I ran across this article in AOL news called “Was Darwin Wrong? Study says living space is key to evolution”.




I think it is silly for these people to be claiming that competition was not important for changes, in one fashion or another. It was not against his theory that when animals move into a new region that they would
be likely to evolve depending on what would be favorable. This was brought up
here in there in “origins of species”. If they move somewhere with lots of food
and little threats or other predatory competition, they would pretty much take
over, but there would still be tons of competition on both sides of the hunt. The
fittest prey would still be the ones to have a better chance to reproduce. And
if not, then the food sources would become rare, which would create
competition, or die off completely, and that isn’t good for any predator. Overall
I don’t see a real argument on how millions of species arrived here without competition
or other factors pressuring change, and mainly on openings in environmental
roles. As I see that it could promote a new variety or animal, competition
would still play a vital role.

Maybe I am missing the big picture of what they are trying to say, if someone really understands how this "living space" is a strong driver for evolution without competition, please explain.


Either way, the best part is that with the article, they have a creationist video to go along with it… which is kinds counter productive to the article itself, since it says that evolution is impossible… lol. I just
thought that was funny.

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Replies to This Discussion

Right or wrong, what makes this go into the "Weird News" category? Oh .... it must be the folks think it is weird that there may be competing views in a scientific subject. ;-(
What's strange, in addition to the points you've already mentioned, is that they don't consider the need to move to different areas to be due to competition in the old areas.
How is 'living space' not just another factor of natural selection?
I write this before I read the responses because I do not want to be influenced from my first impression of the video. I look forward with anticipation to the thoughts of others.

First of all, any gardener knows that if you plant two kinds of melon next to each other you get infertile seeds. It doesn't take too many generations of infertile seeds, before the seeds become fertile. Nature figures out when, where, how and why I can get a totally different mellon if I just leave my melon beds to rot, sprout, grow, produce seeds and come up with an entirely different melon.

Flora is not fauna, but the principles are the same. Animal breeders, from dairy animals, to chickens, to dogs, to cats, can be deliberately bred from a mongrel dog, for example, to an entirely different looking animal that reproduces its kind. Dairy farmers took an original wild bovine and created dairy animals with high milk production; even changes can be created in the ratio of milk to cream.

As to natural selection and Darwin's theory. To begin with, the scientific method required skepticism. Test, experiment, examine, explore, compare, contrast what happens over time in nature. Watch the results, change the hypotheses when new evidence appears. Scientists don't observe from certainty, they expect the unexpected. They are not bound by theory or story or tradition. They go where the evidence takes them.

Now, as to the theme of the film, it is a clear apologetic, a concern with defending or proving their truth. I find this insulting to intelligent inquiry, and offensive to those who seek truth as opposed to those who impose truth.

Was Darwin wrong? Probably! If one thinks of truth as constant and continuous. The only thing I know that fulfills those word definitions is change.
I watch the neighborhood cats come and go in my National Wildlife Federation certified garden and they know the places to catch birds. The birds very quickly know when the area is dangerous and move on. Obviously, they return when they see no cats, but the theory is the same ... cats and birds go to and from the places that benefit them. When my son, who hates cats enters the garden, cats disappear. Critters move from danger toward safety in a garden, perhaps that can be extrapolated to include the larger world.

When winter arrives, some of the birds migrate away, leaving the cats with only sweet memories of hunting for birds. Again, movement to and from friendly and hostile environments is a normal, natural phenomenon. No big deal. No reason to defame a man. No need to offer a creationist hypothesis, unless it is to test the theory and follow the evidence.

As to missing links ... just walk in a Cretaceous fossil field that has exposures to much earlier layers to the Cambrian (such as central Texas) and one can gather flora and fauna that changes radically over time. The simple oyster, clam, gastropod, crinoids, and trilobites, just to name a few, change in size, color, texture, shape over time, and I am sure that when toxic substances touched them, they moved away. Just do a lab experiment with a single cell organism by putting a toxic substance next to it and it moves away ... a single cell thinking, acting organism.

Experimenters posses biases, recognized or not. Take, for example, a female monkey in a sterile cage (that means a box with no hiding places, just an empty box) with an Alpha male and a Beta male. The offspring of the female comes from the Alpha male. Put a female in a natural enclosure with shrubs, trees, rocks and lots of hiding places, with an Alpha and Beta male and the experimenters expected the offspring to be from the Alpha male. After DNA came on the scene, the experimenters realized that a majority of the offspring were from the Beta male. What happened? The Beta male lightly groomed the female until discovered and chased away by the Alpha. The quiet, quick, gentle grooming continued until at an opportune time, the Beta could mate with the female. Even though exposed to Alpha sperm, the Beta sperm fathered a higher percentage of offspring than the experimenters expected.

OK, the reason I tell of these experiments is that the scientist forms a hypothesis and changes as the evidence changes. The creationist forms the hypotheses and finds evidence to support such claims. Listen to the language of the creationists. Pay attention to the words and phrases to recognize the patterns.
I don't think the position takes into account that desirable living space for one species would be desirable for many. Eventually then they would be competing for it (in the process of feeding). Those ill equipped to feed themselves or not become food would die out. Their abilities to feed themselves or not become food would be subject to the other species and thus would involve competition between the species.



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