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266 comments

So... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5344072)

...I assume this plant doesn't grow in Arkansas?

~~~(fscking 20" timer, cost me FP!)

fp! ... I mean, FAAM! (1)

jpsst34 (582349) | more than 11 years ago | (#5344117)

First advantagous adaptive mutation!

Hah! (0, Troll)

KDan (90353) | more than 11 years ago | (#5344169)

Take that, short-sighted creationists. Now at least you'll have to accept that even if God *is* evolution (seeing as he practically *is* the universe, since every instant in the universe happens through his will, according to christian doctrine), evolution as a mechanism is correct. Finally we can go and tell the buggers to shove it next time they come up with their stupid "but it's never been observed" crap. Weepee! :-)

Daniel

Re:Hah! (0)

danbeck (5706) | more than 11 years ago | (#5344373)

A hybrid plant, engineered through human intervention, somehow proves evolution?

I think you are taking an even bigger leap than you think creationists are taking.

It's amazing to me the vitriol that every day laymen will assume when they get all fired up about some new study that "proves" evolution and debunks all those hayseed creationists.

srand;
$junk_science = rand 1000000;
$evolution = $junk_science;
$evolution += $science_with_an_agenda*1000;
print $evolution;

Re:Hah! (1, Insightful)

danbeck (5706) | more than 11 years ago | (#5344438)

oops. *must read article better next time* Not engineered by human intervention. *sigh* my comment isn't as funny now.

Engineered through human intervention? (1)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 11 years ago | (#5344491)

Somehow I missed the "engineered through human intervention" part of the article. Which part said that again?

Re:Hah! (1)

Charlton Heston (588481) | more than 11 years ago | (#5344696)

Read the article. Speciation has been observed in the wild and in the laboratory 5 other times this century.

Non-Biased reporting (3, Insightful)

Syncdata (596941) | more than 11 years ago | (#5344193)

The discovery of the York groundsel shows that species are created as well as made extinct, and that Charles Darwin was right and the Creationists are wrong.
This is the part where I imagine Anthony Browne, the columnist, doing a little dance, and thumbing his nose at those bad ol creationists. News Bulletin to Mr Browne, this can be construed as further proving the validity of an already accepted idea in Evolution theory, but finding a weed, no matter how genetically shiney, in a field does not disprove the existance of God, nor the notion that the universe was created by the afforementioned entity.

Re:Non-Biased reporting (4, Insightful)

KDan (90353) | more than 11 years ago | (#5344256)

finding a weed, no matter how genetically shiney, in a field does not disprove the existance of God, nor the notion that the universe was created by the afforementioned entity

No, but it does disprove creationism. People who think that Creationism = Christianity = God are rather stupid to begin with, unfortunately, so I'm afraid it won't help that much overall, but at least it's nice for the feel-good factor of people with brains :-)

Daniel

Re:Non-Biased reporting (3, Insightful)

Blaze74 (523522) | more than 11 years ago | (#5344483)

I fail to see how this disproves creationism. I don't think the official meaning of creationism includes the idea that all species are static and will never change, just that the first species were created, rather then evoloved.

Re:Non-Biased reporting (5, Insightful)

LMCBoy (185365) | more than 11 years ago | (#5344792)

The first rule of Creation Club is: as soon as your "theory" is disproven, just change your definitions and claim that's what you meant all along.

"I don't think the official meaning of creationism includes the idea that all species are static and will never change"

Creationism certainly did mean exactly that, until science showed, beyond any reasonable doubt, that species do go extinct, species do adapt, species do evolve. Then the Creationist changed their tune, started talking about species "changing, but only within their kind". They conceded "microevolution", but not "macroevolution" (phrases which they coined, and have absolutely no meaning in the real world).

"just that the first species were created, rather then evoloved"

Of course, by the definition of the word "first", this statement must be true. The first species could not possibly have evolved from a previous species. It's an empty statement.

Anyway, your definition of Creationism is much more limited than the more virulent strain that's been repeatedly disproven by findings like this. Believe it or not, there are people who refuse to believe that new species can evolve, period. According to them, all species that ever existed, or will ever exist, were created during Genesis.

Re:Non-Biased reporting (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 11 years ago | (#5344996)

Quick note: many of the creation clubbers to do believe in microevolution will admit that macroevolution is possible in plants and other lower forms. Hell Darwin practically proved macro evolution of plants. However he didn't prove macro evolution of animalia, and it still hasn't been proven.

Re:Non-Biased reporting (3, Funny)

LMCBoy (185365) | more than 11 years ago | (#5345615)

Thank you for illustrating the point. :p

Instead it's been observed (1)

Royster (16042) | more than 11 years ago | (#5347640)

That new species can form is a fact. It's been observed. Get used to it.

Re:Non-Biased reporting (1)

Hast (24833) | more than 11 years ago | (#5347717)

Darwin didn't, but it has been proven.

I read a topic about this on Kuro5hin and one poster came up with the following. I'll just quote directly (I saved a copy of the post, for moments like these.) Unfortunately I don't know who posted it so I can't give credit.


Speciation is more critical to evolution. It has been observed in plants several times, but the only animal occurrance observed as far as I know, is a sample of worms (Nereis Acuminata) collected in Long Beach Harbor, California in 1964 for use as lab specimens at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. They were bred in captivity. In the late 80s, they decided to test the population against the wild population and found that the Woods Hole population couldn't breed with the Long Beach population.

In essence the Woods Hole worms are a new species.

Re:Non-Biased reporting (3, Insightful)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 11 years ago | (#5345247)

The first rule of Creation Club is: as soon as your "theory" is disproven, just change your definitions and claim that's what you meant all along.

Odd, that sounds amazingly like the Scientific Method.

I believe that God created the universe that we live in. My current (nonscientific) theory on how he did this is through evolution and a "fast foward time", up until about 8,000 years ago when he made a man from scratch that just happened to be genetically compatbile with the super-apes that were walking around. Of course, God having created everything else 8,500 years ago is also a possibility, but unlikely given the extra effort needed.

Re:Non-Biased reporting (3, Funny)

nathanh (1214) | more than 11 years ago | (#5345524)

I believe that God created the universe that we live in. My current (nonscientific) theory on how he did this is through evolution and a "fast foward time", up until about 8,000 years ago when he made a man from scratch that just happened to be genetically compatbile with the super-apes that were walking around. Of course, God having created everything else 8,500 years ago is also a possibility, but unlikely given the extra effort needed.

How the heck could you know how much effort is involved? Is there a book "How To Create Worlds For Dummies" that I failed to notice last time I was at the bookstore?

Re:Non-Biased reporting (4, Insightful)

LMCBoy (185365) | more than 11 years ago | (#5345588)

Odd, that sounds amazingly like the Scientific Method.

Yes, exactly! Except the part where they claim it's what they believed all along, and the part where they they claim their answer is THE ANSWER, END OF DISCUSSION, not the best answer available, subject to change on discovery of new evidence.

A Creationist knows the answer already. To him, "science" is the search for data that fits the answer, and the attempt to explain away all evidence that doesn't fit. Real science presumes that the answer is *not* known, and tries to guess an answer based on what is actually evident in the world.

Re:Non-Biased reporting (1)

Mr.Intel (165870) | more than 11 years ago | (#5346348)

A Creationist knows the answer already. To him, "science" is the search for data that fits the answer, and the attempt to explain away all evidence that doesn't fit.

