The evolution? of plants - part II

#1
Part I -> http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threads/the-evolution-of-plants-part-i.1351/

Of course, “miracle” implies there was actually a chance that such complex manipulations of nature could be carried out by primitive yeomen in eight geographical areas over 5,000 years. This strains credulity because in each case in each area someone had to actually look at a wild progenitor and imagine what it could become, or should become, or would become. Then they had to somehow insure that their vision would be carried forward through countless generations that had to remain committed to planting, harvesting, culling, and crossbreeding wild plants that put no food on their tables during their lifetimes, but which might feed their descendants in some remotely distant future.

It is difficult to try to concoct a more unlikely—even absurd—scenario, yet to modern-day botanists it is a gospel they believe with a fervor that puts many “six day” Creationists to shame. Why? Because to confront its towering absurdity would force them to turn to You-Know-What for a more logical and plausible explanation.

To domesticate a wild plant without using artificial (i.e. genetic) manipulation, it must be modified by directed crossbreeding, which is only possible through the efforts of humans. So the equation is simple. First, wild ancestors for many (but not all) domestic plants do seem apparent. Second, most domesticated versions did appear from 10,000 to 5,000 years ago. Third, the humans alive at that time were primitive barbarians. Fourth, in the past 5,000 years no plants have been domesticated that are nearly as valuable as the dozens that were “created” by the earliest farmers all around the world. Put an equal sign after those four factors and it definitely does not add up to any kind of Darwinian model.

Botanists know they have a serious problem here, but all they can suggest is that it simply had to have occurred by natural means because no other intervention—by God or You-Know-What—can be considered under any circumstances. That unwavering stance is maintained by all scientists, not just botanists, to exclude overwhelming evidence such as the fact that in 1837 the Botanical Garden BIN RAS in St. Petersburg, Russia, began concerted attempts to cultivate wild rye into a new form of domestication. They are still trying because their rye has lost none of its wild traits, especially the fragility of its stalk and its small grain. Therein lies the most embarrassing conundrum botanists face.

To domesticate a wild grass like rye, or any wild grain or cereal (which was done time and again by our Neolithic forebears), two imposing hurdles must be cleared. These are the problems of rachises and glumes, which I discuss in my book, “Everything You Know Is Wrong—Book One: Human Origins” (pgs. 283-285). Glumes are botany’s name for husks, the thin covers of seeds and grains that must be removed before humans can digest them. Rachises are the tiny stems that attach seeds and grains to their stalks.

While growing, glumes and rachises are strong and durable so rain won’t knock the seeds and grains off their stalks. At maturity they become so brittle that a breeze will shatter them and release their cargo to propagate. Such a high degree of brittleness makes it impossible to harvest wild plants because every grain or seed would be knocked loose during the harvesting process. So in addition to enlarging and softening and nutritionally altering the seeds and grains of dozens of wild plants, the earliest farmers had to also figure out how to finely adjust the brittleness of every plant’s glumes and rachises.

That adjustment was of extremely daunting complexity, perhaps more complex than the transformational process itself. The rachises had to be toughened enough to hold seeds and grains to their stalks during harvesting, yet remain brittle enough to be easily collected by human effort during what has come to be known as “threshing.” Likewise, the glumes had to be made tough enough to withstand harvesting after full ripeness was achieved, yet still be brittle enough to shatter during the threshing process. And—here’s the kicker—each wild plant’s glumes and rachises required completely different degrees of adjustment, and the final amount of each adjustment had to be perfectly precise!

In short, there is not a snowball’s chance this happened as botanists claim it did.

- Lloyd Pye​
 
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#2
Of course, “miracle” implies there was actually a chance that such complex manipulations of nature could be carried out by primitive yeomen in eight geographical areas over 5,000 years. This strains credulity because in each case in each area someone had to actually look at a wild progenitor and imagine what it could become, or should become, or would become. Then they had to somehow insure that their vision would be carried forward through countless generations that had to remain committed to planting, harvesting, culling, and crossbreeding wild plants that put no food on their tables during their lifetimes, but which might feed their descendants in some remotely distant future.

It is difficult to try to concoct a more unlikely—even absurd—scenario, yet to modern-day botanists it is a gospel they believe with a fervor that puts many “six day” Creationists to shame. Why? Because to confront its towering absurdity would force them to turn to You-Know-What for a more logical and plausible explanation.

To domesticate a wild plant without using artificial (i.e. genetic) manipulation, it must be modified by directed crossbreeding, which is only possible through the efforts of humans. So the equation is simple. First, wild ancestors for many (but not all) domestic plants do seem apparent. Second, most domesticated versions did appear from 10,000 to 5,000 years ago. Third, the humans alive at that time were primitive barbarians. Fourth, in the past 5,000 years no plants have been domesticated that are nearly as valuable as the dozens that were “created” by the earliest farmers all around the world. Put an equal sign after those four factors and it definitely does not add up to any kind of Darwinian model.

