Insectman Home
Contact Us
My Testimony
Our Links
Get Saved
Exodus Mandate
The Lie: Evolution


The Beetle With Twin Assault Rifles

by Robert E. Kofahl & Kelly L. Segraves

The Bombardier beetle, Brachinus, protects itself from its enemies by firing a hot charge of chemicals from two little swivel tubes in its tail. In 1961 Professor Schildknecht in Germany published the results of a careful investigation. 1Brachinus possesses in its body twin sets of apparatus consisting of two glands producing a liquid mixture, two connected storage chambers, two "combustion chambers" (this term is Professor Schildknecht's), and the two external tubes which can be aimed like flexible guns in the tail of a bomber.

Upon analysis, the stored liquid was found to contain ten percent hydroquinones and 23 to 25 percent hydrogen peroxide (sometimes used in rockets). Such a mixture, Schildknecht reported, will immediately begin to react in a test tube, rapidly turning brown. In the beetle's storage chamber the liquid is preserved unreacted, clear and colorless, for long periods of time. Why? The explanation is still unknown to science. Some undiscovered physical or chemical principle prevents reaction until some of the liquid is squirted into the combustion chambers, where two enzymes (catalase and peroxidase) bring about an immediate, violent explosion. The resulting products are vaporized and fired under pressure, boiling hot, at the enemy (at a temperature of 100 oC.) Spiders, ants, and even predators as large as toads are effectively repelled by Brachinus' chemical warfare. 2

Note that a rational evolutionary explanation for the development of this creature must assign some kind of adaptive advantage to each of the millions of hypothetical intermediate stages in the long process of evolutionary development of this remarkable artillery. But would the stages of one-fourth, one-half, or two-thirds completion, for example, have conferred any advantage? After all, a rifle is useless without all of its parts functioning. One small part missing or malfunctioning renders the rifle useless except, perhaps, as a club.

Is the Bombardier's artillery any different in this respect? Before this defensive mechanism could afford any protection to the beetle, all of its parts, together with the proper explosive chemicals, plus the instinctive behavior required for its use, would have to be assembled in the insect. A partially developed set of organs would not work. Therefore, according to the principles of evolutionary theory, there would be no selective pressure to cause the system to evolve from a partially completed stage toward the final completed system. This singular defense mechanism, so perfectly designed, raises a major problem for evolutionary theorists who imply that their theory explains everything.

In recent years some efforts have been made to show how beetles which produce evil smelling, corrosive chemicals related to hydroquinones could have evolved into Brachinus. 3 Another carabid beetle apparently mixes hydroquinones with a little hydrogen peroxide in a chamber in its tail. A noxious repellent foam is exuded on its back. To evolve into Brachinus all this beetle had to do was to evolve its chamber into two chambers separated by a valve, evolve glands to produce two enzymes, find out how to store a mixture of hydroquinones with a seven-fold excess of hydrogen peroxide without having them react immediately, evolve the gun turrets aimable around an arc of 270 degrees, and evolve the necessary control systems and instinctive behavior. Simple, wasn't it? Prof. Thomas Eisner of Cornell University says it really happened. 4 He tries to make it sound easy, but we can be excused for our skepticism.

To recapitulate, the general problem is as follows: If a particular type of organism, organ, or behavior did, in fact, originate by random mutations and natural selection, it should be possible at least to conceive a plausible series of hypothetical intermediate stages covering the entire assumed history of the unobserved evolutionary process. Furthermore, it should be possible to demonstrate logically that each proposed intermediate stage or mutation would confer a selective advantage upon the organism. According to the theory, there would be no reason for selection of intermediate stages unless they were advantageous. But such an explanation, including description of the intermediate stages and their advantageous character, is rarely accomplished. This is why we say that evolutionary theory fails to explain Brachinus and the other organisms which are described below. If a theory fails to explain the data in any field of science, that theory should be either revised or replaced with one that is in agreement with observation. Now examine the additional examples given in this chapter and draw your own conclusions.