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Monday, September 18, 2006

Polar Bear Question

Why are polar bears white? Cuddlesome white arctic animals are striving to evade the notice of predators, but polar bears? Then why?

12 comments:

  1. To avoid being sighted by hungry penguins after their long migratory flight.

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  2. Yeah...One of the famous evolution guys (Gould or Dawkins, can't remember) dealt with this in one of famous books. He was ripping some creationist who thought this was a huge objection to Darwinism (i.e. no advantage conferred to white polar bears).

    And maybe when polar bears evolved there were gigantic bear-eating dinosaurs with bad eyes?

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  3. Woodrow10:38 AM

    Camouflage not only helps prey hide from predator, but it can help predator get closer to prey.

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  4. Aha! I'm with Woodrow.

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  5. Woodrow8:19 PM

    I asked this question of my five year old son before dinner tonight. I was amazed that he began by telling me about the nature of camouflage, and why it can be useful for predators; he actually used the words camouflage, predator and prey in the first sentence.

    I guess you can say we're kind of a pro-Evolution kind of a family. Even to a child the evidence for evolution is overwhelming.

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  6. I guess you can say we're kind of a pro-Evolution kind of a family. Even to a child the evidence for evolution is overwhelming.

    What color would polar bears be if the Genesis account were true?

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  7. Woodrow11:04 AM

    If one accepts the account of Genesis, need one assume that polar bears were created with the all the other stuff that was created in seven days? Or could polar bears have evolved from whatever stuff was created?

    In my opinion a literal interpretation of Genesis is willful ignorance.

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  8. I, personally, am devolving.

    Polar bbears are white because the whole Arctic was decorated with that sort of colour scheme in mind.

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  9. Woodrow,

    I'm not trying to start an evolution debate here--I've already done that on this very blog.

    I'm just trying making the minor point that white polar bears isn't evidence for "evolution," if we assume the context is the Darwinian theory of common descent vis-a-vis the willfully ignorant Bible thumpers.

    By the same token, the fact that an apple falls to the Earth isn't evidence in favor of Newton's theory of gravity.

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  10. Woody1:48 PM

    The subfamilies of Ursidae tend to have genetic variations suited to their environments.

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  11. Woody said:

    The subfamilies of Ursidae tend to have genetic variations suited to their environments.

    OK, and again, is this not what we would have expected if Darwin were wrong?

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  12. the A mon10:08 PM

    gene,don't you think theywould wont some vareity in the arctic

    P.S,they are the people who predict the weather,advise against sawing downwards witha chainsaw,etc

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