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Remember that Darwin-eating plant? Now threatening to eat Nick Matzke …

This is Utrie the Vulgar. He has announced his intention to eat Darwinists, as soon as good ones become available.

Utrie’s horticulturist has been pestering him for some time to vary his diet (“You can’t just live on minnows, you know.”), and – because Darwinists are always banging on about how Utrie can be entirely explained by their one-size-fits-all theory, he has decided that they are a logical diet supplement.

Our leafy green carnivore expert, W.-E. Loennig. has been trying to pin Matzke down, and writes,

Matzke still doesn’t seem to have carefully studied my extensive paper yet, but he is still complaining that others know nothing on that topic and keeps on talking some nonsense promoting some half-baked ideas.

Among other things he doesn’t seem to be aware of the fact that the associated flora of Utricularia, for example in Middle Europe, consists of species of the following categories of mostly or entirely non-carnivorous plants, showing that carnivory is not a necessary condition to live at biotopes where Utricularia also occurs (2011, p. 25)

In short, natural selection was not “selecting” some plants for eating animals, in a stressed habitat, resulting in the differential survival of their gene pool. Dr. Loennig continues, listing some local non-carnivorous plants that share space with Utrie:

Chlorophyta (Grünalgen): Characeae; Bryopsida (Moose): Sphagnaceae: Sphagnum; Sphenopsida (Schachtelhalmgewächse): Equisetaceae; Angiospermen (bedecksamige Blütenpflanzen): Monocotyledoneae (Einkeimblättrige): Poaceae, Cyperaceae, Juncaceae, Typhaceae, Potamogetonaceae, Najadaceae, Zannichelliaceae, Alismataceae, Hydrocharitaceae, Lemnaceae, Iridaceae, (Orchidaceae); Dicotyledoneae (Zweikeimblättrige): Polygonaceae, Nymphaeaceae, Ceratophyllaceae, Ranunculaceae, Brassicaceae, Haloragaceae, Hippuridaceae, Apiaceae.

And here are species of non-carnivorous plants often associated with Utricularia in Middle Europe (also p. 25):

Die Dreifurchige Wasserlinse (Lemna trisulca), die Kleine Wasserlinse (L. minor), die Vielwurzelige Teichlinse (Spirodela polyrhiza), der Froschbiss (Hydrocharis morsus-ranae), die Steifborstige Armleuchteralge (Chara hispida ssp. rudis), die Vielstachlige Armleuchteralge (C. aculeolata [Syn. C. pedunculata], ssp. papillosa), die Krebsschere (Stratiotes aloides), die Gelbe Teichrose (Nuphar lutea), die Weiße Seerose (Nymphaea alba), der Tannenwedel (Hippuris vulgaris), das Quirlige Tausendblatt (Myriophyllum verticillatum), das Ährige Tausendblatt (M. spicatum), das Schwimmende Laichkraut (Potamogeton natans), das Grasblättrige Laichkraut (P. gramineus), das Rauhe Hornbblatt (Ceratophyllum demersum) und – vor allem weltweit gesehen – noch viele andere (vgl. zu den Pflanzengesellschaften z. B. Casper in Hegi 1975, Slobodda 1988, Runge 1990, siehe auch Lang und Walentowski 2007: Handbuch der Lebensraumtypen. 

And above all, – where is Matzke’s explanation of the origin of Utricularia?

The statement that usually many non-carnivorous plant species are associated with carnivourous plants can be shown to be validly extrapolated or generalized for probably all cases – at least I know of no exception of the rule so far in spite of checking many data.

For the associated flora of the well-known Pinguicula see for example the tables.

Recently, Loennig also shared his frustrations with us at trying to reason with today’s Darwinists about the carnivorous plants that ate Darwin?

Alfred Wallace warned Darwin about the problems posed by Utricularia, saying “I feel sure they will be seized on as inexplicable by Natural Selection” and implored him to address these difficulties in a future edition of his book “On the Origin of Species.”

Which Darwin never did.

One can only wonder what Matzke’s response will be.

See also: Carnivorous plants: After eating Darwin, they couldn’t resist further culinary adventures

The plants that eat vertebrate animals

Carnivorous plants: The 200-year headache.