You've got some real problems with people who claim God created man don't you? I don't want to pry into personal feelings so I will stave off my desire to hit you with a clue stick. There are a lot of different people who could be defined as creationists. Do all of them claim to define science as you stated? I don't and believe that there is indeed a God who created all there is to see. I also believe in the empirical method created by the first scientist Aristotle. Furthermore, you claim that "Real science presumes that the answer is *not* known, and tries to guess an answer based on what is actually evident in the world." How is that different than a creationist? I don't claim to know exactly how God created the earth, man or anything else. Just that He did. Even science must agree that the world, man and all other observable matter must indeed exist. The only questions is on how it got here.

I don't want to convert anyone to believe in creation, but I wish that the narrowmindedness you so much lament of creationists would stop manifesting itself in "scientists".

No, you are confused. (1)

amarodeeps (541829) | more than 11 years ago | (#5347072)

The problem with the "creationists" s/he is talking about it that they confuse science with faith, as you are doing now. You may want to re-define what "creationist" means for your context, but you would be altering the definition for the context which we are in. Basically, if you want your god, science has no problem with that, just keep your chocolate out of my peanut butter--but if you want your god to be involved with science...well, first tackle philosophy and then we'll talk. Otherwise leave your god out of it.

Also, lay off the violence buddy! How Christian (or whatever your variation) is that?

Re:No, you are confused. (1)

Mr.Intel (165870) | more than 11 years ago | (#5347314)

The problem with the "creationists" s/he is talking about it that they confuse science with faith, as you are doing now.

There is no confusion. Science and religion can coincide perfectly with one another. This is not a zero sum equation. Perhaps you could enlighten me as to why I can't believe in a Divinly created earth and think empirically?

...but you would be altering the definition for the context which we are in.

So you are saying that creationism means different things depending on the context? Is this the same for evolution?

but if you want your god to be involved with science...well, first tackle philosophy and then we'll talk. Otherwise leave your god out of it.

Got the philosophy part down. Where would you like to start? Modern thinking with Hobbes, Locke and Thoreau or more classical stuff like Plato and Aristotle? As for God being involved in science, what's the big deal? I don't understand the stark contrast. If God is who I think He is, then science fits nicely into the plan. If I am wrong, then who cares? I am not trying to convince you of the creation...

Also, lay off the violence buddy! How Christian (or whatever your variation) is that?

Are you referring to the clue stick comment? If not I am afraid you have me at a loss. Otherwise, check a handy dictionary for the words 'sarcasm' and 'symbolism'.

Re:No, you are confused. (2, Insightful)

amarodeeps (541829) | more than 11 years ago | (#5347536)

Science and religion can coincide perfectly with one another.

Sure, as long as you don't try to provide religious answers to scientific questions. Something like, "what was the mechanism for biological adaptation?"--well, god is not a scientific answer, no matter how you slice it. And that's what most creationists, as they call themselves and are generally known to the world, would have you believe. So sure, have your religion, but like I said, keep your peanut butter out of my chocolate. Or was it chocolate out of my peanut butter? Don't remember...you get the picture.

So you are saying that creationism means different things depending on the context? Is this the same for evolution?

Creationism: yes, evolution: no (although the word evolution itself means different things itself in different contexts, and possibly even scientific contexts). We're talking the difference between pseudo-science and science here, remember. People who engage in pseudo-science, or religion, can change terms at will as suits their objectives...like you've been doing with this thread. Scientists are required to maintain a common language so they can actually communicate and forward the progress of learning. Big difference there.

Got the philosophy part down.

Sorry, I didn't express myself very well there. When I said tackle philosophy, I meant something like: "solve" philosophy. Can't do it? Didn't think so. There's the beginnings of the problems of introducing god(s) into science; people can't agree upon basic terms well enough to even solve the problems of whether or not god(s) exist. And because science is essentially pragmatic, we can't really introduce god(s) into it if 1) we can't prove the existence of said entity(ies), 2) (and perhaps more importantly) we can't even agree what god(s) is(are). Follow me? I would think you'd be able to, with all your high-falutin philosophical knowledge!

This also goes back to answer your question about why science and god are a bad mix, if you didn't figure that out already.

Otherwise, check a handy dictionary for the words 'sarcasm' and 'symbolism'.

Hmm...yes...sarcasm...

Re:No, you are confused. (1)

Mr.Intel (165870) | more than 11 years ago | (#5347730)

Follow me? I would think you'd be able to, with all your high-falutin philosophical knowledge!

You have obviously got the sarcasm down...

Sure, as long as you don't try to provide religious answers to scientific questions. Something like, "what was the mechanism for biological adaptation?"--well, god is not a scientific answer, no matter how you slice it. And that's what most creationists, as they call themselves and are generally known to the world, would have you believe.

First of all, we have to understand each other. Science and religion are not mutually exclusive, nor are they opposite ends of a spectrum. Science is a tool used to gain knowledge. I submit that religion is similarly a tool used to gain knowledge, albeit in a different way.

We're talking the difference between pseudo-science and science here, remember.

Okay, I think I understand something here. Tell me if I get this right: you believe that religion is a pseudo-science. Meaning that it tries to be scientific, but really isn't. If that is true, then we are talking about two different definitions of religion. I don't claim religion is a replacement or substitute for science. Religion is a tool, science is a tool with simliar purposes but different mechanisms. Arguing that science is 'better' than religion is like arguing that a screwdriver is 'better' than a hammer. They are both tools and they both do their jobs well. I wouldn't ask you to drive a nail with a screwdriver (although I have done it), similarly, I would not ask you to understand religion with science. Make sense?

As for creationism, it means only one thing to me: the belief in the creation of the universe by a supreme being. That definition never changes for me, regardless of context. I am sorry that it changes for you, but I cannot and do not want to forcefully change your view.

When I said tackle philosophy, I meant something like: "solve" philosophy. Can't do it? Didn't think so.

Looks like you are very good with the sarcasm. Sorry to have doubted you. I don't quite know what it means to "solve" philosophy but it is probably irrelevant.

There's the beginnings of the problems of introducing god(s) into science; people can't agree upon basic terms well enough to even solve the problems of whether or not god(s) exist.

Agree completely. Science and religion serve different purposes even if they attempt to answer the same questions. I don't propose that we integrate them together for the very reasons you mention. People have a hard enough time understanding one another, let alone trying to reconcile their religions!

This also goes back to answer your question about why science and god are a bad mix, if you didn't figure that out already.

I don't recall asking why they would be a bad mix, but I did wonder why they can't co-exist. It would be bad to introduce religious ideology into science. I also feel that trying to answer religous questions with science is a farce.

Problems between religion and science arise as any other conflict does. Misunderstanding and greed. People who claim superior knowledge are always going to piss off the other camp(s). Just because you have the answer for you questions doesn't mean that you will for mine. I simply want to dispell the feelings that many people like yourself seem to have that I can't reconcile my religous feelings with scientific ones. It is just a matter of perspective and understanding.

Re:Non-Biased reporting (1)

Bowling Moses (591924) | more than 11 years ago | (#5347085)

Not quite. In science you'd either throw out your theory or modify the theory to fit the new evidence. With the creationists, you change definitions or just use intentionally poorly defined terms but never give up your core religious belief in a "literal" Biblical creation. This announcement of yet another clear example of the evolution of a new species will change few so-called "scientific" creationist minds (even though it must if they're honest) because they'll lump it with the parent species in the poorly defined nonscientific word "kind." Someone in this thread probably has already done so.

Re:Non-Biased reporting (1)

Eccles (932) | more than 11 years ago | (#5347258)

Odd, that sounds amazingly like the Scientific Method. ...except the "claim that's what you meant all along" bit, and the old definitions are recognized as false. Granted, there's a difference between the Scientific Method and scientists...

Of course, God having created everything else 8,500 years ago is also a possibility, but unlikely given the extra effort needed.

What's "effort" or "time" to God?

