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The Lie: Evolution


Creation Safaris

Compiled by Karl Priest (updated 12-9-2012)

The Creation Safari site format changed, but there is still (as of 12-2012) lots of laughs at the expense of deluded evolutionists there. You can scan the headlines or use the SEARCH box for “insect” and “bug” if you want to limit your reading to insects. The old site had CREATION-EVOLUTION HEADLINES with excellent and humorous commentary on the alleged evolution of insects. By going to, and clicking on “NEWS”, and then “Zoology”. You would go to an article like those below. At the end of the article, clicking on “Next headline on: Terrestrial Zoology” would allow you to follow the chain to the next article. Some would be about non-insects such as spiders.


The Moth in Spider’s Clothing (02/28/2007) National Geographic News has a picture story about a moth that mimics a jumping spider.  It appears to work.  Scientists staged a battle royale between contestants of mimics and non-mimics in the ring with their jumping spider enemies, and the mimics won hands down.  The spiders went for the normal moths 62% of the time, but backed away from their mirror-images, the moths in spider clothing, in all but 6% of cases.  The fooled spiders even made aggressive territorial displays against some of their mimics.  The metalmark moths of Costa Rica flare up their wings and make a spidery pose when threatened.  A somewhat similar strategy is recommended for humans when facing a mountain lion.

Mimicry is a common occurrence in nature.  Evolutionists explain this as a result of natural selection, and it is, but not in the macroevolutionary sense Darwin needs.  These moths already have wings, legs, and sophisticated pigmentation software.  If Darwin had discovered a deterministic law, all species would follow this strategy, and every prey would look like its predator.  If the non-mimic moths had the same amount of evolutionary time, why did they remain behind?  Didn’t they learn the Darwinian lesson?  And if the predators also had the same time, why didn’t they catch onto the trick?

Horizontal changes can occur rapidly under sufficient predation pressure or competition (cp. 02/26/2007 with orchids).  A population of dogs isolated in the Arctic will favor long-haired survivors if the genes for long hair already exist.  A population of desert plants will favor those able to reach deep if the genes to do so already exist.  Find a moth that evolves a machine gun via slow, incremental steps and creationists will take notice (requirement: all the intermediate forms must be found, too).

Suggested new book:  A medical doctor, Geoffrey Simmons, has just completed a new book Billions of Missing Links (Harvest House, 2006).  It is loaded with examples of clever and sophisticated designs in nature that could never have evolved by gradual evolutionary steps.

Robot Legs Can’t Keep Up With Animals     01/25/2007  

Robot designers are envious of animals.  Insects, crabs and lizards leave them in the dust.  Alison Abbott in Nature (Jan 18) described the latest attempts to get the bugs out of insect-imitating “biological robots.”1  “Programming a robot to think like an insect is tough,” the subtitle reads, “but it could help breed machines as manoeuvrable as flies.”  Which animals are robot designers looking at?

Flies:   Abbott described a German robot named Tarry II with six legs that creaks with every step.  Building legs, though, is the easy part.  The legs need to be programmed to work.  Tarry II’s designer is envious of the software in a fly: “Although our encounters with flies often leave an impression of aimless and irritating meandering,’ Abbott writes, “these tiny creatures’ decisions are just as purposeful as those of other animals.  A fly scans its environment with eyes and antennae, processes this information in its brain and then makes a decision, perhaps to turn away from potential danger or hurry towards food.”

Much of the information processing in an insect occurs outside the brain.  Circuits of nerves in the fly’s nerve chord direct some of the movements.  This can be seen when a fly is decapitated and a neurotransmitter is applied onto the chord: “then it will start to walk around like – well, like a headless chicken.”  A headless fly can even be stimulated to groom eyes that are no longer there.  This kind of distributed processing has not escaped the notice of robot designers.  “These basic movement programmes are well studied and have been transferred to robots” like the predecessor to Tarry II, which “has been walking with the confident coordination of a decapitated stick insect for more than a decade.”  The “cleverer stuff” like decision making and coordinated movement, of course, requires a brain.  Designers are also observing how insects use stereo vision and parallax to sight their targets, and how they vary step size and walking rate to achieve optimum energy efficiency.

Cockroaches:  “If only the Mars rovers had been more like cockroaches, sigh insect biologists, they might have been able to extricate themselves from the sand dunes and rocks on which they have occasionally come a cropper and had to be carefully steered to safety by their human controllers,” Abbott writes.  Roland Strauss, builder of Tarry II, said, “We are very happy if what we learn from nature can be put to use to make better robots.”  Cockroach brains are about 50 times bigger than fly brains.  Using “brain damage” experiments, designers learn how the cockroach software works to encounter obstacles.  It’s a challenge to detect an obstacle, decide whether it needs to be avoided, and decide which way to turn.

“Insect biologists are eager to model ever more intricate types of insect behaviour in their robots, such as walking uphill or climbing,” Abbott writes.  “....But until these robots can be programmed with more sophisticated and autonomous software – precisely the directions that biologists are extracting from insect’s brains – they cannot pass for true robotic insects.”  Autonomous control is a highly-sought-after skill being watched by NASA, the European Space Agency and other groups into robotics.  That’s why they are watching these experimental labs with great interest.  “Just a few of an insect’s effortless navigational skills would be a boon for many of today’s applied robots, which can negotiate obstacles only via human intervention and remote control.”  Abbott envisioned insect lookalikes someday navigating the moon or “confidently striding” the canyons of Mars.

