Home » Evolution, News » Diatoms “can be as genetically different as humans and fish.”

Diatoms “can be as genetically different as humans and fish.”

Diatoms can be as genetically different as humans and fish.

From “Diatom Evolution a Mystery” (Creation-Evolution Headlines, August 12, 2012), we learn

Michael Gross, a science writer at Oxford, wrote a feature story for Current Biology called, “The Mysteries of the Diatoms” (Current Biology, Volume 22, Issue 15, R581-R585, 7 August 2012). Gross knows that diatoms are extremely successful and diverse, very important for the carbon cycle, and beautiful to look at, but said scientists still know little about them. One of the chief mysteries is their evolution:

“In a time span of less than 200 million years, diatoms have branched out into a multitude of species, which can be as genetically different as humans and fish.”

“While we might want to call diatoms ‘plantimals,’ these things are much more complex than we think,” Chris Bowler says.

Assumng all this is true, genetics isn’t what we think and neither is evolution.

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2 Responses to Diatoms “can be as genetically different as humans and fish.”

  1. Don’t forget the voles:

    Dr Denton tells us that although genes may influence every aspect of development they do not determine it.

    Dr Sermonti tells us that we do not know what makes a cat a cat other than the successful mating of a tom with a she cat.

    Rodent’s bizarre traits deepen mystery of genetics, evolution:

    The study focuses on 60 species within the vole genus Microtus, which has evolved in the last 500,000 to 2 million years. This means voles are evolving 60-100 times faster than the average vertebrate in terms of creating different species. Within the genus (the level of taxonomic classification above species), the number of chromosomes in voles ranges from 17-64. DeWoody said that this is an unusual finding, since species within a single genus often have the same chromosome number.

    Among the vole’s other bizarre genetic traits:

    •In one species, the X chromosome, one of the two sex-determining chromosomes (the other being the Y), contains about 20 percent of the entire genome. Sex chromosomes normally contain much less genetic information.

    •In another species, females possess large portions of the Y (male) chromosome.

    •In yet another species, males and females have different chromosome numbers, which is uncommon in animals.

    A final “counterintuitive oddity” is that despite genetic variation, all voles look alike, said DeWoody’s former graduate student and study co-author Deb Triant.

    “All voles look very similar, and many species are completely indistinguishable,” DeWoody said.

    In one particular instance, DeWoody was unable to differentiate between two species even after close examination and analysis of their cranial structure; only genetic tests could reveal the difference.

    Nevertheless, voles are perfectly adept at recognizing those of their own species.

    Yup after all this “evolution” a vole is still a vole. This study alone should cast a huge shadow over evolutionism.

    In “The Deniable Darwin” David Berlinski puts it this way:

    SWIMMING IN the soundless sea, the shark has survived for millions of years, sleek as a knife blade and twice as dull. The shark is an organism wonderfully adapted to its environment. Pause. And then the bright brittle voice of logical folly intrudes: after all, it has survived for millions of years.

    This exchange should be deeply embarrassing to evolutionary biologists. And yet, time and again, biologists do explain the survival of an organism by reference to its fitness and the fitness of an organism by reference to its survival, the friction between concepts kindling nothing more illuminating than the observation that some creatures have been around for a very long time. “Those individuals that have the most offspring,” writes Ernst Mayr, the distinguished zoologist, “are by definition . . . the fittest ones.” And in Evolution and the Myth of Creationism, Tim Berra states that “[f]itness in the Darwinian sense means reproductive fitness-leaving at least enough offspring to spread or sustain the species in nature.”

    This is not a parody of evolutionary thinking; it is evolutionary thinking.Que sera, sera.

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