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A little question for those who would interpret genesis literally... Beetles?

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posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 01:36 PM
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reply to post by TheWill
 

J.B.S. Haldane would have been proud of you. When asked what he thought about God, he replied that He showed 'an inordinate fondness for beetles.'

Personally, I think the Lord loves prokaryotes best.




posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 01:48 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


I have to confess, I had the quote in the back of my mind when I first wrote the post. I couldn't remember who had said it (which may well be a crime), so I didn't include it.

As for the prokaryotes, a preference for them would explain why they get horizontal evolution when the rest of us have to get by without it. The future must feel so much more assured when you can borrow millions of years of evolution off of your neighbour.

(Of course, a Haldane-esque quote for prokaryotes becomes difficult because, with their ability to mix and match genotypes, we remain at a loss as to what a species is when applied to bacteria, or rather more so than we do with everything else).



posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 02:27 PM
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reply to post by TheWill
 


Well do you know all of the ways in which all of the different types of Beetles function within nature? I doubt it.
for example, people did not realise that plants where absolutely critical for our existence, they where what you would call ignorant.
www.madsci.org...

If there where one type of plant and one type of Beetle what would happen if the living conditions for that particular plant or Beetle became untenable? Then from the point of view of the plant becoming extinct then we become extinct also. From the point of view of the Beetle becoming extinct! who knows what this would lead to? If you have full knowledge as to the answer of this, i for one would like to hear it.



posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 03:10 PM
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reply to post by DrunkYogi
 


Interestingly, carrying on from your association of beetles with plants, there are a number of situations in which beetle and plants co-evolve - the various closely species of milkweed, each producing slightly different toxins, are preyed upon by a range of closely related beetles who have evolved mechanisms to deal with these toxins. If you look at the phylogeny of these beetles and the phylogeny of the plants, the most and least derived beetles prey (specifically) upon the most and least derived plants respectively, and there's significant correlation in between, as well.

However, you state that plants are beneficial to humans. As producers of oxygen, they are - although oxygen being toxic to eukaryotic cells, they are also killing us - but in other situations, many of them are harmful to us. They produce allergens which affect many people negatively, many of them are inedible and compete with plants that are edible, they destroy buildings (actually, I like that one, and I have an overwhelming desire to buy a city and time how long it takes for the plants to tear it apart), and some - such as white oleander - even poison the air around them. It's hard to see how white oleander is beneficial to humans.

I do accept that I cannot possibly have an absolute understanding of the interactions between organisms, but most beetle interacting with plants - like those preying on milkweed - do so at a cost to the plant. Of course, limiting the fitness of species in a density dependent manner such as this (plant density goes up, beetle becomes more successful, eats the plant, so each species density is kept lower than maximum by negative feedback) does increase the species richness of an ecosystem, which tends to increase the efficiency of ecosystem services (up to a point).

Well, it's thoroughly ponderable, but I have to include it under the first replier's subheading of "God works in mysterious ways". This doesn't make it any less valid, but - as you pointed out - my necessarily incomplete knowledge forbids me from knowing absolutely whether any organism has a positive impact on my own life, so it's hard to test. But interesting nonetheless.

EDIT: Rereading your post, it is testable. Wipe out a species - any species - of beetle and see if the human race becomes extinct. Seeing as I'm reasonably confident that we've already wiped out a couple (it's a habit we have as a species), hypothesis tested. Although longer-term effects are as yet unknown.
edit on 6/12/2010 by TheWill because: stated in text.



posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 05:23 PM
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reply to post by TheWill
 




However, you state that plants are beneficial to humans. As producers of oxygen, they are - although oxygen being toxic to eukaryotic cells, they are also killing us - but in other situations, many of them are harmful to us. They produce allergens which affect many people negatively, many of them are inedible and compete with plants that are edible, they destroy buildings (actually, I like that one, and I have an overwhelming desire to buy a city and time how long it takes for the plants to tear it apart), and some - such as white oleander - even poison the air around them. It's hard to see how white oleander is beneficial to humans.


But can we survive without plants? (i will take a one word answer please)




I do accept that I cannot possibly have an absolute understanding of the interactions between organisms


Thankyou!




EDIT: Rereading your post, it is testable. Wipe out a species - any species - of beetle and see if the human race becomes extinct. Seeing as I'm reasonably confident that we've already wiped out a couple (it's a habit we have as a species), hypothesis tested. Although longer-term effects are as yet unknown.


Any species of Beetle does not count it has to be all Beetles, as the OP stated there are.........



400, 000 types of beetle


It does not matter if we wipe out a couple of varients, this may not matter in the grand scheme of thing's. As i stated before, maybe this is why there are different varients. So thank you for helping me along with my observations.



posted on Dec, 6 2010 @ 05:40 PM
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reply to post by DrunkYogi
 



Originally posted by DrunkYogi
reply to post by TheWill
 



But can we survive without plants? (i will take a one word answer please)


Yes
(expanding now) Every heard of algae? A lot of that is not only edible and nutritious, it feeds a good deal of life in the oceans, so you'd get your fibre from snacking, your oxygen from the same old photosynthesis (most of it is by algae anyway), and any other nutrients could come from higher up the food-web supported by algae.
If algae is too close to plants for your liking, cyanobacteria - a group of photosynthetic bacteria whose common ancestor was responsible for the greatest of all the great extinctions - contain several members who not only grow more efficiently than plants, but some could also be considered a balanced diet ON THEIR OWN.

(edit In case you can't tell, I dislike being told to answer in the asker's context. It falsely alters the meaning of the reply when it cannot be qualified)

edit on 6/12/2010 by TheWill because: in text



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