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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Speciation:

(from peer review comments:)

  • A more extensive discussion of the Galapagos would be useful, as it's the best-known example of the phenomenon.
  • A discussion of phylogenetics and the measurement of species coalescence times might be a good expansion.
  • The "observed examples" link to is well-researched and useful as an external link, but surely there's a more academic compilation somewhere?

(from Samsara)

  • Speciation by polyploidy
    • better in a separate section, that then also mentions that it does not depend on any degree of spatial isolation
  • Discussion of pre-zygotic vs. post-zygotic isolation
    • Explicit treatment of sexual selection and assortative mating
  • The possible role of punctuated equilibrium, esp. in peripatric speciation
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Pre-2004 discussion[edit]

Does this mean the bacteria evolved into a new species, that they passed on acquired characteristics, or what?

"Species" is a pretty vague concept when it comes to bacteria, since they can reproduce individually. You can't use the "able to interbreed" defintion. Bacteriologists usually prefer "strain", which implies some significant trait such as whether or not it causes disease, or whether or not it is resistant to some antibiotic, whether it produces some protein, etc. One can use radiation to increase the mutation rate of bacteria cultures in a way that causes them to develop new traits that they would otherwise develop more slowly. (Except perhaps for Dinococcus radiodurans, whose primary trait is that it resists radiation damage!)

I'm not a biologist, but I felt like some description of the debate over punctuated equilibrium versus gradual speciation was appropriate. If an expert reads what I added and thinks it needs correction, please go for it!

Is speciation only the event of the creation of a new species as the result of one species separating into two or is it any event of the creation of a new species? At it's defined as the process of biological species formation.

This bears on which variants of creationism accept or reject speciation. --Ed Poor

"Speciation" is not something that can be accepted or rejected--it's merely a term used to describe whatever events or processes lead to the creation of new species. If that's by God saying "poof--new species", then that's divine speciation. Scientists, of course, only use it to refer to speciations that they believe actually happen, by evolutionary means. The present text isn't very clear on that, but frankly, I'm not sure it's really a fit subject for an encyclopedia article--it's just a dictionary entry, really. --LDC

We could say "biologists believe" rather than "biologists generally believe" as the view is so nearly unanimous among them as to make disagreement negligible. Ed Poor

The definition of "species" is very vague. In the case of wolves and domestic dogs, these can (AFAIK) interbreed and produce fertile offspring, yet they are different species. Ramon Casha

Anthere, speciation is a technical scientific topic in evolutionary biology; it requires a link to our article on biological evolution. Why did you remove the link to evolution, and replace it to a duplicate article (Theory of evolution]]) that is missing most of the science and details, and replaces science with religion and mysticism and Gaia theory? This makes no sense. When people want to learn about a very technical genetics and evolution topic such as speciation, we can assume that they do not want to study the mystical views of a Jesuit Christian priest from a century ago! Removing the science link and replacing it with the one you made is not justifiable. Please stop pushing your political and religious views into science articles. RK 23:01 12 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I totally agree with you that this article requires a link to biological evolution. And it is just perfect as this link is provided in the very first introduction sentence.
I removed the evolution link that you placed at the bottom of the article, because it would a duplicate link (since it is already in the first sentence right ?). cf. Wikipedia Manual of style: Do not link every occurrence of a word; simply linking the first time the word appears will usually be enough.
I put back the link to theory of evolution that you removed from the bottom of the page in your previous edits, for I believe the see also is meant to broaden the topic. The theory of evolution is just a perfect link to broaden the topic, and open our readers to new perspectives :-) I don't think we can assume they would not be interested in historical perspective (from more than a century ago by the way). But perhaps, it being an historical view from a christian perception could be a sign it is not very interesting to our readers ? Is that your opinion perhaps ?
Of course, the articles on evolution and theory of evolution are not duplicate articles, since as you yourself state, their content and goal are different. So, that make sense to open the topic with this second article.
For these reasons, it appears to me the theory of evolution link is relevant here. Of course, I might be wrong :-) User:anthere
The first word in the theory of evolution article is a link to the evolution article. The theory of evolution article also contains a link to speciation, which makes it appropriate, in my mind, that there be a back-link. As far as I can tell, there is absolutely no reason to assume that there is some religio-political motivation for Anthere's change. Perhaps, RK, if you would cease ascribing particular motives to peoples' actions, there might be less antipathy in the discussions. --Dante Alighieri 23:47 12 Jul 2003 (UTC)
And perhaps, Dante, you should read my comments more carefully. Please re-read my exact words in the Talk section of the Theory of evolution page. That is the main point. This isn't about Anthere; it is about Wikipedia, NPOV, and our policies on duplicate articles. RK 13:59 13 Jul 2003 (UTC)
And perhaps, RK, if you wouldn't leave some comments on several different pages and some other comments on still other pages, it might be easier to stitch them all together into one coherent view of your opinion. As it stands, it's simply not worth the effort to read all of your scattered comments. I stand by my earlier words as they apply to the message you left here. --Dante Alighieri 19:34 13 Jul 2003 (UTC)
You seem confused. This specific subject is extremely pertinient both to this one article, and to the topic that it is linked to. Obviously then, it can be seen as appropriate to discuss the issue in both places. (Other people do this as well. Do you also rebuke them?) Dante, this is your second attack on me this week, despute the fact that I am not insulting you. I am simply working on specific issues to make our science articles more accurate. I hope that you stop using this issue as an opportunity to score point, and can focus on the actual issue. If so, I would be pleased to work with you. RK 21:29 13 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Actually, in my opinion it is you who is confused. My objection to your placing comments in several places is not merely a general one, but a response to your request above. You asked that I read your "exact words" on the Theory of evolution page. The problem is that that other page was not linked from your comment on this page. How is it, RK, that I am to be expected to magically know of the existance of this other comment that clarifies your main point? I responded directly to what was written on this talk page. I see nothing in my original post on this issue that is inappropriate given your sole comment that existed on this page at the time that I left my remark. Secondly, you seem to have quite the peculiar definition of attack. I'm sorry if you take my defense of Anthere as an attack on yourself, but hey, that's your business I suppose. Also, I guess I get no credit for clarifying that it wasn't you that started the Anthere/ban page. Sure you thanked me for it at the time, but it seems that that's not important given my repeated attacks against you since then. I also find it interesting, that despite your assertion that you are not attacking me, you managed to find the time to include a few rather pointed and subtly insulting remarks in the above passage. But hey, based on your treatment of Anthere, I won't claim to be terribly suprised. As far as "scoring points", I'm not entirely sure what points you think it is that I'm scoring, and with whom, but I'll just chalk that up to your "confusion". Lastly, this concludes my portion of this conversation, as I shall be taking your advice and focusing on the actual issue. I'd hate to needlessly clutter up talk pages. --Dante Alighieri 09:00 14 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Well, RK, both Dante and I misunderstood you then. Perhaps RK, if this has nothing to do with me, you could refrain from immediately throwing in the chauldron politics and religion, and just focus on the link issue you raised here (is my argument for keeping this link ok for now ?). Whatever what you meant to say, if other editors unfortunately misunderstand what you meant, it may be beneficial that you rephrase your problem. I may dare to add that the article on theory of evolution is *older* than the one on evolution. It would be problematic to say the older one is violating Wikipedia NPOV (can't see the relationship with NPOV here) just for existing before the second one :-). Perhaps the one who created the evolution article should have been more careful ? In any case, since these two have different content, I don't see why they could be considered duplicate articles. Anthère

Anthere, I don't understand why you keep claiming to be confused. The issue is very simple. People are trying to link to an article on science, on the processs of biological evolution. When they do so, they expect to come to an article on that topic. They do not expect to be mislead to a side-topic article that has very little science (almost none at all, in fact), and instead focuses on the mystical views of a Jesuit Christian priest from a century ago! This effectively pushes certain political and religious views into science articles. That is inappropriate. It is a violation of Wikipedia NPOV policy RK 21:29 13 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I don't see this as inappropriate. There is nothing in Wikipedia NPOV policy stating that articles dealing with science should only be linked to science articles. This way of doing is just compartimenting knowledge and forcing people to stay in their narrow view of a topic. I do think you go to far in your view of what people expect or do not expect. It is perfectly ok that in the middle of an paragraph explaining science stuff, the link is to the appropriate article (in this case, probably evolution), but that does not mean it is not ok to provide other links as well, especially in the "see also". Afaik, there is no specific rule saying that "see also" should restrict themselves to the very content of the article, otherwise, this link would probably be included in the content of the article itself. And I don't see why theory of evolution would not be a perfectly reasonable link in the speciation article.Anthère
I agree; I never said that articles dealing with science should only be linked to science articles. I didn't even come close to that position! In fact, I too have contributed to Wikipedia articles that link from science to non-science articles. This can be very useful. The difference is that in those cases we clearly stated this in the paragraph, and the title of the articles we created were very clear. That is the opposite of this case, where the science and non-science articles both appear to be solely about science.
For instance, consider the Science article. Within it, it states: "The relationship between religion and science: One of the key differences between religion and science is that scientists are willing (and sometimes, enthusiastic) to change their beliefs when new facts and compelling logic are presented. This subject is discussed in the article The relationship between religion and science.
In this case, the strictly science content is clearly differentiated from the content that is not strictly science, and the article title makes this clear as well. That is all I am saying we should do here. RK 20:08 14 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Similarly, we distinguish between an article on religion and one on the science of anthropology with a title like Anthropology of religion and Sociology of religion. Also consider homosexuality, which is about biology and science and sociology. Yet religion has a lot to say about this topic, which is why we created Religion and homosexuality.

Please consider the following Wikipedia articles: their titles more clearly represent their content. RK 20:08 14 Jul 2003 (UTC)

The relationship between religion and science

Now, you suggest that the theory of evolution only content is "mystical view of a Jesuit Christian priest". I would appreciate that you precise your view here and exactly point at what you are talking about. Several people are mentionned in this article, not only one. Are you suggesting the "Theory of Evolution" as stated by Darwin should not exist in Wikipedia, nor the other theories given by other scientists ? Do you suggest its content should be deleted ? Or do you suggest it should be incorporated in the current evolution article ? If so, how do you plan to resolve the fact you claim the evolution article is only about science and the content to incorporate is not ? (I consider a good deal of it is).Anthère

Your average Wikipedia reader, seeing an article with Theory of evolution as a link, will click on this link, and assume that the article is about the theory of evolution. Why would they assume otherwise? Yet they would be wrong, because this article does not discuss the theory of evolution in detail. Rather, it veers off into barely related topics.

not barely related topics. Theories which will likely not be accepted in the evolution article, because either proved to be false, or non-proved by scientific means mostly. Which precisely is what a theory is. However, I don't think removing history or removing "what is not proved" from Wikipedia is a good move. Likely, it will build un-trust in us. I also think the evolution article is quite outdated, hardly saying anything about neodarwinism, and not taking into account latest works.Anthère

We want people to trust us. But as thing stand now, people will come to the conclusion that they are being misled for partisan purposes. Sadly, some of my professional colleagues have already warned their students not to use Wikipedia for precisely this reason. It is not just evolution and Gaia theory; they see problems with many Wikipedia science and history articles that, in their eyes, betrays an agenda to win students over to a cause. In some cases, they are right.

possibly :-) But if these professers only feed their students with perfectly framed scientific information as widely accepted in the US, with no opening to the other options, then these students are badly in need of the other information we can provide us. I suggest you try to participate to wikipedia textbook project if you feel that what we are trying to do is just a school textbook. I do not think it is the case.Anthère

Finally, we must not blame others for the present state of the articles and article duplication, on this or any topic. The only point in being a Wikipedia contributor is to build on what we have. At times, this includes making edits, deletions, and redirects when necessary. Ours is not to complain about the past, but to work on improving the encyclopedia. RK

I absolutely agree with you. So what do you suggest ? Purely removing any information on other theories or the historical name of this theory and making a bland redirect ? Changing the title of the current article ? Adding information to the current article to make it more acceptable to your view ? Move the content of it to the evolution article ?Anthère
In practice, most Wikipedia readers will come to the Theory of evoltion page, and assume that this is our main article on the subject, even though it is not. When we title our articles, we must be scrupulously clear. If we want a page on Evolution and religion, or Evolution and philosophy or anything else, that is fine. In fact, I love reading about such stuff, but I just think it should be labeled clearly. RK
some of this copied in theory of evolution talk page.

OK. Then let's solve the issue of the theory of evolution first. Anthère

Anthere writes "Now, you suggest that the theory of evolution only content is "mystical view of a Jesuit Christian priest". I would appreciate that you precise your view here and exactly point at what you are talking about. Several people are mentionned in this article, not only one. Are you suggesting the "Theory of Evolution" as stated by Darwin should not exist in Wikipedia, nor the other theories given by other scientists ? Do you suggest its content should be deleted ? Or do you suggest it should be incorporated in the current evolution article ? "

I never said this. (Rest of comment deleted by myself.) RK

RK, I suspect you're misreading between Anthere's lines, probably in part because of language issues. I think what Anthere was doing was presenting you with two options, neither of which was supposed to be one that you had proposed. One of the options I think she meant to be absurd: I think she's offering the absurdity of eliminating Darwin as an argument against eliminating content. I read the post as just a civil attempt to prod you rhetorically toward the resolution she seems to favor--the combination of the content of the two articles into one, rather than the total elimination of one article and it's content. I suppose she's also implicitly rejecting the option of keeping two articles and renaming one or both, but I don't find that grounds for war in itself. 168... 03:05 15 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Maybe so; at the time it felt like I was being toyed with. I guess you are right, and I owe Anthere an apology. Sorry, Anthere. I am removing my above statements. RK 20:41 15 Jul 2003 (UTC)
apology accepted of course. Thank you RK. Anthère

