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Carbs may have domesticated Wolves into Dogs

by Rodan ( 54 Comments › )
Filed under Academia, Dog Day Afternoon, Open thread at January 28th, 2013 - 7:00 am

wolfhybrid

Good morning everyone! Here is a post that is different from the norm.

New research sheds light on how some wolves evolved into dogs. They began to like carb based foods of which humans was a source. This makes total sense that as farming techniques improved the ancestors of dogs got used to eating wheat leftover from humans. This is where they began to split from their wolf cousins and became the loveable huggable creatures we know today.

In the new study, Axelsson and his colleagues examined DNA from 12 wolves and 60 dogs. The wolf samples were from animals from the United States, Sweden, Russia, Canada and several other northern countries. The dogs were from 14 breeds. The researchers compared the DNA sequences of the wolves and the dogs (which are subspecies of the same species, Canis lupus) and identified 36 genomic regions in which there are differences that suggest they have undergone recent natural selection in dogs

In particular, dogs show changes in genes governing three key steps in the digestion of starch. The first is the breakdown of large carbohydrate molecules into smaller pieces; the second is the chopping of those pieces into sugar molecules; the third is the absorption of those molecules in the intestine.

“It is such a strong signal that it makes us convinced that being able to digest starch efficiently was crucial to dogs. It must have been something that determined whether you were a successful dog or not,” Axelsson said.

Despite adapting to liking carbs give a dog meat and the wolf in them comes out!

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54 Responses to “Carbs may have domesticated Wolves into Dogs”
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  1. 1 | January 28, 2013 7:21 am

    The domestication of wolves, their evolution into modern dogs and their innate relationship with man and his development is one of the more interesting topics in anthropology. This is yet another possible plot twist in this fascinating relationship; our development of carbs was integral in the creation of modern human society and, if this study is true, it’s another piece of the closely shared history of man and dog.

    NatGeo had a wonderful documentary entitled “And Man Created Dog” last year (I believe) that I would highly recommend…


  2. 2 | January 28, 2013 7:56 am

    Good morning. My muse was located and hog tied so she wouldn’t wander while I needed her. This means that there is a blog post or two this week. Still back in December believe it or not.

    On topic, I read somewhere once that dogs domesticated themselves. Some ancestors of the wolves probably found that raiding human trash piles was easier and had more food year round then hunting did. This probably ties in with them being able to digest carbohydrates as well.


  3. MikeA
    3 | January 28, 2013 8:06 am

    If my rescue dog descended from wolves, she is way to far away now. At 25 lbs, she is such a wimp, I just can’t see it… ;)


  4. 4 | January 28, 2013 8:22 am

    MikeA wrote:

    If my rescue dog descended from wolves, she is way to far away now. At 25 lbs, she is such a wimp, I just can’t see it…

    Indeed. I oft look at my Scottish Terrier and marvel at the apparent magic that is DNA and selective breeding.


  5. Fritz Katz
    5 | January 28, 2013 8:24 am

    The was a lot of natural (human-driven) selection as well. Humans naturally preferred the cubs that were more sweet, cuddly, loyal, … over the snarling, nasty ones that would bite off fingers.

    In particular, dogs show changes in genes governing three key steps in the digestion of starch. The first is the breakdown of large carbohydrate molecules into smaller pieces; the second is the chopping of those pieces into sugar molecules; the third is the absorption of those molecules in the intestine.

    This explains why fruits, vegetables, and grains are added to dog and cat food.

    The enzymes needed to process carbohydrates are all incredibly complex. We’re asked to believe that somehow they were created by the genes that suddenly “evolved through random mutations” over the course of a few thousand years that it took for dogs and cats to take up a symbiotic relationship with humans. Could there be some other mechanism than just raw evolution involved?


  6. 6 | January 28, 2013 8:35 am

    @ Fritz Katz:

    I think it’s beginnings are that of opportunism on the part of, as you say, wolves with somewhat docile personalities and coinciding opportunism on the part of humans who saw these wolves as good companions as well as assets to their survival.