I figure either science is correct, or God created the world in ~4,004 B.C., but made it exactly like it would have been had it taken 13+ billion years. And to me, it's a difference that makes no difference; heck, even in the latter case the Big Bang et al happened in God's "mind", which is effectively as "real" as the universe.

Re:Non-Biased reporting (1)

BCGlorfindel (256775) | more than 11 years ago | (#5347654)

Creationism certainly did mean exactly that, until science showed, beyond any reasonable doubt, that species do go extinct, species do adapt, species do evolve. Then the Creationist changed their tune, started talking about species "changing, but only within their kind". They conceded "microevolution", but not "macroevolution" (phrases which they coined, and have absolutely no meaning in the real world).

Perhaps, in the most extremely ignorant section of the crowd that forgot about the whole noah's ark thing. But you are misrepresenting mainstream(is there such a thing?) creationist opinions. Most creationist's for the last few decades at least have fully believed that micro evolution of species is very wide spread. By creationist assumptions of a literal noah's flood, non-static species are absolutely required.

Anyway, your definition of Creationism is much more limited than the more virulent strain that's been repeatedly disproven by findings like this. Believe it or not, there are people who refuse to believe that new species can evolve, period. According to them, all species that ever existed, or will ever exist, were created during Genesis.

Again your confusing creationist views for the last few decades. I wouldn't be a stickler on this but many evolutionary theories from a few decades ago have also changed a great deal. Your confusing the definition of species which scientist's use and the one meant by creationist's when they refer to species. Creationists really aught to use different terms like 'kinds' or 'baramines' or some other more clear terminology. The belief is that new 'kinds' can not arise, and the definition of kinds allows for a 'new species' to develop from a former kind. It is just considered a mutated form of the original kind. Now, defining 'kind' in a meaningfull way is a problem. I've still not seen a good definition of it beyond the originally created species. Which is quite useless in most any current context.

Re:Non-Biased reporting (1, Insightful)

danbeck (5706) | more than 11 years ago | (#5344546)

You are still wrong. It doesn't disprove creationism. Maybe to someone who has an axe to grind; say you, for instance.

You are welcome to your shortsighted opinion of the stupidity of creationists, but you yourself seem to completely ignore the fact that evolution is a theory, one disputed by a lot of scientific evidence. The laws of thermodynamics for instance.

In any case, your words are just that. Replace creationism with evolution and the tables are turned:

No, but it does disprove evolution. People who think that evolution = discredit of Christianity = no proof of God are rather stupid to begin with, unfortunately, so I'm afraid it won't help that much overall, but at least it's nice for the feel-good factor of people with brains :-)

See how you didn't really say anything important, you only unfairly attacked people who think different from you.

Re:Non-Biased reporting (1)

Charlton Heston (588481) | more than 11 years ago | (#5344675)

Evolution is a fact, not a theory. A description of our understanding of how it happened is called the theory of evolution by natural selection.

And the theory is a completely uncontroversial one. The only people agitating against it are hardly scientific.

Re:Non-Biased reporting (2, Informative)

Ashurbanipal (578639) | more than 11 years ago | (#5344866)

You are correct.

But there are creationists that believe in the theory of evolution by natural selection; when I worked in Natural Science (been almost a decade since I was writing taxonomic database management code, I admit) there were plenty of knowledgeable scientists who believe in both divine creation and evolution.

Some of them were even Christians, although mainstream Christian beliefs are pretty rare among evolutionists. Most scientists don't like the paradoxes engendered by trying to resolve observed reality with the biblical creation fables.

Re:Non-Biased reporting (1)

Charlton Heston (588481) | more than 11 years ago | (#5344907)

That's a reasonable and well-tempered reply, thank you.

Re:Non-Biased reporting (1)

Alsee (515537) | more than 11 years ago | (#5345375)

plenty of knowledgeable scientists who believe in both divine creation and evolution.

I wouldn't call them "creationists". That term is solidly taken by a belief system that asserts that evolution and god are somehow mutally exclusive.

-

Re:Non-Biased reporting (2, Insightful)

nathanh (1214) | more than 11 years ago | (#5344821)

You are welcome to your shortsighted opinion of the stupidity of creationists, but you yourself seem to completely ignore the fact that evolution is a theory, one disputed by a lot of scientific evidence. The laws of thermodynamics for instance.

Your troll was going quite well up to ths point, then you gave the game away.

Re:Non-Biased reporting (1)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 11 years ago | (#5346711)

The laws of thermodynamics for instance.

I get this a lot in these types of discussions. It's usually pretty easy to refute.

Praytell, which law(s) would you be referring to?

=Smidge=

Re:Non-Biased reporting (1)

Bowling Moses (591924) | more than 11 years ago | (#5347472)

The 2nd law again? How does TdS = dU - PdV disprove evolution?

Hint: Do you have ice in your freezer?

Hint for the physics-illiterate: It doesn't.

Re:Non-Biased reporting (-1, Flamebait)

danbeck (5706) | more than 11 years ago | (#5344574)

How the hell did his comment get modded up to funny? It's funny to call other people names and spout off unintelligent crap? What are you all, a bunch of high school dropouts?

Re:Non-Biased reporting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5344618)

creationism doesn't require disproving, the burden of proof (hell the burden of any tangible evidence whatsoever) yet lies with the claimants.

I beg to differ (3, Informative)

Frankenmoro (606704) | more than 11 years ago | (#5345026)

it does disprove creationism

Well, not really. Depends on who you're talking to. If you're talking to a strict fundamentalist who has no science background, then yes, it does disprove his breed of creationism. It doesn't, however, disprove Dr. Michael Behe's breed of "creationism".

What it does disprove, though, is that speciation is possible, but that's rather obvious to anyone who looks at the genetic/chromosomal make-up of, say, chimps, gorrillas and humans.

If you're truly interested in this debate, then I would recommend a book called "The Science of God" by Gerald L. Schroeder. He's a physicist who is also a creationist, but with a rather different take on the whole thing. He maintains that God did create the world in 7 literal days, but that it also took roughly 13.5 Billion years. Has to do with the theory of relativity of time... He's also Jewish, and has an incredible grasp on the Hebrew underlying the English in Genesis, and brings to light several key verses that could have either been translated better, or simply lost something in translation. Great stuff.

As a creationist who also has a degree in genetics and did research under an evolutionary geneticist, I've seen both sides of the spectrum. both sides extremes have their intellectual/theological bigots who aren't willing to budge simply for spites sake. However, those that are willing to at least listen generally can have very unique viewpoints.

Re:I beg to differ (0)

nathanh (1214) | more than 11 years ago | (#5345360)

As a creationist who also has a degree in genetics and did research under an evolutionary geneticist, I've seen both sides of the spectrum. both sides extremes have their intellectual/theological bigots who aren't willing to budge simply for spites sake. However, those that are willing to at least listen generally can have very unique viewpoints.

The fault in your statement here is that you're giving equal value to evolution and creationism. You imply that there are only two sides and that both sides are "extremist viewpoints". This is so far removed from reality that it's not funny. There is no science in creationism; it is a religious belief. No amount of hand-waving can change that. And while there may be rabid supporters of evolution - you could reasonably argue that these people are religious about their convictions - that doesn't change the fact that evolution is a science and it can be falsified.

Re:I beg to differ (3, Insightful)

Frankenmoro (606704) | more than 11 years ago | (#5345799)

You imply that there are only two sides and that both sides are "extremist viewpoints."

No, you misunderstood. What I meant was that the extremes of both viewpoints are extremist. You are correct in asserting that the extremist evolutionists maintain a "religious" belief. It shocked me when I started listening and realized that these "scientists" talked about evolution with much the same reverence as I talked about God. However, there are vast shades of gray in the middle.

There is no science in creationism; it is religious belief.

