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A digital mackerel swims in the University of Minnesota researchers' simulations. The simulations have helped reveal how fish body shape evolved to suit their particular environment's viscocity (velocity-dependent).  (Source: University of Minnesota)
Hydronamic environment may play a crucial role in determining fish body shape, study indicates

A growing wealth of evidence from fossil recordsmodern genetics, biochemistry, and field biology is clarifying the picture of how life evolved on Earth over the last three billion years and how it continues to change.  Missing links are being filled in and evolution is being witnessed live in action.

Now researchers are beginning to discover how to leverage the power of modern computing simulations to explore pressing questions in the field of evolutionary biology.  Scientists at the University of Minnesota's Institute of Technology have just completed a study which uses hydrodynamic simulations of fish to help understand how their environment helped shape their evolution.

Civil Engineering Professor Fotis Sotiropoulos and postdoctoral researcher Iman Borazjani began the project over five years ago, looking to simulate the model fish in a massive parallel computer cluster.  The work was quite challenging.  Describes Professor Sotiropoulos, "It was a challenge because we had never simulated anything living before."

However, the pair were able to use their strong knowledge of hydrodynamics to develop a plan of attack.  They created four swimming fish -- two computational mackerels (one that beat its tail like a mackerel and a second that wriggled like an eel) and two eels (one that wriggled and another that beat its tail like a mackerel).  They then sent the digital fish out through a variety of water conditions, varying the fluid velocity-dependent viscosity.  They then examined the fish traveling at various tail-beat speeds and looked at the efficiency of the motion.

What they found was that fish with inappropriate tail motions or body shapes moved less efficiently, which in the real world would equate to tiring quicker.  Tiring quicker could lead to losing the chance to catch prey or, worse yet, being eaten.  In slow currents (such as a reef) the eel shape was preferred, while in fast currents (open sea) mackerel shape was preferred.

Thus the research shows important evidence of how selective pressures may have given rise to fish in their modern shape.  It also demonstrates how computer simulations can be used to better understand natural selection and the course of evolution.

Professor Sotiropoulos is quite pleased with the results.  He states, "From these experiments, we can deduce that real mackerel and eel's swimming styles are perfectly adapted to the hydrodynamic environments that they inhabit."

The study was published in the 
Journal of Experimental Biology.

The research not only offers insight into evolution, but could also be used to create more efficient swimming robots, according to the researchers.





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Proof of Concept
By CColtManM on 2/8/2010 10:09:22 AM , Rating: 2
You guys are missing the point. By creating a connection between fossil records and pinpointing the reasons for change, we further increase proof that evolution is happening.

It's not to claim that evolution is happening, it's to claim there is proof of it.




RE: Proof of Concept
By 306maxi on 2/8/10, Rating: -1
RE: Proof of Concept
By 306maxi on 2/8/10, Rating: -1
RE: Proof of Concept
By omnicronx on 2/8/2010 11:39:07 AM , Rating: 3
You were rated down because you made a bad comment.

We know the dinosaurs died, so who cares how right?

We know the universe started somehow, its here now that's all that matters, why do we need to prove the big bang theory?

I know that if I jump up in the air I won't go flying in to space, I guess I should go punch Newton in the face for wasting our time.


RE: Proof of Concept
By TheDigitalDiamond on 2/8/10, Rating: 0
RE: Proof of Concept
By The Imir of Groofunkistan on 2/8/2010 12:26:09 PM , Rating: 5
Science says things like this: If x and y are put in a tube and stirred at 37C for 30 minutes, z happens. You can't really do that with religion. Except where a religion claims something that is observable, the two are forever separate conversations. Christianity claims that Jesus lived on earth at a particular time. That's either true or it isn't. Science and history can lend evidence one way or the other. But the claim there is a God that created the world and all of life is not observable and is therefore outside of science. If God created the world and all of life, you can observe things like there is life and there is evidence that it evolves over time to add or subtract characteristics to enable better survival. However, this tells you nothing about whether there is a God or not that put it all here in the first place.

Science only describes how something works in as much detail as observable at that point in time.

So the question of whether evolution occurs or not is rather irrelevant to the question of whether there is a God or not.

For "half a brain", Einstein was pretty intelligent.