    Man has, throughout his development, manipulated his environment to his own ends and the wolf/dog is a perfect example of that manipulation.


  7. 7 | January 28, 2013 8:39 am

    @ Fritz Katz:

    Eveolutionists never seem to realize that it takes more shere faith to believe everything happened by random chance than it does to believe in a Creator God. They are firmly convinced of it, though, and nothing can sway them from their faith.


  8. 8 | January 28, 2013 8:44 am

    Iron Fist wrote:

    @ Fritz Katz:

    Eveolutionists never seem to realize that it takes more shere faith to believe everything happened by random chance than it does to believe in a Creator God. They are firmly convinced of it, though, and nothing can sway them from their faith.

    God wrote the firmware and execution of the program is certainly not the result of random chance.


  9. 9 | January 28, 2013 8:46 am

    @ MacDuff:

    That is my belief as well. Random chance simply isn’t sufficient to explain away the Universe.


  10. RIX
    10 | January 28, 2013 9:12 am

    Good morning. That the evolution of wolves to domestic dogs is based
    on food makes perfect sense.
    If you have had dogs then you know how food drives them.
    If a dog does not want to come, all that you have to say is “Get a treat.”


  11. 11 | January 28, 2013 9:14 am

    @ Fritz Katz:

    It wasn’t by chance. I think it was a combo of humans selecting docile pups and Wolves just fitting into a niche. It became a win win for both.


  12. 12 | January 28, 2013 9:14 am

    @ RIX:

    Yup, food is the key. Some wolves realized that by being nice and cuddly, they get food.


  13. 13 | January 28, 2013 9:16 am

    Iron Fist wrote:

    @ MacDuff:
    That is my belief as well. Random chance simply isn’t sufficient to explain away the Universe.

    I agree with that. There are so many holes in Darwinism. i have noticed that Christians of all stripes are open to the Ancient Alien theory since in Genesis it discusses the Nephlim who came from the sky. Meanwhile the Darwinists are dead set against that theory, despite evidence from multiple sources for that.


  14. 14 | January 28, 2013 9:17 am

    @ PaladinPhil:

    This probably ties in with them being able to digest carbohydrates as wel

    l.

    Absolutely!


  15. RIX
    15 | January 28, 2013 9:20 am

    17 bases in Afghanistan have suspended serving troops breakfast; more bases will stop on Feb. 1

    Washington, D.C. – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today wrote Army Secretary John McHugh to express “growing concern” regarding Army actions that have ended service of breakfast to American troops serving at 17 US military outposts in Afghanistan.

    Braley has also been informed by the Army that this policy will be expanded to more locations in Afghanistan beginning on February 1st.

    This almost seems like fiction, but apparently not.
    You just keep living well Barry.


  16. RIX
    16 | January 28, 2013 9:21 am

    Rodan wrote:

    @ RIX:

    Yup, food is the key. Some wolves realized that by being nice and cuddly, they get food.

    Yup, they figure things out.


  17. 17 | January 28, 2013 9:24 am

    @ RIX:

    Wolves/Dogs are alot smarter than we give them credit for.


  18. 18 | January 28, 2013 9:24 am

    Rodan wrote:

    Iron Fist wrote:
    @ MacDuff:
    That is my belief as well. Random chance simply isn’t sufficient to explain away the Universe.
    I agree with that. There are so many holes in Darwinism. i have noticed that Christians of all stripes are open to the Ancient Alien theory since in Genesis it discusses the Nephlim who came from the sky. Meanwhile the Darwinists are dead set against that theory, despite evidence from multiple sources for that.

    Uh, that’s not a theory, or at least not as the term is used in science.


  19. RIX
    19 | January 28, 2013 9:28 am

    Rodan wrote:

    @ RIX:

    Wolves/Dogs are alot smarter than we give them credit for.

    Yeah, they can really surprise you.


