Re: Report: Francis Collins presentation

From: Pim van Meurs <>
Date: Sun Oct 30 2005 - 09:51:54 EST

Let me provide some useful pointers, many of which I
have provided before

--- Cornelius Hunter <>

 Michael here are
> some findings that would
> help evolution:
> 1. Formation of a cell in the lab.

See the work by Sydney Fox for example.

> 2. Scientific description of how the DNA code
> evolved.

See the work by for instance Freeland, Landweber and

> 3. Scientific description of how Histone IV evolved.

What's the issue here?

> 4. Scientific description of how echolocation in
> bats evolved.

What's the issue here?

<quote>Molecular and morphological data have important
roles in illuminating evolutionary history. DNA data
often yield well resolved phylogenies for living taxa,
but are generally unattainable for fossils. A distinct
advantage of morphology is that some types of
morphological data may be collected for extinct and
extant taxa. Fossils provide a unique window on
evolutionary history and may preserve combinations of
primitive and derived characters that are not found in
extant taxa. Given their unique character complexes,
fossils are critical in documenting sequences of
character transformation over geologic time and may
elucidate otherwise ambiguous patterns of evolution
that are not revealed by molecular data alone. Here,
we employ a methodological approach that allows for
the integration of molecular and paleontological data
in deciphering one of the most innovative features in
the evolutionary history of mammals---laryngeal
echolocation in bats. Molecular data alone, including
an expanded data set that includes new sequences for
the A2AB gene, suggest that microbats are paraphyletic
but do not resolve whether laryngeal echolocation
evolved independently in different microbat lineages
or evolved in the common ancestor of bats and was
subsequently lost in megabats. When scaffolds from
molecular phylogenies are incorporated into parsimony
analyses of morphological characters, including
morphological characters for the Eocene taxa
Icaronycteris, Archaeonycteris, Hassianycteris, and
Palaeochiropteryx, the resulting trees suggest that
laryngeal echolocation evolved in the common ancestor
of fossil and extant bats and was subsequently lost in
megabats. Molecular dating suggests that crown-group
bats last shared a common ancestor 52 to 54 million
years ago.</quote>

<quote>Bats (Order Chiroptera), the only mammals
capable of powered flight and sophisticated laryngeal
echolocation, represent one of the most species-rich
and ubiquitous orders of mammals. However,
phylogenetic relationships within this group are
poorly resolved. A robust evolutionary tree of
Chiroptera is essential for evaluating the phylogeny
of echolocation within Chiroptera, as well as for
understanding their biogeographical history. We
generated 4 kb of sequence data from portions of four
novel nuclear intron markers for multiple
representatives of 17 of the 18 recognized extant bat
families, as well as the putative bat family
Miniopteridae. Three echolocation-call characters were
examined by mapping them onto the combined topology:
(1) high-duty cycle versus low-duty cycle, (2)
high-intensity versus low-intensity call emission, and
(3) oral versus nasal emission. Echolocation seems to
be highly convergent, and the mapping of
echolocation-call design onto our phylogeny does not
appear to resolve the question of whether echolocation
had a single or two origins. Fossil taxa may also
provide insight into the evolution of bats; we
therefore evaluate 195 morphological characters in
light of our nuclear DNA phylogeny. All but 24 of the
morphological characters were found to be homoplasious
when mapped onto the supermatrix topology, while the
remaining characters provided insufficient information
to reconstruct the placement of the fossil bat taxa
with respect to extant families. However, a
morphological synapomorphy characterizing the
Rhinolophoidea was identified and is suggestive of a
separate origin of echolocation in this clade.
Dispersal-Vicariance analysis together with a relaxed
Bayesian clock were used to evaluate possible
biogeographic scenarios that could account for the
current distribution pattern of extant bat families.
Africa was reconstructed as the center of origin of
modern-day bat families.

Or is the question, how did echo location arise in the
common ancestor of bats?
the lack of sufficient bat fossils complicates matters

A good paper on bats is

> 5. Scientific description of how the human brain
> evolved.

What's the issue here?

> 6. Scientific explanation of how macro evolution
> works in spite of the fact
> that small scale adaptation seems to be limited.

Begging the question.

> 7. Scientific explanation of how the evolutionary
> process evolves so as to
> make evolution possible.

See the work on evolvability by Toussaint, Kirschner,
Gerhart, Schuster, Fontana

> 8. Scientific explanation of how massive convergence
> happens in evolution.
> How does evolution find same solutions in the
> astronomical design space?

Perhaps design space is not that astronomical after
all? For instance Kaufmann showed that there typically
exist a limited number of attractors (or steady state

> 9. Scientific explanation for non homologous
> development pathways and genes

They do not share a common ancestor.

> for homologous structures in cousin species.

Remind me again, what does ID have to offer in answer
to these questions?
Received on Sun Oct 30 09:54:19 2005

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