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(Daily Mail)   Even a spider can see that evolution is more than just a theory   (dailymail.co.uk) divider line 139
    More: Cool, Laos, pigments, Afghan National Police, just a theory  
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12415 clicks; posted to Main » on 11 Aug 2012 at 2:47 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-08-11 02:54:57 AM
I realize that you're trying to defend evolution with that headline but really... Do better!

Evolution is a fact. The theory of evolution is the explanation, currently tested many times over and always accurate, of how evolution happens.
 
2012-08-11 02:58:12 AM
oh jesus I can feel them all over my body, why did I click that link
 
2012-08-11 02:59:04 AM
But can he see why kids love Cinnamon Toast Crunch?
 
2012-08-11 03:00:31 AM
blogs.ocweekly.com

www.skepticalraptor.com
 
2012-08-11 03:02:25 AM
Blind cave creatures have always been a curious thing. It's an evolutionary dead end because it's unlikely the offspring will develop sight if the cave becomes uninhabitable.

Yet it happens so readily in nature. I guess evolution really can't plan ahead. It just assumes the sun is never coming back.
 
2012-08-11 03:04:06 AM
Kirk Cameron will show us the truth! Well, either that or we will show us a picture of a crockoduck while eating a banana.
 
2012-08-11 03:06:46 AM
Those jaws look like hairy balls
 
2012-08-11 03:06:57 AM
When the same thing happens repeatedly, in multiple separated caves, among multiple taxa...

4.bp.blogspot.com

www.nps.gov

pubs.usgs.gov

...it sure looks like there's some basic biological process at work which works to optimize an organism's fitness for a particular environment over multiple generations.
 
2012-08-11 03:10:13 AM
The one I remember had eyes. Stop raping my childhood, George Lucas!

www.theforce.net
 
2012-08-11 03:11:04 AM

wildcardjack: Blind cave creatures have always been a curious thing. It's an evolutionary dead end because it's unlikely the offspring will develop sight if the cave becomes uninhabitable.

Yet it happens so readily in nature. I guess evolution really can't plan ahead. It just assumes the sun is never coming back.


My understanding of genetically is that the genes for eyes are never really lost in most cases, it's more like they are commented out in the genetic code, so if the evolutionary advantage to have eyes returns, a mutant population with eyes will likely flourish if light returns, making eyesight normal for the population again.

Of course, this would only work in the short term, so long as evolution does not progress to the point of no return and you have structures repurposed into other things, like gill arches becoming jaws.
 
2012-08-11 03:14:47 AM

wildcardjack: Blind cave creatures have always been a curious thing. It's an evolutionary dead end because it's unlikely the offspring will develop sight if the cave becomes uninhabitable.

Yet it happens so readily in nature. I guess evolution really can't plan ahead. It just assumes the sun is never coming back.


From a developmental standpoint, eyes are expensive. In a dark cave, an otherwise lethal mutation involving underdeveloped eyes might actually be an advantage if the energy input is redirected into something like gonadal development. Loss of unused parts is everywhere in the evolutionary record.

Evolution has no foresight. It's an adaptation to existing conditions by necessity, and the unroofing of a cave, the opening of a land bridge, or any other environmental change can be catastrophic to anything not coincidentally prepared to the changed physical and/or biological environment.
 
2012-08-11 03:16:08 AM

Mad_Radhu: wildcardjack: Blind cave creatures have always been a curious thing. It's an evolutionary dead end because it's unlikely the offspring will develop sight if the cave becomes uninhabitable.

Yet it happens so readily in nature. I guess evolution really can't plan ahead. It just assumes the sun is never coming back.

My understanding of genetically is that the genes for eyes are never really lost in most cases, it's more like they are commented out in the genetic code, so if the evolutionary advantage to have eyes returns, a mutant population with eyes will likely flourish if light returns, making eyesight normal for the population again.

Of course, this would only work in the short term, so long as evolution does not progress to the point of no return and you have structures repurposed into other things, like gill arches becoming jaws.


Additionally, even if the structures are not repurposed, sufficient genetic drift can make a return to functional eyes less and less likely over successive generations; selection pressures do not prevent accumulation of mutations upon inactive genes.
 
2012-08-11 03:18:54 AM
If we found eyeless humans living in caves we would say they had birth defects. But if they can live without eyes and reproduce, then that is evolution. There is no "planning" in evolution. It's survival of the fit enough.
 
