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Thread: Lizards Rapidly Evolve...

  1. #1
    cogito ergo doleo Keke Le Cat's Avatar
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    Default Lizards Rapidly Evolve...

    Lizards Rapidly Evolve After Introduction to Island

    Excerpt:

    Italian wall lizards introduced to a tiny island off the coast of Croatia are evolving in ways that would normally take millions of years to play out, new research shows.

    In just a few decades the 5-inch-long (13-centimeter-long) lizards have developed a completely new gut structure, larger heads, and a harder bite, researchers say.


    Entire article can be found on National Geographic website...

    ~~~

    Fascinating. Eh?

    I am not going to paste the entire article... You can read it for yourself.

    Of course, in general, I'm not very friendly towards invasive species, since they have a tendency to create huge problems for the local ecosystems, but this time, I think I'm willing to look the other way because of the implications of these rapid changes in that species.

    Amazing, really. It may give some really big insights as to how evolution works, as well as perhaps shoot a new, shiny big hole in creationist arguments.

    You can see the same thing in amphibians over the course of only a few generations. Feed the insects you feed the amphibian carrots, the boost of beta carotene will cause the amphibian's skin to take on more red tones. For example, a yellow frog will appear more orange, a red pattern on a green frog will appear more vibrant. The offspring retain the bright colors after only a few generations without being fed the extra beta carotene. It's a relatively small genetic mutation but it's still an evolution process you can WATCH. Uber.

    Oh they also make a special fish flake that basically allows the same thing, but I haven't ever experimented with that.

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  2. #2
    cogito ergo doleo Keke Le Cat's Avatar
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    Oh and creationists... I'll save the skin on the ends of your fingers and make your argument for you.


    Peanut butter is the Atheist's nightmare!


    'Nuff said.

    (That guy makes my eyes hurt.)

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  3. #3
    cogito ergo doleo Keke Le Cat's Avatar
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    This guy makes my eyes hurt more.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1W3e...eature=related

    It's amazing. I could only make it 1/2 way through that video.

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  4. #4
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    Evolution can be seen in bacteria and viruses as well. Why else would we need a new flu jab every year? It's nice to see a macroscopic example, though.

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    Advanced Trainer Nocturne's Avatar
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    Short generation times.

    Thread done.

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    Furry Authority RedCheetah's Avatar
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    KEKE YOU FUCK I WAS EATING WHEN I SAW THOSE.
    "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." - Time Enough For Love, by Robert Heinlein

  7. #7
    doleo ergo sum Pink-kitty2's Avatar
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    Question is, could that ability be harnessed to benefit humans?

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    cogito ergo doleo Keke Le Cat's Avatar
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    Pink-kitty, I can't find the website now but not long ago there was a conspiracy about sheep being cloned and spliced with the genes from aborted human fetuses. They were supposedly 25% human and 75% sheep. The purpose of the experiment would be disposable bodies for growing transplant organs.

    My point is, better understanding of the evolutionary process could be ... phenomenal.

    In science, seemingly small advances open up huge doorways of understanding. It makes people think in new ways, otherwise unexplored.

    Also it may help enlighten the otherwise deluded individuals shown in the above linked youtube videos.

    I figure they look pretty much the same as the original, as the changes have mostly occurred internally, in the guts and the muscles they use to bite with. What's really interesting is tracing back the changes to find out how it really happened.

    With the beta carotene fed insects + frogs the evolution could be chalked up to mutation. It's harder to say this is only mutation. I wonder, do creationists even believe in mutation? What do they call physical mutations if so? IE: Changes in pigment. But I digress...

    How something "looks" doesn't hold as much weight as a genetic comparison, and mechanism for change.

    In evolutionary theory mechanism is everything. It's very easy to toss out the idea "mutation did it"....its much more difficult to prove that. Especially given that the overwhelming majority of all mutations that we observe in the world around us are destructive to viability of the organism.

    So this could be the rock solid evidence needed to convince stubborn people. It's hard to argue with facts. The only thing they can say is it is all invented by man, genetic engineering. Which if they were going to genetically engineer something just for publicity I think they would do more than that, add wings or ... I'm just being silly now.

