Thursday, 21 January 2010



Got a satellite dish which can track a satellite?

Well, I've got news for you: this plant beat your gadget's designers to it.

In the arctic, heat is at a premium. And so, the arctic rose attracts the insects which pollinate it with the freebie of heat!

The little arctic rose is shaped like a radio telescope monitoring outer space: but for a far more useful purpose.

The parabola shape of its petals gathers and reflects heat from the sun's rays as well as foil, and focusses warmth on the stamens and the stigma!

Both food (nectar and pollen) and warmth (from the parabolic structure) are available to the insects here - so they come to these private sun traps, which are about 10 degrees warmer than elsewhere. They themselves become warmer and better able to fly in very short time, and move on to the next solar heated flower!

They've got to work hard, because the Greenland summer is only about 5 weeks, even though there are nearly 24 hours of daylight. Therefore the plant has to keep warm all day.

So how does it do it? Its stem rotates because of its extraordinary design, and it tracks the sun 24 hours per day, being never more than 2 degrees off course!

So evolution lads, how did this one evolve?

1 Let's leave aside the meiosis and mitosis questions - ie how does the plant figure out that its gametes (sex cells) must contain half the required number of chromosomes.

2 How did it know that it had to get insects in to pollinate itself? And how did it know there were such things as insects, anyway?

3 How did it figure out that warmth and food are essential to insects?

4 How did it conceive the idea of a nice reflective parabolic shape that would focus (focus? - what's that in plant language?) the heat on the stigma and stamens?

5 How did it invent the tracking device, which allows it to know that there IS a sun, where that sun is, and alter its position to follow the sun?

6 And how did it get the plans for the tracking device into its own genes when it had figured out everything else?




Evolution's Soft Underbelly
by Asyncritus


The Argument Darwin Dreaded…
The Argument No-One Has Developed Before…
The Argument to Which There Is


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