Also: Readers may remember Nick Matzke from: New York Times reports on Darwinist’s article disowned by philosophy journal

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6 Responses to Remember that Darwin-eating plant? Now threatening to eat Nick Matzke …

  1. Any evidence contradicting the primitive religion of Darwinism — including, for example, the entire fossil record — they explain away with non-scientific excuses like “the dog ate “the Carnivorous plants ate our fossils.”
    - With apologies to Ann Coulter

  2. Eh? The following is what I said before.

    Amongst anyone who knows anything about this topic, it is well-known that the general pattern is that carnivorous plants live in nutrient-poor environments, and use the insect to supplement their nutrient diet. Sometimes the limiting nutrient might not be nitrogren, it might be phosphorous or something else. Aquatic Utricularia typically live in oligotrophic freshwater environments, but they might even be getting a carbon advantage in addition to nutrients. Doesn’t matter to the basic story. Sometimes the carnivorous plants can grow apparently fine without eating any insects, but — and Darwin was the first to do experiments to support this, IIRC — plants that get insects produce more seeds (which require big nutrient investments), which is a rather obvious reproductive advantage. So this doesn’t change the basic story either. Another complexity is that other, non-carnivorous plants can grow in carnivorous plant habitat — but it looks like the carnivorous plants have a growth advantage after the environment is disturbed, e.g. by fire, i.e. CPs are early successional plants, without regular disturbance they eventually get shaded out by slower-growing competitors. Still doesn’t change the basic story.

    Nothing you have posted even contradicts it. Saying that carnivorous plants tend to be found in nutrient-poor environments is not the same thing as saying that everything that lives in nutrient-poor habitats ought to be carnivorous. There are various ways to survive in nutrient-poor habitats. One is being carnivorous. Another is being slow-growing.

    Do you deny that there are experiments that show that fed carnivorous plants tend to produce more seeds? Do you deny that carnivorous plants tend to be found in nutrient-poor habitats?

    If you can’t even admit these basic points, why should scientists take you seriously?

    And — under an ID hypothesis, what is carnivory for?? You don’t get to say “it’s a design for improving the plant’s nutrition”, not if you sit here bashing that idea apparently because you will bash anything that Darwin came up with, right or wrong.

  3. I agree- If that is what he was responding to he didn’t respond to it.

    But he also brings up the arrival not just the survival of the carnivorous plants.

    Can some lab take a non-carny plant and over many generations produce a carny?

  4. Nick: “There are various ways to survive in nutrient-poor habitats. One is being carnivorous. One is being carnivorous. Another is being slow-growing.”

    Of course. Which means we have no reason to expect one approach over another. The evolutionary explanation is no more substantive than “stuff happens.” If you can’t understand this, why should scientists take you seriously? (Sorry, couldn’t resist, Mate. You seem to have that sentence built into a hot key on your computer, you throw it out so often.)

  5. Which means we have no reason to expect one approach over another. The evolutionary explanation is no more substantive than “stuff happens.”

    Well that’s just silly. Most of science is statistical. If 30% of plant species in a nutrient-poor habitat are carnivorous, and 0% of plant species in other habitats are carnivorous, that’s one hell of statistically significant pattern.

    There is a strong tendency for carnivorous plants to live in nutrient-poor habitats. Agree or disagree?

  6. Nick.

    The problem with your argumentation is that you never address the critical essentials:

    What random mutations would be required to engineer the requisite capabilities?
    What is the probability of these random events occurring?
    Are the probabilistic resources available to fix these beneficial random errors in the population?

    I was once a radical, evangelical atheist — who despised people of traditional religious faith with a visceral, irrational passion, especially Christians, just like you — but once I started asking the hard questions referenced above, I realized that design, from whatever source, was the only rational explanation. Blind faith in transparent Darwinian nonsense — in contradiction to everything I have learned from modern science, mathematics, and multiple engineering disciplines — was no longer a viable option. Reasonable faith in design became the only rational option.

    Storytelling based on a conclusion reached in advance is not science; it is the antithesis of science.

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