carnivore due to mutation loss?

Discussion in 'Science' started by Helen, Jul 25, 2005.

  1. Helen

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    On CNN today: http://www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/science/07/25/feline.sweet.gene.ap/index.html

    I'm not sure there is any other mammal as 'entirely' a carnivore as the felines -- of all sizes. Dogs, bears, even foxes, will eat lots of things besides meat. But cats almost always won't.

    The article linked above discusses the finding that cats have a gene that has mutated to become inoperable -- the gene that turns on the sweet receptors enabling the animal to taste sweets. Cats don't have it.

    Those who decry the reality of Noah's Ark and ask either how some mammals became carnivores after or survived before or during the year on the water have seemed to have a point. My response has been that there were plants before which had the high protein/amino acid content todays carnivores need. Indeed, we have plants today which may well be reminiscent of that, such as soy.

    This article about cats and their dysfunctional gene, however, offers an additional bit: again loss of function due to a mutation.

    And again, mutations do exactly that -- cause loss of function, not a gain in function. This is just another one.

    Once upon a time, cats were different.

    Of course this is the straightforward explanation. Watch your nearest evolutionist apologist for a twist which will try to support evolution.
     
  2. Paul of Eugene

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    So when did the teeth of cats become suitable for the carnivorous way of life, and what were the teeth of cats like before they ate meat?
     
  3. JamesJ

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    The cats teeth then could very well have been the same as they are today. The teeth of the panda and the gorilla seem to be well suited to eating meat. They, however, are herbivores.
     
  4. Magnetic Poles

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    Wrong. Mutations are capable of causing a loss or a gain in function. Even the loss of one function could result in an evolutionary advantage. For example, hypothetically, if humans lost their sweet tooth, we'd have a loss, but also have possible better dental health and less obesity.
     
  5. UTEOTW

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    So you are willing to accept that a tiger and a housecat are the same "kind." That in itself is a bit interesting since they are somewaht different in size.

    Just how quickly do you think the uber cat was able to differentiate into housecats and lion and tigers and sabertooth cats and cheetahs after the flood? I think examples from very different ends of the scale were known to the ancient Egyptians so we must be talking, what, a few dozen generations. That is some quick macroevolution you are supposing us to accept there! Just what did this uber cat look like? Just how did a pair of them have enough genetic diversity between them to make the various kitties and how did that happen in such a short period of time? Any support for those assertions.

    There is also some interesting discussion in the article about the all of the olfactory pseudogenes in primates, including humans, that have full trichromatic color vision. How this came to be could be the source of an interesting discussion.

    There is also a very interesting link that uses genetic analysis to chart the phylogeny of all carnivores. I guess you could cast doubt on the study. But to do so, you would also then be casting doubt on the bit of information from oyur original post that seems to show the various cats as related. You could always accept one data point and ignore other similar data points, I suppose, but it seems so arbitrary.
     
  6. UTEOTW

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    Wrong. Mutations are capable of causing a loss or a gain in function. Even the loss of one function could result in an evolutionary advantage. For example, hypothetically, if humans lost their sweet tooth, we'd have a loss, but also have possible better dental health and less obesity. </font>[/QUOTE]It seemed to me that the authors thought of the mutation as an advantage. But I could be wrong. At the very least, a driving force to the cats we see today.
     
  7. UTEOTW

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    "The cats teeth then could very well have been the same as they are today. The teeth of the panda and the gorilla seem to be well suited to eating meat. They, however, are herbivores."

    The shape of the teeth is a very good indication of diet, that whole relationship between form and function. Even in the exceptions, wear patterns can be used to deduce diet. There area also other occasional methods to determine diet such as fossilized stomach contents, coprolites (pooh) or fossilized vomit.

    I am also not sure why you mentioned gorillas. They have large, flat molars with high crests that are adapted to breaking down plant material.

    It all goes together. Plant eaters need the right teeth to begin the tough process of digesting plant fiber which also necessitates a long digestive tract. Carnivores generally lack the means to gather plant material, the teeth to shear grind it and the digestive system to process it.
     
  8. Gup20

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    Most bears have "meat eating teeth", but eat primarily plants.

    So you don't think that the loss of a gene to taste sweets is a loss?

    That's like saying that shooting an engine full of bullets from a large gun confers functional gain because the oil - previously contained within the engine (selfish engine!) now squirts on the hood hinges making the hood easier to operate.

    Guinness World Records records the tallest man as 8ft 11in. It records the shortest man as being 1ft 10in. Are either of these people not human beings? Have you ever heard of a pygmies? Are these people not human because of their size? To be a consistent evolutionist, you must apply your rule accross the board.
     
  9. UTEOTW

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    "Guinness World Records records the tallest man as 8ft 11in. It records the shortest man as being 1ft 10in. Are either of these people not human beings?"

    How different do think they are at the morphological level? How different do you think a housecat and a tiger are when considering details of morphology? Size is only a convenient aspect that makes the point without digging through to find other specific differences.
     
  10. Gup20

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    Actually, as can be seen by this article on a lion that never ate meat, that is simply an assumption.
     
  11. Paul of Eugene

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    Well, the lion did not survive on food obtained from the wild. That food was especially prepared for her.
     
  12. Paul of Eugene

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    I have a question. The article specifically states the mutation affects Cheetahs, Housecats and some others as well - five different species were tested, and the suspician naturally arises that other felines, if tested, would likewise have this genetic defect. The evolutionist opinion is that all this indicates these various feline species shared a common ancestor that had this defect. Do the creationist parties who brought this up also contend that all the felines who share this trait once had a common ancestor? Yes or no?
     
