Research on Intelligent Design

To put together scientific advances from the perspective of Intelligent Design.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Cichlid Variation

Yesterday, I wrote in My last comments on the Laupala cricket variation: "Let's see which other organism the [‘Laupala diversity’] authors include in their attempt to justify their speculations":

"The highest speciation rate [among Laupala] is exceeded only by that of the rapidly speciating African cichlid fish... African cichlid fish exemplify this process,with sister species differing primarily in male coloration, a secondary sexual trait. From this pattern, it has been argued that the spectacular diversification in African cichlid fish is driven by sexual selection..."
"Is this really so? Is it really that cichlids are 'speciating' into different 'species'? NO!. The cichlid fishes are also able to interbreed producing fertile offspring, being just varieties as well (not so different to the human or the dog diversity.)"

Richard B, Hoppe responded at ISCID, to my Intelligent Design to Generate Biodiversity after I asked him why similar organisms interbreeding were being used as ‘examples’ of a non-existent 'speciation':

... Life is finite, and one expends one's time and effort according to some priorities. This particular question, being answerable (with some effort) by he who asked it, is not a top priority for me. I will note that a search on [cichlids speciation] on Google Scholar yields nearly 1,000 hits.”
To him I wrote in response: "Those Cichlids that you mentioned before are just "subspecies", not "new species" which is the presumed [and inflated, I must add] claim for evolutionary 'speciation', which is 'par' to a non-existent 'macroevolution'."

"Being the key and practical factor, the "FERTILE OFFSPRING".

In these cloudy areas, bright color morphs have disappeared and the fish have become similar and dull in appearance through hybridization (Seehausen et al. 1997).

So, cichlids produce viable and vigorous fertile hybrids according to the paper co-authored by the same Ole Seehausen:
Turner GF, Seehausen O, Knight ME, Allender CJ, Robinson RL. How many species of cichlid fishes are there in African lakes? Mol Ecol. 2001 Mar;10(3):793-806 (see its quotes below the picture).

Taken From:

In this picture you can see that the 10 different cichlids here portrayed, are not only and erroneously considered as if being members of different 'species', but worst, as if being members of 'different' 'genus', and that without including the fertile interbreeders between Pundamilia x Platytaeniodus (also considered erroneusly as two different 'genus'), as mentioned in the next paragraph. So, here again, there is one true species with limitless varieties, with limitless sub-species.

Quotes from the reference given above the picture (taken from its PDF):

"many taxa... produce viable, fertile hybrids... We have produced intergeneric hybrids of Lake Victoria cichlids (Pundamilia x Platytaeniodus) that have not shown any evidence of loss of viability or fertility up to the 5th generation."
"The evidence is clear for everybody to see, but 'what the heck', RBH don’t have time to go on deeper on this, right? However RBH has more than enough and sufficient time not only to flood all the Internet but also to bash down the related works of Bryan Leonard (sorry but that's not fair)... And all this "in the name of Darwin" and supporting his evolutionary speculations at the macrolevel, right?"

So, RBH took a littke bit of time, just a little, then answering that:

Gee, sure looks like speciation to these folks, and also to these folks.
So, I thanked him for the examples, and then I wrote:

"Again, I don't want to be contentious with you, I just want to study and to leave the evidence for everybody to see."

"The fact of the articles that RBH is linking here is 'subspeciation' or the origin of new varieties, never the origin of 'new species'; for example, from the first link that you present:

"... mbuna will hybridize ... (McElroy, D. M. & Kornfield, I. (1993) Copeia 1993, 933-945)... We cannot rule out a role for hybridization..." [Phylogeny of a rapidly evolving clade: The cichlid fishes of Lake Malawi, East Africa. R. C. Albertson, J. A. Markert, P. D. Danley, and T. D. Kocherdagger PNAS Vol. 96, Issue 9, 5107-5110, April 27, 1999]
"That's precisely the key of my studies to demonstrate that there is genetic compatibility, that the offspring produced is fertile, which will help us in the engineering of new varieties. Again, those cichlids are not different 'species' but different varieties within the same organism."