RE: Proof of Concept
By milkyway4me on 2/8/2010 12:57:05 PM , Rating: 1
Well said. It's worth mentioning that people liek Jason Mick hate the distinctions of micro and macro evolution because it draws truth into their fantasty world where they take real science, ie micro variations and pretend it must provide for macro evolution on it's own merits. That and this article and the scientific "findings" it made are laughable. Leave these junk articles on Slashdot, where you probably ripped it off of anyway.


RE: Proof of Concept
By FaaR on 2/9/2010 8:12:12 AM , Rating: 2
There's no such thing as "micro" evolution.

We can trace the geneology of organisms through mammals, reptilian, to insects and even single-cell organisms.

Even poor or backwards solutions to biological functions that exist in multiple organisms because it works WELL ENOUGH are traceable, but if you were to argue were created and put there on purpose by a supposedly perfect, infallible, all-knowing, all-seeing, omnipotent being just looks plain stupid.

Natural selection often doesn't care how a task is accomplished as long as it is, but if everything is divinely created, then why do humans and giraffes both share the same number of neck vertebrae for example? It makes no sense when you think about it, but the advocates of "micro evolution" have no answer for it. Nor do they particulary care to try and find one; "goddunnit" is good enough for them.


RE: Proof of Concept
By RandallMoore on 2/9/2010 8:53:53 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
We can trace the geneology of organisms through mammals, reptilian, to insects and even single-cell organisms.


I can also trace the evolution of the microprocessor starting with the Intel 4004 leading to the Core 2 Quad. Almost every single scientist today needs to go back and relearn the concepts of correlation and causation. ie: There are significantly more ice cream shops open during the warm weather seasons; therefore ice cream shops cause it to be hot.

I absolutely hate it when people pass this crap off as fact. They always skip steps in processes to assume something happens in between that suits the theory. AKA "always finding data that suites the theory because they are LOOKING for data that suites the theory. BAD SCIENCE. It's also unethical.

quote:
why do humans and giraffes both share the same number of neck vertebrae for example?


Maybe because they are made from the same designer perhaps? Big surprise there to see similar characteristics in different designs. Go look at some famous architecture and see if you can pick out patterns. Evolutionist just DO NOT WANT to see that there can be similarities due to one designer.

Evolution science motto: If the facts don't fit the theory, then we'll just warp the way we interpret it until it does :D

Don't call yours science, and mine religion. Both are religion because it requires faith to believe.


RE: Proof of Concept
By callmeroy on 2/9/2010 9:52:56 AM , Rating: 2
Science is real. Evolution is real.

God is real. Faith is real.

..........

Which of those statements gave you pause?

That's the problem with debates on evolution -- there's "diehards" on either topic, but very few balanced view points. I see that in politics a lot today to - I think folks are loosing their independence....it seems like "oh its not popular to be with "that group" so I better just stick with those guys over there".

F**K it... I believe in all four of those statements. In my perception, believe, reality -- whatever label you want to give it -- they all exist out of each other, and in harmony with each.

Evolution and science -- great, fascinating stuff....I don't dispute it. I just happen to believe where folks site science as the reason for everything in this world -- I site God as the creator of science....


RE: Proof of Concept
By gamerk2 on 2/9/2010 9:56:42 AM , Rating: 2
Right...except we have direct observable evidence for evolution, and you have a book written at least several hundred years after the fact. New variations of the flu, various breeds of dogs, what color hair/eyes you have, all of which we can see how these come to be. Even now, we force evolution to create insect resistent plants, grow sweeter corn, etc.

Ever hear of a 6 fingered human? Fiarly common mutation [doctors generally cut the extra finger]. Would you argue that god recently decided to create a new species, when we already know the exact mutation that causes this change to occur?

And the best argument you can give against it is based on the fact humans tend to copy previous works, and a book which contradicts iteself on a regular basis, that was written several hundred years after the fact [Fun fact: the bible makes it clear Jesus was born in the Summer]

Intelligent design is nothing more then a way for people to hold on to god, because they are terrified that nothing better may await them.


RE: Proof of Concept
By RandallMoore on 2/9/2010 10:08:34 AM , Rating: 1
Throwing out sarcastic, narrow minded conjecture does not make you right.

quote:
we have direct observable evidence for evolution

Do we? Part of science is to study the other conclusions. The THEORY of evolution has been completely destroyed by biased and unethical research. To say otherwise would be really foolish.

quote:
and a book which contradicts iteself on a regular basis


I have never seen a contradiction. Some people may interpret a contradiction, show me one....

