Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Butterfly Unlocks Evolution Secret

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the gotta-love-them-butterflies dept.

Science 1130

Anonymous Coward writes "The BBC has an article about a dramatic discovery in the quest for understanding evolution. From the article: 'Why one species branches into two is a question that has haunted evolutionary biologists since Darwin. Given our planet's rich biodiversity, "speciation" clearly happens regularly, but scientists cannot quite pinpoint the driving forces behind it. Now, researchers studying a family of butterflies think they have witnessed a subtle process, which could be forcing a wedge between newly formed species.'"

cancel ×

1130 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

[witty stuff here] (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13152399)

Nothing for you to see here, move along..

Wait, wtf?

Evolution of submissions (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13152403)

And in a week or two, this submission will evolve only slightly and will reappear, slightly reworded, as another species of submission! Ain't evolution great.

Re:Evolution of submissions (5, Funny)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152519)

No, but God might decide that is deserves a repost so that some more people can learn about evolution and go to hell.

fsdf (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13152404)

firstposr

What the hell...? (-1, Offtopic)

Fantasy Football (886971) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152407)

Zonk posted it, and I can't find a dupe for it. What the hell's going on here?!

Can someone please find me the dupe? I'm freaking out, man...

Re:What the hell...? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13152419)

who are you and why do you care so much?

Re:What the hell...? (2, Interesting)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152440)

Zonk has evolved. Duh.

Re:What the hell...? (3, Funny)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152486)

Zonk can still mate with Zonk and is still classified as Zonk but as we can tell he is beginning the split into a new species which won't maintain compatibility for long (people will have higher expectations of him).

Thunderous surprise... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13152516)

It has been well known that butterflies are responsible for all of history for decades. Just
go back and read Bradbury again.

So what's so new about this article anyway?

Wasn't this obvious? (5, Interesting)

nokilli (759129) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152413)

Mutations occur, and when they occur in parallel for members of the same species, and those mutations survive into succeeding generations, you achieve speciation. End of story. What am I missing?

Now, if you want to talk about butterflies and evolution, then answer for me how it is that butterflies could have evolved in the first place. You're talking about a two-stage organism here, one stage does nothing but eat, the other stage does nothing but procreate. Which came first?

If it was the caterpillar, how is it that it suddenly figures out how to create a cocoon, lay dormant for a winter, then emerge as a completely different creature? They obviously had the means for procreation on their own, so why bother becoming a butterfly?

If it was the butterfly, why even bother with the caterpillar stage? If you can already fly around and stuff, why bother crawling?

People cite all these other examples trying to bring down evolution, and to me they never succeed, it's obvious to me for instance how eyes evolved. But caterpillars turning into butterflies still boggles my mind.
--
Why didn't you know? [tinyurl.com]

Re:Wasn't this obvious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13152429)

The reason is kinda obvious: None of them neccesarily came "first".

Think about it for a while. :-)

Re:Wasn't this obvious? (5, Interesting)

Got Laid, Can't Code (897495) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152456)

No, it's non-obvious. You missed the point--the cohabiting species have special marks which allow them to choose to mate only with their own species instead of interbreeding. It isn't chance, it's choice.

As for the caterpillar/butterfly thing, it is mysterious, but I'd like to point out that some of the simplest animals on earth go through life stages. Jellyfish, for example, hydrae, and many other invertebrates go through various stages of life. Amphibians do this as well.

As far as I can tell, the reason behind it is a reproductive strategy. The butterfly, and other insects, has hundreds of offspring, only a few of which will survive to adulthood and then have hundreds more offspring.

Humans do not go through such dramatic stages as a butterfly, but a butterfly might be amazed to find out that humans survive for 13 years before reaching reproductive age!

Re:Wasn't this obvious? (4, Funny)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152482)

a butterfly might be amazed to find out that humans survive for 13 years before reaching reproductive age!

Cue the jokes about slashdotters...

Re:Wasn't this obvious? (4, Funny)

shobadobs (264600) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152515)

No! Why don't you cue the jokes! Every friggin time, I have to be the one cuing the jokes! Well this time, you're going to have to get off your lazy behind and do it yourself. I quit.

