Evolution has finally been proven?

The debate is finally over; evolution is no longer a mere theory. Multiple news sources are reporting the discovery of “hybrid sharks” off the  Australian coast. The new specimens prove Darwin correct and Scopes an under appreciated hero. One researcher, The University of Queensland’s Jess Morgan, professed, “This is evolution in action.”

Wait a minute, let me get my tongue out of my cheek.

With all due respect to Ms. Morgan, this is not evolution in action, at least not in the way it’s being presented.

The University of California at Berkley offers the following,

Biological evolution, simply put, is descent with modification. This definition encompasses small-scale evolution (changes in gene frequency in a population from one generation to the next) and large-scale evolution (the descent of different species from a common ancestor over many generations). Evolution helps us to understand the history of life…

Evolution means that we’re all distant cousins: humans and oak trees, hummingbirds and whales. (source)

There is a significant distinction to be made between “Macro-evolution” – one common ancestor for every species on the planet, and “Micro-evolution” – the method used to produce the Labradoodle.

Evolution in action?

The difference is in the DNA. The DNA of a Labrador and the DNA of a Poodle are both K9DNA (sorry for the scientific jargon). One has curly hair, one has short coarse hair, but they’re both Canis Lupus Familiaris, aka, dogs.

This is not an oak tree gradually evolving into a blue whale.

When asked about the sharks, Demian Chapman, of Stony Brook University, said,

the fact that these two species were so closely related made it easier for them to mate than wildly-divergent ones.

It doesn’t mean we’re going to see great-white-tiger sharks anytime soon, or bull-Greenland sharks,” he said. “If any species was going to hybridize, it was going to be this pair. (source)

The sharks in question are the common blacktip shark (Carcharhinus limbatus) and the Australian blacktip (Carcharhinus tilstoni), which is smaller and lives in warmer waters than its global counterpart. Notice they’re both “Carcharhinus,” aka, sharks.

Ms. Morgan’s implied idea, that a disenchanted Australian blacktip longed to swim in cooler waters, and reasoned to fulfill his dream in future generations by making shark babies with a common blacktip, is as nonsensical as it sounds.

Sharky: “Mom, why can’t you accept that me and Juliet are in love. I just know I was made to swim in colder waters.”

Mama Shark:”You’re just an Australian blacktip, Sharky. You’re dad is an Australian, just like his dad, and his dad before him. Don’t go fillin’ your head with all those crazy dreams. Anyway, you’re too small to make that swim.”

“Mom, there’s more to life than this crummy old reef! I won’t let you steal my dream. I just won’t! I’m going to Juliet’s!”

“Hey Sharky,” Juliet the common blacktip said.

“Hi Juliet. Mom just doesn’t understand our love. She thinks you’ll take me away from her – to the cold waters.

What do you think we should do about it?

What does every shark mom want?

Grouper?

No, Juliet. Stop acting so common! Grand babies.

Oh, Sharky, you’re so evolved!

Two “closely related” sharks procreating isn’t “evolution in action.” Had the frisky Australian blacktip impregnated a neighborhood sea turtle we would have a story, but that’s not what happened, so there’s no story. It’s cool, but it’s not Oak tree to Blue Whale evolution.

This will likely be presented as evolutionary evidence in school classrooms across the country which is why parents have to pay attention to what their kids are learning about in school. You might believe in Darwin’s theory of evolution and find no issues with the premise of the article, that’s your prerogative. However, let me encourage you to at least take some time and consider whether the information is being presented accurately before passing it along as true.

Perhaps we should start teaching sex-ed in shark schools.

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8 comments

  1. The theory of evolution has taken a lot of strange twists, turns, and beatings over the past 160 years but it still holds a major advantage over all other approaches to the mysteries of life on this planet and in this universe: It continues to remain open to new information, whereas all religious approaches have closed their doors and demand acceptance of One Truth. No new info allowed. Evolution, then, is still the best pursuit. Even St. Paul said that faith itself is substance and evidence, not belief alone.

    1. I would disagree with your opinion that the proponents of the theory of evolution are open to new information while those who hold a theistic view are closed. A dogmatic evolutionist is as unwilling to deviate from his belief in evolution as the theist might be in his belief in creation. An evolutionist might absorb new information and add it to enhance his presupposition, but he isn’t changing his mind. Not without God’s help anyway. Your closing statement, “Evolution, then, is still the best pursuit,” is case in point. Yu have your mind made up, don’t you. You’ve brought a bias to your “research” and it’s tainting your impression of the results. Evolution isn’t the best pursuit, truth is the best pursuit – follow the facts to the truth. Unfortunately, the last 160 years have led to an unhealthy love affair with Darwin’s ideas and an unwillingness to truly challenge his assumptions like every other theory in every other scientific field is challenged.

  2. WHY ARE YOU TWISTING THE RESEARCH / THEORY?!

    Ladies and gentlemen, this article is NOT CORRECT. Mr. Sprague seems to be misinformed about principle tenants of microevolution / macroevolution, and the overall theory–heck, even biology–in general.