  20. 20 | January 28, 2013 9:30 am

    @ Mike C.:

    Yes it is a very valid theory. I know you are a Darwinist and it doesn’t fit your man came from monkey agenda. You believe what you believe and I believe what I believe. No point in arguing this.


  21. 21 | January 28, 2013 9:33 am

    @ Rodan:

    Really? Okay, what disprovable prediction does that “theory” make, then? Because in science, that’s a requirement for a theory -- the ability to be disproven.


  22. 22 | January 28, 2013 9:34 am

    @ RIX:

    They are amazing creatures. The unconditional love they give you is unspeakable.


  23. 23 | January 28, 2013 9:35 am

    @ Mike C.:

    Care to discuss the Racist origins of Darwinism and how it influence the Nazis and Soviets?


  24. buzzsawmonkey
    24 | January 28, 2013 9:41 am

    Interesting. Carbs may have domesticated wolves into dogs, but from the level of obesity in a certain high-crime demographic, the ingestion of carbs doesn’t seem to have performed its domesticating magic.


  25. 25 | January 28, 2013 9:45 am

    Mike C. wrote:

    Because in science, that’s a requirement for a theory — the ability to be disproven.

    Darwin’s theroy makes no disprovable predictions. No one can say what, if anything, humans are evolving into.


  26. 26 | January 28, 2013 9:46 am

    @ buzzsawmonkey:

    Lack of exercise.


  27. buzzsawmonkey
    27 | January 28, 2013 9:46 am

    Rodan wrote:

    Lack of exercise.

    Lack of exercise, or a little too much super-size?


  28. RIX
    28 | January 28, 2013 9:48 am

    @ Rodan:
    Dogs stay the same, They are glad to see you no matter what kind of
    day you’re having.


  29. MikeA
    29 | January 28, 2013 9:51 am

    @ Iron Fist:

    The Darwinist theory of evolution has the one big hole. It says it must have small changes through undirected processes in order to have life as we know it. The problem comes when you look at cellular processes that need mulitple things in order to work. Take a look at how you see or how the flagellum works. All the parts or chemicals must be there at the same time or the item doesn’t work. Kind of hard to have small changes giving a cell an advatage when the cell has to create all of the parts, create them correctly and assemble them in the correct order for the item to work.

    Then you have to get back to the origin of the first cell. Thats a BIG leap for things to take. Add to that the information in the cell and how any other information we see comes from an intelligent source.


  30. 30 | January 28, 2013 9:58 am

    @ MikeA:

    The Universe has to have simply created itself. A self-organizing Universe that came into existance out of nothing is the key to Evolutionists’faith. If they Universe isn’t self-organizing (and the Second Law of Thermodynamics argues against it), then it all falls apart.


  31. MikeA
    31 | January 28, 2013 10:06 am

    @ Iron Fist:

    Add that the universe had to self-create “just-right” with all the values for gravity, strong and weak nuclear forces, etc… being just right. The planet for life having to be “just right”… etc… It goes on and on. Lots of coincidences…


  32. 32 | January 28, 2013 10:07 am

    @ MikeA:

    Charles Johnson says its true, he would never lie!


  33. 33 | January 28, 2013 10:09 am

    @ Iron Fist:

    It’s garbage and in all honesty, Darwinism is a Progressive ideology that seeks to take away human’s connections with God. We are spiritual beings and Darwinism just makes us beats. heck even Animals have souls.


  34. buzzsawmonkey
    34 | January 28, 2013 10:09 am

    @ MikeA:
    @ Iron Fist:

    I have seen explanations of how complex cellular structures can come into being by a series of small partial changes which ultimately combine into a new and more complex system. Such explanations may or may not be accurate, but they hardly keep me up nights.

    It is a mistake to conflate “creation of the Universe” with “creation/evolution of complex organisms/humans.” While related, they are not the same thing.

    It is a greater mistake to get suckered into debating scientific issues as if they have any relevance to religious understanding. Doing so is always a loser, because it grants science and scientists something that many desperately want, but are not entitled to—the standing to opine on issues of morality.


