# Is there enough time for SPECIATION for million species

I wud like to know if speciation really occurs (trans-speciation), Have we had enough time for millions of species? The slow changes in traits in organisms, taking tens of thousands of years to yield a visible change in variation as evolution suggests, does eventually trap yourself in to a problem of “Time Riddle” - you just dont have enormous enough of time at hand for all these species to come into being. A quick average time calculation suggests that you should have a new species come into being every 15-20 yrs [just rough average time estimation suggests that in about 1 billion yrs ~50 million distinct species evolved]. Though I believe in evolution but I cant understand this part.

This is a logarithmic progression not a linear one and no one knows how long it takes for new species to arise. There have ben times such as during the Cambrian explosion when species arose at much higher rate than at other times. So any attempted calculation with such limited information is silly.

I wud like to know if speciation really occurs (trans-speciation), Have we had enough time for millions of species? The slow changes in traits in organisms, taking tens of thousands of years to yield a visible change in variation as evolution suggests, does eventually trap yourself in to a problem of "Time Riddle" - you just dont have enormous enough of time at hand for all these species to come into being. A quick average time calculation suggests that you should have a new species come into being every 15-20 yrs [just rough average time estimation suggests that in about 1 billion yrs ~50 million distinct species evolved]. Though I believe in evolution but I cant understand this part.
In any event speciation, relative to human time perception it takes very, very, very, very long. Considering that in a span two centuries the human impact on Earth has exploded to the point that it's about as certain as sun rise that by this time next century there won't be anything left of the biosphere or civilization or political systems we know and love. (Yes global warming and ocean acidification will continue sure as accumulating interest - and it's impacts will be dire on all that evolved within the past millions of years of Earth regime) But, back to the question. Here's a little about the "lightening fast" "Cambrian Explosion"
http://www.evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/evo101/VIIB1cCambrian.shtml Around 530 million years ago, a wide variety of animals burst onto the evolutionary scene in an event known as the Cambrian explosion. In perhaps as few as 10 million years, marine animals evolved most of the basic body forms that we observe in modern groups. Among the organisms preserved in fossils from this time are relatives of crustaceans and starfish, sponges, mollusks, worms, chordates, and algae, exemplified by these taxa from the Burgess Shale.

Incidentally, DrkFuture, welcome to the CFI Forum.

If you’re looking for lightning fast evolutionary changes try examining fruit flies, otherwise speciation takes place over a period of millions of years. I think the problem you seem to be having with speciation variation may stem from the ancient hypothesis of the “Great Chain of Being” where one species develops off another. After the Cambrian “explosion” several organic species developed and altered for several reasons too detailed to mention here (Might want to read Jerry’s Coyne’s book Why Evolution is True to start then move on to Dawkin’s Ancestor’s Tale for a more detailed description). Think of a bush instead of a trunk, e.g. Hominins, many different types developed after the split from the common ancestor with Chimpanzies and Bonobos some 14 million ya. Many species developed and died out during the Pleistocene leaving only one, us and evolution still effects us, e.g. Tolerance to milk, a useless organ, teeth we no longer need and a smaller, more compact brain among other alterations.
Cap’t Jack

