Remember the carnivorous plants that ate Darwin?
Alfred Wallace warned Darwin about the problems posed by Utricularia, saying “I feel sure they will be seized on as inexplicable by Natural Selection” and implored him to address these difficulties in a future edition of his book “On the Origin of Species.”
Darwin never did.
UD News featured the pitcher plant, which gobbles insects instead of the reverse. Canadian botanist Margaret Helder promptly weighed in with
… some plants … attract, catch and eat aquatic insects, water fleas and young tadpoles, fish fry, tiny worms and very young insect larvae including mosquito wrigglers.
Even vertebrates aren’t safe from the plants’ high-intel traps.
German geneticist W.-E. Loennig, who is writing a book on the subject, points out that
many species of Utricularia are not adapted to extremely nitrogen-deficient environments (which is true in fact, for most of the European species).
So they eat bugs because they like them, not because they have to. (?) He has documented the point extensively.
Wallace was right.
Here’s an example of one of his frustrating (tell us about it) colloquies with Darwinists:
Barry A. Rice [abbreviated BAR]: “Unfortunately there are very few fossils of carnivorous plants, so so we can only guess how they evolved, and our guesses would probably be wrong. But it is not too hard to develop plausible pathways that evolution could have followed to produce these extraordinary plants.”
Comment by W-EL: Concernig the fossil record, see please, pp. 67-71 above: it speaks the language of abrupt appearances of new forms and their constancy in space and time. As BAR himself admitted (see also p. 63 above, footnote 92), the epistemological problem with evolution is that it is almost never “too hard to develop plausible pathways that evolution could have followed…” but “…we just don’t know if such theories are right.” Oder Prof. V.: ‘Plausible Geschichten sind bestenfalls Hypothesen, die testbar sein sollten’.
BAR continues: “For example, a great number of plants have hairy surfaces. Many, such as tomatoes and petunias, are glandular and sticky.”
W-EL: See, please pp. 167/168 above for the specified genetical complexities and thus evolutionary problems involved in the origin of apparently simple and glandular trichomes alone. But, of course, these could be used as starting points.
BAR continues: “It is but a small step to the commensal relationships with insects exhibited by Byblis and Drosera.”
W-EL: Is this really “but a small step”? So what exactly are the molecular and other steps necessary to produce commensal relationships with insects? (See some of the problems mentioned on p. 133 above, footnote 235.)
BAR continues: “The development of enzyme production would be a further step toward autonomous carnivory.”
W-EL: Necessary is the devolopment of the correct acids and enzymes needed in proper amounts at the right place at the right time usually secreted by digestive glands – enormous problems for evolution by accidental mutations and selection.
BAR: “Differential cell growth, which enables plants to lean toward light, could also in time transform passive flypaper plants into active flypapers.”
W-EL: Well, how to test this hypothesis for a concrete species? How many molecular steps are really necessary to transform passive flypaper plants into active ones?
BAR: “Did Drosera evolve in this way? Perhaps, perhaps not.”
W-EL: There are many scientific reasons to think that the postulated processes to generate carnivorous plants by random micromutations, recombination and selection is very improbable – see the arguments given in my paper here.
BAR: “But the key point is that the pathway is completely plausible.”
W-EL: Well, to repeat, “plausible stories need not be true” (Gould).
BAR: “Evolution is a vehicle for change: the biological diversity of the entire planet is its fuel, and mighty aeons mark its journey.”
W-EL: The real evolutionary problems seem to be hidden behind a screen of undefined parameters. “The length of time is relevant only when the probabilistic structure of events and changes occurring in this time are also known” (M. Eden). Can really anything – any improbable event – happen on this background? And anyway, then, why are there only so relatively few carnivorous plants (see quotations above, pp. 168, 217) on this entire planet including its mighty aeons of time and hundreds of millions of generations with altogether trillions of individuals? For more information about probabilities and the parameters which have to be considered for these questions, see the links to 8 papers given on p. 25 of http://www.weloennig.de/GiraffaSecondPartEnglish.pdf.)
We await the English translation of all Dr. Lonnig’s books, and will advise.