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The Lie: Evolution


The Bombardier Beetle

by Anonymous

(The purpose of this page is to present the illustration of the bombardier beetle as written by Scott Huse in The Collapse of Evolution to illustrate the problem that Darwinists have explaining how some creatures could have evolved.)

The following description of one of God's fascinating creations was found in a book called The Collapse of Evolution by Scott Huse. Creatures like the bombardier beetle cause evolutionists to have cold sweats! Many other such examples are found in nature. They are reported in various books which critically investigate the evolutionary hypothesis.

"The bombardier beetle is a small insect that is armed with a shockingly impressive defense system. Whenever threatened by an enemy attack, this spirited little beetle blasts irritating and odious gases, which are at 212 degrees F. out from two tail pipes right into the unfortunate face of the would be aggressor.

"Dr. Wermann Schildknecht, a German chemist, studied the bombardier beetle to find out how he accomplishes this impressive chemical feat. He learned that the beetle makes his explosive by mixing together two very dangerous chemicals (hydroquinone and hydrogen peroxide). In addition to these two chemicals, this clever little beetle adds another type of chemical known as an inhibitor. The inhibitor prevents the chemicals from blowing up and enables the beetle to store the chemicals indefinitely.

"Whenever our beetle friend is approached by a predator, such as a frog, he squirts the stored chemicals into the two combustion tubes, and at precisely the right moment he adds another chemical (an antiinhibitor). This knocks out the inhibitor, and a violent explosion occurs right in the face of the poor attacker.

"Could such a marvelous and complex mechanism have evolved piecemeal over millions of years? The evolutionist is forced to respond with a somewhat sheepish "yes," but a brief consideration of this opinion will reveal its preposterous nature.

"According to evolutionary "thinking" there must have been thousands of generations of beetles improperly mixing these hazardous chemicals in fatal evolutionary experiments, blowing themselves to pieces. Eventually. we are assured, they arrived at the magic formula, but what about the development of the inhibitor? There is no need to evolve an inhibitor unless you already have the two chemicals you are trying to inhibit. On the other hand. if you already have the two chemicals without the inhibitor, it is already too late, for you have just blown yourself up. Obviously, such an arrangement would never arise apart from intelligent foresight and planning. Nevertheless, let us assume that our little beetle friend somehow managed to simultaneously develop the two chemicals along with the all important inhibitor. The resultant solution would offer no benefit at all to the beetle, for it would just sit there as a harmless concoction. To be of any value to the beetle, the antiinhibitor must he added to the solution. So, once again, for thousands of generations we are supposed to believe that these poor beetles mixed and stored these chemicals for no particular reason or advantage until finally, the anti inhibitor was perfected. Now he is really getting somewhere! With the antiinhibitor developed he can now blow himself to pieces, frustrating the efforts of the hungry predator who wants to eat him. Ah yes. he still needs to evolve the two combustion tubes, and a precision communications and timing network to control and adjust the critical direction and timing of the explosion. So, here we go again; for thousands of generations these carefree little beetles went around celebrating the 4th of July by blowing themselves to pieces until finally they mastered their new found powers.

"But what would be the motivation for such disastrous, trial and error, piecemeal evolution? Everything in evolution is supposed to make perfect sense and have a logical purpose, or else it would never develop. But such a process does not make any sense at all, and to propose that the entire defense system evolved all at once is astronomically improbable, if not impossible. Yet, nature abounds with countless such examples of perfect coordination. Thus, we can only conclude that the surprising little bombardier beetle is a strong witness for special creation, for there is no other rational explanation for such a wonder."

(Scott Huse, The Collapse of Evolution, pp. 78-79, Baker Book House, 1983)

(After receiving a couple of emails from evolutionists charging "inaccuracies" in Scott Huse's book, I have decided to include the following extended quote from Dr. Duane Gish's book, "Creation Scientists Answer Their Critics," Institution for Creation Research, 1993, pp. 101-104. Dr. Gish is responding to similar charges leveled against him when he used the Bombardier Beetle as an illustration in a public debate at San Diego State University .)

"Another charge hurled against me is that I continued to repeat an error in my description of the remarkable defense mechanism of the bombardier beetle, even after I had become aware of the error. I described this complex mechanism in my book on dinosaurs for children, Dinosaurs: Those Terrible Lizards, and used it first publicly in a debate that Dr. Henry Morris and I had with Professors Frank Awbrey and William Thwaites at San Diego State University on April 26, 1977 .

"The bombardier beetle has a remarkable defense mechanism and, after describing this incredible mechanism, I challenged Awbrey and Thwaites to explain how an ordinary beetle, through a series of random, accidental mutations, acted upon by natural selection, could gradually change into a bombardier beetle. Neither at that time nor since have Awbrey and Thwaites been able to explain how this could have taken place. Awbrey and Thwaites subsequently, however, did utilize the common evolutionist ploy of ignoring the challenge and grasping for a flaw, even minor, in the creationist's argument.

"When a bombardier beetle (Brachinus) is threatened by a predator or an offensive invader of any kind, at the appropriate point of approach the bombardier beetle swings his tail end around in just the right direction (he never misses) and hot, noxious gases, heated to 212ºF (the boiling point of water), are explosively released from twin combustion tubes right into the face of his enemy. This is, of course, sufficient to discourage any further notion of an attack on the bombardier beetle. Research has revealed the fact that this beetle has a double set of apparatus. In twin storage chambers, he stores an aqueous solution of two chemicalsl0% hydroquinone (a reducing agent used in photographic developing fluids) and 23% hydrogen peroxide (a powerful oxidizing agent). Remarkably, these chemical agents do not react, the solution remaining as crystal clear as pure water. Apparently the bombardier beetle adds an inhibitor which prevents the chemicals from reacting. If these chemicals are mixed in the laboratory, the solution soon becomes discolored, as the hydrogen peroxide oxidizes the hydroquinones to quinones (in the bombardier beetle a mixture of hydroquinone and methylhydroquinone is used).

"When the bombardier beetle is ready to fire his defensive spray, he squirts a charge of the chemical solution into each of the combustion tubes. There an enzyme, catalase, catalyzes the extremely rapid decomposition of hydrogen peroxide into oxygen and water, and another enzyme, peroxidase, catalyzes the oxidation of the hydroquinones to quinonesnoxious, irritating chemicals. The chemical reaction generates sufficient heat to raise the temperature of the mixture to 212ºF, and the excess oxygen produced provides the high pressure, and valves in the ends of the combustion tubes are opened at the appropriate time.

"My original source of information (and the only source available to me early on) was a little pamphlet, " Darwin and the Beetles," published in the early sixties by Dr. Robert E. Kofahl, then president of Highland College and now science consultant to the Creation Science Research Center , San Diego . In his reading of the article by Schildknecht and Holoubek, Kofahl apparently mistranslated the German word for "unstable" to read "explosive." Kofahl in his pamphlet thus reported that a mixture of 10% hydroquinones and 23% hydrogen peroxide was explosive. Following Kofahl, as I told the story of the bombardier beetle in lectures, in the debate at San Diego State University , and in the book, Dinosaurs: Those Terrible Lizards, I said that ordinarily a mixture of these chemicals at those concentrations was explosive. Awbrey and Thwaites, anxious to find a way out of the dilemma posed by the bombardier beetle, diligently searched for any possible slip in my story. As soon as they discovered that the mixture was not explosive, they made no attempt whatever to explain how the bombardier beetle could have evolved, but trumpeted loudly, everywhere, this minor slip in the story. Other evolutionists eagerly grabbed onto the story, and it found its way even into Nature, the prestigious British science journal.

"As soon as I learned of this little hitch in the story of the bombardier beetle, I modified the story I related in my lectures. I had to wait until the publisher was ready to publish a revised edition of Dinosaurs: Those Terrible Lizards, however, to correct the story there. In the meantime, the first edition was continuing to be sold. That apparently was the source of the charge that I had continued to tell the original story even after the problem had been called to my attention.

"Dr. Kofahl, in an article entitled "The Bombardier Beetle Shoots Back," which he published in the evolutionist journal Creation/Evolution, in response to the critical article by Weber, accepted the responsibility for the slip in the story. He further argued powerfully that Weber's attempt to explain the evolution of the bombardier beetle from an ordinary beetle was exceedingly weak and seriously flawed. In spite of this explanation, published in 1981 in the major anticreationist journal, evolutionists have continued to bring up the story, implying that I have persisted in using a flawed case, even after having been made aware of the problem. As recently as my debate with Grover Krantz at Washington State University on March 3, 1987 , an evolutionist professor from the University of Idaho brought up this subject during the question/answer period. It is long past time that this old tired story should be laid to rest.

"Even if the mixture of hydroquinones and hydrogen peroxide is not explosive, a mixture of these two chemicals in the presence of the two enzymes in a confined space is explosive. The beetle, on his way to becoming a bombardier beetle, would have to be smart enough to carefully store the chemicals in a storage chamber apart from the enzymes but in the presence of an inhibitor to prevent them from reacting prematurely with one another. He also would have to be smart enough to know which enzymes he needs to catalyze the chemical reactions involved, and he would have to be smart enough to secrete them into the combustion chamber. The combustion chamber itself must be very special, able to resist the corrosive effect of the hot, irritating chemicals and strong enough to contain the high pressure without rupturing. The combustion chamber must also be equipped with a highly efficient valve, and the appropriate muscles must exist to manipulate the combustion tube and point it in the right direction. Of course, all of this incredibly complex apparatus would be totally useless without a precisely designed and perfectly functional communication system to squirt the charge of chemicals into the combustion tube, secrete the enzymes into the combustion tube, activate the valve at the appropriate moment, and send the correct signals to all of the muscles involved, in order to point the combustion tube in the right direction. Evolutionists would have us believe that all of the hundreds, and most likely thousands, of genes required to direct the construction and operation of all of this arose through a series of copying errors. Furthermore, these complex genetic changes had to occur in just the right order, so that at every stage of development the beetle was not only able to survive but also was actually superior to the preceding stage. Creation scientists reject this notion as more than scientifically untenable; it is simply preposterous, a fairy tale! But once again, evolutionists have resorted to an ad hominem attack on a creation scientist in order to obscure their failure to explain fatal flaws in evolutionary theory."

(Creation Scientists Answer Their Critics, pp. 101-104, Dr. Duane Gish, Institute for Creation Research, 1993)

For More information on this fascinating little creature, see the article at Answers in Genesis: