Gals and show mares

This video has been going around — it’s a group of women talking about the importance of evolution to the biological sciences.

I confess to cringing in a few places — there’s too much ready equation of evolution with natural selection — but I certainly wouldn’t question the competence of these accomplished scientists, even if I might argue with them a bit.

But now the clowns at Uncommon Descent have discovered it and given their assessment.

It shows sixteen female academics or science writers, mostly young, whose enthusiasm for evolution is so overwrought that they turn themselves into propagandists.

Eager to show how well they have been trained, they are like show mares who trot around the paddock jumping over each gate in turn. All the while they give the camera a look that says: “Aren’t I good?”

And then the conclusion:

Here, we’d wondered who would be the next Lynn Margulis. Our scouts can now save time by crossing these gals off.

“Gals”? Really? And since when do creationist hacks get to cross “gals” off the rolls of worthy scientists?

That’s right there in the article. There is worse in the comments; I know the site isn’t entirely responsible for what commenters say, but this is from one widely known freakish creationist who agrees with the sentiment in the article, that these women won’t cut it as real scientists. (There are also others that disagree with this guy; no one seems to have noted the patronizing attitude of the article itself.)

There is however a liberal establishment with a agenda to promote women and this means over more deserving men. Affirmative action , openly/secret, is powerful in nOrth america.
They want women to be as smart as men in these perceived smarter things.
They think it should be at least 50/50.
However it ain’t and it never will.

(Also on Sb)

Comments

  1. says

    I think we can safely dispense with the term “creationists” in future, and replace it with “uneducated misogynists for Jesus.” More words, but more accurate, too.

  2. Dhorvath, OM says

    It’s funny how people whose perspective is appropriate for fifty second sound bites * think that they can sit in judgment on representatives of an area of research that cannot be even remotely scratched in such a time frame. It ceases to be funny when they are looking only at women and use livestock terminology to describe the group. Not like I needed more reasons to despise the creationist mindset, but this gets added to the pile.

    *(requires even, as it actually appears worse the longer one is exposed)

  3. Tyrant of Skepsis says

    I maybe did cringe a tiny little bit, but I though that all in all it was a nice video. Yay, evolution supports our troops! Oh wait – wrong country.

    The only thing that I found slightly clichéd is that apparently it is the Womens’ job to deliver the “uplifting” message about science. Maybe I’m hallucinating and it’s nothing. I found the transition between our dear accommodationist Sheril Kirshenbaum, and the next rather British and quirky in your face contribution, pretty hilarious.

  4. says

    This part of the creationist argument was interesting:

    But confronted by antibiotics, bacteria don’t take evasive action. None other than Richard Dawkins pointed that out in The Greatest Show on Earth. [p. 132] Some varieties are already immune.

    After the others are wiped out by antibiotics, the immune ones have access to more nutrients and easily multiply. Nothing new has been created. Some varieties simply become more numerous.

    But evolution means making new things, not more of what already exists. So, how does antibiotic resistance illustrate evolution? No other examples of observable are given in the video (if we ignore “change in gene frequencies over time.”

    So, if bacteria don’t take evasive action, they have not evolved. What?

    The “nothing new has been created” sounds like a different flavor of the crocoduck argument.

    And how about the redefinition of evolution as meaning “making new things”?

  5. says

    @Martin Wagner:

    Perhaps “uneducated misogynistic Christian hucksters” or “umchucks” for short. As in, “there goes another umchuck blathering on about stuff he’s too blinded by bigotry and hatred to understand!”

  6. Reginald Selkirk says

    Here, we’d wondered who would be the next Lynn Margulis. Our scouts can now save time by crossing these gals off. … that these women won’t cut it as real scientists.

    Are you sure you understood them correctly? Maybe they meant these “gals” won’t cut it as HIV/AIDS denying 9/11 troofers.

  7. Glen Davidson says

    A lot of their point is that none of those women is the next Lynn Margulis. You know, idiot ideas about evolution, conspiracy theories, everything that ID espouses.

    Yes, thankfully they are not the next cranks that the IDiots wish would propel their crank bullshit to the top.

    Glen Davidson

  8. says

    Yeah, yeah, yeah. They’re all just a bunch of hysterical, penis-envying women. Their blathering may be safely dismissed.