2012-08-11 03:22:01 AM

wildcardjack: Blind cave creatures have always been a curious thing. It's an evolutionary dead end because it's unlikely the offspring will develop sight if the cave becomes uninhabitable.

Yet it happens so readily in nature. I guess evolution really can't plan ahead. It just assumes the sun is never coming back.


Umm, there are hundreds of genes involved in the development and function of an eye. One small change in 1 developmental gene, say changing a G to a C, may stop it from working and result in no eyes. There is no reason this one change can't mutate back and then voila eyes again. Chickens have all the genes to grow teeth in their mouths and have done so in experiments that "fix" a developmental gene.
 
2012-08-11 03:30:00 AM

Mad_Radhu: wildcardjack: Blind cave creatures have always been a curious thing. It's an evolutionary dead end because it's unlikely the offspring will develop sight if the cave becomes uninhabitable.

Yet it happens so readily in nature. I guess evolution really can't plan ahead. It just assumes the sun is never coming back.

My understanding of genetically is that the genes for eyes are never really lost in most cases, it's more like they are commented out in the genetic code, so if the evolutionary advantage to have eyes returns, a mutant population with eyes will likely flourish if light returns, making eyesight normal for the population again.


Eyes probably would return, eventually, just as the eyeless mutation appeared in the first place (a single-point mutation affecting the initial signal to "make eye here" would certainly eliminate eyes while preserving the eye-making genetic sequences themselves). However, even if a species hit the jackpot with a favorable mutation in the Boobies-catastrophe generation, it would take a while for that mutation to spread to a large enough population to ensure survival, and a freshly opened cave with fat, pink, blind meat inside seems like the perfect predator magnet.

There's a reason why extinction is so common. Recovery from environmental change isn't easy.
 
2012-08-11 03:33:55 AM

common sense is an oxymoron: ...in the Boobies-catastrophe generation...


Sometimes filterpwns work. This is not one of those times.
 
2012-08-11 03:46:16 AM
This has always been an area of confusion for me; that an organism "evolves" to lose senses, not adapts and transforms like the foot bones in a whale's tail or the vestigial toes of large constrictors. It is one of those situations where Lamarck and Darwin might be having a drink in the same bar. What came first, the dark cave or the spider? The sleeper shark never sees the light of day, yet still has eyes.

I guess, in my lack of sobriety, my point is this: Darwinism depends on genetic mutations that make a member of a species more adept to its surroundings and more able to survive and pass on its hereditary traits. So, in this instance and several other such examples listed above, there are organisms living close to dark caves that formed other means of sensory perception such as echolocation and their eyes disappeared over time? Would it not be more efficient for an already formed organ to become something else? Are these isolated instances of "somehow my freak baby survived" due to lack of competition and predation and not necessarily evolution? There are 1100 hunter spiders many of which are cave dwelling. This is the only one to evolve not to be blind, but have no eyes at all?

I do believe in evolution and manage to be a Christian...animals on the fourth and fifth day, man on the sixth and a seventh day to wake up hungover and think "What the hell have I done?"
 
2012-08-11 03:54:43 AM
www.redorbit.com
 
2012-08-11 03:57:09 AM
Spider thread! Spider thread!
Saturday's starting off in good stead!
Once again,Darwin's right:
They can thrive for eons without sight!
Hey theeeere! Here comes the spider thread!
 
2012-08-11 04:00:18 AM
www.skepticreport.com

WHO KNEW?
 
2012-08-11 04:07:50 AM

HairBolus: wildcardjack: Blind cave creatures have always been a curious thing. It's an evolutionary dead end because it's unlikely the offspring will develop sight if the cave becomes uninhabitable.

Yet it happens so readily in nature. I guess evolution really can't plan ahead. It just assumes the sun is never coming back.

Umm, there are hundreds of genes involved in the development and function of an eye. One small change in 1 developmental gene, say changing a G to a C, may stop it from working and result in no eyes. There is no reason this one change can't mutate back and then voila eyes again. Chickens have all the genes to grow teeth in their mouths and have done so in experiments that "fix" a developmental gene.


