Re: [asa] (fruit flies???) A Message from the RTB Scholar Team

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. <>
Date: Tue Apr 22 2008 - 16:39:26 EDT

You're assuming that we know a great deal more than we do. Indeed, in
common usage, "great deal" would be "infinitely." Mutations in the wild
are random and not all that common. I recall a rate of 1 in 6,000,000 on
some. Most are deleterious or neutral, so may be eliminated by being less
useful or simply swamped in the mass. If beneficial, they may still be
swamped, but they may persist. For speciation, it is necessary for one
rare mutation to be followed by another that produces additional benefit.
However, some benefits only come when there are further changes that can
benefit from the previous mutations. This series has to recur many times,
including changes that produce isolation. (With the new sequencing going
on, we are tracing these changes. But that is not producing new species.)

For the changes to be used within the lab to produce a new species, we'd
have to know exactly what the change does, how it's controlled, how it
interacts with other genes and control sequences, etc., etc. If a gene is
duplicated, we would have to know that it would not give rise so such
effects as produce Huntington's disease. I note that there is new work
that tells us that, though Pan and Homo differ by only about 2%
genetically, the effective controls are highly different. We're only
beginning to understand how and why.

Now we further need an explanation for such matters as why essentially
the same gene provides the structure of the compound eye of insects, the
distinctive retina of cephalopods, and the vertebrate retina.

The list can be extended indefinitely, and you want somebody to wave a
magic wand and produce a new species in a no more than a few hundred
generations of a limited number of individuals? To what end: to give
something more for YEC to misrepresent?
Dave (ASA)

On Tue, 22 Apr 2008 11:13:24 -0700 "Dehler, Bernie"
<> writes:
I think we have a difference of definition for “macro evolution.” To
the YEC, it doesn’t mean large sudden changes. It means changes across
species- such as ape-like creatures to man, or land animals to whales.
Timber wolf to poodle isn’t impressive- it is called “micro evolution”
and everyone agrees to those level of species changes.
If evolution were true (as I think it is), why can we get fruit flies to
evolve into something totally different like a bumble bee or even some
new creature? Not just color or sexual reproduction changes, but real
“new animal” kind of changes—even if it takes 20 generations, which
doesn’t take too long with fruit flies (a couple of weeks per
generation). Is the problem still with time scale—we could do it if we
had 300 generations, but that would take 12 years of meticulous control…?

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Received on Tue Apr 22 16:43:56 2008

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