Friday, 29 March 2019

Unintelligent Design - God Hates Frogs

Yellow-legged frogs killed by chytrid fungus in Sixty Lakes Basin area of the Sierra Nevada, California, USA

Photo credit: Joel Sartore/Natural History Museum.
Amphibian fungal panzootic causes catastrophic and ongoing loss of biodiversity | Science

Continuing our quest to discover the nature of the 'Intelligent (sic) designer', we continually discover that any such sentient entity is ever-more malevolent in its inventiveness.

Here, for example, is evidence that it hates the frogs it designed and is intentionally killing them off in very large numbers - or so you would be required to believe if you had accepted the ID hoax and were taking an honest view of the reality of the natural world.

An international team led by Ben Scheele of the Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University, ACT, Australia has estimated that some 501 species of amphibian have severely declined in number with some 90 species becoming extinct in the last 25 years or so, due to two closely related chytrid fungi Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and B. salamandrivorans.

B. dendrobatidis was only discovered 30 years ago as the cause of a new fungal disease that was killing frogs. B. salamandrivorans was discovered in 2013. This makes it the most destructive pathogen in terms of loss of biodiversity ever recorded. Members of this genus of fungi are normally harmless soil fungi.

The fungi seem to have become pathological in a area of Asia where the local populations of frogs seem to have some immunity to it.

What the team has discovered is a link between the spread of the fungi and an increase in trade in live amphibians as permitted under CITES for the pet trade. According to this article in Science, they arrived at this conclusion after analysing "a detailed dataset of chytridiomycosis-associated declines from both published records and interviews with regional experts around the world."

The team's findings are published today in Science.

Abstract
Anthropogenic trade and development have broken down dispersal barriers, facilitating the spread of diseases that threaten Earth’s biodiversity. We present a global, quantitative assessment of the amphibian chytridiomycosis panzootic, one of the most impactful examples of disease spread, and demonstrate its role in the decline of at least 501 amphibian species over the past half-century, including 90 presumed extinctions. The effects of chytridiomycosis have been greatest in large-bodied, range-restricted anurans in wet climates in the Americas and Australia. Declines peaked in the 1980s, and only 12% of declined species show signs of recovery, whereas 39% are experiencing ongoing decline. There is risk of further chytridiomycosis outbreaks in new areas. The chytridiomycosis panzootic represents the greatest recorded loss of biodiversity attributable to a disease.


Given what we know of these fungi - that they are normally harmless soil fungi and the frogs in the area of Asia where the pathogenic forms originated, it's reasonable to assume three of things:
  • The fungi has produced pathological forms often enough for the local populations to develop resistance to it.
  • This resistance in the local population has kept the pathogenic form local, until there was an environmental change.
  • Human trade in live amphibians was that environmental change and human agency was responsible for distributing these pathological forms to areas of the world where there is no resistance.

Biologically, that is of course a perfectly sensible explanation. However, an Intelligent (sic) Design explanation has to assume that any changes in the fungi were by design, not by random mutation being selected for by an environment that was now conducive to the pathogen's spread. This change was by intent and for a reason, otherwise it doesn't meet the requirements for 'design'.

And the only thing it has achieved is the worst pathogen-induced loss of biodiversity ever recorded. How could anyone who believed in ID not conclude that their putative designer is either grossly incompetent or intended to kill frogs and exterminate some 90 species?






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