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Archive for Thursday, January 14, 2010

Men more evolved? Study stirs debate

January 14, 2010

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— Women may think of men as primitive, but new research indicates that the Y chromosome — the thing that makes a man male — is evolving far faster than the rest of the human genetic code.

A new study comparing the Y chromosomes from humans and chimpanzees, our nearest living relatives, show that they are about 30 percent different. That is far greater than the 2 percent difference between the rest of the human genetic code and that of the chimp’s, according to a study appearing online Wednesday in the journal Nature.

These changes occurred in the last 6 million years or so, relatively recently when it comes to evolution.

“The Y chromosome appears to be the most rapidly evolving of the human chromosomes,” said study co-author Dr. David Page, director of the prestigious Whitehead Institute in Cambridge and a professor of biology at MIT. “It’s an almost ongoing churning of gene reconstruction. It’s like a house that’s constantly being rebuilt.”

Before men get too impressed with themselves, lead author Jennifer Hughes offers some words of caution: Just because the Y chromosome, which determines gender, is evolving at a speedy rate it doesn’t necessarily mean men themselves are more evolved.

Researchers took the most detailed examination of the Y chromosome, which females do not have, of both humans and chimps and found entire sections dramatically different. There were even entire genes on the human Y chromosome that weren’t on the chimp, said Hughes, also of the Whitehead Institute.

The two-year research took twice as long as expected because of the evolutionary changes found, Hughes said.

Comments

Olympics 4 years, 3 months ago

There are MANY examples of "interspecies evolution" (actually speciation or macroevolution) occurring within our lifetimes. There are is a ton of unrelated by supported evidence for examples across longer time periods too.

But here's a list of some recent examples...nice pictures and a brief description of the natural history behind each example.
http://evolutionlist.blogspot.com/2009/02/macroevolution-examples-and-evidence.html

Most flowering plants have evolved via polyploidy and we have observed examples that occurred with a single generation. Speciation by a single massive mutation.

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Roland Gunslinger 4 years, 3 months ago

BG says... interspecies evolution has never been proven/replicated.


Really? Might want to tell that to the Heliconius heurippa butterfly. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/06/060614-butterfly.html

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bearded_gnome 4 years, 3 months ago

Porchy, neither is "better. males more intelligent in one zone, womyn in another. well proven in intelligence studies.


ALM: that. First of all, if there were all these changes, they wouldn't all fall into the categories of “beneficial” or “lethal”. Some of them would be disadvantageous (say for instance cut the organisms life short) but still persist by being passed on (the organism would live long enough to reproduce). In that same vein, I would think that most changes (since they are not some predetermined lineal path toward “better”) would indeed be disadvantageous (what are the chances most changes would happen to be for the better?) therefore there would be a lot more kinds of organisms (fossils) and a lot more of them would have died out. I guess to say it imperfectly is to say that there would be a bunch of “junk” changes and disadvantageous changes (and I know there is latent DNA) in proportion to any advantageous changes. That's a lot of changes that would produce lines. A lot of lines. A lot more lines than what we have a fossil record of.

very well put. we should be hip-deep in intermediate forms! there are (last I knew) one times ten to the twenty-fifth power interconnections in the human brain, number is likely higher known now. plus, there are many dozens of systematic influences on the brain, and scientists don't know quite how we get mind out of brain.
it is crazy to imply that that brain, so far advanced beyond the chimp's brain just suddenly lurched into existence without a bunch of broken limbs on the family tree on the way there.

no, I don't believe evolution, I do understand it. interspecies evolution has never been proven/replicated. intraspecies evolution has.

just suppose, Somebody simply made that man Y different from chimp Y? means I really don't have an inner chimp I guess, by the work of the Creator.

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BERNWARD 4 years, 3 months ago

Football proves otherwise - who wants a sport with multiple concussions and resultant brain damage?

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RoeDapple 4 years, 3 months ago

hot dang it shure is good too noe me an the cuzins is moer advants than them girllies makes me wanna git the escort out an do donuts on the lake but i bettur not tauk boutit

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Fixed_Asset 4 years, 3 months ago

Wait, this took place over 6 million years? Boy Brownback will certainly put a stop to this 6 million years nonsense when he becomes gov.

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alm77 4 years, 3 months ago

".are you saying..." What I'm saying is that Jesus and His teachings can't be held responsible for the dogma of other fallible humans, neither can I.

I'm also saying that to one person, the lack of fossils can be a caveat, while to others it's a convenience.