168, you suspect quite well. I appreciate that you try to read between my lines. I fear that the flowery way french people talk is perhaps one some english people can't understand. Perhaps I should limit any of my sentence to subject + verb + complement ? In a very flat and sad discourse that any robot could hold ? Without playing with words and concepts ? Certainly, someone versed in science know the reductio ad absurdum ? I am sure you have a sense of humour RK. You are also a bright man, so please, stop assuming the worse in me, and accept me as a bit facetious. I am willing to work with you. Please try to understand my slightly teasing and grandiloquent side and I will try to understand your susceptibility and aggressivity side :-)
As for my opinion on the fate of these two articles, I explained it in length in the Talk:Evolution yesterday night. But I guess my opinion was not thought relevant, since RK did choose not to answer my comments, but instead boldly made the redirect.

I fail to see how I could in any way participate in this encyclopedia if when I edit, I am accused of being too bold, and when I discuss, my comments are left unanswered. Theoretically, this is supposed to be a collaboration work, and I think an article on biology evolution could benefit perhaps a bit from the input of a non-english biologist. I do not know what are the credentials of RK to feel so much empowered upon all the gaia, knowledge, science, evolution and co articles. But I sure think inputs from various backgrounds should be important. And I sure think I can bring a little from both a french/european and a microbiologist perspective.

I just find much of what you say obscure. Its not a matter of you being too bold, but I don't always follow you as well as I should. RK
I will try to be clearer then. Anthère

In replacing the article with a redirect, RK forgot to move all the relevant content of the article in the evolution article. I asked for an explanation of this action on the talk:theory of evolution. I am not sure he will decide to acknowledge my comment.
Three options

  • RK justify that the left over are irrelevant to the current evolution article, and I will drop the matter. However, I must emphasize I am quite serious about it. So, I think it deserves discussion, not deletion.
  • RK introduces the relevant parts in the evolution article and take into account my comments. All is well. Especially if he also take care of rephrasing it in good english :-)
  • RK goes on not answering and caring for other opinions than his. I revert the theory of evolution, put a edit war at the top, and hope you help us solving the issue politely :-(
I wasn't aware that I dropped any relevant or significant content; I certainly did not mean to do so. It looked to me like much the same content, only phrased differently. Not bringing it over was only an attempt to avoid duplication. Thus, I have no objections to bringing all that other material into the main evolution article. RK 20:41 15 Jul 2003 (UTC)
Lexor put it in the article. I am glad we agree on this. I have no pb with the current move. Anthère

Of course, I will not add these points myself to the evolution article without being sure he agrees with it, as he probably left these points aside for conscious reasons, and will see me adding them as an unsufferable attempt to push my religion or my political views in an article again, and will likely revert my changes.
I also think that it is not the first time RK merge articles while leaving aside relevant content. Hence, my move will be to revert the theory of evolution to be certain content will not be lost. Not necessarily because I want the article to be absolutely preserved, I wish to make that clear. I suggested that the facts (evolution is widely accepted) and the theories (mechanisms proposed to explain the evolution) need to be more identified. This could be in two different articles, or in one. I have no firm idea on this. But I think it is important to say that the first is quite uncontroversial now (but some creationnists, while the second still is. Consciously leaving aside modern theories to push ancient ones at the front is one way to make-believe it is non-controversial issue. Unfortunately, for biologists, it still is controversial, and I do not think this fact should be hidden to the readers. Especially in an encyclopedic article, which goal is to report all relevant knowledge in the field of science. Or should we set an article specifically on modern evolution ?

I am in advance sorry if this result in an edit war again. But, leaving aside modern theories is not acceptable imho. I am confident that once RK realise that I was using counter-demonstration and providing ideas in good faith, he will take the good decision and accept to discuss the left aside points. And perhaps, when we both come to know each other better, we won't need another editor to filter our communications.

I must add that I do not appreciate that you are spreading discussion on several articles in spite of my trying to set a common place for discussion, RK. In french, we call that "Diviser pour mieux régner". Google translates it by "To divide for better reigning". I read once an option against that kind of action what to centralize discussion. In case you go on practicing this, I will boldly move any comment on the topic to one central place.

Incidentally, RK, I appreciated you added the Jesuite opinion to the evolution article. I also asked you to refactor your personal attacks upon me in the gaia articles, more than two weeks ago. RK, you accepted to do so. I will very kindly ask you again to refactor them. I am sure I would not properly refactor your words myself. Thanks in advance. user:anthere

Anthere, I suggest you come up with a different word than "refactor." "Refactor" is an unusual word in English (I'm not sure I've ever encountered it), and it in the above context it's almost impossible to guess what you mean. Maybe the word you want is "reformulate?" I suppose you are looking for a diplomatic or delicate way to say "revise" or "rewrite"? If so, I think you are right that your French style is combining synergistically with your only minor deficiencies in English vocabulary and syntax. 168... 18:30 15 Jul 2003 (UTC)

ah ?'t know what to say...err...this is no french word...I learn it on Wikipedia...hum...well...I interpretated that since refactoring existed, refactor as a word could also...maybe was I a bit too creative here :-§
afaik, it is used in computer field, it means reworking the code without changing any of the functionalities. this case, rephrasing, reformulating, revising, rewriting would all be good. What I mean is rewriting them to remove personal attacks and keep only what is truely relevant to articles. I think I saw it many times used in Wikipedia. I think RK understood quite well what I meant. Maybe not ? Ach, if I can't learn english from working with english speaking people on Wikipedia, there is perhaps something wrong in the process. Perhaps the word is just Wikipedia jargon such as in Refactoring as the essential Wikipedia process and I confused it with a real word ?
I am confused here.
make me think...I often tend to merge languages, see this and then Jimbo answer which gave me to think I sometimes am not clear, but here I didnot think so. disconcerted ant
You use the word "refactor" correctly. The problem is, as its domain was originally computer programming, it is probably jargon to most people. I imagine its usage has not spread far beyond the source domain, and I would doubt if most native speakers of English are familiar with it in this context. That's not to say that it is wrong or a bad idea for you to use it... some of the vocabularly that I use isn't exactly commonplace either. :) --Dante Alighieri 20:29 15 Jul 2003 (UTC)
I will limit myself using it with computer programming people to avoid misunderstanding
tell me some of this vocabulary :-) I love new words. Anthère

What is the mechanism?[edit]

