The costa rican moth caterpillar

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Dr Lou Natic, Apr 9, 2003.

  1. Robert Jameson Registered Senior Member

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    Quote from Spurious monkey

    Yes, giraffes are better at eating whole leaves than bacteria (unless the leaves are dead).

    Bacteria would eat millions more leaves than giraffes.

    i'm not answering the surviving part because it is not about surviving

    Surviving long enough to reproduce is precisely what the Darwinian paradigm is about.

    Quote from WellCookedFetus

    I can think of many advantages that multi-celled organisms have over single-celled. For one multi-celled organisms can eat the smaller single-celled by simple mechanical and chemical digestion. Godzilla can eat people, people can eat Godzilla.

    If multi cell organisms eat single cell organisms and single cell organisms eat multi cell organisms (which they do) then I do not see how this answers my question. Does this demonstrate some ability that metazoans have that bacteria do not have? You made the following statement/question-:

    Why is it so difficult to believe then if bacteria can occupy different niches that metazoans can occupy niches that can't be occupied by bacteria?

    I want you to tell me where it is that multi cell organisms can survive that bacteria can not.
     
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  3. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    Single-celled organism can only eat the multi-celled in tiny pieces the multi-celled organism can devour whole species of single-celled organisms in a single sip. Your still not considering the dominance in size.
     
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  5. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

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    peacocks with impressive tails seem to survive long enough to reproduce.

    edit:in a recent new scientists there was an interesting story that species with conspicuous male birds do run a higher risk of local extinction by predation. But usually an area is repopulated from a neighbouring area.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2003
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  7. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

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    Why would evolving to a multi-cellular organism not fit under survival of the fittest when you take inter-organsim competition into account?

    Picture a big rock near the ocean with two different species on it green and blue.

    Eventually that rock runs out of room and/or resources to support both.

    In order to ensure survival and procreation either:

    Blue and Green would have to develop a symbiotic relationship.
    Blue will have to assimilate Green (or vice versa).
    Blue would have to conquer Green (or vice versa).
    or
    One of them will have to move off that rock.

    In any of those above reactions it could concieveably either be a benefit for a single celled organism to evolve to a multi-cellular organsim or a direct result of it.
     
  8. Robert Jameson Registered Senior Member

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    One_raven

    In any of those above reactions it could conceivably either be a benefit for a single celled organism to evolve to a multi-cellular organism or a direct result of it.

    I agree that the alternatives are as you stated them. But we have to look at the factors that will determine whether blue accommodates green, green accommodates blue (which suggest the organisms are evolving greater complexity) or one moves off the rock. These factors should be things like the organisms capability to tolerate the widest possible range of environmental conditions, how quickly it can reproduce (the reproductive cycle of E.coli is 30 minutes and in 40 generations it can multiply by a factor of one trillion) and how well it can adapt to change. All the evidence would suggest that the simple single cell organisms will win every round every time. If survival of the fittest were the driving force of evolution then there would be no place on the rock for either the green or blue species that evolved from prokaryote to eukaryote.
     
  9. Robert Jameson Registered Senior Member

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    Wellcookedfetus

    Single-celled organism can only eat the multi-celled in tiny pieces the multi-celled organism can devour whole species of single-celled organisms in a single sip. Your still not considering the dominance in size.

    You mean size really does matter? This is a whole new concept that to this point had escaped my attention. Maybe being big is the hidden (well not so hidden) driving force of evolution that we have all been looking for. Perhaps you can present a new model for the evolution of complex species based on the premise that the big boys will always win. I think it has some merit – look what happened in Iraq?
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2003
  10. Idle Mind What the hell, man? Valued Senior Member

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    1,709
    Robert:
    True, given that there is sufficient nutrients.

    Eukaryotes are more efficient at producing energy from metabolized nutrients than prokaryotes. It's as simple as that. More energy means a better chance at survival.
    Why not?

    Look at it this way. When there is a large area of land that is are soil, which grows first? The simpler plants with fast generations, and hardy seeds that can withstand extended periods of harsh conditions. Then the slightly more complex shrubs begin to seed in the area, and begin to push the weeds and grasses out, which are less efficient at gathering nutrients, and use most of their energy for growth. Then the larger bushes and shrubs push out the smaller ones. This continues until you have a forest, with the largest, most complex species dominating.

