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Carnivorous plants: Darwinian evolution would have to be a miracle worker to explain them

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Marcos Eberlin, author of Foresight: How the Chemistry of Life Reveals Planning and Purpose, explains why:

Evolutionary scientists have not dared to propose that the Venus flytrap evolved these animal-like skills by taking genes from its prey, a nearly impossible feat since the prey is fully digested for food. Rather, they have suggested the plant modified and rearranged gene functions that all plants share. But this too lies well beyond the reach of a blind process that cannot predict future needs.

Carnivory is found in the animal kingdom and makes the most sense there. That’s why it’s so intriguing to find this behavior in the green branch of the tree of life, especially considering that most plants seem to thrive using just photosynthesis. If carnivory evolved here to provide more nutrients, why would natural selection reward the plants — apparently able to benefit from more nutrients — for expending some of the precious nutrients they already had to evolve a not-yet-useful new nutrient supply tool, and reward these supposedly evolving plants for their seemingly far-sighted efforts over countless generations stretching over long ages? That is, if the nutrition from the carnivorous action was just a non-essential bonus for the flower, then why would nature select for all the many intermediate steps of this complex bonus system during which the system offered no benefit — neither nutrition nor protection — and likely exacted a nutrient and energy cost at the risk of survival?

If it first evolved for protection and then later evolved to provide additional nutrients, we have the same problem: Why expend all the energy on the way to a functional protection system, before the protection system was at all functional? Natural selection does not look ahead to future payoff, remember. It’s all about “What have you done for me lately?” …

his challenge for Darwinism is only exacerbated by the fact that, if indeed they did evolve carnivory, these plants had to do so “independently at least six times in five angiosperm orders,” as Ellison and Gotelli explain.

Maybe one could grant the evolutionary miracle a single time, but six times?


Marcos Eberlin, “The Lovable Venus Flytrap: A Design Analysis” at Evolution News and Science Today
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Remember when…? Carnivorous Plants: Darwinist Nick Matzke Is Latest To Put Darwin’s Theory “Outside Science”

Remember that Darwin-eating plant? Now threatening to eat Nick Matzke …

Carnivorous plants: After eating Darwin, they couldn’t resist further culinary adventures

The plants that eat vertebrate animals

Carnivorous plants: The 200-year headache.

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9 Replies to “Carnivorous plants: Darwinian evolution would have to be a miracle worker to explain them

  1. 1
    PavelU says:

    The infinite multiverse could explain that and much more. All possibilities would be covered.

  2. 2
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Maybe one could grant the evolutionary miracle a single time, but six times?

    Granting it one time is not like granting it a lucky mutation. It’s granting evolution a full-fledged miracle where an entire functional process comes out of nothing. That’s giving evolution the one miracle, and then we have to give it 5 more just because …

    I’ve been impressed with Dr. Eberlin – he’s somewhat new to me on the ID scene. Very engaging. His idea on foresight is innovative.

    Foresight: How the Chemistry of Life Reveals Planning and Purpose
    Amazon #33 in Biochemistry (Books)

  3. 3
    Bob O'H says:

    It’s granting evolution a full-fledged miracle where an entire functional process comes out of nothing.

    I don’t think anyone is seriously suggesting that that’s how carnivorous plants evolved. I think it’s a shame Eberlin didn’t try to find any research on this – a 30 second google gives several links that he could have used.

  4. 4
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Bob

    I don’t think anyone is seriously suggesting that that’s how carnivorous plants evolved.

    There are a lot of suggestions but nobody knows. A miracle is as good an answer as any thus far.

  5. 5
    ET says:

    Bob O’H:

    I don’t think anyone is seriously suggesting that that’s how carnivorous plants evolved.

    No one knows how carnivorous plants evolved. And no one knows how to test the claim that natural selection, drift or any other blind and mindless processes could have done it. Heck, blind and mindless processes can’t even produce eukaryotes.

  6. 6
    Bob O'H says:

    SA @ 4 – how would you distinguish between a miracle occurring and something non-miraculous, but where we don’t know what actually happened?

  7. 7
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Bob

    how would you distinguish between a miracle occurring and something non-miraculous, but where we don’t know what actually happened?

    We look at the thing to be explained and then match it to the non-miraculous explanations given. Some probabilities are assigned. Then there is a certain threshold beyond which the only reasonable conclusion is that it is a miracle.

  8. 8
    Bob O'H says:

    SA – how can you be sure teh probabilities are assigned correctly, or that you missed a non-miraculous explanation out?

  9. 9
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Bob O’H

    SA – how can you be sure teh probabilities are assigned correctly, or that you missed a non-miraculous explanation out?

    Testing, repetition, historical precedent, frequency.

    A higher level of certainty can be gained if God tells you that He is acting in a miraculous way or if someone predicts a miracle to occur and then it does (children of Fatima).

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