Re:Wasn't this obvious? (1)

grammar fascist (239789) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152530)

As far as I can tell, the reason behind it is a reproductive strategy. The butterfly, and other insects, has hundreds of offspring, only a few of which will survive to adulthood and then have hundreds more offspring.

The grandparent isn't asking about its advantages, he's asking about its mechanism.

Re:Wasn't this obvious? (1)

Feyr (449684) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152481)

i can see one very strong reason why a caterpillar would want to be a butterfly: need

say for exemple, at some point in time, the habitat changed, food was no longer abundant or was highly contested.
a caterpillar would "evolve" into something else in order to eat. that would have started slowly, maybe small ugly fonctionnal wings. then later evolve as something better looking as a way to woo better mates

You didn't RTFA. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13152490)

The article says that the mutations have different wing-markings, and descendents prefer mating with those of the same wing-markings, keeping the two paths separate.

Re:Wasn't this obvious? (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152493)

I think you're wondering about irreducible complexity. You need to click here [talkdesign.org] .

Re:Wasn't this obvious? (4, Informative)

schtum (166052) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152505)

IANAEB (Evolutionary Biologist), so I'm just going by the article here, but it seems like the process itself was obvious (or at least pre-supposed) as you suggest, it's the chance to witness it in nature that's exciting here.

I can't really answer your butterfly question, but I can point out that every insect has multiple stages of life. Flies start out as maggots, ... that's all i got. IANAEntomologyst either.

While we're asking the tough questions, it seems like the one big gun the Divine Design people have left is in the differing number of genes between species. If all offspring have the same number of genes as their parents, and all species on earth are evolved from one original life form, shouldn't all creatures have the same number of genes? Are there any theories out there regarding how genes are added or subtracted over time?

Re:Wasn't this obvious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13152548)

Random chance. If you took a survey of human beings, you would find that some have more genes than others. Oops. For example, there are people running around with XYY, rather than just XX or XY. What would happen if somehow the XYY's decided to only mate with one another. After a few hundred generations, it may be possible that the XYY's could not mate with the rest of us. Instant species! And a species with one more gene.

Happens all the time.

Re:Wasn't this obvious? (5, Interesting)

iamplupp (728943) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152566)

"If all offspring have the same number of genes as their parents, and all species on earth are evolved from one original life form, shouldn't all creatures have the same number of genes? Are there any theories out there regarding how genes are added or subtracted over time?"

There are many mechanisms for adding, changing, and subtracting genetical information (translocations, mutations, deletations, insertions, non-disjunction etc etc. In the vast majority of cases the results are death for the offspring but in a rare few cases it results in viable and even rarer, a better adapted offspring. For an everyday example: People with Downs Syndrome have either an extra 23rd chromosome or a robertsonian translocation with pretty much the same added genetic material as a result. That means they have roughly 2 percent more genes than other people...

Re:Wasn't this obvious? (1)

jonathan_ingram (30440) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152527)

In a more general context you're talking about the existence of larval stages in the lifecycle of certain animals, and the interesting thing isn't the butterfly itself, but the larval/adult division. The mechanisms through which these divisions evolved are still the subject of much debate, but it's likely to be much more complicated than an adult-butterfly-shaped-thing 'suddenly acquiring' a caterpillar-shaped-thing stage, or vice versa.

Once this life cycle appears on the scene, you can easily see how it could lead to a butterfly. The larval stage becomes more and more specialised toward eating, and the adult stage becomes specialised toward procreation, and creating as many children as it can.

Re:Wasn't this obvious? (4, Informative)

jonathan_ingram (30440) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152602)

While we're on the subject, I might as well reply to myself and point out a selective advantage to multi-stage lifecycles, namely that the different stages do not compete with each other: they eat different food, and fill different evolutionary niches. This means that in times of scarcity there is little advantage in adults behaving like those of some non-metamorphising species, who will kill youngsters, as they are in direct competition with them for resources.

It is also very unlikely that full-blown metamorphosis arrived on the scene ex nilho. There is apparently ample evidence in the historical record for incomplete metamorphosis, via a 'nymph' stage.

