43) Creation by Evolution – Seeds

I plan to let you see some of my data on production of seeds of wildflowers so that you can form your own ideas on how natural selection works. According to Charles Darwin and a whole slew of other scientists species produce a whole lot more offspring than can be supported by the environment. I think you can see that here.

 

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earthThese drawings of roots are my own images.  Now if one believes in a ‘God’ one can say that ‘He’ wanted to give each plant of each species created separately its own identity.  On the other hand, if one doesn’t want to invoke a ‘God’, one can claim ‘Mother Nature’ went crazy, and continues to do so, creating individual root systems for each plant.

The above is not the real science of ecology, nor does it offer an explanation of what plants have roots for.  There are four primary functions of roots.  The first is to provide anchorage of the plant in soil.  A second function is to gather water and nutrients to be used by the plant.  The plant root may store the nutrients it gathers. The third function is to propagate the plant.  The species of plant in question may exhibit none or more of these functions in its roots.  The fourth function, by its nature, is in the roots.  That is the roots defend themselves along with the plant.  The biochemistry and biophysics of the roots, and the symbionts of the rhizosphere is that defense.

It is important in science to come to the conclusion that it is a ridiculous notion to believe that a ‘God’ or ‘Mother Nature’ is orchestrating the development and shape of plant roots in each individual.

In science what comes to mind that is orchestrating the change and growth of plant roots are the aspects of  environment and genetic inheritance.      

Roots 2 Cindy F. Stagle Correct Orientation-page-004

       Roots 2 Cindy F. Stagle Correct Orientation-page-001 Roots 1 Cindy-page-013                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             roots-2-cindy-f-stagle-correct-orientation-page-003.jpg                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              roots-2-cindy-f-stagle-correct-orientation-page-002.jpg   Roots 1 Cindy-page-050   Roots 1 Cindy-page-048    Roots 1 Cindy-page-047   Roots 1 Cindy-page-046      Roots 1 Cindy-page-045   Roots 1 Cindy-page-044   Roots 1 Cindy-page-042Roots 1 Cindy-page-041Roots 1 Cindy-page-040    

  Roots 1 Cindy-page-039 Roots 1 Cindy-page-038  Roots 1 Cindy-page-037  Roots 1 Cindy-page-036  Roots 1 Cindy-page-035  Roots 1 Cindy-page-034Roots 1 Cindy-page-033   Roots 1 Cindy-page-032     Roots 1 Cindy-page-031  Roots 1 Cindy-page-030   Roots 1 Cindy-page-029  Roots 1 Cindy-page-028  Roots 1 Cindy-page-027     Roots 1 Cindy-page-026      Roots 1 Cindy-page-025   Roots 1 Cindy-page-024 You have seen all the roots I intend to show you in this blog.  These drawings illustrate the diversity of a very small sample of all plant roots.  These are about half of the roots that I drew.  I drew them not to show function or mock those who believe in ‘God’ or ‘Mother Nature’, but to discover and show whether a species is an annual or perennial.  This distinction relates to investment by the plant into maintenance or reproduction.

Also by showing the roots to you I show what evolution has happened and allows me to describe to you how it has happened.  A seed of a species has been tossed into its habitat and begins occupying its niche.  Since it gets sunlight from above, not all wildflowers need sunlight (Indian Pipe), the plant needs to compete with others.  Not all plants of a single species have the same genes.  Some die in competition due to shading, disease, herbivores, etc.  Not all of the survivors have the same form (See XT-plant for variety of form in a species.).  Herbivores can damage roots in a random manner.  Of the species the forms that are left spread their genes.  These genes are carried in the seeds and change occurs over generations.  The roots of the plant can defend against herbivores and some of the defenses may be products of the genes carried to further generations.

 

 

          

42) Creation by Evolution – Roots

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41) Creation by Evolution – Evolution in’God’s Country’

Some people believe that ‘God’s Country’ is an area of Northern California, especially that area where Sequoia sempervirons and Sequoia giganteous trees still are or were located.  These trees are the Redwoods and some scientists think they evolved from a common species, including myself.  Some people believe ‘God’s Country’ is all of the United States of America.  I do not think there is a ‘God’, a ‘Satan’, a ‘Heaven’ or a ‘Hell’, except what people fashion here.

