because it makes less complicated initial assumptions. (You can't get a much more complicated initial assumption than a god.)

Now this isn't to say there isn't a god...or even several. The whole universe could be a simulation that some entity or group thereof is running on their computer. That would make they gods, by most common definitions. It doesn't say whether they would care particularly about people...that requires a bunch of additional assumptions. And it sure doesn't say that they would care that much about their sex lives. (Though geneticists care about the sex lives of their purebred test animals, so it also doesn't say they wouldn't.)

Are you beginning to get a slight idea of how complex an assumption a god is?

Re:How is this news? (0)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#28749213)

Yes. It's a better theory because it makes less complicated initial assumptions. (You can't get a much more complicated initial assumption than a god.)

Well, no. The intial assumptions are the same, something was magically there and energy magically became part of it. As for the complications of a god, well, I would think that something doing something is less complicated then a process that we don't know exactly how works, have never been able to recreate in a lab or observed in nature (abiogensis) nor have seen the mechanism working in real life without ignoring major components of the definition of species. Please tell me what these complications might be, as far as I can see, it's just a matter of faith on both sides.

Are you beginning to get a slight idea of how complex an assumption a god is?

Here is more to the point. We just don't know. Your comment about the possibilities of a god can show this but even science goes back to the I don't know or it was somehow magically there point. The same complications exist in either case. The interesting thing is that the shear amount of faith needed given the lack of empirical evidence or testable experiments to prove either started this story off with more or less, "My religion is better then your". Now, I'm not accusing you of this, but you can clearly see how it has become a matter of religion to some by the first posts being, this proves your god doesn't exist or somehow is wrong. Frankly, science doesn't address religius aspects of a god and I'm not exactly sure why people want to be quick to associate it other then it's their new and improved religion.

Re:How is this news? (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 5 years ago | (#28746049)

Actually, the natural selection would be the second part, random mutations being the first. For CS people, one might think MapReduce ;-)
While there are several schemes for identifying species, the point is (I think) that just one random mutations makes two species. No natural selection, otherwise one species would not be here.

Re:How is this news? (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28749077)

No natural selection, otherwise one species would not be here in this particular case.

That's probably obvious, but this being the kind of area of research it is, I think you ought to say it explicitly.

Impossible! (1, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28745431)

This result contradicts the Wholly Scientific Theory of Baraminology [creationbiology.org] ! The facts must be wrong.

Re:Impossible! (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 5 years ago | (#28745731)

Makes me wonder about the rest of the curriculum at some of these 'colleges'. Hell, I might wanna update my BA in philosgen chemistry to a PhD someday...

Re:Impossible! (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 5 years ago | (#28746553)

"While we reject strict materialistic presuppositions as a basis for science, we respect scientists who hold that view as being intellectually honest in interpreting data in accord with evolutionary theory"

Just wonderful. Do they mean with this that hard facts are no basis for science?

Re:Impossible! (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#28748941)

No, I think that what they mean is that the hard facts are interpreted and not absolute and anyone interpreting them differently can be honest in what they are seeing even if it reaches a different conclusion.

This is a basic principle of science by the way. It's the only way to allow new discoveries concerning what is thought to have been known and to improve our base of knowledge.

Impossible (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28745453)

There is no such thing as evolution noted in the Bible. Clearly this is a heretical claim.
Will you say we landed on the Moon as well?

Re:Impossible (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28745505)

Guess today the Christians got mod points. Ah, well.

Praise God! (2, Funny)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 5 years ago | (#28745461)

This is so obviously a case of God himself reaching down and dividing these species, and none of this "evolution" tripe! Open your minds, Atheists, and see the truth. Do not be misled by these Satanic, Atheist scientists who would deny His hand in our creation! God not only cares about and intervenes in your personal problems (hence we pray), he also really cares about separating species of birds. He truly works in Mysterious Ways.

Re:Praise God! (1)

flydpnkrtn (114575) | more than 5 years ago | (#28745601)

Looking at the Flamebait mod I guess you didn't apply enough sarcasm sauce to that post there bud :) Me, I like my Jesus like I like my women... ridin a moped on I50

Praise the FSM! (0, Redundant)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 5 years ago | (#28746789)

This is so obviously a case of God himself reaching down and dividing these species

Once again the scientists and the Christians collude to hide the truth. Here, there is a conspiracy to conceal the almost certainly true factoid that significant traces of oregano and Parmesan were detected in these birds' habitat: clear evidence that these species were divided by the mere touch of His Noodley Appendage. [venganza.org]

Ramen.