    First, let’s consider two misdirecting statements that Mr. Sprague has presented to further his point:

    Sprague: “This is not an oak tree gradually evolving into a blue whale.”

    Concerned Citizen: “Uh…so you’re saying, in order for this process of Macroevolution to be valid, such big, drastic steps–ie, Oak-to-Whale–must be taken? Because NO SCIENTIST has ever defined or will ever define Macroevolution like that. In fact, Macroevolution is stated to be a possible result of a large number of microevolutionary events. Thus, the change is GRADUAL. If your labradoodle keeps breeding with other labradoodles, for example, eventually it MAY speciate and become ‘Canis labradoodlenis’, simply because the genes have mixed up so much that it’s impossible for the Labradoodle to have viable offspring with a Labrador, a Poodle, or any other breed of Canis familiaris. THAT is Macroevolution”

    Let’s look at the other statment, :

    Sprague: “Ms. Morgan’s implied idea, that a disenchanted Australian blacktip longed to swim in cooler waters, and reasoned to fulfill his dream in future generations by making shark babies with a common blacktip, is as nonsensical as it sounds.”

    Concerned Citizen: “Uh, no, Ms. Morgan’s implied idea is that, originally, there was one Blacktip Shark (Carcharhinus examplensis) that, over time, populated two different areas, Aulstralia and (I’m assuming) America. Since these populations moved far away from eachother, they stopped ‘seeing eachother’, and so while PHYSICALLY THEY COULD STILL BREED, they’re just so geographically isolated that the chance for them to is eliminated. Eventually, the American blacktip kept breeding within its American population and so became ‘Carcharhinus limbatus’, while the Aulstralian blacktip kept breeding within its Aulstralian population and became ‘Carcharhinus tilstoni’.

    Now, this splitting may have been a recent event, as Morgan’s data suggests. As it’s so recent, the species, though geographically in different places, are still PHYSCIALLY QUITE SIMILAR, to the point that Yes, they can interbreed, hybridize, and perhaps have viable offspring.

    The reason that this is called “evolution in action” is simply because “Hey, these sharks were once (like a million years ago) the same–as suggested by their incredibally close DNA and physcial mating capabilites–and now they’re different!” THAT’S evolution.

    I can go on and continue to tear your argument up, but I have an evolutionary paper to write for my William & Mary biology class, and that’s what actually what brought me to this site. I’m not waving around my William & Mary status to be elitist, but to say,

    “Sir, I am being trained in this field that you are citing and severly misquoting. As SOMEONE WHO’S ACTUALLY VERSED IN THE PROCESSES THAT YOU ARE REFERRING TO, I need to point out the flaws in your argument, especially since you are encouraging others to accept the validity of your opinion which, unfornately, is VERY IGNORANT OF THE ACTUAL SCIENCE.”

    ~Concerned Citizen

    1. Concerned Citizen, I appreciate your participation in the discussion, and your candor ;). I’m happy to address your concerns.

      1) I am not saying an Oak Tree has to turn into a Blue Whale for macro evolution to be valid. I was simply using two species included in the definition provided by Berkley. I am saying the shark breeding in question is not an example of macro evolution as the article suggests. You acknowledge this idea yourself. Macro evolution is absolutely dependent on extremely long periods of time, which is precisely why we can not actually observe it. These sharks breeding is akin to cross breeding dogs, hence the labradoodle example, which is not macro evolution because no matter what, they are still dogs, just as the sharks are still sharks.

      2) Your critique citing geographic necessity or convenience really does nothing to refute my point. In fact, it may serve to strengthen it. What you’re saying is these sharks are just sharks. In human terms, the Wallace family had a falling out back in 1834 resulting in half the family moving to South Carolina while the other half stayed in Scotland. Now, the SC Wallace’s have southern drawls where those back in Scotland have the brogue. The southerners love the fiddle and drink sweet tea while their kin love the bag pipes and fancy he hard ale. They sound different, behave different, dress different, even look different, but they are still humans. This is absolutely not macro evolution. This is closer to cultural assimilation. The sharks are doing the same thing, just in shark terms. We might have a story if a link species between a dolphin and shark were discovered, but alas no link species or fossil has ever been discovered.

      Darwin himself said his THEORY hung by the thread of these link species and more than 200 years after his death, and all the advancements we’ve made, not one has been found. You are free to believe in this man’s ideas, but the research provided in this article simply does not prove evolution.

  3. Did you really just delete my comment? Because that’s pretty DISHONEST and now you’ve created a skewed blog that caters to your own bias 😡

    ~Concerned Citizen

    1. Wait, semi-apologies ~ apparently the comment is not yet public (which is why I couldn’t find it, and its absence obviously made me upset), but still…it’s not public.

      I hope that my argument is made public though, just to create an unbiased system, which is what is right, fair, and honest to do ~ I am willing to accept any counterarguments that may come up, and would glady adress any questions. Again, my earlier angry comment was uncalled for, though I would say understandable given my misconception.

      ~Concerned Citizen

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