The costa rican moth caterpillar

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

  1. Dr Lou Natic Unnecessary Surgeon Registered Senior Member

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  3. Robert Jameson Registered Senior Member

    Idle mind

    >>> You haven't explained why it is an obvious liability. I don't see it as such. It could also be that this is a selective breeding done by humans. Peacocks have been kept in gardens of the wealthy for quite some time, where they are not subject to predation. <<<

    Peacocks that have been bread in the wild still have large tail feathers so it is obvious that these elaborate displays are not a result of the selective breeding of humans. Such a large tail would be a liability because it would make the peacock more easily noticed by predators and less mobile if it needed to flee.

    >>> I don't know if those were intended as separate statements or not, but trees reproduce sexually. <<<

    You are correct. This is a mistake. Early in my book I explained to the readers that I was going to make a distinction between “sex” and “gender”. Most text books are referring to male or female when using the word sex. In God Gametes sex is “social sex’ and male and female is “gender”. A had to make this distinction because God Gametes holds that sex has a role distinct from reproduction. I sometimes have a lapse in concentration and refer to sex when I mean gender. What I meant was that trees do not have sex and they can also reproduce without crossing the male and female gametes.

    I should also point out that this is not relevant to the point I was making. The main thrust of the argument in that quote was that tall trees evolve more complexity than the optimum and this can not be explained by the concept of “sexual selection” suggested by Richard Dawkins and others.

    >>> There is light that gets through, but you must realize, which I'm certain you do, that the energy requirements are very little at the early stages in comparison. Also, there is a different ratio between the amount of foliage and the woody tissue in younger trees than there is in mature ones. The increased foliage allows for a higher intake in energy. <<<

    The point I was making here was that tall trees can not shade out all shorter competitors (as can animals competing for the same environmental niche) for they would kill off smaller members of their own species. A tree can not capture a few light photons and then pass them onto their siblings as a lioness would share her kill with her cubs. Again this is moving away from my main point and that is; “why do tall trees grow taller than their optimum height?”
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  5. Robert Jameson Registered Senior Member

    Dr Lou Natic

    I am not interested in theology other than the strange affects religion had on the human species behavioural pattern. I don't need to learn any more about religion, all I need is the basics and to observe what it produced.

    God Gametes does not suggest what might be a good way for people to save their souls. And this seems to be the primary purpose of most religions. But many theologians have also presented a number of models that have attempted to explain our creation. God Gametes holds that our consciousness is the reproductive cell of a higher species and as such we may instinctively recognise models that have an element of truth.
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  7. Robert Jameson Registered Senior Member

    Dr Lou Natic

    I do not know if you read the synopsis to God Gametes that I posted in an earlier thread. It outlines the model I am presenting in a few hundred words and the rest of the book (about 168,000 words) is merely supporting evidence. I think there are some parallels with your concept. What do you think?

    Synopsis of “God Gametes and the Planet of the Butterfly Queen” which can be downloaded free from

    The model presented in “God Gametes and the Planet of the Butterfly Queen” assumes our universe is part of a multiverse. In his book “Before the Beginning” Sir Martin Rees (British Astronomer Royal) postulates the existence of other universes but God Gametes would simply say that there does not appear to be one of anything else; so why one universe? There is also the history. We started out thinking there was one earth and one sun only to find out that our earth was one of many planets and the sun merely a star. People then assumed that there was only one galaxy to find that our galaxy is one of billions. We now of course assume that there is only one universe?

    From this point the God Gametes argues:

    1. If there is always more than one of everything there is more than one universe.
    2. If there are other universes then they would have life as does ours.
    3. If they have life then it is cyclical as is all life.
    4. If it is cyclical then it reproduces as does all life.

    The model in God Gametes then assumes that the multiverse is hierarchical with the older and more complex universes on top and the younger and less complex below. Again this conforms to what we know to be true of reproductive systems. For example we can say that animals have two levels of the hierarchy (adults and their reproductive gametes) with the adult form living longer and being more complex than its reproductive cells.

