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The Lie: Evolution


The Potter Wasp

by Mark Stewart

Most mothers in the animal world are, as you would suspect, very solicitous of the future welfare of their offspring. However, it's not everyday that you'll find one who will dangle her progeny in midair a few inches away from certain destruction. But that's exactly what the female potter wasp makes a life-long career of doing.

To start the next generation off the right foot, the mother wasp builds a small urn from mortar where she places several paralyzed caterpillars. Traditional waspish wisdom would then call for her to deposit her egg in close proximity to the caterpillars so that her newly hatched larva would have no trouble finding its next meal. But in this case the caterpillars are only partially paralyzed and their constant twitchings and threshings would pose a serious threat to the larva. So mamma wasp, having plenty of in-sight into these matters, attaches her egg to the end of a silken thread that dangles from the ceiling of her little mud enclosure.

But in solving one problem, the wasp creates another. Suspended in midair above the caterpillars, the larva has no way to safely get to its food supply. Almost, that is.

Again, the potter wasp shows remarkable foresight. At first the small wasp larva can only sally down its silken steps and take a few tentative bites out of its wriggling hosts. But after a few days it has grown to the point where it can abandon the safety of its perch, dispatch its victim, and spend the rest of its larval days blissfully munching on the remains of the carcasses.

According to conventional evolutionary litany, the potter wasp should probably have solved the problem simply by fully paralyzing the caterpillars. After all, other wasps do this. Why not the potter? Why go to all this trouble for a single wasp egg? And how does a wasp somehow come up with unwinding eggshells that turn into spiral staircases - along with an "understanding" of how to suspend them?

Certainly the potter wasp's strange behavior has to leave evolutionary theory hanging in midair along with its offspring. And maybe it's trying to tell us something about a Creator who obviously has a lot of architectural expertise along with a pretty ingenious imagination.