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  4. Ramble on evolutionary change – why some things seem to (a lot), and others don’t (much/atall). I like the expression, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ (but try telling a motor enthusiast that!). I have about 300 ring binders where I file things away, along with tens of thousands of clear pockets which I insert into them. When I bought the ring binders, I bought them in bulk. About 100 at the time. I wanted 4 ring clips instead of two, for extra security. I think 3 is popular in the US. A ring binder design is a bit like a mouse trap, pretty much as simple as it comes, so I was safe for future growth if I needed to add more. A couple of years passed by and I was full, so I ordered some more. And they no longer did that make in the same style. There were 4 major changes. To me - and I suppose anyone else who likes symmetry, when looking at several book cases full of all the same, white ring binders, having the same was important. The rings were now attached on the back of the binder instead of the spine (and they were, ‘D’ shaped, not, ‘O’ shaped). That meant that the rivets (viewed on the outside) were now not visible on the spine when placed on the shelf (next to the other ones that were visible). The clear display spine pocket which you place your written title file name in, on a piece of card, was now thinner and longer and lower down, losing symmetry with the others. There was now, no longer a clear display pocket on the front, to display an A4 sheet. And there was another alteration/update/change – maybe the size or white colour shade? Anyway, for someone with Autism who is a perfectionist and loves order and routine, this was really bad for me. And the point? Well just that evolutionary change comes in many shapes and sizes, and not all are visual. You’d be surprised at how complex some things can look, yet are relatively simple and not as, ‘advanced’ as other more simple things. There is an ant with a single chromosome, a deer with six. Some plants and protozoans have over 1000, lampreys have 174, hedgehogs have 88-90, whilst we usually have 46. Some species can interbreed with others with a dozen differences in the Chromosome count. So, evolutionary change or advancement is not always so clear. One wonders how finely honed things like sharks, crocs or brachiopods actually are. I don’t think they actually did nothing for so long. Those micro changes might be focussing on strengthening their resilience or adaptation to change or speeding up reactions, hardening body shell, adapting to a new diet or whatever, and very few might be morphologically noticeable, and it is especially difficult to know how much something has changed if the ancestors are long extinct and have left no genetic trace. The ring binder hypothesis of simplicity (like a mouse trap) is not as clear or simple or unchangeable as it might at first appear. There’s O ring vs D ring, back or spine mount, location/size of spine label, 2, 3 or 4 rings? A hole in the spine or not, material, colour, size, thickness? And there’s so many NEW types of ring binder available nowadays that we either didn’t think of, didn’t need or didn’t have the technology or material for then. So when we see, what we might assume is a very simple or perfectly adapted organism, for the organism itself, there is always room for improvement, no matter how small or meaningless it may seem to outsiders. And those simple things may open doors for additional things. Our own imagination, even with the benefit of speeding things up, using computer re-enactment, can’t predict or show all the combinations of possible solutions evolution can actually produce. Not sure if change is good or not. It may be good that something can adapt, and quickly. But it might be better if it was resilient enough not to have to, when things change, because of all the things happening when times were slow. Sort of like saving money when times are good, for when times are bad. One wonders how resilient WE actually are? Given our destructive nature, we’re probably not long for this world.
  5. Welcome to Phylogeny Explorer Project. Please feel free to look around and get to know the others. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.

  6. Welcome to Phylogeny Explorer Project. Please feel free to look around and get to know the others. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.

  7. Welcome to Phylogeny Explorer Project. Please feel free to look around and get to know the others. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.

  8. Welcome to Phylogeny Explorer Project. Please feel free to look around and get to know the others. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.