  35. 35 | January 28, 2013 10:14 am

    buzzsawmonkey wrote:

    It is a greater mistake to get suckered into debating scientific issues as if they have any relevance to religious understanding. Doing so is always a loser, because it grants science and scientists something that many desperately want, but are not entitled to—the standing to opine on issues of morality.

    This, right here.


  36. 36 | January 28, 2013 10:22 am

    Rodan wrote:

    @ Mike C.:
    Care to discuss the Racist origins of Darwinism and how it influence the Nazis and Soviets?

    Since none of that had absolutely nothing to do with Darwin or his theory of speciation, not particularly.

    Sorry for the delay -- computer blew up here.


  37. 37 | January 28, 2013 10:25 am

    Iron Fist wrote:

    Mike C. wrote:
    Because in science, that’s a requirement for a theory — the ability to be disproven.
    Darwin’s theroy makes no disprovable predictions. No one can say what, if anything, humans are evolving into.

    Evolution requires that all life be related. That was not possible to prove or disprove in Darwin’s time. It’s pretty much a done deal now. That’s a biggie, right there.


  38. Fritz Katz
    38 | January 28, 2013 10:28 am

    It is a mistake to conflate “creation of the Universe” with “creation/evolution of complex organisms/humans.” While related, they are not the same thing.

    I’m going to conflate. I don’t believe it’s a mistake at all. There are at least six physical constants that if even slightly different would cause the entire Universe to be inimical to life.

    The fine-tuned Universe is the proposition that the conditions that allow life in the Universe can only occur when certain universal fundamental physical constants lie within a very narrow range, so that if any of several fundamental constants were only slightly different, the Universe would be unlikely to be conducive to the establishment and development of matter, astronomical structures, elemental diversity, or life as it is presently understood.


  39. 39 | January 28, 2013 10:33 am

    @ Mike C.:

    Not really. Everything uses DNA, so if you want to say that prooves “all life is related” have at it, but prions aren’t really “related” to bacteria in that one didn’t descend from the other. None of which precludes a Cereator God, though


  40. 40 | January 28, 2013 10:54 am

    Iron Fist wrote:

    @ Mike C.:
    Not really. Everything uses DNA, so if you want to say that prooves “all life is related” have at it, but prions aren’t really “related” to bacteria in that one didn’t descend from the other. None of which precludes a Cereator God, though

    Uh, evolution doesn’t preclude a creator.


  41. 41 | January 28, 2013 11:07 am

    @ Mike C.:

    Did you tell that to Charles Johnson!


  42. MikeA
    42 | January 28, 2013 11:08 am

    @ Mike C.:

    True. Just to be clear… are we talking micro or macro with evolution. Small changes in living things is proven and visible. Its the macro evolution, creation of life from non-life, the first cell, etc…. that brings problems.


  43. 43 | January 28, 2013 11:09 am

    @ MikeA:

    I have no problem believing that you and I have a common ancestor. What I have trouble believing is that you, I , and my cats share a common ancestor. That requires more faith than I have.


  44. 44 | January 28, 2013 11:18 am

    New Thread.


  45. 45 | January 28, 2013 11:28 am

    @ Iron Fist:

    I sure as hell do not come from a monkey.


  46. lobo91
    46 | January 28, 2013 11:33 am

    Rodan wrote:

    @ Iron Fist:
    I sure as hell do not come from a monkey.

    I’m fairly certain that Al Sharpton did, though


  47. 47 | January 28, 2013 1:05 pm

    Fritz Katz wrote:

    The was a lot of natural (human-driven) selection as well. Humans naturally preferred the cubs that were more sweet, cuddly, loyal, … over the snarling, nasty ones that would bite off fingers.
    In particular, dogs show changes in genes governing three key steps in the digestion of starch. The first is the breakdown of large carbohydrate molecules into smaller pieces; the second is the chopping of those pieces into sugar molecules; the third is the absorption of those molecules in the intestine.
    This explains why fruits, vegetables, and grains are added to dog and cat food.
    The enzymes needed to process carbohydrates are all incredibly complex. We’re asked to believe that somehow they were created by the genes that suddenly “evolved through random mutations” over the course of a few thousand years that it took for dogs and cats to take up a symbiotic relationship with humans. Could there be some other mechanism than just raw evolution involved?

