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Amber-Trapped Spider Web Too Old for Evolution
ICR News ^ | November 20, 2009 | Brian Thomas, M.S.

Posted on 11/20/2009 8:37:04 AM PST by GodGunsGuts

Amateur fossil hunters Jamie and Jonathan Hiscocks were looking for dinosaur remains in East Sussex, UK, when they instead found tiny spider webs trapped inside a piece of ancient amber. Oxford University paleobiologist Martin Brasier inspected the amber, which was assigned an age of over 100 million years. He concluded that spiders back then were able to spin webs just like today’s garden spiders.

The amber-encased webbing formed concentric circles like those that contemporary orb-weaver spiders manufacture. Also evident were “little sticky droplets along the web threads to trap prey,” Brasier told the Daily Mail. He added, “You can match the details of the spider's web with the spider's web in my garden.”1 In a paper recently published in the Journal of the Geological Society, he wrote that these webs are “comparable with those of araneoid spider webs studied by us in modern cherry tree resins.”2

Brasier and his colleagues suggested that this “amber was arguably deposited shortly before the emergence of the earliest flowering plant communities circa 140 million years before present.”2 The Daily Mail reported, “The discovery suggests that orb-shaped web spinning spiders existed far earlier than had been previously thought, at a time before flowering plants appeared on the planet and triggered an explosion in flying insects.”1

This is a reversal of the standard story of spider evolution, which was based on spider fossils from Florissant lake deposits and Baltic amber. Paleobiologist Donald Prothero wrote in 2004, “From these deposits, it is apparent that carnivorous, web-spinning spiders had radiated since the late Mesozoic, probably in response to the explosion of insect diversity in response to the diversification of flowering plants.”3 Florissant insect fossils are considered to be 35 million years old , and the oldest Baltic amber is considered to be about 40 million years old. Thus, by evolutionary reckoning, the new UK amber shows that spiders were around 100 million years earlier than previously thought.

So, did orb-weaving spiders evolve in response to a greater diversity of insects―which supposedly evolved in response to plants―or did the spiders evolve prior to these insects?

If the evolutionary age-deposit correlation is made, this amber-encased spider web not only falsifies the theory that spiders “radiated” in response to the “explosion” of insects, but it also glosses over the fact of the interdependence of these three groups—spiders, insects, and flowering plants—in ecosystems. Most orb-weavers depend entirely on flying insects for food, insects are responsible for pollinating most flowering plants, and the plants provide the necessary food for most insects.

For Brasier and his colleagues to maintain that even a single generation of these spiders evolved prior to insects, they must also insist that spiders came up with silk glands, spinnerettes, and the instincts required to build symmetrical webs even to the degree of coating them with sticky insect-trapping droplets—all with no flying insects around to trap as prey. With no lunch as a payoff, wouldn't that generation of spiders have gone extinct?

However, if the contradictory web of long-age assignments could be decoupled from rock layers, as the Flood model maintains, then the spider conundrum vanishes. Spider, insect, and flowering plant fossils are near the top layers of Flood-year strata not because they evolved in later eras, but because they were part of mid-continental ecosystems that were the last areas to be inundated by the Flood.4

Genesis is correct that spiders, insects, and flowering plants have always existed in interdependent ecosystems from the beginning.

References

  1. Creepy crawlies from the dawn of time: Newly-discovered prehistoric spider’s web is world’s oldest. Daily Mail. Posted on dailymail.co.uk November 1, 2009, accessed November 3, 2009.
  2. Brasier, M., L. Cotton and I. Yenney. 2009. First report of amber with spider webs and microbial inclusions from the earliest Cretaceous (c. 140 Ma) of Hastings, Sussex. Journal of the Geological Society. 166 (6): 989-997.
  3. Prothero, D. 2004. Bringing Fossils to Life: An Introduction to Paleobiology, 2nd ed. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill, 266.
  4. Wise, K. 2003. The Pre-Flood Floating Forest: A Study in Paleontological Pattern Recognition. Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Creationism. Pittsburgh, PA: Creation Science Fellowship, 371-381.