  9. Dear Anton. Great questions. I have been writing quite a long answer which may also be worth a wider readership given such interesting and relevant points, so pleaser bear with me, though anyone else is welcome to join in the response. Steve
  10. Greetings. I was just having a discussion with my brother about, whatever it makes sense to say, that the Neanderthals are extinct. So I was hoping that someone could point me to the definition of extinct used in biology. I also hope that someone could explain how or point me to an article about how hybridization is handled in phylogeny? Sincerely Anton
  11. Proceratosaurus - Was not a Ceratosaurian. It was actually a primitive Tryannosaurid, and they never bothered renaming it. Sinraptor - Means "Chinese raptor" but isn't a Dromaeosaurid (true raptor), though there are other non-dromaeosaurids with raptor in their name, but when they found an actual Dromaeosaurid in China, instead of calling it "Anything else"-Raptor, they named it Sinornithosaurus, meaning "Chinese bird lizard". They kept the "Chinese" part and ditched the "raptor" part. Saurus means lizard, which has lost absolutely all of it's meaning. I'm pretty sure there are more non-lizard Saurus's than lizards with that suffix. They've even included it in the name of at least one mammal (Basilosaurus). Not necessarily about dinosaurs per se, but the lineage of Archosaurs that led to Crocodylomorphs has been traditionally referred to as Crurotarsans and has included Phytosaurs. From my understanding, later studies determined that the crurotarsal ankle is actually an ancestral trait to all Archosaurs which was lost in the Avemetatarsalian lineage, which led to birds. The clade Crurotarsan now includes all Archosaurs and Phytosaurs which are now considered Archosauriformes. The name that is now used when referring to the croc-lineage of Archosaurs is Pseudosuchians. Please let me know if you think that I'm wrong about that.
  12. The classic model of Dinosaur evolution has two primary lineages. The Ornithischians and the Saurischians (Theropods and Sauropods). This model has been challenged by a model in which Ornithischians and Theropods fall under the clade Ornithoscelida, while Saurischia would include Sauropods and Herrerasauridae. This, would explain why feathers have been found in Ornithischian lineages as well as Theropods while no feathers have ever been discovered on any Sauropods. HOWEVER... Pterosaurs, which had diverged earlier, had feathers (I'm referring to monofilaments as feathers in this context), which might nullify that entire point, because the the potential to grow feathers is common throughout Ornithodira. Does anyone else have any thoughts on which model they prefer, or which one is more supported?
  13. Interested in helping to expand the project with my IT skills.
  14. Thank you for those links. "The Systematic Classification of Life" is my favorite youtube presentation I've seen so far. I've watched the entire series several times. As I was following the series through the PEP for the first time the other day, I got lost between Vertebrata and Gnathostomata, and fired off that inquiry. I appreciate your reply..
  15. Hi Preternat. So, I’m just trying to establish a couple of things. By being a preternaturalist, do you mean that you consider us (humans) to be outside or above nature or outside of the rest of evolution or something? I’m not aware that, ‘mother nature’ planned/plans anything and so if evolution develops intelligence enough to manipulate or alter genes, then that is an extension of the natural, isn’t it? You also mention that you are an atheist, so can you explain or reconcile these or show where I have misunderstood you? You want to communicate evolution to a wider audience. Great. There is lots of stuff available on the internet for this and that’s what the Phylogeny Explorer Project will do, too. The Phylogeny Explorer Project itself is not involved in religion or politics, but there are threads in the forums of this site that you can explore things a little more off the beaten path. Do you have any specific questions? Feel free, if you haven’t already, to join the Facebook group.
  16. Hi friend. It might be worth posting this on the Facebook group for quicker and more largely read answer. Here is one genetic comparison, but it's not my area: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/a-Cladogram-based-on-308-bp-of-gray-wolf-C-lupus-dog-C-lupus-familiaris-coyote_fig4_226328915
  17. Hi BangerDan. Please feel free to join our Facebook group if you haven’t already. Yes, AronRa has produced an excellent set of videos on the systematic classification of life along our clade line. He is also the creator of the Phylogeny Explorer Project, which aims to be the most comprehensive system, mapping the evolution of life, visually. In the Linnaean rank system (remember the DKPCOFGS), these are attempts at comparing ranks across groups – like mammals and amphibians, without regard for timeframe comparison and as though all were created at the same time. Whilst some equate to clades, the nested hierarchy (clades) of life are the true, natural order of things. The clades we tend to use and focus on, whilst naturally occurring, are man-made representative junctions to show key or notable divergences. So, whilst the point at which a notochord is first recorded is significant (for us) in ordering or explaining things, it is (in nature) of no more or less significance than any new species or divergence. Whilst having more clades than the following, (there are well over 100) the Phylogeny Explorer Project is however still in pre-production. Alternatives and recommendations in the meantime are: Open Tree of life: https://tree.opentreeoflife.org/opentree/argus/opentree12.3@ott93302 Timetree: http://www.timetree.org/ Onezoom: https://www.onezoom.org/
  18. I'd like to be able to follow the cladogram basically as presented in "The Systematic Classification of Life," and I think that would be of interest to other lay people as well. Is there a list of every clade we could use, or a cladogram with that "route" highlighted?
  19. Nuts, I'm rarely able to write, edit and re-edit enough before edit time expires. Just wanted to add, my main interest here is to find new ways to communicate evolution to people, even those people who "just don't get it" while believing in other strange things.
  20. My moniker "preternat" is not a brag about how preternatural I am (because I'm not, compared to other humans), but it's a reflection of my belief that we humans are "preternaturally" distant from our evolutionary origins. Obviously Mother Nature never planned for us to become so powerful a culture, so in a sense, imo, we're evolutionarily in uncharted and often dangerous territory... which (again imo) can probably help explain our current diseases, successes, psychology, optimistic vs dark natures, and so on. Personally, I'm in my mid-60s, keenly interested in all sciences, but especially interested in evolution. And interested in politics, as in searching for how we can improve on (e.g.) the current state of two-party power and corruption in USA, and how it distracts us from progress in scientific, social issues, and so many other positive endeavors. I'm also a mod at an atheist website, which I would mention here if it weren't for the fact that I'm still rather anonymous as an atheist. I once even considered "infiltrating" Scientology as a member, but fortunately didn't follow through. Perhaps someday I'll get over this handicap of keeping a low, personal profile. (I have kids, too. I've already admitted more than I feel totally comfortable with.)
  21. Guest

