In article <Pine.ULT.3.91.960829234509.7415Gfirstname.lastname@example.org>, David Beorn <email@example.com> wrote:
> > Just look at how variable HIV is. All these mutations all occuring at the > > same time - some are viable and some aren't. Some are better at surviving > > for a while or better at transmission or better at eluding drugs and the > > body's own systems. > > But in all cases, it is STILL HIV, right?? I.e. no evolution occurred - > adaptation, variability of a species yes - but not evolution. No new > "creature" was created.
I told this to David in private, but I'll share it with everyone else. All right class, pay attention... *ahem*
Evolution is defined as a change in the frequencies of alleles (different forms of the same genes) present in a population from generation to generation.
That's it. I would wager 10 years' salary that this is not at all what Dave THOUGHT the definition of evolution was. In essence, evolution *IS* natural variation within species, viewed over time; if there is any change whatsoever in the genetic makeup of a species (i.e., adaptation or new variability), then evolution has occurred. It's as simple as that. That's been the definition of evolution for *decades* now, and some people are still living in the 1700's...happily criticizing something they won't even bother to look up in a textbook. Dave is trying to make "evolution" synonymous with "speciation" and it never was and never will be.
Doug Yanega (firstname.lastname@example.org) Illinois Natural History Survey, 607 E. Peabody Dr. Champaign, IL 61820 USA (217) 244-6817 fax:(217) 333-4949 affiliate, University of Illinois Dept. of Entomology http://www.inhs.uiuc.edu:80/~dyanega/my_home.html "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick