Home » Intelligent Design » Evolutionist: Plants Are “Driving Me Nuts!”

Evolutionist: Plants Are “Driving Me Nuts!”

The abrupt appearance of many plant species was, for Charles Darwin, extraordinary. But the fossil record is not the only problem with plants. Plants also don’t fit into the evolutionary tree very well. Their DNA comparisons are inconsistent with their visible features, as discussed in the Nova documentary, First Flower:  Read more

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17 Responses to Evolutionist: Plants Are “Driving Me Nuts!”

  1. 1

    Sloppy work as usual. The big picture — ask any botanist who has worked in this field — is that phylogenetics has brought immense clarity and much more treelike structure to plant classification than existed before. Go back to the 1980s, and people were still representing plant classification as bubbles of Linnaean taxa with lines indicating affinity or even possible hybridization between plant families etc. That’s all gone by the wayside with DNA sequencing.

  2. Why would plants form a tree. Nick? No one said how many times plants evolved. No one knows how many times living organisms arose from non-living matter.

    IOW we shouldn’t expect a tree given all the unknowns.

  3. 3

    Why would plants form a tree. Nick?

    Because copying with occasional inherited errors produces a tree.

    No one said how many times plants evolved.

    Yes, someone does. Biologists. Defining plants as, say, mosses, liverworts, ferns, and seed plants (angiosperms + gymnosperms), the evidence shows they form a well-supportd monophyletic clade, i.e. they trace back to a particular node on the phylogenetic tree, i.e. an ancestral population.

    No one knows how many times living organisms arose from non-living matter.

    IOW we shouldn’t expect a tree given all the unknowns.

  4. 4

    Oops, meant to add:

    No one knows how many times living organisms arose from non-living matter.

    This is true, actually, but refers to the very first replicators, and has nothing to do with the origin of plants.

    IOW we shouldn’t expect a tree given all the unknowns.

    You can only say this if you think the evidence for common ancestry is unknown. Biologists, though, knew the evidence, thus predicted a tree, and lo and behold found it confirmed once DNA sequencing was possible.

  5. Nick Matzke:’

    Because copying with occasional inherited errors produces a tree.

    Or a spiral, or just a back and forth lateral line, or just about any pattern imaginable. And plants are known for hybridization. Two branches crossing in the night…

    Defining plants as, say, mosses, liverworts, ferns, and seed plants (angiosperms + gymnosperms), the evidence shows they form a well-supportd monophyletic clade, i.e. they trace back to a particular node on the phylogenetic tree, i.e. an ancestral population.

    Or a particular common design. And then there is convergence.

    And the evidence for common ancestry can be used to support a common design and/ or convergence. A clade is based on common characteristics and a common design predicts common characteristics. Convergence can also produce common characteristics.

  6. Or a spiral, or just a back and forth lateral line, or just about any pattern imaginable.

    Nope. Has to make a tree. Check out the coalescent. Add mutation. Trees. Add speciation and gene trees start to look like species trees (give or take some lineage sorting)

  7. Nope. Any pattern will do because any pattern is expected. Hybridization alone says no to the tree concept.

  8. If the beak of the finch, anti-biotic resistance and the peppered moth have told us anything it is that populations wobble about a mean. They do not build trees.

  9. If the beak of the finch, anti-biotic resistance and the peppered moth have told us anything it is that populations wobble about a mean. They do not build trees.

    What are you talking about? These topics are not related to phylogeny…

  10. wd400-

    Please try to follow along- given the exmples in comment 8 we wouldn’t expect a tree but rather an oscillating pattern.

    And given sexual reproduction we wouldn’t expect a tree.

  11. Joe,

    When you say things as silly as this it’s very hard to take you seriously. If you really think sexual reproduction means you want get gene trees I encourage you to write a paper making this clear. Systematic Biology would certianly be interesting in hearing just a major theoretical upheaval.

    In the mean time, read about the coalescent. Find out our speication works. Think what happens when get genes evolving through different lineages arising from speciation…

  12. wd400-

    Make up your mind- out of one side of your mouth you say it has to form a tree and now you say it doesn’t.

  13. That’s not what I said. I know you have to get trees. If you think sexual reproduction does away with this simple logic you ought to tell the world, because you’d change a lot of evolutionary biology.

  14. Well a family tree is just a tree in name- there isn’t any tree structure once you include everyone because people can enter a family tree without actually being related. And people in one family tree can belong to another family tree.

    That said sexual reproduction produces a wobbling stability as observed with the finches and peppered moths- oscillations, not trees. That is if you go by what is actually observed and leave your unscientific imagination out of it.

  15. I love it when Nick admits to sloppy work on the part of
    evolutionists.

    I keep looking for his book on Charles Darwin.

  16. I don’t know who else I can tell you this Joe. None of what you are talking about has anything to do with phylogeny, or gene trees or species trees. Please, read up about these topics (or, as I say, if you really have a reason sexual reproduction does away with tree-like evolution please write a paper and tell the world about.)

  17. wd400:

    None of what you are talking about has anything to do with phylogeny, or gene trees or species trees.

    Yes it does. Ya see there isn’t any evidence for trees. There is only evidence for a wobbling stability.

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