Anybody want to come and picket a Pot Noodle factory (the blasphemers!)

Keep in mind... (5, Insightful)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#28745475)

Keep in mind that the criteria for speciation is, itself, somewhat arbitrary and there exist few fine borders in nature for classifying things. These birds CAN produce offspring, but behaviorally, don't. This may be where some creationists get confused, thinking of dogs and cats and fish, etc in terms of some sort of central "essence" of an animal, when in reality the borders exist mostly in human minds.

Re:Keep in mind... (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#28745507)

and there exist few fine borders in nature for classifying things.

The most obvious fine border I can think of is those that do the eating, and those that get eaten.

Re:Keep in mind... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28745569)

This would surely split the vegetarians from the Homo sapiens sapiens.

Re:Keep in mind... (1)

MadUndergrad (950779) | more than 5 years ago | (#28745633)

What about cannibals?

Re:Keep in mind... (2, Insightful)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 5 years ago | (#28745951)

The most obvious fine border I can think of is those that do the eating, and those that get eaten.

That's perhaps the least obvious fine border I could possibly think of. And easily the most confusing.

A Shark which eats a Human which ate a Shark which another Shark which ate a Barracuda which ate a smelt which ate a shrimp which ate...

All of those "Did the eating". So are they all the same?
All of those "Got eaten". So are they still all the same?
What about the shark which ate another shark? Are they different?

Your border seems to ignore the fact that carnivores eat other carnivores. Also there are carnivores which eat plants as well. Are they different?

Re:Keep in mind... (1)

mindbrane (1548037) | more than 5 years ago | (#28745681)

You wrote: "This may be where some creationists get confused, thinking of dogs and cats and fish, etc in terms of some sort of central "essence" of an animal, when in reality the borders exist mostly in human minds." The idea of essence in church thinking seems to have originated mostly from Aristotle who was an avid biologist. Alexander, tutored by Aristotle, was said to have sent Aristotle specimens from conquered lands. Aristotle was the leading philosopher of church thought for many centuries. He championed reasoning by deduction as famous by the Aristotelian syllogisms. IIRC he most thought in terms of quintessences. Plato, OTOH, was perhaps more of an essence kind of a guy with his ideal plates laid up in heaven but I was never able to really grasp Platonic thought other than to figure Platonists were mostly made up of guys who actually buy penis enlargement supplements. Aristotle's hold over church thought for so long may be the root cause of godly sorts thinking in terms of essences. I think it took Francis Bacon, Rene Descartes and Galileo to kick start observation, description, mathematical measurement and experimental verification.

Human species (1)

Camel Pilot (78781) | more than 5 years ago | (#28746017)

These birds CAN produce offspring, but behaviorally, don't.


Therefore then isolated human communities that don't often intermarry, such as in parts of the southern USA ;) can be considered a different species?

Re:Human species (0, Flamebait)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#28748993)

Dude, it gets more complicated then that. Two golden retrievers separate by an ocean, one in Boston USA and one in Queensland AU appearing different in visual appearance could be classified as a separate species according to the rules of speciation and the separation clauses.

It all depends on how agenda driven and intellectually honest people are. They could be species or races or breeds.

But I like that approach to some degree. Now all those hot Asian girls will have to fuck to prove they aren't a different species from me. Seriously though, it gets a little ridiculous when looking at it from far away.

another example of speciation (4, Funny)

jipn4 (1367823) | more than 5 years ago | (#28746299)

These birds CAN produce offspring, but behaviorally, don't.

So, you're saying it's like computer geeks and supermodels?

Re:Keep in mind... (3, Interesting)

srussia (884021) | more than 5 years ago | (#28746497)

Keep in mind that the criteria for speciation is, itself, somewhat arbitrary and there exist few fine borders in nature for classifying things.

Exactly. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Species_problem [wikipedia.org] . The concept of "species" is so poorly defined that it deserves no place in scientific discourse.

Re:Keep in mind... (1)

Freebirth Toad (1197193) | more than 5 years ago | (#28746581)

... when in reality the borders exist mostly in human minds.

All boundaries are mental constructs.

Re:Keep in mind... (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 5 years ago | (#28746855)

All boundaries are mental constructs.

Post-modernist deconstructionism is arrant crap, and should be lumped in with other intellectual goo like "creation science".

Re:Keep in mind... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#28747579)

Go to jail. Go directly to jail (make sure you use something legally convincing to get there, like mass murder in a state that does not have the death penalty).

Then think your way out.

Re:Keep in mind... (1)

rantingkitten (938138) | more than 5 years ago | (#28749167)

These birds CAN produce offspring, but behaviorally, don't.

As such, any mutation that propegates through one of those groups will not be seen in the other. After a few times, you will have two wholly seperate branches.

This is no different from how Dawkins proposed that geographic boundaries may induce speciation -- a group of animals gets seperated from the "main" colony, say, by a mountain range or something. That new group then interbreeds for a couple hundred generations, and after a while, are quite distinct from the original group. Whether the original boundary was behavior or geographical seems to make no difference.

Re:Keep in mind... (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28749169)

Dogs are a really interesting case. E.g., if it weren't for the breeds of intermediate size, Chihuahuas and St. Bernards would be different species. As it is, they aren't.
Dogs are but one example of a ring species (I *think* it's a ring species even if the separation isn't geographical), but it's the one that everyone can relate to. Not that many people know their butterflies or gulls.

OTOH, getting back to the flycatchers, there isn't just one gene involved. They've only TRACKED one gene, but there's got to be another that controls which breast color is preferred by the females. (Unless, somehow, the same gene controls both male breast color and female preference...but I'd need to see that proven.)

Why Blacks and Asians (or Whites) can be Different (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28745511)

That the change of a single gene can create 2 different species should explain why Africans are so different from Asians (or Whites). We know that there are slight genetic differences between Africans and Asians (or Whites). Even a small difference can create great differences in intelligence. For example, the difference in IQ between Africans (including African-Americans) and Japanese (including Japanese-Americans) is about 20 points.

The politically correct reaction, which is also the wrong reaction, is to violently point at the "slightness" of the difference and to then claim that the "slightness" of difference means that all races are the same. The objector -- who is typically African and typically quite angry -- will accuse the person pointing out the difference to be a racist.

However, we should calmly look at the facts. Even small genetic differences can produce very large differences in appearance, behavior, and intelligence. These small differences explain the superior intellect possessed by Europeans and Japanese. The result, on a societal level, is that European society and Japanese society are richer, by several orders of magnitude, than African society. Africa is ia wasteland. Africans contributed almost nothing to the development of science and technology.

For further proof that ethnic groups differ in intelligence, look at Ashkenazi Jews [economist.com] . Subjected to centuries of discrimination, these Jews struggled to survive. Those who were not smart enough to overcome the discrimination died. Those who were smart enough to overcome the discrimination thrived. Over the course of centuries, this evolutionary pressure eventually boosted the IQ of Ashkenazi Jews. Albert Einstein is an Ashkenazi Jew.

Here is the bottom line. Africans (and African-Americans) are a failure because they lack the IQ to succeed. Affirmative action is wrong because their failure is not due to "oppression" from Asians and Whites. Africans are a failure because they lack the intelligence to succeed.

Old news (3, Informative)

WeirdJohn (1170585) | more than 5 years ago | (#28745735)

This was observed with the Eastern Rosella several decades ago, when the Murrumbidgee Irrigation scheme split the population in two. There are now two distinct species, that will not mate to produce fertile and viable offspring under natural conditions.

Re:Old news (2, Interesting)

Shin-LaC (1333529) | more than 5 years ago | (#28746327)

By "natural conditions", do you mean that their habitats are now separated by the irrigation works and so they don't meet? If you took a bird from side A and moved it on side B, would it be able to mate?

Artificial insemination (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28747845)

Where you don't have to worry about antibodies killing the sperm or the coat of the egg hardening and not allowing the genetic material of the sperm in.

Both of which are means by which shagging sheep does not produce baa-man hybrids.

Despite many southern baptists giving it their best shot.

All to prove that there is no such thing as "species", of course...

