Nature's 'deceivers'

Discussion in 'Creation vs. Evolution' started by Administrator2, Jan 19, 2002.

  1. Administrator2

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    DAVAEW
    In nature we see insects that look like twigs and leaves, and plants with petals that look like insects.
    We see viceroy butterflies that look a lot like monarch butterflies (which are distasteful to birds), and non-venomous snakes (don't remember the name) that closely resemble the highly poisonous coral snake.
    Then there's anglerfish, which have tongues or skin flaps that lure fish who mistake it for a worm.
    Were these deceptions created by God? If so, why? I thought deception was the other guy's m.o., not God's.
    Or did they evolve? If so, how? What natural process caused these natural structures to develop within some concept of created "kinds"? In other words, what "kind" do walking sticks (the bugs that look like twigs) belong to?

    One other question: In the days before the flood when there was no predation, why did the butterfly and snake mimics, not to mention the anglerfish, need those features?


    HELEN
    We have called them deceptions.

    You may consider them camouflages if you like...

    And no one that I am aware of is arguing against the kind of variations which would allow for this. What we are arguing against is the kind of change that produced entirely new forms and functions.


    THOMAS CASSIDY
    Whoa Hoss! You made a quantum leap without evidence! Who says these are "deceptions?" Why do you think they are "deceptions?" Do you think the anglerfish goes around saying he is not a fish but is really a worm? Does a rainbow snake brag to his friends in the neighborhood bar that he is really a coral snake? Where do you get the idea of "deception?"


    I thought deception was the other guy's m.o., not God's.

    This question assumes facts not in evidence.


    One other question: In the days before the flood when there was no predation, why did the butterfly and snake mimics, not to mention the anglerfish, need those features?

    Who says they did? Once again you assume facts not in evidence. Do you have evidence that pre-flood rainbow snakes (Cemophora coccinea) looked like coral snakes (Micruroides fulvius)? Do you have evidence that diapheromera femorata, or the Walking Stick, looked then as it does now? Do you have evidence that the pre-flood limenitis archippus (Viceroy Butterfly) closely resembled the danaus plexippus (Monarch butterfly)?

    It seems to me your question is predicated on facts not in evidence. Do you accept your presuppositions on pure faith?


    DAVEW
    Why do the fish not go after the anglerfish's tongue or skin flap if they don't think it's a fish? What is your explanation for why rainbow snakes look so similar to coral snakes? Are you proposing an alternative hypothesis that doesn't rely on deception?


    Once again you assume facts not in evidence. Do you have evidence that pre-flood rainbow snakes (Cemophora coccinea) looked like coral snakes (Micruroides fulvius)? Do you have evidence that diapheromera femorata, or the Walking Stick, looked then as it does now? Do you have evidence that the pre-flood limenitis archippus (Viceroy Butterfly) closely resembled the danaus plexippus (Monarch butterfly)?

    Not at all. That's why I asked the question, and asked it the way I did. Did these deceptions result from divine creation, or from evolution? If the former, then doesn't that make God a deceiver? If the latter, then how would such dramatic changes arise through natural processes?


    JOHN PAUL
    The Creationist's position is that the Lord gave all organisms the ability to adapt to differing environments in order to ensure their survival.


    One other question: In the days before the flood when there was no predation, why did the butterfly and snake mimics, not to mention the anglerfish, need those features?

    I know some people adhere to that scenario but I am not one of them. Cain killed Abel before the Flood and I have no doubt that after the Fall from Grace predation also came into existance. To me that could have been one of the many reasons the Lord wanted to wipe the slate clean and start over. That is people took predation to an extreme. Probably wiped out the Unicorns and all of the flying horses.


    Did these deceptions result from divine creation, or from evolution? If the former, then doesn't that make God a deceiver? If the latter, then how would such dramatic changes arise through natural processes?

    I would say the latter but not as you imagine under the standard evolutionary framework. What has occurred is more in-line with Dr. Spetner's Non-Random Evolutionary Hypothesis.