  13. Helen

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    I have always maintained that feline was probably one of the original populations and that today's felines of all sizes are variations of it. The same with canine, equine, bovine, etc. Speciation is not being argued here, though. What is being brought up is that this mutation in the felines, as with all mutations, results in a loss of function somewhere along the line.

    Nor does it matter whether or not the lion in question above obtained food in the wild. The point is that its digestive system was quite fine with a vegetarian diet. This does give the lie to the fact that cats can only survive on a high or exclusive meat diet.

    Nor are we talking about 'macroevolution,' Ute. You folks are incredibly adept and steering the subject off course. This thread is about a loss of function in felines which has the possible indication that they were not always carnivores.

    Try to stick to the subject, dear evolution supporters.
     
  14. UTEOTW

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    "Nor does it matter whether or not the lion in question above obtained food in the wild. The point is that its digestive system was quite fine with a vegetarian diet."

    It is the most important aspect. It took a human to gather and prepare the plant material and to supervise the diet. The lion could have never done this on its own. Or do you know of a population of wild, vegetarian lions.

    "I have always maintained that feline was probably one of the original populations and that today's felines of all sizes are variations of it."

    Do you think that this shared mutation is evidence that these various cats all have the same ancestor? If so, then why do you reject other similar data when it shows that the connection go higher up the tree? As I stated above, the authors of the very paper you cited reference another paper which does just that for all carnivores. You must arbitrarily pick and choose which of equal data points you accept.

    "Nor are we talking about 'macroevolution,' Ute."

    What? House cats and tigers are the same species you claim! Otherwice we are talking about macroevolution if speciation is involved. Or do you have a different definition than the biologists?

    And I 'd still like to know just how quickly you think the original kitty "kind" was able to macroevolve into the species we see today. There are some pretty old references to these animals so it seems that we are talking tens of generations at most. Can you support this?

    Can you tell us how it is that two kitties had enough genetic diversity between them to make all these species in an extremely short period of time and without beneficial mutations?

    For that matter, can you support any of this? Do you have any sort of fossil record that shows a migration and diversification of the kitty "kind" that fits your ideas? Do you have any fossil kitty teeth that show wear patterns consistent with a plant diet? And kitty coprolites full of plant material? Any thing?

    Can you tell us why all Feliformia are not part of the kitty "kind?" What tells you that they are not of the same "kind" as what lead to housecats? What about the genetic data and fossil data that shows them to actually have shared the same ancestry? Why is it dismissed?
     
  15. The Galatian

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    The problem with evolution of all present animals from a few "kinds" over a few thousand years, is that there would have been new vertebrate species popping into existence monthly.

    And yet, no one thought that this was remarkable enough to mention that it was happening.

    Seems impossible.
     
  16. Helen

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    1. The FACT is that the lion was able to exist on a vegetarian diet. We are talking about their digestive tracts, not what they do in the wild. It is quite possible that before the Flood there were plenty of desirable high-protein plants for them. I would presume, because of their teeth, that these would have been woody plants or the nuts thereof. The fact that lions today must depend on meat has very little to do with the fact that their digestive systems do not need to.

    2. When there are empty ecological niches, speciation can be quite rapid. This is known in evolutionary literature. We've seen it in the wild with lizards and guppies at the least and probably a lot more. So no, Galatian, your idea of new vertebrate species popping up is a red herring. Isolated small populations, such as you would get after the three major earth catastrophes would speciate very rapidly in different areas.

    3. There is NO evidence of any other evolution aside from speciation within kind. Absolutely none. All you have after that is wild speculation by evolutionists about this or that supposed 'transitional.' There is nothing to show it was a 'transitional' at all any more than the dear old platypus is a transitional.

    4. In the meantime, while you are all wandering all over the place, the point of the thread is that there is a piece of evidence that the carnivore tendencies at least in felines may well be because of LOSS OF FUNCTION DUE TO A MUTATION. This is what mutations do, and all your wandering all over the place with this topic does not change that.
     
  17. Paul of Eugene

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    Yes, we know, there once was a proto-cat somewhere that went about being a protocat, and about 6000 years ago he underwent a mutation that caused him to loose the ability to detect sweetness (as per your article). At that point, a lot of LOSS OF FUNCTION due to GENETIC MUTATIONS began to kick in. Some of the carving away of functions left the descendents as lions, other carving away of functions left the descendents as cheetahs, other carving away of functions left the descendents as bobcats, panthers, and even housecats. And this all happened in about a thousand years, because these species have been around since that time.

    Is this an accurate summation of your view, Helen, and if not, where does it go amiss?
     
  18. Helen

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    You are mixing up mutation loss of function with speciation, which is more along the lines of natural selection.
     
  19. The Galatian

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    Monthly would be beyond anything science would accept. And certainly, people would have noticed. Yet no one commented on it.

    Sorry. It's just unrealistic to think something as weird as that was going on, and no one said anything about it. Even every decade or so, I could see your argument. But monthly, no chance.
     
  20. UTEOTW

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    "1. The FACT is that the lion was able to exist on a vegetarian diet. We are talking about their digestive tracts, not what they do in the wild. It is quite possible that before the Flood there were plenty of desirable high-protein plants for them. I would presume, because of their teeth, that these would have been woody plants or the nuts thereof. "

    They do not have the equipment to grind such material nor the digestive tract length to extract nutrients from such a diet. The vegetarian lion had the gathering and grinding of the food performed for it. Do you have any proof of such a fanciful imagination? Wear patterns on teeth? Fossil coprolites? Migration and adaptation fossils that support this?

    "2. When there are empty ecological niches, speciation can be quite rapid. This is known in evolutionary literature."

    Great, then you can point to us where in the literature we have observed macroevolution at the pace the would be required to produce a housecat and a tiger and lion and cheetah and bobcat and panther, etc. from a proto cat in a hundred years or so.
     

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