Research on Intelligent Design

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

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Laupala Cricket Variation

Last year, an Insect Systematist posted at ARN a Brief Communication’s title and abstract published by Nature purported to provide evidence of “Rapid speciation: observations match Darwinian theory

The brief in question is related to crickets:

Tamra C. Mendelson & Kerry L. Shaw. 2005. Sexual behaviour: Rapid speciation in an arthropod. The likely force behind an explosion of new Hawaiian cricket species is revealed. Nature 433, 375-6, and Supplementary Info. [broken link]

Even the subtitle indicates that such publication was a “likely” speculation, proven to be wrong by their current 2006 paper!

In the original one page long brief we can read that:

"Females prefer pulse rates of their own species [Mendelson, T. C. & Shaw, K. L. Genetica 116, 301–310 (2002), see below], so divergence in male song reduces the chances of interbreeding between species."

Personal mating preferences between what Mendelson & Shaw considers as different ‘species’ was just a theoretical behavioral estimate of the animals, those crickets that we consider as varieties within the same compatible organism.

Because those crickets are able to interbreed in the lab producing fertile offspring, those crickets are not an example of ‘speciation’ but of variation.

Even in their original 2005 Nature's brief it does not says that the interbreeding between them is impossible, the different song-preference, it is theorized, only may be reducing the “ability of interbreeding between divergent populations.” However, their recent publication has demonstrated that such is not the case:

Mendelson, T.C. and Shaw, K.L. 2006. Close-range acoustic signaling and mate choice in Hawaiian crickets. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology (PDF). [Broken link]

“We predicted that females would exhibit a shorter latency to mating with hybrid males whose pulse rates were more similar to the conspecific pulse rate of the female. However, neither hybrid by L. paranigra nor hybrid by L. kohalensis pairings showed significant differences in latency to mating among females mating with the slower singer, the faster singer, or both...
So, we read:

"...the hypothesis that the premating barrier between L. paranigra and L. kohalensis is maintained by the female’s preference for a conspecific male’s song at close range was not supported by the present study. When females were presented with male hybrids exhibiting a wide range of pulse rates, no relationship was detected between male pulse rate and either the frequency of, or latency to, mating. Rather, females of both species accepted males with pulse rates several standard deviations outside their respective conspecific ranges, indicating broad female preference functions for pulse rates at close range. Therefore, we are unable to reject the null hypothesis that the pulse rate of male “courtship” song has no effect on behavioral barriers in close-range interactions.”

“The two species do not overlap geographically, nor does available evidence suggest a cost to hybridization (i.e., a reduction in hybrid fitness).”
Next, more excerpts of their 2006 article demonstrating the resulting fertile offspring or F2:

Matings between L. paranigra and L. kohalensis result in viable and fertile offspring, and the second generation of hybrids (F2) provide a genetic and phenotypic mosaic of parental types. Thus, although individual males are characterized by a particular pulse rate, the population of F2 males exhibited a broad range of pulse rates against a recombined genetic and phenotypic background... Males were second-generation hybrids resulting from a L. kohalensis grand-dam and L. paranigra grand-sire, and several F1 intercross parents.”
After the failure to demonstrate that the male's song is a factor of 'speciation' (which when properly considered is just variation within compatible organisms), the authors wrote in their most recent paper:
“In close-range encounters, aspects of chemical signaling may be important to mate recognition within species and may further reduce the probability of interbreeding among divergent lineages. The nature and strength of this barrier is yet unknown.”

“Results of our study demonstrate that while strong behavioral barriers exist between these two species, variation in the pulse rate of male calling song did not predict female mate choice at close range. These results suggest a more complex architecture to mate recognition in Laupala than previously hypothesized” [from the Abstract]
As well as their: Hybrid mate choice trials

Females did not exhibit a preference for either slower or faster hybrid pulse rates... As with mate choice, latency to mating was not correlated with hybrid male pulse rate.”
Next is the way in which Y.M. Parsons (from La Trobe University, Australia) presents those same crickets in the next link:

The Hawaiian cricket, Laupala [broken link]
"Laupala (Trigonidiinae, Gryllidae) are small flightless crickets found on all the high islands of the Hawaiian archipelago. An conspicuous feature of Laupala is the diverse variation in male courting song between species. The 37 species within the genus are morphologically similar but can be distinguished on the basis of pulse rate differences in the male song..."
Again, those 37 different ‘species’ are only 37 varieties of genetically compatible crickets that are able to produce fertile offspring!