Well, so I ask, Why is Sequoia sempervirons tall and why is Sequoia giganteous large?  This question I posed at first to myself in a journal I kept when I attended Pacific Marine Station, in ‘God’s Country’.  You see, if you believe in an all knowing, all powerful and omnipresent ‘God’, then that question is answered.  ‘God’ made them that way.

For Sequoia sempervirons being tall I wrote in the journal there must be a ground to sky gradient up which they climbed and I thought and I wrote continuing the journal.  I said some stuff about insects being co-dominant with humankind and diverse.  I questioned, Why are insects so diverse?  I came up with a possible answer that they fly by comparison with other taxa of Arthropoda and listed a number of advantages the ability to fly gave insects.  Flying as presented by many different species of insects is a ground to sky gradient but is it alone the only gradient Sequoia sempervirons climbed?

Today, as I said earlier in this blog, Redwood Trees depend on fire to maintain their community, to germinate their seeds and clear choking brush.  The fires of Redwood Forests do not usually burn down the trees.  The Redwood Trees are very resistant to fire and they have some help where they are found today in California.  Sequoia sempervirons is the Coast Redwood, and on the coast where those trees grow fog forms at night and in the morning begins to rise in the warming sunlight as a ground to sky gradient.  When the fog reaches the height of the needles, lower in young trees and higher in taller trees, the fog condenses on the needles and drips to the ground.  These are the trees that early settlers told stories of “that the trees reached the clouds”.  Actually the Coast Redwood poke through the clouds on the coast and the further they do so the more sunlight they can get for photosynthesis to produce seeds and to maintain themselves.

The Coast Redwood is in a race against time and other Redwood Trees to climb into and above the fog so to get the most sunlight they can.  The rising of the fog is another ground to sky gradient which pushed Redwood Trees taller.

The more I thought about it and did the observations the more ground to sky gradients that would affect the height of trees I came up with.

I have not said yet what I think is responsible for Sequoia giganteous separating out as a separate species from the ancestral species under the genus Sequoia.  The difference it exhibits apart from Sequoia sempervirons is that it is morphologically more robust (larger, bulkier).  When earthquakes occurred in California some trees were uprooted and crashed to the ground knocking branches off of surrounding trees.  This is natural selection.  The trees that were left behind standing in relatively good shape had stood their ground and were around to spread their seeds which contained the genes that would express a hardier morphology.

Now both Sequoia sempervirons and Sequoia giganteous are tall species, and both are fairly large.  They are subject to nearly the same conditions of earthquakes, insects, fog and fire in some places.  I think that if you could observe over the courses of several generations of the trees you would find differences that continue to separate the species.

For those who do not know what a ground to sky gradient is, it is a characteristic that varies as one measures it as a function of height above ground.  Please think of a valley to the top of a hill/mountain.  It is an obvious gradient one could climb.  Now the first ground to sky gradient I mentioned above is insects in flight.  Different species of insects are able to fly to different heights without a rest, say on a tree branch.  The higher they can get, if they affect the tree, the greater the affect they can have on the tree, bottom to top.  The second ground to sky gradient I mentioned above is the rising of the fog.  As the fog rises it wets more of the tree and at the same time dims the amount of light affecting the needles/leaves of the tree.  To reach the greatest levels of photosynthesis it can the tree needs to have its needles/leaves out of the fog.  However to wet the ground below, so fire does not have such a bad effect on the tree it is good to have some needles/leaves drenched in fog.  How the branches stick out from the tree is a gradient.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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39) Creation by Evolution – Conserving Genes

This post requires a knowledge of the structure of chromosomes, the carriers of genes in cells – particularly nucleated cells, of which I saw some in plant cells.  Chromosomes are paired in diploid individuals connected by a centromere near the middle giving four arms.  In a radiation biology course I had and other places I learned that mutations are less likely to occur the closer to the centromere.  So each chromosome acts like an abacus from generation to generation shuttling genes.  Some of these genes may be conserved by the species as they shuttle closer to the centromere, where they are less likely to mutate.