I wud like to know if speciation really occurs (trans-speciation), Have we had enough time for millions of species? The slow changes in traits in organisms, taking tens of thousands of years to yield a visible change in variation as evolution suggests, does eventually trap yourself in to a problem of "Time Riddle" - you just dont have enormous enough of time at hand for all these species to come into being. A quick average time calculation suggests that you should have a new species come into being every 15-20 yrs [just rough average time estimation suggests that in about 1 billion yrs ~50 million distinct species evolved]. Though I believe in evolution but I cant understand this part.
Good question. What did you do then, divide one billion by 50 million? That doesn't take into account that all those species are co-evolving at the same time, does it? It's not like a nice, neat line of progression, it's more like a bush throwing off branches in all directions simultaneously.
I wud like to know if speciation really occurs (trans-speciation), Have we had enough time for millions of species? The slow changes in traits in organisms, taking tens of thousands of years to yield a visible change in variation as evolution suggests, does eventually trap yourself in to a problem of "Time Riddle" - you just dont have enormous enough of time at hand for all these species to come into being. A quick average time calculation suggests that you should have a new species come into being every 15-20 yrs [just rough average time estimation suggests that in about 1 billion yrs ~50 million distinct species evolved]. Though I believe in evolution but I cant understand this part.
Apply the story of the wheat on the Chessboard and see if that helps the math.
I wud like to know if speciation really occurs (trans-speciation), Have we had enough time for millions of species? The slow changes in traits in organisms, taking tens of thousands of years to yield a visible change in variation as evolution suggests, does eventually trap yourself in to a problem of "Time Riddle" - you just dont have enormous enough of time at hand for all these species to come into being. A quick average time calculation suggests that you should have a new species come into being every 15-20 yrs [just rough average time estimation suggests that in about 1 billion yrs ~50 million distinct species evolved]. Though I believe in evolution but I cant understand this part.
Good question. What did you do then, divide one billion by 50 million? That doesn't take into account that all those species are co-evolving at the same time, does it? It's not like a nice, neat line of progression, it's more like a bush throwing off branches in all directions simultaneously. and not only that, but also, some of the "bush branches" that are close enough together, are able to interbreed, thus, potentially forming other, somewhat, distinct branches for further evolving.
This is a logarithmic progression not a linear one and no one knows how long it takes for new species to arise. There have been times such as during the Cambrian explosion when species arose at much higher rate than at other times. So any attempted calculation with such limited information is silly.
I believe it is called the "exponential function". As Mike Yohe suggested, Take a chess board where each square represents say, a steady growth of say, 10% (7 yr doubling time). Start with 1 on square 1 and double this on every consecutive square. After 64,000 years the number will be unimaginably large, i.e. 2^9000. This mathematical function can be found everywhere there is steady growth of anything for any lenght of time. Professor Bartlett explained this in a very informative lecture. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JRVijo65W0 p.s. That was a very confusing post on my part. Watch Bartlett.

Am not trained in Biology, but am ‘gut-feeling’ content with the whole evolution/speciation time question given that practitioners of Domestic Selection (e.g., producers of new dog/cat/fowl breeds, goldfish variants, etc.) are quite evidently able to ‘create,’ within the matter of mere years, new forms from the astounding plasticity of living material. This DS aspect, combined with the geological time available for NS to have had time to operate on the Earth, is deemed sufficient explanation for an adequate understanding for this non-specialist.

Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology

Dr. Sarah Otto, University of British Columbia, discusses how the evolutionary trajectory of life being altered by human activity.

04:14
going to point out that while we think of the evolutionary tree of life as being four billion years old it is actually much more evolutionary time that of innovation what do I mean by that if we summed all of the branches of the evolutionary tree of life that would represent how much kind of evolutionary experimentation has been done in the different species that have lived on this planet that are alive today and we don’t know that exact number we don’t even know exactly how many species are living on this planet guesses are around 10 million but if we sum the shape of the Tree of Life over those species that are alive today I get that there’s been 10^15 years of evolutionary innovation independently on these different branches of the evolutionary tree of life 10^15

Then to think that 95% of all species that ever lived are extinct!

That’s a lot of tinkering, of course the biosphere is constantly changing, so the tinkering never ends.

More like kayaker getting his line and making the moment happen and surviving the next moment.

As opposed to building something with a goal in mind.

or her line.

Having white-water kayaked, am familiar with choosing one’s line & making the moment happen (& also with Inuit-rolling, haha). One has to admire the phenomenon of Life’s robustness, adaptability, indefatigableness, & its beautifully stunning variety. Very much hoping to live long enough to hear if they do actually find any surviving microbial Martian version in those recently-discovered briny subsurface bodies of liquid water.

Old acquaintances, etc, etc