Actually, if you think of it from the viewpoint that our universe is finite (meaning constrained by time) and that it MUST have had a beginning because of this, then you begin to approach a point where you must admit that the universe was created (don't worry with "created by who", just think if it is possible for our universe to exist without some kind of creation event). Even Stephen Hawking admits this, with the ironic remark "this makes most of my colleagues very uncomfortable". It's been quite a while since I read that, but if I can turn it up, I'll send you the link.

For quite a while, I was unwilling to accept that evolution (in this context I mean speciation) could in fact exist. It didn't jive with what I believed, so I tossed out the science in favor of what I believed. However, I've realized that this is foolishness. It didn't serve me any use to throw the baby out with the bath water. Instead, I decided that perhaps I wasn't working with all of the knowledge that I needed, so I decided that I had to accept both, and see if there wasn't some way I could reconcile the two apparent disparate views.

In point of fact, if you're not a rabid supporter of either viewpoint, then you can come to a different, non-conventional understanding. Kind of like Galileo and the solar system.

The fault in your statement here is that you're giving equal value to evolution and creationism

Not at all, I maintian that they are actually the same, one cannot exist without the other. Simply because they look diametrically opposed doesn't me they really are. Which, I'll be the first to admit, sounds like absolute insanity, at least on the surface. It's like sayingn 1+1 = 1. In point of fact, it may not be.

The real problem that extreme evolutionists have with creationism is that it is founded in a religious faith, and this is anathema to a scientist (that being blind acceptance of anything without proof). The real problem that the extreme creationists have with evolution is that it's not based on faith (generally, and incorrectly in my opinion, considered to be blind belief in something one cannot begin to understand, but that God said was true), and that is anathema to a fundamentalist Christian creationist.

However, there might just be a way to reconcile both of these viewpoints. If I can convince the evolutionist that there is at lest some amount of support for creationism, then they might be willing to admit the necessity for a creation event. Conversely, if I can convince a creationist that even if all of the science is true, it doesn't disprove the Word of God, then they might be willing to admit the necessity of some form of evolution.

There's a whole lot more to the debate than this, but I can't type all of it out. I gotta work. I look forward to reading what you think.

Re:I beg to differ (3, Insightful)

nathanh (1214) | more than 11 years ago | (#5346226)

There is no science in creationism; it is religious belief.

Actually, if you think of it from the viewpoint that our universe is finite (meaning constrained by time) and that it MUST have had a beginning because of this, then you begin to approach a point where you must admit that the universe was created (don't worry with "created by who", just think if it is possible for our universe to exist without some kind of creation event). Even Stephen Hawking admits this, with the ironic remark "this makes most of my colleagues very uncomfortable". It's been quite a while since I read that, but if I can turn it up, I'll send you the link.

With a degree in genetics I would have thought you'd have understood that evolution says nothing about the creation of the universe.

In point of fact, if you're not a rabid supporter of either viewpoint, then you can come to a different, non-conventional understanding. Kind of like Galileo and the solar system.

I think it's misleading of you to imply that creationism is simply a "non-conventional understanding" and then equate it with Galileo's heliocentric model. Creationism is a fundamentalist religious belief. The tenets of creationism are well defined. The second [icr.org] tenet is "the Bible is inerrant". Creationism isn't science; their own tenets prove this. By comparing it against Galileo's model you falsely imply a scientific basis for creationism.

However, there might just be a way to reconcile both of these viewpoints. If I can convince the evolutionist that there is at lest some amount of support for creationism, then they might be willing to admit the necessity for a creation event.

Evolution doesn't deal with creation of the universe nor with the creation of life. Evolution deals with a very specific problem: the origin of species. Where the "first species" came from is pure conjecture. Some people support abiogenesis which is unproven though still a science. Some people support creationism which is unprovable and therefore not a science. You are fooling yourself and misleading others by conflating the two.

Re:I beg to differ (1)

Mr.Intel (165870) | more than 11 years ago | (#5346487)

Creationism is a fundamentalist religious belief.

Okay, but whose? I would argue that Jews, Christians and Muslims (who all profess a belief in the creation) look at it in starkly different ways.

The second tenet is "the Bible is inerrant".

I strongly disagree. The Bible is very errant, even within its own pages. After all, it was written (and translated) by men who have demonstrated time after time their ability to err.

Evolution doesn't deal with creation of the universe nor with the creation of life. Evolution deals with a very specific problem: the origin of species.

Bang on the dot. I quite agree, but you must consider that evolutionists also concede the point that the formation of the Earth greatly affected evolution. Logically, the formation of the solar system affected the formation of the earth and therefore the formation of the galaxy affected the formation of the solar system, etc... Origin of species is different but very much related to origin of the universe.

Where the "first species" came from is pure conjecture.

This is but another difference between the ideas of man and the ideas of God. I claim to know that God created all things. I did not use Aristotle's empirical thinking to arrive at this conclusion, but rather Plato's transcendental learning. Plato believed that there is one truth and that we are all born with that truth within ourselves. Life is mearly the function of finding that truth. I find that his ideas on truth are most correct even with the exclusion of religion.

Some people support creationism which is unprovable and therefore not a science.

I must again take issue with this notion that creation is unprovable. Certainly unprovable by conventional science, but by no means irrefutably unprovable.

Re:I beg to differ (1)

nathanh (1214) | more than 11 years ago | (#5347109)

Creationism is a fundamentalist religious belief.

Okay, but whose?

The creationists.

The second tenet is "the Bible is inerrant".

I strongly disagree.

So do I, but this is what the creationists claim. Did you even read the ICR page I linked to? It's written on the creationist website in black and white. They believe the Bible is inerrant. Don't tell me you disagree, tell them.

Re:I beg to differ (1)

Mr.Intel (165870) | more than 11 years ago | (#5347358)

The creationists.

You said that "creationism is a fundamentalist religous belief." Which religion? Not all religions believe in the creation and not all creationists are religous!

So do I, but this is what the creationists claim.

I am a "creationist" because I believe in the creation, yet I obviously do not believe the bible is inerrant! It is precisely this idea that all people who believe in the creation are lumped into an easily identifiable group that I take issue with. I challenge your definition of creationists and your perceptions of what we believe.

Don't tell me you disagree, tell them.

I *am* them. I disagree with the statement and I disagree with you that all creationists believe the same things.

Re:I beg to differ (1)

nathanh (1214) | more than 11 years ago | (#5347489)

You said that "creationism is a fundamentalist religous belief." Which religion?

Duh, creationism, of course.

Don't tell me you disagree, tell them.

I *am* them.

You still haven't read the ICR website, have you. The people who run ICR are representing your beliefs in schools, in newspapers, and in churches. They have the widest publicity of any creationist group. You claim you "am them" but you're apparently ignorant of what they claim on your behalf. Read the damn website.

Re:I beg to differ (1)

Mr.Intel (165870) | more than 11 years ago | (#5347585)

Duh, creationism, of course.

This is getting tiresome. Creationism is *not* a religion.

Read the damn website.

I don't care what the website says, I care what you think! I don't accept the ICR as a representation of my beliefs whether they claim it or not.

They have the widest publicity of any creationist group.

Good for them! I don't care about ICR or their beliefs. Apparently, the only commonality between them and me is a belief in the Creation. That doesn't make me their new best friend. In fact, most Christian religions don't meet eye to eye with my beliefs. That is my point; you or anyone cannot simply lay the blanket label of "Creationist" on anyone or any group and then apply to that person or group a list of supposed beliefs. It doesn't work that way. Not all Muslims are terrorists and not all Creationists are right.

Umm... (1)

amarodeeps (541829) | more than 11 years ago | (#5347126)

I must again take issue with this notion that creation is unprovable. Certainly unprovable by conventional science, but by no means irrefutably unprovable.

