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How many generations until a new species is formed?


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5 replies to this topic

#1 yeehi

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Posted 08 May 2010 - 01:15 PM

For selective breeding in mammalian sexual reproduction, about how many generations would need to pass before a new species came into being, one that could no longer successfully breed with the starting stock?

#2 bob1

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 04:40 PM

Pick a number... what do you know about selection pressure?

#3 yeehi

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Posted 09 May 2010 - 11:08 PM

Pick a number... what do you know about selection pressure?


I am unfamiliar with selection pressure. In a laboratory setting it would be possible to select for individuals with a particular trait, putting selection pressure at its maximum. Being prevented by an external agent from reproducing isnīt what counts in determining whether a new species has formed, though.

If selection pressure is at its maximum, how many generations would it take, I wonder. I donīt think it is known.

#4 HomeBrew

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 04:01 AM

It depends on the mechanism of speciation (see here). There is no way to know in advance how many generations such an event would take to occur.

#5 hobglobin

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 11:20 AM

To give a number, sometimes even one generation may be enough, i.e. one mutation that then via selection or building a reproductive barrier separates the populations. But this is a very, very rare event, as the mutation has to spread and not eradicated or just outnumbered in a large population.
Here is an example, with an approximately way how it could work.
One must presume that long and short arguments contribute to the same end. - Epicurus
...except casandra's that belong to the funniest, most interesting and imaginative (or over-imaginative?) ones, I suppose.

#6 Maddie

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 09:18 AM

Thanks for this article hobglobin. It's very interesting.
Theory is when we know everything and nothing is working. Practice is when everything is working and nobody knows why. Here, we combine theory and practice. Nothing is working and nobody knows why.

A. Einstein




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