Home » Intelligent Design » Little evolution found in Brazil’s isolated “islands in the sky”

Little evolution found in Brazil’s isolated “islands in the sky”

From “Brazil’s Islands in the Sky Defy Evolution” (Creation-Evolution Headlines, August 9, 2012), we learn

Isolated table mountains with sheer cliffs in South America should be natural laboratories for evolution. Why aren’t they?

Substantial diversity was the expectation based on the amount of time these creatures are believed to have been isolated. But when they made the “analyses of two mitochondrial gene fragments evolving at different rates,” they were very surprised: “populations of a given species on individual summits are often closely related to those on other summits (e.g., Oreophrynella), or to those from the surrounding uplands (e.g., Tepuihyla).” Many of the differences were less than 1%. “Uncorrected pairwise distances in both genes indicate unexpectedly low genetic divergence — as low as zero — among multiple tepui summit species or populations in five of the six groups (Stefania being the only exception), as well as among some summit species or populations and uplands populations described as distinct species.”

With such a dramatic clash between theory and practice, the scientists went into damage-control mode. No one is going to buy the idea that the frogs and snakes decided to move from one tepui to another. That would mean going down one 1000 meter cliff, crossing a completely different ecosystem at lower elevation, then climbing up another 1000 meters. The scientists looked at other options:

Judt so … just so … just so …

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16 Responses to Little evolution found in Brazil’s isolated “islands in the sky”

  1. This sounds very significant to me! Here we have the perfect natural laboratory to study & observe evolution, but contrary to the evolutionists high expectations/predictions, NONE is found. Why? That is the big question!

    It is tempting to take this fact for evidence that evolution did not occur, but evolutionists already “know” it occurred so now they have to figure out some kind of just so story or ad hoc explanation to solve this anomaly.

    Why is it that so many ad hoc explanations are necessary to prop up Darwinism?

  2. When did the “islands in the sky” form? How many years ago?

  3. Evolution teaches us so much, never ceasing to surprise us with its seemingly endless stream of perverse, little contradictions; evolution’s rich pageant, from which we learn something new all the time.

    Such a rich cornucopia of unforeseeable variety for the passionately-committed, hard-headed scientist. If I may paraphrase St Augustine, ‘Evolution, oh though Beauty, ever ancient, ever new… late have I loved thee’. No, alas, all too prematurely.

  4. Axel posted:

    “Evolution teaches us so much, never ceasing to surprise us with its seemingly endless stream of perverse, little contradictions; evolution’s rich pageant, from which we learn something new all the time.

    Such a rich cornucopia of unforeseeable variety for the passionately-committed, hard-headed scientist. If I may paraphrase St Augustine, ‘Evolution, oh though Beauty, ever ancient, ever new… late have I loved thee’. No, alas, all too prematurely.”

    When do you think the “islands in the sky” were formed? How many years ago?

  5. timothya:

    When do you think the “islands in the sky” were formed? How many years ago?

    Does it really matter?

    If there’s lots of divergence, then they must have formed in the Cretaceous. And if there’s little divergence, then it must have formed in the Quaternary.

    It all depends on which makes for the best evolutionary “just-so” story.

  6. This not the only anomaly of this type. Here are a few more ‘surprises’ along the same line:

    Fantasy Island: Evolutionary Weirdness Does Not Favor Islands – July 2010
    Excerpt: “We concluded that the evolution of body sizes is as random with respect to ‘isolation’ as on the rest of the planet,” he said. “This means that you can expect to find the same sort of patterns on islands and on the mainland.”
    http://www.creationsafaris.com.....#20100708b

    Amazing Insects Defy Evolution – October 2010
    Excerpt: India spent tens of millions of years as an island before colliding with Asia. Yet the fossil record contains no evidence that unique species evolved on the subcontinent during this time,
    http://www.creationsafaris.com.....#20101026a

    Allopatric Speciation Tested in Martinique Cornelius Hunter – February 2012
    Excerpt: In spite of evolutionary expectations the different lizard populations, which had been separated for six to eight millions years, had no difficulty interbreeding as one species. The so-called allopatric speciation never happened. Undaunted as ever, evolutionist now call for “ecological speciation,” which didn’t occur either but it has the virtue that it can’t be falsified.
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....ed-in.html

  7. They must be grateful not just for small mercies, but big ones, too. Anyway, why drag science into it, bornagain?

  8. PaV posted:

    “If there’s lots of divergence, then they must have formed in the Cretaceous. And if there’s little divergence, then it must have formed in the Quaternary.”