    HRG/ALTER EGO
    Once again you assume facts not in evidence. Do you have evidence that pre-flood rainbow snakes (Cemophora coccinea) looked like coral snakes (Micruroides fulvius)? Do you have evidence that diapheromera femorata, or the Walking Stick, looked then as it does now? Do you have evidence that the pre-flood limenitis archippus (Viceroy Butterfly) closely resembled the danaus plexippus (Monarch butterfly)?

    That should be the default assumption - unless you have evidence that they didn't or can account for a change within the one year of the flood.


    It seems to me your question is predicated on facts not in evidence. Do you accept your presuppositions on pure faith?

    The question is simply predicated on the default assumption: 1) time translation invariance and 2) no significant change unless there is evidence for a mechanism for said change. You presuppose as well that Biblical manuscripts did not suddenly change in 1000 AD, do you ?


    DAVEW
    OK, JP, how does Dr. Spetner's Non-Random Evolutionary Hypothesis explain the transformation of anglerfish from non-predatory (before the Fall) to predatory, body parts used as bait? What happened when the bait parts weren't well developed enough to do the job? What genetic mechanism caused these changes, and do the other fish currently contain the genetic material to turn into anglerfish?


    HELEN
    There are a few points that I think might be relevant.

    First, there is nothing in the Bible which says fish were not meat-eaters before the Flood or before the fall! We only know from Genesis 1:29-30 that men and the animals on land that had the breath of life and the birds were not predators and not meat-eaters. Nothing is said about anything else!

    Second, The biblical fact is that God knows everything that is going to and would happen before it all started. In Revelation 13:8, Christ is referred to as the Lamb slain from the foundation (or creation) of the world. Thus, the advent of sin was not a surprise to God and provision had already been determined for human beings. Secondly, God says, through Isaiah in the book of that name that he knows the end from the beginning.

    The point I am trying to make here is that the 'deception' or camouflage could easily have been part of the original creation where insects, fish, and the like are concerned.

    It is up to people to decide whether they want to call it protection or deception, though...


    KMGRABA
    John Paul,
    God's Will caused this "deterioration?" I'm having a little trouble accepting that. Perhaps I misunderstood your message?


    DAVEW
    First, there is nothing in the Bible which says fish were not meat-eaters before the Flood or before the fall! We only know from Genesis 1:29-30 that men and the animals on land that had the breath of life and the birds were not predators and not meat-eaters. Nothing is said about anything else!

    Fair enough, that deals with the anglerfish, but what about all the other current carnivores?


    Second, The biblical fact is that God knows everything that is going to and would happen before it all started. In Revelation 13:8, Christ is referred to as the Lamb slain from the foundation (or creation) of the world. Thus, the advent of sin was not a surprise to God and provision had already been determined for human beings. Secondly, God says, through Isaiah in the book of that name that he knows the end from the beginning.

    Well, I guess that lets Adam and Eve off the hook for the whole Original Sin thing. But how does that explain God punishing the rest of us for their sin, when God set it up that way? (I realize that this is totally off-topic, but still).


    The point I am trying to make here is that the 'deception' or camouflage could easily have been part of the original creation where insects, fish, and the like are concerned.

    Which, to me, raises the question of whether God uses deception as part of his plan, even though that method is traditionally ascribed solely to the other guy. But thank you for providing a concrete answer rather than avoiding the question.


    It is up to people to decide whether they want to call it protection or deception, though...

    Well, it's not always about protection. As I noted in my original post, there are flowers with petals that look like insects (orchids that attract male wasps to try to mate with them, and thus pollinate them in the process). That's not protection, although it is about reproduction, which in terms of evolutionary fitness (or even non-evolutionary fitness) amounts to much the same thing.


    HELEN
    You asked some good questions and made some interesting comments.

    1. Current land and bird carnivores became that way after the Flood. I know the argument about sharp teeth and such, and to an extent it is hard to know a lot of things, but I will say that if anyone has ever been bitten by a squirrel, the idea that sharp teeth are confined to carnivores will be shattered! Secondly, consider the kind of teeth it would take to tear into woody stems or bark, if there where the needed protein was -- or a different kind of seed, perhaps as large as a coconut? I think those teeth may have had an original purpose that was simply adaptable (THAT word!!!!) to conditions after the Flood.

