The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: How many generations does it take to form a new species?  (Read 4680 times)

Alex Schulz

  • Guest
Alex Schulz  asked the Naked Scientists:
   
After deep conversation about theology and Darwinism and evolution we needed to answer the following question:
  
"How many generations would it take before the oldest organism could no longer produce viable young with the newest organism? ie still be classified as the same species?"
  
Or, another way to ask it: how many generations does the forking process of a species tree last for?
  
Can any one help?
  
Yours Sincerely

Alex Schulz

What do you think?


 

Offline Nizzle

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 964
  • Thanked: 1 times
  • Extropian by choice!
    • View Profile
    • Carnivorous Plants
How many generations does it take to form a new species?
« Reply #1 on: 29/10/2009 13:39:13 »
In some cases, many.
In other cases just one.
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1451
    • View Profile
How many generations does it take to form a new species?
« Reply #2 on: 29/10/2009 16:32:09 »
Indeed. That depends entirely on the rate of mutation, which is unpredictable.
 

Offline Dimi

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 112
  • Prone to rambling
    • View Profile
How many generations does it take to form a new species?
« Reply #3 on: 29/10/2009 22:25:57 »
Mutation would be affected by the environment right? Like jumping from the moutains to a lava place
 

Offline _Stefan_

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 814
    • View Profile
    • My Photobucket Album
How many generations does it take to form a new species?
« Reply #4 on: 30/10/2009 06:03:09 »
Mutation rate would depend on how effective the species' DNA repair and maintenance mechanisms are, and how many mutation-causing factors there are in the environment (chemicals, radiation).

Species with shorter generation times will also have higher mutation rates because more new generations are produced in the same amount of time, with opportunity for mutation between each generation.

It is also possible that the loss of the ability to produce fertile hybrid offspring between genetically distinct individuals is not consistent only with mutation rate, because it may be that the mutations affect genetic compatibility in different ways.
 

Offline rosy

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1018
  • Chemistry
    • View Profile
How many generations does it take to form a new species?
« Reply #5 on: 30/10/2009 10:56:46 »
It's got to be more than 1 generation, really. If in one generation a single individual is born which cannot interbreed with the rest of the population then however superior their hunting/foraging skills might be that individual cannot pass on those superior hunting/foraging genes to the next generation and becomes an evolutionary dead end... it's got to take several generations of divergence.
 

Offline Nizzle

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 964
  • Thanked: 1 times
  • Extropian by choice!
    • View Profile
    • Carnivorous Plants
How many generations does it take to form a new species?
« Reply #6 on: 30/10/2009 12:19:52 »
In plants we sometimes see that segregation of chromosomes goes wrong during meiosis or congregation goes wrong right after pollination.

If this still produces viable offspring, this offspring will not be able to be bred with one of it's parent plants, and in this case, 1 generation really is enough.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

How many generations does it take to form a new species?
« Reply #6 on: 30/10/2009 12:19:52 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums