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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2004
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Claim CB941:

How do things know how to evolve? For example, how do plants know what flavor of berries to evolve so the birds will eat and disperse them? How does a coconut tree know there is an ocean nearby?


"Roadking1576", 2003 (Aug. 20). Got a question. post, Message-ID: <>


  1. The organism does not know anything. It is all just the "blind watchmaker" at work. All sorts of mutations happen all the time. Most of them are useless or even detrimental in the environment they find themselves in, and those are mostly eliminated. The occasional mutation that increases its bearer's reproductive success is preserved and spreads throughout the population in future generations. For example, different individual plants produce (over time) different flavors of seeds. The flavors that birds like more get dispersed more and thrive more; those that birds do not like fall by the wayside. The end result is that berries evolve to become more flavorful to birds.

  2. Individual organisms do not evolve; populations evolve. The individual's role is to survive and reproduce, or not. Those with beneficial variation are more likely to survive and reproduce.

Further Reading:

Dawkins, Richard, 1986. The Blind Watchmaker: why the evidence of evolution reveals a universe without design. New York: Norton.
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created 2003-8-20, modified 2004-2-28