I'm going to continue to believe in a God that loves us; you continue to believe in a rain soaked rock that transforms into a monkey-fish-frog.


RE: Proof of Concept
By gamerk2 on 2/9/2010 10:21:11 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Do we? Part of science is to study the other conclusions. The THEORY of evolution has been completely destroyed by biased and unethical research. To say otherwise would be really foolish.


Really? And yet you fail to cite any examples...Yet we routinly are finding out what specific genes/chromosomes do for various species, and have even begun to force change upon them. We see on a regular basis various mutations that occur due to various reasons (either by chance, damage to organism, radiation, etc). Those two together proves that species can change, and since we know exactly how chromosome pairs mix, we know those traits can indeed be carried from generation to generation. Thats the proof of concept right there. And to this point, no one in the intelligent design side has given any significant proof to the contary.

quote:
I have never seen a contradiction. Some people may interpret a contradiction, show me one....


2 by 2 or seven clean/two unclean? Woman created from man's rib, or both created at same time? [Interesting fact: The story of Eve being created from Adam's rib was created AFTER the man/woman created at the same time. Silly church and its gender discrimination :D].

It certianly doesn't help that there were two versions of the pre-David bible: One by Isrial [the preachy part] and one by Judah [the parts without all the preaching]. Heck, experts in writing actually seperated the two distinct versions based on writing style just last year...

God changes his stance from wrathful to compassionate and back again on a regular basis, and even has his mind changed by humans on a few occasions [proving he's not omnicient in the process...]. The impossibilites of putting every single species alive at the time on Noahs ark, despite the explicit instructions to do so is another example [it should be noted, at the turn of the centruy, Christians thought it heresy to belive god would allow a species to go extinct because of the ark story...]. NEvermind the problem of every single species being directly descended from those that were on the ark [no way to spread across the world, life in the Western hemisphere post Noah becomes a MAJOR problem that never gets explained, etc].

I could go on for hours with specific examples if you want. The Bible is nothing more then historical tales twisted in allegory to teach others a lesson, and over time, the church used this to remain in power over others. Nothing more.


RE: Proof of Concept
By gamerk2 on 2/9/2010 10:28:30 AM , Rating: 2
And I forgot my favorite: The word "virgin" is a blantent strech in translation, as the root word is more accuratly translated as "young woman".

Replace "The Virgin Mary" with "The Young Woman Mary", and Jesus looses a LOT of his luster in the process.

...Nevermind I've yet to get a final say on what the TRUE bible actually is...


RE: Proof of Concept
By callmeroy on 2/9/2010 3:25:40 PM , Rating: 2
Don't stop - if you can go on for hours don't stop on my account.

A debate about religion with an audience who wholly rejects the notion of religion, is no different than a diehard liberal against a diehard conservative, etc.

Its a negative debate. Meaning nothing constructive will ever arise from it, because lets face it. If you are on the opposite end of something as me I'm not going to change your mind, and you sure has hell ain't going to change mine.

The bible stuff -- shocker for you, I don't believe 100% in the bible either, shocker again...I AGREE WITH YOU that there are logical fallacies that don't add up, specifically time lines. However, the absurdity that my belief, perspectives and experiences over 30+ years of life thus far is a sham if its not ONLY and SOLELY based on a book that was written by fallable humans like me -- I just wholly reject that, its not that simple. Faith and believe isn't based on just a book, if that's what atheists thing this whole time when they argue me on the topic -- man you guys really don't get it then.

I question my faith all the time, all the time -- when something doesn't mesh with how I believe I don't just brush it off like a culist zealot -- I want to know why! I don't go to the Internet at those times though...lol...sorry but serious things I don't take advice from folks in forums.

I speak with pastors, my parents, etc.


RE: Proof of Concept
By tmradder on 2/8/2010 2:38:53 PM , Rating: 2
I had no idea that geology wasn't a science.


By The Imir of Groofunkistan on 2/9/2010 9:48:36 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure anything I stated would say it is not. What's your point?