"And from RBH's second link:

"We first estimated the effective number of genetic factors controlling differences in the cichlid head through a comprehensive morphological assessment of two Lake Malawi cichlid species and their F1 and F2 hybrid progeny."
"If those two morphologically different cichlids are producing F1 and F2 generations, that means that their offspring is fertile, which again indicates their genetic compatibility. Those again, are just varieties within the same organism."

Even if today thousands of varieties of organisms are systematically misclassified as if being of different 'species', or even different 'genus' (like the above example with fertile cichlids produced by Pundamilia x Platytaeniodus in Africa) the future recognition of their reproductive compatibility will resolve such deliberate blindness promoted today by that rampant Darwinism in biological sciences.

To see more cichlid pictures, click here.

Concluding, again: Those Cichlids are "subspecies" but not "new species", which is the false and presumed claim of an evolutionary bankrupt 'speciation' = 'macroevolution'.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i really hate you filthy, deceitful christian conservatves.

evolution is a fact, and no just and loving god would design a world without it.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010 10:29:00 PM  
Blogger fdocc said...

Above, a comment for everybody to see, of a faceless Darwinian filled with hatred, the product of “Darwinian evolution”.

Micro-Evolution is a fact designed from the very beginning.

Macro-Evolution is a speculation attempted to blur the real details of the science behind the natural limits of biological change in order to gain a godless world view.

Thursday, March 04, 2010 6:44:00 AM  
Blogger JV said...

Just a question, but I have to ask it. We all know that Polar Bears and Grizzly Bears are separate species, right? They occasionally produce fertile offspring. They are very different animals, but they manage to produce viable cubs. I've seen them myself. This leads into my pseudo-question...

The whole concept of a "species" is a man-made thing, imperfect in nature. Its just how someone chose to describe things, a long time ago at that. Should we really be focusing on technicalities in this argument? I for one have many years of research under my belt, and I usually don't read anything in these arguments that is based off of actual empirical facts. Authors simply try to tell each other why they are wrong.

So that being said, Polar Bears and Grizzly Bears are separate animals that can produce fertile offspring. Many cichlids can too. Subspecies and new species are differentiated only in the amount of time they have existed. Subspecies become new species when they establish populations large enough to sustain themselves. I'm not sure you've done as much research as you've needed to complete your argument. The ability to interbreed does not make them the same species. These cichlids may be able to interbreed, just as the bears can. The concept of a species, based on human thought, is not a perfect idea. Its simply how we describe what we see in an attempt to categorize life around us.

Basically, life around us has had billions of years to become incredibly more complex than we can completely understand. Life doesn't degenerate. Life increases in detail the longer it exists. You can see that yourself after you spend several years in a microbiology lab. Subspecies become new species, given enough time. Most subspecies aren't successful enough to make it that far, which is why every animal we encounter isn't a brand new species.

Speciation isn't linear. It doesn't happen to "create" new species. None of your arguments hold water (and neither do any of the ones by your competitor, though I haven't read his actual and full account) with me simply because it doesn't seem like you understand how life progresses. Based on what you've said, you are completely right, and it makes sense. However, there are too many missing pieces. It sounds like you've subscribed to the classic view of nature; that it progresses. In fact, it is always in flux. There is no ideal state, no endpoint, no goal. Life doesn't try to sustain itself. It simply replicates itself, and in doing so it happens to divide and differentiate - or speciate. Thats how we describe it. Nothing more, nothing less. In the basic sense, that definition does not attempt to disprove or prove any theories about God. Some people just choose to base their agenda off of it. Of that fact, I am ashamed.

I hope you will publish my comment, so I can read your answer/response. Thanks!

Monday, June 21, 2010 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger fdocc said...

Dear JV,

Very interesting observation!

