May 18, 2006

THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS SPECIES, JUST REALLY UNATTRACTIVE MATES (via David Hill, The Bronx)

Did chimp and human ancestors interbreed?: DNA analysis indicates that species split was a messy affair, scientists say (Bjorn Carey, 5/17/06, Live Science)

The earliest known ancestors of modern humans might have reproduced with early chimpanzees to create a hybrid species, a new genetic analysis suggests.

Based on the study of human and chimp genomes, the scientists believe the split between the human and chimpanzee lines occurred much more recently than previously thought ‚ÄĒ no more than 6.3 million years ago and perhaps as recently as 5.4 million years ago.

Human and chimpanzee ancestors began branching apart on the primate evolutionary tree about 9 million years ago, scientists say, but there are significant gaps in the fossil record. The new analysis suggests that a full split, which scientists call speciation, wasn't achieved for nearly 4 million years and might have occurred twice.


You can call a brick a duck but that won't make it float.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 18, 2006 10:12 AM
Comments

And here we thought monogamy would be the next sacred cow to fall.

Posted by: Peter B at May 18, 2006 11:06 AM

...Must...resist...back hair...joke...

Posted by: David Cohen at May 18, 2006 11:57 AM

Yes, but if it floats, that means it's a WITCH!!
(Obscure Monty Python joke)

Posted by: ed in texas at May 18, 2006 12:32 PM

A woman was shopping at her local supermarket where she selected:

1)a half-gallon of 2% milk,
2)a carton of eggs,
3)a quart of orange juice,
4)a head of romaine lettuce,
5)a 2 lb. can of coffee,
6)a 1 lb. package of bacon.

As she was unloading her items on the conveyor belt to check out, a
drunk standing behind her watched as she placed the items in front of the
cashier. While the cashier was ringing up her purchases, the drunk calmly
stated, "You must be single."

The woman was a bit startled by this proclamation, but she was
intrigued by the derelict's intuition, since she was indeed single. She looked at
her six items on the belt and saw nothing particularly unusual about her
selections or their possible applications, separate or combined, that
could have tipped off the drunk to her marital status.

Curiosity getting the better of her, she said "Well, you know what,
you're absolutely correct. But how on earth did you know that?"

The drunk replied, "'Cause you're butt ugly."

Posted by: h-man at May 18, 2006 12:45 PM

So, we diverged into seperate species, then interbred and had to do it again?

Posted by: Mike Earl at May 18, 2006 1:43 PM

Mike:

Just shut your eyes and think of Huxley....

Posted by: oj at May 18, 2006 1:46 PM

"Get your hands off me, you damned dirty ape--or at least bribe me with dinner and flowers first!"

Posted by: Mike Morley at May 18, 2006 2:24 PM

It reminds me of the ever increasing circles used to prove the sun moved around the earth......

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at May 18, 2006 2:48 PM

Mike E.: no, we seem to have split into distinct genetic branches, not quite separate species, then merged again, and then split into distinct species.

At least, that's what these scientists studying genetics seem to have determined. On the other side we have OJ and a few commenters here, waving their hands and claiming the concept of species is some sort of mass delusion.

Posted by: PapayaSF at May 18, 2006 3:27 PM

PapayaSF:

Yes, and that seems a reasonable interpretation of the data, I was just amused by the article text that a full split, which scientists call speciation, wasn't achieved for nearly 4 million years and might have occurred twice.

The more science coverage I read in the papers, the more terrified I grow of the political coverage; if they don't understand that any better, our hopes of learning what's going on from the papers are slim indeed.

Posted by: Mike Earl at May 18, 2006 3:34 PM

I hate every ape I see,
From chimpan-A to chimpanzee,
No, you'll never make a monkey out of me!

Posted by: Shelton at May 18, 2006 3:50 PM

Papaya:

We just point out the science -- which demonstrates there's no such thing as speciation -- then sit back and laugh while the faithful mythologize.

Posted by: oj at May 18, 2006 4:21 PM

Yes, Mike, as I've written before, judging science by what's written about it in the papers is like judging religion by what's written about it in the papers.

No, OJ, I totally get Darwinism. You don't seem to understand that designating species (and probably genus and order and all the rest) is something of a judgment call, because the world of biology is fluid and messy and doesn't always fit into neat, intelligently designed boxes. But the existence of dawn and dusk doesn't refute the concepts of night and day.

Posted by: PapayaSF at May 18, 2006 4:31 PM

Papaya:

judgment call

Bingo! It's just make believe, not science.

Posted by: oj at May 18, 2006 4:35 PM

Come and love me, be my ape man girl
And we will be so happy in my ape man world
Iím an ape man, Iím an ape ape man, Iím an ape man
Iím a king kong man, Iím a voo-doo man
Iím an ape man
Iíll be your tarzan, youíll be my jane
Iíll keep you warm and youíll keep me sane
And weíll sit in the trees and eat bananas all day
Just like an ape man

The Kinks

Posted by: Rick T. at May 18, 2006 5:48 PM

Come and love me, be my ape man girl
And we will be so happy in my ape man world
Iím an ape man, Iím an ape ape man, Iím an ape man
Iím a king kong man, Iím a voo-doo man
Iím an ape man
Iíll be your tarzan, youíll be my jane
Iíll keep you warm and youíll keep me sane
And weíll sit in the trees and eat bananas all day
Just like an ape man

The Kinks

Posted by: Rick T. at May 18, 2006 5:48 PM

God made man
But he used the monkey to do it
Apes in the plan
Weíre all here to prove it
I can walk like an ape
Talk like an ape
I can do what a monkey can do
God made man
But a monkey supplied the glue

Devo

Posted by: David Hill, The Bronx at May 18, 2006 7:16 PM

Science involves many judgment calls, especially when classifying the natural world, as with (e.g.) geologic eras and types of stars. So then geology and astronomy aren't science?

Posted by: PapayaSF at May 18, 2006 8:19 PM

No, it doesn't. You're just talking about dating events, which is completely different, not whether the events can ever occur as proposed. Darwinism is uniquely a mere philosophy.

Posted by: oj at May 18, 2006 9:51 PM
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