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Thread: Chameleons and guided evolution?

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    Veteran Member excreationist's Avatar
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    Chameleons and guided evolution?

    I have a hunch an intelligent force exists
    see:
    thread: A God without compelling evidence?

    I believe that our world might not be very old and the history of the evolutionary tree was a virtual history that involved some interesting designs that seemed to evolve naturalistically. It is probably impossible to convince skeptics that any species in the virtual evolutionary tree were designed or guided. Intellectually the chameleon family seems to me to be highly unlikely but not impossible.

    Weird hands


    Independent eyes


    Color changing body and eyes


    Glow in the dark bones


    Very long tongue


    Prehensile tail


    Can have horns

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    I dunno...with a wispy ash-blonde wig and bandana, any of those could be my great-aunt Doris. No horns, but she has one ginormous carbuncle on her nose.

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    Your 'hunch' does not trump the last ~100 years of actual science and research.

    Glad I could help.

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    You could, ya know, test that hunch by learning some things about chameleon evolution... Or just turn your brain off and make silly forum posts I guess.

    It's a pretty interesting story, actually, one of constrained evolution in a very specific and crowded biome, in the chaotic wake of the Cretaceous extinction event.
    "Banish me from Eden when you will, but first let me eat of the tree of knowledge."

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    Veteran Member excreationist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    You could, ya know, test that hunch by learning some things about chameleon evolution... Or just turn your brain off and make silly forum posts I guess.
    Well I did say "It is probably impossible to convince skeptics that any species in the virtual evolutionary tree were designed or guided" Also my hunch that an intelligent forces exists is based on personal experiences and chameleon evolution just seems interesting.

    It's a pretty interesting story, actually, one of constrained evolution in a very specific and crowded biome, in the chaotic wake of the Cretaceous extinction event.
    So the single family evolved multiple region color and pattern changing body and eyes AND glow in the dark bones AND an incredibly long tongue etc? The color and pattern changing seems to detect multiple areas of the environment somehow (see pink and blue photo).

    Perhaps you could tell the story of how some (or all) of those amazing features (a tongue that can be longer than their body etc) evolved....

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by excreationist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    You could, ya know, test that hunch by learning some things about chameleon evolution... Or just turn your brain off and make silly forum posts I guess.
    Well I did say "It is probably impossible to convince skeptics that any species in the virtual evolutionary tree were designed or guided"

    It's a pretty interesting story, actually, one of constrained evolution in a very specific and crowded biome, in the chaotic wake of the Cretaceous extinction event.
    So the single family evolved multiple region color and pattern changing body and eyes AND glow in the dark bones AND an incredibly long tongue etc? The color and pattern changing seems to detect multiple areas of the environment somehow (see pink and blue photo).

    Perhaps you could tell the story of how some (or all) of those amazing features (a tongue that can be longer than their body etc) evolved....
    The same way as anything else, gradually accumulating genetic variations that favored the survival of some proto-chameleons over others. The confined and difficult situation during the millions of years during which they were diverging no doubt put additional pressures on their population, encouraging the persistence of extreme variations.
    "Banish me from Eden when you will, but first let me eat of the tree of knowledge."

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    Veteran Member excreationist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    The same way as anything else, gradually accumulating genetic variations that favored the survival of some proto-chameleons over others. The confined and difficult situation during the millions of years during which they were diverging no doubt put additional pressures on their population, encouraging the persistence of extreme variations.
    So while in a single family they gradually evolved the longest tongues in the animal kingdom, and a body that can turn all of the colors of the rainbow (and pink, grey, black, white, etc) and have different patterns, and glow in the dark bones.... (etc, etc) ?
    I think that to change between so many colors it would involve at least 3 pigments (or whatever it uses). Even if the evolution wasn't guided I think the chameleon family has some of the most amazing features.

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    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by excreationist View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    The same way as anything else, gradually accumulating genetic variations that favored the survival of some proto-chameleons over others. The confined and difficult situation during the millions of years during which they were diverging no doubt put additional pressures on their population, encouraging the persistence of extreme variations.
    So while in a single family they gradually evolved the longest tongues in the animal kingdom, and a body that can turn all of the colors of the rainbow (and pink, grey, black, white, etc) and have different patterns, and glow in the dark bones.... (etc, etc) ?
    I think that to change between so many colors it would involve at least 3 pigments (or whatever it uses). Even if the evolution wasn't guided I think the chameleon family has some of the most amazing features.
    Again, the thing to do would be to investigate some of these features rather than just standing back and going "Wow this is amazing therefore it must be a product of God breaking the rules of His own universe in order to get some really cool looking lizards into it at the last minute." (If the world is six thousand years old, then chameleons show up in the record approximately 20 minutes ago, as paleontologists believe they split off at about 60 millon years BP) "Thank goodness God supports the exotic pet market so devotedly!"

    "Whatever it uses" is a thin layer of guanine, the same chemical that makes up about a fourth of your DNA; guanine crystallizes when there's a bunch of it together, and the chameleon creates the color shifting illusion by stretching its skin, thus changing how the light reflects off of it. So it isn't so much different colors as a degree of stretch; though the arrays of color they produce are really awesome, creating a new one isn't any more amazing than the last. Just like it's amazing you can use your oral anatomy to produce sounds but isn't as astounding when you produce a different consonant from usual, a new chameleon color is easily learned, and we've observed them inventing new ones on the fly in captivity.

    We don't know as much about the fluorescent bones, as they were only recently discoevered. The tongue thing should be self-evident, given that they are insectivores.

    All of the above information is easily found with a few minutes of googling. I didn't just happen to know all of this, I'm just less intellectually lazy than yourself and looked it up after reading your post.

    We do agree that chameleons are pretty cool, though.
    "Banish me from Eden when you will, but first let me eat of the tree of knowledge."

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    Veteran Member excreationist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Again, the thing to do would be to investigate some of these features
    Well I identified them (7)... I thought my original post was long enough....

    rather than just standing back and going "Wow this is amazing therefore it must be a product of God breaking the rules of His own universe in order to get some really cool looking lizards into it at the last minute."
    Though I think if "God breaks the rules" it is a non-obvious way which can be explained by skeptics as still being naturalistic (e.g. seeming to be coincidence). It would probably also involve an AI.

    (If the world is six thousand years old, then chameleons show up in the record approximately 20 minutes ago, as paleontologists believe they split off at about 60 millon years BP) "Thank goodness God supports the exotic pet market so devotedly!"
    I think we are given the impression that the universe is 13 billion years old but I don't think it was explicitly simulated. I think the simulation started fairly recently and worked backwards to generate a virtual history.

    "Whatever it uses" is a thin layer of guanine, the same chemical that makes up about a fourth of your DNA; guanine crystallizes when there's a bunch of it together, and the chameleon creates the color shifting illusion by stretching its skin, thus changing how the light reflects off of it. So it isn't so much different colors as a degree of stretch; though the arrays of color they produce are really awesome, creating a new one isn't any more amazing than the last. Just like it's amazing you can use your oral anatomy to produce sounds but isn't as astounding when you produce a different consonant from usual, a new chameleon color is easily learned, and we've observed them inventing new ones on the fly in captivity.
    I am quite knowledgable about color theory. Stretching implies a single continuum. So it could involve a hue on a spectrum... but it seems the chameleon can also change saturation/desaturation and brightness/darkness. So I think there should be something else besides one kind of stretch. Also I think magenta isn't even on the spectrum (it is a combination of blue and red)



    Also there are a large number of complex patterns - which isn't just a simple case of stretching like you're saying.... there are spots, stripes, pretty plain, or be very chaotic: (I assume this is real)



    You didn't talk about how it learned to connect the stretched colors/patterns with its environment (and create abstract patterns). It looks like there are hundreds or thousands of connections between its brain and different areas on the skin...
    e.g. here are tiny specks - it even matches the eye


    We don't know as much about the fluorescent bones, as they were only recently discovered.
    I wonder what the selection pressures for that would be...

    The tongue thing should be self-evident, given that they are insectivores.
    It would take a lot of gradual changes.... even though this is just within a single family... and it is sticky.

    All of the above information is easily found with a few minutes of googling. I didn't just happen to know all of this, I'm just less intellectually lazy than yourself and looked it up after reading your post.
    Well when I was looking at the color info I didn't understand it so thanks for the explanation.

    We do agree that chameleons are pretty cool, though.
    Yes

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    Senior Member OLDMAN's Avatar
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    Your kind of looking at it wrong. Once evolution starts down a pathway, for example brain size, the improvement and it's advantageous snowball. In part because there is nothing stopping a successful species, and in part because more of the same is an even greater advantage. I think we can assume camouflage is a good advantage, multi-colored a better one, but the ability to flush or paint camouflage is the best.
    And try to remember your looking at the end product of millions of years of evolution, so it seems diverse and incredible. (which it is) But certainly not designed, and here's how we know.

    Not all creatures have camouflage like the octopus, but it certainly would be advantageous if they did. So if you were to build the perfect creature, wouldn't it have a human brain and the speed of a cheetah, wings to fly, be able to live on both land and water, etc, etc. What we see are incredible animals adapted to specific environments. Camels can't live in the north pole, or polar bears in the desert, but they have amazing abilities to survive in one certain environment.

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