"The Wondering Jew"
May. 18, 2006 - 21:14 MDT
Always there is the pro and con about evolution. Red in the face, desk pounding debate ( which neither side wins ) keeps on and on. I read an article in this morning's Rocky Mountain News by Matt Crenson of the Associated Press which gives a somewhat different point of view. Quoted in full here:
FORGET THE BIRDS AND BEES, THIS IS A SWINGING FLING
DNA study uncovers sexual link of chimps, man -- then a divorce
NEW YORK -- "One of the most detailed comparisons yet of human and chimp DNA shows that the split between the two species was a long, messy affair that may even have featured an unusual evolutionary version of breakup sex."
"Previous genetic research has shown that chimpanzees and humans are sister species having split off from a common ancestor about 7 million years ago. The new study goes further by looking at approximately 800 times more DNA than earlier efforts."
"That aditional data make it possible to determine not just when, but how the split happened."
"For the first time we are able to see the details written out in the DNA," said Eric Lander, one of the collaborators on the study. "What they tell us at the least is that the human-chimp speciation was very unusual."
"The researchers from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard propose that humans and chimpanzees first split up about 10 million years ago. Then after evolving in different directions for about 4 million years, they got back together for a brief fling that produced a third hybrid population with characteristics of both lines."
"That genetic collaboration then gave rise to two separate branches -- one leading to hummans and the other to chimps."
"The work has inspired both admiration and skepticism. Many paleontologists have a hard time believing that some of the fossil humans that are know to have lived during that era could have been pairing up with apes."
"It's a totally cool and extremely clever analysis," said Daniel Lieberman, a professor of biological anthropology at Harvard, who wasn't involved in the study. "My problem is imagining what it would be like to have a bipedal hominid and a chimpanzee viewing each other as appropriate mates -- not to put it too crudely."
"Past studies that compared human and chimp DNA could only average the differences between a limited number of spots ir their genetic codes to come up with a single date for the split, rather than a span of years. The genius of the new study is that it breaks the genetic code into pieces and then looks at each section individually."
"Surprisingly some genes differ so much between the two species that they must not have been mixing for the past 10 million years."
"But others are similar enough that they appear to have been in contact no more than 6.3 million years ago."
"That finding and some details about which particular genes split when, led the study's authors to propose their controversial scenario."
"The new data also suggesst the final human-chimp split was much more recent than the 7-million year date that fossils and previous studies indicate -- certainly no earlier than 6.3 million years ago, and more likely in the neighborhood of 5.4 million years."
Reminds me of the humorous radio announcer that once said, "There are two schools of thought: one is that there are two schools of thought."
So now, not only will there be anti-evolutionists but evolutionary thinkers of different viewpoints -- probably as vociferous as the antis.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Not only whether more proof is trotted out, but whether everyone will come together and agree that perhaps calling someone a monkey's uncle is a deadly slur.
Far from the wonder about poultry evolution, it appears to be a somewhat EGGY CHICKEN . . . . . . . . .0 comments so far