This article sounds like the theory of evolution has already been proven and is no longer controversial. But it fails to specify the mechanism of "speciation". What causes new species to come into being? Is it mutation, or what? --Uncle Ed 16:52, 7 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Some mechanism information (polyploidy, hybrid fitness) is already discussed, but perhaps this point deserves exploration. There is a fairly voluminous amount of literature from the past decade that delves into this subject, perhaps representation of that academic debate should be represented. --WillJeck 18:19, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

observed instances[edit]

instead of linking to (which is obviously POV), can we cover the observed instances here, with our own citations to the appropriate papers, etc? - Omegatron 01:57, May 27, 2005 (UTC)

Observed Speciation needs to be addressed. many religious fanatics still claim that this has not been done. they can't understand all of this scientific jargon. every place you look, including talk origins, there is no simple list of observed speciation. only mountains of text explaining all sorts of different nomenclature. how hard is it to create a list?-- 20:50, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
apparently _very_ hard :) (talk) 10:39, 26 April 2010 (UTC)


How does the article Mutationism relate to speciation? Should it be in Category:Speciation?--Ben 20:03, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

What about speciation without location change?[edit]

Can't there be speciation of a given population with respect to itself over time? That is, say you have a population of some species on an island where the climate changes over time. As that population evolves doesn't it eventually become a species separate from the one it used to be? In fact, isn't that really what happens when populations are isolated from each other? When the split in a population first happens, the two split populations are of the same species, of course. But as they each evolve, eventually into separate species, either or both probably also becomes a species separate from the one they both started as, yes? If so, I don't think this mechanism is clearly explained in the article, and the focus on the need for separation in speciation muddles the point. --Serge 01:27, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

I think what you are talking about are chronospecies. Of course, drawing the line between one species and another is difficult and a little bit arbitrary. The article does cover speciation without physical separation (sympatric speciation). Guettarda 01:58, 11 November 2005 (UTC)
YES!!! Thank you! So, would it not be correct to say that in allopatric speciation, at least one of the separated species becomes a chronospecies over time? And that in sympatric speciation, when at least part of the population evolves because of its host, it too is a chronospecies, is it not? And isn't the creation of chronospecies, for whatever reason, speciation in and of itself, independent of what happens to the other part of the original population? In fact, since all speciation involve time, every new species is therefore a chronospecies, yes? So, doesn't all speciation always necessarily involve "chronospeciation"? How could you have speciation without there being a chronspecies? So why isn't this explained in the article? Again, I think the splitting of populations, and even the sympatric stuff muddles the issue. --Serge 02:17, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

New species in modern times[edit]

Cut from article:

Observed speciation[edit]

Humans have themselves created many new species or have observed new species appearing in nature. [1][2]

If this is so - or even claimed to be so, Wikipedia should have a lengthy article - or at least a short one - instead of just an external link or two.

Do we have an Observed speciation article? If the link in this paragraph is red, then we do not. Uncle Ed 18:37, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

While it is interesting, it's hard to figure out how to put this into an NPOV article. Unlike EvoWiki, which is there to rebut arguments. I would much rather take a shot at it in user space rather than main namespace. Guettarda 01:16, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Sheesh, this is a huge talk page for a little bitty article. I re-worked the problematic text, with citations of the original peer-reviewed work, and a "see also" to the FAQ. —James S. 22:08, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Observed Speciation needs to be addressed. many religious fanatics still claim that this has not been done. they can't understand all of this scientific jargon. every place you look, including talk origins, there is no simple list of observed speciation. only mountains of text explaining all sorts of different nomenclature. how hard is it to create a list?-- 20:50, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

The reason that main stream creationists don't accept speciation, is because there don't seem to be any observed instances. Even if you go to talk origins, there is a list of nomentclature that you have to study just to try and figure out what is being said. Then, every case study listed has some sort of error or footnote wich takes it out of the creationist definition of speciation.

This is all creationsists are asking for: An obsereved instance of Life form A breeding with another life Form A. Life Form B is Created from this breeding, and Life form B can no longer Breed with life Form A. However, Life form B CAN breed with another Life form B. And don't say,.. ohh,.. well bacteria is "A" sexual, so all of it's offspring fit such a catagory. im talking about observed BIOLOGICAL reproductive isolation,.. not geographical, not behavioral,... but biological reproductive isolation.... please, if someone would just list an instance of this in laynens terms, so much chaos and confusion would go away for me. Thank you.-- 21:27, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

I think you're missing the points described in this article. Biology is rarely that simple. Other than in plants (see polyploidy) "Life Form B" does not arise instantly in one generation. Geographical and behavioral characteristics are important because they lead to the biological isolation you're looking for. Please consider the whole picture.
Perhaps a short, balanced discussion of the controversy over observed speciation with pros and cons written by an expert would address some of these concerns and make the article even better. Maybe an expert template should be added? Eric 18:34, 10 April 2006


Here is an exact example of what you are asking for...Ring species...Life form A gives birth to life form B. Life form A can interbreed with Life form A and Life form B can interbreed with Life form B, but the two separate species (A and B) Are now genetically unable to interbreed with each other.-- 23:10, 19 April 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps something should be added about HeLa? 20:23, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

In a similar vein, what about devil facial tumour disease? It's effectively an infectious agent that spreads between Tasmanian Devils; the catch is that it appears to have originated as a mutation from a devil's own cells. --Calair 00:44, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Not sure that it would count as a species any more than a virus would - or any other cancerous tissue. Bit of a grey area, I'd say. Guettarda 00:47, 19 June 2006 (UTC)
Viruses are commonly described as species, distinct from their hosts (see Virus classification and many individual virus articles); DFTD is different from normal cancers in that the tumour cells are not descended from the host's own cells, but from another animal's tumour cells. (And yes, it's a grey area, but speciation is intrinsically about grey areas.) --Calair 01:16, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

The are no observed speciation events, this is because the process takes, at an estimate, a few thousand years. This means it falls into the epistimological gap, this is a gap between what can be observed in the fossil record and what can be observed in our life time. The resolution of the fossil record is not fine enough i.e fossils are too far apart in time to observe the steps of speciation. The microevolution that can be observed can not be conclusively extrapolated out to macroevolution. I recommend reading Fossils and Evolution by T. Kemp, it'll have all your answers, and give clear cut explinations of the debates in the scientific literature.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

While speciation might often take thousands of years - which does indeed cause difficulty when arguing the ancestry of homo sapiens - there have been many observed cases of speciation. Examples include culex molestus (taxonomic confusion re. which discussed here), HeLa, and many cases in plants. Even in gradual speciation, we don't always need to go back thousands of years to see different stages - a ring species will yield populations at the end that can't interbreed, connected by living intermediates that can. --Calair 01:01, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Multiple copyright violations in speciation[edit]

Samsara put this on my talk page:

Ben, you cannot copy passages from books, or scan in images and upload them. Authors have a copyright to their original creations, be it text or images, and the Wikimedia Foundation would be breaking the law if such text and images were included in unmodified form in its articles. I have therefore reverted all changes you have made to speciation and ask that you please put back only those that are your own original creations. Note that by doing so, you agree to license your contributions under the GNU Free Documentation License, that is, you surrender most (all?) of your rights to your work. Best wishes, Samsara (talkcontribs) 22:46, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

