I get the whole "man didn't evolve from ape but they did evolve from a common ancestor". But is there a reason that under different circumstances that one species couldn't evolve from another where they both ended up existing at the same time?

For example, a group of species A is separated off to another location with different environmental influences and eventually evolves into species B. But the rest of species A stays where they were and doesn't evolve because of some other circumstances.

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The A's in the original location would continue to evolve. All species are constantly evolving, all at different rates. Maybe the A's are evolving at a slower rate.. I don't think I fully understand the question but if I do, then there's the answer.

I THINK that environmental adaptation has a lot to do with evolution but I also think it was to do with genes or DNA. I am by far an expert or even slightly knowledgeable in this field, but what I THINK is that the inner workings of the body had some evolutionary work going on AS WELL as evolving due to environment changes. ie: Group A (common ancestor) branched off to group B (humans) and group C (apes) and for some reason the DNA of group A formed and perhaps even from cross breeding with some other kind of common ancestor. I know that is very simply put but that's how my brain works lol.

Is this what you mean? I don't know that DNA is the right term here either but there it is.

Hopefully someone on here can answer this with more clarity and in lay terms (please), I look forward to some answers.

Sandi, a common ancestor and a resultant species of this ancestor can't "cross-breed" because and common ancestor wouldn't exist anymore. The common ancestor would also have evolved. Any resultant species would be a modern species and the common ancestor would become one or many modern species. 

 

"man didn't evolve from ape but they did evolve from a common ancestor"

This isn't accurate.  Humans are a species of ape who evolved from a common ape ancestor.



"one species couldn't evolve from another where they both ended up existing at the same time?"

All species are changing all the time, so it's incorrect to say that some "stop evolving".  Some groups may undergo more radical change than others however.

If one were able to take a time machine back  about 6 million years to observe the common hominid ancestors,  perhaps the average person would simply call them chimpanzees.  But an expert biologist would likely be able to distinguish them from modern chimpanzees, since they have evolved since then.



The branching point is a commonality point for origin, the origin of two different species, there may be any number of branching points, or common points of further distinction to common ancestry. Just how many points I do not believe is known when taken back to bacteria, or taken back to  replicating molecules, branching infers variation [difference].  Scot, in your last paragraph, the natural selection processes dictates that both will change as the environment/world changes.

All things are temporal, all things are motion and change.

For example, a group of species A is separated off to another location with different environmental influences and eventually evolves into species B. But the rest of species A stays where they were and doesn't evolve because of some other circumstances

I think I understand what you are asking.  If a population went to a different environment they would evolve differently then the original population.  Yes, you can see that in Island species.  Those that went on islands drastically changed from their mainland counterparts.

Let me make sure I'm reading this correctly first.

Species A splits into two groups because, let's say, a physical obstacle like a mountain range. So now we have groups A1 and A2. A2, under different conditions than it used to live in, evolves into species B over a sizeable period of time. A1 does not evolve into a new species (be careful, don't say it doesn't evolve) given that it's living in the same conditions as before.

Are you asking why this happens?

You have it correct.  I'm asking if it is possible. 

Yes, it is possible because the environmental conditions are different.

Absolutely, this is speciation. The groups are in different conditions, this means that different mutations will be beneficial and passed on. It wouldn't happen overnight, but overtime they may become different species. A good example of this is Darwin's finches. They spread to different islands, and eventually evolved differently due to food sources (among other variables). They then would not or could not reproduce, making them different species.

I should make a correction: They then would not or could not reproduce between groups, making them different species.

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