Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Polar Bear "species" is 100% safe from global warming

Environmental "scientists", I believe have been guilty of Species Inflation with regards to polar bears. One of the things that evolutionary and genetic science has given us is a "tight" definition of a species. Ignoring the look, habitat and lifestyle and just concentrating on the genetics, polar bears are a sub-species of the brown bear. Focusing on the plight of the white bears is just racism.

6 comments:

Chris Fellows said...

So, where's your reference to the lack of genetic difference between Brown Bears and White Bears, eh?

Marco said...

this link refers to the existence of hybrids in the wild, as well as in captivity. I suspect the difference is less than that between the dingo and a poodle.

Dave said...

Polar bears are demonstrably cuter than brown bears and can turn over garbage trucks.

These are the facts.

(I am in a remarkably unconstructive blogging mood today).

Dr. Clam said...

BTW, what does 'puyagfa' mean?

klaus rohde said...

Science has not given us a "tight" definition of a species. There are various definitions, such as biological (the most commonly used species concept), phylogenetic and others. I am not a bear specialist, but believe that calling the polar bear a subspecies of the brown bear is rather far fetched. Using the biological species concept, a species is defined as comprising individuals that can successfully hybridize (i.e., produce fertile offspring) in nature, not in captivity. Even individuals belonging to different genera sometimes can be "forced" to mate in captivity, and they may sometimes even produce offspring, but the offspring in turn either cannot produce offspring or only offspring with largely reduced fitness.

Marco said...

'puyagfa' was the word verification phrase that I was trying to type in its window and somehow got into my comment.

re:Using the biological species concept, a species is defined as comprising individuals that can successfully hybridize (i.e., produce fertile offspring) in nature, not in captivity.

There is a clear-cut case of a Grizzly-polar bear hybrid happening in the wild, and one must assume it isn't the only one. As the ice melts more, they are going to move into eachothers habitats quite considerably. I don't think the biological species concept is going to be particularly convenient for those wishing to "define" the polar bear as a species. The "dingo" is also considered endangered in its pure genetic form, but it interbreeds with ferrell domestic dogs. Do we protect their offspring? Even if they adapt better to their new surroundings.