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Fruit fly experiments produce only fruit flies

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Claim

Fruit flies have been mutated and bred in laboratories for generations, but they are still fruit flies.

Source

  1. Anon, 1985. Life--How Did It Get Here? Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc., 104.

Responses

  1. This argument ascribes a false assumption of worthlessness to the enormous number of experiments performed on fruit flies, including the study of the properties and behavior of chromosomes, Mendelian genetics, the examination of (insect) HOX genes, as well as insect behavior.
  2. There are numerous known species of Drosophila fruit flies (the genus currently contains about 2,600 species). "Still fruit flies" covers an immensely large number of species.
  3. This argument also makes a false assumption that the scientists studying fruit flies, be they entomologists or geneticists, made failed attempts to develop a new "kind" of insect from their test subjects. Creating a new "kind" of insect was never the objective for any fruit fly experiment ever done.
  4. Researchers learned a lot about genetics in fruit fly experiments. The purpose of many fruit fly experiments was not to transform them into new and different organism, but to manipulate their genes in order to discover what the functions of these genes are.
  5. In such experiments, researchers manipulate the genes that produce or regulate the growth of already existent structures in fruit flies (wings, eyes, antennae, etc). The researchers can not manipulate fruit fly genes in order to cause non-arthropod features (horns, bones, feathers, molluscan radulas, etc) to manifest in fruit flies (or other arthropods for that matter). The purpose of these experiments was/is to demonstrate what each gene in the fruit fly genome does, not to create a fly with horns, bones, feathers or a radula.
  6. Primates have been breeding for over sixty million years, but they are still primates. Animals have been breeding for over 600 million years, but they are still animals. Life has been breeding longest of all, but it is still life. These statements are true by tautology. If the mutated fruit flies were renamed to vegetable flies, the claim would be refuted. Cladistically, the claim must be true, just as it is equally true that birds are still dinosaurs.
  7. add more responses

References

  1. Korol, A. et al., (2000) Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA 97: 12637-12642. See also Schneider, C.J., 2000 (Oct. 31). Natural selection and speciation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA 97.
  2. Wheeler, M.R., 1987. Drosophilidae. In: Agriculture Canada, Manual of Nearctic Diptera, vol. 2, Hull, Quebec: Canadian Government Publishing Centre. pg. 1011.
  3. Talk Origins
  4. Hodin, Jason. [1]

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