Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Proof Evolutionists Have Been Waiting For

This sea slug is (according to journalists, a huge qualification) part animal and part plant (link). Thus, the slug defies conventional clades. It does not fit into the evolutionary tree. Will any atheists accept this evidence and discard evolution? Probably not. Most will simply try to build a new tree and assume that one can be built until they succeed.

Incidentally, I suspect that this sea slug will turn out to have a parasitic plant living symbiotically with it, or something like that. If so, it will fall more or less neatly into the existing clades.

The explanation in the article is that by an unexplained mechanism (it sounds so much nicer than "magically") the slugs steal genes from their food and pass those genes on to their offspring. If this is correct, then the slugs fit in the slug clade and simply have a very unusual distinctive trait of being able to steal genetic code from other organisms.

Of course, by the way, the ability to steal genetic code from other organisms is a great deus ex machina to avoid letting the clading system be falsified by the evidence of nature (much like the deus ex machina of parallel evolution).



Geoffrey Miller said...

That is one badass slug! Awesomeness. I soooo want one for my aquarium now.


Anonymous said...

Wouldn't they claim it as a transitional form between plants and animals and claim animals evolved from plants?

Coram Deo said...

This is actually very cool, and the implications are quite simply staggering.

Just think...what if a sea slug were to ingest Richard Dawkins, proceed to "steal" his genes, and pass them on to the next generation?

Methinks it would represent a major evolutionary leap forward for atheism. At a minimum it could serve to introduce them to the concept of regeneration - albeit not the theological type.

Phylum Mollusca,
My father consumed Dawkins;
Homo Atheist

In Christ,

Timothy said...

I have heard good creationist arguments about the "bombardier beetle" as well. Do you know of any evolutionist refutations of those arguments? What do they say about the "duck-billed platypus"?

I also want to inform you of a typo... "Most will simply try to build a new tree and assume that one can built until they succeed."

I think you meant to type "build" instead of "built". [please delete this comment upon correction]

Turretinfan said...

Mr. Miller: Just don't let it bite you or it may steal your DNA too! :)

Anonymous: That would be one way of reorganizing the tree. However, the necessary revisions would be enormous.

CD: While a sea slug with an English accent would be interesting, the last thing we need are more arrogant sea slugs! :)

Timothy: Thanks for the correction. I've updated the sentence. Evolutionists do provide responses to the arguments. Usually those responses (with respect to the beetle) rely on speculation that the many parts needed to obtain the current were each naturally selected for some other reason. With respect to the platypus there does appear to be the use of the parallel evolution argument with respect to certain features.

Someone named Reggie on the unofficial facebook fan page (which I don't run) provided some interesting additional links:

The upshot of those links is that indeed, a similar deus ex machina has been proposed to explain away problems in the clading tree.

The "jumping gene leapt into ancient mammals" article provides an amusing hypothesis along those lines.

Rhology said...


Take a look at for evolutionary responses.

And then you can take a look at

for responses to that, so anyone can judge.
Yet for all the big talk, TalkOrigins has made me laugh out loud a few times with how silly it is.

natamllc said...

Did you hear the one about the slug and the snail?

Turretinfan said...

If I have, I don't recall it.

natamllc said...

Well the slug was invited over to dinner at the Snail's house.

When he got there, besides the food being cold, he saw that the snail's two eyes were bent backwards and asked why?

Oh, my mom bought me a turtle to ride on and I was just out riding him while I was waiting for you to show up for dinner! :)

escargot anyone?

Turretinfan said...

very nice

Coram Deo said...

"more arrogant sea slugs"

Bwah ha ha ha ha!!!