    2. No, Adam and Eve are not 'off the hook' for original sin. They are responsible, biblically, for the advent of sin nature in people. God mentions this nature in Genesis 8:21, after the flood, to Noah, where He remarks, almost in passing, that the heart of men always tends toward evil from childhood. This was the result of 'knowing good and evil' which Adam and Eve fell for. Paul, later in the New Testament (Romans 5) says that one man brought sin into the world. The fact that God knew it would happen has nothing to do with the responsibility that devolved onto Adam regarding this choice. The entire concept of the need to be born again is from this 'natural' condition of men's hearts. The sin nature -- the sin heart -- must be put to death so that a new one can take its place. One that God Himself gives a man, -- one that desires, or tends toward, the good and not evil. This is the basic Christian message! It is Christ who made this possible by taking the wages of death that our sins have earned so that they will not be paid to us. Now we can reject that gift or accept it -- it depends on the heart we desire within us.

    3. Although we have hearts that tend toward evil, we do not have to DO the evil. That is what the law, both God's and man's, is all about. We are expected to control ourselves. Paul says in Romans 7 that without the law, sin is dead. That means that a child with sin nature who is unaware of the law, or not able to comprehend it, is not held guilty of the sins he commits. This is along the lines of a two-year old who sees Mommy put yummy things in the grocery cart and then the nice man at the counter helps her put them into a bag to take home. The concept of 'stealing' or 'payment' is totally foreign to the child, so he, also, takes what he wants and maybe no one sees. He has stolen, but he cannot rightfully be held guilty or liable. He did not know the law. So we are definitely to be held liable when we DO know God's law. The unfortunate thing is that we cannot perfectly keep the law and still keep our old hearts which prefer evil. It sets up an intolerable internal war.

    4. The sort of deception that is ascribed to Satan is the kind that leads men into sin. This is nowhere near the concept of protection (or attraction) via external appearances which we find in the animal and plant worlds.


    DAVEW
    Helen, we're veering off topic here, but above, you wrote:
    "The biblical fact is that God knows everything that is going to and would happen before it all started."

    If that is the case (and I'm guessing this is theological ground you've trod before), then how can any human be held responsible for their actions, if they were inevitable all along (e.g. if God knew everything that was going to happen).

    In other words, if God knows that I'm going to commit adultery at 1:37 p.m. today while my wife's away at work, is it really my fault? In fact, if I somehow managed to avoid the temptation, wouldn't that be defying God, who knows that I'm scheduled to commit adultery at that time?

    As for your remark about squirrels, certainly herbivores can have sharp teeth, but what about their digestive systems? There are distinct and consistent differences between the guts of herbivores and carnivores (the latter tend to be shorter with more acids and stuff).


    HRG/ALTER EGO
    1. Current land and bird carnivores became that way after the Flood. I know the argument about sharp teeth and such, and to an extent it is hard to know a lot of things, but I will say that if anyone has ever been bitten by a squirrel, the idea that sharp teeth are confined to carnivores will be shattered!

    "Sharp" is not the point. The carnassial teeth of carnivores look different and are in different places than the sharp front teeth of rodents.


    HELEN
    Dave W. -- knowledge is NOT a matter of forcing the issue. I can know my children well enough to know what they will do in a particular situation and that does not deprive them of free choice. I am relatively sure you will read this. That does not deny your free choice. God for sure knows whether or not you will read this. That still does not deny your free choice. That is why the entire Bible is filled with "if....then's" from God to us.

    Digestive systems needing the type of proteins carnivores do, and prepared for them -- this is exactly the point! That is why they had to become carnivores and couldn't just eat the other plants which grew after the Flood. God was the one who chose which animals would go on the Ark. He knew which ones had what was needed to survive later.

    HRG -- the above plus they were pre-adapted, which is why they were on the Ark and further adaptations had hundreds of years to be accomplished as environmental niches were established and filled.

    [ January 20, 2002: Message edited by: Administrator ]
     

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