When the politics of climate change clash with the politics of Darwinism, expect a big fight – but which wins?
|June 11, 2011||Posted by News under Climate change, Darwinism|
An interesting clash is shaping up between the truisms of Darwinian evolution and those of climate change, as reported in “Can Evolution Outpace Climate Change? Tiny Seashore Animal Suggests Not”, (ScienceDaily, June 9, 2011):
Animals and plants may not be able to evolve their way out of the threat posed by climate change, according to a UC Davis study of a tiny seashore animal. The research is published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.The tide pool copepod Tigriopus californicus is found from Alaska to Baja California — but in a unique lab study, the animals showed little ability to evolve heat tolerance.
Most observers would doubt that the 10 observed generations were enough, but the significance of the findingis that there was no trend toward heat tolerance, in terms of the Darwinian slight advantage:
At the outset, copepods from different locations showed wide variability in heat tolerance. But within those populations, Kelly was able to coax only about a half-degree Celsius (about one degree Fahrenheit) of increased heat tolerance over 10 generations. And in most groups, the increase in heat tolerance had hit a plateau before that point.
Plateau? Does that sound a bit like fixed limits on variation? Apparently so:
“The critical point is that many organisms are already at their environmental limits, and natural selection won’t necessarily rescue them,” Grosberg said.
Some ask, does this mean that man-made global warming has a slight edge on Darwinism, in the “what everyone must believe” stakes?