You may find the following page interesting: "How did the process of metamorphosis evolve?" [madsci.org] .

Chickens and eggs (1)

HermanAB (661181) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152541)

Same problem - two stages - but both gets eaten... ;-)

Re:Wasn't this obvious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13152581)

Consider the cricket. Cricket nymphs greatly resemble adult crickets, and differ primarily in the absence of wings. It's very difficult for an insect the size of an egg to fly immediately upon hatching, so some juvenile period is pretty much required while the wings develop.

Imagine, if you will, a cricket like insect about one hundred and thirty million years ago. A new food source (angiosperms) are beginning to become available, but only to insects that can fly fast and far enough to take advantage of it. So we have two different food sources required for this protofly: one that can make the best use of wings, and one that can allow the insect enough time to survive long enough to grow them. Furthermore, these different foods are requiring increasingly different digestive systems as evolution wears on. What's an insect to do?

Simple: metamorphose. Live as a dirt crawling primitive for a while, then shift over as quickly as possible to soaring and eating liquid lunches. Since you're going to be sedentary *anyway,* might as well develop your wings there too. Having them will only hinder you if you can't use them. Finally, a thick skin and/or unobtrusive appearance will help you survive more often while you're rearranging your insides. Better add that too.

From that point on, you basically have two different evolutionary paths connected by a short hibernation. Larvae can evolve the traits that suit larvae, and they can always switch over to whatever butterflys are doing at the time.

One species into two? (2, Insightful)

felipin-sioux (772177) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152414)

Oh, I remember that! Isn't it on kindergarden, when we throwed colored tint into a piece of paper and folded it on the middle? Then open it again and you've got a butterfly!

Re:One species into two? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13152532)

Oh, I remember that! Isn't it on kindergarden, when we throwed colored tint into a piece of paper and folded it on the middle? Then open it again and you've got a butterfly!

I always saw an axe murderer engaged in a satanic sexual ritual with the Prime Minister of Mars.

But I told my psychiatrist it looked like a butterfly.

Re:One species into two? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13152583)

Isn't it on kindergarden, when we throwed colored tint into a piece of paper and folded it on the middle?

And we never left, I see.

Damn butterflies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13152416)

I don't remember, do they eat or do they produce butter?

Butterflies... (5, Funny)

ejito (700826) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152421)

are racist...

Re:Butterflies... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13152544)

No, that would be Speciest; which, by the way, is not at all wrong from a survivalist point of view. That is, they discriminate only so far as to ensure the maximum potential for survival in their offspring.

However, Specieism /could/ be as morally wrong as Racism, if practiced by intelligent individuals in under a non-survivalist pretext.

Kind of reminds me of that famous Terry Pratchett quote from "Witches Abroad":

"Racism was not a problem on the Discworld, because -- what with trolls and dwarfs and so on -- speciesism was more interesting. Black and white lived in perfect harmony and ganged up on green."

Remember, evolution is just a theory. (-1, Troll)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152423)

Evolution is just a theory. There are other theories as well. Please make sure your kids get taught every possible theory or you will probably wind up in hell... or worse.

Re:Remember, evolution is just a theory. (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152442)

Here's a thought:

The important reason NOT to only teach evolution is to teach children good science--so they know that even the most basic parts of science are open to question, which is why we know that they're probably right.

Re:Remember, evolution is just a theory. (1)

Silverlancer (786390) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152458)

But the only "good science" theory of development is evolution. There is no other theory that has the same sort of factual backing. Now there are many theories of evolution--all of which are taught in schools. Punctuated equilibirium, Peripatric evolution, Darwinian natural selection, etc.

Re:Remember, evolution is just a theory. (4, Insightful)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152469)

It is one thing to teach that theories aren't solid. But it is quite another to teach that every theory is equally valid. There is an extensive fossil record, etc. for evolution. Does this mean that God couldn't have just planted it there to trick us? No. But at the same time if there is a "God" that would do that, then he could also reverse all of the laws of physics tomorrow. Does this mean that we should discredit them? No. We should simply teach that based on past observation, this is how the think x works. We aren't sure, but we have a lot more backing it up than we do for every other theory about x.