    There are other cases you could use for proof but they may be called just mutations. IE: The colorado river toads that were segregated from the main population have slightly different genes but are overall the same, they look, act and are physically the same. The same goes for the Grey's tree frog VS the Cope's Grey tree frogs. They are physically the same, they may be larger and the call is completely different but the mutation took much longer and it may only be called a mutation. This is evolution.

    It could be big, it could change the way people look at the world.

    How's that for a rant. Heh.

    Reptiles and amphibians are fascinating.

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    cogito ergo doleo Keke Le Cat's Avatar
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    RC: Quickly they have found out your weakness, we must collect all our jellies and jams and mount an offensive!!! To the towers! Man the gate! ARM YOURSELVES~!

    JEELLLYYYYY

    ps: I tried, thats the best I could come up with.

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  10. #10
    doleo ergo sum Pink-kitty2's Avatar
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    As much as this sounds like a Dr Conners' idea, I think if we combined human cells with lizard cells in some way, we could evolve at a speed that would allow us to be adaptable to any environment...

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    In a way we already have, through technology. We can survive pretty much anywhere we want, if only for short periods, without having to wait a number of generations for us to adapt. In a way humanity evolves and adapts on the same timescale that bacteria and viruses do, and, considering how much more complicated we are as organisms, that's pretty damn impressive.

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    cogito ergo doleo Keke Le Cat's Avatar
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    There is genetic research being done on Axolotls... They are able to regenerate limbs even as adults to some degree. Young Axolotls can regenerate entire legs, gills etx. Adults can partially regen. It's pretty amazing. They heal uber fast too.

    Some institute in texas is doing research on that supposedly.

    Sounds like a super soldier prototype in the make if you ask me.

    This new evolution study makes me wonder if it didn't take mankind as long to evolve as they estimate. Maybe we evolved much more rapidly. Interesting.

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    All the research shows is that the mutation rate in these lizards is far greater than in other animals. It is entirely possible that a mutation that increased the chances of a mutation occurring came about, and, because it did not adversely affect the lizard, survived. Later on those lizards which were more likely to mutate would have the advantage when it came to adaptability, and therefore would dominate the population. However, in a stable environment it is less likely that such a gene would survive, because random mutations are usually debilitating rather than beneficial; as Richard Dawkins said, there are more ways of ending up dead than alive. Of course, for such a mutation to be useful the reproductive rate must be high as well, otherwise the number of successful mutants would be decreased.

    When it comes to regeneration, you could say that humanity has found a way to achieve this too, through prosthetics and the usage of guide dogs. Assuming the Axolotls cannot regenerate from a fatal injury, humans are almost as capable as they are.

  14. #14
    cogito ergo doleo Keke Le Cat's Avatar
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    They can regenerate limbs. Humans can't.

    They heal much more rapidly. Humans don't.

    Don't minimize the research, it's epic.

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    But do we need to do either of those things? From what I've seen, we get along pretty well as it is. For sure the research is interesting, but I doubt it'll make its way into the practical world. And besides, as you've said, adults can only partially regenerate. Would it really be worth all that effort considering what we can already do?

  16. #16
    cogito ergo doleo Keke Le Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keke Le Cat View Post
    Sounds like a super soldier prototype in the make if you ask me.
    ...

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  17. #17
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    Do you really think a country could get away with something like that?

  18. #18
    cogito ergo doleo Keke Le Cat's Avatar
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    Who can stop them?

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  19. #19
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    Anybody. Regeneration can't save you from fatal injuries, and, if enough countries band together, even America could fall.

  20. #20
    cogito ergo doleo Keke Le Cat's Avatar
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    That would be assuming they made the research public, that people actually cared enough to go to war, and that it was actually happening.

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  21. #21
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    Assuming the last is true, the second is also true. The first... Well, you can't hide things forever. Sooner or later it's going to get out. After all, that's why countries have spy networks.

  22. #22
    cogito ergo doleo Keke Le Cat's Avatar
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    I think you are just arguing for form's sake.

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  23. #23
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    I believe what I believe.

  24. #24
    cogito ergo doleo Keke Le Cat's Avatar
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    And you beat the horse to death with your beliefs.

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  25. #25
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    Because the horse insists on arguing.

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