I certainly don't understand the insistence I encounter when I say I don't believe in evolution. Sorry, guys, I'm off to do dishes and cook dinner for my family. We'll all leave this discussion with no minds changed, and that's okay, too. :)

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75x55 4 years, 3 months ago

"Researchers took the most detailed examination of the Y chromosome, which females do not have, of both humans and chimps and found entire sections dramatically different. There were even entire genes on the human Y chromosome that weren’t on the chimp, said Hughes, also of the Whitehead Institute."

Stunning.

So, men AREN'T chimps?

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Stuart Evans 4 years, 3 months ago

here's a pretty big list. I know, not millions, but it's only one list, that I found inside of a 5 second search.

We all know the earth is flat earth theory is a myth. nowadays anyway. I don't think that people always believed that. in fact, I believe that pagans had a much better understanding of the earth around them, until organized religion got involved and dumbed people down to the lowest common denominator.

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Olympics 4 years, 3 months ago

Aim77, regarding the lack of fossils...it's a rare chemical process...a carcass has to be free of certain types of ubiquitous bacteria, blowflies, etc (things that eat dead stuff) AND then, it has to remain free from geologic erosion, uplift, volcanism, etc....AND then, you need a human to recognize a newly exposed rock/fossil (under huge risk of erosion) who wants to obtain it. That's a lot of random processes to get a single fossilization event.

regarding 500 years ago....are you saying Galileo wasn't put under house arrest for undermining the religious "scientific" viewpoint of the day?

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alm77 4 years, 3 months ago

" the millions more that have died off." That's what I'm asking for. Where are they? Point me to the index.

"500 years ago, the earth was flat and the sun rotated around the earth." That's a myth. A very well circulated, everyone-knows-it's-true myth.

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Stuart Evans 4 years, 3 months ago

I also want to point out that in Darwin's time, he had no access to DNA testing or even that depth of knowledge. Yet the DNA has consistently proven Darwin's theories. While we haven't fully mapped every species, the results so far are certainly in Darwin's corner.

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Stuart Evans 4 years, 3 months ago

“why aren't there more branches to evolution as one would expect with so many genes going so many possible ways?”. I suspect that's because science hasn't come up with one yet.


how many branches do you want? we all evolved from a single celled organism, most likely deposited from meteorites crashing into the planet. so we go from one species, up to the 10's of millions currently on the earth, not to mention the millions more that have died off. seems like a lot of branches to me. lets look directly at modern humans. how many evolved branches are there? lets see, whites, blacks, asians, hispanics, etc. All are human, yet all have visibly different traits. and even some of those have a little more difference, such as down's syndrome.
Even though my statement seemed to contradict, it is merely my human perception of what is good vs. bad. in some other world view, my ideals of good may be a very bad thing to others. Therefor, not a contradiction.

The bible has a lot more wrong with it than the time line of 6 days to create. In reality, earth history is about 4.5 billion years old. if god made the heaven and earth on day one, then we are still living in day one because the universe continues to expand, planets and stars continue to be born as others explode into stardust. I contend that there is no way that the authors of the bible could have understood what they were seeing, as science wasn't invented yet. 500 years ago, the earth was flat and the sun rotated around the earth.

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alm77 4 years, 3 months ago

"Most species are able to adapt as they evolve to make the best of their situation." This statement seems to contradict the premise that we agreed upon, ie that there is no linear progression towards "good". You didn't actually address my question of "why aren't there more branches to evolution as one would expect with so many genes going so many possible ways?". I suspect that's because science hasn't come up with one yet.

"...if you want to stop believing in theories, you might want to check out gravity." = cheap shot. I thought you understood I'm of above average intelligence. I'll point out that gravity can currently be tested and retested while not just having a consistent, but in fact, constant result.

I would also like to add another theory that I can understand, but don't necessarily believe and that is what is known as the Day/Age view. The Hebrew word for "day" can be translated as "age" (the debate is whether or not it should be) and voila! the entire fossil record confirms Genesis Chapter 1, which to me would have been the smartest, most remarkable argument to prove the Bible (a document thousands of years old being held up by factual discoveries = WOW!) but that would have been the smart thing to do and we all know how dogmatists are about doing the smart thing.

