Trees rarely just fall over but we seldom stop to think about why they don’t.
Actually, it’s not clear from the release whether we are any closer to understanding why plants always choose the other direction, left to themselves. Something more is going on, probably. Nice find though.
Researchers: “This approach reveals an unprecedented level of fundamental genomic novelties in two nodes related to the origin of land plants: the first in the origin of streptophytes during the Ediacaran and another in the ancestor of land plants in the Ordovician.” Stuck for what to call this, some of us would call it creationism.
Apparently the original paleo diet was big on starches. But where oh where is the subhuman who gorged on raw zebra flesh (or whatever) when you need him?
Researcher: “Based on what we know from the body fossil evidence of Archaeopteris prior to this, and now from the rooting evidence that we’ve added at Cairo, these plants are very modern compared to other Devonian plants.
Funny the way those sudden transitions occur, just as if they were spring loaded or something
Researchers: “But a closer look at the DNA of the algae and fungi that form lichens shows that lichens likely evolved millions of years after plants. “
This explanation makes explicit that this is not Darwinian evolution. One writeup even alludes to the type of Darwinian tale that is being replaced.
Darwin was always a jealous god. We should find out when her birthday is and declare that Arber Day.
Equisetum, considered a “living fossil” is the only surviving member of a large family of spore-bearing vascular plants found as early as 150 mya. It’s still here. The giant sauropods not so much.
The question is not whether plants are “as smart as SMART animals” (no) but whether many plants can use information to the same degree as many animals can (yes). It would make more sense to see that the reason they can is that nature is full of intelligence (not personal intelligences). And that the intelligence clearly did not get there by Darwinian means, as the above example illustrates.
We know something’s changed when scientists need to make these points. Maybe underestimating the significance of human intelligence plays a role. After all, if we are just clever apes, maybe lettuce is just-as-clever apes too. Maybe salad is murder…
We are “trained,” if you like, to expect certain discoveries (dark matter, for example). Then we learn something significant that really surprises us and allows for new thinking about, for example, ecology.
It looks very much like a plan rather than an accident.
“Dr Cardona also suggests that this might mean oxygenic photosynthesis was not the product of a billion years of evolution from anoxygenic photosynthesis, but could have been a trait that evolved much sooner, if not first.” So when did the billions of years of Darwinian evolution that “gradually evolved” photosynthesis happen?