Geoffrey Simmons on not knowing the direction of the sun

Geoffrey Simmons, in a never ending series of self-promotional posts, questions the evolutionary processes that led to the ability of plants to grow up:

The pat answer is that prehistoric flat plants decided to compete for more sun. But where did this need to compete arise? How could a limp ground hugger accidentally develop systems to support excessive weight – maybe tons of wood – root systems to support the weight, transport systems to move the water and nutrients up, and defense mechanisms against weather and pests?

Simmons does not buy the pat answer, but it is a perfectly reasonable causation. Imagine a limited area that is overrun with flat plants. Since there is no more area on the ground, any move in the vertical direction is going to yield exposure to more sun. The need for weight supporting structures, transport systems and defense mechanisms simply followed. This would have been obviously brought about by natural selection. The fact that Simmons can’t see this is actually astounding. I guess his billions of missing links, including upside-down wombat pouches, adhesives used by Barnacles and Mussels, and velvet worms, can all be summarized as an argument from personal disbelief.

Simmons ends with a ridiculous analogy. This of course has become a pattern with creationist/IDers. When they can’t really make a good argument that is based on reason and evidence, they appeal to an analogy that is specifically crafted to prove their point.

Did you notice the derogatory statement that plants accidently developed the ability to grow upright? Or how about how plants decided to compete? This wording would not really be used by scientists and is yet another example of an ID proponent trying to win points by making evolution sound absurd. However, Simmons inability to see natural selection in such an obvious place is what is really absurd.

Update:  The skepTick has an alternate (and more funny) view of Simmon’s post.

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3 Responses

  1. Simmons continues to pimp his fantasy book. However, even a gullible audience here in the U.S. is still a little more discerning than he thinks. Sure, crackpots may fall for his brand of logic, but the Discovery Institute should be a little more refined than that. I continue to be amazed that they offer him space on their blog.

  2. It is my understanding that plant life started underwater.
    As aquatic algae, plants had the occasion to develop all kind of cellulosic structures, in very different condition than Simmons seems to envision.

    Then they colonized solid ground. They already had many of the necessary genes to grow “up”.

  3. skepTick – I couldn’t agree with you more. Simmons only serves to further weaken their already weak arguments. His posts usually are just good for a laugh, but this latest one was just too ludicrous to not comment on.

    Arthur – Your plant evolution explanation does appear to be the way it really happened. Thanks for the correction. I posted my scenario, not as fact, but to show just how easily it would be to disprove Simmons’ nonsensical arguments.

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