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Author Topic:   Galapagos finches
Coragyps
Member (Idle past 819 days)
Posts: 5553
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002


Message 46 of 104 (84962)
02-10-2004 8:25 AM
Reply to: Message 42 by Tamara
02-09-2004 11:19 PM


Re: Thank you Coragyps!
You're welcome, Tamara. But try to avoid the appearance of "quote mining" - it'll bring you grief in these here parts. The Grants do, indeed, write "The discovery of superior hybrid fitness over several years suggests that the three study populations of Darwin's finches [on Daphne] are fusing into a single panmictic population, and calls into question their designation as species."
But the next sentence is "Over the long term, fusion is unlikely." The next paragraph summarizes some reasons for this opinion. And the major portion of the paper describes just how common hybridization is among the birds: 9.2% of all species have been documented to crossbreed in the wild, with the number rising to 40%+ in the order that contains ducks and geese. Darwin's finches aren't some odd outlier to the "rules" - they're just exceptionally well studied.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by Tamara, posted 02-09-2004 11:19 PM Tamara has not replied

  
Tamara
Inactive Member


Message 47 of 104 (84963)
02-10-2004 8:27 AM


Paul, when people begin to attack the person, it usually means they've run out of argument. Too bad.
quote:
it's just an old term that was coined before people knew better and has stuck
Stuck? Only in minds unable to learn.

Replies to this message:
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Tamara
Inactive Member


Message 48 of 104 (84964)
02-10-2004 8:31 AM


Ah, Coragyps, I was wondering if I should have gone into the fusion thing. You are quite right. That, as well as any potential current speciation, seems to be a non-issue on the Galapagos -- the research shows back and forth fluctuation that seems to result in more of the same, so far.
I'll watch out about quote mining (never heard the term before!). Good point.

Replies to this message:
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MrHambre
Member (Idle past 1477 days)
Posts: 1495
From: Framingham, MA, USA
Joined: 06-23-2003


Message 49 of 104 (84966)
02-10-2004 8:53 AM
Reply to: Message 48 by Tamara
02-10-2004 8:31 AM


Finch Fights
Tamara,
Actually, the research shows that during nice wet weather in the Galapagos (muchas gracias, El Nio), the hybrids proliferated. It seems there was plenty of vegetation, and no real incentive to specialize. Unfortunately, once the droughts returned, the hybrids dwindled. It seems the exploitation of individual ecological niches is a Good Move, and (as Darwin predicted) evolution rewards this specialization during times when the limited resource base of a population creates a struggle for existence.
Incidentally, could I bother you to hit the 'reply' button at the bottom of the post to which you're replying? It makes it easier for us to know which poster you're addressing.

The dark nursery of evolution is very dark indeed.
Brad McFall

This message is a reply to:
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 17838
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 50 of 104 (84967)
02-10-2004 9:06 AM
Reply to: Message 47 by Tamara
02-10-2004 8:27 AM


I'm not out of argument by any means. The question is are you prepared to listen ? Your responses indicate otherwise. I have tied - really tried - to point out the facts to you. And I get responses like "are you baiting me ?"

This message is a reply to:
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truthlover
Member (Idle past 4143 days)
Posts: 1548
From: Selmer, TN
Joined: 02-12-2003


Message 51 of 104 (84975)
02-10-2004 9:33 AM
Reply to: Message 37 by Tamara
02-09-2004 3:43 PM


