Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Locusts Incredibly Change from Passive and Peaceful to Aggressive and Deadly When They Are Overcrowded

Locusts are the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of the insect world. They are picky eaters and lead a solitary lifestyle until overcrowding occurs and within a few hours they undergo a radical transformation and form vicious swarms. Suddenly they abandon their peaceful independent lifestyle and refined vegetarian diet for aggressive behavior which has them strangely marching together and flying in swarms, and eating most any plant and ultimately each other. They change color from brown to yellow and black, and their brain undergoes a radical change, including an increase in size by about a third.

This is an example of an extreme phenotypic makeover. With evolution we must believe a vast number of mutations conspired not to change the organism per se, but to give it this incredible capability to change under specific conditions. And that makeover would include eating each other. It hardly seems like a very good “survival of the fittest” solution, but that’s evolution for you.

21 comments:

  1. CH: And that makeover would include eating each other. It hardly seems like a very good “survival of the fittest” solution, but that’s evolution for you.

    Exactly how do you explain this statement?

    For example, might expect this from a layman who simply didn't know any better, but you supposedly teach biology at the college level.

    As such, it's unclear exactly what we're supposed to conclude, other than you're incompetent or that you've deliberately and knowing presented a falsehood.

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    Replies
    1. Scott you say to Dr. Hunter:

      'you're incompetent or that you've deliberately and knowing presented a falsehood'

      Why is this that you do this? Just because he questions the almighty power of neo-Darwinian storytelling? Exactly why should you resort to name-calling when such a bankrupt theory, as neo-Darwinism is, is exposed? Should you not address the evidence honestly instead of insisting that the naked emperor has clothes?

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    2. Born: Why is this that you do this? Just because he questions the almighty power of neo-Darwinian storytelling?

      I'm referring specifically to the comment I quoted.

      Again, I wouldn't be surprised if you thought evolution was merely "survival of the fittest", but Cornelius should know better.

      Specifically, the role of genes as replicators is an integral part of evolutionary theory. As such, it's individual genes which are best suited at causing themselves to be replicated that are selected, which can result in making an organism less fit.

      Again, it's unclear what other conclusion are we supposed to reach, other than he's incompetent, in that, as a biologist, he's apparently unaware of core aspects of evolutionary theory, or he's deliberately and intentionally presenting a falsehood.

      So, the question is, why doesn't his comment take this into account? How does Cornelius explain what's clearly written in black and white on his own blog?

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    3. Scott you state:

      'Again, I wouldn't be surprised if you thought evolution was merely "survival of the fittest", but Cornelius should know better.'

      and then you go on to state:

      'As such, it's individual genes which are best suited at causing themselves to be replicated that are selected'

      Thus it is merely survival of the fittest genes, and not organisms, you are quipping about?

      And yet Dr. Hunter's critique holds since Natural selection operates at the level of a entire organism, not at the level of individual genes: (survival of the fittest any way you look at it!):

      The GS Principle (The Genetic Selection Principle) - Abel - 2009
      Excerpt: The GS Principle, sometimes called “The 2nd Law of Biology,” states that selection must occur at the molecular/genetic level, not just at the fittest phenotypic/organismic level, to produce and explain life.,,, Natural selection cannot operate at the genetic level.
      http://www.scitopics.com/The_GS_Principle_The_Genetic_Selection_Principle.html

      Genetic Entropy - Dr. John Sanford - Evolution vs. Reality - video
      http://vimeo.com/35088933

      Scott instead of playing silly game, perhaps you would care to demonstrate the origination of a ORFan gene so as to actually be in the field of scientific inquiry???

      Widespread ORFan Genes Challenge Common Descent – Paul Nelson – video with references
      http://www.vimeo.com/17135166

      further notes:

      Falsification Of Neo-Darwinism by Quantum Entanglement/Information
      https://docs.google.com/document/d/1p8AQgqFqiRQwyaF8t1_CKTPQ9duN8FHU9-pV4oBDOVs/edit?hl=en_US

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    4. The next evolutionary synthesis: Jonathan BL Bard (2011)
      Excerpt: We now know that there are at least 50 possible functions that DNA sequences can fulfill [8], that the networks for traits require many proteins and that they allow for considerable redundancy [9]. The reality is that the evolutionary synthesis says nothing about any of this; for all its claim of being grounded in DNA and mutation, it is actually a theory based on phenotypic traits. This is not to say that the evolutionary synthesis is wrong, but that it is inadequate – it is really only half a theory!
      http://www.biosignaling.com/content/pdf/1478-811X-9-30.pdf

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    5. Born: And yet Dr. Hunter's critique holds since Natural selection operates at the level of a entire organism, not at the level of individual genes: (survival of the fittest any way you look at it!):

      Born, again, I don't expect you to understand the difference this would make in regards to the quote from CH's post. Nor am I asking for an explanation for what you write in your comments on this thread.