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Stuart Evans 4 years, 3 months ago

well I agree.. not all genetic evolution is good. in fact, many are retardations and inevitably doom a species to extinction. had the Dodo bird been able to fly, perhaps it wouldn't have been wiped out by predators (man). Most species are able to adapt as they evolve to make the best of their situation. I don't think evolution is always a change for the better. (see movie: 'Idiocracy')

The bible says a lot of things that were not able to be disproven back then, as scientific method had not yet been invented. So it is a book of uneducated (by today's standards) men, passing on fables that were passed down from generation to generation.

When the earth was made, it could surely have been considered void, but formless; hardly. it was void of people and living creatures & plants, but it was full of rock and fire and liquified metals and gases.

Even though we've only lived for about a 1/4" of time, we have made amazing strides in understanding our surroundings and the earths make up in just the last few hundred years. Even today, we are constantly updating our knowledge as we discover new ideas and perspective. That is the exciting thing about science and theories such as evolution. just because it is a theory, does not mean it isn't mostly true. if you want to stop believing in theories, you might want to check out gravity.

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Calliope877 4 years, 3 months ago

Just waiting for you men to catch up.:p

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georgiahawk 4 years, 3 months ago

alm, are you saying that all uninhabited planets are "formless and void"?

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alm77 4 years, 3 months ago

"I'm not sure who the people are that think there is a predestined direction for evolution. likely those who still want to believe in a god." - exactly. They misrepresent it in order to get others to dismiss it, which is pretty dishonest, IMO.

I don't believe in it for a couple of reasons. (I don't even know if it will all fit on a discussion). And when I say, "correct me if I'm wrong", I mean that. First of all, if there were all these changes, they wouldn't all fall into the categories of "beneficial" or "lethal". Some of them would be disadvantageous (say for instance cut the organisms life short) but still persist by being passed on (the organism would live long enough to reproduce). In that same vein, I would think that most changes (since they are not some predetermined lineal path toward "better") would indeed be disadvantageous (what are the chances most changes would happen to be for the better?) therefore there would be a lot more kinds of organisms (fossils) and a lot more of them would have died out. I guess to say it imperfectly is to say that there would be a bunch of "junk" changes and disadvantageous changes (and I know there is latent DNA) in proportion to any advantageous changes. That's a lot of changes that would produce lines. A lot of lines. A lot more lines than what we have a fossil record of.

Secondly, if you laid out a proportionate timeline from the beginning of the Earth until now based on evolutionary change and that line was the distance of from here to Chicago, the amount of time that we've been working on evolution would be 1/4 of an inch or something crazy like that. So, you can see why it's hard for me to believe that in that 1/4 of an inch, we know the truth about the other thousands of miles...

And the other thing I said meant that maybe the geology is as old as geologist say it is. The Bible says that when God started creating the Earth was "formless and void". To me, "formless and void" could be the perfect description of any uninhabited planet with geological structures. I don't see a contradiction there.

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RoeDapple 4 years, 3 months ago

Was this also a Norweigian study?

(sorry Irish)

;-)

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Satirical 4 years, 3 months ago

I am not sure why people are having issues with the term "more evolved."

"More evolved" is a value neutral phrase. "More evolved" doesn't necessarily = superior. The only way to place a value on such a phrase is to assign value to one of the words; i.e. "evolved" = "good." In fact, the exact opposite is just as possible, "evolved" could = "bad."

So when studies show the Y chromosome is more evolved than the rest of the human genetic code when compared to chimps, this only concludes men are superior if we assign value to the phrase. (Even then one could easily argue there are numerous other possible conclusions).

Therefore, the evolution of the Y chromosome is the reason why men have a better sense of direction, and why we never stop to ask for them : )

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Truther 4 years, 3 months ago

The monty python song is going in my head

“aint it great to have P@n#S ……………

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Stuart Evans 4 years, 3 months ago

alm.. you do seem to have a good grasp of evolution. I'm not sure who the people are that think there is a predestined direction for evolution. likely those who still want to believe in a god. More evolved is a pretty generic term, because everything is more evolved than it's own ancestors. maybe they should have said differently evolved.

but i still don't understand why you said that you don't believe in evolution. and I'm not sure what the last thing you said was referring to.

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tomatogrower 4 years, 3 months ago

Oh course men are evolving faster. That's because women are already perfect. Men are just still trying to get it right.

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georgiahawk 4 years, 3 months ago

Autie, are you talking about my shiney gun? Kind of personal!!!

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autie 4 years, 3 months ago

Yup, that didn't take long.

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autie 4 years, 3 months ago

I believe the doomsday clock is ticking on powershopper. My, my,my. Besides, everyone knows that evolution was really filmed in a Hollywood studio...or was that the moon thing? Like the guy said on the OTS, shiny side out.

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alm77 4 years, 3 months ago

"how do you understand evolution but not believe in it?" Easy. I took a college course (and got an "A"!) Evolution is the theory that organisms change over time in different ways. The changes that are advantageous to the organism's survival are passed on to their offspring (because they survived to pass it along) and the changes that are are disadvantageous cause the organism (and therefore the change) to die out. The theory DOES NOT state (what some would have you to believe) that nature has some sort of predetermined directional evolution, ie "more evolved". See? I understand it.

And why aren't the rocks that make up the earth millions of years old? I could see those being "formless and void". ;)

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powershopper 4 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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georgiahawk 4 years, 3 months ago

I am sorry pywacket, I did not know there was no bitterness involved in a statement that men were only good for sperm and killing. But I appreciate your sensitivity to us kneejerks and the fact that we are lame and cliched. In fact I should have seen that there was no logic to arguing that maybe men were good for more than sperm and killing. I stand corrected! I am going to go polish my guns, making sure they are ready for your use! ;)

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Stuart Evans 4 years, 3 months ago

how do you understand evolution but not believe in it? I suppose you understand geology too, but still believe the earth is only 10,000 years old and god made it just like it is today...

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consumer1 4 years, 3 months ago

Salad, your comment just sounds hateful. ;o(

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alm77 4 years, 3 months ago

feeble, agreed. My first thought exactly and I don't even believe in evolution, but I do understand it.

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Pywacket 4 years, 3 months ago

My, my, my, georgiahawk, isn't your response to salad's (amusing but with grains of truth) comment a little lame and cliched? or a lot lame and cliched?

Why does the kneejerk set label people as "bitter" when they don't have any logical points with which to parry? Salad's comments (even if I don't agree entirely--especially with the "expendable" part, which may have been meant in jest) sounded more matter-of-fact than bitter. Insecure much?

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funkdog1 4 years, 3 months ago

Why does the myth about women being bad drivers persist when mens' driving insurance costs them more for a good portion of their driving lives?

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barrypenders 4 years, 3 months ago

My Y grows from time to time. It doesn't grow like it used to though. The older I get the less the Y grows. Certain encounters peek my Y's attention, but rarely does it grow.

Stimulus, Y Grow, and Posercare live unprecedented

Darwin bless us all

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georgiahawk 4 years, 3 months ago

My, my, my, salad, a little bitter? or a lot bitter?

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salad 4 years, 3 months ago

Our girls are precious, and the only reason we exist as a species. Should biologists ever perfect a synthetic sperm...they may well become obsolete. Men are expendable; it's why they make such good soldiers.

Additionally, were it not for women to talk them back off the precipice, guys like Tom Shewmon and Dick Cheney would have let the missles fly long ago and killed us all.

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Paul R Getto 4 years, 3 months ago

This is interesting. We are the third chimp, the hairless one with voicebox and a killer instinct (not that the chimps don't murder too.) A recent article suggested the main difference between the brains in the three chimp lines was our chemical messengers that allowed various parts of the brain to communicate quickly. Another article on the big-brained hominids who died out was also fascinating. Maybe too much IQ (estimates suggest these folks might have averaged well over 150 on the current scale) is not a good thing. Certainly, Internet blogs have helped to reinforce this concept. (LOL) http://discovermagazine.com/2009/the-brain-2/28-what-happened-to-hominids-who-were-smarter-than-us http://rnajournal.cshlp.org/content/14/7/1270.full

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feeble 4 years, 3 months ago

"more evolved" implies a complete misunderstanding of evolution.

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costello 4 years, 3 months ago

"Before men get too impressed with themselves, ..."

Whoops! Too late! They're already too impressed with themselves. ;-)

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costello 4 years, 3 months ago

"new research indicates that the Y chromosome — the thing that makes a man male — is evolving far faster than the rest of the human genetic code."

So the men are just trying to catch up to us women!

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Tom Shewmon 4 years, 3 months ago

You'd think women would be hairier than men then. Other than that, this does not surprise me.

May Darwin Bless!

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Satirical 4 years, 3 months ago

News Flash:

Snips and snails and puppy dog tails beat out sugar and spice and everything nice.

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Satirical 4 years, 3 months ago

Is lack of evolution the reason why women are such bad drivers?

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