    Why would this not be the case when looking at different ecosystms? Based on your argument, the shrubs would never be able to push the grasses and weeds out of dominance.
     
  11. river-wind Valued Senior Member

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    2,671
    advantages of multi-cellular structure:
    1)overall better chance of individual cell survival.
    For the same reason that multi-cellular animals often form herds or schools, being part of a group can reduce the chance of you as an individual member being picked off by predators, or dying due to starvation.
    2)specialization
    Once a multi-cellular colony exists, the colony can begin to assign specialized roles to it’s individual member, increasing the return on energy output.
    3)faster adaptation of the individual to minor changes in the environment
    When each memebr of the body doesn't have to constantly deal with minor environmental chnges, they can focus on convering food to energy. By regulating chemical creation by specialized cells, energy levels entering the organism as well as pollutants exiting the organism can be controlled (via specialization), which allows for the creation of #4
    4)better regulation of cellular environment
    through specialization, separation from the harsh external world can be created. This can allow for a homeostatic, warm and moist environment from the cells which make up the creature. This is a huge advantage, and really only comes into play after specialization occurs, which is dependant of multi-cellular organisms being created.

    When dealing with your individual survival, your best chance is to find a safe, unchanging location where food and water are readily available. What better way than to create your own?
    When dealing with your genetic survival, you need members of your own species (be definition of the word ‘species’). What batter way than to have then around you all the time (as long as you are willing to share resources)? When dealing with the survival of your gene pool, your species needs to survive (even if it evolves into another species. Your genes need to be passed on). What better way than to use some of your energy to help protect those around you, as they help protect you?

    Multi-cellular existence provides a large number of advantages to the individual cells making the body – at the cost of food resources and the chance that your specific genes will be the ones which create the next generation. But your species is more likely to survive. And in many cases, because of the huge effect of specialization, you, as an individual member of a group, end up with more energy from food, because those who are specialled at digesting are so damn good at it. you produce an outer shell, they produce energy for you to do so. You are both feed, warm, protected, and happy.

    http://www.biologie.uni-hamburg.de/b-online/e42/42f.htm

    also, size plays a huge factor in survival. If you are too big for a predator to eat, then you have no predator. Remember that the ability to eat part of an object (ie the evolution of jaws, and tearing teeth) is a fairly recent modification to animals, for the first millions of years, to eat something, it had to be smaller than your mouth, whatever it was.
    Even these days, size is an important factor in mating and evolution. The male monkeys in the S American tropics need to be big in order to fight of rival suitors, but if they are too big, then they can’t move fast enough to hide from predators. So there is a built in maximum size- small enough to hide, big enough to beat up other members of the group, as well as fight off other medium sized preditors.
     
  12. Robert Jameson Registered Senior Member

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    There have been a number of responses to my earlier posts and several points raised. I will not respond to them individually but the main issues appear to be -:

    1. Bacteria are less efficient at gathering nutrients

    2. Overall better chance of individual cell survival

    3. Specialization

    4. Faster adaptation of the individual to minor changes in the environment

    5. Better regulation of cellular environment

    6. Multicellular organisms can better form their own ecosystems

    7. Better able to change into another species in an attempt to adapt to a changing environment.

    As an amateur scientist I do not really know if the above assertions are true but they appear to suggest something different from my reading on this subject.

    Stephen Jay Gould “Life’s Grandeur” (originally published as Full House)

    page 186

    As discussed above, bacteria produced our atmospheric oxygen, fix nitrogen in our soil, facilitate the rumination of grazing animals, and build the food web of the only nonsolar ecosystem on our planet.

    The ingesting animals are just a little blip upon this basic cycle; the biosphere could do very well without them.

    page 194

    Not only does the earth contain more bacterial organisms than all others combined (scarcely surprising, given their minimal size and mass); not only do bacteria live in more places and work in a greater variety of metabolic ways; not only did bacteria alone constitute the first half of life's history, with no slackening in diversity thereafter; but also, and most surprisingly, total bacterial biomass (even at such minimal weight per cell) may exceed all the rest of life combined, even forest trees, once we include the subterranean populations as well.

    page 198

    (Bacteria can) … live on basalt and water six miles under the earth's surface, form the core of novel ecosystems based on the earth's interior heat rather than solar energy, or serve as a possible model for cosmic life in most solar systems.

