New at ARN: Dear mice: We are pleased to inform you that you are now an icon of evolution
From British physicist David Tyler, on how deer mice became the most recent icons of "evolution in action" due to coat colour variations:
What this research does not do is lend support to Charles Darwin's claim that evolution by natural selection is the key to understanding the development of biological complexity and the origin of species. the genetic changes associated with the modified coat colour are attributed to the deletion of a single amino acid in the Agouti gene - there is no increase in information and no move towards specified complexity. It is necessary to point this out because some (e.g. the BBC report) are suggesting this research is so important for evolutionary theory that it deserves iconic status.
Anyway, I wonder whether coat colour changes lead to the formation of new species very often, in the sense that the life forms can no longer interbreed. Coat changes must usually follow local environment changes that favour one colour over another.
Find out why there is an intelligent design controversy: