Research confirms controversial Darwin theory of 'jump dispersal'

October 1, 2014, National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis
How did this lizard's ancestors arrive on the Caribbean island where they live? A new study affirms a long-controversial view that some organisms, like this Grand Cayman blue-throated anole, may have crossed oceans in creative ways. Credit: Christopher R. Peterson

More than one hundred and fifty years ago, Charles Darwin hypothesized that species could cross oceans and other vast distances on vegetation rafts, icebergs, or in the case of plant seeds, in the plumage of birds.

Though many were skeptical of Darwin's "jump " idea, a new study suggests that Darwin might have been correct.

A new , published in the journal Systematic Biology, tested two competing theories about how came to live where they do and found strong evidence for jump dispersal, especially for island species.

The question of how species came to live where they live, which is studied by the field of biogeography, has long been debated among biologists, especially in cases where organisms that are related live on distant continents separated by vast oceans. Examples are flightless birds like the African ostrich and the Australian emu and Southern Beeches, a genus of 36 species of trees and shrubs which appear in temperate forests from South America to Australia and New Zealand.

Others found Darwin's "jump dispersal" theory too fanciful and suggested instead that "land bridges" were used when islands were contiguous. This view, called "vicariance biogeography," became the dominant paradigm.

In fact, the vicariance view became so dominant that computer programs designed to estimate the biogeographic history of a species left out jump dispersal entirely, and these programs have been used in hundreds of studies in recent years.

Yet, in many cases, statistical dating of evolutionary events indicated that the breakup of land masses occurred tens of millions of years before some species' ancestors evolved, bringing into question the validity of vicariance methods.

The new study compares the theories of jump dispersal and vicariance in a new computational program developed by Nicholas J. Matzke, a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis. Using data from many species that live on the Hawaiian Islands and on other archipelagos, Matzke found that jump dispersal was able to explain the biogeography of the species with a far greater statistical probability than through the vicariance method.

"Conventional biogeography said vicariance was a more scientific explanation than jump dispersal because vicariance relied on normal, predictable processes, and jump dispersal relied on extremely rare, near-miraculous events," Matzke said. "Now the shoe is really on the other foot because the jump dispersal pattern appears to be much more common. It looks like Darwin was right after all."

Matzke suggests that researchers need to include jump dispersal in order to accurately reconstruct evolutionary history.

"Jump dispersal helps us remember that events that are rare on human timescales can be common over geological timescales, and that biodiversity might be structured largely by these rare chance events."

Explore further: Researcher reveals how amphibians crossed continents

More information: Matzke NJ. 2014. Model selection in historical biogeography reveals that founder-event speciation is a crucial process in island clades. DOI: 10.1093/sysbio/syu056

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27 comments

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NOM
3.7 / 5 (12) Oct 01, 2014
Oh oh. You mentined Darwin. Now the resident trolls verkle and JVK will spam the thread with their creationist and fraudulent pseudoscience drivel.
Goika
Oct 01, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Vietvet
5 / 5 (7) Oct 02, 2014
@verkle
You SAY you would like nothing better than honest debate but you don't offer an alternative to evolution. How can there be a debate if you just run away?
Returners
1 / 5 (10) Oct 02, 2014
@verkle
You SAY you would like nothing better than honest debate but you don't offer an alternative to evolution. How can there be a debate if you just run away?


There is an alternative to "Evolution" as atheists present it:

Intelligent Design
Modular Intelligent Design

DNA often looks and functions exactly like computer code, except it's in chemical form.
It has backups
It has "templates"
It has long-term and short-term memory

We have repeatedly offered a superior, more sensible explanation than "evolution per se", and you reject it not on logical basis, but on an immoral basis of rejecting the Creator by default.

The argument has been shown repeatedly by apologists that there is no logical reason not to believe in a creator, but still the problem persists.

You are not interested in evidence for God. You are interested in self-justification, but unlike self-righteous religious, you seek self-justification by denying justification is needed in the first place.
Returners
1 / 5 (10) Oct 02, 2014
MUST I show this argument again?

If atheism is correct, you are at best neutral. there is nothing to gain by believing Atheism. The believer in creation loses nothing either, since there was nothing to lose.

If Creationism is correct, then the atheist stands to lose something, while the believer stands to gain something.

There are a total of at least 4 scenarios here, and potentially sub-scenarios, and in all of those scenarios only those who believe in God stand to gain anything.

Therefore, there is absolutely no reason to disbelieve in God.

