Thursday, April 28, 2011

Gene Transfer and Rapid Post-Flood Speciation

It is well-established in Creationist research that the immediate post-Flood period was one of rapid speciation among terrestrial vertebrates. Landing in the mountains of Ararat, the base population was rapidly subdivided by the mountainous terrain, and adaptations to the varying climatic bands on the mountain slopes provided more grist for natural selection's mill. Unexploited environmental niches, of which there was no lack in a world newly devoid of terrestrial vertebrates, also contributes to rapid speciation.

However, an overlooked facet is that, along with all the "land-dwelling, air-breathing" animals, came their entire internal biota. In the close quarters of the ark, there would be a non-stop exchange of bacteria. Among the bacteria, the exchange genes would be non-stop as well--with each other and with their hosts.

In the post-Flood world, these bacteria would again be divided, and influence which genes their hosts would express, and how their hosts would adapt to new environments. Ladling out portions of this bacterial stew to rapidly dispersing populations in a wide open world would create an unimaginably rapid level of speciation.

3 Comments:

Blogger Noumenon said...

Ladling out portions of this bacterial stew to rapidly dispersing populations in a wide open world would create an unimaginably rapid level of speciation.

"Could," not would. Would like to see this tested, because it's very testable. The proposed time scale is so incredibly brief you could be seeing new species within one scientist's career. That scientist wouldn't have to admit to being a creationist, either, because "I'm gonna see if I can drastically change gene expression by introducing foreign biota" sounds like something a regular secular scientist would like to try.

(For people who don't really get the whole "making a species by influence how genes are expressed" idea, there's a sorta kinda relevant article here:

Give identical genes different marching orders, and they can change from mediocre jacks-of-all-trades to exquisite specialists.

Ha! Blogger tried to eat this post, but I had Ctrl-C Ctrl-A'd it. Screw you, Blogger!

8:11 AM  
Blogger Yoel Natan said...

Part of what Larry was talking about, adaptation to different environments without substantial genetic changes, is called phenotypic plasticity or species plasticity. Here's a creationist article on that:

http://blogs.answersingenesis.org/blogs/georgia-purdom/2011/02/10/water-flea-has-more-genes-than-humans/

10:06 PM  
Blogger Octavo Dia said...

Noumenon: It wouldn't really fit with the creationist model, though, because so much genetic variability has been bred out of the populations we have today. Using the Swiss Army knife example, it's easy to make a huge variety of unique tools out of a Swiss Army knife by snapping off what you don't need. It's much harder to make that same variety out of a bunch of butter knives.

10:15 PM  

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