Please suggest a proof for creationism. If you don't use 'conventional science,' then describe the 'alternative science' you will use to make this proof.

Re:Umm... (1)

Mr.Intel (165870) | more than 11 years ago | (#5347462)

Please suggest a proof for creationism. If you don't use 'conventional science,' then describe the 'alternative science' you will use to make this proof.

Okay, I'll bite, but you may not like the answer. Aristotle as the first scientist created what we would call the scientific method. Hypothesis, experiment, observation, analyze, refine, etc. However, he was an emprical thinker. Meaning that he believed in the concept of relative truth. This limited his methods to be used on an individual basis. This is why science repeatedly calls for "independent verification". It is designed to make the relative truths of certain theories become more universal. Even the "Universal Truths" of science like gravity and the speed of light are constantly revised and 'refined', making the truths gained from science even more relative and less absolute.

I propose what Plato and Socrates taught; that truth is *not* relative but resides in-toto in each person. Life is then a process of discovering that truth (which is the same for all people). While these philosophers did not have a religion per se, they came very close to it. I believe that God knows all things and therefore has discovered all truth. With this knowledge He is able to possess all power.

I came to know this through transcendental learning. That is, the discovery of myself. I won't lie to you and say that there is a magic or miraculous manifestation of God at some point. Instead, you have to rely on faith the whole way through. Actually, you just have to want to believe or have a desire to believe. If the feeling is sincere and you don't remove it with doubt or fear, the basic principles of the scientific method can be used to "prove" (at least to yourself) that God exists.

It is analogous to a seed. If you plant a seed, water it, keep the weeds out and give it fertilizer every now and then, it will bear fruit. If you have a desire to believe, then that is like planting the seed. If you let it grow inside you to the point that bears fruit, you can test the fruit to see if it is good or bad. That is, does it bring you happiness or sadness? Test it for yourself and then decide. That is what I did and here I am, a full fledged believer in God.

Pbviously there is more to it than that and it is different for every religion, but the basic principles are the same.

Re:I beg to differ (1)

Frankenmoro (606704) | more than 11 years ago | (#5346513)

Evolution doesn't deal with creation of the universe nor with the creation of life. Evolution deals with a very specific problem: the origin of species.

With a degree in genetics I would have thought you'd have understood that evolution says nothing about the creation of the universe.

That's a rather terse way to define evolution. If, in fact, evolution is interested in the "Origin of Species" then the beginning (ie, where the first species arose from) is inherent in the question.

I think that the meanings of the words "evolution" and "creationism" have been so muddied that we aren't even arguing on the same page. "Creationism" as you describe it above is not what I mean, nor intend. Conversely, it seems that my view of "evolution" is broader in scope than yours. If I take your meaning of evolution to be evolution concerned specifically with speciation, then I agree with you.

However, Dawkins and many others have taken the scope of evolution outside the concern of only speciation, and broadened it to the interest of the actual beginning (whether abiogenesis or creation by a directed intelligence).

it's misleading of you to imply that creationism is simply a "non-conventional understanding"

You're not understanding. I'm not implying that Creationism is a "non-conventional understanding". What I called a "non-conventional understanding" is a hybrid of Creationism and evolution. It is unconventional because most feel that the two are diametrically opposed.

Re:I beg to differ (1)

nathanh (1214) | more than 11 years ago | (#5347172)

That's a rather terse way to define evolution. If, in fact, evolution is interested in the "Origin of Species" then the beginning (ie, where the first species arose from) is inherent in the question.

No, that would be the origin of life. You can't have speciation when there is only one species. Darwin wrote on the origin of species; specifically how new species arise from existing species. He purposefully didn't address the origins of life because it wasn't something he could argue successfully.

I think that the meanings of the words "evolution" and "creationism" have been so muddied that we aren't even arguing on the same page.

I take my definition of "creationism" from the ICR handbook and my definition of "evolution" from Darwin himself. If you're using non-standard definitions then I'd advise you get with the program. I refuse to play the "when I say 'X' I mean 'Y"" game. It is boring and juvenille.

You're not understanding. I'm not implying that Creationism is a "non-conventional understanding". What I called a "non-conventional understanding" is a hybrid of Creationism and evolution. It is unconventional because most feel that the two are diametrically opposed.

As I've already said twice before, creationism and evolution are not diametrically opposed, they are not even on the same planet. There is no "non-conventional understanding" when you believe in both. They are orthogonal to each other.

Re:I beg to differ (1)

nathanh (1214) | more than 11 years ago | (#5347211)

As I've already said twice before, creationism and evolution are not diametrically opposed, they are not even on the same planet. There is no "non-conventional understanding" when you believe in both. They are orthogonal to each other.

The dangers of hitting "Submit" too fast. In the last sentence where I said "creationism" I meant "creation". Creationism and evolution are, of course, completely opposed. Creationism makes claims that are completely at odds with all of the observed evidence. Creation and evolution are orthogonal concepts. Apologies for the confusion.

Re:Non-Biased reporting (1)

ciphertext (633581) | more than 11 years ago | (#5346780)

Well, I would think that making an assumption of a persons intelligence based solely on their religious beliefs is pretty stupid in its own right. You're apparent dislike for Christian's taints your posts to the point that they serve no rational purpose other than to appease your anger. Perhaps, you would be better served to keep your personal disputes out of a public forum such as Slashdot and take them up with whomever has caused you your grief directly.

Re:Non-Biased reporting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5344300)

God created evolution. Please don't deny one of His greatest works.

Re:Non-Biased reporting (1)

Shadow2097 (561710) | more than 11 years ago | (#5347056)

Why is it that every single biology-related article brings out this ugly Creation vs Evolution flame-fest? Its not even a discussion really, its just people who believe in evolution calling Creationists idiots and people who believe in creation calling Evolutionists idiots.

There isn't enough evidence that will ever be collected in any of our lifetimes that will ever end this argument, period. There will ALWAYS be people who believe in Creationism, just as there are people who believe in Evolution. Does this mean that the discussion shouldn't take place? Of course not, its a perfectly valid topic of debate. BUT, only if its an actual debate, not everyone sitting around calling everyone else names.

-Shadow

Re:Non-Biased reporting (1)

DeComposer (551766) | more than 11 years ago | (#5347504)

The argument of evidence overwhelmingly favors evolution. The amount of evidence that already supports evolution to the exclusion of creation is voluminous, whereas the evidence suppoting creation to the exclusion of evolution is precisely zero. All that is lacking is the ability of people to a.) see the evidence and b.) accept the evidence.

While stating that there are people who believe in creationism, just as there are people who believe in evolution is a factual one, it is meaningless as an argument (it's guilty of the logical fallacy: argumentum ad numerum). For the vast majority of human history, geocentrism prevailed over heliocentrism. The firm conviction of millions of people throughout history doesn't change the fact that the earth revolves around the sun and not the other way round.

I agree that it's unfortunate that every article dealing with natural science ends up as an exercise in mudslinging, but it's reasonable to predict that this will always be the result. On the one side are arguments of reason and evidence, on the other are arguments of human emotion and need. Not a lot of middle ground to conduct rational arguments, there.

Re:Non-Biased reporting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5347321)

You are not a wise man - i'm an atheist, but if i were a Christian, I wouldn't base my faith on Evolution.

If even you can be convinced that life evolved and continues to evolve, will you then ditch your silly superstition?

Alas, probably not...look at all the neo-evangelical Christian sects that based their belief on the "end times", that have been wrong again and again and again - yet, they still believe!

I talked to a guy who thinks AIDS is a punishment for gays from God, citing a lack of a cure as evidence. What will this sucker think when we do?? Have we beat God?

Rate this piece -17 if you want, but religion really is just plain stupid.

