Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Isn't evolution wonderful? — 12 (Venus Fly Trap)

The video cannot be embedded, but can be viewed here.




Who knew that plants were so clever? Imagine the decades spent in leafy laboratories, slaving over steaming test-tubes to invent the right alluring substance. Think of the creativity, devising the "hairs" that trip the trap, coming up with the time-gap between stimuli... the mind reels.

16 comments:

Sir Aaron said...

First of all, the video closeups were absolutely stunning.

And yeah, I can imagine the Venus Flytrap saying to itself..."shoot, there goes lunch again. I better reconfigure the trap alignment." [/s]

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Wow. The photography is unbelievable!

The boys and I just watched in on a large screen and they loved it.

Especially when the flies were trapped, and helplessly waggling a little leg out between the spikes on the end of the leaves.

"Help me, help me..."

What a creative God we have! I'm frequently in awe of the variety of plants and animals. Well, the variety of everything... even rocks. We don't really need so many different kinds of rocks, but they're here. Or colors, for that matter. Everything could be black, white, and gray, but it's not.

And I thank God.

Julie

Fred Butler said...

They "willed" them selves to do it. Just like when crabs willed themselves to live on the land and become spiders.

Jon said...

The real question is when did the venus flytrap appear. Is it the product of the curse or did it have a usefulness before the curse?

Evolution on the other hand is so completely bankrupt that you can't help but laugh at people trying to defend it.

Becky said...

"Help me, help me..."

Awww...I never thought I would feel sorry for a fly before. Poor little guy, able to see outside of those prison bars to the freedom he always took for granted...as his captor slowly, slowly sips away at his life like so many piña coladas.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Gee Jon, they eat flies. I figure, that's a blessing, not a curse!

(But I get your point... death and destruction...)

Brad Williams said...

Before the fall, Venus flytraps gave away their nectar for free with no trap. And flys were not annoying before the fall. They always buzzed your favorite Bach tune when they circled your head.

~Mark said...

I love Venus Flytraps! Mine have gone dormant for the winter, but Spring shall return.

Dav said...

That's a fantastic view of Venus Flytraps!
Regarding their "working" and evolution, I've found good information.
On how they may "work":
http://www.botany.org/Carnivorous_Plants/venus_flytrap.php

and on their evolution here
http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_8151000/8151644.stm

and here:
http://www.talkdesign.org/faqs/icdmyst/ICDmyst.html#venus

A caution one must exert when reading texts on evolution is that there is a misuse, even among some scientists, of some expressions like "it developed a structure that..." or "it adapted to so and so". Of course they know it doesn't happen that way, living beings do not control voluntarily the evolution of their species.
(But we do, at least partially, like it happens with dog breeding.)

The meaning is that among a series of random mutations in the genetic code of new individuals, a few of them could result in a favorable fenotype (the living being once developed according to their genotype plus ambient conditions) that allow their survival, enhancing their chances of reproduction under certain conditions.
Other mutations produce individuals with disadvantages or with neutral changes.
So animals do not develop defenses to protect themselves from predators, nor grow parts to achieve something. Those that have favorable mutations can survive and can possibly pass their mutated genetic code, if they get the chance to reproduce.

Cheers!

Sir Aaron said...

I don't buy it. How do you pass mutations on? Even that is rare because it has to be part of the genetic information they pass on. And EVEN then, it doesn't assure that the genetic information will be passed on. Just because I have brown hair doesn't mean my kids will have brown hair.

Sir Aaron said...

And btw, I wouldn't consider dog breeding evolution. When you breed a dog, you usually reduce their genetic information and ability to adapt. Not to mention, the dog remains a dog. When you can breed a dog to meow, let me know.

Fred Butler said...

…living beings do not control voluntarily the evolution of their species.

Well then, you need to tell the evolutionary propagandists that their argumentation doesn’t match what they believe. I hear that type of rhetoric all the time from BBC programming.

The links you sent are also not too compelling in your favor either.

The first one merely explains the mechanics of how the fly trap works. It says nothing about how it evolved.

The second link contradicts your notion that living beings do not control voluntarily the evolution of their species.

Look at the opening paragraphs from the BBC earth news article:

Over time, the plants added elaborate structures and weapons such as trigger hairs and teeth to trap and immobilise their meaty prey, botanists say. Ultimately, the need to hunt and eat ever larger animals drove the plants' evolution, say the scientists.

How do plant “add” elaborate structures? I thought you said organisms have no determinism over their genetics? Now perhaps we can say it was survival and environment, but those factors are external and though plants adapt to these factors, they can only do so according to a set limit of their genetics. It may be that the venus fly trap developed from related sticky plants as the article notes, but all that tells me is that the plants adapted according to already present genetic information within that plant kind. Genetic information I believe God created in that plant kind.

The third article is taken from an atheist driven website merely designed to mock and ridicule ID. Most of the stuff is written by atheists, and pretty much every atheist I have encountered are the same type of folks you find among radical KJV-only fundamentalists: bigoted morons. If the anti-ID folks were serious about silencing their opposition, they would actual debate them in public rather than run cry babying to the law courts to have them censored.

Dav said...

@Sir Aaron:
You are right in your first comment, since for example, in eukaryotic organisms, only mutations to gamete cells (those involved in sexual reproduction) will have an effect on offspring, *if* selected during genetic recombination. The chances of being passed are indeed low, and that's one factor explaining the slow pace of evolutionary changes in major organisms.

Regarding your second comment, "information reduction" comes from a misunderstanding of information theory; quite understandable, since it's not easy to see how a random mutation could add something useful. However, the evolution of increased genetic variety in
a population, genetic material, novel genetic material and novel genetically-regulated abilities has been observed empirically.
One example of beneficial mutation is the resistance of successive generations of bacteria to antibiotics.
And not all changes are so slow in big animals, as proved by the evolution of a population
of lizards in only 36 years. Under a change of ambient conditions (a group of them were moved to a new island), new generations present changes in head morphology, bite-strength, social structure and new structures in the digestive tracts.
Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080417112433.htm
This also answers your comment about the breeding of dogs. My point is that breeding
is a form of natural selection (after all we are part of nature, but we could call it
artificial, if this sounds clearer).

Finally, the appearance of new species has been observed.
The changes will not be as dramatic as to have "a cat from a dog", since these
changes still take a long time as I explained above. Indeed, if we observed such a thing
happening so fast, it would disprove evolutionary theory.
(But do not confound this with hybrid animals, as mules, wolphins, hybrid pheasants,
leopons, camas, zebroids, wolf dogs, ligers and tions, for example.)

Dav said...

@Fred Butler:
"you need to tell the evolutionary propagandists that their argumentation doesn’t match what they believe"
Indeed that's a sad thing and you are right (but I wouldn't say "propagandists"). For one part, sometimes those expressions come from science writers. Other times, it comes directly from scientists, and that's a shame. I won't justify it because I'm against the use of those expressions, but at least they can be understood as shorthands for more complicated
phrasing.

The first link doesn't attempt to answer the evolutionary aspects, but to answer a comment made by Sir Aaron. The second link makes use of those bad expressions I mentioned. That's why I made the remark about it before. It makes things
worse to understand and I agree completely with you in that it doesn't match theory.
However, this doesn't mean that evolutionary theory is flawed, since its basis is not put in terms of voluntary changes. It's a shorthand that I think I would even find in scientific papers, but everyone there knows what does it stand for.