    Is this a summary of how you imagine natural selection works?

  9. Amen about this lab work .
    They didn’t predict the lack of diversity.
    its because diversity does not come from time separation.
    Its , I say, from profound biological laws that are triggered within life systems.
    why shouldn’t biology be more complicated then physics.?
    if one can survive as one is then there is no change from some original.
    If one must change then then it does by innate triggers.

    Its not by mutations and selection and time.
    Its unlikely and unreasonable and un evidenced.

  10. Timothy,

    If you want to know when the islands formed, go read the link that was given in the post.

  11. timotya:

    Is this a summary of how you imagine natural selection works?

    No. It’s a summary of how evolutionary biologists think. Nothing is grounded. Everything is subject to change. Anything goes, so long as the most “fit” “just-so” story can be told.

    That’s the only true “fitness” measure that exists in evolutionary biology: the ‘fitness’ level of the ad hoc stories that are invented.

    This very study is an example.

    As Darwin himself said, you have to have a good imagination to be an evolutionary biologist. (I paraphrase—I’m required to state this else the point will be missed and nit-picking take its place)

    The true ‘myth-makers’ are not the world’s religions, but evolutionary biologists (and, of course, liberals in general).

  12. timothya:

    What this study highlights, on a more serious level, is the true function of natural selection—it is a stabilizing, conservative force; it acts to weed out deleterious mutations. When, in the face of serious environmental change, mutations are ‘beneficial’ (which means, per Behe’s study, that it is, in fact, a deleterious mutation which, given the changes, raises the ‘fitness’ only because of change circumstances), then these are preserved—that is, NOT ‘weeded out’. However, once conditions change back to the original environmental conditions, then these putative ‘beneficial’ mutations are then ‘weeded out.’

    That’s how it works. NS cannot move beyond a couple of mutations. When are evolutionary biologists going to accept this fact?

  13. PaV

    I’m new to the evolution/ID debate but it seems to me what you stated may be proof of common ancestry. It may stand to reason that if the mutations occur based on the environment, what’s stopping an organism from continuously evolving from one species into another as it changes environments? The mutations may also be random because who knows what environment the organism would end up in. Stephen Gould may be correct about rewinding the tape of life and not getting humanity out the second time which is a case against ID.

  14. PaV posted this:

    “That’s how it works. NS cannot move beyond a couple of mutations. When are evolutionary biologists going to accept this fact?”

    So you claim, but even if this were true (and it isn’t true as a general, observable rule), the point is irrelevant to an assemblage of species (hint: evolutionary change is a characteristic of individual, mutually interbreeding populations).

    There is nothing in evolutionary biology that requires an assemblage of species, or indeed a single species within an assemblage to pass through a regular rate of genetic change (hint: if the environment doesn’t select for change, then the environment will select for stability). It is pretty simple, really.

  15. OT: Ms. O’Leary has a small interview in this video from a few years back:

    The God Exclusion Part 2 – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92pShLnOtJk

    Here is part 1 of the video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGL-BO1xJmY

  16. timothya:

    So you claim, . . .

    This is what Behe claims. Can you refute his claims?

    . . . but even if this were true (and it isn’t true as a general, observable rule),

    Be more precise. Do you mean that we find more than two amino acid differences between individual species? That might be correct. But that might only mean that NS has had to select for various environmental factors. If there are a variety of environmental factors that, over time, are subject to selection, then the total will be above 2 a.a.s. But this does not mean that NS can move the genome farther away from its fitness peak, given a particular trait, than two a.a.s.

    (hint: if the environment doesn’t select for change, then the environment will select for stability).

    So, per your pronouncement, selection is always at work: if there’s change, then selection is at work; if there is NO change, then selection is at work. How, then, do you falsify this position? Isn’t this just blind faith?

    It is pretty simple, really. Yeah, it’s pretty simple to believe anything we want to believe. Liberals prove that every day. And, the more the liberal mind-set takes over academia, so, more and more, does science become eviscerated, turning into but a hollow shell of its former self, via this “belief system,” which strictly enforces scientific orthodoxy.

    If you don’t ‘toe the line’, then you get “Expelled” (feel free to watch the movie.)

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