Re:Remember, evolution is just a theory. (0, Flamebait)

NineNine (235196) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152457)

I have a "theory"... it's about this invisible man who lives in the sky. His name is "Jesus H. Christ". He's responsible for everything good in the world. He's everywhere all the time and you can talk to him anytime you want. He's very nice if you believe in him. If you believe in him, you get to live with him when you die. If you don't, then you're in bad shape. Oh yeah, and he hates gay people, and thinks they should all die. That's a funny theory, huh?

Re:Remember, evolution is just a theory. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13152562)

actually as a moslem i was taught by moslems and christians that jesus' messagae [muslims belive him a prophet bt not the son of god]
wasa live like me - be nice and inclusive
but no matter what - i forgive and we will all go to heaven.

perobably not very good for business [churches moques and temple revenues down , partying goes up] probably why they preach hate in the name of one of the first anarachist reveolutionary

Re:Remember, evolution is just a theory. (4, Funny)

pointguy (761068) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152470)

Evolution is just a theory. There are other theories as well. Please make sure your kids get taught every possible theory or you will probably wind up in hell... or worse.

Not that I believe in it, but what's worse than hell?

Re:Remember, evolution is just a theory. (3, Funny)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152503)

My mother-in-law's house?

Re:Remember, evolution is just a theory. (1)

pointguy (761068) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152558)

Evolution is just a theory. There are other theories as well. Please make sure your kids get taught every possible theory or you will probably wind up in hell... or worse.

Not that I believe in it, but what's worse than hell?

My mother-in-law's house?


So if I don't teach my kids alternative theories your mother-in-law will abduct them? That gives me an idea...

What's worse than hell? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13152567)

Listening to creationists rants over and over without end.

Re:Remember, evolution is just a theory. (5, Insightful)

Engineer Chris (891425) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152477)

Evolution isn't a "theory" in that sense of the word, any more than the theory of gravity is "just a theory". Both are fact as far as the scientific community is concerned. And what could be worse than hell? Could it be ignorance?

Re:Remember, evolution is just a theory. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13152573)

Considering that ignorance is bliss, and bliss comes with Windows [google.com] ...well, maybe.

Worse than hell (1)

HermanAB (661181) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152617)

would be the realization that they were all wrong all along... ;-)

Re:Remember, evolution is just a theory. (1, Offtopic)

datafr0g (831498) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152621)

Evolution isn't a "theory" in that sense of the word, any more than the theory of gravity is "just a theory". Both are fact as far as the scientific community is concerned.

If evolution is "fact" then why the need to study it further?
To me, a confirmed fact would mean that we know (that we know) 100% of everything about the theroy to be correct - therefore, why study it further?

Don't get me wrong, my beliefs sway strongly towards evolution as there is a lot of evidence associated with it. But it is still a theroy - it's just a lot more plausible than many others.

Re:Remember, evolution is just a theory. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13152483)

Please make sure your kids get taught every possible theory or you will probably wind up in hell... or worse.

I refuse to worship a god that claims to be all-loving, but threatens us with eternal torture if we don't do what he says.

Re:Remember, evolution is just a theory. (1)

buzzonga (666883) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152523)

duh, if you replace he with "she" it all starts to make a bit more sense...

Re:Remember, evolution is just a theory. (1)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152626)

I love it. I just wish my girlfriend had a sense of humor; then I could tell it to her, too.

There are sometimes many reasons... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13152439)

... why a code fork happens.

Yes!!! (4, Insightful)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152450)

This is why I love science,new and exciting discoveries every day and answers to so many interesting unanswered questions. A very welcome change to the religious people's "God did it! now go pray".

I am sure that given enough time, scientists can plug holes in the theory of evolution and answer questions that critics throw at it like. Remember, a theory can always be changed and disproved by evidence unlike intelligent design which can't be disproved(and no one seems to have proved it either).

And before someone starts an intelligent design rant, please remember, unprovable assumptions like 'there's a naturally occuring ipod on the dark side of the moon, since you can't disprove it, it exists' have no place in science at all. Also remember, science is self criticizing and self correcting, read up on the criticism on string theory if you have any doubts.