All I said was that Canis lupus (whom we have not bred
Right, that is what you said, and what you said is wrong. We bred dogs from wolves, and we breed dogs with wolves. Your point was that dogs, wolves, and coyotes are now considered the same species (which I'm not ever sure is true), and they weren't bred together, but yes they were. Dogs were bred from wolves by humans.
truthlover writes:
Maybe someone can name for me a species that varies in size and appearance as much as dogs do, yet are all considered one species (rather than one genus).
Tamara writes:
Easy. Humans.
Humans don't vary as much as dogs. The biggest size difference you can find in humans is with pygmies, and even that's only about 25% in height and perhaps a little more in weight. Large dogs can be 4000% larger than miniatures.
Better to have two solid species than 14 iffy ones.
No, it's not. It's better to attempt accurately to count species. You cited sources who said that it might be better to show six species of finches on the Galapagos. If that's based on new information, then that's better. It is not based on some desire to reduce the number of species. Only you have that desire, for some reason you refuse to reveal. The goal is to be accurate, not to limit the number of species.
You can maybe go start your own taxonomic system based on as few species being listed as possible, as taxonomists are prone to arguing a lot about it, anyway, which just goes to show that what you're being told is true. Species are not easily delineated, because in real life there is no line. Of course, someone else will come along and say we should list as many species as possible, because life tends to diverge, anyway.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by Tamara, posted 02-09-2004 3:43 PM Tamara has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 52 by Tamara, posted 02-10-2004 11:56 AM truthlover has not replied
 Message 53 by Tamara, posted 02-10-2004 12:00 PM truthlover has replied
 Message 55 by PaulK, posted 02-10-2004 2:06 PM truthlover has not replied
 Message 67 by nator, posted 02-14-2004 8:27 AM truthlover has replied

  
Tamara
Inactive Member


Message 52 of 104 (85031)
02-10-2004 11:56 AM
Reply to: Message 51 by truthlover
02-10-2004 9:33 AM


Hi truthlover. I am not sure why people keep disecting my statement about wolves. I was reacting to what someone else had said, and all I meant was that we have not bred wolves as a species. Of course we have bred wolves to create other critters, namely dogs (with jackals possibly involved) and wolf-dog hybrids.
Wolves per se, we were given.
Actually, I am not sure whether coyotes have also been reclassified. I am afraid I may have overreached on this one. I will inquire of my source, for those who are interested.
Humans do not vary as much as dogs, but are sufficiently multifarious to make another such example.
The rest, well, we've pretty much flogged this horse all it can handle.
[This message has been edited by Tamara, 02-10-2004]

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Tamara
Inactive Member


Message 53 of 104 (85033)
02-10-2004 12:00 PM
Reply to: Message 51 by truthlover
02-10-2004 9:33 AM


quote:
It's better to attempt accurately to count species.
I am all for it.
Unfortunately, I don't think I'll live to see it in this case.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by truthlover, posted 02-10-2004 9:33 AM truthlover has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 54 by truthlover, posted 02-10-2004 1:59 PM Tamara has replied

  
truthlover
Member (Idle past 4143 days)
Posts: 1548
From: Selmer, TN
Joined: 02-12-2003


Message 54 of 104 (85056)
02-10-2004 1:59 PM
Reply to: Message 53 by Tamara
02-10-2004 12:00 PM


I was reacting to what someone else had said, and all I meant was that we have not bred wolves as a species.
Right, but there was a point you were making when you "reacted," and that point was inaccurate.
I am all for it.
Unfortunately, I don't think I'll live to see it in this case.
No, you don't think that, but you haven't convinced anyone else to share your doubt. Somehow you don't seem to have gotten this. Scientists already are attempting to accurately count species, and you have vehemently attacked their efforts, and your attacks have fallen short. You can shrug your shoulders and suggest you'll never live to see species being counted as accurately as possible, given the evolving world you live in, but based on what you've said, you're just wrong.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by Tamara, posted 02-10-2004 12:00 PM Tamara has replied

Replies to this message:
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 17838
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 55 of 104 (85057)
02-10-2004 2:06 PM
Reply to: Message 51 by truthlover
02-10-2004 9:33 AM


The reduction to six species is not "better" unless you believe that strict application of a definition based on interfertility is "best".
But taxonomists in general do not absolutely enforce this rule (ducks are an example where hybridisation is a real problem - notoriously in the case of imported Ruddy Ducks and Spanish White-Tailed Ducks).
Having done a little more investigation I have discovered that the "finches" are diverse enough that they are usually classified as belonging to 3 or more genera. I don't know why (although I might look further) but even if the finches are superficially the same the differences must be significant enough that it is very unlikely that there is only a single species.
As I have said earlier on there are several different definitions of "species" and there is no agreement that one is "the" definition.

