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What to do with Venus Fly Traps
----- Original Message -----
To: Stephen E. Jones
Sent: Sunday, March 07, 2010 2:20 AM
Subject: Re: Venus' Flytrap
Thanks for your reply Stephen. I see from your website you seek explanation for carnivorous plant evolution.
Presumably you are referring to my 2007 post, "Re: Carnivorous plants as `Behe's mousetrap' #1" (there was no #2) and/or my 2006 web page "Problems of Evolution: 12. Plants: Carnivorous plants"?
In each my request was for "a detailed, step-by-step, Darwinian explanation of how the natural selection of random micromutations produced the ... Venus flytrap":
"I would like to see a detailed, step-by-step, Darwinian explanation of how the natural selection of random micromutations produced the elaborate traps of carnivorous plants, like the pitcher plant and the Venus flytrap.
But I suspect there are none, because if there were, the Darwinists would not waste there time on peppered moths and finch beaks!
Like Behe's mousetrap, all these parts are needed to be working together simultaneously as a coordinated system to catch insects."
And as for "evolution," I am persuaded by the evidence, both scientific and Biblical, that "evolution," i.e. "the standard scientific theory that `human beings [and all other living things] have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process"(my emphasis):
"... perhaps we should not be surprised at the results of a 2001 Gallup poll confirming that 45 percent of Americans believe `God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so'; 37 percent prefer a blended belief that `human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God guided this process'; and a paltry 12 percent accept the standard scientific theory that `human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process.'" (Shermer, M.B., 2002, "The Gradual Illumination of the Mind," Scientific American, February. My emphasis)
is false and the true explanation of life's origin and development is my General Theory of Progressive Mediate Creation, i.e."that God created the raw materials of the universe immediately from out-of-nothing, and thereafter He created mediately by working (both naturally and supernaturally) through natural processes and existing materials."
This is my specialty. Venus' Flytrap evolved step-by-step from Sundews (Drosera sp.) as confirmed by gene sequencing.
You commit the fallacies of Equivocation and Begging the question by claiming that "Venus' Flytrap evolved ... from Sundews" when all "gene sequencing" can show is they shared a common ancestor, which is not necessarily evolution.
As both Darwin and Dawkins admitted, God could have supernaturally intervened at links in the chains of common descent, in which case it would not be "evolution at all" (my emphasis):
"Darwin ... wrote in a letter to Sir Charles Lyell, the leading geologist of his day: `If I were convinced that I required such additions to the theory of natural selection, I would reject it as rubbish...I would give nothing for the theory of Natural selection, if it requires miraculous additions at any one stage of descent.' ....
For Darwin, any evolution that had to be helped over the jumps by God was not evolution at all." (Dawkins, R., 1986, "The Blind Watchmaker, pp.248-249. My emphasis).
but a form of "divine creation" (my emphasis):
"... many theologians ... smle God in by the back door: they allow him some sort of supervisory role over the course that evolution has taken ... influencing key moments in evolutionary history ...
In short, divine creation, whether instantaneous or in the form of guided evolution, joins the list of other theories we have considered in this chapter." (Dawkins, 1986, pp.316-317. My emphasis).
And since I accept Universal Common Ancestry (see my "Why I (a Creationist) Accept Common Ancestry (Not Evolution)" I have no problem if Venus Flytrap shared a common ancestor with Sundews (Drosera sp.).
Nevertheless, according to Wikipedia, "Scientists are currently unsure about the evolutionary history of the Venus flytrap" and have only "made hypotheses that the flytrap evolved from Drosera (sundews)":
"The edges of the lobes are fringed by stiff hair-like protrusions or cilia, which mesh together and prevent large prey from escaping.
(These protrusions, and the trigger hairs, also known as sensitive hairs, are probably homologous with the tentacles found in this plant's close relatives, the sundews.)