Lets assume that everything complex was 'created'. Then we can say, for example, that Vishnu created everything and then search for the creator of the creator, because, certainly, something as complex as a creator must have a creator...I think one we get, say, 6 creators in we can stop, because, lets face it, any more would be just SILLY.

hmm... (2, Funny)

C21 (643569) | more than 11 years ago | (#5344209)

let's hurry up and get it on the endangered species list, how much carbon monoxide does it take to kill this little bugger!

Wait a minute... (1)

schmink182 (540768) | more than 11 years ago | (#5344282)

Wait a minute... That's not a new species. Thats the same species with a bow on it!

definition of 'species' (1)

ubiquitin (28396) | more than 11 years ago | (#5344329)

According to the article, a species is a genetic mutant that can breed, but not with any other species, including its parent species. Can anyone explain to me how this is not a circular definition?

Re:definition of 'species' (2, Informative)

PepperedApple (645980) | more than 11 years ago | (#5344476)

Let me try to explain.

A horse and a donkey can breed to make a mule, but two mules can not breed to give birth to another mule, so mules are not a species.

If two mules could breed that would not guarantee that mules were a new species, but if two mules could breed together AND a mule and a horse or a mule and a donkey could not breed, then mules would be a species.

The definition of breed, in case it's not clear, is basically "give birth to a another animal of the same type as it"

I believe the reason that horses and donkeys are considered different species is because their offspring, the mule, can not reproduce.

Re: 'species' (1)

ubiquitin (28396) | more than 11 years ago | (#5344942)

Thank you sir. Helpful example, and it is hard not to think about mules and donkeys and horses when investigating this question.
For 'species' Merriam-Webster gives:

1. Biology.
a. A fundamental category of taxonomic classification, ranking below a genus or subgenus and consisting of related organisms capable of interbreeding.
b. An organism belonging to such a category, represented in binomial nomenclature by an uncapitalized Latin adjective or noun following a capitalized genus name, as in Ananas comosus, the pineapple, and Equus caballus, the horse.

2. Logic. A class of individuals or objects grouped by virtue of their common attributes and assigned a common name; a division subordinate to a genus.

So the claim in the paper cited reduces to whether a set of individual plants has done two things:
1. acquired new properties which are passed down to its children and
2. is incapable of interbreeding with other plants of the same type from which it was derived.

It seems to me that this reduces all species-making properties to reproduction. Until now, I hadn't thought of a species as a collection of individuals with unique reproductive-relevant properties. It also makes me wonder whether the survival of the fittest axiom is something belonging primarily to individuals or to species. Charles Darwin is the accepted expert on this so can anyone give Darwin's thoughts here?

Species are slippery, m'kay? (1)

Ashurbanipal (578639) | more than 11 years ago | (#5345148)

That's actually a pretty good explanation.

However, some mules do breed true. It's extremely rare, but documented [hamill.co.uk] . This is made funnier by the common use of the word "mule" by life scientists to mean any infertile hybrid, rather than a specific type of animal.

Also, there is one other wrinkle to the definition of species; forcible cross-breeding does not count, it has to happen "naturally" as we english-speakers would say. So, species that could interbreed, but don't due to geographic isolation, could merge and lose their separate species designation if the geographic barriers to their interbreeding were removed. Similarly, species that can interbreed but don't due to behavioural or social influences, are still considered distinct species - even if they live and travel together in herds.

But remember, the purpose of species designation is to allow precise communication by mutually agreed-upon labeling. Scientists constantly redefine genera and species as our knowledge increases; DNA analysis has had profound influence on systematic phylogeny.

Taxonomic hierarchies like kingdom/phylum/class/order/family/genus/species/ra ce/tribe are naming conventions. They exists for the same reason file and directory naming conventions exist, that is, because an orderly representation of nomenclature aids research and helps further development of knowledge.

And just as you can find vociferous debate on whether a web page belongs in /home/httpd or /var/www, you can find any number of scientists willing to argue about how species should be categorized.

Hope this helped!

Re:definition of 'species' (2, Informative)

Ieshan (409693) | more than 11 years ago | (#5344552)

It's like the definition of "Concept" in Psychology, "Energy" in Chemistry, or "Work" in Physics - in fact, almost all definitions in the sciences are circular.

Things are often defined by their own terms in science because it's otherwise impossible to define them. "Species" is otherwise definable as "a group of living things that cannot breed with it's parent's group of living things or any other group of living things", but "a group of living things" is taken out and "species" is put back in.

Sure, you ask, well, what defines a group of living things? What defines living things? What defines life?

Well, since these are all unanswered or undefined without using the same original terms, you end with the same type of circular definitions.

I do hesitate to add that the definition of species they propose doesn't entirely make sense. Instead, it ought to read, "able to reproduce with members of it's own species to produce viable offspring of the same species, while being unable to produce viable offspring with members of other species without creating a new species." Whew. Now how's that for circular? =P

Re: that way lies madness (1)

ubiquitin (28396) | more than 11 years ago | (#5344628)

If you said to me that some definitions require intuitive experience, I would be eager to agree with you. In other words, the process of coming to know requires more than words in themselves. But instead you told me that I can expect to only make use of the same word in seeing what it means. In other words, tautology is the rule for defining. If this is the case, then there is no tying words back to the world, so we are stuck forever talking about nothing other than talking about nothing other than talking about nothing other than talking about....

Re:definition of 'species' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5344981)

You are confusing yourself unnecessarily.

A species is merely a closed set of living things that cannot reproduce successive generations with any other living things outside of this closed set.

A very clear dividing line. That is all a definition is. You should be able to apply this rule consistently to ascertain whether two living things are in fact members of the same species.

Forcible interbreeding doesn't count! (1)

Ashurbanipal (578639) | more than 11 years ago | (#5345191)

A species is merely a closed set of living things that cannot reproduce successive generations with any other living things outside of this closed set.
That should be do not rather than cannot.

A rather important distinction, very meaningful to those who need to categorize living things.

Re:Forcible interbreeding doesn't count! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5346662)

no I meant 'cannot'. They could try but this would be unsuccessful. see the keyword == successive.

Re:definition of 'species' (1)

Boronx (228853) | more than 11 years ago | (#5345219)

Take some set theory, fool, and then you might figure the definition out. circular it ain't. It's like saying, a word is a string of characters that has at least one whitespace between it and another word.

How about this definition: If two distinct populations of organisms interbreed when in contact with each other, then the two populations are of the same species. If they do not then they are not. It's functionally the same thing.

Wrap your head around this: Sub-species of Arctic terns in Alaska can breed with their neighbors to the east, and so on further east, all the way around the pole tell you get back to Kamchatka (Eastern russia, for you non-Risk players), but *those* terns can't breed with the Alaskan ones. Are they the same species?

Re: excellent example (1)

ubiquitin (28396) | more than 11 years ago | (#5347253)

With all due respect, the claim was never made that the definition of 'species' was circular, only a request for explaining why it _wasn't_. I wonder whether species' is able to have anything beyond a functional definition? Great example of the Arctic terns. Do biologists qualify what is meant by 'species' because of this example? If so, how? Any books you can recommend on this topic?

Filthy crooked cop looking for penpal(s) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5344337)

Here is a picture of me:
http://www.thewest.com.au/20030221/unassigned /tw-u nassigned-3-sto88685-pic17133.html

here is my email address:
lee.hughes@police.wa.gov.au

Damnit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5344340)

Is there even a need to continue searching for proof for something as evident as evolution? Are there still creationists around, I mean really? I guess that might be in the Backwards States, I'm lucky I live in Yurop where we don't have too much of those devolving creationist apes...

(Mod this up Funny, not down flamebait, please. May good posts evolve and bad posts get seeded out by natural selection).