For all our readers, please check the recent finding of:

"Pizzly Bears. When polar bears and grizzlies breed, they can produce fertile offspring... [Christine Cyr Clisset. Fri., May 7, 2010] Scientists confirmed last week that a bear shot by an Inuvialuit hunter in the Northwest Territories is a second-generation grizzly-polar bear hybrid—a "pizzly" or "grolar" bear."

Organisms that are compatible generate fertile offspring and can be used to save compatible endangered organisms and to generate new biodiversity (breeders do it all the time). That's a reason why this topic is not simply "a technicality".

Each model organism was optimal from the start. Today, consanguinity makes possible for recessive genes to express and manifest hereditary diseases.

However, the basic rules of variation at the molecular level under normal conditions are telling us that the genetic code maximizes variation while minimizing harmful mutations (J. Theor. Biol. 2010 Jun. 7; 264(3):711-721).

For me, thinking in terms of the different 'breeds' of 'Canis' or even on the differences among humans helps in understanding the reality of sub-speciation, which is like a limitless variation within a pre-specified orbit.

For those reasons, what we can observe, study and even generate is solely "the origin of sub-species or varieties". Please, let me know if this answer helps and if you need a pre-print of the referred article.

Fernando Castro-Chavez.

Monday, June 21, 2010 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger JV said...

In fact, a recent article that I read (I'm sorry, I don't remember which one but check out the latest issue of Discover magazine for a recap of it) has shown that schizophrenia is just ancient viral DNA that has been inserted into the human genome. That disease doesn't even originate from us! It takes an unknown (as of now) environmental trigger to cause that invasive DNA to act upon our brain.

Its true that genetic code maximizes variation while minimizing harmful mutations, but again I think you might be misunderstanding this. An organisms genetic code doesn't have a goal. It doesn't attempt to create an ultimate perfect organism. It just exists to replicate, and the vast majority of those replications are so failure ridden that they never succeed past their initial nanosecond of existence. A few will exist long enough to create copies of themselves. Whether those copies are very good is up to the luck of the draw.

I understand your relation to the idea of different breeds of dogs. There are many different types of dogs that come in all different shapes and sizes. I also know that this has occurred mostly within the past several hundred years, with a few breeds going back a few thousand years. This is far too short of a time frame to develop new species. The generation time of dogs is several years, and a few thousand years with frequent population mixes is like shaking a bottle of water. You'll get bubbles, but nothing is going to change. For that short of a time frame with you'll need generation times of hours.

Of course, within written historical time frames, the quickest visible changes will only be subspeciation. We don't live long enough to see real changes. We also ignore what we can't see for the most part. Bacterial speciation happens all the time right under our noses. Subspecies form within weeks to months. That is one of the reasons bacteria are so successful. They can triple their population before we can eat a triple burger.

I know that we can observe, study and even generate things through speciation. We simply don't live long enough to do it for any organism with generation times longer than a few days.

There really is no pre-specified orbit. That orbit is something that we put in front of our eyes to make the immense diversity in front of us less confusing. We tend to get bogged down with our self-created limits of understanding.

There is no such thing as "species A" and "species B" with lineages to "species C" and "species D". All there really is, is a bunch of similar organisms in one area that continually change and a very long time down the road those organisms are nothing like how they used to be. Some people call that speciation, and others call that subspeciation. Since its all theoretical and they aren't able to view concrete organisms in this way, they difference between those people is the time frame they are thinking about. Given enough time, genetic variation will compound enough to produce organisms that would not be able to procreate with their ancestors 5,000 (or however many generations it takes) generations ago.

Thanks for this stimulating discussion.

Monday, June 21, 2010 2:29:00 PM  
Blogger JV said...

Thanks for the quick reply. I've got access to the journal articles.

I'm sorry but the technicality that I was referring to wasn't what you thought. I was talking about the fact that different people view the term "species" as very different things, and many times debates are based off of these differences. I rarely see any two people arguing when they are talking about the same conceptual version of a "species".