RE: Proof of Concept
By tygrus on 2/9/2010 7:06:27 AM , Rating: 2
But some so called science becomes like a religion because it is accepted by blind faith. Evolution belief in chaos to order or ability to add chromosomes is like believing 1+1=3.


RE: Proof of Concept
By tmradder on 2/9/2010 8:03:59 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah the formation of crystalline structures is heresy.


RE: Proof of Concept
By unclesharkey on 2/8/2010 2:40:48 PM , Rating: 3
Great, now you are the new world order? If you don't believe what I do I will beat it into your brain. Isn't that the same thing some religions have done in the past. Don't believe what I believe so I will burn you at the stake. I believe in personal freedom and let people believe what they want. What do you care, it is my life.


RE: Proof of Concept
By redbone75 on 2/8/2010 2:51:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Why does it need to be proven? Anyone with half a brain already knew, the people who don't believe that evolution happened and is still happening are the sorts who don't want to believe........


Kansas.


RE: Proof of Concept
By Iaiken on 2/8/2010 4:07:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The people who don't believe that evolution happened and is still happening are the sorts who don't want to believe.


There is an interesting irony in your statement that we shouldn't pursue further understanding and proof of evolution and that people should just have faith.

While I personally believe in the Theory of Evolution, I also accept that there are still reasons to be skeptical of it and that there is a lot of work to be done filling in the significant gaps that exist in our knowledge of the concept. As we continue to investigate, the theory will either continue to stand to consensus or be disproved as the body of evidence is further constructed.

However, it will likely never be conclusively "proven" as that would require 100% accurate knowledge of 100% of all life forms on earth along with how/why all of the evolutionary changes happened.

For that matter, our knowledge of gravity, the atom and energy are all just "theories". For example, gravity will likely never be proven because of relativity, quantum theory and the limitations of human approximation in observation.

To prove gravity, you would need to prove that every object of mass is attracted to every other object of mass to a level of precision not possible because at some point our observations approximate the time, space and energy involved. So we don't know that gravity always works, just that it has always worked in all of our observed tests. To that end, we consider gravity practically fact, but it's still "just a theory".

To think otherwise simply demonstrates a lack of understanding of science... The point of science is not to prove things, but to disprove them through observation and repetition. As a result, our entire understanding of everything is subject to change without warning, no matter how personally confident we are in our beliefs.

Someday you may find that you let go of something and it falls up, unlikely, but not impossible and then it is back to the drawing board.

And that is why we need to keep working towards proof even though it can never be actually "proven", you never know what you will find.


RE: Proof of Concept
By RandallMoore on 2/9/2010 9:05:04 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
To prove gravity, you would need to prove that every object of mass is attracted to every other object of mass to a level of precision not possible because at some point our observations approximate the time, space and energy involved. So we don't know that gravity always works, just that it has always worked in all of our observed tests. To that end, we consider gravity practically fact, but it's still "just a theory".


The general idea of that paragraph is an extremely good point. There has been a massive corruption of good and just science today because too many are passing theory as absolute indisputable fact.


RE: Proof of Concept
By inperfectdarkness on 2/9/2010 1:30:41 PM , Rating: 2
i'm interested to know how hydroelectric dams & their alteration of natural currents will effect the evolution of fish long-term.


..
By Breathless on 2/8/10, Rating: 0
RE: ..
By hr824 on 2/8/2010 10:53:30 AM , Rating: 1
"Goo to you" is only disputed by people who think the earth is 6000 years old and will never ever change their minds.


RE: ..
By MozeeToby on 2/8/2010 11:14:43 AM , Rating: 2
Here's the problem, in the study of evolution there is no division between micro and macro. Macro evolution is just a whole bunch of micro adaptations piled on top of each other. It's cumulative, little changes add up to big changes.


RE: ..
By Breathless on 2/8/2010 12:42:04 PM , Rating: 2
That is absolutely not correct. Minor adaptations within a species is certainly different from one kind becoming another kind. One is provable, IE: the flying squirrel coming from a "regular" squirrel - and one is not (has not been) - IE: a squirrel becoming a lion, or a mouse eventually becoming a giraffe. There is no scientific evidence of a species becoming an entirely different species. Rate me into oblivion.

