New paper challenges current views on evolution.

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Via a Facebook friend and sometime contributor here (Psiclops), some news on evolution research.

Not, this time, a direct challenge to the general understanding of Darwinian evolution but this paper seems to overturn the textbook view of human and animal diversity and the appearance of most animal species alive today. This study contends that 90% of those animals appeared at about the same time, only 100,000 - 200,000 years ago.

https://phys.org/news/2018-05-gene-surve...ution.html

Quote:... Mark Stoeckle from The Rockefeller University in New York and David Thaler at the University of Basel in Switzerland, who together published findings last week sure to jostle, if not overturn, more than one settled idea about how evolution unfolds.

It is textbook biology, for example, that species with large, far-flung populations—think ants, rats, humans—will become more genetically diverse over time.
But is that true?

"The answer is no," said Stoeckle, lead author of the study, published in the journal Human Evolution.
For the planet's 7.6 billion people, 500 million house sparrows, or 100,000 sandpipers, genetic diversity "is about the same," he told AFP.

The study's most startling result, perhaps, is that nine out of 10 species on Earth today, including humans, came into being 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.

"This conclusion is very surprising, and I fought against it as hard as I could," Thaler told AFP.
That reaction is understandable: How does one explain the fact that 90 percent of animal life, genetically speaking, is roughly the same age? Was there some catastrophic event 200,000 years ago that nearly wiped the slate clean?


Quote:And yet—another unexpected finding from the study—species have very clear genetic boundaries, and there's nothing much in between.

"If individuals are stars, then species are galaxies," said Thaler. "They are compact clusters in the vastness of empty sequence space."

The absence of "in-between" species is something that also perplexed Darwin, he said.

The actual paper can be found here: https://phe.rockefeller.edu/news/wp-cont...educed.pdf
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Very interesting. Lots to consider
I think this is another example of a common problem in science journalism: Scientists publish a paper of limited importance with a lot of assumptions and limitations that other scientists in the field recognize implicitly, but a science journalist sensationalizes the results blowing them up way beyond what the authors intended. Two things scientists in the field will know that lay people might not: if you choose different genes  you often get different evolutionary trees, and genetic clocks used to date past events often have assumptions built in and are not always reliable.

If you are interested in a discussion of the findings, see the comments section here:
https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-...n-200-kya/

Here is my take:

https://phys.org/news/2018-05-gene-surve...ution.html
Quote:On the one hand, the COI gene sequence is similar across all animals, making it easy to pick out and compare.

On the other hand, these mitochondrial snippets are different enough to be able to distinguish between each species.

"It coincides almost perfectly with species designations made by specialist experts in each animal domain," Thaler said.

In analysing the barcodes across 100,000 species, the researchers found a telltale sign showing that almost all the animals emerged about the same time as humans.

They are picking a gene because it behaves the way they want it to. If they looked, they could probably find a different gene that would give a different result. That is another huge problem with the theory of evolution. You get a different evolutionary tree if you use different genes. I don't think you can make any conclusion just looking at one gene. I think this is another example of a common problem in science journalism: scientists publish a paper of limited importance with a lot of assumptions and implied limitations that other scientists in the field recognize implicitly but a science journalist sensationalizes it blowing it up way beyond what the authors intended.


http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-f...ution.html
Quote:Casey Luskin provides detailed evidence and a thorough discussion of it in the body of the article, but he sums it up well in the conclusion:
Quote:The methodology for inferring common descent has broken down. Proponents of neo-Darwinian evolution are forced into reasoning that similarity implies common ancestry, except for when it doesn’t. And when it doesn’t, they appeal to all sorts of ad hoc rationalizations to save common ancestry. Tellingly, the one assumption and view that they are not willing to jettison is the overall assumption of common ancestry itself. This shows that evolutionists treat common descent in an unfalsifiable, and therefore unscientific and ideological, fashion.

Meanwhile, as far as the data is concerned, the aforementioned New Scientist article admits, “Ever since Darwin the tree has been the unifying principle for understanding the history of life on Earth,” but because “different genes told contradictory evolutionary stories,” the notion of a tree of life is now quickly becoming a vision of the past — as the article stated “today the project lies in tatters, torn to pieces by an onslaught of negative evidence. Many biologists now argue that the tree concept is obsolete and needs to be discarded,” and as scientists quoted in the article said, “We have no evidence at all that the tree of life is a reality” or the tree is being “annihilated.” Perhaps the reason why different genes are telling “different evolutionary stories” is because the genes have wholly different stories to tell, namely stories that indicate that all organisms are not genetically related. For those open-minded enough to consider it, common design is a viable alternative to common descent.
The first gulp from the glass of science will make you an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you - Werner Heisenberg. (More at my Blog & Website)
(This post was last modified: 2018-06-04, 10:54 PM by Jim_Smith.)
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Using mutation rates as a molecular clock with which to date past events is also problematical:

https://www.nature.com/news/dna-mutation...et-1.17079

Quote:DNA mutation clock proves tough to set

A slower molecular clock worked well to harmonize genetic and archaeological estimates for dates of key events in human evolution, such as migrations out of Africa and around the rest of the world1. But calculations using the slow clock gave nonsensical results when extended further back in time — positing, for example, that the most recent common ancestor of apes and monkeys could have encountered dinosaurs.

https://sites.google.com/site/darwinspre...onary-time
Quote:Evolutionists are finding growing evidence that the purported rates of molecular evolution must vary considerably between species for a wide range of taxa, including mammals, arthropods, vascular plants, and even between closely related lineages. As one study concluded, “The false assumption of a molecular clock when reconstructing molecular phylogenies can result in incorrect topology and biased date estimation. … This study shows that there is significant rate variation in all phyla and most genes examined …” (Thomas, et. al.)
The first gulp from the glass of science will make you an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you - Werner Heisenberg. (More at my Blog & Website)
(This post was last modified: 2018-06-04, 10:43 PM by Jim_Smith.)
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