    Brian J. Ford “Genes the Fight for Life”

    page 5

    The single cell is a temple of pluripotentiality. Cells can build wings with which to fly, scavenge for sticks to make homes, construct stone walls for protection, manufacture delicate glass globes of infinite intricacy, and yet do not hesitate to sacrifice themselves wholesale for the good of the race. Unlike humans, they can regulate their rate of reproduction to the available food supply, and many can create a hermetically sealed, personalized 'space capsule' for long-term survival if their environment is disrupted. Of course cells are sentient. Some microbes can detect magnets or see where they are going. We are seduced by the view that an amoeba is a simple creature, little more than a blob of plasm. In truth, its intricate life systems, undertaken by something so compact, connote hidden complexity. An amoeba has a head and a tail - confine it in a cul-de-sac and it turns round to find its way out. With two sticks of firewood and an elastic band, anyone can show how a human walks. It is harder to model the ability of a water-soluble amoeboid cell to feed and reproduce, find (and approve) a sexual partner, sometimes even to unite in vast numbers to form a macroscopic body that heads off looking for a place to breed.

    quote by River wind

    also, size plays a huge factor in survival. If you are too big for a predator to eat, then you have no predator.

    The size of the prey is not a problem for bacteria (or viruses for that matter).
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2003
  13. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

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    The first multi-celled organism were impenetratable to viri and bacteria because they had not evolved a means of hurting them. Even today the unicellular organisms can rarely kill their titanic cosines. If it was true that single cell is the ultimate state of being then we would have all been eaten alive by them by now.
     
  14. Idle Mind What the hell, man? Valued Senior Member

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    1,709
    Robert:

    You are taking the works of intelligent people and presenting them as a general argument that is flawed. Yes, there are bacteria that fill nearly every niche in the ecosystem. However, if you remove those bacteria from their niche, they will die. They need those conditions to live, and although they are able to live where other creatures cannot, they are unable to live where others can. How does that make them superior in any way?

    For example: the bacteria that live in the deep sea vents require extreme pressure, extreme heat, and sulphur for metabolism. When they are not in these conditions, they either cannot grow, or cannot metabolize to meet their own energy needs.

    You misinterpretated my point (point number 1 in your response). I said that they are less efficient at converting nutrients into energy. Complex systems for energy production are more efficient, which is what is desirable. More efficiency means less waste.

    I don't agree with all the points laid out there, so I will fix some of them and make them clearer:

    1) I dealt with the misread above. If you missed it on the first pass, go back and read again.

    2) This was poorly worded. In colonies, or multicellular organisms, there is a cooperation towards the main goal of survival, so each cell provides the other with aid for the benefit of the community or colony.

    3) IIRC, they were referring to specialization into organs. This would mean that the epithelial cells of the intestine are adapted for nutrients absorbtion, kidney cells for filtering, etc. Bacteria are certainly more specialized in the sense that there is a species that can live almost anywhere.

    4) Don't agree at all. Smaller organisms adapt more quickly. Single cells are no exception (although viruses adapt the quickest).

    5) There needs to be multiple species of bacteria in order to balance out the environment. If a single species is left too long, they will eventually poison themselves with their own waste products. A second species that uses the wastes of the first as metabolites is required.

    6) Have you seen a bacteria (or any other single-celled organism for that matter) build a house in order to change it's ecosystem? Or dig a hole in the ground? Or build a nest?

    7) Same as number 5.

    In response to the Brian Ford paragraph you posted:

    That is poor wording. Humans cannot regulate their rate of reporduction? Maybe the gestation period is set, but sexual intercourse needs to take place for reproduction to occur. No sex = no reproduction.
    Multicellular organisms can see too. Amazing!

    I don't see how this paragraph helps your argument.
     
  15. Robert Jameson Registered Senior Member

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    75
    Quote from Idle_mind

    You are taking the works of intelligent people and presenting them as a general argument that is flawed. Yes, there are bacteria that fill nearly every niche in the ecosystem. However, if you remove those bacteria from their niche, they will die. They need those conditions to live, and although they are able to live where other creatures cannot, they are unable to live where others can. How does that make them superior in any way?