Re:Yes!!! (5, Insightful)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152462)

I am sure that given enough time, scientists can plug holes in the theory of evolution and answer questions that critics throw at it [...]

I find your faith refreshing...

Re:Yes!!! (2, Insightful)

BillyBlaze (746775) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152494)

I can disprove it: There is no dark side of the moon, thus, there couldn't be an iPod there. :-)

Otherwise, point taken.

Re:Yes!!! (1)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152521)

Err, by the dark side of the moon, i meant the side of the moon that always faces away from the earth because of it rotation. I did not mean that one side of the moon is always unilluminated by the sun.

Muwahaha (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13152577)

I can disprove it: There is no dark side of the moon, thus, there couldn't be an iPod there. :-)

Not only is there an iPod on the dark side of the moon, but the Dark Side of the Moon is on the iPod.

I find all these evolutionary threads amusing. I know for a fact that God exists, but I'm still trying to figure out if evolution does. People do make a good case about evolution.

Re:Yes!!! (0, Troll)

provoix (730200) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152529)

sortof like the unprovable assumption of evolution????? a theory is a theory my friend, unless you have a blog entry from 10,000 BC (sorry...new earth dates) But then again, the sheer numeric improbability of evolution is science. Sorry, I forgot.

Re:Yes!!! (3, Interesting)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152585)

It has been repeated again and again that theory of evolution discusses how evolution works, not if evolution takes place or not. Kind of like the theory of gravity, which does not discuss if gravity exists or not since we can see it all around us, but how gravity works.

Similary there is a LOT of evidence for evolution all around us. The theory part is just how it works and this is a new step in that direction

Also, I meant 'undisprovable theory of intelligent design' not 'unprovable'. Evolution is easily disprovable, just find human remains in a dinosaur, or humans at the same level and dating in the ground as a dinosaur before the supposed advent of primates, or find highly advanced related creatures all which lived at the same time in earth's crust. In other words, dig dig. But how the hell would one go about disproving intelligent design?

Re:Yes!!! (5, Insightful)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152631)

Sorry for the second reply, but I failed to address this gem: " the sheer numeric improbability of evolution is science"

Suppose u have a huge roulette wheel with 10,000 numbers around it and u spin it and it arrives at a number, lets say 6283. The probability of it arriving at 6283 is 1/10000. But it did happen didn't it?

Life on earth is similar to it and if you want to look at all the failed attempts, take a telescope and see how many planets and stars have inhospitable planets. Those show the other cases in which the right mix didn't work out.

Also, remember that once evolution gets started, it's anything but random and probabistic. Natural selection and survival of the fittest pushes life to better and more complex forms.

I'm a born-again evangelical christian (-1, Troll)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152460)

I've known the answer to this problem for as long as I can remember, so did my mother and father. All christians know that that genetic mutation is simply the will of God. For so many years scientists puzzled over how a bee wings were capable of lifting it.. had they known the bee simply floats on the spirit of God, instead they search endless deadends, without hope and the realization of their inevitable damnation to the burning pits of hell.

Re:I'm a born-again evangelical christian (1)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152499)

Yay! Are there many born-again evangelical Christian adult films?

Re:I'm a born-again evangelical christian (3, Interesting)

CSMastermind (847625) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152543)

Hold on here. I'm not going to in any way turn anti-Christian here but there are some misconceptions I'd like to clear up, not with your post but in general since you brought up the topic. First of all, evolution exists. Every year humans slowly but surely get taller. It happens. Evolution is a varifiable fact. Second, it's exactly like you said. There's no reason religion and science need to clash with eachother. If you view genetic mutation as the will of God, everything works out just fine.

I don't mean to seem condesending but I taught a class for my chruch's bible school this summer. I was teaching 6th and 7th graders. The material I was supposed to present to them would have easily been disproven by any 4th grade science textbook (well maybe not one from Kentucky). The worst part was that the kids were clueless. I asked how long ago they thought Jesus died. One of them in all seriousness thought Jesus died 30 years ago. Yeah that's right, we love Jesus because he stopped Hitler!!! I told them Jesus was a Jew and they didn't believe me till I got a Bible to show them. I'm sorry. I don't know if it's bad parenting or what but if we're to have an open discussion on evolution or any other subject that's touchy for the chruch we need to have some basic understanding about religion itself.