Microevolution is differentiated from macro, otherwise it wouldn't have the "micro" in front of the word. If there was no division there would be no reason for the different terms, with their different definitions and their different applications. "Cumulative" changes can be observed (SCIENCE), whereas the "big" changes you speak of have not been observed (pseudo science) by anyone, ever. To say that minor changes within a species automatically add up to a complete change of species is a bigger leap of faith than atheists claim that creationists make by their belief in God.


RE: ..
By Smilin on 2/8/2010 1:25:50 PM , Rating: 2
Please.


RE: ..
By Breathless on 2/8/2010 3:16:08 PM , Rating: 2
Your rebuttal has enlightened me. I completely go back on everything I just said.


RE: ..
By TeXWiller on 2/8/2010 4:06:29 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks. And while you at it, please make sure to understand the weak relationship between the structures and processes evolution produces as energy of an ecosystem is consumed, and the man-made definition of species.


RE: ..
By Breathless on 2/8/2010 4:11:23 PM , Rating: 2
will do!


RE: ..
By MozeeToby on 2/8/2010 3:40:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Microevolution is differentiated from macro, otherwise it wouldn't have the "micro" in front of the word.
But the actual scientists doing research never put the prefixes 'micro' or 'macro' in front of evolution. It is only a certain group of doubters who do that.

The problem inherent in your argument is the concept of species or even worse... 'kinds'. Let's start with your argument about having no evidence for one species becoming a different one. Darwin's finches on the Galapagos islands are all distinct species which evolved from a finch that is common on mainland South America. Not to mention that many domesticated animals are considered distinct species from the animals that they were bred from. So that's pretty much right out.

Therefore, I can only assume that you meant the pseudo scientific term 'kinds' instead of species when you said there was no evidence. The problem is, if we ever discover a new species that bridges a gap between two 'kinds', someone else will just say that it's actually a new 'kind' that is similar to both. You can slice and dice the definition of a 'kind' however you want to satisfy preconceived notions. What the would you call a lungfish if you saw one? It's a fish in that it clearly looks like one and can swim reasonably well, but at the same time it's also kind of an amphibian in that it can survive outside the water for long periods of time. It even has a primitive set of lungs and lobed fins that allow it to crawl on land. So, you tell me, what kind is it?

Incidentally, even the concept of distinct species is argued against in the theory of evolution. Change is gradual, so gradual that it is impossible to draw a line between one species and the next. An animal will never give birth to a member of a different species, it is only over the course of hundreds if not thousands of generations that changes can accumulate enough to produce significant change.

The thing is, evolution tells us things about the world that creationism can't. Why are marsupials the only mammals native to Australia? Did God just decide not to put any womb-ed mammals there for the fun of it? Why is the human eye so screwed up compared to say the eye of a squid? We warranted the biggest, most complex brain but our eyes are riddled with design flaws. Why do humans have tailbones? Why do some flightless birds still climb trees and jump off when confronted with a predator? Why is it that you don't find fossils of modern animals in the same strata as prehistoric animals? (And please don't embarrass yourself by bringing up alternative geology theories as well. If flood geology were accurate someone would be using it to predict the locations of valuable minerals and fossil fuels with better accuracy than mainstream geology and they'd be rolling in money.)

And those are just the questions that were around during Darwin's time, now we have a whole raft of new questions supplied by genetics. Why do mammals who evolution says are closely related share so much DNA? Why do chimps have the same retrovirus DNA present in their genetic codes as humans do and in the exact same places. Why do similar species have similar proteins to code for basic metabolic enzymes but animals that are distantly related have very different, but equally effective, proteins. Why is it that if you map how different a protein is from one species to the next, the same map applies to ALL proteins shared between the species?


RE: ..
By sprockkets on 2/8/2010 3:57:32 PM , Rating: 1
You know, I have no problems with so called evolutionists believing that life came from non life and everything evolving from simple to complex. It's your right to believe in it.

What I find offensive is that every one of them believes abiogenisis on inferred evidence, not direct empirical evidence, but claim they are always scientific, yet ridicule those who believe in Creation for "unscientific reasons, aka their own inferred reasons, such as the empirical evidence in day to day life, such as "money doesn't grown on trees", "there's no such thing as a free lunch" and so on. True, that doesn't mean scientifically that God exists, but it does imply that all things need intelligent interaction to product complexity on the high level that life requires.

