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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2006 :  15:11:57  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13068383/

Interesting reading, looking forward to a journal paper describing this place in more detail.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth

HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2006 :  15:34:32   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message
Really interesting stuff! This screams for follow-up research and reports. (I scream for it, anyway.) Note that it appears evolution doesn't "want" to waste valuable biological energy with eyes or pigmentation where those features are irrelevant.

I wonder how many other hidden, isolated environments exist on earth, waiting to be discovered? I'll bet there are many.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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Pernicious
New Member

35 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2006 :  19:26:13   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Pernicious a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by HalfMooner

Really interesting stuff! This screams for follow-up research and reports. (I scream for it, anyway.) Note that it appears evolution doesn't "want" to waste valuable biological energy with eyes or pigmentation where those features are irrelevant.





Those of you more hip to the deatails of evolutionary science, are there other examples of evolution acting in such a manner? I'm reminded of the novel Darwin's Radio where the whole process of evolution was more "purposeful".


If I was the Supreme Being, I wouldn't muck about with butterflies and dandelions, I'd start with lasers, eight o'clock, Day One!
-Time Bandits
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 05/31/2006 :  19:41:07   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Pernicious
Those of you more hip to the deatails of evolutionary science, are there other examples of evolution acting in such a manner?.
Well, snakes eventually stopped growing legs and arms as unnecessary wastes of energy. Pythons still have vestigial limbs which they use during copulation.



quote:
I'm reminded of the novel Darwin's Radio where the whole process of evolution was more "purposeful."

I'm not familiar with that book, but evolution is directionless.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Edited by - H. Humbert on 05/31/2006 19:44:10
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2006 :  15:21:22   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message
quote:
Those of you more hip to the deatails of evolutionary science, are there other examples of evolution acting in such a manner?


Everywhere.

The deep sea hydrothermal vent ecosystems are another great example.

Same for the isolated ecosystem under the deepest parts of the gulf of mexico.

There are also many underground lakes and rivers that have semi-isolated ecosystems.

It would not suprise me to find some amazing systems like this under the antartic ice as well.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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Hawks
SFN Regular

Canada
1383 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2006 :  16:09:58   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Hawks's Homepage Send Hawks a Private Message
quote:
The cave was completely sealed off from the world, including from water and nutrients seeping through rock crevices above. Scientists who discovered the cave believe it has been intact for millions of years.

How could it be completely sealed off? Without an input of energy from somewhere, anything in there would die out fairly quickly (i.e. starve to death. Note to any creationists: the second law of thermodynamics is actually applicable here). Or have I misunderstood the quote above?



METHINKS IT IS LIKE A WEASEL
It's a small, off-duty czechoslovakian traffic warden!
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2006 :  16:38:25   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message
That bothered me, too, Hawks. This can't be "life in a bottle."


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 06/01/2006 :  17:26:57   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Hawks

quote:
The cave was completely sealed off from the world, including from water and nutrients seeping through rock crevices above. Scientists who discovered the cave believe it has been intact for millions of years.

How could it be completely sealed off? Without an input of energy from somewhere, anything in there would die out fairly quickly (i.e. starve to death. Note to any creationists: the second law of thermodynamics is actually applicable here). Or have I misunderstood the quote above?

Nah, just poor writing and worse fact-check/editing.

Pocket ecosystems abound. Every remote island is one, the Galapagos Archipelago, Australia, and Aldabra Island being among the most visible. Also most any cave with the conditions somewhere close to the Israel find might well have a similar assortment of fauna. There are several in the US.

Oh, and let us not forget the copeopod populations in the salt lakes.....

The list is a long one and I've no doubt that many more will be found.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 06/02/2006 :  05:04:14   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message
Evolution isnt really directionless, its more like it provides usually helpful modifications for the local environment. Mods which may be a huge detriment if the local enviornment changes in fauna/geology/precip/etc. or the creature has to move.

The problem is most dont think of unsuccessful variations as evolutionary.

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 06/02/2006 :  05:47:59   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message
Here's something I'd be willing to bet upon:

That eyeless, unpigmented crayfish (or similar type of crustacean) which was shown in the link given above -- it saves biological energy by not having useless eyes and pigment.

But suppose some disaster sterilized the surface of the earth above its nearly-sealed underground environment. Then suppose that years later the shifting earth opened that environment to new, but sterile, lakes and streams on the surface.

My bet is that the migrating descendants of that crustacean would soon re-evolve eyes and pigmentation, and not though having to evolve these from scratch. I suspect the crustacean has retained the genes for these features, but that they are repressed genes. Unlocking such genes is much simpler than having to reinvent eyes and pigment, and keeping the dormant genes is not biologically expensive. Such repressed genes are like library reference books which may only be consulted when needed; buried genetic treasures from the crustacean's ancestors. And I bet this has happened many times in the history of life.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
Edited by - HalfMooner on 06/02/2006 05:50:13
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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 06/02/2006 :  07:16:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message
Yes but they may be poorly translated copies in your library... or worse King James Versions of the old DNA code.

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 06/02/2006 :  10:05:30   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by HalfMooner

Here's something I'd be willing to bet upon:

That eyeless, unpigmented crayfish (or similar type of crustacean) which was shown in the link given above -- it saves biological energy by not having useless eyes and pigment.

But suppose some disaster sterilized the surface of the earth above its nearly-sealed underground environment. Then suppose that years later the shifting earth opened that environment to new, but sterile, lakes and streams on the surface.

My bet is that the migrating descendants of that crustacean would soon re-evolve eyes and pigmentation, and not though having to evolve these from scratch. I suspect the crustacean has retained the genes for these features, but that they are repressed genes. Unlocking such genes is much simpler than having to reinvent eyes and pigment, and keeping the dormant genes is not biologically expensive. Such repressed genes are like library reference books which may only be consulted when needed; buried genetic treasures from the crustacean's ancestors. And I bet this has happened many times in the history of life.

I'd not be so quick to embrace that idea. These creatures function quite well in the absence of light, but that doesn't mean that they couldn't function equally well in light's presence. Again, I use the blind cave fish as an example. It is an aquarist's longtime favorite that manages to easily fend for itself in a community tank with other, sighted species. Indeed, it can sometimes be pretty agressive.

That is not to say that vision couldn't evolve under the described conditions, given time. Indeed, it has evolved numerous times in the past, and in some pretty unlikely creatures.



A scallop, checkin' you out!




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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