    I am sorry Idle_mind I am not going to individually answer the points you have made. I expect you are correct in what you say but I think it does not address the main thrust of the argument I have been making. I have not been trying to argue that bacterial life is superior to the more complex forms of life. That would be contradictory to the concept I am trying to promote and is similar to an argument often trotted out by Darwinists that I strongly reject. Conscious beings (such as our species) are of course superior to single cell organisms.

    My argument is this. If bacteria can survive 30 months on the moon, 6 miles underground, flash heating of 700 Celsius, being frozen, and can multiply themselves by a factor of one billion in less than a day; then I do not accept that they are going to evolve greater complexity to improve their survival prospects. And if survival of the fittest is not driving the evolution of greater complexity then what is?

    Darwinism presents a model for designing greater complexity based on the need to survive. It is argued that evolution is driven by the mutation of genes followed by the random assortment of DNA that will code for new and more complex body parts. But if Darwinism is incorrect (and I believe it is) then what is driving it? I present a model in God Gametes that may, or may not be correct, but it certainly provides many logical answers to questions that stretch to the limit the credibility of the Darwinian paradigm.
     
  16. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

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    the flaw in your argument is that in your sentence

    'bacteria'

    should be replaced with something like this

    'There is an incredible amount of bacterial species on our planet, showing an enormous degree of variety and many are adapted to radical enviroments, for instance..'

    'bacteria' is a general word for countless different species with completely different properties.
     
  17. Canute Registered Senior Member

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    Please ignore this if you don't want to go back to moths and camouflage.

    I suspect we have a desperately simplistic idea of evolution of species (that's not to say it's an entirely wrong one!). It may be that moths that look like vipers are more attractive to females, since they are clearly tough hombres in moth terms. Sort of like a human dressing up as a biker to score with women. In other words predation by birds may not be the main selection factor at all, just the fact that female moths respond in particular ways to things that look like vipers.

    Perhaps looking like a viper scares females into not moving, thus making them easier to catch. Perhaps looking like a viper scares other moth-males away. Perhaps this camouflage evolved in moths for precisely the same reason as it developed in vipers, and the viper camouflage certainly didn't evolve in order for it to look more like a viper. (In other words common cause rather than mimickry). Perhaps ...etc etc ad infinitum.

    Almost every evolved change in moth body shape to become more viper-like would have an aerodynamic downside, thus rendering it a mixed evolutionary blessing and slowing down the spread of the trait, which some here find already suspiciously fast without this kind of factor. (Just as the giraffes longer neck makes it less well able to run from predators).

    PS Robert - comments like "Conscious beings (such as our species) are of course superior to single cell organisms" need justifying in some objective way. According to science you are wrong - we are just more physically complex.
     
  18. Idle Mind What the hell, man? Valued Senior Member

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    Canute, you would be correct, or on the right tracks except for one minor detail. The viper-looking part of this particular species is the caterpillar. Not necessarily the moth.
     
  19. Canute Registered Senior Member

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    Oops - missed that.

    BTW - presumably moth/caterpillar camouflage isn't good enough to fool the predators of vipers.
     
  20. Idle Mind What the hell, man? Valued Senior Member

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    Not entirely sure what would prey on a viper. I bet it would likely be highly developed enough to distinguish between a snake and a caterpillar though (I'm thinking along the lines of a coatimundi or something). Also, I believe (or it looks from the picture) that the caterpillar twists itself and exposes the underbelly to imitate the viper. This would likely be in response to a threat of some sort, and is not likely to be the appearance of the insect at all times.
     
  21. Robert Jameson Registered Senior Member

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    Quote from Canute

    PS Robert - comments like "Conscious beings (such as our species) are of course superior to single cell organisms" need justifying in some objective way. According to science you are wrong - we are just more physically complex.

    I hope we are superior to bacteria.