Re:Old news (1)

blardle (1601125) | more than 5 years ago | (#28747733)

there are a few other examples of one gene showing major significance in sub-population isolation or incipient species. All evidence for the one-gene-change mechanism has been for pigmentation.
For example: MICE Steiner, C.C., J.N. Weber and H.E. Hoekstra. 2007. Adaptive variation in beach mice caused by two interacting pigmentation genes. PLoS Biology. 5(9): 1880-1889. PLANT Streisfeld MA, Rausher MD. Altered trans-regulatory control of gene expression in multiple anthocyanin genes contributes to adaptive flower color evolution in Mimulus aurantiacus. Mol Biol Evol. 2009 Feb;26(2):433-44. Epub 2008 Nov 24 What is MUCH more interesting is those traits that involve multiple genes (ie, most traits). We still have no idea how something complicated like behavior or host preference changes genetically to produce young species. This American Naturalist paper is interesting but not ground breaking. Also, birds are pretty.

no camera? (1, Troll)

Swoopy (101558) | more than 5 years ago | (#28745787)

Where were the creationist "scientists" with cameras, catching scientific evidence of the "intelligent designer" at work?

Re:no camera? (0, Troll)

HiThere (15173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28749189)

He's invisible silly. You can't photograph his noodly appendage.

chestnut vs blue-black (3, Funny)

Kebis (1396783) | more than 5 years ago | (#28745967)

So, the difference comes down to the birds wanting to have sex with other birds with the same belly color? First parrots taught us birds can talk, and ravens taught us birds can use tools, now we find out birds can be racist! Forget the AI Singularity, birds will be the death of us all as soon as they invent their own laser weapons!

The heading is misleading.... (5, Informative)

thephydes (727739) | more than 5 years ago | (#28745969)

It is not speciation occurring ...YET. It is two related bird populations not seeing each other as sexual rivals, apparently because of feather colour. The article is clear. This MAY lead to speciation if other genetic changes occur in one or both bird populations.

Re:The heading is misleading.... (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#28746039)

Not quite. As I posted above, "speciation" is sort-of a human concept and the criteria for it is arbitrary. In fact, we do have different species that CAN reproduce with each other. Perhaps not always forming fertile offspring, but nevertheless reproduce. Domesticated dogs and wolves are a different species and can easily breed with one another. Another example is, of course, horses and donkeys producing mules. The main problem is there is no universal definition of "species" and thus no universally accepted criteria for what constitutes speciation.

Re:The heading is misleading.... (1)

radtea (464814) | more than 5 years ago | (#28748051)

The main problem is there is no universal definition of "species" and thus no universally accepted criteria for what constitutes speciation.

This is not a problem. You're confusing two unrelated issues:

1) There is no arbitrarily fine line that can be drawn using perfectly objective criteria to distinguish class A from class B

2) Class A and class B cluster around widely separated collections of characteristics.

As I said, these have nothing to do with each other. You can have a case where the first criterion is fulfilled but the second is not, and the you can have case where the second criterion is fulfilled and the first is not (this is the far more common case in reality.)

All conceptual boundaries are purely human-imposed on the ontological substrate of experience. We deal with this every single day with no difficulty whatsoever. The last time you went swimming, did it concern you that there is no arbitrarily fine dividing line between 100% water and 100% dry land? Of course not, and every other concept is like this. When the lack of clear division becomes a problem, we create a new concept for the boundary region (in the case of water/land the concept is "beach" or "inter-tidal zone" or "littoral".) In the case of inter-species mixtures the boundary concept is "hybrid".

So "speciation" and the division between species is in this regard exactly like every other concept ever used by anyone anywhere.

Re:The heading is misleading.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28749197)

Somebody mod this Homo sapien up please.

Re:The heading is misleading.... (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#28749417)

My response was to the OP who said speciation is not occuring; I was pointing out the problem in his argument is that there's different ideas of what constitutes "species" and, from that, "speciation." My intent was to show that the criteria for "speciation" has no universal definition, not to attack the idea or claiming that categorizing into species is worthless.

The "problem" I was addressing was, of course, the claim that some say speciation occured while some may claim that it did not. The OP claims that speciation MAY occur if other genetic changes are made, but conveniently doesn't state how much genetic changes need to be made and seems to ignore the importance of amount phenotypic variation.

  An obvious example of what you're talking about exists with ring species. That's fine. The problem is is that there is variation within all species, and while you are not correct one could take it to the extreme and claim each and every organism is its own specie. My point is to simply show that the criteria imposed is going to be somewhat arbitrary no matter what.

