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The Lie: Evolution


Evolution, Sex, and the Ant

by Mark Stewart

Surprising as it may seem, the tiny ant poses one of the biggest challenges to the belief that sex is a product of evolution and the survival of the fittest, or, on the other hand, that evolution is the natural result of sexual reproduction. One problem lies in the existence of sterile female workers in the ant community. Indeed, Charles Darwin, the father of the theory of evolution, was concerned that such neuter worker ants could be "actually fatal to the whole theory." In his 1859 book Origin of Species, Darwin stated: "With the working ant we have an insect differing greatly from its parent, yet absolutely sterile; so that it could never have transmitted successively acquired modifications of structure or instinct to its progeny....It may be asked, how is it possible to reconcile this case with the theory of natural selection?"

And that's precisely the point: These highly specialized workers differ greatly from their mother, father, and even from each other. Darwin observed that they differed by "an almost incredible degree." So one might assume they became specialized by evolution and natural selection over millions of years. But they're sterile! So they couldn't possibly have evolved by passing on characteristics to their offspring.

But could the queen ant, the mother of the neuter workers, be the source of their "evolution"? Modern-day evolutionists speculate that perhaps fortuitous mutations or sexual recombinations in the genes of ant queens gave rise to the remarkable variety of highly adapted workers we now find in ant colonies. After all, unlike the workers, queen ants are sexual creatures. Therefore, according to evolutionary theory, they might be expected to more readily evolve, introducing a wide variety of innovations in their offspring.

But the evidence simply does not support such speculations. Fossilized ants - males, females, and workers dated some 70 million years old - are apparently identical with species now living! Queen ants are a result of sexual reproduction. Yet the enigma is that sex, the presumed source of great evolutionary variety and change, has seemingly failed to effect any significant changes since the time of the fossilized ants. Sex or no sex, the evidence is that, regardless of the time period involved, the ant has not evolved.

Surely the tiny ant provides a major challenge to Darwinian concepts of evolution.