How Could Plants Evolve? Answer: They Evolved

Succulent plants

The need for demonstration in science

Darwinism has replaced the need for demonstration in science with the convenience of assertion.

When you read papers and articles that offer to explain how something evolved, what you often find are statements that they just evolved. Let’s see some examples.

3D Body Evolution: Adding a New Dimension to Colonize the Land (Current Biology). The title suggests that readers will learn something about ‘3D Body Evolution’ in the case of plants about to colonize the land. One might anticipate learning about transitional forms, mutations, and natural selection. What the paper presents, however, is just a collection of assertions that plants did evolve.

  • Complex multicellular plant bodies evolved in both generations of land plants.
  • From unicellular organisms, multicellularity evolved multiple independent times in diverse eukaryotic lineages.
  • Within some lineages, ‘complex’ mutlicellularity [sic], defined by the three-dimensional (3D) organization of the body plan, evolved from simple multicellular ancestors.
  • Land plants represent one example, with both generations (haploid and diploid) evolving complex mutlicellularity [sic].
  • The study highlights the importance of the CLV pathway for the morphological innovation of 3D body development in land plants and opens a new avenue to approach a mechanistic understanding of the evolution of the 3D patterning of a multicellular body during land plant evolution.

Is that it? Surely there must be some empirical data to back up these assertions. All that the authors put forward, though, is a simplistic story about how certain complex enzyme pathways affecting the change from 2-D to 3-D patterning might have evolved in one species of moss, Physcomitrella. They are called CLAVATA (CLV) pathways, and they involve multiple complex protein parts…


image credit: Ashley Van Dyke