    Although, Uncommon Descent would seem to be proof positive that the same species can indeed evolve at different rates.

  9. reasonisbeauty says

    They want women to be as smart as men in these perceived smarter things.
    They think it should be at least 50/50.
    However it ain’t and it never will.

    Taking into account the open misogyny and the absurd supposition of male intellectual superiority, combined with the incredibly poor sentence structure and sentence fragments…irony meters everywhere are getting a workout with this dude.

  10. congaboy says

    Fundamentalist Xians, can’t live with them and you can’t throw them to the lions when you’re done with them.

  11. bribase says

    I took a look at the comment section for PZ’s quote. Low and behold it’s from Robert Byers, a young earth creationist and regular poster over at rationalskepticism.org. I didn’t realise that I should add misogynistic prat to his previous accolade of professional apologist for iron age doctrine.

  12. Gregory Greenwood says

    Martin Wagner @ 1;

    I think we can safely dispense with the term “creationists” in future, and replace it with “uneducated misogynists for Jesus.” More words, but more accurate, too.

    Ooh, I like that, and it is so easy to market too;

    “Believing that the universe was cooked up in seven days by a magic sky fairy not stupid enough for you? Not getting enough bigoted hatred with your religious mumbo-jumbo? Well, good news, friends! The uneducated misogynists for Jesus are looking for… special people just like you to join their ranks!*”

    * Frontal lobotomy not included. Terms and conditions apply. Creationism may be harmful to your intellect. Always read the label.

  13. says

    Creationism and misogyny, the perfect pairing.
    I “like” it how they dismiss those women as scientists because they’re women, while they dismiss male evolutionary scientists because they are wrong though obviously brilliant by the virtue of a penis.
    Men can be wrong because they’re fallible. Women are wrong by default.

  14. spamamander, hellmart survivor says

    Aren’t Muslim blow up dolls women supposed to have “appetizing vaginas”?

  15. =8)-DX says

    I cringed. Not at the women or their explanations (I’m way below their level of knowledge). But at the *cheezy music*! What is that? I’m divided as to whether it is music from a company presentation, cheap porn or the kind of thing listened to severely toasted at the chill-out zone of your local music bar at 4 AM.

    Either way it is very distracting to listen to and made it hard for me to concentrate on what was being said.

  16. anteprepro says

    Ing:

    A proud true muslim man would never lower himself so far to blow a woman.

    It’s okay: As long as the woman in question can’t enjoy it, and it’s just done as a means to the ultimate end (getting himself off), then God will forgive him.

    Anyway, from the article, talking about the women in the video:

    They recite old chestnuts as though they were new

    Hilarious!

    This is perhaps the most cited example of evolution. But confronted by antibiotics, bacteria don’t take evasive action. None other than Richard Dawkins pointed that out in The Greatest Show on Earth. [p. 132] Some varieties are already immune.

    After the others are wiped out by antibiotics, the immune ones have access to more nutrients and easily multiply. Nothing new has been created. Some varieties simply become more numerous.But evolution means making new things, not more of what already exists. So, how does antibiotic resistance illustrate evolution?

    This is the only point they bother to make regarding the video that isn’t just bluster about uppity/gullible women and scientists being mean to creationists. And, of course, because it is a creationist talking about evolution, it is filled with failures.

    1. Evolution isn’t limited to “making new things”. And it doesn’t matter if it was, because creationists regularly deny new genes and new species as “evolution”.
    2. Antibiotic resistance by the mechanism described (eliminating those without trait, letting those with trait thrive) is an example of natural selection, which is the process by which evolution works. It is, in that sense, evolution.
    3. Antibiotic resistance is also the result of lateral gene transfer, which is the bacteria that already have the gene adding that gene to other bacteria. Or, in other words, introducing “new things” to those bacteria (“new” with respect to the bacteria receiving it, that is). So, this may even qualify for the limited sense of evolution used by the author, but he is too ignorant to know it.

  17. ibyea says

    Next Lynn Margulis? Are they mad? Her theory on the origins of mitochondria supported evolution, not destroy it.

  18. Reginald Selkirk says

    Next Lynn Margulis? Are they mad? Her theory on the origins of mitochondria supported evolution, not destroy it.