      Rather, I'm asking for an explanation for what Cornelius himself wrote on his own blog, given that he teaches biology at a college level.

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    6. Well Scott, you have said:

      'As such, it's individual genes which are best suited at causing themselves to be replicated that are selected'

      and I showed you that Natural Selection operates at the level of the entire organism (i.e. survival of the fittest). There is really not much to understand other than the fact that you have called Dr. Hunter names instead of provided any coherent argument and when called on this you retreat to dig your hole deeper. The truth is that Darwinism is bankrupt and 'school yard bullies' like you and Thorton have nothing better than invective to back your position. Truly you can do better than this!

      Delete
    7. batspit77

      DERP! DERP! DERP!


      Batspit, you forgot the holy roller music video.

      Delete
    8. Again, I wrote...

      Scott: Specifically, the role of genes as replicators is an integral part of evolutionary theory. As such, it's individual genes which are best suited at causing themselves to be replicated that are selected, which can result in making an organism less fit.

      What matters is whether genes are replicated in the overall population, rather than individual locust. This can sill occur even if some parts of the population become less fit, or even of the entire population becomes less fit.

      But again, I would be surprised if you do not understand the implications of this in regards to the quote from Cornelius' OP. Nor am I asking for an explanation for what you wrote in comments on this thread.

      The question is, how does Cornelius explain what he himself wrote on his blog, given his current (or past) position as a college level biology instructor?

      Did someone hack into his blog and deface his post?

      Were some of the bytes in his post corrupted when transferred between his browser to the server, which just happened to end up as…

      And that makeover would include eating each other. It hardly seems like a very good “survival of the fittest” solution, but that’s evolution for you..

      Exactly, what conclusion does Cornelius expect us to reach?

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    9. Thorton, since you don't like 'holy roller' music;

      Kutless - Strong Tower
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOxeyj7itJE

      Here is a song I'm fairly certain you will appreciate:

      AC/DC - Highway To Hell
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNlNZ2T9EeY&ob=av3n

      Delete
    10. Scott you keep repeating this as if you have a valid point:

      'What matters is whether genes are replicated in the overall population, rather than individual locust. This can sill occur even if some parts of the population become less fit, or even of the entire population becomes less fit.'

      Yet the statement you make is still as irrelevant, and unsubstantiated, as when you first made it. For selection happens at the level of the entire organism, not at the level of genes!! Moreover, far from 'random variations' in genes, neo-Darwinism posited as its creative engine, here is the true picture of what happens in the cell:


      Revisiting the Central Dogma in the 21st Century - James A. Shapiro - 2009
      Excerpt (Page 12): Underlying the central dogma and conventional views of genome evolution was the idea that the genome is a stable structure that changes rarely and accidentally by chemical fluctuations (106) or replication errors. This view has had to change with the realization that maintenance of genome stability is an active cellular function and the discovery of numerous dedicated biochemical systems for restructuring DNA molecules.(107–110) Genetic change is almost always the result of cellular action on the genome. These natural processes are analogous to human genetic engineering,,, (Page 14) Genome change arises as a consequence of natural genetic engineering, not from accidents. Replication errors and DNA damage are subject to cell surveillance and correction. When DNA damage correction does produce novel genetic structures, natural genetic engineering functions, such as mutator polymerases and nonhomologous end-joining complexes, are involved. Realizing that DNA change is a biochemical process means that it is subject to regulation like other cellular activities. Thus, we expect to see genome change occurring in response to different stimuli (Table 1) and operating nonrandomly throughout the genome, guided by various types of intermolecular contacts (Table 1 of Ref. 112).
      http://shapiro.bsd.uchicago.edu/Shapiro2009.AnnNYAcadSciMS.RevisitingCentral%20Dogma.pdf

      further note;

      A. L. Hughes's New Non-Darwinian Mechanism of Adaption Was Discovered and Published in Detail by an ID Geneticist 25 Years Ago - Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig - December 2011
      Excerpt: The original species had a greater genetic potential to adapt to all possible environments. In the course of time this broad capacity for adaptation has been steadily reduced in the respective habitats by the accumulation of slightly deleterious alleles (as well as total losses of genetic functions redundant for a habitat), with the exception, of course, of that part which was necessary for coping with a species' particular environment....By mutative reduction of the genetic potential, modifications became "heritable". -- As strange as it may at first sound, however, this has nothing to do with the inheritance of acquired characteristics. For the characteristics were not acquired evolutionarily, but existed from the very beginning due to the greater adaptability. In many species only the genetic functions necessary for coping with the corresponding environment have been preserved from this adaptability potential. The "remainder" has been lost by mutations (accumulation of slightly disadvantageous alleles) -- in the formation of secondary species.
      http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/12/a_l_hughess_new053881.html
      further notes:

      Delete
    11. Again, I wrote…

      Specifically, the role of genes as replicators is an integral part of evolutionary theory. As such, it's individual genes which are best suited at causing themselves to be replicated that are selected, which can result in making an organism less fit.