Scientists are currently unsure about the evolutionary history of the Venus flytrap; however scientists have made hypotheses that the flytrap evolved
Cher Ami "Dear Friend" WWI
Probably the most famous of all the carrier pigeons was one named Cher Ami, two French words meaning "Dear Friend". Cher Ami several months on the front lines during the Fall of 1918. He flew 12 important missions to deliver messages. Perhaps the most important was the message he carried on October 4, 1918.
Mr. Charles Whittlesey was a lawyer in New York, but when the United States called for soldiers to help France regain its freedom, Whittlesey joined the Army and went to Europe to help. He was made the commander of a battalion of soldiers in the 77th Infantry Division, known as "The Liberty Division" because most of the men came from New York and wore a bright blue patch on their shoulders that had on it the STATUE OF LIBERTY.
On October 3, 1918 Major Whittlesey and more than 500 men were trapped in a small depression on the side of the hill. Surrounded by enemy soldiers, many were killed and wounded in the first day. By the second day only a little more than 200 men were still alive or unwounded.
Major Whittlesey sent out several pigeons to tell his commanders where he was, and how bad the trap was. The next afternoon he had only one pigeon left, Cher Ami.
During the afternoon the American Artillery tried to send some protection by firing hundreds of big artillery rounds into the ravine where the Germans surrounded Major Whittlesey and his men. Unfortunately, the American commanders didn't know exactly where the American soldiers were, and started dropping the big shells right on top of them. It was a horrible situation that might have resulted in Major Whittlesey and all his men getting killed--by their own army.
Major Whittlesey called for his last pigeon, Cher Ami. He wrote a quick and simple note, telling the men who directed the artillery guns where the Americans were located and asking them to stop. The note that was put in the canister on Cher Ami's left leg simply said:
"We are along the road parallel to 276.4.
"Our own artillery is dropping a barrage directly on us.
"For heaven's sake, stop it."
As Cher Ami tried to fly back home, the Germans saw him rising out of the brush and opened fire. For several minutes, bullets zipped through the air all around him. For a minute it looked like the little pigeon was going to fall, that he wasn't going to make it. The doomed American infantrymen were crushed, their last home was plummeting to earth against a very heavy attack from German bullets.
Somehow Cher Ami managed to spread his wings and start climbing again, higher and higher beyond the range of the enemy guns. The little bird flew 25 miles in only 25 minutes to deliver his message. The shelling stopped, and more than 200 American lives were saved...all because the little bird would never quit trying.
On his last mission, Cher Ami was badly wounded. When he finally reached his coop, he could fly no longer, and the soldier that answered the sound of the bell found the little bird laying on his back, covered in blood. He had been blinded in one eye, and a bullet had hit his breastbone, making a hole the size of a quarter. From that awful hole, hanging by just a few tendons, was the almost severed leg of the brave little bird. Attached to that leg was a silver canister, with the all-important message. Once again, Cher Ami wouldn't quit until he had finished his job.
Cher Ami became the hero of the 77th Infantry Division, and the medics worked long and hard to patch him up. When the French soldiers that the Americans were fighting to help learned they story of Cher Ami's bravery and determination, they gave him one of their own country's great honors. Cher Ami, the brave carrier pigeon was presented a medal called the French Croix de guerre with a palm leaf.
Though the dedicated medics saved Cher Ami's life, they couldn't save his leg. The men of the Division were careful to take care of the little bird that had saved 200 of their friends, and even carved a small wooden leg for him. When Cher Ami was well enough to travel, the little one-legged hero was put on a boat to the United States. The commander of all of the United States Army, the great General John J. Pershing, personally saw Cher Ami off as he departed France.
Back in the United States the story of Cher Ami was told again and again. The little bird was in the newspapers, magazines, and it seemed that everyone knew his name. He became one of the most famous heroes of World War I. Years after the war a man named Harry Webb Farrington decided to put together a book of poems and short stories about the men and heroes of World War I. When his book was published, it contained a special poem dedicated to Cher Ami:
Cher Ami died of his multiple war wounds on June 13, 1919--less than a year after he had completed his service to the United States Army Signal Corps. Upon his death a taxidermist preserved the small pigeon for future generations, a bird with a story th
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