More Anthropomorphic Evolution

Posted: January 20, 2008 in Creationism, Evolution, Science

Gigantic fossil rodent discovered

The authors say the animal would have lived alongside carnivorous “terror birds” and sabre-toothed cats.

“If you are a rodent you cannot run so well so you would have had to fight with these predators,” said Dr Rudemar Ernesto Blanco of the Institute of Physics in Montevideo, Uruguay, one of the authors of the paper.

“It might have reached this size to protect itself.”

To protect itself.  Yet another example of one of my pet peeves when dealing with evolution.  The idea that the species somehow adopted a certain form “in order to” respond to its environment.  As in, due to the size and number of predators, this rodent made itself larger to increase its own survivability.

Perhaps it was merely a symantical gaff, but, this sort of thing seems to happen quite often.  Why not just roll with the idea that at some point in pre-history, there grew some pretty honkin big rodent critters?  Why try to fold in this idea that the size was some situational or environmental “reponse?”

And, as I have repeatedly ask, can someone please point to the mechanism whereby this giant wombat someone “detected” the presence of large predators and thereby proceeded to reprogram its own DNA to grow larger in response?

  1. Rob B says:

    As my geo 101 prof said ” The history of evolution is like this ‘Something figure out how to eat something and does pretty good unti something figure out how to eat it or the earth changes and kills it. At that point, something else figure out that there is food on the table to be had as long as it doesn’t go about it like the critter before it.”

    Of course, that’s an oversimplification, but her point was that the availability of resources has more input on evolution than defensive adaptation because even a cute bunny bites if it thinks it’s gonna be dinner.

  2. Steve B says:

    I’ve got no problem whatsoever with adaptation within species and even a certain bit of environmental response. Survival of the fittest works…but to me actually weeds out most genetic aberrations.

    It’s the anthrompomorphic language that gets me, colloquializing things down and suggesting that animals “tune” themselves to a changing environment. In other words, that their survival was a response to input, rather than a simple fact that they were already in a position to survive, and did so by blind freakin luck of the draw.

    You can’t base an evolutionary model on random chance, and then turn around a suggest that species “adapt themselves” through some nebulous and undefined mechnanism that programs in DNA “responses” to external stimuli.

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