(Amen).

Re:Damnit (0)

danbeck (5706) | more than 11 years ago | (#5344408)

Nope, just trollish flamebate. Ever consider that there is a world out there beyond the 100 feet you can see?

Re:Damnit (1)

Mazzaroth (519229) | more than 11 years ago | (#5346766)

We always should question what is established. This is what Darwin did (and all leading figures of history I might add). Yes evolution is a pretty good theory, but we shall never take it for granted, or perfect.

As an example, Darwin himself wrote
The number of intermediate varieties which have formerly existed on earth must be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links... (this) is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.
Recent studies (read this [amazon.com] ) seem to indicate that evolution is highly non-linear, somewhat chaotic. These studies seem to support Darwin's reserves. We still neet to continue checking and questionning - and discover new things.

Don't get me wrong, I am not a creationist. I strongly believe in the evidences of evolution - I say 'believe' since I didn't make the experiments myself. Besides, evolution simply make sense. Evolution rationnally explains pretty well (and in a debeatable manner I should add ;-) the big lines of species differences and relationships, but it is not perfect - and looking at imperfections might reveal cracks that will lead the way to uncover an even better theory. Remember Newtonian Physics. Newton was right, but not quite... the minor discrepancies led the way to the Einsteinian revolution. Same for the infra-red catastrophe which led the way to quantum mechanics. etc.

I don't think we will invalidate the theory of evolution, but we will surely improve on it... as Darwin would have appreciate I am sure.

Science vs Journalism (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5344349)

Yesterday, Dr Abbott published extensive research proving with DNA analysis that it is the first new species to have evolved naturally in Britain in the past 50 years.

Very poor wording here. There could be dozens of other new species. This is the only one noted in the last 50 years.

Would Protecting it be a good thing? (1)

PepperedApple (645980) | more than 11 years ago | (#5344403)

The biggest threat to the new species is the weedkillers from the council

I wonder if there would be value in preserving the York Groundsel, maybe by forbidding weedkillers in that area, or by transplanting it.

Re:Would Protecting it be a good thing? (1, Funny)

Fredbo (118960) | more than 11 years ago | (#5346716)

You cannot kill that weed, its an endangered species! Nooooooooo!!

There is no such thing as evolution (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5344439)

Come one, the the concept of anemals that chaniging themselfes its stupid hwo can you believ that. It even says in the Holy Bible that God created the woarld end all life how can you be so stupid your wrong bloody evilutionismists.

Re:There is no such thing as evolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5344463)

where do i start? animals cha
oh forget it

Re:There is no such thing as evolution (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5344503)

It even says in the Holy Bible

if you believe everything you read, you must spend a lot of time shopping..

BUY NOW

Re:There is no such thing as evolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5344517)

Fuck you bich. I got my Bible froam a 5 discunt.

Re:There is no such thing as evolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5344548)

wel thaen thiatz okey. souriey two trubbel yo.

30 years (3, Funny)

BornInASmallTown (235371) | more than 11 years ago | (#5344444)

about 30 years ago

I know Slashdot is usually the last one to post news headlines, but this is getting ridiculous.

Re:30 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5344495)

I bet this was also posted three days ago anyway.

Props to all logged in trolls (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5344477)

The evolution model:

1. Bacteria
2. Fish
3. Monkeys
4. Humans
5. ???
6. Profit!!!

Everyone's doing it! (1)

Hubert_Shrump (256081) | more than 11 years ago | (#5344699)

According to the research, it has now spread to spread to several sites around York, but only ever as a weed on disturbed ground.

Duplicating things has spread from /. spread from /. to the times...

False. (4, Funny)

4of12 (97621) | more than 11 years ago | (#5344750)


It is a fertile hybrid which cannot breed with either of its parent species.

This is not all that impressive.

I know a whole bunch of people that are in exactly that same category.

Pretty awful article, really. (3, Insightful)

Ashurbanipal (578639) | more than 11 years ago | (#5344767)

I guess it does hit the important point, that the York Groundsel has been identified as a species. But other than that, it's a pretty sloppy piece of science reporting.

For example,
the first new species to have been naturally created in Britain for more than 50 years.
Yeah, right. There are probably dozens if not thousands more; the only way to prove this statement is to catalog every single living organism in Britain. It may be the first new species known to have been created by unintentional hybridisation.
The discovery of the York groundsel shows that species are created as well as made extinct, and that Charles Darwin was right and the Creationists are wrong.
It shows nothing of the sort. There are many flavors of creationism, and some believe that creation is ongoing through divinely ordained natural processes such as hybridisation. Further, Charles Darwin believed that women were mentally inferior to men - how exactly does this new plant species prove or disprove that part of his belief system?
The creation of new species can takes thousands of years, making it too slow for science to detect.
No, new species typically are created in a single breeding cycle. Think about it, does the first member of a new species stay in the womb for millenia? The generally accepted doctrine of "Punk Eke" or punctuated equilibrium (for which the late S.J. Gould can claim half of the credit) states that species evolve in rapid bursts due to strong environmental pressures such as geologic upheavals, overpopulation, human destructiveness, population isolation or mass extinction events, etc. etc. etc.. This bit about "creation of new species taking thousands of years" is straight out of Darwin, and it's one of the things that this discovery could be said to disprove.
Hybrids are normally sterile, and cannot breed and die out.
No, hybrids are often sterile, and many of those that are not often de-hybridise and revert to parent forms in the wild. Nonetheless, fertile hybrids abound.

Most "scientific" articles written for non-scientists sacrifice some precision for accessibility. But this article has more false statements than real information, by a rather large margin.

unobjective (1)

KMAPSRULE (639889) | more than 11 years ago | (#5344782)

I was Interested in the article until
"and that Charles Darwin was right and the Creationists are wrong. " There goes the objectivity of the study. I was Home Schooled and My Father was an ordained Minister and I had Creation vs. Evolution and Evolution vs. Creation beaten into me to-infinity-and-beyond. The only conclusion I ever came to is that neither side (Creation and Evolution) is able to objectively study this issue because when it boils down to the bare bottom, both Evolution and Creation are a belief systems , so unless the scientist believes neither (Highly unlikely) then the validity of statements such as shows that .... and that Charles Darwin was right is suspect. As a simulation engineer I know that there are times when multiple models fit the system and that sometimes taking the best of several models is the correct solution. But alas science and technology only serve to fuel the Holy Wars.

Re:unobjective (2, Insightful)

nathanh (1214) | more than 11 years ago | (#5345492)

The only conclusion I ever came to is that neither side (Creation and Evolution) is able to objectively study this issue because when it boils down to the bare bottom, both Evolution and Creation are a belief systems.

Then you concluded incorrectly. Evolution has been observed in nature and is an established fact. It is as scientific as the laws of physics. The details can still be argued but that's all.

As a simulation engineer I know that there are times when multiple models fit the system and that sometimes taking the best of several models is the correct solution.

Sure, I'll agree with that, both creationism and evolution are models. The problem is that creationism is a religious belief and evolution is a science. All the outrage in the world cannot change that.

Re:unobjective (0)

KMAPSRULE (639889) | more than 11 years ago | (#5346757)

the problem is that creationism is a religious belief and evolution is a science... I have to Disagree, Evolution is not a religion in the fact that it isn't tied to a Religous figure Like Christ or Budda and/or included as part of a religion's core documentation as to why we are here. But religion comes in many forms and there are people to whom science is their religion, because I believe that Evolution is a form of Naturalism. Evolution and Creation are BOTH theories, Evolution has been observed in nature the same could be said of Creation. Evolution is extolled as science, but when you get down to it it is still a belief of a mostly hypothetical model of or universe. I also disagree with your statement It is as scientific as the laws of physics. as many of Evolution's theories don't even follow the laws of Thermodynamics. But disagreement and multiple potential answers keep the search alive :)

Re:unobjective (1)

nathanh (1214) | more than 11 years ago | (#5347073)

But religion comes in many forms and there are people to whom science is their religion, because I believe that Evolution is a form of Naturalism.