It is completely irrational to disbelieve in God, since you can never gain anything by doing so, but you CAN lose something by disbelieving in God.

It is rational to believe in God, since you can gain something by doing so, and you can't gain anything by believing in Atheism.

Therefore, Atheists are insane and delusional, and need rehabilitation and salvation.
Eikka
4.9 / 5 (9) Oct 02, 2014

It is completely irrational to disbelieve in God, since you can never gain anything by doing so, but you CAN lose something by disbelieving in God.


Only if God CAN exist, and you happen to believe in the correct one. If God cannot exist, then the believer is actually the loser.

For example, belief in God requires that you take God into account in all your scientific theories as a fudge factor, so you lose the ability to predict anything because God can always change the outcome and you don't know if or when that happens. In other words, you have to either ignore God alltogether and pretend that it doesn't exist, or you have no means to make science.

The list of logical fallacies in your post is too long to explain, but the major ones are: Pascal's Wager, appeal to consequences, begging the question.

And most importantly: even if belief in God was rational, it still doesn't mean one exists!
Vietvet
4.9 / 5 (8) Oct 02, 2014
"It is rational to believe in God, since you can gain something by doing so, and you can't gain anything by believing in Atheism."

I gained immensely by becoming an atheist. I lost my fear of death.
Eikka
5 / 5 (8) Oct 02, 2014
Here's a story to illustrate the folly of the Pascal's wager.

Suppose a man on the street demands to have your wallet. Of course you say "no".

Then the man proposes, "I'll give you twice the money tomorror if you give me your wallet".

Naturally you don't believe him. The man then goes on to promise even higher and higher returns, and you reply that it's even less probable that he actually would return with the money.

So finally the man says "If you let me your wallet, I'll tell God to let you in Heaven when you die".

And then, by Pascal's Wager, you must.

Because no matter how low the probability that the man actually would or could - as long as it's not proven zero - the promised reward is infinitely positive, so by the wager there is no rational course of action but to accept it and give the man your wallet. And so, the Pascal's wager can be used to justify any and every action as long as the promised reward is an afterlife in Heaven.

Reductio ad absurdum.
Skepticus
not rated yet Oct 02, 2014
My God is bigger than yours! Show me your God and I will show mine! Drop your pants!
Mike_Massen
4.6 / 5 (9) Oct 02, 2014
verkle claimed
...Why don't you settle down and stop calling people names who do don't agree with? I like nothing better than an honest debate and commenting.

Great news ! Yes please !

Please advise or explain:-

1. What evidence there is that evolution cannot or should not happen
2. The method used by any and all deities to communicate with humans
3. Why simple genetic algorithms are so successful proving complexity easily arises from simplicity according to simple rules - all that is needed is time and space
4. How one might conclusively & substantively communicate directly with any deity

Lets start with a well known aspect of all life on Earth. All components of proteins which make up our structure have 'amines' ie All proteins are composed of Amino Acids.

It is geologically recorded earth used to have an Ammonia atmosphere a long time ago ie NH3 & amines are NH2. Can we therefore see our early chem origin is directlyrelated to Ammonia ?

Had a pee recently & smelt Urea ?
Mike_Massen
4.6 / 5 (9) Oct 02, 2014
Returners muttered
We have repeatedly offered a superior, more sensible explanation than "evolution per se", and you reject it not on logical basis, but on an immoral basis of rejecting the Creator..
How does this 'creator' communicate with any creation EVER eg Humans ?

Returners
The argument has been shown repeatedly by apologists that there is no logical reason not to believe in a creator...
Educated people have studied probability hence understand issues of "Permutation Space" in simple terms this is time & space for "interactions to naturally be explored" gods not necessary !

Returners
You are not interested in evidence for God.
True & obviously because not one of the 'gods' communicates other than by male humans having problems with women, seek status & authority & can't educate to alleviate suffering.

The more logical world view arises from observing nature "Eat & be Eaten" that & all life is based on Amino Acids negates (personal god) creation per se.
Mike_Massen
4.6 / 5 (9) Oct 02, 2014
Vietvet made a damn good point with
"It is rational to believe in God, since you can gain something by doing so, and you can't gain anything by believing in Atheism."

I gained immensely by becoming an atheist. I lost my fear of death.
Thanks.

This gets to the nub of most religions.

It is about the believer/devotee "getting something" for themselves !