It isn't scientific to believe in abiogenisis simply because science hasn't proved it with empirical evidence, only by inferred evidence. Until that time we have empirical evidence, those who chose to believe in it believe in it based on faith , that being the same definition in the bible: that you believe in something not beheld because you have evidence to support it (Heb 11:1).

Example, you have faith that your new marriage mate will not leave you for another guy because she has been true to you since you dated him/her. That obviously cannot prove he/she will not later commit adultery, but you have evidence that he/she will not.

Both sides do this. And no, I don't want to hear about the BS that evolution and the study of abiogenisis is separate; if you don't believe in God so you have the burden of proving it happened without any help whatsoever. At least Nature or NAS doesn't mind God starting everything but leaving all alone after the big bang.


RE: ..
By gamerk2 on 2/9/2010 8:16:55 AM , Rating: 2
Using that argument, you obviously don't believe in Gravity, the world is in fact flat, modern modicin is a scam, the moon landing was rigged, etc.

Evolution != Abiogenisis; two totally differnet fields of study. One seeks the origin of life, the other seeks to understand how life has changed and diversified.

All you need to prove there was no creation event is to prove that a certain combination of protiens can be created to do nothing but replicate endlessly. Once that is accomplished, you have essentially proved that random chance can in fact create life, and you have created a starting point for evolution to take hold.


RE: ..
By sprockkets on 2/9/2010 7:10:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Using that argument, you obviously don't believe in Gravity, the world is in fact flat, modern modicin is a scam, the moon landing was rigged, etc.


What, the empirical evidence that objects exhibit a weak attraction to each other based on their mass proven scientifically? Or the evidence that Mythbusters showed that proves those who landed on the moon did indeed place reflectors up there, and how science has demonstrated how things like aspirin help with headaches?

Nobody debates gravity due to empirical evidence. Those who refuse to believe that we landed on the moon are the same retards who still think the current president wasn't born in Hawaii.

quote:
Evolution != Abiogenisis; two totally differnet fields of study. One seeks the origin of life, the other seeks to understand how life has changed and diversified.


Never disputed that. But don't pretend that belief in materialistic philosophy, aka the religion of atheists doesn't require it either.

quote:
All you need to prove there was no creation event is to prove that a certain combination of protiens can be created to do nothing but replicate endlessly. Once that is accomplished, you have essentially proved that random chance can in fact create life, and you have created a starting point for evolution to take hold.


Good point, someone that actually sees that creation is falsifiable. However, you have no empirical evidence of any self-replicating protein or amino acids or RNA molecule of any sort.


RE: ..
By Fritzr on 2/8/2010 3:20:08 PM , Rating: 2
When using models to test theories of the way real life works, the first step is to make sure your model agrees with reality. To simplify this process, you tweak one or two measurements at a time. This means that the first generation of models will be at the kindergarten stage of development. When those can be trusted, then the creators may graduate to using crayons.

Remember the Apollo 11 moon landing started with a test to see if a rocket could simply reach Low Earth Orbit. A major thing at the time, try it today and everyone asks "What's the point?".

They stated that this is a brand new kind of model. Now they have one that they can play with. The real fish they used this time were mackerel and eel. They also swapped behaviors to test "what if they did it that way instead?"

The next step is to add models of other fish and testing of things like a tuna following the salmon or a sturgeon dealing with deep ocean. Ridiculous tests, but they may well reveal interesting info on the way creatures are adapted to the environment they normally deal with.

Its not the test of evolution that's important. The important thing is finding pre-existing designs that people can adapt for their own use :)


Wait, so let me get this straight...
By Motoman on 2/8/2010 9:53:01 AM , Rating: 5
...you're saying that the environment that a creature evolved in actually shapes it's evolution?

Crazy.




By The0ne on 2/8/2010 10:18:21 AM , Rating: 4
I'm pretty sure Jason is aware of it. He even used a photo from Nemo, of which turtles and fishes ride the current to where to want to go :D


RE: Wait, so let me get this straight...
By omnicronx on 2/8/2010 11:35:40 AM , Rating: 2
Its called proof of evolution. For example I think its safe to say that we know that evolution occurs, we know that humans evolved into what we are today. But the how's and why's of so many steps along the way remain a mystery.

So if you think this is not newsworthy just think about this. Can we conclusively prove why our bodies are shaped like they are? Why do we walk on two feet? Why are we one of the only mammals that hair only covers part of our bodies?