I posted at ARN that “I can see again and again that varieties are deliberately and conveniently confounded with species...”

"If two different animals can interbreed producing fertile offspring, they are just varieties, no matter if science classifies them as different species or even genera (as the living fertile example of the product of a false killer "whale" x dolphin)"
We can conclude that there are at least more than 150 varieties (mislabeled different ‘species’) produced from a single pair of cricket genetic colonizers that arrived to Hawaii. Next you can see a picture of a semi-transparent Cave-dweller Hawaiian Cricket, one of the very few "non-gross-me-out" cricket pictures (smile):

[photo taken by Bill Mull]

Note: However, with all of this evidence demonstrating that variation within compatible animals is what is going on in nature, the journal Science was erratic enough to include the very same article of 2005 (presented at the beginning of this posting), proven in 2006 to be a living example of variation within compatible and fertile offspring producers (F2 crickets), but not of 'speciation', however Science presented it as:

Breakthrough of the year: Evolution in Action. By Elizabeth Culotta and Elizabeth Pennisi. Science 23 December 2005: 310(5756)1878-79.

However, earlier both Andrew Rowell, and Casey Luskin debunked those calculated deceptions published in Science. The right title of that promotional published by Science must be Microevolution In Action. While I presented The Fraud of Evolution: Variation sold as Speciation.

Update (Jan 20):The response to the above mentioned Insect Systematist can be read at: Chronicles for The Laupala Cricket Variation.

Some of the other broken links rescued:

This was my preliminary compilation of compatible organisms:
And this is a compilation of references:
The inspiring article:
Additional compatibilities explored in my blogs are:
[I noticed that somebody copied my previous link information and posted it in the Wikipedia:]

Compatible Mates Interbreed Producing Fertile Offspring


Etc..., etc...


Anonymous Atom said...

Another excellent article. Keep compiling evidence such as this, and you will soon have quite an argument.

It is really troubling how the evolutionary establishment oversells its 'evidence' time and time again. This clear (documented, I might add) example of variation within species is glossed over and presented as evidence for evolution. But then when they actually *test* their hypothesis, it is shown to be false. A house of cards which quickly collapses when you open the door.

Good work.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006 7:50:00 AM  
Blogger fdocc said...

Dear Atom,

You wrote, "evolution... A house of cards which quickly collapses when you open the door."

A great metaphor! As in the personal webpage of Dr. Kerry L. Shaw, the associate professor (Department of Biology, University of Maryland) who directed that Nature’s 2005 paper, we can read the statement: "acoustic variants can interbreed and hybridize" [ Kerry L. Shaw ]

So, what is being sold as another prime example for ‘speciation’, is only an example of variation within genetically compatible organisms!

Ben Macarz, from the University of Toronto, in March 27, 2001 analyzed, among others, the next four papers by the same Dr. Kerry L. Shaw:

Shaw, K. L., ‘Sequential Radiations and Patterns of Speciation in the Hawaiian Cricket Genus Laupala Inferred from DNA Sequences’, Evolution (1996) 50(1), 237-255.

Shaw, K. L., ‘Polygenic Inheritance of a Behavioural Phenotype: Interspecific Genetics of Song in the Hawaiian Cricket Genus Laupala’, Evolution (1996) 50(1), 256-266.

Shaw, K. L., ‘Short Communication: A Nested Analysis of Song Groups and Species Boundaries in the Hawaiian Cricket Genus Laupala’, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution (1999) 11(2), 332-341.

Shaw, K. L., ‘Interspecific Genetics of Mate Recognition: Inheritance of Female Acoustic Preference in Hawaiian Crickets’, Evolution (2000) 54(4), 1303-1312.