Re:I'm a born-again evangelical christian (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13152607)

First of all, evolution exists. Every year humans slowly but surely get taller.

this is probably nutrition based. and there'll be an upper limit to height, because various organs will run into trouble in certain body form factors (e.g. heart cannot pump blood properly in "giants").

Re:I'm a born-again evangelical christian (1)

HermanAB (661181) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152578)

...and I'm a Borne again, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddist Confusion...

All it takes is One World, One People and One Crazy MothaFukka!

Re:I'm a born-again evangelical christian (1)

Phragmen-Lindelof (246056) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152627)

Would you float "on the spirit of God" after jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge? No? Then a bee must be more devout than you.

Now God is Omnipotent, Omniscient, Benevolent and Personal; since He cares about me and is infinitely powerful and all-knowing, he will have a place in heaven for my pet bee. In heaven, who will fly, my pet bee or you?

so... (5, Funny)

passion (84900) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152461)

they've decided to fork?

Geek speciation (5, Funny)

truckaxle (883149) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152464)

FTA

The other mechanism that can theoretically divide a species is "reproductive isolation". This occurs when organisms are not separated physically, but "choose" not to breed with each other thereby causing genetic isolation, which amounts to the same thing.

Does this mean that geeks are soon to speciate and then ultimate fail as the male/female ratio is horrendously out of wack?

Re:Geek speciation (1)

The Amazing Fish Boy (863897) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152542)

This occurs when organisms are not separated physically, but "choose" not to breed with each other...
Does this mean that geeks are soon to speciate and then ultimate fail as the male/female ratio is horrendously out of wack?

It depends. When they use quotation marks on "choose", do they mean the species legitimately chooses not to mate? Or do they mean in the same way a geek "chooses" not to mate? (The same way we "choose" to get all sweaty, nervous and stuttering if a female operator happens to pick up the phone when we're calling tech support.)

--
(Would now be a good time to introduce my Theory of Relative Lesbianism?)

Jif unlocks evolution secret (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13152471)

The BBC has an article about a dramatic discovery in the quest for understanding peanut butter. From the article: 'Why one brand branches into two (creamy and extra crunchy) is a question that has haunted consumer researchers since Wells. Given our supermarket's rich selection of brands, "crunchification" clearly happens regularly, but consumers cannot quite pinpoint the driving forces behind it. Now, marketers studying a family of Des Plains, IL think they have witnessed a subtle process, which could be forcing a wedge between newly formed peanut butter manufacturing processes

This Just In! (1)

cloudkj (685320) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152472)

This just in, "Caterpillar Discovers Cure For Cancer."

Take that, creationists... (1, Flamebait)

Colm Buckley (589428) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152473)

Expect really concentrated attacks on this research by the redneck^Wcreationist brigade. "But speciation has never been observed" has been the strongest rallying cry of evolution-deniers for more than a century...

Creationists attacks (5, Insightful)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152574)

>"But speciation has never been observed" has been the strongest rallying cry of evolution-deniers for more than a century...

And it has been a falsehood for at least half that time. Speciation has been observed in both the field an in the lab... repeatedly. Creationists trumpet the no observed speciation line until they are called on it, and then it becomes, "But they're still [fruit flies, fish, whatever]," The moving goal posts are the hallmark of creationism.

Remember, the "scientists" at the Institution for Creation Research have to sign an oath that nothing they "discover" will ever conflict with a litteral interpretation of the Bible.

This seems like half the story (2, Interesting)

gadzook33 (740455) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152474)

Maybe I'm missing something but doesn't the question just now become, "Why don't the butterflies want to breed with butterflies that look slightly different?" In speciation through geographic separation, the answer is clear: they simply can't so there's no choice to be made. In this case the tendency to make that choice must be the result of evolution as well. This may make sense but it certainly isn't as clear cut as geographic separation. The snake seems to be eating its tail here.