    Cats must have large quantities of meat in their diet because they are obligate carnivores. They will go blind and then die without meat.

    That said, cats in the wild eat a certain amount of vegetable matter to get dietary fiber. It helps their digestion and helps them to clear the hair out of their guts. To facilitate hunting, felines remove their bodily scent by licking themselves, hence the hair in their bellies.

    “Which side of a cat has the most hair?”

    “The outside.” (we hope!)

    This type of cat food contains a certain amount of fiber-rich whole grains. The cats don’t really need the carbs, but they do need the fiber.


  48. 48 | January 28, 2013 1:09 pm

    Mike C. wrote:

    Iron Fist wrote:
    @ Mike C.:
    Not really. Everything uses DNA, so if you want to say that prooves “all life is related” have at it, but prions aren’t really “related” to bacteria in that one didn’t descend from the other. None of which precludes a Cereator God, though
    Uh, evolution doesn’t preclude a creator.

    True.

    The Bible says that God caused the earth to bring forth life.

    Physical forms change. God, Who is not limited by space and time, has made it happen according to His will.


  49. darkwords
    49 | January 28, 2013 2:54 pm

    @ 5 Fritz Katz: IMO evolution is driven by the laws of nature which is driven by the laws of however we think an infinite God is. There is a goal at the God level. IMO.


  50. darkwords
    50 | January 28, 2013 3:02 pm

    @ 24 buzzsawmonkey: Give it time. I was reading a book on diabesity. There is a statement in it that we have some set of genes and the influx of high fructose corn syrup into every aspect of the western diet is making certain genes turn off and other genes turn on their activities. The result is populations starting to inherit tendencies to insulin resistance and diabetes from an early age. The Pima indians were given a sample population undergoing the change in carbs in the diet. Also China now has some 30 million diabetics where it used to have few.

    We are genetically modifying our diets through big food to enrich stockholders.

    Be the wolf. Eat the sheep. or maybe it is the meekly carboholics inherit the earth due to the pervasive genetically modified diet changes.


  51. darkwords
    51 | January 28, 2013 3:06 pm

    @ 30 Iron Fist: I think it goes into the nature of what light is. Photons and particles. And how they alter. And also how in quantum mechanics a thought seems to alter the process once focused. A divine intent that exists in light. Something humans are still just an iota of with no real conception of how it works. Just trial and error, which in it’s essence is stimulated by light and not random.


  52. darkwords
    52 | January 28, 2013 3:17 pm

    @ 45 Rodan: But did you and the monkey evolve from an earlier primate? And did the human primate evolution reach a point where self consciousness could occur and the monkey primate evolution did not? At that time the human became Adam and Eve or a worthy vehicle for more evolved thoughts. Part of a natural process that takes millions of years of time. But has a cause outside of the time dimension. Evolution as scientist use it is locked into the time frame box and does not loo outside it. Faith as the praying person uses it fundamentally works outside of the the time dimension. Has a much bigger scope of life attached to it than scientific evolution.

    But the science is still there for a God reason and is imperfect. That is how the timeless God intends it to be. A person of faith should embrace imperfect reason. Accept the sin involved. And pray to think better and follow a better path of evolution.


  53. darkwords
    53 | January 28, 2013 3:18 pm

    @ lobo91: Maybe baboon. But I think all the primates have achieved a higher evolutionary function than Al Sharpton.


  54. Moe Katz
    54 | January 28, 2013 11:39 pm

    Iron Fist wrote:

    @ MacDuff:
    That is my belief as well. Random chance simply isn’t sufficient to explain away the Universe.

    Get off my blog.


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