    We argue that each level of the multiverse is the reproductive system of the level above. Universes are assumed to have gender; female universes made of matter and male universes anti-matter. The Planet of the Butterfly Queen (earth) is made of matter and is the reproductive system of a single female of our parent species on the next higher level of the multiverse. Our human consciousness is the male reproductive cell she hosts from our companion antimatter planet.

    This concept might be better understood if we look at it another way. We could say that planet earth has been colonised by the parent species on the next higher level of the multiverse for the purpose of reproduction. God Gametes takes a fictional look at our parent species on that higher level to find they are far more complex creatures than us but their universe is older and will soon run out of fuel, to then die. Parent species know that to preserve their life and the billions of years of heritage they created, they must reproduce on a lower multiverse level.

    Our model takes a provocative look at Darwinism challenging the belief that our universe, the forces that hold it together and the intelligent life that we know exists on at least one planet, could be the result of a random process. It is argued that natural selection could never have created life and even if it had, could not have driven the evolution of greater complexity. We believe the formula for complex body parts and the motivation to evolve them is sourced from our parent species on that higher multiverse level.

    God Gametes points to creation having a purpose, claiming that life and matter did not arise by accident and that our rapid evolution from ape to homo sapiens was driven by the need to host the male reproductive cells of our parent species. Human consciousness is attempting to fertilize a female egg and our goal in life is to become a new member of the parent species and be elevated to that higher multiverse level.
  8. Dr Lou Natic Unnecessary Surgeon Registered Senior Member

    Well that certainly is interesting. I could not comment on your "multiverse theory" as my knowledge in that area is very limited. I specialise in earth when it comes to the universe

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    Right now I don't understand how you came to some of your conclusions, again I know very little about "space stuff", I will read your book when I get the time.
    I like the genre of it already.

    Explaining exclusively the physical aspects of the universe is the best science can do right now, that doesn't mean there isn't more to it IMO.
    Your guess is as good as anyones.
    I wouldn't mind writing a book myself one day

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    I would like to learn a fair bit more about actual science though first. Right now I am technically very uneducated and sort of in the process of educating myself.
    I might call my book 'god gametes and the '.... just kidding

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    Good luck with 'god gametes'.
  9. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

    I'm not buying it.
    Call me a crackpot if you want to, but I simply don't buy that completely random Natural Selection would result in such accurate mimicries found in nature.

    This caterpillar is the ultimate example, but there are countless examples (such as the stick and leaf bugs that I believe have been mentioned already) in nature that, in my humble opinion, defy Natural Selection.

    I am not saying that Natural Selection is false, but I think it is quite obvious that it is at least incomplete.

    I am no creationsist, or even a theist.
    I don't envision God up there with a magic wand screwing around with things down here while he giggles his ass of saying, "Let's see what they make of THIS one!!"
    In fact, I am agnostic, and believe that if there IS a God he has nothing to do with this.

    I am a firm believer of evolution, but I think that Darwin either had it wrong, or only part of the picture.

    Evolution may not have an intelligent cognizant force behind it, but I think it is pretty obvious that it has a "force" at work.

    It seems to me that much of the evidence of evolution point to organic life taking an opportunistic approach to survival.

    If there is an abundance of oxygen, life forms that consume oxygen will become more abundant.
    Life forms will evolve to consume oxygen.
    New life forms that use oxygen for fuel will develop.

    One trend that I see all teh time in science that irritates me to no end is tossing out an entire theory because it is falsified, rather than adjusting the theory under new light and focus.
    Or the opposite: Grasping onto a theory religiously if some of it has evidence or it makes logical sense to you, thereby blocking out any and all alternative theories that can replace or augment the theory you believe in.
    Throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

    I read this (thanks to the church of Lunitarisim

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    ) and found it incredibly interesting (though somewhat over the edge).
    Gaia Theory
    I think reality lies somewhere between Darwin and Gaia.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2003
  10. Dr Lou Natic Unnecessary Surgeon Registered Senior Member

    Yeah, sign me up for the crackpot club

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    Oh yeah.. I guess I sort of signed myself up a while ago

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    .... oh well

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    This thread, my sars thread and my inbreeding and evolution thread were all attempts at pointing out the remarkable indications that there is more to nature than darwin's theory suggests.
    I'm not saying they "defy science", they can all be scientifically explained, but the coincidences and seemingly intelligent forces behind science are hard(for me) to ignore.