I have not added any text from any books, and the images I uploaded were completely within the guidelines described in the {{Non-free fair use in}} template. What are the specific violations suspected here? I am returning the page to its earlier state. BenB4 23:18, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

Fair use applies only in very limited circumstances where the article is about the exact picture in question. Becasue you can't find another one is not a valid reason. Those articles are not about that exact picture, and who drew it fair use does not apply. Please do not revert to the copyvio versions. pschemp | talk 23:24, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
{{Non-free fair use in}} explicitly states: "to illustrate the object in question, where no free equivalent is available or could be created that would adequately give the same information, on the English-language Wikipedia ... qualifies as fair use under United States copyright law" (emphasis added.) Why do you say that not being able to find a free equivalent image is "not a valid reason"? BenB4 23:37, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
Could be created is the point here. Those images could be created, maybe not by you, but they can be, so no, fair use does not apply. In fact, Samsara has offered ever so politely to help create them, proving they can be created. pschemp | talk 23:39, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
Fine, I look forward to the replacement images. In the mean time I'm reverting the text with the disputed images commented out. I have not copied any "passages from books." BenB4 23:44, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
Again, please do not revert. Wikipedia cannot take legal risks like that. Just wait, nothing is lost, so until we establish the provenance of those passeges they need to remain out of the articles. pschemp | talk 23:53, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
Which passages???? If you think there are copyvio passages, then please move them to the talk page. Wholesale reverts of hours of work is absurd -- nobody has even specified which passages I'm accused of violating copyright on!!! BenB4 23:56, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
Copyright applies to online publications. - Samsara (talkcontribs) 23:20, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
BenB4, I understand that you've put a fair amount of work into this article, and we appreciate this. The usual way to avoid copyvio is to make an image from scratch that can take the place of the copyrighted image. I'm willing to help you do this. Deal? - Samsara (talkcontribs) 23:29, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
I would be most thankful if you would, but you have also accused me of copying "passages from books" -- what do you mean by that? I have copied no text into this or any other articles. While I await your answer I will be upadting the fair-use images with the ten-point rationale suggested by Wikipedia:Fair_use#Policy and replacing them in the articles from which you have removed them, unless you show that their use doesn't actually qualify as fair use. Is that okay with you? BenB4 23:37, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
I just showed up above that they do not qualify as fair use, since they can be created. Do not re-insert them. Copyright violation is a legal matter, and images of uncertain copyright cannot be allowed to sit in articles where they could possibly break the law. This is a situation where Wikipedia has to play it safe.pschemp | talk 23:41, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
Fine; see above. BenB4 23:44, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
I'm afraid I'm still not convinced that the way you have used a lengthy literal passage from Mark Ridley's page in the section Speciation#Speciation by reinforcement is good practice. I think it is understandable that I was concerned that you might also have used material from other copyrighted sources. The issue again is that there is no pressing need for us to be citing Ridley verbatim. We could just as well write what we learnt in our own words. In fact, in my experience, quotations generally do not help the text flow, unless the quotations are of historical importance. Can we therefore please rephrase that passage in our own words? Many thanks, Samsara (talkcontribs) 00:05, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
Aha! I see, now -- it's the "Reinforcement" section which is copied verbatim from its source. I might add that that copyvio section is still in the reverted article! I did not include that passage! Sheesh. However I am not at all upset because if you have artistic skills I don't want to do anything which could slow the creation of the replacement images you offered. BenB4 00:08, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
Okay, I concede that I misread the diffs. You did not include that material, and I'm too tired to find out who did. As for the images, I said I was willing to help. I did not offer myself into slavery. We can discuss this tomorrow. - Samsara (talkcontribs) 00:14, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
The culprit was's only edit. Apparently a Norwegian university student. BenB4 00:40, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
Well, it's only four line drawings, right? I already went to the trouble of creating low-resolution images of them because I thought that would be good for the fair use claim. Now I learn that if the images could be re-created by anyone then there is no fair use claim. Seriously, are there any fair use images, other than photographs of things which don't exist anymore, which couldn't be recreated by someone? (Other than me, that is, as my art looks like a 3-year-old's.) BenB4 00:17, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
Sure there are. Look at, for instance, Rorschach (comics). DS 03:50, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

The big problem with wikipedia is that the policy of not making an article based on original research often conflicts with its policy of copyright. Even original research is based on what has been written.

Original research?[edit]

This material smacks of original research:

The failure to breed could be something as simple as mating preference, physical incompatibility, or even timing of the mating cycle; none of which demonstrate genetic incompatibility making reproduction impossible. If reproduction is genetically possible, then speciation has not occurred, but rather a subset of the species has been produced.

A problem contradicting the existence of the process of speciation is that if genetic drift results in speciation by differentiated environmental pressures then there ought to be thousands of examples of partial speciation in a genetic array existing in nature, however, there are none reported.

"Partial speciation in an array" would be where species C is the result of genetic drift from species B which, in turn, is a product of genetic drift from species A such that A can breed with B and B can breed with C, but C is too genetically distant from A to inter-breed. If an example of partial speciation in an array could be found in nature it would stand as powerful if not irrefutable evidence of speciation. Even a laboratory example of speciation in an array would be powerful, if only to prove that such is possible at all. Given the extensive number of varieties of plants and insects in the world, there should be thousands of examples of partial speciation in a genetic array and finding one should not be difficult at all. Its existence should and would be common knowledge.

Unless I've misunderstood this, any of the well-documented ring species mentioned earlier in this very article are examples of just that. In any case, unsourced arguments of this type are original research and, as such, do not belong in the article until they're attributed to a notable source.

(The claim that "If reproduction is genetically possible, then speciation has not occurred" is also sketchy, since that's by no means the only basis for defining 'speciation'; polar bears and brown bears, for instance, can interbreed but generally don't, and are considered to be separate species.) --Calair 03:49, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Comments having been deleted[edit]

I was reading two days ago the article on speciation. I added the following comment, at the end of the allopatric speciation section: "Is it enough proof to say that because two very similar populations live in two close geographical regions, they automatically share a common ancestor? Let me give this example: you can find honda cars and toyota cars in two very close regions, but do they have a common ancestor? How is this any different from the first argument that allopatric speciation advances?" Also I read at the end of the Artificial Speciation section, a comment that said the following: "Dodd's experiment only showed that the two different populations DID NOT interbreed, and not that they COULD NOT interbreed. So the conclusion that they belong to two different species is impossible to reach in that case." I have just read the same article today and realized that both my comment and the other comment mentioned above had been deleted. My question is simple: is this something recurrent in evolution pages? If so, shouldn't something be done against this bias? And finally, who's doing it, and why?

