Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Snake Spit Proves Evolution?

What? That title didn't explain everything? In a recent study, squirrels have been observed chewing up shed rattlesnake skins and then applying the snake-scented saliva to their fur. This bizarre activity is theorized to ward off rattlesnakes. The ground squirrel, sleeping in a burrow after applying this special spit-bath, would thus cause a snake to pass by its burrow, not wanting to enter another snakes home.

Amazing! Smart little buggers, those California ground squirrels. But does this prove evolution? Does this really illustrate that "predators and the risk of predation select for adaptations to reduce the risk of predation"? What is really amazing to me is the leap of faith that "scientists" take to link interesting beneficial behavior with evolution. Will the next evolutionary step for California ground squirrels be the squirrels' natural production of this scent?

"There is a way that seems right to a man,
but its end is the way to death." -- Proverbs 14:12

And you thought believing in the resurrection was an act of faith!

Todd

6 comments:

Mary said...

Oh my gosh, that's just fantastic!! I'll have to see about organizing a class for the squirrels that frequent our step. Right now they've actually figured out what our car looks like so they know to run to our step for peanuts if we pull up. And one has figured out how to sneak in and out of our apartment when we're not home. I caught her one time when I came home early and discovered that she made friends with one of our guinea pigs (Coconut) and Coconut is just delighted when she pops in. She also has a stash of hershey kisses hidden somewhere here....

They're such brilliant little creatures, Wes will be so amused by this!!

Eric Holcombe said...

"But does this prove evolution?"

Nope. It is claimed adaptation. When we were kids that was called "instinct". I guess the zoology evolved too.

S. Todd Young said...

Thanks for the comments guys! You know who your real friends are in the comments section of your blog...

Just kidding, but I really do appreciate your comments!

Todd

Mary said...

""But does this prove evolution?"

Nope. It is claimed adaptation. When we were kids that was called "instinct". I guess the zoology evolved too."


Well, in a way it IS evolution. Evolution, or evolving, is merely adaptation. The squirrels have adapted to the environment they live in, they have used their God given instincts to survive. And in that way, they have "evolved." Is it the Darwin idea of evolution? Certainly not. Not all uses and examples of evolution need to be tied to Darwin's "theory." I assume that Todd is referring to Darwin's idea of evolution, which in that case, no it does not prove it. Unfortunately it's become a word that needs to be carefully used today, because of what connotations is has. Much like the word "tolerance" which I believe was discussed on this blog a time ago.

"Thanks for the comments guys! You know who your real friends are in the comments section of your blog..."

I got your back, bro! LOL

S. Todd Young said...

I think I understand both perspectives here: the word "evolution" is so commonly tied to Darwin's theory of macro-evolution that the mere use of the word carries that connotation. I also realize that adaptation does happen, like a faster/bigger/stronger -insert animal of your choice- has a competitive advantage over others of the same species, and thus adapt or "evolve."

The biggest thing for me is the seemingly overwhelming compulsion of scientists to credit anything and everything to evolution of the Darwinian kind. They exhibit faith in this theory that puts many Christians to shame. And because it's "science," it's infallible.

That bothers me.

Mary said...

I agree, Todd, that really bothers me too. It's also probably going to be the biggest obstacle I face in my studies of zoology in a secular school...and a vastly secular career.