Can you explain the biogeographical distribution of species?

by Helen Fryman

Question: I have just finished my studies on Biology, and everybody asks me more questions than what I can answer. I would like specially to know how you explain the biogeographical distribution of species, and the "pseudogenes." Thank you. God bless you.

Response: If you go into this site: and type "pseudogenes" into the search window, you will get some very good material. The long and the short of the pseudogene argument is that we often will  call something by names like "chaotic" or "pseudo" simply because we do not see the pattern or purpose. That is our limitation, not the "mistake" of a Creator or the leftovers of evolution. There are a number of research projects going on at this time regarding these "pseudogenes." I am aware of a couple, but it is, of course, the prerogative of the researchers to publish their material when they are ready. It is an exciting field to watch, however.

The biogeographical distribution of species is not hard at all: one continent (it was evidently not divided, or not divided very much, until the days of Peleg) and migration. Speciation is the reaction of isolated populations to the niches they can manage in. Thus, we have varieties suited to their various places all over the world in a few hundred years. If you have not had any courses in population genetics, try to squeeze in at least one. One of the things you will learn is that speciation can result in "fitness peaks," where a population becomes so adapted to a particular environment that it cannot re-adapt to any other, having lost those members of its population in generations past who carried the genetic variations which would allow them to adapt. Thus, today we have koalas who can only eat certain kinds of eucalyptus leaves, the spotted owl who must have old growth forests, and the like. The original populations were not this highly specialized. Natural selection actually results in more limited plasticity in the genomes, not greater. What it actually does is eliminate, and what is left tries to make a go of it with whatever is left of the population's genome.

But right off the Ark, with plenty of places to go and relatively small genetic loads and relatively high plasticity, speciation would have been quite rapid.




CARM ison