We don’t think of genius animals smarter than us, except in stories. And frankly, there is no animal intelligence that even remotely challenges man. There are no dolphin hospitals staffed by dolphin doctors. There are no chimpanzee libraries, even though a few chimpanzees can hand sign. There are no chimpanzee authors even though there are some chimpanzee celebrities.
Yet, even though there is no animal nearly as intelligent as man, nature's engineering is overwhelmingly smarter than anything man can duplicate. This is true in every category including microbiology, genetics, chemistry, physics, reproduction, healing, or mechanical efficiency.
The “Alligator Snapping Turtle” is a turtle, not an alligator, but it is a scary looking thing with spikes on its back shell and has single fang on the front of its mouth, top and another single fang on the bottom. Not so good for chewing, I guess.
Still, it opens its mouth very wide and can chomp down crushing a fish or breaking a broom handle. It is also big,175 lbs average for males, sometimes above 220 lbs. An intimidating and impressive creature. The Alligator Snapping Turtle has a peculiar way of attracting prey,which I will use to make my point.
LESS CAPABLE MILLIONS OF YEARS AGO?
Let’s pretend we believe the idea that creatures evolved new features and improved skills then passed those new developments to future generations.
With this in mind, we are required to imagine a less-capable turtle millions of years ago.
Amazingly it survived for millions of years when it was less equipped. Hmmm.
If it survived millions of years WITHOUT those evolved skills, it seems like it is surviving well without the new stuff; millions of years without it.
According to the teaching, when the turtle "lacked the ability to survive" it still continued surviving for millions of generations so it could develop advantages which would make it more likely to survive?
That is the evolution story folks.
CAN A TURTLE FEEL THE NEED TO IMPROVE?
So focusing on our turtle. Can a turtle feel frustrated that he lacks abilities he KNOWS would improve his survival? Because in every textbook, science program or animal description, this is constantly implied.
We are taught that the incredible skills and physical equipment were “grown” and developed over millions of years as an INTENTIONAL way to improve that species survival.
PRIMITIVE LIFE FORMS WITH SOPHISTICATED STRATEGIES
The child in this old photo is a prodigy chess strategist. He is like a genius that could beat us in any chess game. I want you to consider every impressive feature you have ever seen in nature that is strategically advantageous. Yes, that would be things like camouflage, building nests, migration, mimicry (imitating another species), trap doors, poison, special eyes, radar, perfect claws, and so many other special abilities. It is endless with plants, animals, insects, birds and fish.
Are all the creatures that strategically evolved their own species as smart as champion chess players? No, no animal can play chess, not one.
ENGINEERING SKILLS BEYOND MANKIND'S BEST ENGINEERS
Imagine the unattainable genius of successfully implanting a strategic design idea right into genetic code with no prototype, no testing and not even having a physical view. The new invention simply appears in the next generation. Wow. No scientist can do anything close to this. Yet this is what you are believing every creature has been continually doing for millions of years, if you believe the idea that animals have been inventing their own new abilities and species.
FAKE WORM BAIT
The Alligator Snapping Turtle has something attached to the tip of its tongue that is a pink worm-shaped appendage, and they wiggle it. It looks like a worm. Frozen with its mouth locked open, its dull grey shell and even the interior of its mouth blend into the environment, especially in contrast to a bright, pink worm. (Apparently, humans aren’t the only ones who fish using worms as bait).
A fish, or something else, sees what it thinks is a worm, the only thing moving. It heads straight for the turtle’s hungry mouth then it's over. The name describes a speedy and powerful SNAP. These turtles can use this hunting method and live up to a hundred years.
Below is 30 seconds of a YouTube video by jinrong
Does this look like good, strategic design to you? Cool, huh?
BEFORE IT EVOLVED INGENUITY
So let's take our alligator turtle without that little pink appendage. How does he hunt?
For a good story, let's say fish were so bountiful he just chomped them as they swam by but eventually the fish became more scarce and future generations were often hungry. So he thinks, "How could I catch more fish?" For a turtle to have such thoughts is questionable, but let's assume he thinks that every day until finally he begins to think of baiting them with a worm. So has he seen fish eat worms? So in this story, he not only likes how worms taste, he knows fish are attracted to worms.
OK, what would be his next question? He needs a strategy and some way to use worms to bait fish. If he decided he should grow a pink worm-like appendage on the end of his tongue, he can't possibly do that. So what next? You tell me, what next?
It seems the only way for our creative genius turtle to not give up on his idea would be to manipulate genes in such a way that his sperm, (or if it a female turtle, her egg) somehow gets new coding. Not 3D printing but actual genetic coding to build this worm-like appendage for all the future baby alligator snapping turtles.
Gee, will that be by enhancing a gene? splicing some genes? reconstructing parts of the DNA? or engineering something else? This isn't exactly a 2nd grade science project and frankly, there is no animal we know of that is as smart as a 2nd grader.
No college student, college professor or anyone in today's science can accomplish this marvelous feat.
In fact, this is new thinking. Out of the box, inventive thinking PLUS brand new, unprecedented engineering skill.
But as believers in evolution, we must believe all creatures HAVE A CONSCIOUS DRIVE (or unconscious DRIVE) to overcome their current DNA design and diligently work to improve it.
And when they teach us it may take millions of generations, who had the idea first? Did the original inventor somehow pass along that new idea genetically for millions of generations to keep striving for that one original idea? How does that work?
Remember, in the evolution story, worms, jellyfish, mice, plants, clams, cells and every living species ... all accomplished these outrageously wonderful endeavors.
Every single organism that invents a new feature not previously enjoyed, would have to be capable of creative, conceptual thinking with a great skill in math and engineering and fantastic foresight.
Can our ancient turtle ancestor be this amazing? After all, the results have to work.
Think of the thinking involved if YOU tried to put an invention of yours into your children's genetic coding and for all future generations.
One must be very skilled in multiple fields then coordinate them. After formulating a strategy to make a fake worm as bait, then choose the preferred size, color and exact location of the worm-like appendage for all subsequent generations, the inventor must make many decisions and know exactly how to implement all of these choices into successful genetic engineering language as a permanent DNA fixture.
After that, tell DNA to oppose any future changes (DNA is opposed to major modification you know).
What should we say? "Nature is mindlessly amazing!"
or should we say "What luck!"
or should we say "It is all an accident."
or should we say "This is genius beyond us all!"?
As soon as my radio programs reach 1000, I am hoping to do more frequent articles for my subscribers (you).
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All the best chapters ahead . . . Samuel J Alibrando