They are cajoled into doing this by ingratiating themselves before their creator to curry favour. All mainstream religions have these very SIMPLE common attributes:

1.Crafted by men
2.Women marginalised
3.Deity never communicates directly, only through a male figure ie pope/priest/imam
4.Method of record by claimed deity is exactly same as humans ie badly worded books.
5.They ONLY tell: Status, Authority & Punishment

Its that simple, there is NOTHING that distinguishes ANY deity/god from what humans can & have crafted by ordinary CLAIM for power often !

Even Jesus, who is upheld as a 'loving' prophet taught divisiveness.
Mike_Massen
4.6 / 5 (9) Oct 02, 2014
Returners muttered again
Therefore, Atheists are insane and delusional, and need rehabilitation and salvation.
Apologies I missed your outburst whilst offering thoughtful critique based on facts...

What is the basis of ANY religion, isn't it ONLY a claim from old books ?

How is such claim qualified, such as, is there any evidence ?

Which begs the question re Moses/Jesus. The claims are significant and outrageous yet there is not only no evidence but all means to ask the claimed god to qualify 'his/her/its' writings are totally ignored ?

Is it sane to arbitrarily believe in a book ONLY communicated to one person eg Moses, when the rest of the world had people and were 'left out' for millenia ?

Is this consistent with a caring god or a nasty punisher who knew in advance that putting a devil in contact with an innocent girl would have her manipulated and THEN to punish all of creation KNOWING it would happen ?

Suffering for innocent seems the hallmark of all deities for ever !
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (7) Oct 02, 2014
Here's a story to illustrate the folly of the Pascal's wager.

Pascal's wager only works if there are exactly two options God of type X or no god.
As soon as there are more than one religion it fails. It fails ever more badly the more religions there are - and at last count there are several hundred out there claiming to be 'the one and only true one'.

Some people fall for Pascal's wager because they are brought up in a region where religion X dominates. But if you think gods play by region then they aren't "the one and only god", are they?
Eikka
4.2 / 5 (5) Oct 02, 2014
Pascal's wager only works if there are exactly two options God of type X or no god.


The problems go deeper than that, as I pointed out. The appeal to infinite reward is a faulty judgement even before we consider the validity of the premises, because it suggests that we should always choose actions based on ridiculously improbable outcomes. You can add more gods, or other options, and it will only modify the probabilities of certain outcomes, but not the fault of the logic itself.

By the very same logic employed in the Pascal's Wager, you can justify suicide bombings and burning women as witches - and indeed people have.

Eseta
Oct 02, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (8) Oct 02, 2014
By the very same logic employed in the Pascal's Wager, you can justify suicide bombings and burning women as witches - and indeed people have.

Yah. If only we could see the faces of the suicide bombers when they receive their 72 fat/ugly or even male virgins
(Let's face it: beautiful women do NOT go to heaven as virgins)

NOM
5 / 5 (8) Oct 02, 2014
I like nothing better than an honest debate...
Bullshit! You've never debated, you just post creationist drivel.

Your kind and civil response would be appreciated.
You don't get it, do you. You are scum. You don't deserve a civil response, so shove it.
Eikka
5 / 5 (5) Oct 02, 2014
Wrong. We stand to gain not having to listen to stupid people say stupid things. Which is quite a significant gain


The Pascal's Wager is a play on basic probability theory. More specifically, the expected value.

Imagine a lottery where you stand to win $1000 but your chances are 1:1000. The reasoning goes that you take the reward, multiply it by the probability, and see if it's higher or lower than the bet they're asking you. In this case, the product is 1000/1000 or $1 which is the expected value of the gamble. If the price is less than $1 then you pay.

You never know when you'll win, therefore it's rational to pay every time the expected value is higher than the cost.

The trick is that any finite probability that isn't zero, no matter how small, multiplied by infinite reward, is always infinity. It trumps every other choice regardless of cost, so by appealing to infinite reward you can justify any finite cost no matter how improbable the reward actually is.

Eikka
5 / 5 (7) Oct 02, 2014
And technically, the Pascal's wager justifies any infinite costs as well, or infinitely small probability, as long as their cardinality is smaller than the infinity of the reward you're proposing.

For example, there are infinite number of numbers, and so infinite number of even numbers, but the infinity of even numbers is smaller than the infinity of numbers.

In the same way, if the probability of God actually existing is infinitely small, but you argue that the value of going to Heaven is the greatest infinity of all infinities, then you can argue that you should believe in God even if the probability of God existing was effectively zero.

And you should also give me your bank credentials.
Eikka
4.3 / 5 (6) Oct 02, 2014
My cosmos and your "god" might be the same size. But my "science" will whip your "faiths" ass in any fight. The only argument you can make is at best "nuh-uh", or "my mom said....".


