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Comment The word "species" is not defined by reproduction (Score 3, Informative) 1130

I have to say that there clearly is a misunderstanding of evolution by either the reporter or the scientists; most likely the reporter. Species are not defined by their inability to reproduce. That is a creationist myth that somehow got accepted as being connected with evolution. Darwin saw it differently. First, start with variations in animals. Variations like long ears and short ears are defined as animals living today where "steps" linking the two animals can be found still living. Between the short ear and the long ear can be found not so short eared, medium length eared, and not so long eared, etc. That is variation. Species are linked not by "steps" living today but by "steps" in the fossil record. Today you would only find long eared and short eared and nothing in between. Only when you dig into the fossil records do have a hope of finding the lost "steps". Remember that only a small insignificant amount of creatures get fossilized and are found by us. The rest are lost to us. So once again variation is separated by space and species are separated by time. Whether the long eared and the short eared can mate together is also a matter of a gradient from full fertility to zero fertility of individual animals; not a cliff like separation. Every once in a while (every seventy years or so) you hear stories about a mule that gives birth. Can a giraffe and a fish mate? No, because the divergence of the two in time is so great that their reproductive systems are incompatible. Can a zebra and a horse mate? Yes, but with extreme difficulty and is dependent on finding two individual animals that can mate; i.e. less variations between the two in the reproductive area. Can coyotes and wolves mate? Yes, and it seems to be happening more and more to the point where the grey wolf will be replaced entirely by a new type of animal that is a mixture of wolf and coyote.

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