    You know it, I know it, but Margulis herself had some strange ideas about it. She thought that endosymbiosis somehow brought “neo-Darwinism” into question. She proclaimed that “all speciation is due to genome aquisition.” So she really was quite wacky, even within her field of specialty. Just the sort of maverick/lunatic the Creationists look to for random anti-evolution quotes.

  19. thematrix says

    Holy crap Batman, I honestly had no idea there are people out there with any kind of power of word, that were still so nauseatingly sexist.

    On the other hand, when I did hear and saw this Tom Bethell’s picture, I went “yah, makes sense”.

    Sheesh.

  20. abnormalwrench says

    Seriously? “Gals”? That is the outrage being promoted here?

    Sorry PZ, you used to have fun blog about science and religion. I have no idea what this shit is, but it doesn’t even rise to the level of “drams”.

  21. says

    OOookay, so you have several populations of bacteria, same species with slight genomic variations that enable a group to survive exposure to a specific antibiotic or group of antibiotics (thanks in no small part by the feedstock industry).

    What are they talking about? The ones that survive have already “evolved” and are ready to utilize their genetic superiority!

    Is that anthropomorphic enough?

  22. SmooveBB says

    Oh my ‘god’, the level of commentary on that site is embarrassing to say the least. The average IQ must be something like 85, which is probably appropriate for people that believe in ID.

    Things were so bad I had to create a profile and post some comments..which I’m sure will never see the light of day. Isn’t it odd how religious sites require comment approval before posting? To top it off, look at the comments they did approve! Sheesh!

  23. anteprepro says

    Seriously? “Gals”? That is the outrage being promoted here?

    Please also see:
    -”show mares”
    -The condescending attitude throughout (not the next Margulis, overwrought enthusiasm, the “Aren’t I Good?” line)
    -The affirmative action quote strongly implying that women are stupider than men.

    All are elements of the post, all are offensive/sexist in their own way.

  24. teshi says

    Surely part of the point is that if evolution doesn’t get taught in certain American schools or states, those parts of the country will find themselves with a crop of students who are either rushing to catch up in first year university or simply cannot study in biological fields.

    *

    I found that the editing of the video makes the whole a little jarring and hard to follow. It’s better to watch the individual videos of the scientists where you get a better sense of what they are saying.

  25. blbt5 says

    And you thought we’d let that little zinger go by. Evolution not equal to natural selection? How so? If you’re not just splitting hairs, please disabuse me.

  26. AsqJames says

    blbt5,

    My non-biologist understanding is:

    Evolution is simply change over time. Natural Selection is how evolved traits are selected within populations.

    Most biological evolution happens through the combination of: a) random genetic variation and sexual re-combination of existing genes, which leads to a heterogenous population of individuals; and b) natural forces (competition for resources, predation, sickness, etc) acting on the population containing those varied individuals.

    There’s a much, much, much smaller amount of artificial breeding and selection too of course – racing pigeons (as Darwin noted), race horses, most agricultural crops, domesticated and farm animals, etc, and more recently direct genetic modification (GM foods). It’s artificial because humans are doing it deliberately with a specific goal in mind.

  27. says

    Wow. He left out “li’l”. “Gals” must always be preceded by “li’l” according to the Christard Fuckwit Manual of Style (4th ed.) An oversight, I’m sure.

  28. says

    Just to correct some sexist assumptions:

    The article and the “gals” quote was by a woman, Denyse O’Leary.

    The “mares” quote was by Tom Bethell.

  29. Ichthyic says

    Code for hysterical, ’cause everyone knows gal brains overheat if there’s too much of that smart type thinking.

    I thought that was what yawning was for…

    damn, now I can’t find the link to the discussion we had about that paper that claimed yawning was all about cooling the brain.

    anyone have that link?

  30. ragutis says

    Jen says:
    30 November 2011 at 1:27 pm

    *brain explodes*

    See how fragile and delicate the dainty female mind is?

  31. Azkyroth says

    Perhaps “uneducated misogynistic Christian hucksters” or “umchucks” for short. As in, “there goes another umchuck blathering on about stuff he’s too blinded by bigotry and hatred to understand!”

    Uneducated Patriarchal CHristian hUCKsterS.

  32. DLC says

    You know, there’s times when I delude myself and think :”these creationists are just indulging in magical thinking, they can’t really, deep down, believe that evolution doesn’t work, or that the earth is really less than 10,000 years old.”
    and then I read something like the quoted material and realize that yes, in fact, they do indeed believe those things, to such an extent that anyone who says otherwise must be denigrated.”
    And then I shake my head in sadness and wish they would all just f-f-ade away. (to steal a bit from a famous band)

  33. Ichthyic says

    The article and the “gals” quote was by a woman, Denyse O’Leary.

    who, btw, is as misogynist as they come.

    no kidding.

  34. Ichthyic says

    And you thought we’d let that little zinger go by.

    and who is this “we” you refer to, I wonder?

  35. raven says

    those parts of the country will find themselves with a crop of students who are either rushing to catch up in first year university or simply cannot study in biological fields.

    That is not a problem for fundie creationists.

    A lot of them have no interest or intention of going to college or a university. The rest go to overpriced Fake Colleges like Liberty U. and the plethora of bible colleges.

    They are dumb and ignorant and choose to remain that way. Surveys show that fundies score lower in intelligence and education than the general population.

    Those seemingly clueless and near illiterate xian trolls that drive by, are in fact, really ignorant and nearly illiterate.

    Seriously? “Gals”? That is the outrage being promoted here?

    Sorry PZ, you used to have fun blog about science and religion. I have no idea what this shit is, but it doesn’t even rise to the level of “drams”.

    Here is a good example of a near illiterate. This troll obviously can barely read. I’ve seen that before. Some people can puzzle out a sentence or two. But a whole paragraph defeats them. By the time they’ve struggled to the end, they’ve forgotten what the first sentences said.

  36. raven says

    Some of the fundie cults actively discourage their kids from going to universities. Beacause they know that they will lose their best and brightest kids to our modern civilization.

    When the near illiterates are gibbering, I used to ask them if they have even seen a real university. They never said yes or mostly even answered. Some people live very restricted lives and never get more than a few dozen miles from home. Ever. This might sound preposterous but I’ve run into a few here and there.

  37. Tyrant of Skepsis says

    raven,

    I have witnessed this attitude in the babble belt. Fortunately, the parents in question were YEC fundies, but also strong on quality education for their children (yes, this exists), and they ended up going to good colleges, despite all the aunts and church friends warning them of the big city antichrist and all the ghey that would corrupt their kids there.

  38. carlie says

    Evolution not equal to natural selection? How so? If you’re not just splitting hairs, please disabuse me.

    Natural selection refers to changes within one generation (individuals survive and reproduce or not).

    Evolution refers to changes between generations (of allele frequencies).

    You can’t measure evolution in one generation; by definition it refers only to the changes from one generation to the next (over time). Natural selection is a mechanism; evolution is the resulting change.

  39. John Morales says

    [meta]

    Carlie, I think you were too loose @50, because your first paragraph is misleading (your third, however, is excellent).

  40. carlie says

    John – in what way? Natural selection does happen within one generation; it could be a selection that happens the same way to several generations in a row because the environment doesn’t change, but I’m not sure which part would need the language to be tightened for. I’d be glad to know how to make it more understandable.

  41. mferrari says

    Here’s a gem:

    “There are excellent women who give their minds and energy to organized YEC work. There are ID women kicking around and write for these forums.
    Women have sincerely successfully applied themselves to conquoring “science” subjects and getting the rwrds.
    There is however a liberal establishment with a agenda to promote women and this means over more deserving men. Affirmative action , openly/secret, is powerful in nOrth america.
    They want women to be as smart as men in these perceived smarter things.
    They think it should be at least 50/50.
    However it ain’t and it never will.

    Women do not have the same motivation for achievement as men and this is the explanation for failure to keep up with men intellectually.
    Its a effort.

    Science fields are just more fields that demonstrate female lack of interest in stuff.
    So the great campaign to push them in , and over male rights, will in the end fail.
    In fact it must be already interfering with progress in paid circles.

    The bible teaches man is to be the one with ambition and women to be wives to support him.
    woman deeply feel this and it comes out in lack of motivation.
    Despite a society pushing them to be equal.
    In reality only entry level teenage women for a while can kkep up to males.
    Beyond studying women will always come up shiort.
    Not dumber but not on the make.

