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Evolution 2.0: Now with rewind!

Mr_RoseMr_Rose Registered User regular
edited July 2008 in Debate and/or Discourse
So, now we have observable evolution with a replay button...

Article synopsis:
Scientist grows twelve separate colonies of bacteria in the lab, all derived from the same original cell; One colony evolves a radical new trait after 35,000 generations. To test this, the said scientist uses "backup copies" (staples from the colonies frozen every 500th generation) to re-wind the evolutionary path.
the conclusion is that only the one particular colony ever had a chance of evolving the new trait and only because of something that happened to it's 20,000th generation, 15,000 generations before the radical new mutation appeared.

Thoughts:
As if we needed it, more proof of evolutionary principles. At least we now have a testable model for examining evolution.

I want to know what the reaction if the ID/creationism crowd will be; I fully expect dismissal, but what form of dismissal exactly? I can think of at least one variation; "it's a laboratory experiment, this is no more natural than pocket watches!"

Anyway, I thought that this was a fascinating little experiment that at least some of you guys would want to know about.

Mr_Rose on
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Posts

  • yalborapyalborap Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Even if the creationists and such think this proves nothing, and even if it DOES prove nothing despite what we think, it's still fucking awesome.

  • Anarchy Rules!Anarchy Rules! Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    I thought that most creationists accepted microevolution which has many, many examples, but refused to accept macroevolution, even though they are essentially the same.

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    I thought that most creationists accepted microevolution which has many, many examples, but refused to accept macroevolution, even though they are essentially the same.
    That's the point - this is a very complicated evolutionary trait to evolve (so I'm told, Aegeri would probably know more) since E. Coli in nature don't normally metabolize citrate.

    This is the emergence of a brand new trait for the E. Coli without human intervention (due neatly to population isolation and all the normal evolutionary principles we know about). Essentially, this is virtually macroevolution. Hell, if it went on for long enough something like this would be a precursor to speciation - these E. Coli are going for a new evolutionary niche.

  • wazillawazilla Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    This is awesome. I am, however, relieved that the E. Coli didn't gain some super trait that would destroy all humans. Those are for Aegeri to make

  • HakkekageHakkekage Space Whore Academy summa cum laudeRegistered User regular
    edited June 2008
    For god's sake don't let them out of the lab! Humanity will be fucked by these monstrous new citrate consuming E.coli, which know no fear or mercy. I for one welcome our microscopic overlords.

    What I bet creationists will do to poo-poo it is just a) not even try to understand what has just happened, boiling it down to the petty lab argument and the assertion that the scientists must have done something like feed them magic citrate pills.

    This is still really neat, though.

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  • EddieDeanEddieDean Registered User
    edited June 2008
    I read this this morning and hoped it'd be picked up on here.

    It's great that they have the replay button, clearly this was an incredibly well defined experiment.

  • joshua1joshua1 Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    I thought microbial evolution was a pretty well known and observed fact by now? Im too tired to read the article.... but I thought this was well known. Kudos though.

  • Mr_RoseMr_Rose Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    joshua1 wrote: »
    I thought microbial evolution was a pretty well known and observed fact by now? Im too tired to read the article.... but I thought this was well known. Kudos though.
    Yah, microbial evolution has been fairly well understood for a while now (I say fairly well because for most bacteria there are only a few million variables to track, rather than the several billion in complex organisms like yeast), but this is the first time anyone has basically just sat down and patiently catalogued it in action (to the point of making regular backups of each minor revision).

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  • CarcharodontosaurusCarcharodontosaurus Registered User
    edited June 2008
    wazilla wrote: »
    This is awesome. I am, however, relieved that the E. Coli didn't gain some super trait that would destroy all humans. Those are for Aegeri to make

    I can picture it now. Several hundred thousand generations of E. Coli have developed, it's all going sweet, and then the biologists notice, to their horror, that the container holding the bacteria is rapidly disintegrating from the inside. <img class=" title=":lol:" class="bbcode_smiley" />

    steam_sig.png
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Isn't the "micro" / "macro" distinction mostly a smokescreen anyways?

  • monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Isn't the "micro" / "macro" distinction mostly a smokescreen anyways?

    Technically no, but yeah pretty much. Microevolution would be all the changes in traits and alelle frequency that don't result in speciation. Macroevolution is speciation. The one leads to the other, and they're both just stuff evolving, but you could slice things closer if you wanted.

    tea-1.jpg
  • TofystedethTofystedeth veni, veneri, vamoosi Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Mr_Rose wrote: »
    joshua1 wrote: »
    I thought microbial evolution was a pretty well known and observed fact by now? Im too tired to read the article.... but I thought this was well known. Kudos though.
    Yah, microbial evolution has been fairly well understood for a while now (I say fairly well because for most bacteria there are only a few million variables to track, rather than the several billion in complex organisms like yeast), but this is the first time anyone has basically just sat down and patiently catalogued it in action (to the point of making regular backups of each minor revision).

    Who didn't check their genetic code back in the CVS properly?!

    steam_sig.png
  • MikeManMikeMan Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    moniker wrote: »
    Isn't the "micro" / "macro" distinction mostly a smokescreen anyways?

    Technically no, but yeah pretty much. Microevolution would be all the changes in traits and alelle frequency that don't result in speciation. Macroevolution is speciation. The one leads to the other, and they're both just stuff evolving, but you could slice things closer if you wanted.

    The 400 lb gorilla in the room, of course, is that "speciation" is a nebulous concept itself.

    HOW DO YOU FUCK UP BAGELS. YOU BOIL THE WATER. PUT IN THE NOODLES
  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    moniker wrote: »
    Isn't the "micro" / "macro" distinction mostly a smokescreen anyways?

    Technically no, but yeah pretty much. Microevolution would be all the changes in traits and alelle frequency that don't result in speciation. Macroevolution is speciation. The one leads to the other, and they're both just stuff evolving, but you could slice things closer if you wanted.
    But speciation is also a line in the sand.

  • SeptusSeptus Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    In the meantime, the experiment stands as proof that evolution does not always lead to the best possible outcome.

    Have ID supporters ever said that we're all trending towards perfection? I've never heard such claims, and while this is awesome, I'm not sure how this helps deconstruct their arguments.

    rodq.jpg
  • ScalfinScalfin __BANNED USERS regular
    edited June 2008
    I thought that most creationists accepted microevolution which has many, many examples, but refused to accept macroevolution, even though they are essentially the same.
    That's the point - this is a very complicated evolutionary trait to evolve (so I'm told, Aegeri would probably know more) since E. Coli in nature don't normally metabolize citrate.

    This is the emergence of a brand new trait for the E. Coli without human intervention (due neatly to population isolation and all the normal evolutionary principles we know about). Essentially, this is virtually macroevolution. Hell, if it went on for long enough something like this would be a precursor to speciation - these E. Coli are going for a new evolutionary niche.

    How do you even define speciation in E. Coli? They're asexual.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    The rest of you, I fucking hate you for the fact that I now have a blue dot on this god awful thread.
  • Mr_RoseMr_Rose Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Septus wrote: »
    In the meantime, the experiment stands as proof that evolution does not always lead to the best possible outcome.

    Have ID supporters ever said that we're all trending towards perfection? I've never heard such claims, and while this is awesome, I'm not sure how this helps deconstruct their arguments.

    No, but numerous ID supporters have said that "evolutionists" (spoken in the same tone the town busybody would have said "communists" in the seventies) have claimed exactly that.

    Apparently these claims of claims are based on the idea that natural selection eliminates "unfit" individuals. However, they who speak this falsehood never bother to ask what unfit means, nor what happens to the individuals that aren't unfit but are still different to their ancestors.

