Direct observation of adaptive tracking on ecological time scales in Drosophila

This time I’ll spell out upfront why I’m sharing. :upside_down_face:

I actually think this research looks like it is very important for both mainstream and YEC theories on evolution and adaptation. I only have access to the abstract so, if you have access, I’m curious what you think.

Direct observation of evolution in response to natural environmental change can resolve fundamental questions about adaptation, including its pace, temporal dynamics, and underlying phenotypic and genomic architecture. We tracked the evolution of fitness-associated phenotypes and allele frequencies genome-wide in 10 replicate field populations of Drosophila melanogaster over 10 generations from summer to late fall. Adaptation was evident over each sampling interval (one to four generations), with exceptionally rapid phenotypic adaptation and large allele frequency shifts at many independent loci. The direction and basis of the adaptive response shifted repeatedly over time, consistent with the action of strong and rapidly fluctuating selection. Overall, we found clear phenotypic and genomic evidence of adaptive tracking occurring contemporaneously with environmental change, thus demonstrating the temporally dynamic nature of adaptation.

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Why do you think that? It’s not a surprise. Seasonal variation in Drosophila populations, presumably due to selection, is a well-known phenomenon dating back at least to the work of Dobzhansky.


I actually know that nothing claimed by YECs has reached the status of theory. Please stop using this false equivalence.

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Nothing here then at all that wasn’t known?

There’s plenty there that wasn’t known, just not the point you focused on.

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Umpfh. You don’t like it when @swamidass speaks in generalities, so I hope you can imagine my frustration right now.

I also have no idea what you thought I focused on - probably the time scale? But thought the fluctuating selection was the most important part. After reading about plasticity Loss of transcriptional plasticity but sustained adaptive capacity after adaptation to global change conditions in a marine copepod | Nature Communications and then non-random mutations in a couple of papers which were shared in the forum, I’m curious how environmental input effects change in the genome and then how much that affects specific alleles reaching fixation over longer time scales. I’ve never seen any of that discussed in the forum except for in the last few weeks.

You focused on seasonal allele frequency change.

Do you remember a sitcom a few years ago called New Girl? There were four roommates, one of whom, Winston, considered himself a master of jigsaw puzzles, able to complete them at high speed. But at the end of the episode it turned out that Winston was not only color-blind, but he also put the pieces together by forcing and crushing them when they didn’t fit. His finished puzzle was a roughly rectangular mass of distorted, randomly assembled pieces.

You are rather like Winston, taking random pieces of science from here and there, whose colors you can’t quite distinguish, and force-fitting them into a roughly rectangular picture of creationism.

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