      Born: For selection happens at the level of the entire organism, not at the level of genes!!

      You keep repeating this as if this somehow conflicts with the above. But it doesn't.

      Take a hypothetical island with a hypothetical species of bird. Currently this species nests in May, which is optimal for the islands climate and food supply. However, due to the islands geography, not all nesting areas are equal in that some are significantly farther from food, more exposed to predators, etc.

      Now, hypothetically, one of these birds is born with a mutation that causes it to nest in April, which is a month earlier. As such, it gets the best nesting location. It also finds a suitable mate and has offspring, which also inherit this same mutation. While being born a month early is a sub optimal for the island's climate and food supply, this is outweighed by the fact that they have the best nesting location. Next season, their offspring also nest earlier, obtain the best nesting locations, etc. This continues until eventually the early nesting mutation has spread throughout the entire population, which has made it less fit as a whole.

      If a bird is born with a mutation to nest a month later, which would again represent the optimal time, all of the best nesting locations would already be taken. The mutation would not spread thought the population. However, if a bird is born with a mutation to nest yet another month earlier, the process would repeat itself. This would results in the entire population is even less fit.

      At some point, mutations to nest earlier would eventually prove lethal to offspring. As such, if all things remain equal, there is a minimum level of fitness the entire species would maintain. But, this could still be far from the original fitness the species first exhibited. However, if the climate suddenly changes, such as cold weather last significantly longer in a season, the entire species could go extinct.

      So, rather than merely being "the survival of the fittest", we say that genes are biological replicators, in that they play a causal role in their own replication by their environment. Furthermore, we include the organism itself as part of the gene's environment. As such, it's the genome itself that becomes better adapted to be replicated by it's environment - even potentially at the expense of the organism becoming less fit as a whole.

      Delete
    12. Scott let's apply population genetics to whales shall we:,

      Whale Evolution Vs. Population Genetics - Richard Sternberg PhD. in Evolutionary Biology - video
      http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4165203

      Hmm, that doesn't help, how about we apply population genetics to humans:

      Waiting Longer for Two Mutations - Michael J. Behe
      Excerpt: Durrett and Schmidt (2008, p. 1507) retort that my number ‘is 5 million times larger than the calculation we have just given’ using their model (which nonetheless "using their model" gives a prohibitively long waiting time of 216 million years). Their criticism compares apples to oranges. My figure of 10^20 is an empirical statistic from the literature; it is not, as their calculation is, a theoretical estimate from a population genetics model.
      http://www.discovery.org/a/9461

      Shoot no help again. Tell you what Scott, I think you need a to have something substantial, as in some real evidence, before you just start making up stories that have no basis in reality and calling Dr. Hunter a liar!

      further notes:

      Nobel Prize-Winning Physicist Wolfgang Pauli on the Empirical Problems with Neo-Darwinism - Casey Luskin - February 27, 2012
      Excerpt: particularly because they use the word 'chance', not any longer combined with estimations of a mathematically defined probability, in its application to very rare single events more or less synonymous with the old word 'miracle.'" Wolfgang Pauli (pp. 27-28) -
      http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/02/nobel_prize-win056771.html

      Michael Behe on the theory of constructive neutral evolution - February 2012
      Excerpt: I don’t mean to be unkind, but I think that the idea seems reasonable only to the extent that it is vague and undeveloped; when examined critically it quickly loses plausibility. The first thing to note about the paper is that it contains absolutely no calculations to support the feasibility of the model. This is inexcusable. - Michael Behe
      http://www.uncommondescent.com/evolution/michael-behe-on-the-theory-of-constructive-neutral-evolution/

      Oxford University Admits Darwinism's Shaky Math Foundation - May 2011
      Excerpt: However, mathematical population geneticists mainly deny that natural selection leads to optimization of any useful kind. This fifty-year old schism is intellectually damaging in itself, and has prevented improvements in our concept of what fitness is. - On a 2011 Job Description for a Mathematician, at Oxford, to 'fix' the persistent mathematical problems with neo-Darwinism within two years.
      http://www.evolutionnews.org/2011/05/oxford_university_admits_darwi046351.html