Another thing you mentioned in your reply was that organisms are optimal from the start. I completely disagree with that statement. Under this assumption, optimal crossed with optimal would have to create just some more optimal organisms. We have no way of telling just what optimal is, anyway. It just either lives or dies.

If an organism is "optimal" for a particular situation or environment, then about 5 seconds later they are very suboptimal. Environments are in continual flux, and what is optimal for one generation isn't necessarily optimal for their offspring. That is the sole reason for diversity. Organisms with little genetic diversity tend to die off very quickly. On this we both agree.

Take coral reefs for example. Most coral is adapted to survive in high light levels and constant water temperature. We can see today that many reefs are dying because of small changes in light levels and temperature. Corals that have become "optimal" for their environment have actually been the least genetically fit animals. As long as the environment is right, they utilize their available resources nearly perfectly. However, they can't survive in anything but perfect conditions. They are very well suited to a very static environment. This is just one example of how the concept of "optimal" is a very bad thing.

I think we differ on what diversity means. Hereditary diseases are not bad for a species as a whole. In fact, they are very good. They might kill off a percentage of the population, but the rest will absolutely benefit. Anything that drives change, including hereditary diseases, is just one more reason why that species will survive longer than similar organisms. In fact, the truly hereditary diseases of humans (that have been fully described) have all been shown to be genetic hitch-hikers to traits that provide much more important benefits to overall species survival than the disease's negativity.

continued in the next post...

Monday, June 21, 2010 2:29:00 PM  
Blogger fdocc said...


In order to make the wide mosaic of variation digestible, I think we need to develop simpler models. The orbit of variation is such my model in which each position within an orbit is a variety, sub-species or breed. The optimal organism is for the optimal initial weather (i.e, modeling it as temperate.)

I did use the example of ‘Canis’ to include the reproducible compatible wolves, jackals, coyotes, dingoes, dholes, dogs in all their breeds…

The evident purpose of the genetic code is to allow for compatible variation, useful not only for aesthetics but also for adaptation; you can see antecedents of its big buffering against harmful mutations in the drawings by “Maeshiro and Kimura (1998) who calculated the robustness and changeability of genetic codes, separating Ser in two nodes, while, better of, Hayes (2004) located Ser in the same node of the genetic code” (quoted from the aforementioned reference).

Our medical pursuits on countering the effects of hereditary diseases take off on the basis of the widely accepted model of what we consider as health versus disease. We don’t need blurry lenses. The problem is when a practical model is shut-down for ideological reasons.

Each of our proteins and enzymes slightly different (size, color…), however, they are equally useful to develop their tasks at hand. We pursue our current studies and the practical application of them.

"Perhaps the best we can do is to agree to disagree in a rational manner" and agree on a limited set of concepts, says entomologist Stewart Berlocher of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaing" [From a recommended reference that is as alive as when it was originally written (smile): The Species Problem. Ann Gibbons. Science 273(5281):1501 (Sep., 1996).]

Thanks again for showing the reproductive compatibility between white bears and grizzly bears.


Monday, June 21, 2010 3:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you ever heard of flowerhorns? Totally viable intergenetic hybrid of hundreds of different South American Cichlid fishes, breeders in Malaysia and Thailand have been breeding them to each other for years, creating what is in effect a totally new species. I would call this evolution through symbiosis.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010 3:39:00 PM  
Blogger fdocc said...

That's precisely the biological "Babel" we are tackling here. Can you imagine what could have happened if each breed of dogs was classified as a different species? Or even more extreme, if every different colored group of humans was misclassified in such a pernicious way? Well, that's exactly what we have here in your example: fish breeders are developing new compatible diversity, which is not different in any way than the human generation of the ‘Doberman’ or of those highly productive cows, pigs and crops. Those compatible organisms are not new ‘species’, are subspecies, breeds, varieties or races, in the same way that all humans are, no matter their color. That’s what breeders do. Your example is an example of successful breeding! Thanks for posting!:

Tuesday, August 31, 2010 2:14:00 PM  

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