The beliefs of the publisher(s) of talkorigins.org website do not make the scientific claims invalid.
The main purpose of the website is to answer common misunderstandings, and also claims made by creationists, all in a single place.
Atheism is merely the non-belief in deities, and no matter how many atheists supporting evolution you find, the logical/scientific arguments are what matters in term of any discussion.
You can also read here, in the section "Other minor points":
http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/bergman.html
Still, I can't automatically support his claim for the simple reason that I haven't read all the pages.
That you have found mostly a specific kind of atheist is a personal matter, and while valid (I'm not doubting about your claim), it doesn't mean that all/most atheists are like that.
Also, it could be that you feel offended by certain things that are not intended to offend.
I am not attacking you, I think that everyone is prone to feel offended by things one doesn't like or agree with. Finally, remember that there are believers that support evolution, including evolutionary scientists. Are there bigoted atheists? Sadly, of course! But that does not have anything to do with evolutionary theory.
Finally, there are lots of creationist claims based on dishonest misquoting, scientific claims no longer supported by modern science or simply lies. That explains (I'm not justifying) some reactions by evolution supporters.
I'm not saying that all of you are bigots or liars. As there are bigot atheists, there are bigot believers too.
Finally, there have been debates, lots of them. This is not about silencing, but keeping only science in classes and the academic environment. It has been shown several times that ID does not have scientific merit, something that even Behe has acknowledged. Lots of us would readily accept and welcome ID if it had any scientifically based evidence. However, until now it's been based on fallacies.
Please note that evolutionary theory does not make any claim about deities, and science cannot disprove them. Of course, that does not prove them, either.
Cheers and a big thanks to Dan for accepting my comments!

Fred Butler said...

The beliefs of the publisher(s) of talkorigins.org website do not make the scientific claims invalid.

(Fred) Their beliefs makes their claims suspect. They have an agenda: Discredit ID and creationism while stifling legitimate criticism of evolutionary theory. Additionally, their beliefs demonstrate the presuppositions on which they evaluate any evidence. They will automatically dismiss out of hand their creator creating.

Atheism is merely the non-belief in deities, and no matter how many atheists supporting evolution you find, the logical/scientific arguments are what matters in term of any discussion.

(Fred) No. Atheism is a specific worldview defined by fundamental faith commitments of its adherence. Those fundamental faith commitments govern the so-called "scientific arguments" they attempt to discuss. All opposing view points are silenced or rejected out of hand.

... doesn't mean that all/most atheists are like that.

(Fred) Atheists may come in a various shades of nice; some are not as vitriolic and bitter like Dawkins or PZ Myers. They all share, however, those fundamental presuppositions to their atheistic, materialistic naturalism through which they filter everything they evaluate.

Also, it could be that you feel offended by certain things that are not intended to offend.
I am not attacking you, I think that everyone is prone to feel offended by things one doesn't like or agree with.


(Fred) No one is offended. Pointed rhetoric doesn't equate to being offended.

Finally, remember that there are believers that support evolution, including evolutionary scientists. Are there bigoted atheists? Sadly, of course! But that does not have anything to do with evolutionary theory.

(Fred) It has everything to do with evolutionary theory. On this you are woefully naïve. Dangerously so.

Continued below...

Fred Butler said...

Continued from above...

Finally, there are lots of creationist claims based on dishonest misquoting, scientific claims no longer supported by modern science or simply lies. That explains (I'm not justifying) some reactions by evolution supporters.

(Fred) Just like there are lots of evolutionary claims based upon dishonest misquoting, scientific claims no longer supported by modern science, or simply lies.
See HERE for an example.

This is not about silencing, but keeping only science in classes and the academic environment.

(Fred) Here again you are woefully naïve. The modern academic environment is all about keeping the status quo, maintaining the holy grail of their scientific priest class. They refuse any criticism and brand any who offer it as heretics. They are worse than the Aristotelians academics in the 1600s who attempted to silence Galileo in light of overwhelming evidence to the contrary of their cosmological models. This happens all the time in today's world. We just saw it the last 5 years with man-made climate change scientists who censored and silenced critics. The same happens in Darwinian circles as well. See HERE

Lots of us would readily accept and welcome ID if it had any scientifically based evidence. However, until now it's been based on fallacies.

(Fred) No you wouldn't. They would be censored just like they have been for the last 15 years. Run out of class rooms, mocked, told they were stupid, etc, etc.

Please note that evolutionary theory does not make any claim about deities, and science cannot disprove them. Of course, that does not prove them, either.

(Fred) Yes it does. You really need to shine a light on your own convictions. Evolutionary theory goes beyond just examining animals adapting and changing to their environments. It attempts to provide a surrogate history on the origin of man that leaves out His clearly revealed Creator who sovereignly commands all things, including the natural world. All people have "evidence" the question is how that evidence is going to be interpreted. According to the reality of man's Creator, or according to a modern day Darwinian myth that rejects man's Creator.