Magnetic reversal could trigger evolution, says expert

Changes in handedness of DNA (triggered by a magnetic reversal) would lead to gene activation or deactivation, differential gene expression, and a change in gene frequency that drives evolution.

So says this paper by Jay A. Yoder, Ph.D., with the Dept of Biology at the Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois.

Here are a few excerpts (link goes to my other website):

29 thoughts on “Magnetic reversal could trigger evolution, says expert

  1. The excerpts are interesting, but they present the same problems that global warming does – they present hypothesis as if it established fact. Science has gone a long way in the wrong direction since I first looked at it with awe as a child. I used to recognize the fact that all hypothesis was presented as theory, and let the proof accumulate. Today, every hypothesis is presented as if the accumulation of data dictates the results instead of noting that there is currently insufficient data to even establish the possibility, much less the probability of its authenticity.

    • I enjoyed your remarks about the excerpt.
      In a similar way, Bob Felix does the same thing in that they all cherry pick data
      that props up their opinion.

      I believe climate “variation” should be
      studied vigorously, but terms like global warming and global change should be avoided. They imply one direction to the temperature movement.

      • There are cycles of variation, as Robert likes to say, and during these cycles the trends *are* well defined.
        IMO the warming trend ended in 1998 and it was mainly caused by solar activity.
        New scientific data (of the *true science* type) indicates that we’re entering a new cycle now, but because the “system” (whole solar system basically) evolves not very quickly we need to wait a few more years to know better what the new trends will be.

  2. This is already,starting to occur in the plant kingdom,some plant offsprings over the last 15yrs are starting to display different growth habit, form and texture of leaves, pine trees are a good example,needle retention on some pines were 1yr some younger trees hold them for up 2 3yrs in the southeast, and also growing more rigid branches! maybe its natures way of mutating, for future survival in a colder world, we will see after 2013

  3. natural selection goes off the charts during natural disasters………this should be a no brainer for you fools. you need to find something else to rattle on about.

    • Of course it does. Any time organisms are put into different environments demanding different survival traits evolution is going to occur at an increased rate. Remember evolution is not necessarily defined by perceived enhancement of already acquired traits but by the refinement and or development of under utilized or nascent traits. There is no such thing as “devolving”. Giraffes could loose their long necks but they would still be giraffes, just a refined version of the parent species. Doesn’t in anyway detract from the theory of natural selection.

  4. Key question would be how histones would interact with DNA to package it up. I can conceive how DNA can coil with different handedness, but would the histones slot in the same? Because if not, higher order chromatin structure would go tits up.

    You wouldn’t get mutations, you’d get death!

  5. TomO simply could not have said it better. His comment is the tightest, most brilliant summary of the problem in science today that I have read so far. I don’t think there’s a better one out there or to come. Awesome!

  6. it’s not beyond possible. we are all affected BY magnetic influences, a MRI operator I talked to admitted they had no idea at all about ongoing harm or effects of such strong magnetic forces on our bodies. he said this After I had a scan and was saying I hoped this was safer….than xrays.
    will I have one agin?

  7. I don’t quite buy into this. If so why aren’t we making new species in nuclear reactors? The only sure science says long term exposure does permanent damage to cells and DNA. We don’t have new, better species coming out of radiation exposure. I don’t doubt there are big changes during magnetic reversals but I think the cause needs to be re-examined. As for the trees listed by another commenter… I am pretty positive that their offspring will resemble their parents generation in every single way given similar growing conditions.

    • Nuclear reactors have heavy shielding so the radiation outside of a reactor containment vessel is less than the normal background.
      However, due to A-bomb testing at Bikini Atoll, a new species of shark was created. Its a nurse shark with only dorsal fin. The mutation was passed on beyond the 1st generation and has now established itself as a permanent physical change in this shark.
      While man-made (caused), this is a living modern example of how high doses of radiation can cause differentiation of species while not being high enough to outright kill the parent specie.
      You can imagine a world wide catastrophe where hundreds of millions die outright, millions more become sterile, and thousands of non-viable mutations occur daily. But out of that you will get a precious few mutations that are viable. That establish themselves and pass that gene-code on to the next generation.
      It may be something as simple as the red-hair gene getting turned off. Or that we grow hair all over our bodies like a chimp (Neanderthal). Or something much more drastic akin to a sci-fi movie.
      Whatever the case, we will find out soon enough.

      • Where is the fossil evidence for such daily occuring non-viable mutations from such events? While I do believe that magnetic reversals play a role in evolution(mostly as a result of Robert’s most excellent book)I am not ready to completely chuck Darwin just yet.

        • I would suspect that miscarried fetal tissue and/or stillborn infants don’t leave much in the fossil record (It actually requires a pretty specific set of circumstances to create a fossil).
          On the other hand perhaps we already have the fossil record and just have no way of knowing the 1 or 2 fossils of that hominid type were sterile mules.
          Perhaps we already have living examples of slight divergence from the last flip and that explains why caucasian, negroid, and asiatics all have such strikingly different features, yet can still interbreed?

          • Fair enough. I suspect you are correct with regards to aborted fetal tissue and sterile mules. I always want to chuckle when people say the fossil record is complete. Completely what? How many organisms through whatever twists and turns life threw at it wind up as nothing more than disjointed carbon?

  8. as far as I read it it states twice up front that its ‘theory’, just in these two :

    ““Discontinuities in the fossil record provide the basis for the evolutionary theory of punctuated-equilibrium proposed by Eldredge and Gould,” says Yoder.

    “Their theory suggests that the production of new species (as evidence of evolution) occurs by rapid bursts that are delineated by long periods (50,000 – 100,000 years in most cases) of stasis where no apparent changes take place…..

  9. I checked out the article. Its an interesting theory. I always thought that these morphological changes, which apparently occur in sync with polar reversals, resulted from increased amounts of radiation penetrating to the Earth’s surface, causing the mutations. We already know that excessive radiation can cause gene mutation.

    This theory, however, seems to be saying that it is the electromagnetic field, itself, that brings about a reversal in the way that the strands of DNA are twisted, thus causing the mutation.

    I should think it would be possible to test the theory rather easily in the laboratory.

  10. The headline is completely wrong, as usual. It should read “Magnetic reversal could trigger creation, says expert.”

    Everything changes very rapidly. You get rapid extinction and then rebirth of different species during magnetic reversals.

  11. A magnetic reversal increases radioactive radiation… and that is supposed to magically create new animals, trees and insects. Cancer and tumors is coming from radiation, not creation!

    • Its not magic. Its a known process. Just like a receipe for a cake. Too much of something or something done at the wrong time and you have an inedible mess. To much radiation at the wrong time or in the wrong place and you have tumors and cancer. But when things are just right? Then you get evolution. Well thats the theory anyway.

  12. A search for’electrostatic field effect seeds eggs’ will bring up many articles of reversion to primitive forms of plants and fish and unknown types.
    If loss of shielding due to lowering of the Earths magnetic field results in occaisional high energy electrical field exposure, then new forms of life could be expected.

  13. whatever happens be it good or bad i am in awe to see such a caticlysmic event unfold in my lifetime,Maybe we will come face to face with the origins of life & gain answers to our purpose in this vast endless universe…….

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