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  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Scalfin wrote: »
    I thought that most creationists accepted microevolution which has many, many examples, but refused to accept macroevolution, even though they are essentially the same.
    That's the point - this is a very complicated evolutionary trait to evolve (so I'm told, Aegeri would probably know more) since E. Coli in nature don't normally metabolize citrate.

    This is the emergence of a brand new trait for the E. Coli without human intervention (due neatly to population isolation and all the normal evolutionary principles we know about). Essentially, this is virtually macroevolution. Hell, if it went on for long enough something like this would be a precursor to speciation - these E. Coli are going for a new evolutionary niche.

    How do you even define speciation in E. Coli? They're asexual.
    Distinctly different.

    The article mentions that one of the things they use to identify E. Coli is that it doesn't eat citrate. Now it does. I mean that's pretty damn close - you'd be all "it's like E. Coli, but it eats citrate - must be a subspecies"

  • Mr_RoseMr_Rose Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Distinctly different.

    The article mentions that one of the things they use to identify E. Coli is that it doesn't eat citrate. Now it does. I mean that's pretty damn close - you'd be all "it's like E. Coli, but it eats citrate - must be a subspecies"
    E. coli citrans?

    Yeah, bacterial species definitions are always kinda indistinct around the edges.

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  • [Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Septus wrote: »
    In the meantime, the experiment stands as proof that evolution does not always lead to the best possible outcome.

    Have ID supporters ever said that we're all trending towards perfection? I've never heard such claims, and while this is awesome, I'm not sure how this helps deconstruct their arguments.

    I was curious about that comment as well. I've never heard, from anyone, that evolution always leads to the best possible outcome. It seems pretty obvious to me that evolution most certainly does not lead to the best possible outcome, I can't see how it would.

    ragesig.jpg

  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited June 2008
    Mr_Rose wrote: »
    I want to know what the reaction if the ID/creationism crowd will be; I fully expect dismissal, but what form of dismissal exactly? I can think of at least one variation; "it's a laboratory experiment, this is no more natural than pocket watches!"

    I guarantee you it will boil down to the "distinctions" between micro-evolution and macro-evolution. They'll point out it's still a bacterium, not a grasshopper.

    sig_megas_armed.jpg
  • TastyfishTastyfish Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Mr_Rose wrote: »
    I want to know what the reaction if the ID/creationism crowd will be; I fully expect dismissal, but what form of dismissal exactly? I can think of at least one variation; "it's a laboratory experiment, this is no more natural than pocket watches!"

    I guarantee you it will boil down to the "distinctions" between micro-evolution and macro-evolution. They'll point out it's still a bacterium, not a grasshopper.

    That's when you point to the colonies that turned into Mikeman's 400lb Gorilla.

    I think the coolist thing by far is that they've grown enough bacteria for every possible point mutation to have occured in only 20 years. That in itself is pretty awesome.

  • corcorigancorcorigan Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Mr_Rose wrote: »
    Distinctly different.

    The article mentions that one of the things they use to identify E. Coli is that it doesn't eat citrate. Now it does. I mean that's pretty damn close - you'd be all "it's like E. Coli, but it eats citrate - must be a subspecies"
    E. coli citrans?

    Yeah, bacterial species definitions are always kinda indistinct around the edges.

    Horizontal gene transfers, or "Why don't our damn antibiotics work anymore?".

    Ad Astra Per Aspera
  • Zilla360Zilla360 Spaaaace! In Space.Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Plasmids are both real and awesome.

  • ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS
    edited June 2008
    This news gives me a boner.

    Medopine wrote: »
    Fuck that woman going "oh god oh no!!"

    It's nature, bitch
  • CangoFettCangoFett Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    So um, I just want to point out, even though im sure its common knowledge, that the belief in a created universe/intelligent design/magical sky wizard and evolution, arent mutually exclusive. There are plenty of non retarded creationists that see things like natural selection and evolution, and say, "Yeah, that makes sense" Its like reeses cups. Only now the peanut butter is God.