    Think about inbreeding, smaller gene pools make a species' mutations more apparent and it just so happens that these mutations will aid the species in adapting and changing it from an unsuccessful species(we know its unsuccessful because it has a small gene pool, hence few members) into a successful one. Once successful there is no need to change, everythings working perfectly and by this time the mutations will slow down because there is a large gene pool.
    What an absolutely genius system. Could a human have come up with that? Without inspiration from nature? If no then why do we assume we understand nature 100%? If you ask me it is clearly smarter than us and works on such a higher level that perhaps it would be litterally impossible for us to fathom its type of being.

    Think about diseases,
    as a matter of fact in my local newspaper yesterday there was a story on sars and it mentions what I was trying to talk about.
    Here is an excerpt;
    Contagion requires proximity and, until people contegrated in substantial numbers, in villages, towns and cities, they were too scattered for the organisms to take hold and maintain themselves in human populations.
    When man civilised himself himself, therefore, his health deteriorated drastically and his life expectancy at birth nearly halved.
    Not until the end of the 19th century did man start living as long, on average, as his hunter-gatherer forebears had done.
    Our historical memory is terribly short and we have forgotten almost completely the recent conditions from which we emerged.

    How brilliant. That nature has a defense for overly dominant species, there is the science but what a coincidence and isn't it lucky?(for the environment on the whole, obviously not the people that have died of diseases in the past)

    Just like everything, the organisms that make up a disease have a job also, and just like everything they would be ignorant to what that job is or even the fact that they have a job. They would just like feeding and living in people.
    See the pattern?
    I do, and honestly, I'm pretty confident that(as One_raven said) there is more to it all than darwins theory suggests.
    I think darwins got it mostly right but there is just other undetectable things involved.

    SO many indications...
    I wish I was in front of my computer everytime I notice them.
  11. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned


    you keep repeating yourself and hence i will do the same with the faint hope you might get it at one point:

    the obvious advantage that outweighs predation risk is that females will mate with peacocks with impressive tails.

    It does not matter that they are more obvious to predators. They get to mate and that is what matters.
  12. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

    I forgot to respond to this earlier...

    A colorful tail could very well be seen by females as a positive attribute.
    In two possible ways I can think of right off the bat...

    1.) It could be a sign of physical prowess and intelligence.
    I they have something that makes them so visible to predators and remain alive it proves that they have the health and cunning to escape and thise genes will produce strong offspring.

    2.) When male peacocks are threatened they "scream" (it really is a wild sound if you haven't heard it) and they puff out and shake their large and colorful tail feathers. I would imagine this behavior would ward off many would-be predators. Sound (such as a dog barking), size (such as a puffer fish and those funny little desert lizards that run on their hind feet), erratic movement (such as wildly gesticulating monkeys and Italian men) and vivid color (someone help me out with this one, please) can all shock and strike fear into the predators. If so, the larger and more colorful the tail is, the more effective this tactic would be.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2003
  13. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

    thanks one_raven for the interesting comments

    there is quite a lot of interesting papers on this subject, but i would just like to pick out one, because we seem to be talking about feathers a lot:
    Interestingly birds do try to reduce the costs of making long tail feathers by reducing the features. Although this doesn't reduce their obvious nature it does reduce the actual costs of making those feathers. And all that Raven pointed out above is still valid of course.
  14. Robert Jameson Registered Senior Member

    Keeping it Simple

    I am sorry if I keep repeating myself (and it seems I do) but it is in response to people presenting arguments that I have already addressed in earlier posts.

    It seems that someone can always come up with an argument that the peacock tail may have provided a selective advantage for this or that reason? But lets look at it from a different perspective. If natural selection were driving evolution then why did any complex species evolve? The single cell bacteria that first colonised earth 3.8 billion years ago were by far the best adapted to all environments. 99.9% of all species that have evolved past this point have gone extinct. Evolving complexity has always made it more difficult to adapt to a changing environment; (i.e. if the peacock was suddenly confronted with changed environmental conditions then it is far less likely to survive than bird species with a more simple design.) Evolving complexity has always been a disastrous survival strategy.