Well, 'Mutate back' is perhaps not a good way to put it as that is incredibly unlikely.. but if the alleles necessary to restore sight are still present in the population then they could easily become expressed again. If any alleles are lost then it is really unlikely to come back.
 
2012-08-11 04:08:42 AM
Somehow, I find a blind spider more creepy than one that's not handicapped. Maybe because if I threaten a normal seeing spider, I might be able to scare it off. The blind one could just keep coming at me until I find a way to kill it.

/I know huntsmans are basically harmless, I love jumpers and wolf spiders too
 
2012-08-11 04:09:17 AM
Atheism is a Religion.
 
2012-08-11 04:12:23 AM
NO! Wrong!! I am really so tired of hearing this. Evolution is not 'more' than a theory. Evolution IS 'just a theory'. That's what evolution is! A theory! The theory of evolution!!


This whole debate on whether evolution is 'just' a theory is embarrassing. It's like arguing whether gravity is 'just' a law.
 
2012-08-11 04:19:31 AM
Well I just discounted ONE theory: it isn't the eyes that give me the willies.
 
2012-08-11 04:20:58 AM

Baron Harkonnen: It's like arguing whether gravity is 'just' a law.


And a theory.
 
2012-08-11 04:23:15 AM
The thing I've always wondered is, what triggers a mutation or evolution from one generation to the next? I mean, I understand the logical reasoning of why it happens, but what is it that actually communicates to the next generation's genes that eyes/teeth/tail/etc are no longer needed? What turns that switch off?
 
2012-08-11 04:28:17 AM

grinnel: Are these isolated instances of "somehow my freak baby survived" due to lack of competition and predation and not necessarily evolution?


That's what evolution is, dude. Enough freak babies survive and after a while the entire species looks like that.

Personally, I think the fact of evolution is the best evidence for the hand of a creator that a creationist could ask for. That life isn't just capable of, but seems purpose-built for adapting to and overcoming nearly any change in its environs, resulting in a myriad of specialized forms is, really, nothing short of miraculous.
 
2012-08-11 04:29:18 AM

Chinchillazilla: oh jesus I can feel them all over my body, why did I click that link


Today I was on my laptop and thought I saw a glare, I tried to look at it but my eyes kept focusing to right in front of my face. After I started locking on to the blur it looked more like a drifting piece of dust. I finally locked on to it and with a sharp image of what I was seeing I was able to discover that it was a very tiny spider. Makes me wonder how many more are around the house :p
 
2012-08-11 04:33:29 AM

grinnel: This has always been an area of confusion for me; that an organism "evolves" to lose senses, not adapts and transforms like the foot bones in a whale's tail or the vestigial toes of large constrictors. It is one of those situations where Lamarck and Darwin might be having a drink in the same bar. What came first, the dark cave or the spider? The sleeper shark never sees the light of day, yet still has eyes.

I guess, in my lack of sobriety, my point is this: Darwinism depends on genetic mutations that make a member of a species more adept to its surroundings and more able to survive and pass on its hereditary traits. So, in this instance and several other such examples listed above, there are organisms living close to dark caves that formed other means of sensory perception such as echolocation and their eyes disappeared over time? Would it not be more efficient for an already formed organ to become something else? Are these isolated instances of "somehow my freak baby survived" due to lack of competition and predation and not necessarily evolution? There are 1100 hunter spiders many of which are cave dwelling. This is the only one to evolve not to be blind, but have no eyes at all?

I do believe in evolution and manage to be a Christian...animals on the fourth and fifth day, man on the sixth and a seventh day to wake up hungover and think "What the hell have I done?"


Competition and predation are part of the environmental stress which makes evolution of a species possible. They cannot be separated.

A species in a static environment isn't going to change much, since any changes are most likely going to be in an unfavorable direction from the established optimum and will be less likely to be passed on. Only an external stress (like that new, big-toothed predator that just invaded) which changes the definition of "optimum" can drive any meaningful genetic changes (whether it's stronger legs to run faster, thicker skin to minimize the effect of biting attacks, or whatever).

In a sense, eyeless creatures really are examples of "freak baby" survival. As I noted earlier, eyelessness isn't a disadvantage in total darkness and could even provide a small but crucial bonus in the fitness race, so there's nothing in particular to stop such a trait from spreading through a population and becoming the new normal.
 
2012-08-11 04:34:49 AM
The nasty cinderblock apartment I lived in for a few semester in college had tiny white spiders with no pigment that lived in throughout the porous blocks of the walls. I had always assumed they had adapted that way over generations from 1960 or whenever that flat-roofed bunker of hell was built.
 
2012-08-11 04:35:32 AM

sid2112: [www.skepticreport.com image 396x300]

WHO KNEW?


It's kinda hard to reproduce after you've castrated yourself.
 
2012-08-11 04:38:33 AM

PetraeusWJ: The thing I've always wondered is, what triggers a mutation or evolution from one generation to the next? I mean, I understand the logical reasoning of why it happens, but what is it that actually communicates to the next generation's genes that eyes/teeth/tail/etc are no longer needed? What turns that switch off?


It's literally a typo in the genetic code.

Remember how back in the Dark Ages, monks copied books by hand to preserve knowledge? Well, imagine if a monk was copying some text and instead of "The sky was blue", he wrote down "The sky was blus". The next monk comes along and copies the flawed copy, assuming that "blus" is an obscure but legitimate word. From then on every copy based on that first monk's copy contains the error.

A few thousand generations of copying later, "sky" has morphed into "skier" and "blus" has become "blur" and the sentence now reads "The skier was a blur".

Genetic mutations work the same way, except it's a wrong molecule being substituted during copying by chance. And sometimes mutations result from DNA being damaged, so pieces of the chain break off and are lost.
 
2012-08-11 04:46:54 AM

Baron Harkonnen: NO! Wrong!! I am really so tired of hearing this. Evolution is not 'more' than a theory. Evolution IS 'just a theory'. That's what evolution is! A theory! The theory of evolution!!


This whole debate on whether evolution is 'just' a theory is embarrassing. It's like arguing whether gravity is 'just' a law.


Not quite. Evolution is a fact. Natural selection is a scientific theory to explain the mechanism behind evolution. Or, to use your example, gravity is a fact and general relativity is a theory to explain the mechanism.
 
2012-08-11 05:00:51 AM
From across the room, that picture would probably look like porn.
 
2012-08-11 05:01:46 AM

PetraeusWJ: The thing I've always wondered is, what triggers a mutation or evolution from one generation to the next? I mean, I understand the logical reasoning of why it happens, but what is it that actually communicates to the next generation's genes that eyes/teeth/tail/etc are no longer needed? What turns that switch off?


First off lets define a mutation; it's a change in a things genetic code. It occurs during meiosis, or when DNA replicates. All creatures both living and when being created (}egg + sperm) are constantly making DNA copies for themselves. When this occurs there is a possibility that a mistake occurs somewhere/sometime during the copy. The copy is made by pulling apart the DNAs double helix while in a soup of proteins and letting each DNA half become a complete helix again with those ACTG proteins completing the HELIX, Here, where the Helix is split and replicated the sequence can change a little bit, and probably does with some frequency, but just in places that don't matter. The likeliness of a mutation can increase for several reasons, like radiation, chemicals, viruses, all manner of nasty stuff.If these changes occur after conception they become the new
generation. When that new generation breeds the change is passed on.
Outside of the aforementioned environmental factors like chemicals and radiation, the environment doesn't have any effect on when and what mutations occur. IT just happens though that when a mutation occurs that is beneficial, it is likely to propagate through the following generations.

So to recap, mutations occur during meiosis. They generally occur at random, not because the mutation could be beneficial. When it is beneficial it is likely to live on.
Did that answer your question?

\Also, before the rest of you yell at me, the one and only Biology class I ever had was as a HS freshman, in College I had to take physics and also took a chem class.
 
2012-08-11 05:02:32 AM

wildcardjack: Blind cave creatures have always been a curious thing. It's an evolutionary dead end because it's unlikely the offspring will develop sight if the cave becomes uninhabitable.


On the other hand, eyes are very easy to evolve, judging by the number of times its happened.
 
2012-08-11 05:08:37 AM

Apos: Spider thread! Spider thread!
Saturday's starting off in good stead!
Once again,Darwin's right:
They can thrive for eons without sight!
Hey theeeere! Here comes the spider thread!


i399.photobucket.com
 
2012-08-11 05:25:49 AM

Mad_Radhu: My understanding of genetically is...


Aaaaaaand, that's where I quit reading.
 