This is a chromosome diagram:

FYI: This is particularly directed to psychology majors and psychologists who question the mental health of people who hear voices.  I wrote the above paragraph two days ago with ‘centriole’ in the places where ‘centromere’ should be.  Then when I went home that night I heard a male voice telling me it should be ‘centromere’.  I looked it up to confirm what I knew to be true in a book: “Barnes and Noble Review Series: An Introduction to Heredity”.  The voice was right.

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38) Creation by Evolution – Religion in General vs. Evolution

These are two turtles: Painted Turtles:

 

 

and a Box Turtle:

 

Both of these turtles live in woods of the Northeast of the United States.  According to science, because they are both members of the taxon Chelonia, they evolved at one time from the same species, how many millions of years ago I do not know.  The Chelonia are descended from animals that were around before the dinosaurs.

A lot of religions would say both were species created separately by ‘God’ or ‘Allah’ (same entity) perfectly adapted to their environment, the woods.  Religions do not usually get into specifically defining niches in environments because it gets kind of messy in explaining adaptations by populations.

So, I ask any particular religion which species is ‘more’ perfectly adapted to woods, the Box Turtle or  Laura Engles Wilder in her “Little House in the Big Woods,” a Human Being?  Well maybe you should reconsider the ‘perfections’ of ‘God.’

If Laura Engles Wilder was perfectly adapted by ‘God’ to the big woods, then was she also perfectly adapted by ‘God’ to “The Little House on the Prairie”?  I just do not see how animals can be perfectly adapted to a big woods, Laura Engles Wilder and the Box Turtle, and for one, Laura Engles Wilder, be perfectly adapted to a prairie, where there was Laura Engles Wilder and still is the Prairie Dog.

 

 

 

 

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37) Creation by Evolution – The Church of Latter – Day Saints vs. Evolution

Yes, according to Scott McKuen, a fellow student at Pacific Marine Station back in 1979, the Mormons accept a type of evolution.  They say species evolve as time passes, but there is no creation of new species in that span of time.  I suppose they accept that some species go extinct, like the dinosaurs, but I did not quite discuss with Scott that aspect of evolution.  I ask you, do you think there is a herd of the species of Apatosaurus somewhere on Earth that Tyranosaurus rex is still hunting down?

I have been busy coming up with a way to present an argument as to how one species branches into two species, so if I re-established contact with Scott McKuen I could discuss it with him.  The fact that two species are the result of separation from one species has been obvious to me for a long time but putting it into words is not always easy.  In fact, I have been pretty sure some species having a wide range do ‘parent’ more than two species.

Species are subject to all sorts of pressures, both intrinsic and extrinsic, over the course of their existence.  If one takes a population of a particular wildflower species, for instance, it is most likely to be pollinated by more than one species of pollinators.  Taraxacum officinale, for instance, is probably pollinated by flies and bees.  I have seen both flies and bees, and ants, visiting these dandelions.  In the course of their visitations to the flowers the pollinators do different kind of damage.  Some visitors are there getting a free lunch according to some investigators’ papers I have read.  A free lunch would be getting the nectar and/or pollen without doing the job that the flowers need to have done which is having their pollen, the male sperm, spread to a female ovum, crosspollination flower to flower.

It is likely that different populations of dandelions present a variable quantity and quality of nectar and/or pollen to a particular population of pollinators.  This is the result of natural selection on the part of the pollinators and coevolution with the plants.

For instance, consider Apis melifera, you remember the Honey Bee.  If you have ever seen a slow motion video of honey bees returning to the hive, then you know how clumsy this species is.  They tend to crash into a landing and bounce into other bees which are doing the same.  In relationship to the flowers, the bees need a certain amount of nectar energy to get back and fourth to the flowers.  If they find that a particular group of flowers is not providing that amount for a number of bees, then they will tend to avoid them. They will not recommend those flowers in their dance.  Those flowers will depend on other pollinators, maybe solitary bees, flies or ants, and cater to them in coevolution.  The seeds they spread will carry the genes that impress the new pollinators and eventually the morphology of the plants will isolate the plants as a different species.

Once isolated as two different species those intrinsic and extrinsic ecological effects will result in greater morphological and/or physiological changes separating the species by those characteristics.  It is those characteristics which the taxonomist will compose a biological key based upon, and argue two new species.  There may be some place on Earth where the ancestral species of dandelion is in stasis with the ancestral species of honey bee but that is not our case here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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