‘Divergence of Character’ Myth

‘Divergence of character’ (character displacement or sympatric speciation) postulates: “during the incessant struggle of all species to increase in numbers, the more diversified these descendants become, the better will be their chance of succeeding in the battle of life. Thus the small differences distinguishing varieties of the same species, will steadily tend to increase till […]

Cannibalistic tadpoles and matricidal worms dispute evolution

A recent study identifies phenotypic plasticity as the ability of tadpoles to change how they look and act, and how their tissues function, in response to their environment. If the pond also contains fairy shrimp, some tadpoles turn into aggressive carnivores and sometimes, the carnivorous tadpole stage becomes entrenched – without the need for a […]

Darwin’s finches story falls apart

“Shaking up the Tree of Life” – http://science.sciencemag.org/content/354/6314/817 Reproductive isolation was, until recently, part of the classic definition of a species. But this definition never worked, first because various species like Neanderthal and Homo Sapiens can mate and birth fertile descendants, and second because this definition left out all nonsexual reproducing organisms. What is not […]