Botanical Wednesday: It’s Hammer Time!

It doesn’t look like much, but it’s got a cute trick.


  1. #1 Philip Cunningham
    August 30, 2012

    Nice video, but I’m left wondering where are the numerous failed experiments that must have preceded this orchid before it hit upon this ‘apparent design’?

  2. #2 Tom Leete
    United States
    September 9, 2012

    Philip – your question carries an assumption that may not be correct. What evidence is there that the less-intricate ancestors of this orchid “failed”? If you adopt the common, and fallacious, assumption that a complex biological system _only_ works in its fully developed, modern form, then you end up going down an intellectual dead end where you conclude that more primitive forms that lack some element of the modern form must not have worked. It is true that mutating the _current_ form to create a defect will probably lead to a failure of the orchid to reproduce. But to assume that more primitive form was under the same constraint is wrong. The more primitive forms of this orchid probably reproduced very well – just not as well as the current form.

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