Home » Darwinism, Evolution » If cancers can be a newly evolved species, something is wrong with the concept of “newly evolved.”

If cancers can be a newly evolved species, something is wrong with the concept of “newly evolved.”

At ScienceDaily (July 27, 2011), we are asked to consider this, “Are Cancers Newly Evolved Species?”:

In a paper published in the July 1 issue of the journal Cell Cycle, Duesberg and UC Berkeley colleagues describe their theory that carcinogenesis — the generation of cancer — is just another form of speciation, the evolution of new species

The idea that cancer formation is akin to the evolution of a new species is not new, with various biologists hinting at it in the late 20th century. Evolutionary biologist Julian S. Huxley wrote in 1956 that “Once the neoplastic process has crossed the threshold of autonomy, the resultant tumor can be logically regarded as a new biologic species ….”

Last year, Dr. Mark Vincent of the London Regional Cancer Program and University of Western Ontario argued in the journal Evolution that carcinogenesis and the clonal evolution of cancer cells are speciation events in the strict Darwinian sense.

Duesberg has a history with respect to the AIDS virus. We knew we’d heard the name somewhere.

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9 Responses to If cancers can be a newly evolved species, something is wrong with the concept of “newly evolved.”

  1. …carcinogenesis and the clonal evolution of cancer cells are speciation events in the strict Darwinian sense.

    Say it isn’t so, Dr. Liddle.

  2. OT: recent new video

    Astonishing Molecular Machines – Drew Berry
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/6861283

  3. Here is a article related to the last machine(s) Berry talked about:

    Getting a tighter grip on cell division – November 2010
    The molecular machinery that shepherds and literally pulls the chromosomes apart consists of paired microtubules radiating from opposite poles of the dividing cell and an enormous, but precise, molecular complex called a kinetochore.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....ision.html

  4. Drew Berry is really a talented animator; Note how in the last minute of this video he zooms in on a Bacteria community;

    Animations from E O Wilson’s Lord of the Ants documentary
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hX2e0il1qpg

  5. If cancer is a species, does cancer have “rights”?

  6. 6
    Elizabeth Liddle

    Mung:

    Say it isn’t so, Dr. Liddle.

    It ain’t so, Mung, as far as can see, for the same reason as it’s a bit of a stretch to say tht any non-sexually reproducing population “speciates”.

    But in the sense that they are going down a separate and diverging lineage with a markedly different genotype and a characteristics phenotype, well, um, up to a point, Lord Copper.

    i.e. no.

    IMO.

  7. 7

    News,

    Duesberg has a history with respect to the AIDS virus. We knew we’d heard the name somewhere.

    Indeed. Another familiar name has also been active in denying the HIV/AIDS link. The following letter was published in Science (17 Feb. 1995, vol.267 pp.945-946):

    In 1991, we, the Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV/AIDS Hypothesis, became dissatisfied with the state of the evidence that the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) did, in fact, cause AIDS.

    Specifically, we have proposed that researchers independent of the HIV establishment should audit the Centers for Disease Control’s records of AIDS cases, bearing in mind that the correlation of HIV with AIDS, upon which the case for HIV causation rests, is itself an artefact of the definition of AIDS. Since 1985, exactly the same diseases or conditions have been defined as “AIDS” when antibodies are present, and as “non-AIDS” when HIV and antibodies are absent. Independent professional groups such as the Society of Actuaries should be invited to nominate members for an independent commission to investigate the following question: How frequently do AIDS-defining diseases (or low T cell counts) occur in the absence of HIV? Until we have a definition of AIDS that is independent of HIV, the supposed correlation of HIV and AIDS is mere tautology.

    Other independent researchers should examine the validity of the so-called “AIDS tests,” especially when these tests are used in Africa and Southern Asia, to see if they reliably record the presence of antibodies, let alone live and replicating virus.

    The bottom line is this: the skeptics are eager to see the results of independent scientific testing. Those who uphold the HIV “party line” have so far refused. We object.

    Eleen Baumann
    Tom Bethell
    Harvey Bialy
    Peter H. Duesberg
    Celia Farber
    Charles L. Geshekter
    Phillip E. Johnson
    Robert W. Maver
    Russell Schoch
    Gordon T. Stewart
    Richard C. Strohman
    Charles A. Thomas Jr.

    For the Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV/AIDS Hypothesis.

    Also see here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7863335

    Spot anyone you know?

  8. WR:

    Spot anyone you know?

    Well, since it’s just me, all alone in the world, no one to play with but myself, and I don’t see my name, I’d have to say no.

  9. BA thank you for the kinetochore video. I love his stuff.

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