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

by David Turell @, Friday, August 03, 2018, 18:26 (563 days ago) @ dhw

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?

dhw: 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.

dhw: 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.

You are right. It took time. The time interval cannot be glibly ignored. So the Acacias survived, which means the problem of providing ant protection occurred, but the issue is how. Did the acacias do it alone or were they helped? The necessary time interval suggests help was provided.

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