Joined: May 2006
yeah, I often decried the fact that it's pretty clear that most posters here would rather yell at AFdumbass than actually discuss relevant science and theory.
I often just give in and join in the fun. I'ts like complaining about people not being interested in playing volleyball when they are playing jungleball.
as to the convergent/parrallel issue; the idea was to seperate evolution of similar traits purely due to environmental influences, vs. there being some component of relatedness involved.
However, again I think your dmaraland mole rats are a perfect case that kind of complicates this:
sure, there was a linneage in common, but the evolution of these traits is also due to completely independent environemental circumstances.
so there is a bit of overlap.
Still, the relatedness issue would pretty much put this squarely in the parallel evo. category, at least from everything I've read and been taught.
yes, wiki is still pretty weak in this area, though it is getting better. the current version of Futuyma, and the behavioral ecology texts by Krebs and Davies do a pretty good job of showing various illustrative examples too.
there are also some sites on the web that have some good examples of each; just google on parallel vs. convergent evolution and a few will pop up.
hmm. stochastic. not exactly the term i would use, I think, but there are certainly areas that overlap and defy easy categorization. it's the same when we argue cladisitics. there is great overlap in what determines a particular species or clade. categorization is merely meant for us to make it easier to study; it's all a bit artificial when you get right down to it. One can't argue against the value of it though. it's very hard to describe something to somebody else, or compare it to other things without somehow being able to consistently categorize it first.
Yeah, i see the appeal of convergent evo explanations too. However, there is also the danger of it becoming a circular argument.
do you know what I mean?
|In a certain kind of environment, there are a wide variety of solutions to the problem of, say, how to take down prey that's bigger than you, but that number of solutions is limited by the environment itself and by the characteristics of the previous generations.|
"And the sea will grant each man new hope..."