    And the chocolate is delicious science.

  • Zilla360Zilla360 Spaaaace! In Space.Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    CangoFett wrote: »
    So um, I just want to point out, even though im sure its common knowledge, that the belief in a created universe/intelligent design/magical sky wizard and evolution, arent mutually exclusive. There are plenty of non retarded creationists that see things like natural selection and evolution, and say, "Yeah, that makes sense" Its like reeses cups. Only now the peanut butter is God.

    And the chocolate is delicious science.
    I hate peanut butter. :P

  • AdrienAdrien Registered User
    edited June 2008
    CangoFett wrote: »
    So um, I just want to point out, even though im sure its common knowledge, that the belief in a created universe/intelligent design/magical sky wizard and evolution, arent mutually exclusive. There are plenty of non retarded creationists that see things like natural selection and evolution, and say, "Yeah, that makes sense" Its like reeses cups. Only now the peanut butter is God.

    And the chocolate is delicious science.

    Intelligent design is creationism.

    tmkm.jpg
  • JebusUDJebusUD Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    corcorigan wrote: »
    Mr_Rose wrote: »
    Distinctly different.

    The article mentions that one of the things they use to identify E. Coli is that it doesn't eat citrate. Now it does. I mean that's pretty damn close - you'd be all "it's like E. Coli, but it eats citrate - must be a subspecies"
    E. coli citrans?

    Yeah, bacterial species definitions are always kinda indistinct around the edges.

    Horizontal gene transfers, or "Why don't our damn antibiotics work anymore?".

    I did a presentation on this in one of my physical anthropology courses. Basically HGT= kewl but also = ZOMGRUN! mutant bacteria and rogue GM crop genes! While I have doubts about this being a problem, it might be somthing we should look into.

    Also, im glad there is another thing to point at as proof of evolution.

    You haven't given me a reason to steer clear of you!
  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    In today's news: science gets awesomer. Creationists remain retarded. More at 11.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • emnmnmeemnmnme Heard about this on conservative radio:Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    You know, there's a more obvious explanation - the devil could have invisibly manipulated the results, deceiving the scientists. The bacteria thousands of generations down the line should have been identical to the first generation had Satan not switched out the cultures when no one was looking. I'm sorry, but the researchers will have to start over again.

    easybossfight_zps4752c132.gif
  • Zilla360Zilla360 Spaaaace! In Space.Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    emnmnme wrote: »
    You know, there's a more obvious explanation - the devil could have invisibly manipulated the results, deceiving the scientists. The bacteria thousands of generations down the line should have been identical to the first generation had Satan not switched out the cultures when no one was looking. I'm sorry, but the researchers will have to start over again.
    Damn that Satan! He's sneakier than Santa Claus!

  • AndorienAndorien Registered User
    edited June 2008
    CangoFett wrote: »
    So um, I just want to point out, even though im sure its common knowledge, that the belief in a created universe/intelligent design/magical sky wizard and evolution, arent mutually exclusive. There are plenty of non retarded creationists that see things like natural selection and evolution, and say, "Yeah, that makes sense" Its like reeses cups. Only now the peanut butter is God.

    And the chocolate is delicious science.

    Creationism, as it's currently used (IE, what people are trying to force into schools) hold that living creatures were, well, created in their current state, and have changed very little over time.

    In other words, nonsense that isn't in any way supported by evidence.

  • saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited June 2008
    Andorien wrote: »
    CangoFett wrote: »
    So um, I just want to point out, even though im sure its common knowledge, that the belief in a created universe/intelligent design/magical sky wizard and evolution, arent mutually exclusive. There are plenty of non retarded creationists that see things like natural selection and evolution, and say, "Yeah, that makes sense" Its like reeses cups. Only now the peanut butter is God.

    And the chocolate is delicious science.

    Creationism, as it's currently used (IE, what people are trying to force into schools) hold that living creatures were, well, created in their current state, and have changed very little over time.