There are people to whom football is a religion, but football itself is a sport not a religion.

Evolution has been observed in nature

the same could be said of Creation

James Randi is offering a large cash sum to anybody who provides any natural observations (aka proof) of Creationism. Nobody has collected.

It is as scientific as the laws of physics.

as many of Evolution's theories don't even follow the laws of Thermodynamics.

This simply proves you know nothing about either evolution or thermodynamics. There is nothing in evolution that is disproven by thermodynamics. This tired old chestnut is repeated by the fundamentalist faithful and debunked so often it has frequenty flyer points. Use google and educate yourself.

Re:unobjective (0)

KMAPSRULE (639889) | more than 11 years ago | (#5347381)

My last post for the day.... Use google and educate yourself Uncalled for..I am educated , I was not pushing either Creationism Or Evolution, My points were just that a) it takes Just as much faith to believe in God Creating the Earth as it does to believe that humans "evolved" from apes and b) human nature is to use science or any other means to prove ones own believe system or disprove anothers and in doing so get to the point of vehemently fighting over it with each other. It'l be interesting what science has to say 100 years from now as to the origins of our Universe ...thanks for the discussion :)

Re:unobjective (1)

nathanh (1214) | more than 11 years ago | (#5347455)

Uncalled for..I am educated

Education is an ongoing process. You don't become "educated" and then stop.

it takes Just as much faith to believe in God Creating the Earth as it does to believe that humans "evolved" from apes

Evolution does not claim that we evolved from apes. It claims that humans and apes both evolved from a common ancestor. There is plenty of strong evidence to support this claim.

Faith is not required to believe this. Just comprehension of the science.

Evolution in Action (1)

zenray (9262) | more than 11 years ago | (#5345612)

When I read the phrase 'Evolution in Action" I think of suicide. From the book _Oath of Feality_ by Jerry Pournelly(sp).

Let Nature Take its Course (1)

mdielmann (514750) | more than 11 years ago | (#5346025)

And exactly how did nature create city councils and people whose job it is to kill weeds? Kind of puts a kibosh on the whole environmental movement, don't you think?

How can he be so sure? (1)

Snodgrass (446409) | more than 11 years ago | (#5346274)

I mean, isn't it a little far out to presume that we have cataloged every plant species known to man? For all he knows somebody took a trip to Costa Rica, tromped around the jungle for a while collecting weed seeds in their shoes and socks, and then left them in the dirt on their way back home. Who's to say what plants are left to discover in the rain forests/jungles?

I'm not saying it's not possible that it's evolution, but I would contend that it's not enough justification for the self-righteous back-patting of the author.

Re:How can he be so sure? (1)

Snodgrass (446409) | more than 11 years ago | (#5346310)

errr...I guess if they are known to man then they're probably cataloged...let's change "known to man" to "on earth".

Thanks.

The new species: what's new? (1)

bardencj (122074) | more than 11 years ago | (#5346838)

As a skeptical scientist who tends not to fully accept anything which cannot be demonstrated -- even the much-vaunted theory of evolution -- I find this speciation evidence very interesting. It would appear that macroevolution has a valuable missing link in this new plant.

But does this new weed, or any others like it, demonstrate any unique functionality? What can it do that its parents could not? The article is obviously not in the right forum to provide such details. Nevertheless, I'm curious, because I feel that the "irreducible complexity" argument remains to be answered until such a new functionality can be found.

Now if they found a weed that can breathe fire, I'd be sold!

Imaginary Scientist-Creationist dialogue (2, Interesting)

Mazzaroth (519229) | more than 11 years ago | (#5347329)

I wonder what would be the next Creationist's intervention in this imaginary dialogue I just created...

What do you think?

Creationist: God created everything 8000 years ago.

Scientist: A lot of evidences indicate that the Universe is a lot older. Astrophysicists and Cosmologist, armed with giant telescopes, estimiate the universe is 13 billion years old. Geologist are saying Earth is about 4.5 billion years. Paleontologists have dinosaurs's bones 200 millions years old. All physical and verifiable evidences prooves you wrong - the universe is older than 8000 years.

Creationnist: God simply created the universe and everything already old and ongoing. Everything have been created 8000 years ago. He created the stars already old, the bones in the rocks, everything.

Scientist: If everything has been created already old like you say, how do you differenciate between the real old (your 8000 years) and the faked old (my 13 billion years)? Since I am sure God did not do any mistake, the faked old is probably perfect. How can you proove then that everything has been created 8000 years ago and why would God deceive us that way?

Creationnist: The real old is 8000 years because it is written in the Bible. It is written that God created the Universe in 6 days. If you add the numbers up (with the generations describe in the Bible and so on), you reach about 8000 years. Why would God do such thing? It is impossible for us to know.

Scientist: Let me use your reasonning. How about this then: God created everything 10 seconds ago. Everything have been created already old and olgoing - our conversation and our memories included. Even the Bible have just been created 10 second ago with the intent to make you believe everything have been created 8000 years ago. The Universe have also been created 10 seconds ago with the intention to make me believe everything has been created 13 billion years ago.

Creationnist: How can you proove this?

Scientist: I can't. In my reasonning, God is perfect and created everything perfectly. There is no difference between the faked and the real. I simply just got a revelation.
You see, the problem with such a reasonning is that everything become arbitrary. We are the puppets of a God that deceives us into believing whatever He wishes so. We can then believe everything we wish (or got 'revealed'). The only common ground become the faked reality, the one where Astrophysicists, Cosmologists, Paleontologists and so on agrees on - 13 billion years Universe. The faked reality then become the only real one...

jererere (0)

Drummer_Dan (648348) | more than 11 years ago | (#5347339)

uncatalogued plant in wasteland next to the York railway station car park in 1979

5 times in 100 years!? (2)

ggwood (70369) | more than 11 years ago | (#5347521)

How many people saw this little gem:

"It is a very rare event -- it is only known to have happened five times in the last hundred years" Dr Abbott said. It has happened twice before in the UK -- the Spartina anglica was discovered in Southampton 100 years ago, and the Welsh groundsel, discovered in 1948. "

The "It" is not explicitly defined in the text, but it appears to refer to a new species occuring: one which cannot breed with it's parent species. (Or to be more precise, a new genetic mutant occuring which, by not being able to breed with its parents, yet being able to breed with like mutants, qualifies as a new species.)

So this is not the first new species (?) to have evolved recently. Apparently, there is some evidence that 4 (or 5?) other species have come into existance recently - and 3 of 5 (or 3 of 6 - sorry the article is vague on this point) have occured in England. One would assume this is because lots of people stare at plants in England, and that the flora species are well known. But imagine the potential for large numbers of species to be evolving all over the world all the time.

A simple calculation could proceede as follows:
* Assume we found all new species in England. 3 per 100 years. The land area of England is 12.7x10^6 hectares.

The total land of Earth (which is productive) is about 3278x10^6 hectares (source:http://www.upstarts.net.au/site/ideas/syst em_crash/system_crash_resources.html)

Now multiply the rate (3/100 years) by the fraction of surface area of the Earth England occupies and we get: 7.7 species per year.

Two notes:
(1) there are *large* numbers of species going extinct per year (estimates range from 10,000 to 100,000 per year! Source: http://www.whole-systems.org/extinctions.html)
(2 ) this calculation assumes a uniform creation of new species all over the (productive) land area of Earth. One would assume areas with more speciation would experience more growth.
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