Monday, August 5, 2013
And God created cactus
In a previous blog I talked about an orangutan from a television show who showed remarkable intelligence when it came to copying some of the daily tasks done by humans, then talked about a butterfly with the face of an owl on its wings. It apparently "copied" the owl; the point was to scare away the predators, but of course the silly little amateurs from Otisburg cried foul and had their collective version of a heart attack. Evolution doesn't do that, in their "opinion-which-ought-to-be-a-dadd-blanged-fact" opinion; one of them insisted it was just a sheen on the wings.
No intelligence there, he implied.
No intelligence with the silly little amateurs from Otisburg, either.
So it goes.
And while I'm riding to work I thought of the butterfly and the silly little amateurs, and then I thought of a cactus, of all things. You know what a cactus is. Small-to-large plants, live in deserts, has lots of spines to protect itself from plant eaters which are thirsty at the same time.
Think it over for a second.
It's a plant that lives in a desert. Where there is little to no water.
And it has lots of spines to protect itself from plant eaters which are thirsty at the same time.
Now, the silly little amateurs from Otisburg would like to force down my gullet that evolution happens; it's about mutation. They should know; they observed it in bacteria in a petri dish somewhere in the Ozarks one day, so if they can see it happen in a petri dish, then we must accept the fact that it can happen in a major way with all of the species everywhare...and that's an order!
Does that order come with fries?
So I'm cutting my grass with my several years-old lawn mower, and it's the same grass coming up again. No change. I have not seen a single change in my grass at all. It's the same. In fact, there hasn't been a single change to anyone's grass since the first lawn mower rolled off an assembly line all those years ago. In fact, there hasn't been a single change in grass since the well-to-do used sheep and goats on the first front lawns all of those many millenia ago. For those of you in Otisburg that was the time way, way, before TV sets. The silly little amateurs of Otisburg have to have their TV sets.
During all that time between the animals on the first front lawns all the way to the next-generation thingies with a Briggs and Stratton engine, mowers with hair or not have been mowing lawns right down to the nub, and still the grass has been growing the same way. You would think that after all of that cutting, the grass would evolve some sort of natural defense against a grass eater, whether it be Bessie the Cow or John Deere. But they didn't.
Because that requires intelligence. It requires an ability by the grass to think that it needs to have protection for itself against a grass eater. Instead, we just have the grass growing over and over again. Meanwhile, the grass has to suffer the further indignity of the sheep and the goats and Bessie the Cow and maybe the silly little amateurs in Otisburg relieving themselves on it.
And what does this have to do with the cactus?
This is from that bastion of liberalism (and the 'pedia of choice for Otisburg), Wikipedia:
"As well as defending against herbivores, spines help prevent water loss by reducing air flow close to the cactus and providing some shade."
And Wikipedia also states that some cactus spines are barbed:
"In addition to normal-length spines, members of the subfamily Opuntioideae have relatively short spines, called glochids that are barbed along their length and easily shed. These enter the skin and are difficult to remove, causing long-lasting irritation."
It seems that a long time ago - if the silly little amateurs are right - some cactus ancestor got tired of the sheep and the goats eating them down to a nub. It decided it was going to defend itself and protect its water supply with spines. It further made sure that these spines would do some additional damage, hence the barbs.
Sound's like nonsense, huh? Well, even Wikipedia is stating the spines are there for defense. But of course, we have the silly little amateurs from Otisburg looking at bacteria in a petri dish and then telling us that it was just a beneficial mutation of the original cactus.
A plant that evolves a means to defend its internal water supply from an external plant eater is just the end result of a simple mutation that came along by chance because some silly little amateur clown from Otisburg looked at a petri dish and said so.
I'll believe that God created it. It's just a better explanation.