By ClownPuncher on 2/8/2010 11:57:46 AM , Rating: 2
quote:


Why are we one of the only mammals that hair only covers part of our bodies?



I think Robim Williams might have something to say about this


By milkyway4me on 2/8/2010 1:01:39 PM , Rating: 2
Just wait, someone will make a computer animation, probably with a touchy feely backdrop and people like jason mick will eat it up as gospel. "it has a pie chart, so it must be true" has a modern equivilent with the evolution and AGW junk scientists out there: "It was made with a computer by someone with a degree, it must be true".


By geddarkstorm on 2/8/2010 12:03:40 PM , Rating: 3
What's interesting is the very vast array of fish shapes and sizes; so current is only one small factor: especially when you realize that most fish will see a wide variety of current types throughout their life span. Then you have whales and dolphins which add in even more shapes and movement strategies differing from fishes. Take a tuna verses a swordfish, completely different hydrodynamics even if environment is the same. Be interesting to run known fish through their model and see if it can compute energy expenditure, which then is possible to measure empirically; that'd be the best way to test if their computer sims are anywhere near reality.

I don't mean to be a downer. Obviously, being efficient swimmers through current is a requirement (why is this a shock or news worthy?), but I do feel bad that they only have a sample set of /four/, and then saying "look how cool our model is". It actually doesn't... mean anything. Yeah, sure, I just don't like computer models much - made by human minds, limited by human knowledge, always having to take shortcuts and assumptions to be computationally possible - not when we can, le gasp, actually measure real things empirically.

So this trend to rely on computers, like with climate too, just.. bothers me. We have eyes, instruments, scientific methods for a reason: computers can only test our aggregate knowledge and help us refine where we need to make more observations, they cannot create knowledge of their own, I believe. I simply hope we scientists don't get so caught up with how cool and useful computers can be that we forget how to be scientists.


Its about the science silly!
By Ohmniscient1 on 2/8/2010 10:47:27 AM , Rating: 2
Its about the science silly!
I applauded these researchers, they have accomplished something, that no other well paid scientists/researchers/engineers have done.
Hydrodynamics, especially in moving bodies is very, very complex..I would dare to say even more complex than rocket science. This is something that has been in question for 200 yrs.
If you take the time to even look at the summary of the study you will see just a brief listing of all the formulas required to create this kind of swimming motion in a computer system and then to add evolution changes on top of that is astounding and very ambitious! This not only proves that the theories on how fish swim is correct and on target but that it happens in an evolutionary process.
Now this can be applied not only to robots/probes as the report states but will open up new forms for use in submarines/ships and unique forms underwater equipment...and it can all be simulated and perfected in the computer by Designers/Engineers, before the craft are built. It also opens the door for greater biological inquires and our understanding of the world at large,complex flows and how biology is affected by its environment and how it can change..how we might change..if our environment does or rather as it does!
The world is an incredibley dynamic place..change with it or become extinct!
Bravo! They deserve an award!




RE: Its about the science silly!
By gamerk2 on 2/9/2010 8:20:32 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. Any ssytem that is not perfectly linear almost totally breaks physis. In short, basic Chaos Theory: Small, insignificant changes to a starting condition can multiply in effect. The fact their model did in fact state the obvious is newsworthy, considering how hard that is to accomplish on modern day computer models.


Your All Wrong..
By drewsup on 2/8/2010 10:35:45 AM , Rating: 1
The great Jebus in the sky made the fish the right shape in the first place, he KNEW what environment they would be in!




RE: Your All Wrong..
By lycosaex on 2/9/2010 9:22:19 AM , Rating: 2
It's only an theory as much as science is. Prove it, don't tell me he said, she said that or a non living thing-> Book ,told you that.


Thanks Mr. Professor
By Smilin on 2/8/2010 9:55:33 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
What they found was that fish with inappropriate tail motions or body shapes moved less efficiently


Next scientists plan to use massive computational simulations to prove that water is wet. News at 11.




Civ-E??
By Suntan on 2/8/2010 11:25:01 AM , Rating: 2
More importantly, why is a civil engineer wasting time looking at this?

Shouldn’t he be teaching ditch diggers how to mix cement?

-Suntan




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