Re:This seems like half the story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13152608)

and hence you have just discovered that racism is genetic?

Re:This seems like half the story (2, Informative)

iamplupp (728943) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152614)

"Why don't the butterflies want to breed with butterflies that look slightly different?"

Quoted from TFA:

"The reason evolution favours the emergence of a "team strip" in related species, or sub species, living side-by-side is that hybridisation is not usually a desirable thing.

Although many of the Agrodiaetus species are close enough genetically to breed, their hybrid offspring tend to be rather weedy and less likely to thrive. "

Early man had sex with chimps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13152489)

It's said this 'team striping' has happened before with early man and chimps. Early chimps were no more hairy then Italian women, but the disastrous results lead chimpanzees to get as hairy as Turkish women which discouraged human-chimp hybrids.

Dogs (0, Offtopic)

truckaxle (883149) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152502)

After reading the the article I wonder why dogs, for example, do not fracture into mutliple species? Great Danes for example do not repoduce with say Boston Terriers. Their genetic line are continously reinforced and isolated.

Re:Dogs (2, Interesting)

NineNine (235196) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152536)

There is no evolution going on in dogs any more. Breeding is (generally) very controlled. Dogs are simply genetic toys that people like to play with. Hell, chihuahuas should not even exist. They cannot be born naturally... a cesarian section is required because the dogs' heads are too big for the birth canal. Dogs are genetic toys, and since breeders aren't geneticists, [purebred] dogs are getting sicker with each passing generation. Mutts, on the other hand, are a different story.

Re:Dogs (1)

dustmite (667870) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152563)

They probably would if given enough time, AND if specific lines are kept apart, AND if there are survival pressures that favour certain traits within lines over others. Given the incredibly tiny time span allowed so far though, and the lack of clear survival pressures, I don't see why they should have.

Re:Dogs (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13152565)

Dog aren't doing the selection of a mate, the humans are. If given the chance, the dogs would breed themselves into mutts and given the time and lack of human pressure, might breed themselves into a more wolf-like state. I think dogs also show that, for them, visual layout must not be very important for mate selection. Radically different visual breeds will eagerly mate with each other. It must be sounds and smells that matter for them, and humans aren't doing much selection to change those traits.

WRONG! (1)

The Amazing Fish Boy (863897) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152569)

Great Danes for example do not repoduce with say Boston Terriers.

I think you will find that with a little Viagra, duct tape, creative patting, and yes, even a little TLC, you can get most any dog to mate with any other dog.

--

My home videos are all saran-wrapped.

A duck is a duck is a duck. (0, Troll)

provoix (730200) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152510)

Evidently Harvard would have us believe that a butterfly that looks like a butterfly, smells like a butterfly, and flies like a butterfly, but has a different colour stipe on its wing....

...has become something other than a butterfly????

Perhaps some day they will begin to utilize the same level of improbability in their research to discover why people care about this article.

Then again, harvard is busy trying to remember the words environmental adaptation and consequence.

When the butterflies start doing math...then send me the article.

Re:A duck is a duck is a duck. (1)

NineNine (235196) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152546)

Evidently Harvard would have us believe that a butterfly that looks like a butterfly, smells like a butterfly, and flies like a butterfly, but has a different colour stipe on its wing.... ...has become something other than a butterfly????

Please read the article again. You very obviously didn't understand it first time through. The discovery is very subtle, and seemingly obvious, but scientists are all about proof, so what was once assumed can now be proved better. That makes this important.

Re:A duck is a duck is a duck. (1)

grammar fascist (239789) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152582)

Evidently Harvard would have us believe that a butterfly that looks like a butterfly, smells like a butterfly, and flies like a butterfly, but has a different colour stipe on its wing....

They're saying that they may have found a mechanism whereby speciation occurs in the absence of geographic barriers.

It's important to note: they have NOT observed speciation itself. Both creationists and evolutionists can breathe easy - the status quo has not changed, however much uninformed evolutionists say it has.

Me, I'm not going to sit with either camp for a long while yet. I'm certainly not dumb enough to say "given our planet's rich biodiversity, 'speciation' clearly happens regularly...." That'd be begging the question [wikipedia.org] .

Race Mixing? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13152513)

So, what does this study mean?

After reading this article I got the impression that butterflies developed a natual mechanism to discourage inter-breeding with genetically distant butterflies (and to encourage breeding with only closely related butterflies) to promote the retainment of traits beneficial to that particular subgroup of butterflies and to promote forward evolution.

How does this translate to humans? Is this basically saying that race mixing is inheritly deviant to nature or to natural evolution?

Reproductive Isolation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13152518)

So is the human race going to evolve into seperate species based on skin colour then?
I feel that this result would be a bad study to quote in a casual argument supporting evolution because of the taboos surrounding perceived sexuality and race in general.

Re:Reproductive Isolation? (2, Interesting)

dustmite (667870) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152603)

Different races probably would have eventually evolved into different species if they'd been and remained isolated for another million years or so (unlikely), but the amount of "intermingling" is now dramatically on the rise, and seemingly set only to increase, so it seems unlikely that it will ever happen now. But no races have ever really been truly isolated anyway ... global trade and travel etc. have been going on all the time for thousands of years.

Creation (-1, Troll)

SamSeaborn (724276) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152525)

We were created, man. Get used to it.

Sam

Re:Creation (2, Insightful)

GrahamCox (741991) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152561)

We were created, man. Get used to it.

No we weren't. Get used to it. And Grow Up.

Re:Creation (-1, Troll)

SamSeaborn (724276) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152600)

>> We were created, man. Get used to it.

> No we weren't. Get used to it. And Grow Up.

Yeah, I'm looking forward to growing up because, as I understand it, I'm likely to evolve more fingers so I can type faster. Yeah, and my brain will evolve so it can transmit signals telepathically to my PC so I won't have to reach for my mouse.

You know, I write code for a living, and I'm constantly amazed how when I get to work the next morning objects have evolved that implement my interfaces.

And last year an old Pentium 3 I had evolved into a P4. It's quite amazing, all of these things just happening on their own with no designer required. It's so cool!

;-)
Sam

Re:Creation (1)

pintomp3 (882811) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152618)

no. man evolved. trolls didn't

Like attracts like... (1)

HermanAB (661181) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152531)

What is new? Eventually even mankind will evolve into different species.

Um, I assumed the answer to the question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13152538)

Um, I assumed the answer to the question "why does speciation happen" is "why not"?

Butterflies are... (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152552)

Butterflies are specious...

(Impudent ... I guess dictionary word attacks won't work on anti-script word images...)

Maybe software-based image grabbers/readers will defeat these protections, morphing into an allusive, specious attack...

Butterflies could NOT have Evolved! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13152564)

It is irresponsible for Slashdot to link to nonscientific extremist propoganda sources like the BBC. Where is the journalistic integrity? At the very least check the facts at a scientifically reviewed resource [answersingenesis.org] .

It is well known and mathematically proven that the specified complexity of metamorphic triggers of the butterfly is so high it is litterally off the scale. Yet extremist secularists stybbornly refuse the acknowledge the basic math and continue to deny the existence of an intelligent creator. They continue to try to force everyone to believe that which cannot be observed!

I have faith that the Slashdot crowd can see through the smoke and mirrors of the extremist naturalists and see the truth. As for the others, God forgive them for they know not what they do.

And racism? (5, Interesting)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152598)

I wonder if this has any impact on the view of racism?

Racism is a *very* touchy subject, and I may get flamed just for bringing it up, but doesn't this sound like butterfly racism? If this were, in fact, a provable, natural, biological mechanism, then, wouldn't we, as biological organisms, be falling prety to much the same effect? Isn't racism a social form of speciation?

What impact would this have on the ACLU? Hiring quotas? The civil rights movement in general?

I'm not suggesting that racism is good. But, might these be related?

team strip? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13152628)

sounds like this would definitely encourage reproduction, but speciation?

Speciation (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 9 years ago | (#13152633)

Hmmm, I somehow thing that's what happens when cooing cocoon politicians become presidents... and, since secretes is my image word, maybe some of their secretions need to be secreted away...
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>