    I see , relatively, few women who would interest me or show me they have something to offer in Science.
    Not many men but few women.

    yet lets welcome all, as long as no interference with men, and see what mankind can do.”

  42. carlie says

    Natural selection: Shit happens
    Evolution: Said shit has consequences

    As usual, Ing goes right to the heart of the matter. I like it.

  43. Ichthyic says

    hmm, I disagree.

    more like:

    variation: Shit happens
    selection: That Shit has consequences
    evolution: The result of repeated consequences

  44. Ichthyic says

    actually, even better, add “sometimes”:

    That shit sometimes has consequences

    …cause sometimes, it don’t.

    then shit just drifts…

  45. Ichthyic says

    Seriously? “Gals”? That is the outrage being promoted here?

    seriously? that’s the strawman you want to erect here?

  46. carlie says

    sexual selection: Rule 34 for shit.

    frequency-dependent selection: the less shit you have, the better off you are

    Hey, I like this analogy.

  47. John Morales says

    [OT]

    Carlie,

    I’d be glad to know how to make it more understandable.

    Sorry, I was elsewhere.

    I find the emphasised portion problematic: “Natural selection refers to changes within one generation (individuals survive and reproduce or not).”

    I’d find “Natural selection refers to individuals surviving and reproducing (or not) within one generation” unproblematic.

  48. raven says

    I like nonrandom survival of randomly varying replicators.

    Pretty much sums it up even if there are fine point exceptions. It also covers evolving computer programs and PCR type oligomer evolution.

  49. emilywillingham says

    I for one do not equate evolution and natural selection and recognize the existence of other posited mechanisms so hope that the sound bites extracted from the videos we submitted don’t leave the wrong impression. As for “mares,” as a middle-aged woman, I was more distracted wondering whether or not I fell into “mostly young” category or not. You know how we fluffy-headed gals are so worried about maintaining our girlish looks. Honestly, though, that bit about looking at the camera as though to say, “Aren’t I good?” is pretty funny as in general, I was looking at it wondering, “Is this ****ing thing working?”

  50. Ichthyic says

    hope that the sound bites extracted from the videos we submitted don’t leave the wrong impression.

    It doesn’t matter, given what they are in response to.

    It’s not like the creationbots are actually going to worry about correcting the details.

    they don’t CARE about the details.

  51. Ichthyic says

    I like nonrandom survival of randomly varying replicators.

    but it’s not just about survival, but reproduction too.

    not all replicators need to go to fixation, nor be excluded entirely, for the description to be accurate.

    hmm.

    so instead of “survival”, maybe just “propagation”?

    nonrandom propagation of randomly varying replicators.

    does that work?

  52. Ichthyic says

    Good point.

    yeah, the only folks that are really gonna care about the details are freaks like us, the people who either think about this stuff, or actually utilize the theory in our own work.

    :)

  53. says

    Idiotic creationist from Uncommon Descent:

    They want women to be as smart as men in these perceived smarter things.
    They think it should be at least 50/50.
    However it ain’t and it never will.

    Well, that commenter is a complete idiot. Women from 2008 to 2009 earned more Doctoral (51%) and Masters degrees (56%) than men in biological and agricultural science. Source (pdf).

  54. John Morales says

    [meta]

    StarStuff!,

    Women from 2008 to 2009 earned more Doctoral (51%) and Masters degrees (56%) than men in biological and agricultural science.

    It would be an annoying fact, except it can be explained by the insidious effect of affirmative action due to the feminazis.

    (ObDisclaimer: that was intended as snarky satire)

  55. Azkyroth says

    Well, technically it can probably in large part be explained by the availability of birth control. :/

  56. Tyrant of Skepsis says

    One more thought I had when watching the video is: “These gals and mares really need to be cropped”. :) But srsly, I don’t know if it’s technically possible without losing too much of the footage, but maybe with a not too distracting canvas or background, it might improve the looks somewhat despite the very different aspect ratios of the contributions.

    @emilywillingham

    Hi! I think your first soundbite made it pretty clear anyhow that you weren’t equating evolution with natural selection…

  57. carlie says

    emilywillingham – I’m impressed with all of you who did this and was willing to be out on camera talking about neat important stuff.

