Re: Popular evolutionary hypothesis fails

Stephen E. Jones (
Mon, 11 Oct 1999 20:30:11 +0800


On Fri, 8 Oct 1999 09:52:04 -0600, Susan Brassfield wrote:


SB>It is to the advantage of the species to *not* be perfectly adapted to its
>environment. The Giant Pandas and the Koalas are cases in point. They can
>only eat one kind of food.

I don't know about Pandas but this is a myth about koalas. When our English
relatives came out from England last February we took them to see koalas
at a wildlife park. As koalas are not native to Western Australia, and native
trees on the Eastern and Western sides of Australia are different, I asked
the keepers what the koalas ate. They said that koalas were fussy but they
would eat other leaves when their favourite leaves were not available.

This is confirmed by the Animal Enclyclopedia:

"The diet was formerly considered to be restricted to the leaves of a few
species of Eucalyptus but is now known to include many species of that
genus and also the foliage of other trees. Koalas excrete glucuronic acid in
high quantities in their urine and this is apparently connected with the
detoxification of the oils contained in Eucalyptus leaves." (Sharman G.B.,
"Koala", Encyclopedia of the Animal World", [1977], Bay Books: Sydney,
Australia, Vol. 12, 1982, reprint, p1058)


"Now, my own suspicion is that the universe is not only queerer than we
suppose, but queerer than we *can* suppose. I have read and heard many
attempts at a systematic account of it, from materialism and theosophy to
the Christian system or that of Kant, and I have always felt that they were
much too simple. I suspect that there are more things in heaven and earth
than are dreamed of, or can be dreamed of, in any philosophy." (Haldane
J.B.S., "Possible Worlds: And Other Essays", [1927], Chatto and Windus:
London, 1932, reprint, p286. Emphasis in the original.)
Stephen E. Jones | |