Botanists know they have a serious problem here, but all they can suggest is that it simply had to have occurred by natural means because no other intervention—by God or You-Know-What—can be considered under any circumstances. That unwavering stance is maintained by all scientists, not just botanists, to exclude overwhelming evidence such as the fact that in 1837 the Botanical Garden BIN RAS in St. Petersburg, Russia, began concerted attempts to cultivate wild rye into a new form of domestication. They are still trying because their rye has lost none of its wild traits, especially the fragility of its stalk and its small grain. Therein lies the most embarrassing conundrum botanists face.

To domesticate a wild grass like rye, or any wild grain or cereal (which was done time and again by our Neolithic forebears), two imposing hurdles must be cleared. These are the problems of rachises and glumes, which I discuss in my book, “Everything You Know Is Wrong—Book One: Human Origins” (pgs. 283-285). Glumes are botany’s name for husks, the thin covers of seeds and grains that must be removed before humans can digest them. Rachises are the tiny stems that attach seeds and grains to their stalks.

While growing, glumes and rachises are strong and durable so rain won’t knock the seeds and grains off their stalks. At maturity they become so brittle that a breeze will shatter them and release their cargo to propagate. Such a high degree of brittleness makes it impossible to harvest wild plants because every grain or seed would be knocked loose during the harvesting process. So in addition to enlarging and softening and nutritionally altering the seeds and grains of dozens of wild plants, the earliest farmers had to also figure out how to finely adjust the brittleness of every plant’s glumes and rachises.

That adjustment was of extremely daunting complexity, perhaps more complex than the transformational process itself. The rachises had to be toughened enough to hold seeds and grains to their stalks during harvesting, yet remain brittle enough to be easily collected by human effort during what has come to be known as “threshing.” Likewise, the glumes had to be made tough enough to withstand harvesting after full ripeness was achieved, yet still be brittle enough to shatter during the threshing process. And—here’s the kicker—each wild plant’s glumes and rachises required completely different degrees of adjustment, and the final amount of each adjustment had to be perfectly precise!

In short, there is not a snowball’s chance this happened as botanists claim it did.

- Lloyd Pye​
I don't know. Is it possible that over a few or many thousand years, people living close to the earth and having intimate knowledge of the growth factors of the plants (grasses) around them, found success with one species and applied it to others. Maybe Mr. Pye was a giant in his field of study, but he uses a simplistic equation to prove some point. It seems wildly speculative. Humans 10,000 to 50,000 yrs ago ( Cro-Magnon) were basically as intelligent as humans are today. Their brains were slightly larger then humans today and engaged in abstract art. I include a comparative view of the evolution of grasses under human manipulation. Starting about 12,000 yrs ago around Turkey, different grass crops were domesticated. Later in other parts of the world native grasses were also cross bred for optimal harvest.
Saiko, what do you think?
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/stor...fq&s=4498322d18bb0f2c441e08b5ee14658ad6c7a8aa
 
#3
ISaiko, what do you think?
I think you haven't advanced the conversation. You've basically reiterated concepts that the article has already made strong arguments against. And as for "simplistic equation" - a/ most facts are and b/ level of complexity has no bearing on import or accuracy. The same can be said about theories surrounding human intelligence. Pye may not be correct but his arguments hold more water than the accepted standards.
 
#4
I think you haven't advanced the conversation. You've basically reiterated concepts that the article has already made strong arguments against. And as for "simplistic equation" - a/ most facts are and b/ level of complexity has no bearing on import or accuracy. The same can be said about theories surrounding human intelligence. Pye may not be correct but his arguments hold more water than the accepted standards.
OK, well I did preface with I don't know. Whats the alternative hypothesis?
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#5
Interesting stuff - thanks, will have to read up on Pye.

But wouldn't it make more sense of have both parts in one thread?
 
#6
I think that is a very interesting observation! I suggest you contact both Rupert Sheldrake and Stephen Meyer to get their reactions.

Do botanists actually know what plants were crossed to obtain the domesticated varieties?

I suggest we use this thread for the discussion, and perhaps a moderator could lock the other thread.

David
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#7
I think that is a very interesting observation! I suggest you contact both Rupert Sheldrake and Stephen Meyer to get their reactions.

Do botanists actually know what plants were crossed to obtain the domesticated varieties?

I suggest we use this thread for the discussion, and perhaps a moderator could lock the other thread.

David
Wouldn't it make more sense to lock this thread, or better yet merge both threads together?
 
#9
OK, well I did preface with I don't know. Whats the alternative hypothesis?
Lol. There are many but none that I'm subscribing to. For me, it's important to be comfortable in "don't know" land. I think much of what ails status-quo scientists is not being comfortable there.
 
