Natures wonders: trees induce ants to protect them (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Tuesday, September 19, 2017, 15:07 (1028 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID's comment: The mutualism in this case must have caused epigenetic changes in the ants' DNA to develop the foraging genes.

dhw: I don't know why we have to have new names for old concepts, or can you tell us the difference between mutualism and symbiosis?

As for your favourite “epigenetic” changes, you use the word as if it was an explanation. Unless you believe these changes were preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago, or specifically dabbled by your God, they are clear evidence that the cell communities of the organisms concerned make changes to themselves, even if only minor. What other explanation can you think of besides cellular intelligence?

Mutualism was a word used in the article. Symbiosis usually implies a more metabolic association. Like Reznick's guppies the ants adapted to the tree's welcome arrangement. God arranged for epigenetic changes. The ants did the rest. Obvious.

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