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Your Questions About How To Discover New Species

Donna asks…

What kind of confusion happens when 2 species in different families were accidentally given the same name?

What if both separately the subject of several studies and result were publish in paper that did not mention the family name. Would it be possible to know which study concern which species?

New Niche Finder answers:

It can’t happen. All plant names are decided and held in a database in Kew in England. So, when new species are discovered, the person wishing to publish the new name has to make a submission to Kew and the Royal Society there make the decision. The same happens when lumpers and splitters want to reclassify plants. Also, new cultivars and hybrids must also be registered for their cultivar names to be recognised.

Betty asks…

How might our descendants discover common descent on an off-world colony that’s forgotten its origins?

Suppose we settle other worlds in space and on one of these worlds, our descendants experience some sort of catastrophe in which they lose all meaningful scientific knowledge and have to start over from scratch. With no fossil record to clue them in (or perhaps even a fossil record showing a history that could -not- have produced them), how might the future descendants of the survivors of this world ever discover evolutionary theory and common descent? Could notions of “intelligent design” actually be scientifically plausible in such a scenario?

New Niche Finder answers:

I’ve actually pondered essentially the same question before, except it was phrased “If aliens abducted a small group of humans and dropped them off on a distant planet with absolutely nothing except what was needed to survive, and then abandoned them while leaving no evidence of their ever being there in the first place, how long would it be before the descendants from that small group no longer believed the first hand accounts of the people that were originally put there? And what would they believe after that?”

If they settled an uninhabited planet, then obviously there would be no fossil record, but the absence of fossils would be poor evidence to make the claim that we came from another planet. Even if there were some fossils, maybe of endemic species, but none that could have evolutionarily preceded us, then again that would be poor evidence to claim that we came from outer space because one could always claim that there are undiscovered fossils of our particular transitional species.

I don’t think it’s beyond the imagination of such a civilization to start wondering if they came from another place. Hell, we have conclusive evidence for evolution on earth and yet some people STILL believe this about our origins on Earth. It’s just that in the absence of all physical evidence to support this, it would be an unscientific, albeit true, belief.

Part of the reason why intelligent design fails to prove irreducible complexity is because we can look at primitive and alternative versions of the same components in other organisms and determine that they can have alternative functions. We can also show that certain genes are conserved between organisms, while others are not. If we were put essentially “in a vacuum” on another planet, we would completely lose the ability to show common ancestry with other organisms, and therefore have to conclude that we were somehow “different,” and I would expect that something similar to “intelligent design” would also become a popular belief. However, the basic tenants of Intelligent Design are unprovable, and hoping that they did not become ignorant of the Scientific Method as well, they should be wise enough to remain skeptical of this hypothesis as well.

David asks…

What made humans as a species to start drinking while eating?

Is it because of cooking or adding salt/species or what?

New Niche Finder answers:

Two people were hungry and thirsty at the same time. Discovered that they could eat and drink. Now people do it all the time. But it should be drink water then eat. People commonly mistake being thirsty and eat instead.

Donald asks…

What happens if someone accidentally discovered a new bug?

I’m not talking about deep, deep in the amazon or some other remote jungle. This is just a scenario, but let’s say a person living in Houston, Texas was in their backyard one day and they see a bug they have never seen before, so they take a picture of it. Being curious, they research online and no one they ask knows what the bug is, and the person ends up discovering a new bug species. Chances are slim, but can that happen? There are probably like millions of bugs already identified. And can the person who discovered it name it?

New Niche Finder answers:

Below isn’t a bug, but it eats them. Its a sub species of Leopard frog that was found almost right in the middle of New York city, not quite two years ago. People had seen them for many years, but it wasn’t until a woman and man with very good ears heard something different. It looked the same as others, but its voice was different. That shows what a scientist can do.

Then, they had to do extensive lab testing and publish papers that basically asked other scientist if there was any reason why it’s not a new frog. No body could prove that it wasn’t. The man that found and heard the difference originally is Mr.Jeremy Feinberg (He’ll be Dr.Feinberg, soon) plus co-worker and partner for the project is a lady by the name of Ms.Cathy Newman. And also, an important adviser for the discovery is a lady named Dr.Joanna Burger.

Believe Mr. Feinberg does have the honor in naming the new frog. Also believe Mr. Feinberg has asked his friends, co-workers, and adviser in naming, he seems like a nice person and would do that The last I heard, they were still looking for an official name for it while trying to not hurt anybodies feelings. Im not sure if they’ve completed that part yet. Cant find it searching.

New Leopard frog sub species from New York city
http://news.rutgers.edu/medrel/news-releases/2012/03/rutgers-ecologist-di-20120309

Ruth asks…

Do you think we will discover species on another planet within our lifetimes?

I just want to know personal opinions, for me, I’m 18 and I want to believe we will discover an extra terrestrial species before I die but I highly doubt we will :( and when I say discover, I don’t mean we have to make contact with them, I just mean know about their existence from scanning planets which they are attempting now I believe

New Niche Finder answers:

No …

It is certain we won’t because we are :
1) not looking for life on other planets
2) lack the means to detect life on other planets.

That of course goes on the assumption that no life exists in our own solar system other than on earth.

We have cutting edge technology that allows us to detect planets of other stars. We can’t image such a planet to resolve any details that might indicate life is present.

We would need to send a robot probe to likely planets. At present, with our fastest rockets and even allowing a major advance in rocketry, that probe will take hundreds of years to travel to the planet. — More likely the time will be 10,000 years or more.

It is something for the future.

No doubt – if a really outstanding candidate planet is found, it will spur research into building a probe that can remain functional for hundreds/thousands of years, and into research for very rapid rockets.

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