Wikipedia's no original research policy may help explain matters. This is not a place for WP editors to offer our own arguments on whether speciation does or doesn't exist, or to offer our own interpretations of existing evidence. If Kent Hovind or any of the other prominent critics of evolution had offered that 'Honda and Toyota' argument, that might be notable here; if nobody but an anonymous Wikipedia has ever offered such an argument, it's not appropriate for inclusion here.
I didn't delete the "didn't interbreed vs. couldn't interbreed" comment, but I'm happy to support that deletion, since it looked very much like unsourced interpretation - i.e. original research. --Calair 13:05, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

deleted examples[edit]

Removed two examples from the allopatric section:

Different sub-species of Juniperus communis (an alpine plant) from the White Mountains in California are observable in at the Cambridge University Botanic Garden. All have stemmed from an original plant but have altered phenotypically and perhaps genetically, as can be seen by their differing heights and shape. See Van der Merwe et al, 2000.

Another example is that of certain species of sub-Saharan cattle, like the Cape Buffalo, which has undergone such genetic drift that it can no longer successfully breed with other breeds of cattle.

Because to me, they don't seem to represent allopatric speciation. Surely this is the easiest mode to find examples for? Also, the insular dwarfism mention seems a little sketchy. Re-add if I'm wrong. - Jack (talk) 02:17, 6 November 2006 (UTC)


Peripatric speciation is a special mode of allopatric speciation, I think we should mention this. UC Berkeley, Evolution 101. --Cody.Pope 05:33, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Peripatric, Parapatric, and Polyploidy[edit]

Not only is peripatric a subtype (special mode) of allopatric, but parapatric is a subtype of sympatric. Polyploidy is usually called a form a sympatric speciation, but it seems to me that it is a highly specialized form of speciation that deserves its own class, maybe "expatric", since it doesn't really involve a "country" at all? So I'd have this main speciation article have three sections: allopatric, sympatric, and expatric, and put peripatry within the allopatry section and parapatry within the sympatry section.

The separate article on peripatric speciation should be combined into the article on allopatric speciation, and the separate articles on heteropatric and parapatric speciation should be combined into the article on sympatric speciation. Tedtoal (talk) 02:43, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Reverting my contribution to making the article easier to understand.[edit]

This is, in my humble opinion, a work of art, and explains the Dodd experiment with what many find to be humor. Why exclude it? It makes the article more fun to read, or so I have been told. GraphicArtist1 02:39, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

The Drosophila experiment conducted by Diane Dodd in 1989.
Observed speciation in the lab
The cartoon doesn't add anything by way of explaining the experiment (the other graphic already does a good job of that) and its entertainment value doesn't really justify including it. Also, and I wish I could think of a nicer way to say this, IMHO it just isn't very well-drawn. --Calair 05:44, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Koinophilia-driven speciation[edit]

I think the section on koinophilia is particularly bad. It reads like an essay, and I don't think it is well-supported by any of the references it cites. I'm considering just deleting the whole section and moving it here: BenB4 20:43, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

I am not sure whether I am entitled to do this (so please "Undo", if my edit is irresponsible, or contrary to Wikipedia rules), but I have deleted the section that was deleted from the main article and then transferred here in 2007. It would not matter terribly, but it leaves a set of orphaned references at the bottom of the Talk Page that look confusingly as if they belong to the last comment. Oggmus (talk) 15:54, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Speciation and chromosome counts[edit]

Can anyone point me to a relevant article on how changes to chromosome counts fit into speciation? i.e. how did humans end up with a different chromosome count to chimps? Could individuals with different chromosome-counts viably reproduce, or did a viable breeding-pair with the new chromosome count have to be involved? Thanks. Tomandlu 10:06, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

Hybrid speciation[edit]

The paragraph about hybrid speciation is repeated under the headings Sympatric speciation and Genetics. I was thinking of deleting one of them, and pointing readers to the other one, but not sure which. GoEThe (talk) 15:33, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

OK, I deleted the first paragraph and directed people to the genetics heading that is more complete. Please revert, if you have a better solution. GoEThe (talk) 10:47, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

Gross errors in artificial speciation[edit]

The graphic is incorrect. Dodd did not claim to observe speciation in Dodd 1989. In the paper, Dodd uses (Stalker 1942)'s definition of isolation index, which is given as:

I={\tfrac{homogamic ~ matings ~ - ~ heterogamic ~ matings }{total ~ matings}}.

For the graphic previously used to illustrate Dodd's findings to be correct, the isolation index would have had to be 1.0 in Dodd's paper. But nowhere in Dodd 1989 does she report an isolation index of 1.0. Indeed, Dodd's commentary on Table 1 is as follows:

The isolation indexes of these crosses all indicate possitive assortative mating, ranging from 0.30+/-0.13 to 0.49+/-0.10.

The problem we have here is a reliance on primary sources, (Dodd 1989), in an attempt to incorrectly (or dishonestly) make the case that Dodd reported speciation.

I'd recommend using a secondary source, such as Berkeley's Evolution 101 instead, which doesn't overstate Dodd's evidence toward speciation, as wikipedia does. See Reliable sources, which states that articles should be based on reliable, third-party, published sources with a reputation of fact-checking and accuracy. Whoever is using Dodd 1989 did so in violation of this guideline, and not surprisingly grossly overstated the case for artificial speciation.

I am going to remove the mischaracterizations of Dodd's experiments now. Ann arbor street (talk) 18:13, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

P.S. The paper in question is available here, and is "Reproductive isolation as a consequence of adaptive divergence in Drosophila Pseudoobscura" from Evolution', 43(6), 1989, pp. 1308-1311. Ann arbor street (talk) 18:21, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
I just traced the origin of this mischaracterization to this edit, by BenB4 (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · page moves · block user · block log) aka banned user Nrcprm2026 (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · page moves · block user · block log), who has abusevely used several dozen sock pupppets Category:Wikipedia_sockpuppets_of_Nrcprm2026. Ann arbor street (talk) 18:48, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

What Dodd observed in her experiment was a statistically significant preference for mating with flies from the same group. I'll try to make that clear. (talk) 17:44, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

The text changes were good, but you reintroduced a well-drawn but inaccurate diagram. It does not represent what you wrote, nor does it accurately indicate what Dodd actually observed. The diagram at Berkeley's Evolution 101 is correct. Ann arbor street (talk) 18:36, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
How are those diagrams different? They appear to be the same. GetLinkPrimitiveParams (talk) 10:03, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Speciation in chemistry[edit]

In chemistry jargon, speciation "refers to the chemical form or compound in which an element occurs in both non-living and living systems. It may also refer to the quantitative distribution of an element". Is this worth mentioning somewhere? II | (t - c) 00:28, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