All beliefs in the end turn out false. Every single one.

Because in order to believe in something, you must describe what that something is. You need an idea that encompasses what it means before you can say you believe in that thing. Otherwise you're just confused - talking nonsense.

Then, if the belief you claim to have concerns God or the cosmos, the fundamental whatever that exists, the idea that you need in order to truly believe in whatever it is would be exactly that - it would take the entire thing just to hold that perfect idea in your head so you could believe that it is. It would be the perfect map where every detail is duplicated 1:1 with reality - which isn't going to happen.

Whatever you believe is, isn't. It can't be - or else you'd be it.
NOM
5 / 5 (8) Oct 03, 2014
In the same way, if the probability of God actually existing is infinitely small, but you argue that the value of going to Heaven is the greatest infinity of all infinities, then you can argue that you should believe in God even if the probability of God existing was effectively zero.
The way I see it is: What is the chance in getting stuck in this so-called heaven with all the fundies and other religious wankers?

Anywhere verkle and his ilk are going to end up, I want to be somewhere else.

... so maybe verkle's drivel-spam is having a positive effect. It certainly puts me of religion, and it very likely puts many other people of religion too.
rockwolf1000
5 / 5 (4) Oct 03, 2014
@Eikka

All beliefs in the end turn out false. Every single one.

Because in order to believe in something, you must describe what that something is. You need an idea that encompasses what it means before you can say you believe in that thing. Otherwise you're just confused - talking nonsense.

Then, if the belief you claim to have concerns God or the cosmos, the fundamental whatever that exists, the idea that you need in order to truly believe in whatever it is would be exactly that - it would take the entire thing just to hold that perfect idea in your head so you could believe that it is. It would be the perfect map where every detail is duplicated 1:1 with reality - which isn't going to happen.

Whatever you believe is, isn't. It can't be - or else you'd be it.


Aww crap, I accidentally gave you 1 star instead of 5

Sorry.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (7) Oct 03, 2014
settle down and stop calling people names who do don't agree with? I like nothing better than an honest debate and commenting
@verkle
then why have you never honestly debated or commented on anything that I posted refuting your faith-based conjecture here? even when I asked nice?
It is completely irrational to disbelieve in God, since you can never gain anything by doing so, but you CAN lose something by disbelieving in God
@Returners
This fallaciously assumes that your particular god is the one true god. What about the other religious tenet's that are older?
Given that your religious belief (if xtian) is rather young then we can use logic to assume that it is not likely to be truthful, and that is given acceptance of your assumption of god while using your same logic to further comprehend the Creationist implications

So using your own arguments we can see that your entire premiss is undermined from the start

Evolution uses empirical evidence which your faith doesn't have
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (7) Oct 03, 2014
For example, belief in God requires that you take God into account in all your scientific theories as a fudge factor, so you lose the ability to predict anything because God can always change the outcome and you don't know if or when that happens. In other words, you have to either ignore God alltogether and pretend that it doesn't exist, or you have no means to make science.
@Eikka
Thank you for pointing that out!
Very, VERY good point here... especially that last line!

The belief in an active fairy would undermine any and all science making prediction impossible! Even an inactive sky fairy would cause this argument as it would still have the power to trump physics and science, therefore the argument FOR a deity is absurd!

and this is all using the same logic that returners is using to establish the argument... without even trying to examine the actual physical evidence of the religious order and establishing credibility!
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (6) Oct 03, 2014
If Creationism is correct, then the atheist stands to lose something, while the believer stands to gain something
@Returners
One other point I would like to make: this argument only works if you assume personal gain runs the universe and is the cause for life.The acceptance of this argument requires a belief which is based upon greed and nothing more.

If you consider that life was created in any other way, for any other reason, this argument is nullified, as it actually requires the person to first assume and then desire greed. By Greed, I mean the actual personal gain of something without giving anything. There is no physical offering and therefore it is a simple extrapolation of greed, not logic.

this applies to the deity as well. IF it exists, then it will exist without worship, therefore to create life for worship is to feed the ego, which goes back to personal greed again, which is an anthropomorphic trait assigned to anonymous deities by humans, not for them

Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (6) Oct 03, 2014
To sum up all of Eikkas next to completely unintelligible drivel.....He says we should believe in God....Just in case. LOL.
@jalmy
actually, that is Returner's drivel... Eikka's argument is against that belief.

In the thread so far, Verkle and Returners are arguing FOR the belief and AGAINST science and evolution...

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