      The next evolutionary synthesis: from Lamarck and Darwin to genomic variation and systems biology
      Excerpt: If more than about three genes (nature unspecified) underpin a phenotype, the mathematics of population genetics, while qualitatively analyzable, requires too many unknown parameters to make quantitatively testable predictions [6]. The inadequacy of this approach is demonstrated by illustrations of the molecular pathways that generates traits [7]: the network underpinning something as simple as growth may have forty or fifty participating proteins whose production involves perhaps twice as many DNA sequences, if one includes enhancers, splice variants etc. Theoretical genetics simply cannot handle this level of complexity, let alone analyse the effects of mutation..
      http://www.biosignaling.com/content/pdf/1478-811X-9-30.pdf

      DNA Degeneration: Top Population Geneticists agree neo-Darwinism is not supported by the data – John Sanford
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYEkqwOXE5U

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    13. Born,

      At this point, you're merely picking out words in my comments, then posting links that reference those words regardless if they are actually related to what I actually wrote or not.

      While this would come as no surprise from you, it's unclear why Cornelius would ignore a key part of modern evolutionary theory.

      So, again, The question is, how does Cornelius explain what he himself wrote on his blog, given his current (or past) position as a college level biology instructor?

      What other conclusion does he expect us to reach, other than he's incompetent or intentionally and knowingly presenting a falsehood? How does he explain it?

      Delete
    14. And Scott you are merely restating your foundationless claim with no substantiating evidence. Why in blue blazes do you think your appeal to imaginary scenarios merits anything but proof that you are either self-deluded or are trying to deceive others??? Scott, here is a clue as to how science works. One presents evidence like thus:


      Experimental Evolution in Fruit Flies (35 years of trying to force fruit flies to evolve in the laboratory fails, spectacularly) - October 2010
      Excerpt: "Despite decades of sustained selection in relatively small, sexually reproducing laboratory populations, selection did not lead to the fixation of newly arising unconditionally advantageous alleles.,,, "This research really upends the dominant paradigm about how species evolve," said ecology and evolutionary biology professor Anthony Long, the primary investigator.
      http://www.arn.org/blogs/index.php/literature/2010/10/07/experimental_evolution_in_fruit_flies

      And then the one holding the counter view (you in this case) is to present evidence that such a impenetrable barrier to the fixation of mutations does not exist. Elsewise Scott, are you are doing is propaganda for atheism.

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    15. Born,

      You're still confused.

      Cornelius' comment didn't take into account a core part of evolutionary theory, which is that genes are replicators, along with the accepted implication that their replication can result in an organism becoming less fit.

      So, my question is, given that he supposedly teaches biology as the college level, why would he present an argument that omitted this, since it's a main-stream, accepted part of evolutionary theory?

      In other words, what other conclusion does he expect us to reach other than he's either incompetent, in that he's somehow unaware of this main-stream part of evolutionary theory, or he deliberately presented falsehood?

      How does he explain what he himself wrote on his own blog?

      Delete
  2. Very interesting Dr. Hunter, thanks for the article. Of course evolution cannot explain this, just as it can't explain anything else, without resorting to elaborate 'just so' stories. By the way did you see the DNA repair article that came out recently (I was hoping you could do a article on it);

    Protein Researchers Unravel the Molecular Dance of DNA Repair - March 2012
    Excerpt: Using state-of-the-art technology, scientists at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research at the University of Copenhagen and their international collaborators have successfully obtained molecular snapshots of tens of thousands processes involved in DNA damage repair.,,, "We first damaged the DNA of cells using radiation or chemical drugs and then used a technique called mass spectrometry, which is a way of precisely determining the identity of proteins and their chemical modifications," Petra Beli says.
    "This allowed us to follow thousands of protein modifications that happened in the process of DNA repair, shedding new light on how the networks of biochemical signals are regulated and how the infrastructure of alerts works."
    The data from the experiments is so extensive that it will require much further work by researchers to fully understand the significance and impact of these newly identified signaling pathways.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120315123022.htm

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  3. Thanks again Batspit77 for spamming the board with another half dozen posts' worth of your pointless C&Ped blithering.

    You're nothing if not consistent.

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  4. Why do they become sociable if they are cannibalistic? Wouldn't it be smarter stay away from your neighbor if he wants eat you?

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  5. Nat

    "Why do they become sociable if they are cannibalistic? Wouldn't it be smarter stay away from your neighbor if he wants eat you?"

    Are you talking about Thorton?

    :)

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  6. Eugen

    Nat "Why do they become sociable if they are cannibalistic? Wouldn't it be smarter stay away from your neighbor if he wants eat you?"

    Are you talking about Thorton?

    :)


    Nah, I gave up devouring Creationists. They have way too much fat inside the head area. ;)

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