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1 posted on 11/20/2009 8:37:06 AM PST by GodGunsGuts
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To: metmom; DaveLoneRanger; editor-surveyor; betty boop; Alamo-Girl; MrB; GourmetDan; Fichori; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 11/20/2009 8:38:24 AM PST by GodGunsGuts
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To: GodGunsGuts

The theory can and will be adjusted in the face of any new evidence.

It’s based on epistemology that recognizes the primacy of reality—not the primacy of an explanation (regardless of the source).


3 posted on 11/20/2009 8:43:37 AM PST by Jason Kauppinen
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To: GodGunsGuts
For Brasier and his colleagues to maintain that even a single generation of these spiders evolved prior to insects, they must also insist that spiders came up with silk glands, spinnerettes, and the instincts required to build symmetrical webs even to the degree of coating them with sticky insect-trapping droplets—all with no flying insects around to trap as prey. With no lunch as a payoff, wouldn't that generation of spiders have gone extinct?

One would think.

Kind of makes you wonder how all the web spinning equipment and instinct just happened to evolve before there was a use for it.

Oh, let me guess, it was one of those beneficial mutations just waiting around for the right conditions for it to be selected for.

4 posted on 11/20/2009 8:44:57 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: GodGunsGuts

Uh...well, what we MEANT to say was...

Yeah, okay. I still like hydroplate. That makes me one of those radical right-wing Christians the military is lousy with. Oh, well.

Colonel, USAFR


5 posted on 11/20/2009 8:47:42 AM PST by jagusafr (Kill the red lizard, Lord! - nod to C.S. Lewis)
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To: Jason Kauppinen
It’s based on epistemology that recognizes the primacy of reality

Even when the reality doesn't match it!!

Remember evolution = reality and reality = evolution!!

So you see, it is impossible for evolution not to reality.

And vice versa of course

Science!!

6 posted on 11/20/2009 8:49:07 AM PST by Tribune7 (God bless Carrie Prejean)
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To: GodGunsGuts

I anxiously await the point-by-point refutation of the above article by the evos. I’m sure I’ll STILL be waiting after the 50th comment.

Let me give it a try: Oh yeah! But still. You dumb religious hicks...ect...

And the navy guy will say, “This doesn’t prove the earth is 6,000 years old.”


7 posted on 11/20/2009 8:49:18 AM PST by rae4palin
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To: metmom
Kind of makes you wonder how all the web spinning equipment and instinct just happened to evolve before there was a use for it. Oh, let me guess, it was one of those beneficial mutations just waiting around for the right conditions for it to be selected for.

Mosquitoes are far older than the timeframe being discussed in the article. There are plenty of flying insects that have nothing to do with flowering plants, and preceded said plants by millions of years.

8 posted on 11/20/2009 8:50:35 AM PST by The_Victor (If all I want is a warm feeling, I should just wet my pants.)
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To: GodGunsGuts

God is a great engineer...................


9 posted on 11/20/2009 8:52:45 AM PST by Red Badger (Al Gore is the Bernie Madoff of environmentalism. He belongs in jail. - Unknown Blogger)
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To: metmom

10 posted on 11/20/2009 8:55:10 AM PST by GodGunsGuts
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To: Red Badger

Isn’t He though! Did you happen to catch the picture of the spider spinneretes just above???!!!


11 posted on 11/20/2009 8:57:47 AM PST by GodGunsGuts
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To: GodGunsGuts

Not yet............


12 posted on 11/20/2009 8:59:13 AM PST by Red Badger (Al Gore is the Bernie Madoff of environmentalism. He belongs in jail. - Unknown Blogger)
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To: GodGunsGuts

You’re just a liar.


13 posted on 11/20/2009 9:00:14 AM PST by demshateGod (The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.)
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To: The_Victor
Mosquitoes are far older than the timeframe being discussed in the article. There are plenty of flying insects that have nothing to do with flowering plants, and preceded said plants by millions of years.

Since male mosquitoes eat nectar from plants, what did they eat before flowering plants appeared on the scene?

14 posted on 11/20/2009 9:00:15 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: jagusafr

Full bird Colonel? Wow, I’m duly impressed, sir!!! It’s nice knowing that there are plenty of people just like you serving in our nation’s military. Former USMC myself. I was one of those enlisted guys that people like you get to order around :o)

God bless you for your service!

—GGG


15 posted on 11/20/2009 9:01:06 AM PST by GodGunsGuts
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To: Red Badger

Amazing. They look like a power station! But we all know they got there by random mutations mindlessly guided by natural selection!


16 posted on 11/20/2009 9:04:40 AM PST by GodGunsGuts
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To: metmom
Since male mosquitoes eat nectar from plants, what did they eat before flowering plants appeared on the scene?

They feted upon an unusually sweet substance emitted from primordial pond scum. It always goes back to pond scum.

17 posted on 11/20/2009 9:07:49 AM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: RegulatorCountry

We have a creator who knows our every thought, holds all the stars in their place, makes the earth spin and seasons change, knows what will work for our ultimate good and leads us down that path. Their creator is pond scum.


18 posted on 11/20/2009 9:14:46 AM PST by demshateGod (The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.)
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To: metmom
Since male mosquitoes eat nectar from plants, what did they eat before flowering plants appeared on the scene?

They are called "extrafloral nectaries". Non-flowering plants produce nectar from the leaf petioles, mid-rib or leaf margin.

19 posted on 11/20/2009 9:20:42 AM PST by The_Victor (If all I want is a warm feeling, I should just wet my pants.)
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To: GodGunsGuts
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081014134015.htm

Oldest flying insect fossil predates your spider by about 150,000,000 years. Oops.

20 posted on 11/20/2009 9:36:20 AM PST by stormer
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To: demshateGod

Hmm, let’s see. The scientists and evos have to prove everything they believe and if there is the slightes hole or minutest inconsistency in anything they say, they are wrong and they’re going to hell.

The creationists don’t have to prove anything they believe and if there is a gaping hole or an glaring inconsistency in anything they say, they are still right and they’re going to heaven.

Do I have it right or am I wrong somewhere?


21 posted on 11/20/2009 9:37:33 AM PST by urroner
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To: demshateGod

Hmm, let’s see. The scientists and evos have to prove everything they believe and if there is the slightes hole or minutest inconsistency in anything they say, they are wrong and they’re going to hell.

The creationists don’t have to prove anything they believe and if there is a gaping hole or an glaring inconsistency in anything they say, they are still right and they’re going to heaven.

Do I have it right or am I wrong somewhere?


22 posted on 11/20/2009 9:37:38 AM PST by urroner
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To: urroner

[[Hmm, let’s see. The scientists and evos have to prove everything they believe and if there is the slightes hole or minutest inconsistency in anything they say, they are wrong and they’re going to hell.]]

No -those that reject God and haven’t accepted Christ will go to hell whether they beleive in evolution or not- the bible is pretty clear about htis- As to the ‘slightest hole’ or ‘minutest inconsistency’- the hwoppers being told by TOE advocates are a bit more than ‘slight and minute’ in many cases

[[The creationists don’t have to prove anything they believe]]

Oh but we do present ample enough evidence to present strong beyond reasonable doubt cases supporting our positions- FR has many such threads

[[if there is a gaping hole or an glaring inconsistency in anything they say,]]

‘Gaping holes’? ‘Glaring inconsitencies’? Care to point htwese out?

[[they are still right and they’re going to heaven.]]

If they have accepted Christ as Savior, then yes, they are goign to heaven- the bible is very clear about htis too.


23 posted on 11/20/2009 9:45:20 AM PST by CottShop (Scientific belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge)
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To: urroner

I don’t know if “you’re wrong” would be the right words to say in response. It doesn’t seem you have the resources to come up with any other interpretation of what I said. Nothing you said shows you have the ability....no, that’s not it..... the needed amount of deference to debate this issue. Nor enough deference to truly see your position before a holy God. Maybe you do, but it’s not displayed here.