    In other words, nonsense that isn't in any way supported by evidence.

    I'd just like to point out that yes, it's possible to be a creationist while also accepting everything about modern evolutionary theory. And you even won't contradict yourself.

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  • Mr_RoseMr_Rose Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Mr_Rose wrote: »
    I want to know what the reaction if the ID/creationism crowd will be; I fully expect dismissal, but what form of dismissal exactly? I can think of at least one variation; "it's a laboratory experiment, this is no more natural than pocket watches!"
    And lo! A Creationist speaks on this very subject.
    Then promptly gets, in the vernacular, 'pwnt' by Professor Lenski, the original author of the research.
    A quote, if I may:
    "In other words, it’s not that we claim to have glimpsed “a unicorn in the garden” – we have a whole population of them living in my lab! [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Unicorn_in_the_Garden] And lest you accuse me further of fraud, I do not literally mean that we have unicorns in the lab. Rather, I am making a literary allusion. [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allusion]"
    And then, apparently, Conservapedia promptly deleted certain significant sections of the talk page for this and accidentally omitted other parts.

    Show of hands, people; who is even slightly surprised?

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  • Zilla360Zilla360 Spaaaace! In Space.Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Somebody really needs to photoshop Andrew Schlafly's face onto the body of a mule and send it to him, for maximum pwnage. <img class=" title=":lol:" class="bbcode_smiley" />
    Spoiler:

  • TrevorTrevor Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    This is really neat, I hope there are more incredibly well-documented experiments in the future. The way things are going we may be able to convince certain people that evolution is real shortly before the robots take over and kill us all.

    sigleftyp0.pngbaty8.pngzuneenderfinaltw6.png
  • Raiden333Raiden333 Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Mr_Rose wrote: »
    Mr_Rose wrote: »
    I want to know what the reaction if the ID/creationism crowd will be; I fully expect dismissal, but what form of dismissal exactly? I can think of at least one variation; "it's a laboratory experiment, this is no more natural than pocket watches!"
    And lo! A Creationist speaks on this very subject.
    Then promptly gets, in the vernacular, 'pwnt' by Professor Lenski, the original author of the research.
    A quote, if I may:
    "In other words, it’s not that we claim to have glimpsed “a unicorn in the garden” – we have a whole population of them living in my lab! [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Unicorn_in_the_Garden] And lest you accuse me further of fraud, I do not literally mean that we have unicorns in the lab. Rather, I am making a literary allusion. [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allusion]"
    And then, apparently, Conservapedia promptly deleted certain significant sections of the talk page for this and accidentally omitted other parts.

    Show of hands, people; who is even slightly surprised?

    The correct term is "memory hole".

    camo_sig2.png
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    I am incredibly jealous of that guy. I mean, sitting on something that reproducible is just awesome. The grad students he makes maintain and grow them probably hate him though. But we all know good science is powered by the souls of the dam--I mean grad students.

  • Professor PhobosProfessor Phobos Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    saggio wrote: »
    Andorien wrote: »
    CangoFett wrote: »
    So um, I just want to point out, even though im sure its common knowledge, that the belief in a created universe/intelligent design/magical sky wizard and evolution, arent mutually exclusive. There are plenty of non retarded creationists that see things like natural selection and evolution, and say, "Yeah, that makes sense" Its like reeses cups. Only now the peanut butter is God.

    And the chocolate is delicious science.

    Creationism, as it's currently used (IE, what people are trying to force into schools) hold that living creatures were, well, created in their current state, and have changed very little over time.

    In other words, nonsense that isn't in any way supported by evidence.

    I'd just like to point out that yes, it's possible to be a creationist while also accepting everything about modern evolutionary theory. And you even won't contradict yourself.

    No, it is not. Creationism by definition is a rejection of evolution. You are talking about theistic evolution, which is "Yeah, it totally happens, yay for science, that's just how God does his thing."

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