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 Evolving a Venom or Two
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26002 Posts

Posted - 03/17/2007 :  22:01:01  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This thread is for posting comments about the SFN article “Evolving a Venom or Two.” Please try to keep posts on topic. Only registered users may post comments.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.

HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 03/17/2007 :  22:41:41   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That is one of the best little articles I've ever read. Only two things I didn't understand. First, this apparently orphaned paragraph:
quote:
Venoms also account for as much as 30% of the digestion process.
Do you mean, Filthy, that the venoms start the digestion process?

And then there is the larger question of why Filthy is ever deliberately anywhere near venomous snakes. (Shudder!)


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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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 03/18/2007 :  01:43:46   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message  Reply with Quote
First, let me say that I really enjoyed the article for the style it was written in, as much as the information it communicated.

That said, I wish an actual Creationist posing this argument:
quote:
A similar and equally idiotic question has been snidely put forth about serpent venoms, and it's rather like the “half-wing” strawman hoo-hah we hear from various Creationist groups, “Of what use is venom with no injection system, and vise-versa?”

The answer they give is, “Obviously none, therefore it all had to be created at the same time, proving the Theory of Evolution is a crock, and ha-ha all over you!”
had been actually quoted so this article wouldn't have such a straw man tone. I don't doubt that such a stupid argument has been used by some Creationists (I've encountered dumber arguments against evolution), I just wish we'd been at least shown the other side straight from the horse's mouth first.

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

Check out my art store: http://www.marfknox.etsy.com

Edited by - marfknox on 03/18/2007 01:44:40
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 03/18/2007 :  03:07:13   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh, the other thing I really loved about the article was that I was able to visualize elements of millions of years of evolution of venom, from a weak venom that may simply have been a form of saliva that accidentally harmed an animal when chewed into it, to more powerful and diverse poisons that we delivered by grooved teeth that gradually came forward and became hinging hypodermic needles at the same time. And most of the evolutionary steps in between exist as in surviving snakes, each of which did not need to make the next step itself, but whose cousins did.

Also, I don't think you used anything like "a strawman tone." That was quite an overstatement, considering your single assertion. It would have been more powerful to see the original quote, however, just as the photo of your envenomed had added power.


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 - 03/18/2007 :  03:46:27   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've had the venom/fang blather thrown in my face a couple of times, once by none other than Dr. Sarfati, over at TWeb. Which inspired the essay. It is indeed a straw man and one so easily destroyed that it is only worth the merest of mentions.

'Mooner, your own digestion starts with your saliva. Venomous animals have simply taken it to a higher level. The paragraph was "orphaned" to add emphasis to a pretty remarkable but not well-known (except among herpetologists) fact.

As for hanging with hot snakes, well, we all have our own, little insanities. I find them fascinating.

As for the quality of the writing, I owe one to Dave W for some excellent editing. No writer ever does it alone.

And many thanks for the responses!




"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!

Edited by - filthy on 03/18/2007 03:56:03
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 03/18/2007 :  04:04:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dave's a fine editor. Behind every hundred great writers there's a single great editor like him.

Hey, about your (present) Rogues Gallery fellow, Captain Bligh: Though certainly not a "people person," he was by no means the worst of his breed. And I gotta give the old bastard credit for his wonderful navigation feat in getting himself and his loyal officers and men to Dutch Timor after a 3618 nautical mile voyage in a small open boat.


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 03/18/2007 04:04:50
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26002 Posts

Posted - 03/18/2007 :  10:11:28   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Geez, guys... thanks!

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 03/18/2007 :  10:42:23   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dave W.

Geez, guys... thanks!

Wait until you get the TAM5 report. Poor bastard...

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26002 Posts

Posted - 03/18/2007 :  11:44:16   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's the wait itself that's killing me.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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Archereon
New Member

New Zealand
32 Posts

Posted - 04/25/2007 :  02:30:19   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Archereon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I tend to come across a hummingbird version of this one myself

West Ham Claret and Blue Army NZ div
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Rahab
New Member

1 Post

Posted - 03/04/2008 :  07:33:15   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Rahab a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I believe Karl Schmidt died within a couple of days of his boomslang bite, not 28 days as stated in the article. A scientist to the end, Schmidt kept notes on his symptoms that were published posthumously. Maybe it was 28 hours?
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 03/04/2008 :  08:27:53   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Rahab

I believe Karl Schmidt died within a couple of days of his boomslang bite, not 28 days as stated in the article. A scientist to the end, Schmidt kept notes on his symptoms that were published posthumously. Maybe it was 28 hours?
Looked it up again; it is indeed only 28 hours. My bad; good catch!

Welcome to SFN!




"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!

Edited by - filthy on 03/04/2008 08:29:10
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Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26002 Posts

Posted - 03/04/2008 :  08:30:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wikipedia offers the 28-hour time without citation.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 03/04/2008 :  08:59:33   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmm. It's getting to be an interesting question. The 'Slang was a juvenile and considering the venom, 28 hours might be a little quick. On the other hand, 28 days is a long time. On the gripping hand, everyone reacts to venom a little differently. Of my bites, I've only had one treated (C. adamanteus). I can ride the minor & moderatly serious ones out pretty well.

I'm going to dig around a little and get some conformation on it, one way or the other.




"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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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 03/04/2008 :  09:32:12   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmm again:
Many members of the family Colubridae that are considered venomous are essentially harmless to humans, because they either have small venom glands, relatively weak venom, or an inefficient system for delivery of venom. However, the boomslang is a notable exception in that it has a highly potent venom, which it delivers through large fangs that are located in the rear of the jaw[1]. The venom of the boomslang is primarily a haemotoxin. It disables the blood clotting process and the victim may well die as a result of internal and external bleeding.[1][4] Other signs and symptoms include: headache, nausea, sleepiness and mental disorders. Because the venom is slow to act, symptoms may not be manifest until many hours after the bite. On the one hand, this provides time for procuring the serum, while on the other hand it may lead victims to underestimate the gravity of being bitten. (Snakes of any species can on occasion fail to inject venom when they bite and after a few hours without ill-effect the victim may fall into the error of supposing that the injury was not serious).

An adult boomslang has 4–8 milligrams of venom. 5 milligrams is said to be enough to kill a man.
Could it be that the onset of symptoms took 28 hours? That seems fairly likely considering the size of the snake, it's unique venom, and that the bite was a one-fanger.

I can't seem to find my original reference on the time line, so I'm going to presume that I'm guilty of a typo, but the time from the bite to death is still up in the air.

I've not put a lot of study into 'Slangs but if a specimen were to become available, and I had facilities for it, I'd certainly like to.




"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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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 03/05/2008 :  03:18:51   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dug around a little more: it was definatly 28 hours and I don't retain what I read very well.

Thanks, Rahab!




"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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