Sticklebacks sticking it to creationists, again

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Sticklebacks sticking it to creationists, again

Stickleback fish are some of the most studied fish in evolutionary circles.

It has long been none that in natural populations that the stickleback can genome can produce fish with two spines and fish with no spines. Typically, the ratio of spined to non-spined fish has correlated to the degree of predation in the ecosystem - fish with no spines are more streamlined, get caught in vegetation less and can hunt better. Fish with two spines can avoid predation better for obvious prickly reasons.

What hasn't been seen before are more than two very prominent spines and amour plating - which is what the sticklebacks in Lake Washington have redeveloped in recent years since a massive lake cleanup that cleared the waters and left the non-spined version of the fish an open target.

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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I think the appropriate

I think the appropriate phrase here is "holy fucking shit!" O.O Wow.

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I can't remember which book,

I can't remember which book, but Dawkins addresses "reverse" evolution.  Maybe it's Climbing Mount Improbable.  At any rate, he's echoing Matt Ridley in pointing out that evolution is not a progression, but a war of attrition.  There is no ultimate "Perfect Being," but rather, a being well suited to this moment.  When the moment changes, evolution adapts to it.  If things go backwards, ecologically, it's perfectly reasonable for evolution to go backwards.  (Loosely speaking.)

Great to see so many science subjects recently.  My geek meter is nearly off the chart.


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