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12/19/2014
Science, Religion & the Climate Crisis, Berkeley, CA

1/7/2015 » 1/9/2015
“Science and Religion in the Local Church,” Cambridge, England

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“Identity, self-esteem and the Image of God,” Cambridge, England

1/17/2015
Agriculture: Science & Christian Ethics, Paris, France

2/7/2015
2015 Winter Day Conference - So Calif Christians in Science

Episode 2 "Some of the Things That Molecules Do"
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4/10/2014 at 5:00:28 AM GMT
Posts: 21
In order to breed a wild canid to friendliness to humans, you'd have to have a substantial number of them to work with, as they had with those foxes/sables that were being kept captive for the fur business. To do it with only a few, you'd have to be very lucky in the few that you started with - they'd have to already have the right variants in their genomes.
It's still early days for epigenetics, so you can hypothesize whatever you want. :) The differences between dogs and wolves and quite stable, though, and I would guess that means sequence differences. Here's another reference, also open access.
MHC variability supports dog domestication from a large number of wolves: high diversity in Asia.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23073392
It's commonly stated that dogs can breed successfully with wolves, and that has certainly happened (the melanistic, dark wolf phenotype in American wolves actually was transferred from domestic dogs.) However, there are hundreds of dog breeds, and no one has tested them all to see if any of them have lost fertility in dog/wolf crosses. I don't suppose anyone will give grant money to test that, but it seems possible to me that some dog breeds might in fact be incipient new species, by the "biological" species criterion.


4/15/2014 at 5:17:59 AM GMT
Posts: 21
I was reminded of a nice post on the dog domestication story by Joel Duff (by his recycling of the post from last year,) at his site Natural Historian. Joel is a Christian biologist at the U. of Akron who comes up with cool natural history stories and points out the trouble they create for YECs.
http://thenaturalhistorian.com/2013/03/07/dna-from-fossil-canine-skull-confirmation-of-an-ancient-domesticated-dog/
His own recent research on bird leptins is interesting, too.


Last edited Wednesday, April 16, 2014
4/30/2014 at 12:04:55 AM GMT
Posts: 21
Don't know if anyone will look back to these posts now, but there is a special segment in PNAS today on domestication in general. http://www.pnas.org/content/111/17/6139.abstract
This link is for the overview article, but there are a number of articles following on aspects of domestication.