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

by dhw, Friday, August 03, 2018, 11:25 (475 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: We don't know that the Acacias solved the problem by themselves and all you've said is the problem got solved, so God is a possibility and natural evolution is not.

dhw: Nobody “knows”. My hypothesis – explicitly stated (see bold) – is that acacias solved the problem by themselves. That would be natural evolution, the theistic version of which would be that your God endowed cells/cell communities with the autonomous ability to solve problems. However, recalling Tony’s point that autonomy would also involve failure, 99% of species are believed to have gone extinct. The acacias were among those species that succeeded in solving their problem. I do not think this is any more “just-so” than the hypothesis that your God dabbled or preprogrammed every success but didn’t dabble in 99% of cases, or even preprogrammed all the failures.

DAVID: The issue you have avoided is timing. Did the Acacias do it all at once or take time, and if they took time, how did they survive during that evolutionary interval?

I answered that question the first time you asked it. See the bold:
dhw: 1) Ants like the yummy nectar, and fight off their rivals.
2) Acacia happy, but find there’s a problem at reproduction time. They fail to reproduce. Some even die off.
3) But others cotton onto the problem and create an ant repellent for their flowers.

dhw: Bacteria do this all the time when faced with new problems. Many of them die off, but some of them work out a solution. Evolution guided by intelligent cell communities.

DAVID: You have totally forgotten the timing issue. Bacteria reproduce every twenty minutes. How long would it take trees to figure out a solution? You are good at making up just so stories.

dhw: My reference to bacteria was to show that even the simplest organisms solve new problems. The acacias solved the problem in the end, before it was too late. I have no idea how long it took, and nor have you.

You seem to think that every bacterium and every tree is identical. There are thousands of cases in which a new disease strikes. Sometimes it wipes out whole species. But sometimes individuals find a solution and survive. It usually takes time. Neither you nor I know how long it took the acacias.

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