    From Chapter 10 of God Gametes

    According to Darwinism the only reason a species exists is to carry its genes from one generation to the next. Yet this places no value on the beauty of the more complex life forms or on the significance of our human consciousness. It also overlooks the fact that our 35,000 genes could be more safely transported from generation to generation by less complex organisms. Equally important is that this argument is logically flawed. The suggestion that the sole purpose for creating life is to transport genes does not address the issue. It simply answers one question by posing another. For example, “If we are here to carry our genes, why are our genes here?”
    Many sections in this work draw attention to the numerous flaws in Darwinism but defective arguments that underlie this concept are not the main problem. Of more concern is the fact that it rejects any notion of progress in evolution. The process by which living organisms evolve from single-cell bacteria into human beings cannot be in breach of logical entropy.
    A meaning and purpose for life cannot be found in a better understanding of humanity by an appreciation of fine art and good literature, by studying the history of civilization, by a closer examination of our own inner thoughts and feelings or in the comforting arms of a friend. Only in the clinical certainty of a mathematical formula are we assured that our sole purpose for being here is to pass on genes from one generation to the next until everything on earth is consumed by the inevitable heat death of the universe. Darwinism is demoralizing and dumbfounding, destructive of the human soul and of any sense of belonging or any rationale for being.
    People need a goal in life. It does not need to be a God or a particular doctrine but needs to give a reason for being here. Without an objective in life our history has been futile, humanity is pointless and every man will carry to the grave a life without purpose and a soul devoid of meaning.
     
  22. Robert Jameson Registered Senior Member

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    The following quote explains what God Gametes believes is the reason for mimicry. Reference here is to the deer’s antlers and the peacock’s tail but the rationale would apply equally to the Costa Rican Moth.

    From Chapter 15 of God Gametes which can be downloaded free from www.e-publishingaustralia.com

    Displays

    Deer antlers provide a good example to explain displays. The male deer has large antlers that in earlier stages of development were probably used for defence but have evolved into a camouflage to look like branches of a tree. Antlers appear to have been driven by an arms race and would now impact in a negative way on the survival prospects of their species. They are certainly a disadvantage when running, something extremely important for deer defence. Large antlers are only on the male and are far too cumbersome to be useful for fending off prey or help in a physical contest against rival deer. It is possible they still assist in camouflage but it is more likely they have evolved into a display.
    Deer antlers confer a number of disadvantages outweighed by any benefit derived by camouflage or defence. But his objective is not simply to survive but to evolve greater complexity. His display is saying two things. Firstly he must project the image that his genes are so good that he has survived easily. His message says, “Look at all those other weaklings that do not have to carry all this weight on their heads. Carrying the heaviest antlers makes me the best. If life continues good, you get to produce the offspring of the best looking buck in the herd but if the environment should change for the worse, it is a fair bet that some of my progeny will inherit my strength but not cumbersome antlers.”
    He is also saying, “Not only am I strong but you see I am in touch with our EGP (external gene pool). I collaborate with genes of many other species so can pass on good things to progeny, longer legs, sharper teeth, anything they’ll need to face tomorrow’s environment.”
    A strict interpretation of the Darwinian theory of evolution would suggest that the long horns of deer or tail of the peacock is advertising a survival liability, not an advantage. To interpret displays as presenting physical features that confer a survival advantage is to assume that nature is guilty of false advertising. It is saying that these species have mistaken a trait for a benefit that is in fact a liability. We need to recognise that species that display are successful. They have been displaying for millions of years and continue to evolve even more elaborate displays.
    Darwinists misinterpret the meaning of displays because they misinterpret the meaning of life. If they assume that the reason for life is simply to survive, they have to argue that displays confer a survival advantage. But if the reason for life is to evolve greater complexity, an individual with an elaborate display is honestly representing the quality of genes that will pass to offspring. If the doe or peahen want progeny to evolve greater complexity, be able to adapt to environmental change and have access to genes not currently available in their species gene pool, they are very wise to be attracted to a male’s elaborate display.
    Displays are not primarily designed to advertise health or well adapted physical traits, but access to the external gene pool. In a changing world where species are programmed for greater complexity, availability of genetic resources will confer a greater survival advantage than a well-adapted gene pool.
    This chapter has attempted to explain what the God Gametes theory believes are reasons for arms races and why species have evolved a level of complexity not justified by any rational strategy for survival. It has argued that life on earth has evolved a bewildering variety of displays because we are part of the reproductive system of the parent species. Life had to become more complex so that one species, currently the human, could evolve to host the reproductive cell of Father King. Living creatures on earth have access to Mother Queen’s external gene pool and this external gene pool has the genetic blueprint for all life on planet earth and has driven the evolution of greater complexity.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2003
  23. Canute Registered Senior Member

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    Why? And what does 'superior' mean? You're entitled to hope, but you're not entitled to assume. In what way can one form of life be 'superior' to another?
     

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