There, Ben Macarz transcribed :

Hybrid study of song groups...”, “In a hybrid experiment, in which closely related species of Laupala were bred in the lab...” “Playback experiment utilizing hybrids of the 2 species (Laupala paranigra and Laupala kohalensis)

Again, at least since 1996 it is well known that those different singing crickets are able to interbreed producing fertile offspring, so, those are only varieties within their compatible group, not examples of ‘speciation’ but of variation! Those considered by Shaw as "closely related species" are indeed "closely related varieties", compatible genetically!

Macarz also quote-marked [""] the word species when quoting Shaw:

acoustic variation in Laupala is thought to be “species” specific

My comment is that those fertile inter-breeders producing fertile offspring (the resulting fertile product, or ‘hybrids’) indeed have a “varieties” specific ‘song’ (instead of a "species" specific one), like other phenotypic differences observed in other compatible varieties, such as sizes and colors.

Then, Parsons and Shaw have demonstrated that the F1, the initial offspring between different crickets misclassified as different ‘species’, is fertile! and able to produce “F2 interspecific hybrid individuals

Then, we presented an erroneous or false declaration made by the first author of that 2005 one page paper, Tamra C. Mendelson (assistant professor of evolutionary biology at Lehigh University):

"individuals from different species do not recognize each other as mates and therefore do not interbreed" [ Tamra C. Mendelson ]

That declaration is false, erroneous and deceiving because we have been seeing time after time that all of those Laupala crickets can physiologically interbreed, as Shaw previously demonstrated in her papers reviewed by Macarz and in her webpage, so, again it's just an issue of "variation" within genetically compatible varieties in the animal kingdom!

Finally, see for example the link of Gregor Mendel’s highlighted reading of the book of Darwin:

From that last link we learn that Mendel noticed, among other passages, the extremely weak and deliberately "convenient" and biased definition of "species" used by Darwin hismelf, and by extension, by all of his 'followers' until this day, hence the careless use of the fallacy and fantasy word "speciation" by Shaw and the rest of "speciationists", which should be "variation" studied by "variationists" (smile):

"[Darwin wrote:] From these remarks it will be seen that I look at the term species, as one arbitrarily given for the sake of convenience to a set of individuals closely resembling each other, and that it does not essentially differ from the term variety, which is given to less distinct and more fluctuating forms. The term variety, again, in comparison with mere individual differences, is also applied arbitraily, and for mere convenience sake."

So, if for Darwin and for Evolutionists of today "species" can be interchangeably used to mean "varieties", then they are cheating themselves and deliberately cheating the rest of the population, and we are just dealign with variation within compatible groups as described in the masterpiece of Genesis Chapter 1!

Thursday, January 19, 2006 5:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had to laugh when I read this blog. As a bona fide evolutionary biologist, I'm constant amused by the time and effort creationists expend trying to debunk evolutionary studies. Sad. Better to ask, what would it matter if God didn't exist? At least scientists generate plausible and testable hypotheses.

I would have thought that the recent landmark decision against intelligent design in Pennsylvania would make you folks take a step back and actually think.

Carry on, however, it makes little difference.



Monday, March 27, 2006 1:31:00 PM  
Anonymous EvolBiol said...

It's a unique kind of uncomfortable pain to read comments of people who are certain they're right but aren't. If organisms (i.e., species) choose not to interbreed, this prevents genetic exchange. Thus mate choice is as valid a reproductive barrier as so-called "physiological" barriers. Mate choice, as you probably know, is based on a physiological response to sexual stimuli. I commend your attention to the research but a little background (textbook) reading would be immensely helpful.

Thursday, August 10, 2006 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger fdocc said...

Dear Kerry and Tamra, and Sean,
This is 'the skinny': "what is currently sold as examples of "speciation" are indeed examples of variation within compatible groups of organisms. Is it not plausible and testable the precise identification of biological varieties and the consequent generation of new biodiversity? You need to consider that the rigorous identifying of biological compatible varieties and the consequent generation of new biodiversity is a very important and novel scientific pursuit. I understand that conceptual barriers are almost impossible to remove as sources of error. For example, the same natural events that are so feared by conservationists: the disappearance of native varieties by their blending with new invaders, can be tamed to preserve endangered organisms and to produce new biodiversity.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010 9:37:00 AM  

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