Re: MD What is a living being?

From: phyllis bergiel (
Date: Wed Apr 30 2003 - 16:59:38 BST

  • Next message: Platt Holden: "Re: MD Undeniable Facts"

    Hi Platt:

    New species, I don't know. But evolution is such a slow process. I think
    we need to look for incremental changes, such as (I don't have a citation)
    but remember hearing about rabbits living at airports that are born deaf,
    the internal organs were getting smaller with each generation. Obviously
    those with less hearing are less stressed, etc. If this combines with other
    changes, is it the beginning of a new species? Biologically, I believe
    species classification has to do with ability to interbreed.

    And, in that case, we have some new possibilities - our domestic breeding of
    animals has created some very interesting problems. We have created some
    dogs breeds that would not be viable without surgical intervention (American
    bulldogs), and certainly our cross-species, cross phylum bio engineering
    raises new questions about what constitutes a species. I hope Jonathan (or
    anyone else with this expertise) will jump in to clarify.

    > >
    > > > I agree with Bo that at this point in evolution,
    > > > only humans can respond to DQ.
    > >
    > > The 'at this point in evolution' does add clarity to
    > > Pirsig's statement. However, I recall watching a
    > > documentary about new signs of life evolving in the
    > > depths of the ocean that appeared to be surviving by
    > > breathing sulphuric gases coming from the earth's core
    > > as that was all that was available to 'breathe'.
    > >
    > > I'm not big on biology, but something about humans
    > > being the only form of life that can evolve now?
    > As far as I know, yes. However, there's a biologist who has contributed
    > to the forum in the past who would know better than I. Perhaps he'll read
    > this (Jonathan) and respond. For others here who have speculated
    > recently that evolution is still happening at every level, a few examples
    > would help solidify their case. Has anyone ever witnessed a new
    > species being created?
    > Platt

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