24 posted on 11/20/2009 9:47:08 AM PST by demshateGod (The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.)
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To: stormer
“The discovery suggests that orb-shaped web spinning spiders existed far earlier than had been previously thought, at a time before flowering plants appeared on the planet and triggered an explosion in flying insects.

Kind of a waste of time to set up a net and wait for insects before insects became a plentiful dinner item, don't you think?

25 posted on 11/20/2009 9:49:35 AM PST by GodGunsGuts
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To: GodGunsGuts

You can lead a spider to 100 million years but you cannot make it evolve ...

And to think I am mocked for being a young earther ...


26 posted on 11/20/2009 9:49:35 AM PST by Scythian
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To: GodGunsGuts
Brian, as usual, leaves out some inconvenient facts and blurs a bunch of others. He would have us believe, first of all, that "radiated" is the same thing as "evolved." The idea that spiders "spread into new habitats and thereby diverged or diversified" (the definition of "radiate" in ecology) is hardly contradicted by the discovery that spiders were around long before that radiation happened. Calling the new discovery a "reversal" of the radiation theory is therefore a mischaracterization.

Then he writes, "For Brasier and his colleagues to maintain that even a single generation of these spiders evolved prior to insects..." But Brasier gave the web an age of 140 million years, and "the oldest identifiable insect fossil is a 390-million year old bristletail." And "the oldest known fossils of winged insects are about 320 million years old." Brasier's even quoted in the story Brian footnotes, saying "it was at this time [the time the web was made] flies, butterflies and moths were beginning to evolve!" So the idea that Brasier said the spiders evolved before insects is just something Brian made up.

So Brian's question, "With no lunch as a payoff, wouldn't that generation of spiders have gone extinct?" is based on a false premise: there was plenty of lunch around.

I stayed out of the "are creationists liars?" thread. But this one certainly is, unless you think Brian just doesn't understand what he reads. His patterns of distortion and deception are too consistent for me to believe that, though. He's a very good propagandist.

27 posted on 11/20/2009 9:50:25 AM PST by Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
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To: Ha Ha Thats Very Logical

See #25.


28 posted on 11/20/2009 9:54:41 AM PST by GodGunsGuts
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To: CottShop

I heard you were dead a few days ago.

I’m very glad to see that the rumors of your death were greatly exaggerated.


29 posted on 11/20/2009 10:00:23 AM PST by AZ .44 MAG (I'm Jim Thompson and I say our government is a joke and its current make up is the punch line.)
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To: RegulatorCountry

Called it.....


30 posted on 11/20/2009 10:01:59 AM PST by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: GodGunsGuts
BTMS* strikes again......Earth to BTMS*, you can dupe some with your nonsense, but flying insects were around LOOOOOOOOOONG BEFORE 140 million years ago, so your argument that the spider spinning webs for no flying insects is as asinine as it is irrelevant nonsense designed to dupe the flock.

Spider, insect, and flowering plant fossils are near the top layers of Flood-year strata not because they evolved in later eras, but because they were part of mid-continental ecosystems that were the last areas to be inundated by the Flood.

Hadn't heard that knee-slapper before. Now the flowering plants were in the continent interiors....because plants would never grow near the ocean. DO TELL, BTMS*, why are there flying insect fossils in the 300 million years ago strata?

31 posted on 11/20/2009 10:05:31 AM PST by ElectricStrawberry (Didja know that Man walked with 100+ species of large meat eating dinos within the last 4,351 years?)
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To: AZ .44 MAG

[[I heard you were dead a few days ago.

I’m very glad to see that the rumors of your death were greatly exaggerated.]]

Err? I think somethign got mixed up in translation- I was in a thread abotu hte swine flu, and had said that with my asthma, I’m probably goign to have a difficult time with hte flu (I haven’t got hte swien flu yet, but it’s goign aroudn town right now, and I NEVER escape gettign flus unfortuinately- if a town 100 miles away gets the flu- I’ll get it soemhow lol)

[[I heard you were dead a few days ago.]]

I do however sleep on my left side because I read somewhere that doing so wears the heart out faster lol

[[I’m very glad to see that the rumors of your death were greatly exaggerated.]]]]

Thanks- I’m doing well so far- Tryign to stay out of public till this flu runs it’s course in town- We can’t get the swine flu shot as it’s simpyl not available, so I’m tryign to avoid gettign it best I can


32 posted on 11/20/2009 10:10:41 AM PST by CottShop (Scientific belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge)
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To: The_Victor

Shhhhhh....they have a false argument to kick around.
....never you mind all other flying insects....they are irrelevant to the bogus argument.


33 posted on 11/20/2009 10:12:56 AM PST by ElectricStrawberry (Didja know that Man walked with 100+ species of large meat eating dinos within the last 4,351 years?)
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To: GodGunsGuts
See #25.

What about #25? You mean where you falsely imply that there were no insects around to eat before the "explosion in flying insects" referred to? So there were fewer insects--that just means there were fewer spiders, not that there were none. The idea that populations of prey and predator rise and fall together is hardly new.

34 posted on 11/20/2009 10:15:14 AM PST by Ha Ha Thats Very Logical
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To: CottShop

Check your FR mail.


35 posted on 11/20/2009 10:20:04 AM PST by AZ .44 MAG (I'm Jim Thompson and I say our government is a joke and its current make up is the punch line.)
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To: GodGunsGuts

Thanks for the ping!


36 posted on 11/20/2009 10:24:24 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: AZ .44 MAG

will do- nothign there yet, but wil lcheck agaion tonight as I have to leave for a bit- I’m gonna dress up in brown pants, brown shirt, tuck a white hankerchief in my back pocket, and go leaping through the woods making gruntign sounds while pawing hte ground (life is pretty boring in my neck of hte woods- gotta do thigns to make it more itneresting- nothign like dodging bullets durign hunting season to give the heart a jumpstart lol)


37 posted on 11/20/2009 10:24:59 AM PST by CottShop (Scientific belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge)
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To: CottShop

The brown shirt would help you fit in at the White Hut too.


38 posted on 11/20/2009 10:27:17 AM PST by AZ .44 MAG (I'm Jim Thompson and I say our government is a joke and its current make up is the punch line.)
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To: GodGunsGuts

And to you for yours. And the eagles just give me the opportunity to flash my alpha at a higher level. Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

Colonel, USAFR


39 posted on 11/20/2009 10:37:41 AM PST by jagusafr (Kill the red lizard, Lord! - nod to C.S. Lewis)
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To: GodGunsGuts

As was pointed out earlier, not all flying insects require flowering plants, and a great many insects that cannot fly, jump. Orb weavers would have an advantage in capturing jumping insects.


40 posted on 11/20/2009 10:38:32 AM PST by stormer
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To: ElectricStrawberry
Shhhhhh....they have a false argument to kick around. ....never you mind all other flying insects....they are irrelevant to the bogus argument.

Crud!, and I was all ready to throw the 360 million year old mayfly genus into the mix.

41 posted on 11/20/2009 11:06:30 AM PST by The_Victor (If all I want is a warm feeling, I should just wet my pants.)
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To: GodGunsGuts

There is no shortage of things that science should quit teaching as conclusions and instead should start acknowledging as only theories.

Scientific analysis is not harmed by such a change.

To do any scientific analysis a well grounded theory, recognized as a theory - not a conclusion - is enough.

The life scientists have previously held theories and beliefs about the conditions necessary for life, any life; theories that suggested where life could and could not exist.

In the past few decades though, they have found unanticipated life forms at ocean depths and under extreme temperature and pressure conditions once believed impossible for life, any life, to survive.

Recently they have discovered living, and fossilized remnants of living, organisms in rock formations deep in the earth; suggesting that “life” (in some sense) can exist even in an environment where the entire life cycle related to sunlight (not just a life-form but all the life-forms related to it’s existence) has never existed.

Now, as far as theories go, you can expect the evolution theory to not rebuke these new findings but to accept them, in an unanticipated shift, appending the evolution theory with the possibility that whenever the “water-sun” climate on earth became established in earth history that “life”, pre-existent life, gradually migrated “out of the rocks”.

The extreme extension of that theory, in the future, may be that “life” arrived in the rocks, the very “rocks” from which the infant earth was “born”.

Full disclosure. I am not advocating any of the above theories. I’m only providing an armchair view of where they all may be going.


42 posted on 11/20/2009 11:10:57 AM PST by Wuli
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To: metmom

Both male AND female mosquitoes feed on “plant juices”, including nectar AND the photosynthate in phloem....and can quite easily pierce the skin of plants to the phloem to extract the photosynthate...especially soft-sided tropical plants.

As in, they are not nectar exclusivists like you want them to be....in any manner.....and even if they were today like you want them to be, that would not mean they were 300+ million years ago...it would mean that they are taking advantage of an easy food source.

Entomology is your friend.


43 posted on 11/20/2009 11:16:33 AM PST by ElectricStrawberry (Didja know that Man walked with 100+ species of large meat eating dinos within the last 4,351 years?)
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To: GodGunsGuts
Kind of a waste of time to set up a net and wait for insects before insects became a plentiful dinner item, don't you think

Plenty of flying insects ranging back to 300 million years.....long before flowers.

FAIL!

44 posted on 11/20/2009 11:21:02 AM PST by ElectricStrawberry (Didja know that Man walked with 100+ species of large meat eating dinos within the last 4,351 years?)
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To: GodGunsGuts

So what are you saying, that God created spiders 100 million years ago? Does it mean that the number 6,000 does not apply anymore?


45 posted on 11/20/2009 11:33:01 AM PST by Behemoth the Cat
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To: Jason Kauppinen; GodGunsGuts
“It’s based on epistemology that recognizes the primacy of reality—not the primacy of an explanation (regardless of the source).”

Really?

“..... If one’s representation of reality takes evolution to be irrelevant to understanding biology, then it is one’s representation, not evolution, whose relevance should be questioned!” A New Biology for a New Century
Carl R. Woese*

Question reality if you must but never evolution!

46 posted on 11/20/2009 12:03:24 PM PST by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: GodGunsGuts; stormer
Where's the beef?!!! ahhh....wings?

“The impression is about three inches long and is imprinted on the flat side of a rock. The impression does not contain direct evidence of the insect having wings but Knecht and Benner say evidence suggests that it was a winged insect. According to Benner, the insect's anatomy and body plan are consistent with those of primitive flying insects. He also points out that “there are no walking tracks leading up to the body impression, indicating that it came from above.”

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081014134015.htm

Right. No wings so the insect flew on a set of “suggestions”.

47 posted on 11/20/2009 12:31:36 PM PST by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: count-your-change

You don’t have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.


48 posted on 11/20/2009 12:34:28 PM PST by stormer
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To: urroner

You gentlemen should read up on Hox genes. Both arachnids and mammals share the same Hox genes. This means there is a common ancestor older than both families which had Hox genes.


49 posted on 11/20/2009 1:51:12 PM PST by Citizen Tom Paine
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To: GodGunsGuts
More speculative clap trap from Thomas et. al. What you and he don't seem to understand that these articles are actually reinforcing the theory evolution. The article confabulates a theory that because flowering plants did not exist flying insects did not exist so the need for webs did not exist.

All one needs to do it to make a few simple checks to arrive at the truth. Flying insects, such as mosquitoes were prevalent were so web spinning (something you do seem to know a lot about) spiders occupied a niche. With the explosion in the numbers and kinds of flying insects that resulted from the "evolution" of flowering plant species, web spinning spiders were poised to dominate. As natural selection also points out had flying insects disappeared web-spinning spiders would have disappeared with them.

50 posted on 11/20/2009 3:43:45 PM PST by Natural Law
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