  58. Calilasseia says

    Ok, first of all I note that Robert Byers stepped up to the plate over at Uncommon Descent, and indulged his usual penchant for fundamentalist bigotry. He’s posted sexist remarks in the past at the now-defunct Richard Dawkins Forums, along with other numerous pieces of inanity (those who haven’t encountered his remarks on polar bears, you’re in for some special comdey gold). For example, here’s one of his past gems, which he posted here:

    Math is for kids but research and analysis is for thinking men.

    Yes, you read that correctly. He followed that up with this little gem, which I quote from here:

    On another forum we discussed why women fail relative to men in math and I said its not because of inferior intelligence but because of motivation. Women do not seek ambition and rewards pound for pound with men. So I said math is not a more intelligent study but simply seen as more intelligent. So men/ethnic groups (in north America) who are seeking prestige in academic subjects prevail because they think its a smarter thing. Yet in fact its a simplier subject that rewards simple processes of thought. In fac examples of kids or retarded people who do great feats in math are the evidence it is simple processes of reasoning in close boundaries with instant confirmations which entrench the thought processes.

    I answered the first part by asking him when he’s going to pick up his $1 million from the Clay Mathematical Institute, for proving the Riemann Hypothesis, or deriving the general solution to the Navier-Stokes equations, and the second part by smacking him in the face with a nice long list of female mathematicians, including from my own country, one Ruth Lawrence, who became a tenured lecturer at Harvard at the age of 19, and whose starred-first degree in mathematics (for the Americans, think of this as magna cum laude with several layers of added awesomeness) was obtained at 13 years of age. He then followed up with this classic piece of drivel, posted here:

    Showing math is mere memorization of processes and not calling for higher intelligence as in subjects of life where answers are not from mere lines of limited calculation. yes to a few who advance high math can intelligence be ascribed but even these folk probably are not the best math folk.

    In answer to that, I gave him a sample problem of the sort that Ruth Lawrence was tackling at 11 years of age, and lo and behold, despite the fact that I set him that problem back in November 2008, he still hasn’t answered it. Not that this will surprise anyone here, because quite frankly, I’ve contended for a long time that Byers is posting from the interior of a special hospital, and that his cell has padded walls. Indeed, not only do I regard quite a few of the functionally illiterate specimens, that step up to the plate to propagandise for the masturbation fantasy that is creationism, as hovering somewhere between “imbecile” and “idiot” (as was once defined in DSM), but as all possessing an anatomical curiosity allowing them to be easily identified, namely, a startling degree of structural homology connecting mouth and anal sphincter.

    Indeed, as I’ve observed more recently over at Rational Skepticism, Byers demonstrates that creationists not only make shit up to propagandise for their tinselly doctrinal hologram, but don’t care whether the shit they make up one day is consistent with the shit they make up the next day. See his RDF posts on dinosaurs aboard the fantasy floating petting zoo for some particularly obvious examples, where he can’t make up his mind from one day to the next which piece of made up shit to peddle.

    Meanwhile, since others have waded in with respect to the matter of rigour in evolutionary biology, allow me to step in and have a go. I’m sure PZ (and others) will correct any mistakes I make. :)

    First of all, “natural selection” is simply the umbrella term we apply, encompassing all influences within an ecosystem, that result in differential reproductive success of individuals within a population, and which act to shape the genetic destiny of that population, via that differential reproductive success. I think I can commend that as an operating definition. I’m sure PZ and others will move in on this one if they think it’s wrong.

    Second, natural selection is an important process from an evolutionary standpoint, but it’s not the sole process affecting the genetic destiny of populations. Some other processes have already been mentioned here, such as genetic drift (I recall Motoo Kimura not only advanced genetic drift as worthy of further consideration, but provided a test that could be performed, to determine if a given gene was subject to drift or selection). The points to bear in mind here are that [1] not all genes are subject to strong selection pressures, and [2] all that is required for selection to be important, is for some genes to be thus subject. In the meantime, drift and some other processes, such as gene duplication, can provide a feedstock of variation, which initially isn’t subject to selection processes, but becomes so later when additional mutations produce selectable products.