I asked for an undeletion of Speciation (chemistry) which was axed last October, to see if we can flesh it out. Then we can add a {{For}} link to the top of this article per WP:DLINKS. GetLinkPrimitiveParams (talk) 10:01, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done. User:GetLinkPrimitiveParams/Speciation (chemistry) :-) Stwalkerstertalk ] 14:54, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

In the light of this second meaning, I think this page should be moved to .../Speciation_(biology) and the standard 'speciation' should be pointing to /Speciation_(disambiguation), or at least some note should come at the top that there are different meanings for this concept. Seeing as I wanted to know the chemical meaning and luckily firefox's wiki search proposed the disambiguation page as one of the options or I wouldn't have know it existed...-- (talk) 09:55, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Note the article chemical species as well. II | (t - c) 18:49, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Chromosome speciation[edit]

I have been trying to find out some information the relationship between chromosome number and the process of speciation. Humans have 46 chromosomes, whereas chimpanzees and gorillas have 48 chromosomes. Some of the canids also have different chromosome numbers (see Canid_hybrid#Genetic_considerations). What would be useful to know, is when the number of chromosomes is increased or decreased in a specific individual, how would the individual be able to succesfully reproduce, being that the affected individual will be the only one with a different number of chromosomes. Wapondaponda (talk) 05:51, 29 May 2009 (UTC)


this is a theory, legitimate, but still a theory, please note this in opening sentence or two. thanks. (talk) 06:44, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

Ummm, speciation is a fact, having been observed multiple times in the laboratory. Auntie E (talk) 15:25, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
I suppose the anon doesn't know the difference between the scientific term from the common or colloquial term. The former is an explanation for facts, whereas the latter is usually a synonym for hypothesis. If the article is to state this is a theory, it should make clear which usage is intended. Mindmatrix 17:11, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
Do explain, please. (talk) 07:10, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Scientific theories are intended to be an accurate, predictive description of the natural world. When we say theory in everyday life we mean something that is uncertain. In science however, it means a lot to be a theory. For example: Newton's Theory of Gravitation, Einsteins Theory of Relativity. To put simply: to call something a theory in science is generally a compliment; in everyday life it is a criticism.Shon Lee (talk) 23:47, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

Genetic drift OR natural selection?[edit]

The unsourced lede sentence "Whether speciation is achieved normally via genetic drift or natural selection is the subject of much ongoing discussion" reads like one of the Discovery Institute's many non-sequiturs designed to create an impression of more discord within the field than actually exists. Does any advocate of the importance of genetic drift claim that speciation is pure drift with no natural selection involved? That would be a pretty extreme position! It's fine for evolutionary biologists to want to attach more importance to genetic drift, it's not fine however to propose it as an alternative to natural selection the way the lede implies. Anyone in doubt about this should read the article on genetic drift, in particular the sentence "Genetic drift is therefore considered to be a consequential mechanism of evolutionary change primarily within small, isolated breeding populations" and further down "both processes drive evolution," as well as that article's talk page. Genetic drift and natural selection collaborate to bring about speciation, with the former providing a random component independent of the environment and the latter a more deterministic environment-dependent component. Even the strongest proponent of genetic drift, Motoo Kimura, the inventor of the neutral theory of molecular evolution (see also Non-Darwinian Evolution), acknowledged that "The theory does not deny the role of natural selection in determining the course of adaptive evolution." The author of this lede sentence is in good company however: as the genetic drift article mentions yet further down, "[Pre-eminent statistician R.A.] Fisher has been accused of misunderstanding Wright's views because in his criticisms Fisher seemed to argue Wright had rejected selection almost entirely." -Vaughan Pratt (talk) 05:56, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Not the greatest of sentences, but you do realise that "or" is non-exclusive, right? (And that "and/or" isn't just ugly, it's redundant). Guettarda (talk) 06:36, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
My reading of the sentence is that there is much discussion as to whether it is genetic drift or whether it is natural selection that has lead to speciation (presumably, the text means to say that the discussion occurs for particular examples; sometimes it's one, sometimes it's the other). I don't think it's an "and/or" issue. However, I agree with Vaughan Pratt that the sentence needs to be reworded so it cannot easily be read as suggesting that there is discussion about whether speciation might be caused by something other than genetic drift or natural selection. Johnuniq (talk) 09:03, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
The sentence implies that some people have proposed that speciation proceeds solely via genetic drift with no natural selection. Fisher mistakenly thought Wright was proposing this, which may account for why he was so critical of Wright, but Wright did not suggest that natural selection might play no role. Neither Wright nor Kimura, the leading proponents of genetic drift, have rejected natural selection (though Kimura may have thought so early on), they just claim that genetic drift plays a bigger role than some people accept. I'm sure the Discovery Institute would love to be able to produce a reputable proponent of genetic drift who denies natural selection, but who would that be? The question for genetic drift is not whether it's that or natural selection, which is how the sentence is worded, it's whether it plays a big or small role in speciation alongside natural selection. --Vaughan Pratt (talk) 11:22, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

New article that might be relevant[edit]

Study catches 2 bird populations as they split into separate species (7/17/2009) -- Genetic Archaeology citing an upcoming article in The American Naturalist. HrafnTalkStalk(P) 08:20, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

Sympatric Speciation - New Source?[edit]

Hey folks...I'm working my way through Why Evolution is True by Jerry A. Coyne, and he devotes some time to Sympatric Speciation which may be useful, since I notice we have a "needs more citations" box on that section. I'm at work and don't have the book handy right now, but I think it's in Chapter 6 or 7 that he focuses on that particular aspect, if anyone has the book and wants to look for relevant quotes. Otherwise, I'll revisit that chapter in the next couple of days... Quietmarc (talk) 20:02, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

I'm back, with some quotations and ideas on how the sympatric speciation section here could be improved...I'm still a newbie, and prefer to shy away from making large, wholesale changes to articles until I have more experience (in complete violation of WP:Bold, unfortunately), but hopefully some of this will be helpful for those who are braver and more comfortable than I...
As mentioned, these quotations come from pp 184 - 186 of Why Evolution is True by Coyne. It's a good read for the average lay-person, and is a nice overview of evolution as a whole. I recommend it especially for people who have questions about evolution and where the major lines of evidence come from. I'm going to post some large swaths here...
On sympatric speciation - "It's relatively easy to find evidence for geographic speciation, but it's much harder for sympatric speciation. If you find two related species in one area, that doesn't necessarily mean that they arose in that area. Species constantly shift their ranges as their habitats expand and contract during long-term changes in climate, episodes of glaciation, and so on. Related species living in the same place may have arisen elsewhere and come into contact with each other only later. How can we be sure, then, that two related species living in one place actually arose in that place?
"Here's one way to do it. We can look at habitat islands: small patches of isolated terrain (like oceanic islands) or water (tiny lakes) that are generally too small to contain any geographic barriers. If we see closely related species in these habitats, we could conclude that they formed sympatrically, since the possibility of geographic isolation is remote."
Coyne then provides 2 examples, the first (which he describes as "the best") are cichlid fish in two lakes in volcanic craters in Cameroon. Both lakes are tiny, but each contain a mini radiation of species (1 lake has 11 species, the other 9). The second example is a type of palm tree on Lord Howe island (off the east coast of Australia). There are 2 species, the kentia and the curly palms, which are each others' closest relatives and appear to have split apart from a common ancestor 5 million years ago. Coyne provides the fact that both species have a very wide area of pollenation as making geographic isolation unlikely.
Lastly, Coyne has something to say about the frequency of Sympatric Speciation:
"What is most surprising, however, is the number of times that sympatric speciation has not occurred given the opportunity. There are many habitat islands that contain a fair number of species, but none of these are each others' closest relatives. Obviously, sympatric speciation has not occurred on these islands. [...] Of forty-six islands [surveyed] not a single one contained endemic bird species that were each others' closest relatives. A similar result was seen for Anolis lizards..."
He then leads into talking about polyploid speciation. Hope there's something here that's useful! Quietmarc (talk) 23:07, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

necessary information[edit]

Getting tired of arguments on the effect of humanity on the environment and whether or not we are or are not driving a mass extinction. Solution: compare the rate of speciation due to human activity to the rate of species extinction due to human activity. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:42, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

The problem is that we don't know for certain. If we knew the exact number of species alive on the planet today and could easily assess the status of those populations, then there would be no debate. Generally speaking, among the scientific community, it is agreed that we are in the middle of a human-caused mass extinction since nearly every living system on this planet is in decline. Animal and plant populations are falling as humans convert the biomass of this planet into human mass and/or destroy habitat to produce goods.
Aside from this, another reason why this argument stands despite a lack of definitive numbers is that tropical forests are being cleared before scientists can even determine what species exist within them, yet expeditions around the world have also shown that small patches of forest like these can contain dozens of new species of small vertebrates and hundreds of new species of insects (for example). Therefore it is very likely that many species are going extinct even before we know that they exist. Unfortunately we can't go back and see what existed before a forest was cleared, so we may never know what was lost or the exact extinction rate over the last few decades or centuries. But then again, mass extinctions from the distant past are also based on estimates since not all species fossil, and fossil sites are not found ubiquitously around the globe.
Honestly, the only "debate" I have seen on this topic is within the entertainment circle (i.e. the news media), were controversy rules, regardless of merit. I am all in favor of keeping articles (such as this one) in line with NPOV, and I have not looked for this debate within this article or related articles. If such a debate is represented, here or elsewhere, only verifiable sources should be used. Sadly, like any other political debate, there may be a lot of information out there on this topic, but very little of it may have any value. –Visionholder (talk) 21:00, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
I just read an article that addresses this topic well. Although not an academic source, it does mention research and researchers, which could provide an avenue to track down additional verifiable sources. (talk) 23:28, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Species problem[edit]

I believe the main body of the article, and the lead section in particular should give greater consideration to the Species problem. The lead sentence "Speciation is the evolutionary process by which new biological species arise." is taxing, as the definition of what defines a biological species is unclear, particularly to the average reader. I'm not just jumping in and doing this boldly, as I see this as being a significant edit, and I've only got what I can piece together from Google, and what I can remember from AP Bio classes from 10 years ago. -Verdatum (talk) 21:44, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

AfD of John D. Hawks[edit]

This article was attacked as nonnotable and proposed for deletion. You can comment atWikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/John_D._Hawks#John_D._Hawks. --JWB (talk) 22:41, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

"Observed throughout" question[edit]

What is the last sentence of the lead referring to? It says that observed examples of each kind of speciation are provided throughout, but does not state what entity "throughout" refers to. Throughout the article? Scientific literature? --Cerebellum (talk) 07:52, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

The London Underground mosquito is not speciation[edit]

"The London Underground mosquito is a variant of the mosquito Culex pipiens that entered in the London Underground in the nineteenth century. Evidence for its speciation include genetic divergence, behavioral differences, and difficulty in mating"

How is this evidence for speciation? No new specie was created, the mosquitos were still mosquitos and as further observations showed they all died. So how is this a case of speciation? There was absolutely no sign of a new specie being created. Who ever added this example is being dishonest. I suggest it gets taken down. (talk) 08:26, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Prdm9 the speciation gene[edit]

New Scientist 12 Feb 2011 has a sourced article "Extinction's X factor" about how mutations in Prdm9 (which codes for a zinc-finger protein) (and is apparently known as the speciation gene) controls where recombination crossovers are most likely, and how this could relate to speciation by causing hybrid sterility. Rod57 (talk) 02:44, 19 April 2011 (UTC)


The definitions of sympatric and parapatric speciation are reversed on the UCBerkeley website on Speciation. and the Curriculum map for California high schools defines sympatric speciation similar to UCBerkeley. Nadine al (talk) 06:20, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

TSE time for speciation effect[edit]

Heard about this in a paper from Wiens et al 2010 - I wonder how it fits in this article? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:08, 24 June 2014 (UTC)

Darwin's Dilemma (and its resolution)[edit]

I am not certain what the requirements and expectations of an encyclopedic entry are. However, I am baffled by the contents of the subheadings under Darwin’s Dilemma

For instance, under the sub-heading The effect of sexual reproduction on species formation it is stated that the “The cost of rarity arises from the simple requirement of out-crossing sex that it takes two individuals to mate”. But nothing that follows this sentence explains how this solves Darwin’s Dilemma. A sexual creature simply mates with another individual of the opposite gender, and leaves Natural Selection to deal with the consequences. There is no “cost of rarity” in this equation, unless one has read and understood the assumptions made by the researchers who did the simulations that led to this conclusion. Without this prior knowledge (of the assumptions built into the models) one has to assume that new species can only form if like-is-attracted-to-like (i.e. that assortative mating is an evolutionary imperative). I am not too sure whether this is indeed an entirely universal imperative that can be applied to the majority of sexually reproducing creatures, and can therefore explain why sexual individuals are grouped into species - the phenomenon that puzzled Darwin.

Another interpretation of "The effect of sexual reproduction on species formation" section is that new species are constantly budding off a parent species, but small species are always at a disadvantage to larger species, because of the "cost of rarity". But this presupposes that the members of the daughter species are spread throughout the parent species (i.e. the same speciation event has occurred in multiple locations in the parent species, producing scattered individuals, who all belong to the same species, but are unrelated to one another. This seems unlikely). It is much more likely that speciation has occurred in a group in only one location, where the daughter species will therefore not be rare.

What I am trying to point out is that the section on "The effect of sexual reproduction on species formation" does not provide an explanation of the cost of rarity, and is only of use to a reader who is already familiar with the relevant literature and the arguments contained therein. The ordinary reader of Wikipedia does not have access to the references cited, and therefore learns nothing from this section. Oggmus (talk) 16:43, 2 August 2014 (UTC)