Posts Tagged ‘Drosophila’

Darwin Wrong Again

Birds Tree of Life

 

Darwin Wrong Again

In the first edition of The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin published in 1859, his “geographical distribution” proposal for the emergence of new species was presented in two chapters: 11th and 12th, both entitled “Geographic Distribution,” but Darwin wrong again.

In Darwin’s own words, the emergence of new species was “chiefly grounded on the laws of geographical distribution, that forms now perfectly distinct [species] have descended from a single parent-form,” Geographical distribution and “isolation… is an important element in the modification of species through natural selection.” Until now, however, Darwin’s theory had been largely unchecked and unchallenged.

Continue Reading

Fruit Fly, 100 Years Later

 

The fruit fly is celebrating 100 years of research. Charles W. Woodworth at the University of California, Berkley, at the turn of the twentieth century, was the first to use the fruit fly as model in the study of genetics. Today, Drosophila melanogaster, the common fruit fly, has become one of the most studied organisms in biological research, particularly in the field of genetics.

In 1910 following Woodworth’s footsteps, at Columbia University from the top floor of Schermerhorn Hall, now known as the Fly Room, Thomas Hunt Morgan confirmed and extended Gregor Mendel’s basic principles of genetics. A year later, Morgan published his findings in Science, establishing the foundation for the emerging neo-Darwinism movement.

Morgan, in the book entitled The Mechanism of Mendelian Inheritance (1915) demonstrated how mutations using radiation on two-winged fruit flies resulted in four-winged fruit flies. The four-winged fruit fly was widely heralded as the earliest evidence that the first evolutionary step to produce a new species was a mutation.

The question, however, centered on whether the mutated four-winged fruit fly was a new species or an unsustainable aberrational freek. By 1963 after decades of research, the question could be answered definitively. Ernst Mayr, Charles Darwin’s twentieth century Bulldog, viewed the mutated four-winged fruit flies as “such evident freaks that these monsters can be designated only as ‘hopeless.’ They are so utterly unbalanced that they would not have the slightest chance of escaping elimination.” Mutation is not the gateway to evolution.

Continue reading more

Book Description



Buy Now

Kindle Edition Available





Darwin, Then and Now is a journey through the most amazing story in the history of science - the history of evolution. The book encapsulates who Darwin was, what he said, and what scientists have discovered since the publication of The Origin of Species in 1859.

With over 1,000 references, Darwin Then and Now is a historical chronicle of the rise and fall of the once popular theory of biological evolution.

Connect