(and they are not two unrelated issues. They are very much tied to each other)

Re:The heading is misleading.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28746279)

i agree with you saglik [blogspot.com] ,autocad [blogspot.com]

Re:The heading is misleading.... (1)

radtea (464814) | more than 5 years ago | (#28748075)

This MAY lead to speciation if other genetic changes occur in one or both bird populations.

Yeah, this is an article about the specific mechanism that is driving speciation in this particular case. It is connecting the dots between a minor genetic variation, and a behavioural variation that is sufficient to decrease the mating probability between groups.

This research is either quite clever or a little circuitous, I can't decide which. They are using the territorial defence behaviour of the males of each variety as an "instrument" to detect the probability of inter-breeding between varieties.

The problem for creationists and their ilk is given a rather sharp point by observations of this kind: granted the undoubted fact of micro-evolution, which has been observed in detail in the wild for decades, how can you possibly prevent speciation and macro-evolution from happening?

The birds are racists (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28746055)

The only difference is in the gene responsible for melanin production, a gene that varies in different colored people, too.

So if speciation has occured (according to the article) when the two populations no longer mate, does that mean if white people and black people stopped mating they would be different species?

Re:The birds are racists (1)

Entropy98 (1340659) | more than 5 years ago | (#28746377)

The only difference is in the gene responsible for melanin production, a gene that varies in different colored people, too.

So if speciation has occured (according to the article) when the two populations no longer mate, does that mean if white people and black people stopped mating they would be different species?

Maybe in a few hundred thousand (or possibly million) years.

Re:The birds are racists (3, Informative)

turbidostato (878842) | more than 5 years ago | (#28746623)

"So if speciation has occured (according to the article) when the two populations no longer mate"

Re-read the article: it doesn't say so. It says that since those two populations no longer mate, the door is open for speciation to happen, not that it already has happened.

"does that mean if white people and black people stopped mating they would be different species?"

Change it for "they may end up eventually as different species" and you are right.

The same thing is happening in humans (1)

ATestR (1060586) | more than 5 years ago | (#28746251)

You can see it in the change of a single gene in the human males. One male has the dominant jock gene, whereas the other does not, allowing the recessive geek gene to dictate behavior.

The question of whether these two populations are on the road to speciation comes down to sex. When two populations stop exchanging genes-that is, stop mating with each other-then they can be considered distinct species. We wanted to see if these two types of humans were heading in that direction.

It would be all but impossible to try to catalog every occasion on which an jocks mated with a geeks. So we used another test. We made human form androids in both Jock and Geek models. We used the models to invade mating territories in each population. As expected, when jocks were presented with the jock android, they attacked. But when jocks encountered the geek androids, they were much less likely to go on the offensive. The same scenario held for the geeks.

That males from the two populations no longer view the other as a reproductive threat is a good indication that not much mating is taking place between the two groups. Their evolutionary paths are diverging - all because of a change in testosterone and diminished brain capacity.

Cuckoos (2, Interesting)

kanweg (771128) | more than 5 years ago | (#28746281)

My father happened to tell me last week that cuckoos put their eggs in the nests of birds of the same kind in which they were raised, and that their eggs have the same speckle pattern as that of the bird they take advantage off. This could mean that cuckoos will also mate with cuckoos raised from the same type of nest, or the speckle pattern would be messed up. Alternatively, the speckle pattern is entirely female determined. In case of the former, speciation is on its way.

Bert

Re:Cuckoos (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28746535)

From WP:

In animal behaviour, a gens (pl. gentes) is a race of host-specific brood parasite. Brood parasites, such as cuckoos, which use multiple host species to raise their chicks, evolve different gentes, each one specific to its host species. This specialisation allows the parasites to lay eggs that mimic those of their hosts, which in turn reduces the chances of the eggs being rejected by the hosts.

The exact mechanisms of the evolution and maintenance of gens is still a matter of some research, however, it is believed that in cuckoos, gens-specific properties are sex-linked and lie on the W chromosome of the female. Male cuckoos, which have no W chromosome, are able to mate with females of any gens, and thereby maintain the cuckoo as one species.

not yet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28747079)

call me when one of them has hands.

-God

And you can get the original paper here .. (1)

BayaWeaver (1048744) | more than 5 years ago | (#28747361)

The first author's website has the PDF of the original paper: http://jauy.syr.edu/PUBS/Publications.html [syr.edu]
It's the first paper on the list: Difference in plumage color used in species recognition between incipient species is linked to a single amino acid substitution in the melanocortin-1 receptor [syr.edu]
And here's the abstract if you don't want to read/download the whole paper:

"Many studies demonstrate that differences in mating signals are used by incipient species in recognizing potential mates or sexual competitors (i.e., species recognition). Little is known, however, about the genetic changes responsible for these differences in mating signals. Populations of the Monarcha castaneiventris flycatcher vary in plumage color across the Solomon Islands, with a subspecies on Makira Island having chestnut bellies and blue-black upper parts (Monarcha castaneiventris megarhynchus) and a subspecies on neighboring satellite islands being entirely blue-black (melanic; Monarcha castaneiventris ugiensis). Here we show that a single nonsynonymous point mutation in the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) gene is present in all melanic birds from one island (Santa Ana) but absent in all chestnut-bellied birds from Makira Island, implicating this mutation in causing melanism. Birds from a second satellite island (Ugi) do not show the same perfect association between this MC1R variant and plumage color, suggesting an alternative mechanism for melanism on this island. Finally, taxidermic mount presentation experiments in Makira (chestnut) and Santa Ana (melanic) suggest that the plumage difference mediates species recognition. Assuming that the signals used in species recognition are also used in mutual mate choice, our results indicate that a single amino acid substitution contributes to speciation."

big difference between plumage colors and an eye (2, Interesting)

kbaud (1001076) | more than 5 years ago | (#28747695)

Animals have been shown in the past to be able to exhibit various adaptions (beaks, spots, hair color, eye color, etc) by turning on a particular gene in their set. What this study adds is some information on how likely the adapted animal will mate with the non-adapted form. But this isn't all that new either, some guys prefer blondes (look at its effect on Iceland). Now an animal without an eye producing an eye and not by activating existing genes would be a neat trick. Basically you would have spontaneous generaiton of complexity (complexity here being different than mere information). Information theory has no problem with adaption but it does have a problem with spontaneous generation of complexity out of a less complex system.

Re:big difference between plumage colors and an ey (1)

sgage (109086) | more than 5 years ago | (#28747951)

No, information theory does not have a problem with spontaneous generation of complexity. Read some Prigogine or something. And learn something about evolution, too - the "evolution of the eye" thing has been richly studied.

Given this... Are Humans in reverse "speciation"? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28748123)

So if a gene change causes the species of bird to stop mating due to feather color, thus causing "science" to predict eventual new species, Why hasn't this "science" been extrapolated to humans? If humans with certain traits stop breeding with other humans of certain traits (by nature or design), would not science say that those humans where on course for "speciation"? Likewise, if humans with distinct traits breed together, wouldn't that be argued by "science" as a process of "de-speciation"?

Science can explain how things exist and work as we observe them. Science can explain a car, but science cannot explain why a car exists or why it came to be. Either the existence of a car was a random event in nature or was not a random event in nature, in either case for cause, the same science of a car is equally valid (assuming we have the "science" right). One could look at a car and say it was created, others may look at a car and say, hey, science can explain this, therefore it was not created (we can document snapshots of various "cars" evolving from a horse drawn carriage to the car of today as proof).

The real question is can it be proven that everything we can see, hear and feel toady came into existence and coexists together in balance via a string of completely random and unrelated natural events? Or do you "choose" to "believe" science will be able to prove this one day?

Cheers.

I don't understand (2, Insightful)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 5 years ago | (#28749019)

Why whenever we observe speciation people make such a big deal about it. We've observed speciation in plants for almost a hundred years and observed it in insects since the 1960s. Speciation in birds and mammals have also been repeatedly observed. See http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html [talkorigins.org] and http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/speciation.html [talkorigins.org] .

At this point the evidence for speciation is so overwhelming that even many young earth creationists acknowledge that it occurs. See http://creation.com/arguments-we-think-creationists-should-not-use [creation.com] . At this point anyone who is who thinks that speciation doesn't occur is so colossally ignorant that discussing matters with them should probably be done only if one is amused by talking to people under mass delusions by people so estranged from reality that reality probably got a restraining order against them.

Like a geek going to a redneck bar? (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 5 years ago | (#28749463)

Everyone knows he isn't going to get laid but him.

News or Press Release? (1)

YoMatt (21634) | more than 5 years ago | (#28749505)

A summary of an adaptation of a press release is just that-- a press release and not necessarily news.

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