    From Chapter 9 of God Gametes.

    Keeping it Simple:

    Bacteria from earth survived 31 months on the surface of the moon. In November 1969 Pete Conrad and Alan L. Bean on the Apollo 12 mission recovered a camera left on the moon two and a half years earlier by the unmanned lunar-lander Surveyor 3. NASA scientists back on earth were surprised to find that the camera contained specimens of Streptococcus mitis still alive. These bacteria must have arrived there in the camera and survived moon’s environment, for precautions taken by the astronauts returning to earth prevented microorganisms entering the camera at that stage. Pete Conrad is quoted as saying:

    “I always thought the most significant thing we found on the whole goddamn Moon was that little bacteria (that we brought) back and lived and nobody ever said shit about it.” 17

    In 1995 two biologists Raul Cano and Monica Borucki were able to revive bacterial spores that had been preserved in amber 25 million years.18 Bacterial life was able to colonise earth 3.8 billion years ago when there was no free oxygen and no ozone to block out the ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Earth’s atmosphere was full of noxious gasses from volcanic eruptions and nuclear radiation was 50 times more abundant than at present.19
    Even today we find single-cell organisms in environments with high concentrations of acidity and alkalinity and saturated salt brines are found to support thriving communities of bacterial life.20 Bacteria can tolerate intense hydrostatic pressures of deep ocean trenches, boiling water of hot springs and can survive being frozen for lengthy periods. They can metabolise many inorganic materials including iron, nitrogen and sulphur and have been found to thrive in oil reservoirs a mile below earth’s surface.21
    Stephen Jay Gould points out that there are more bacterial organisms than all others combined. They survive in a greater diversity of environments and metabolise in more different ways than all other life forms and they alone constituted the first half of life on earth. He argues that they can probably survive at depths six miles underground, are thought to have a total biomass greater than all other life combined and can build novel ecosystems based on heat from the earth’s interior rather than the sun. Gould also suggests it likely that bacteria serves as a model for cosmic life in other places throughout the universe.22
    It appears that the only thing essential for bacterial life is water. It is difficult to imagine any environmental niche that could not be fully exploited by single-cell organisms. There is little doubt that bacteria would be competing with each other for resources but this has not been the driving force of evolution. If survival pressure were to drive anything it would be ‘devolution’ and not evolution. Study of microorganisms tells us that the evolution of greater complexity results in species becoming less competitive and more vulnerable to change. No species has ever improved its prospects for survival by evolving from prokaryote to eukaryote or by developing greater complexity that seems to be associated with gender-based reproductive systems.
  15. Robert Jameson Registered Senior Member


    One Raven

    I read this (thanks to the church of Lunitarisim ) and found it incredibly interesting (though somewhat over the edge).

    Gaia Theory

    I think reality lies somewhere between Darwin and Gaia.

    Both God Gametes and Cosmic Ancestry are supportive of the Gaian concept. Cosmic Ancestry holds that life on earth was seeded from space and there is a wealth of supporting information that can be viewed by visiting

    There is overwhelming evidence to support the Gaian concept that earth’s environment is a self regulating living system. And the Cosmic Ancestry argument that life on earth was seeded from space is also well supported. But neither of these concepts have a model that can suggest a reason for “why” it happened.

    Section 2 of God Gametes is on Cosmic Ancestry and Chapter 8 deals with Gaia.