    A good example of duplication followed by drift followed by selection, is provided by Antarctic Notothenioid fishes. The ancestors of modern Notothenioids, acquired a gene duplication of a trypsinogen gene (several papers by Chen et al document the relevant research), one copy of which then acquired mutations via drift, which didn’t matter because the other copy remained functional, still coding for the original protein. However, the mutated copy eventually acquired mutations that coded for a protein with an entirely new function, a function that allowed ancestral Notothenioids to colonise cold Antarctic waters. That protein, when suspended in the fishes’ blood, acted as an antifreeze, allowing the fishes’ blood to remain liquid at temperatures that would result in freezing of the blood in the absence of that protein. [Note: salt water has a lower freezing point than fresh water, and solutions of different concentrations lie on a gradient of freezing points, concentrated solutions freezing at lower temperatures than dilute solutions.] This feature became positively selectable, when those fishes moved into Antarctic waters, and as a result, all Antarctic Notothenioids now possess a working antifreeze glycoprotein. Selection wasn’t the only process in operation, but once the relevant genetic material arose within the ancestral Notothenioid lineage, a selection process became applicable.

    Relevant papers documenting the research uncovering this are as follows:

    Evolution of an Antifreeze Glycoprotein by Liangbiao Chen and Chi-Hing C. Cheng, Nature, 401: 443-444 (1999)

    Evolution of Antifreeze Glycoprotein Gene from a Trypsinogen Gene in Antarctic Notothenioid Fishes by Liangbiao Chen, Arthur L. deVries and Chi-Hing C. Cheng, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 94: 3811-3816 (1997)

    Functional Antifreeze Glycoprotein Genes in Temperate-Water New Zealand Nototheniid Fishes Infer An Antarctic Evolutionary Origin by Chi-Hing C Cheng, Liangbiao Chen, Thomas J Near and Yumi Jin, Journal of Molecular and Biological Evolution, 20(11): 1897-1908 (2003)

    Nonhepatic Origin of Notothenioid Antifreeze Reveals Pancreatic Synthesis As Common Mechanism in Polar Fish Freezing Avoidance by Chi-Hing C Cheng, Paul A. Cziko and Clive W. Evans, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 103: 10491-10496 (2006)

    Oh, and with respect to speciation, I have in my collection some interesting papers on speciation genes, that is, genes that have been observed to be especially implicated in the development of speciation events, including, but not limited to, major histocompatibility complex genes.

    PS: can someone tell me how to fix the line breaks? Only for some reason, they’re not appearing, and the failure of appearance of line breaks is turning my carefully crafted paragraphs into a wall of text, Creotard style.

  59. Ichthyic says

    A good example of duplication followed by drift followed by selection, is provided by Antarctic Notothenioid fishes.

    yup; standard lecture material these days.

    good stuff.

    PS: can someone tell me how to fix the line breaks?

    your paragraph breaks seem to appear for me just fine.

    I think it strips out extra line breaks though. using BR code does not seem to work, so someone else will have to volunteer what works for this software.

  60. ray984954 says

    I’m not sure what PZs objections are exactly, but I am no evolutionary biologist, no expert, though I try very hard to discern the subjects of science, such as Evolution. I think the video is a good counter to the beauty pageant’s many airheads. I do understand that there are not two sides to evolution such as Creationism being the other side of the debate, what debate? there is no debate over Creationism and Evolution it is a manufactured false dichotomy. It is just to blur the issue and put religion into science classes, cuz’ these religious zealots want to shoehorn their 2000 year old book the bible into modern science, just as the Muslim Hamza Tzortzia wants to do with the QUR’AN trying to make the case that embryology was written about in the QUR’AN first. Read the Vol. 16 No. 3 2011 issue of Skeptic the article called “The Mythic Origins of the QUR’AN by Tim Callahan who makes a good case for the so called inspired visions of Mohammed and the Saruhs written into the QUR’AN are derived from legends, myths, and scriptures of Pagans, Zoroastrians, Jews, and Christians. Also borrowing from the canons, apocryphal sources, and legendary embellishments and made them his divine inspirations. My point being is that that is where the Christians get their information from, fairy tales.
    I just spent about 9 months reading a 1,432 page book by Stephen Jay Gould called “The Structure of Evolutionary Theory,” I still am a little fuzzy on the finer points, but I have looked for a similar book by Creationists and there does not appear to be one. What they want to do is blur the issue, same as the antivaccination crowd and autism, or the AGW deniers. They are just all contrarians.