Theory of Intelligent Design, the best explanation of Origins

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Theory of Intelligent Design, the best explanation of Origins » The catalog of life » Evidence of Intelligent Design: Dung-Eating Plants

Evidence of Intelligent Design: Dung-Eating Plants

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Evidence of Intelligent Design: Dung-Eating Plants

Resident bats use pitcher plant as toilet, which appears at the excellent website, PhysOrg. The bold font was added by us:

   The pitcher plants are carnivorous species that usually feed on insects and small vertebrates, but one species has been found that prefers to dine on the feces of bats.

   Scientists from the University Brunei Darussalam and from Germany have been studying the aerial pitcher plant Nepenthes rafflesiana variety elongata, from Borneo. The plants live in peat bogs and heaths and are notable for their extremely large aerial pitchers.

Carnivorous plants are always interesting. Here’s a Wikipedia article on this particular species: Nepenthes rafflesiana. We continue with the PhysOrg article:

   Pitcher plants grow on nutrient-poor soils and supplement their nitrogen source by feeding on insects and small animals. The victims are attracted to the pitcher by its colors and smells, but once inside they are trapped on the slippery sides and are drawn into the fluid at the bottom where they drown. The fluid contains digestive enzymes to extract nitrogen and other needed nutrients as the bodies are digested.

Instead of insects in the large pitchers, the researchers, led by tropical ecologist Dr. Ulmar Grafe, sometimes found roosting bats. …

   The Elongata pitchers are perfectly suited to their residents, with a girdle half-way up to ensure they do not slip down the sides, and there is little fluid and so no chance of being drowned if they did slip.

Okay, so the bats live in pitcher plants. But you’re wondering: What’s the big deal here? Where’s the ID? You’ll see soon enough. Let’s move along:

   The researchers found that about 33.8 percent of the foliar nitrogen in the pitcher plants originated in the feces of the bats, and the level of nitrogen was much higher than in pitchers of the same species that did not have a resident bat.

How wonderful — now that’s intelligent design! One more excerpt from PhysOrg:

   The bat also benefits from the association because it is sheltered and hidden from predators when it is nestled within the pitcher. Dr. Grafe said the environment within the pitcher is also free of the parasites that often live in bat roosts.

A mutually beneficial arrangement. Verily, the implications for intelligent design are overwhelming.

And we leave you with a lingering question — something to keep you busy over the weekend: If a bat that feeds on blood is a vampire, what should we call these plants that feed on bat dung? (Please, dear reader, your suggestions should be … tasteful.)

Also,several authors have discussed the question whether the modern synthesis (selection of mutations‘ with small or even invisible effects on the phenotype’ 2 Mayr) could provide a sufficient explanation of the many convergently arisen synorganized trap mechanisms. Darwin in 1875 ex-amined several basic points on how the origin of some carnivorous structures could perhaps be envisioned by a processofgradualevolution.However,most authors have remained critical. The following questions and statements posed by Nachtwey in 1959 concerning the origin of Utricularia’s trap still have not been answered satisfactorily at the beginning of the twentyfirst century and may illustrate some of the principal problems of the origin of carnivory in plants. After a careful description of the structures and functions of the trap, Nachtwey raised the question of how the origin from a leaf tip should been visioned and went on to ask (pp. 99/100): ‘Which non directional mutation should have occurred first in a normal leaf tip and subsequently displayed any selective advantage? Without an advantage it would have been lost as trivial. The modern synthesis strongly emphasizes that mutation and selection have to cooperate to generate new structures. So,by which blind mutations should the suction trap have originated?’ And regarding the problem of further evolutionary stages the writer continues: ‘Even a perfect suction trap displaying the astonishing ability to rapidly catch animals would have no advantage in the struggle for life because the prey would not be digested. Conversely, the production of highly effective digestive juices would be of no avail for the tip of a leaf as long as it could not capture the prey, which is absolutely necessary. But even if suction trap and digestive juices cooperated, nothing would be gained in the struggle for life. The dissolved proteins must also be absorbed and metabolized to species-specific proteins. The formation of the suction trap requires the perfect cooperation of many different genes and developmental factors. At the end a benefit is reached in the struggle for life, but not by any evolutionary stage.’ Nachtwey concluded that none of the contemporary evolutionary theories was able to answer these questions, proposing that the answer might lie out-side the present scientific paradigms.

you need a

1. trap mechanism ( what selective advantage would a hals trap mechanism have ? none )
2. what advantage would a fully developed trap mechanism have, without the digestive mechanism fully in place ?
3. what advantage would a fully developed digestive juice system have, if the trap mechanism were not fully developed ?
4. what advantage would a fully developed trap and digestive juice system have, if the proteins to metabolize the dissolved proteins were not fully developed ?
5. The formation of the suction trap requires the perfect cooperation of many different genes and developmental factors

so unless the trap mechanism, the digestive juice system , and the proteins needed to metabolize the dissolved proteins were not fully in place, no selective advantage would be achieved. That seems therefore to be a irreducible complex and interdependent system.

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