Hybrids Produced New Species

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Hybrids produced new species, according to a report in New Scientist, 16 August 2003, p12. A team of scientists led by Loren Rieseberg of Indiana University, Bloomington USA studied the genes of five species of sunflower and came to the conclusion that three of them were hybrids descended from the other two. The "hybrid" species grew in harsh dry climates in salty soil and appeared to have features that the parents did not have, such as more succulent leaves and decreased salt uptake.

To test the theory that hybridisation produced the different characteristics scientists crossed the parent species and then backcrossed the resulting hybrids with the parent species twice. The resulting offspring showed many characteristics of the wild species that grew in harsh environments. Evolutionary scientist Michael Arnold of the University of Georgia commented "It is a very significant finding. It tells us that hybridisation can lead to new ecological forms."

Editorial Comment: The genes for decreased salt uptake and the ability to make more succulent leaves already existed amongst sunflowers. Natural cross pollination (Hybridisation) simply redistributed genes so that some plants received a combination that allowed them to grow in a harsher environment. As some of the hybrids were fertile they could then reproduce and survive in this environment where the others could not, so they are technically a new species. However, two points need to be made:

1. They are still Sunflowers - a point most evolutionists miss! 2. Often the conflict between creation and evolution comes from the definitions, not the facts. The evolutionist 'defines' evolution in this case as that which turns sunflowers into sunflowers without any change in the genes definition.

This study better fits the concept of Genesis "kind", i.e. the named species of sunflower were originally all one kind, but have been subdivided and naturally selected by highly variable climates without any change in the total genetic information for Sunflowers. (Ref. hybrid, sunflower, Genesis kind)

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