#10
Lol. There are many but none that I'm subscribing to. For me, it's important to be comfortable in "don't know" land. I think much of what ails status-quo scientists is not being comfortable there.
Looking at Pye's background, I don't think Pye provides any authority except to plant a seed of an idea (heehe). Few researchers know as much about biology as Dr. Robert Lanza. His theory of Biocentrism is intriguing for no other reason then this and I quote Wiki here.
" Biocentrism suggests that life is not an accidental byproduct of physics, but rather is a key part of our understanding of the universe. Biocentrism states that there is no independent external universe outside of biological existence. Part of what it sees as evidence of this is that there are over 200 physical parameters within the universe so exact that it is seen as more probable that they are that way in order to allow for existence of life and consciousness, rather than coming about at random. Biocentrism claims that allowing the observer into the equation opens new approaches to understanding cognition. Through this, biocentrism purports to offer a way to unify the laws of the universe."
It opens the idea that possibly plants cooperated in some way to allow development and evolution into a viable food source. Though I'm sure it appeared to follow known physical laws.
I found this article which summarizes the theory for those not familiar with his work.
http://www.robertlanzabiocentrism.com/a-new-theory-of-the-universe/
 
#11
Looking at Pye's background, I don't think Pye provides any authority except to plant a seed of an idea (heehe). Few researchers know as much about biology as Dr. Robert Lanza.
??? Background? Authority? What's that got to do with anything? Do you hold that more indoctrinated means more insightful? Pye provided sources for things that support his perspective. And "no one knows as much as" is part of the problem. How could you or anyone know that anyone knows more than anyone else. We don't even know if what they "know" is correct. Sure to keep the discussion going we might say that Lanza is considered an accomplished biologist.

That said, biocentrism (which yes I'm familiar with) is in some ways on the right track but it skids onto the soft shoulder and gets stuck in the mud. There is in fact no universe outside of existence. But that existence is of consciousness not of physical forms. I'd guess that somewhere in Lanza's mindset the strength of materialist ideas turned the wheel just a little too much. ;)
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#13
Looking at Pye's background, I don't think Pye provides any authority except to plant a seed of an idea (heehe). Few researchers know as much about biology as Dr. Robert Lanza. His theory of Biocentrism is intriguing for no other reason then this and I quote Wiki here....
Good post, though I've seen Lanza apparently confuse Multiverse and Conciousness Causes Collapse when discussing his idea for a "quantum soul". Admittedly, perhaps the confusion is my own.

Interestingly enough Bergson wrote a piece on Creativity and the Cosmos that discussed evolution, despite being a philosopher he was accorded the Nobel Prize in Literature for it. There's actually been a suggestion in some corners that we need to go back to the philosophies of Whitehead and Bergson, as the assumption of mechanistic closure is flawed.

I suspect these ideas will meet with Bohm's, as described by Hiley (board thread here):

BH: Yeah, but don’t forget, if you just do the simple Bohm theory, you don’t see any of this. I’m now telling you we see the Bohm theory in the light of this deeper process. I used to give the lectures on the Bohm theory, because you cannot ignore it. It’s there whether you like it or not. But then people believed that’s what I really thought nature was. But to me, that’s a Mickey Mouse model. It’s not the driving force of what David and I were doing. This would just be a certain level of abstraction.

So I am not a Bohmian in the Bohmian mechanics sense. Chris Fuchs came down to me once after a lecture and says, “How nice it is to meet a Bohmian.” And I said: “I beg your pardon? Where?” I’m not a Bohmian. What we are discussing is not mechanics. Bohm says in his quantum-theory book, the original one, quantum mechanics is a misnomer. It should be called quantum non-mechanics.

GM: Because you shouldn’t think of it in terms of a mechanistic motion of particles?

BH: Yes, it’s nothing like that. It’s not mechanism. It organicism. It’s organic. Nature is more organic than we think it is. And then you can understand why life arose, because if nature is organic, it has the possibility of life in it.
 
#14
But wouldn't it make more sense of have both parts in one thread?
lol. Of course it would. Do you think I made two threads by preference? The board wouldn't allow me to post the whole thing in one . . . .

O!M!G! Wow!!! What a frackin' brain-freeze I've had about this. It just now occurred to me that I could have put part II as a second post in the same thread. Duh. My apologies to all and most of all to myself.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#15
lol. Of course it would. Do you think I made two threads by preference? The board wouldn't allow me to post the whole thing in one . . . .

O!M!G! Wow!!! What a frackin' brain-freeze I've had about this. It just now occurred to me that I could have put part II as a second post in the same thread. Duh. My apologies to all and most of all to myself.
No worries, just put the link to part I at the top of this thread. :)
 
#16
Thanks for posting this Saiko.
I knew Lloyd personally - he gave me great encouragement and strength when I had bowel cancer.
I'm still here but sadly Lloyd then himself got cancer and didn't make it.
Knowing his thinking a little I presume the piece on plants above was meant to convey that either the present day veg and grains are a miracle or there was some form of alien intervention with humankind.
I don't really know enough about biology to decide but as a layman his arguments to me seem valid.
alen creation.jpg
 
#19
The image is almost consistent with a current theory. If the hypothetical grey alien is substituted by a real creature, then a hybrid theory is possible. (though off-topic in this thread).

Are we hybrids?
Thanks so much for this link Typoz. Might I suggest everyone explores those writings of a geneticist suggesting what might have bred with chimps to produce human beings. As in the latest thriller movie - I won't spoil the ending.....
 
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