    Evolution of Canis

    I have been looking into hybridization between coyotes and red and gray wolves. It seems to my untrained eye that these three clades represent one diverse species because they have no problem reproducing with one another and producing viable fertile offspring. So whats your opinion on the idea that there all the same species and that they've been misclassified?
  22. “New study, re-writes evolution.” How (or) would YOU present a highly technical, specialist article to the general populous? Your editor (who pays you) has deadlines and targets for time, costs, readership and competing rivals’ articles. This blog is in response to (yet) another article which supposedly re-writes the theory of (in this case, shark) evolution. It tries to highlight the problem of and reasons for such article headings, looks at and compares the results of changing them from the origi8nal and asks what, if anything, can or should be done given the circumstances. I owned a shop once and one customer said that it would be nice if we had wheel chair access toilets. We had wheelchair access and wheelchair access toilets were available very close by in a larger shop. The cost of putting them in was prohibitive too, meaning no such shop to use in the first place, thus defeating the object. By trying to offer more, I (and all) would have lost all. Many of the good quality newspapers are struggling right now with such low readership. On the other hand, the British red tops (which are far more popular and reflect the greater national readership population) do pretty well. I’m sure there is a direct correlation between the quality of journalism and the survivability of the press in the UK. Too few want pure quality. Some may recall the Sunday Sport newspaper post I posted some time ago, demonstrating the level it goes to for readership. And true, those wanting it are the driving force of the editor. Spin, exaggeration, scraping the barrel, lies are things that sell. Few want straight facts. And I believe that goes for many of us, here too. In fact I have posted original research here and had little response, but when posting articles (even) from the same said report, as edited in a more popular or simplified magazine or newspaper with graphics and a fancy tag line, it gets views… It also gets read! And it also gets criticised for exaggeration or a misguided title. But it gets read as opposed to not read. If you want a technical article published in a general, miscellaneous, non-academic daily/weekly/monthly, you have to make very significant changes to attract any interest. Yes, even Time magazine, National Geographic and Nature have succumbed to targeting with overly dramatic images or titles which can play into the hands of science deniers. Look at it from the publisher’s perspective – they have to sell, compete, pay staff and survive. Where does one draw the line? It is a difficult one, when one considers all aspects or places oneself in the position of an editor. How many of us subscribe to the journals which publish original work? Would you digest it, understand the words? If competing with an edition of Punch or Private eye, which do you go for? Are you privileged or rich enough to access these journals? Does or did anyone get psychological tiredness, perhaps at university? When you want to do something you enjoy and it not taxing, you are full of energy and up for it. When it comes to study, you suddenly feel really tired. I did and still do. Youtube is a great help and bridge/gap builder! There is similar discussion in Christian and Muslim circles about Holy books. Some traditionalists argue that only the original language should be used, as it is the word of God and should not be changed. But only those few who know those languages can access it, but it is argued that all should learn it). Or should it be translated into many languages and perhaps simplified or adjusted to, ‘meaning related’ context so that more can understand and access it, at the price of some meaning, clarity or eloquence (this is an aspect of hermeneutics). Here's an article (just made up) showing 4 different views and asking which one or style would YOU read or be attracted to, if any, perhaps if the subject matter interested you (which is another trick that journalists try to widen to get readership)?
  23. @Ross Murphy Phylogeny Explorer Project facebook group can be found here https://www.facebook.com/groups/phylogenyexplorerdevelopment/
  24. Ok hi. I'm not on the Facebook group. I literally only joined Facebook during lockdown, because some friends wanted to play DnD through it. Can you link me to the group?
  25. Hi Ross. I can't seem to find you on the Facebook group and we seem to have lost contact. Apologies if this is my fault. Please do get back in touch if you can.
  26. Welcome to Phylogeny Explorer Project. Please feel free to look around and get to know the others. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask.

  27. Hi Jaz welcome to the project. I hope you enjoy your stay here.
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