Skr
2012-08-11 05:42:12 AM
"Sinopoda scurion" "Scurry On" Okay that name alone is enough to get a clear picture.
I usually don't mind spiders, but something about an eyeless hunter squicks me out.
 
2012-08-11 05:46:06 AM
This got greenlighted yet the spider in the ear story didn't?
 
2012-08-11 06:02:36 AM

Sinister 161: This got greenlighted yet the spider in the ear story didn't?


It was greenlit on August 9th.
 
2012-08-11 06:05:50 AM
This article is only a cause for discussion about evolution in the US. The rest of the world takes evolution for granted.
 
2012-08-11 06:30:50 AM
I saw this on QI for another species of spider: Link
 
2012-08-11 06:57:33 AM

grinnel: This has always been an area of confusion for me; that an organism "evolves" to lose senses


That's because you don't understand evolution. Sight is the most commonly lost sense because it's expensive. It takes a lot of energy to run the visual cortex. If you never use it it makes sense to just stop building all the parts. As for "adapting senses", the spider doesn't really have to. Spiders already have extremely fine-tuned senses of touch.

As someone stated above, evolution doesn't plan for the future, it just reacts to what's happening now. And these cave environments are not only dark, which makes the eyes useless, they also tend to be poor in available food, which makes the useless eyes too expensive to keep. The spiders who lost their eyes were able to devote that energy to something else, or, just reduce their energy needs and lower their level of starvation.
 
2012-08-11 07:51:23 AM
OH HI WHATS GOING ON IN THIS THREAD !

i237.photobucket.com
 
2012-08-11 08:27:28 AM

Apos: Once again,Darwin's right:


was he right about the UCA? or even the tree of life? or anything else that would support the core of his theory?

this thread needs moar xian hate *highfives Kali-Yuga*

/moar pining for bevets
 
2012-08-11 08:35:34 AM

Uchiha_Cycliste: PetraeusWJ: The thing I've always wondered is, what triggers a mutation or evolution from one generation to the next? I mean, I understand the logical reasoning of why it happens, but what is it that actually communicates to the next generation's genes that eyes/teeth/tail/etc are no longer needed? What turns that switch off?

First off lets define a mutation; it's a change in a things genetic code. It occurs during meiosis, or when DNA replicates. All creatures both living and when being created (}egg + sperm) are constantly making DNA copies for themselves. When this occurs there is a possibility that a mistake occurs somewhere/sometime during the copy. The copy is made by pulling apart the DNAs double helix while in a soup of proteins and letting each DNA half become a complete helix again with those ACTG proteins completing the HELIX, Here, where the Helix is split and replicated the sequence can change a little bit, and probably does with some frequency, but just in places that don't matter. The likeliness of a mutation can increase for several reasons, like radiation, chemicals, viruses, all manner of nasty stuff.If these changes occur after conception they become the new
generation. When that new generation breeds the change is passed on.
Outside of the aforementioned environmental factors like chemicals and radiation, the environment doesn't have any effect on when and what mutations occur. IT just happens though that when a mutation occurs that is beneficial, it is likely to propagate through the following generations.

So to recap, mutations occur during meiosis. They generally occur at random, not because the mutation could be beneficial. When it is beneficial it is likely to live on.
Did that answer your question?

\Also, before the rest of you yell at me, the one and only Biology class I ever had was as a HS freshman, in College I had to take physics and also took a chem class.


Point mutations (which affect a single nucleotide) can occur at any time (that gamma ray doesn't have to zap your DNA during cell division to have an effect). Other mutations such as insertions, deletions, and translocations can occur during mitosis (routine cell division) as well as meiosis (production of gametes), although the greater complexity of meiosis does increase the potential for mutations compared to mitosis.
 
2012-08-11 08:35:54 AM
s/theory/hypothesis/
 
2012-08-11 08:38:13 AM

letrole: Atheism is a Religion.


evolutionism is the tinfoil hat atheists wear to keep god out of their brainwaves

common sense is an oxymoron: ...it sure looks like there's some basic biological process at work which works to optimize an organism's fitness for a particular environment over multiple generations.


so in other words, animals are able to adapt to their environment?

then why isn't it called the theory of adaptation?

evolution seems to imply that those lizards will eventually become people, provided that you leave them in the right environment long enough

is that a scientific theory?
 
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