Monday, April 11, 2011

An amended "Emergence of New Species"

I added the following bit to my list of Emergecne of new species.

The former “Answers in Genesis” gang claims they have found a problem with using O. gigas as an example of polyploidal speciation. There are so many good examples of new species emerging, both in the wild, and in laboratories, that I would not want to use one that is incorrect.

The notorious creationist website “Creation Ministries,” disputes O. gigias as a valid example of polyplodial speciation. (Feedback, March 31, 2007 “Speciation Observed? Was this Evolution?” As I have found them to be grossly wrong on many occasions, I also checked their citation list. The creationist claim that O. gigas is not an example of speciation has only two supports; an article in 1943, and that they did not find botanical materials named O. gigias in on-line Botanical nomenclature reference collections. Oenothera names are a mess, but not as bad as Asteracea. O. gigias was apparently found to be a synonym, and is disused. This is trivial, and does nothing to change using the spontaneous emergence of the tetraploidal new species.

The “Creation Ministries International” phonies also cited a 1943 plant genetics article, “An amphidiploid in the F1 generation from the cross Oenothera franciscana x Oenothera biennis, and its progeny” (Davis, B.M., Genetics 28(4):275–285, July 1943). It is available on-line in PDF at:

Read it for yourselves, if you like. It has nothing relevant to de Vries, or his O. gigias being used as valid examples of speciation. This is the sort of misrepresentation typical from professional creationists, who expect their followers to lack either the education, or motivation to actually dig through the science.

For a more recent review of the role polyplodial plants play in evolution, read;
"Duplicate genes increase expression diversity in closely related species and allopolyploids" Misook Haa, Eun-Deok Kima and Z. Jeffrey Chen, PNAS February 17, 2009 vol. 106 no. 7 2295-2300

And, here is a broader review on plant evolution and genome doubling that is also a bit easier to read;
"Genetic and epigenetic alterations after hybridization and genome doubling"
Ovidiu Paun, Michael F. Fay, Douglas E. Soltis, and Mark W. Chase, Taxon. 2007 August; 56(3): 649–56.

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