January 6, 2020 | David F. Coppedge

To Evolutionists, Faith in Natural Selection Counts as Evidence

Outlandish claims are being made by Darwinists on pure faith that right environments will trigger innovation by chance.

Make up a word. Call it Galumph or something. Tell your audience that Galumph is capable of doing magic, like pulling a rabbit out of a hat. All you have to do is provide the right hat, and the rabbit will naturally jump out. If it happens as part of a stage act, that would be entertainment. But if a scientist told you that nature does that all the time, would that count as evidence for the Galumph hypothesis? Would you believe him, just because he is an expert in evolutionary biology?

Watch and see if that is not the trick being played on the unwary in this paper in Science. We’ll point out the hat (the environment). Look for the magic—the claim that if the hat is right, the magic will occur.

Evolution of carnivorous traps from planar leaves through simple shifts in gene expression (Science). A team of ten international scientists, mostly from China, contends that a “simple shift” in gene expression of a particular gene causes a leaf to curl. That’s the hat. Out of that—given enough time with natural selection—carnivorous plants could evolve. That’s the magic. From there, natural selection is sure to bring about the Venus flytrap, with its bilobed trap, and the bladderwort, which can trap small insects in milliseconds.

Anyone thinking CEH must be misrepresenting the paper by Whitewoods et al., because no scientist would say something that simplistic in a science journal, can just read the favorable summary by Moulton and Goriely in the same issue of Science, “Building a carnivorous trap.” First, they give their obligatory bow to master magician Charlie who, incidentally, wrote a book about carnivorous plants. With his magic wand called Natural Selection, Charlie announces the magic act to come (if you can wait millions of years).

The variation and diversity of shapes in nature is a central focus of both evolutionary and developmental biologists. Unified under the unlikely roof of “evolutionary developmental biology,” the ultimate goal of these scientists is to understand how variation arises both through natural selection (on geological time scales) and during development (on embryological time scales). On page 91 of this issue, Whitewoods et al. present a fascinating example of evolutionary developmental biology in a carnivorous plant.

The herbarium of our early school years taught us that leaves come in many different sizes, shapes, and textures that have evolved by subtle gene rearrangements to solve various packing and arrangement problems. Whereas many leaves are nearly flat, so as to present their best face to the Sun, others have been sculpted by evolution to function as mechanical devices; ropes, springs, spikes, claws, spears, hooks, catapults, and traps are the medieval weapons that plants use in their daily struggle with the environment. Perhaps most intriguing are carnivorous traps, the revenge of the plant kingdom and one of the lesser-known interests of Darwin.

To avoid distractions, ignore the Jargonwocky as the magician prepares the hat:

Much is known about the effects of particular genes on the shape of leaves. In developing leaves, key genes are expressed differentially in zones on the adaxial (upper) versus abaxial (lower) surfaces. Whitewoods et al. revealed that these same genes are expressed differently in leaflets that form traps versus ones that form needle-like leaves. This crucial observation was confirmed by showing that trap development can be inhibited by inducing expression of one of the genes in an abnormal position on a leaflet.

The bladderwort’s traps are curved, but is that all that is needed to make a functional trap? Utricularia aurea, from Wikimedia Commons.

In the same bladderwort plant, some stems yield a needle, and other stems form a cup shape that becomes the trap. Now that variations in gene expression (in the same plant, remember) can be shown to develop both, will a complex carnivorous plant emerge? Will the rabbit jump out of the hat? Yes! Just believe. Given “geological time scales,” the magic will come! Where is your faith in futureware?

By showing that spherical traps, conical needles, and flat leaves all can be generated from the same initial tissue shape through small shifts in gene expression and growth differentials inspired by morphogen [shape-generator] distribution, the new study opens exciting lines of research….

More broadly, Whitewoods et al. offer key insights into the competing pressures that ultimately shape every living thing. Development is inherently a physical process and is thus the end result of physical forces subtly manipulated by genetic clues.

Why, you, too, are the result of a mindless “physical process” that produces “competing pressures that ultimately shape every living thing.” Darwin’s insight makes everything clear: magic happens in the imaginations of those who believe in natural selection! What more evidence does anyone need?

Is this complex trap the product of blind variations in gene expression over “geological time scales”?

For more on the bladderwort, see the picture and description of the multitude of steps that would be required to get a curved leaf into a working trap, in Granville Sewall’s article at Evolution News, “Carnivorous Plants, and Why 0 Really Is Not Equal to 1.

Watch how fast the bladderwort trap works in this YouTube video. A short video by the BBC on YouTube shows the fast-acting Venus flytrap with its trigger hairs, electrical signaling, digestive juices and all.

Are these complex, interacting systems the result of natural selection working on gene expression by chance? According to Darwinians, no more evidence is needed. Just get the right hat, and a rabbit will jump out.

To illustrate the blind faith in natural selection published as science these days, we want to show more examples, lest one think this is an isolated case.




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