Hudson River Fish Evolve Incredibly Quickly

Fish in the Hudson River (US) have developed an immunity to polychlorinated biphenyls, a type of toxic chemicals developed in 1929. They've done so at an amazing speed:

"This is very, very ra­­­­­­­­­­­­pid evolutionary change," said Isaac Wirgin, an environmental toxicologist at New York University’s School of Medicine, and the study's lead investigator. "Normally you think of evolution occurring in thousands to millions of years. You’re talking about all this occurring in 20 to 50 generations maybe.”

The fish in question is called the tomcod, and scientists have determined the specific gene which has changed:

It turns out the fish sport a handy modification to a gene encoding a protein known to regulate the toxic effects of PCBs and related chemicals, called the aryl hydrocarbon receptor2, or AHR2.

The fish are missing six base pairs of DNA of the AHR2 gene, and the two amino acids each triplet would code for. PCBs bind poorly to the mutated receptors, apparently blunting the chemicals' effects.

The adaptation occurs almost universally in Hudson River tomcod, but crops up only infrequently in two other tomcod populations—in Connecticut’s Niantic River and the Shinnecock Bay at Long Island’s south shore.

Link via reddit | Photo: Mark Mattson, Normandeau Associates

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"How about a lizard that evolved a new digestive system to adapt to a new diet? Does that count as a new species? n.html

Evolution is a *scientific* theory AND a fact."

Final sentence in the article:

"All of this might be evolution," Hendry said. "The logical next step would be to confirm the genetic basis for these changes."

The scientist involved was not even willing to claim it was evolution. However, your faith in evolution has allowed you to boldly claim that which the actual scientist wouldn't. Care to find a followup where Hendry was willing to say that it is in fact evolution that caused this? If it turns out that Hendry ever did conclude that is was evolution, are you willing to admit that evolution only needs several decades to work, and not several million years? Because you can't have it both ways... either it does or doesn't require millions of years.

The truth is that this is once again just natural selection, not evolution.
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How about a lizard that evolved a new digestive system to adapt to a new diet? Does that count as a new species?

Evolution is a *scientific* theory AND a fact.
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The mutation resulting in a variant gene expression, here, is merely an example of MICRO-evolution - changes of gene expression and gene pool.

This is not evidence for MACRO-evolution, which would be speciation.

Might as well open a whole can o' worms here...
This fits with intelligent design and religion.
*anticipates backlash*
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