This message is a reply to:
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Tamara
Inactive Member


Message 56 of 104 (85148)
02-10-2004 5:55 PM
Reply to: Message 54 by truthlover
02-10-2004 1:59 PM


Truthlover, tuck in your ire. It's unbecoming.
I am tired of people putting meanings into my words never meant.
I don't have many years left on this earth. I am not expecting the finches to get re-evaluated in that time. Eventually, they will.
That is all, folks.

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NosyNed
Member
Posts: 9006
From: Canada
Joined: 04-04-2003


Message 57 of 104 (85179)
02-10-2004 7:13 PM
Reply to: Message 56 by Tamara
02-10-2004 5:55 PM


waiting
I've heard that line before.
Science works from a current best consensus. It does change with time. However, to say that new data will overturn things is hardly an arguement with any weight is it?
I can decide that new data will support what I want to be true too. Real researchers go out to find the new data if they want to support their position.
Aside from all that what is the big deal about the darned finches?

This message is a reply to:
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Cthulhu
Member (Idle past 5936 days)
Posts: 273
From: Roe Dyelin
Joined: 09-09-2003


Message 58 of 104 (85244)
02-10-2004 10:45 PM
Reply to: Message 52 by Tamara
02-10-2004 11:56 AM


I'll help with the wolf-dog-coyote classification. Coyotes were never sunk into the same species as wolves. Dogs enjoyed a brief stint in Canis lupus, but have since been separated.

Ia! Cthulhu fhtagn!

This message is a reply to:
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 17838
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 59 of 104 (85301)
02-11-2004 2:28 AM
Reply to: Message 57 by NosyNed
02-10-2004 7:13 PM


Re: waiting
So far as I can see Tamara wants an excuse to attack evolution and science so she turned nasty as soon as it was pointed out that her speculation that the finches were a single species wasn't reasonable based on the evidence available.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 57 by NosyNed, posted 02-10-2004 7:13 PM NosyNed has not replied

Replies to this message:
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Tamara
Inactive Member


Message 60 of 104 (85365)
02-11-2004 10:56 AM
Reply to: Message 59 by PaulK
02-11-2004 2:28 AM


Re: waiting
Folks, if you think you can convince the doubters by condescencion, ad hominems, and incessant false assumptions about their point of view, then you are living in la-la-land. America is now full of people who have lost trust in darwinism. It is up to you to try to make better explanations where necessary, and to clean up the stables where necessary. Getting dug into true believerism is not going to go far. Science is not furthered by doubter-attacks, it is furthered by coming up with better and more convincing theories.
I believe that evolution happened. I am distressed that there are enough holes out there to give the anti-evolutionists significant fodder for their writings. And even more distressed to see scientists so intransigent that they do not even have the class to admit that "gill slits" ought to have been left behind long ago. (I thought you were baiting me, Paul, because I thought this was a complete non-issue, that the creationists were right about it but well behind times. You have shown me otherwise.)
What exactly are you waiting for, NosyNed? If you are waiting, like me, for an objective re-evaluation of the finch species, I suggest you bunker down for the long haul. It's not so much that scientific progress is gradual, which it is, and sometimes must wait for a few funerals, but that in this case, the taxonomist who would dare suggest that the finches ought to be one species would be torn and quartered as an ally of the creationists. I am afraid the job will have to await more open-minded times.
And finally, I would like to add that the species definition I reposted above mentions several weaknesses of the "physiologically incompatible in breeding" sort of definition. But it does not mention its considerable strength. And that is its falsifiability. If we stick with that definition, any claim of a separate species can be overturned by the person who shows successful matings. Would that not be an improvement? In a world "ruled" by that definition, none of us would have to waste our time arguing the finches, and could go back to having a life!
I thank you all for jousting with me.
[This message has been edited by Tamara, 02-11-2004]

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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 Message 63 by truthlover, posted 02-11-2004 3:32 PM Tamara has not replied

  
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