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The battle of the butterflies and the ants - Comments

GodlessHeathen's Avatar Comment 1 by GodlessHeathen

And the "Discovery Institute" will minimize this as "No speciation, thus skyfairydidit still applies".

Ain't denial a powerful tool?

Sat, 05 Jan 2008 20:09:00 UTC | #102919

Solarium Solaris's Avatar Comment 2 by Solarium Solaris

Those butterflies are smarter than most humans.

Sat, 05 Jan 2008 20:23:00 UTC | #102927

robotaholic's Avatar Comment 3 by robotaholic

you know the well made banana debunks evolution everytime... =))

http://youtube.com/watch?v=9zwbhAXe5yk

"the atheist's nightmare" lmao- I think the word "nutter" was coined just because of these kinds of people...

Sat, 05 Jan 2008 21:03:00 UTC | #102945

Richard Morgan's Avatar Comment 4 by Richard Morgan

Getting this chemistry right is important: if an ant doesn't recognize a caterpillar as one of its own it will eat it.
This is wonderful stuff! "If it doesn't call you "Daddy" then it's lunch."
"Eat it or rear it. What an agonising decision."
Just goes to prove that God has an awfully macabre sense of humour.

Sat, 05 Jan 2008 21:41:00 UTC | #102951

Macho Nachos's Avatar Comment 5 by Macho Nachos

Jeremy Thomas needs to watch what he says in press releases.

"There's a lot of theory on this but there are very few practical examples"


Oooh! *points* He admitted it! Evolution hasn't been proven!

But seriously, I am captivated by the world of insects, especially ants and their bevy of interactions with all kinds of other insects. It's rather amazing and I'm glad it's being studied more.

Sun, 06 Jan 2008 00:17:00 UTC | #102972

Rob Carter's Avatar Comment 6 by Rob Carter

This is another example of the sloppy imprecision of language used in a lot of science journalism.

"In evolutionary terms: if the butterflies want to stay where they are, living the high life at the ants' expense, they need to race one step ahead of the evolving ant defences."

Wrong, wrong, wrong!

These butterflies don't "want" anything, and they are certainly not "racing" -- I can see what he's trying to describe, of course, but that isn't good enough. These days, writers must learn to cast what they are describing in appropriate and realistic terms, rather than anthropomorphizing (and even sensationalizing) the processes. It leaves the layman (and the religiously motivated sniper) lost in a fantasy of intentional evolution on the part of organisms which really don't plot against one another as described.

Sun, 06 Jan 2008 01:17:00 UTC | #102988

The Energist's Avatar Comment 7 by The Energist

You can see this in action in David Attenborough's Life in the Undergrowth. Perhaps even more amazing is that there is a wasp that parasitizes the caterpillar that parasitizes the ant. The wasp can tell which ant nests contain caterpillars and it breaks in using a pheromone that confuses the ants. It then lays its eggs in the caterpillars.

Sun, 06 Jan 2008 01:50:00 UTC | #102994

TheHardProblem's Avatar Comment 8 by TheHardProblem

So I guess, the ultimate outcome of this battle depends on the combination of both of the species ability to produce the largest amount of offspring and succesfull mutation rate.

It's like an episode of star trek with an encounter with the borg, where they both need a rapidly fluctuating shield frequency and phaserbeam frequency so as to stay on top of the adaptation rate of the borg. amazing!

Sun, 06 Jan 2008 04:28:00 UTC | #103031

JFHalsey's Avatar Comment 9 by JFHalsey

It's like an episode of star trek with an encounter with the borg, where they both need a rapidly fluctuating shield frequency and phaserbeam frequency so as to stay on top of the adaptation rate of the borg. amazing!


LOL! That's exactly what I thought when I read the article! Nerds of the world, unite! ;)

Sun, 06 Jan 2008 07:07:00 UTC | #103079

D'Arcy's Avatar Comment 10 by D'Arcy

To me, this is great stuff. I must admit, I get a bit fed up with long discussions about why "God" allows evil in this world. In my mind there is no place for any deity in this universe. Just the real thing itself - nature. The more I learn about the universe, thanks to research like this, the more I am appreciative of the efforts of my fellow humans in providing me with some knowledge.

Chemical warfare among insects, although known about, is a field where much research remains to be done. If for no other reason than food production, this research could prove vital stuff as far as humans are concerned.

Long live the knowledge providers! Silence from the priests!

Sun, 06 Jan 2008 13:05:00 UTC | #103215

bluebird's Avatar Comment 11 by bluebird

'Life in the Undergrowth' by Sir D.A. is great!

We also enjoyed/recommend 'Microcosmos':
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76R2EKEnoJQ

Sun, 06 Jan 2008 15:08:00 UTC | #103273

Luthien's Avatar Comment 12 by Luthien

robotaholic on January 5, 2008 at 9:03 pm
you know the well made banana debunks evolution everytime... =))

http://youtube.com/watch?v=9zwbhAXe5yk

"the atheist's nightmare" lmao- I think the word "nutter" was coined just because of these kinds of people...



No, they are not "nutters"...


... they are completely bananas ;-)

Sun, 06 Jan 2008 15:25:00 UTC | #103278

morgantj's Avatar Comment 13 by morgantj

Just a question out my own ignorance. How is it that the ants can choose and have the ability to evolve their chemical makeup on the fly like this? I mean, I can't just choose to evolve my own chemical makeup to look like a panda can I?

Sun, 06 Jan 2008 18:05:00 UTC | #103295

Goldy's Avatar Comment 14 by Goldy

How is it that the ants can choose and have the ability to evolve their chemical makeup on the fly like this?

Ants don't chose. You can look like a panda in evolutionary terms by mating with people who have pronounced panda features. Have to make sure your children do the same....Ignore the stares from others... ;-)

Sun, 06 Jan 2008 18:34:00 UTC | #103303

Atheist_from_Hell's Avatar Comment 15 by Atheist_from_Hell

The fundamentalists say that evolution by natural selection is an unproven theory. Well, here's yet more clear-cut evidence to support it.
And screw this false distinction between "micro-evolution" and "macro-evolution." "Macro-evolution" is just the cumulative effect of "micro-evolution" over a very long period of time.

Sun, 06 Jan 2008 22:34:00 UTC | #103341

Jon_Sociologist's Avatar Comment 16 by Jon_Sociologist

robotaholic:

you know the well made banana debunks evolution everytime... =))

http://youtube.com/watch?v=9zwbhAXe5yk

"the atheist's nightmare" lmao- I think the word "nutter" was coined just because of these kinds of people...


I have to admit that argument from banana reverse Poed me. I thought it was so ridiculous that it must be some Atheist setting up a humorous straw man argument.

Poe's Law:
"Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism that SOMEONE won't mistake for the real thing"

Sun, 06 Jan 2008 23:57:00 UTC | #103352

hungarianelephant's Avatar Comment 17 by hungarianelephant

you know the well made banana debunks evolution everytime... =))

http://youtube.com/watch?v=9zwbhAXe5yk

Presumably God was having an off day when he created the coconut?

Mon, 07 Jan 2008 06:08:00 UTC | #103417

arogop's Avatar Comment 18 by arogop

Does anyone know if these butterflies can live without ants around?

Mon, 07 Jan 2008 11:43:00 UTC | #103541