    The following quote is the conclusion of Chapter 8 from God Gametes. The whole ebook can be downloaded free from

    Lovelock described processes by which earth’s environment is stabilized but does not explain what is driving this system of self-regulation. Cosmic Ancestry recognises the importance of the stabilizing Gaian processes and makes the point that neo-Darwinism cannot accommodate these systems of self-regulation. It is inconceivable that properties that regulate earth’s atmosphere could have evolved by chance. Cosmic Ancestry claims that the Gaian processes were not discovered by way of natural selection but argues instead that formulae for a self-regulating environment have come to earth from space and that the genes for the numerous species of plants and animals that regulate our environment were already here when needed.
    God Gametes agrees that there are self-regulating processes in place that stabilize earth’s environment. We also agree with the Cosmic Ancestry claim that genes for the animal and plant species were not found by natural selection but were already available when needed. Yet there are no genetic programmes for stabilizing the temperature of earth or for the gradual turning of earth’s crust by plate tectonics. It is not possible that genes for regulating these processes could have been accidentally delivered to earth from space. On the other hand God Gametes does not see earth as an independent entity but part of the parent species’ reproductive system. Surface temperature of earth, oxygen content of our atmosphere, recycling of earth’s crust and salinity of oceans must all be regulated by a universal living system of which our planet is part.
  16. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

    Keeping it complex and long life the king

    don't mind me reiterating some points then:

    it is a fallacy that any species is best adapted to every environment. In practice we can have this many species because they all occupy a different niche.
    evolution in short:
    If you can't beat them, move to another neighbourhood.

    if you can't compete with an bacterium, adopt a different lifestyle and become king of your own domain.

    for instance...on the african plains you have a whole set of different grazers that eat leaves at different hights of trees and bushes. They all can exist together because they live in different neighbourhoods (they eat at different heights), although they might be physically standing next to each other.

    The same is true for bacteria. No species is optimally adapted to all environments. There is no überspecies of bacteria that lives anywhere, anyplace and can outcompete anything else. The first ever single celled organism was also adapted quite well to a particular environment. That didn't mean the entire earth was a homogenous environment, or that there was no room for 'improvement', or that life couldn't actually change the environment.

    Therefore I think we should keep in mind that there is no such thing as a single environment. The earth is and has been a multitude of environments, and hence the earth is filled with thousands and thousands of little kingdoms, each with little king, occasionaly de-throned or decapitated. The king is dead, long live the king. Is the new king a better king? Not really, he is just different.
  17. river-wind Valued Senior Member

    well said.
  18. Robert Jameson Registered Senior Member

    originally posted by spurious monkey

    it is a fallacy that any species is best adapted to every environment. In practice we can have this many species because they all occupy a different niche.

    It seems you are suggesting that I have argued that there is one species of bacteria that is best adapted to all environments. This is an incorrect reading of my post. There are of course billions of species of bacteria that adapt to billions of different environments. Collectively they can adapt to more environments than more complex species and being a more simple design can more rapidly adapt to change. My argument being of course that if they can adapt better (and change quicker) then their survival prospects can only be diminished by evolving greater complexity.
  19. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

    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?

    Even within the world of single celled organisms there is a wide range in complexity. It is certainly not the case that they all are as minimalistic as possible. Apparently complexity has advantages as well as disadvantages.

    The main advantage of complexity and multicellular organisms is specialization. With the onset of metazoan animals we first see the real application of specialized cells for instance. One can argue that a cell that is specifically adopted to do one task particularly well has an advantage over a cell that has to be capable to do everything when it comes to a specific task. A digestive cell only has to concentrate on digestion. Hence it is very good at it.

    Cooperation between cells definitely has its advantages as has the lonely lifestyle of the single cell organism. None is better than the other and complexity adds to the creation of new solutions and opening up new niches.
  20. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

    I was watching a documentary (I LOVE the Science channel) that was talking about cellular cooperation being PART of evolution of muti-cellular organisms.

    Basically, a parasite and host (or other symbiotic relationship) "evolving" into a single species.

    Any thoughts on that?
  21. Robert Jameson Registered Senior Member

    Quote from spuriousmonkey

    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?

    It is difficult for me to believe. Can you give me an example of a place where metazoans can survive and where bacteria can not?
  22. spuriousmonkey Banned Banned

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

    edit: i'm not answering the surviving part because it is not about surviving.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2003
  23. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member


    Mitochondria and chloroplasts are very good examples of evolution beyond symbiosis. Without these two little buggers becoming symbiotic and even apart of us, we would all still be protozoa!

    Robert Jameson,

    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.


    good job!

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