On Earth, too, we can all benefit from these studies.  The military will be able to perform safer surveillance.  Victims of natural disasters might some day be met by friendly search-and-rescue robots with a marked resemblance to spiders or cockroaches.

1Alison Abbott, “Biological robotics: Working out the bugs,” Nature 445, 250-253 ( 18 January 2007 ) | doi:10.1038/445250a.
2Elisabeth Pennisi, “Crab’s Downfall Reveals a Hole in Biomechanics Studies,” Science, 19 January 2007 : Vol. 315. no. 5810, p. 325, DOI: 10.1126/science.315.5810.325.

Evolution has nothing to do with it; these stories are about design through and through.  We can observe design, we can study it, and we can imitate it.  When we do, science progresses and leads to wonderful inventions that improve our lives and extend our reach.

Go to the ant, thou sluggard evolutionist; consider her ways, and be wise.  When you’ve learned those ways, go to the fly, the cockroach, the crab, the lizard, and all the other examples of optimized hardware and software in the living world.  Catch up to the design-theoretic scientists who are way ahead of you.

This Bug Is Whiter than White, Brighter than Bright     01/19/2007  

Detergent manufacturers should get a load of this beetle.  Cyphochilus, a resident of southeast Asia, is clothed in one of the brightest white surfaces (per unit thickness) known.  British scientists reporting in Science1  were intrigued how the bug accomplishes this shining performance.  Most bright-white surfaces, such as paint and paper, need a hundred times the thickness to achieve such brilliance.

Some insects and birds are able to intensify particular colors using photonic crystals, which are regularly-spaced pits or shapes on scales or wings (see 01/29/2003, 10/13/2003).  The microscopic geometric patterns serve to add up particular wavelengths and cancel others.  White light, though, requires a high degree of scattering across the spectrum.  The scientists found that the 5-micron thick scales of Cyphochilus contain “a random network of interconnecting cuticular filaments with diameters of about 250 nm.”

Imitating this trick may lead to several applications.  Brighter paints and paper could be in our beetle-inspired future, and maybe even whiter teeth.  See also the articles on Live Science, BBC and University of Exeter. 1Pete Vukusic, Benny Hallam, and Joe Noyes, “Brilliant Whiteness in Ultrathin Beetle Scales,” Science, 19 January 2007 : Vol. 315. no. 5810, p. 348, DOI: 10.1126/science.1134666.

Good science can discover, understand, and imitate the natural world without any need for evolutionary storytelling.  That’s another reason why biomimetics can provide a nonsectarian, nonphilosophical escape hatch for disillusioned Darwinists.  The authors did not need to mention evolution.  Intelligent design was not mentioned either, but was implicit.

Insects Pester Darwinian Story     12/27/2006  

It’s enough to bug any Darwinian: where did the insects come from?  Here are some problems right off the bat sonar:

Insects are fantastically diverse.

Insects are among the most successful animals.

There are no insect fossils earlier than the Devonian (evolutionary date: 410 million years ago).

The earliest segmented body plans appeared in the Cambrian (511 million years ago).

There are no marine insects, but the first segmented Cambrian animals were marine organisms. Now, visualize the following: (1) an insect with six legs, (2) a spider with eight legs, (3) a centipede with 15 to 173 pairs of legs, and (4) a crab with 10 legs, two of which are claws.  Your job is to organize these into an evolutionary story of common descent.  It’s enough to challenge the most committed Darwinist, as the opening to a paper in Science demonstrates:1

Although hexapods--those arthropods having six legs, including insects--are the most diverse group of contemporary animals in terms of biological niches and number of species, their origin is highly debated.  A key problem is the almost complete absence of fossils that connect hexapods to the other major arthropod subphyla, namely Crustacea, Myriapoda (such as centipedes and millipedes), and Chelicerata (such as scorpions and spiders).  Over the years, hexapods (insects, springtails, proturnas, and diplurans) have been phylogenetically linked to all of these major arthropod taxa.

By this, the authors mean evolutionists have attempted to link the insects to all these groups (see also 05/16/2002).  Glenner et al described the latest theory: that insects descended from crustaceans (crabs, lobsters, shrimp, barnacles, etc.), particularly from a group of freshwater branchiopods including fairy shrimp and water fleas.  They based this on molecular studies, Hox gene behavior and the emergence of these ancestors a few million years before the rise of insects in freshwater habitats.  Another piece of circumstantial evidence comes from a real estate boom supposedly taking place throughout the animal kingdom 423 to 416 million years ago:

The successful colonization of the terrestrial environment by hexapods seems to coincide with other major groups of land pioneering animals such as the chelicerates and the myriapods in the Late Silurian and the tetrapods (amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) in the Late Devonian.  All these events appear to have occurred through a freshwater dwelling phase in their evolutionary transition from marine to true terrestrial animals.  The Devonian is believed to have been a time of severe drought, which might have forced these animals (at least hexapods and tetrapods) onto land as their freshwater habitats vanished.

Their manifest destiny assured, insects invaded all the land, air and fresh water niches the continents could provide.  Sounds neat, but being such successful colonizers, why didn’t they ever return to their marine roots?  Simple; all the rooms were taken:

It has been a puzzle as to why hexapods--in particular insects, which possess a morphology that apparently enables them to adapt to virtually all types of terrestrial environments--have not been able to diversify successfully in the marine environment.  It is likewise remarkable that the crustaceans--fulfilling a biological role in the sea comparable to the insects on land--have not been able to invade land to a greater extent despite their considerable age.  The recent phylogenetic analyses of molecular sequence data suggest a paradigm shift concerning the phylogenetic position of hexapods--that crustaceans successfully invaded land as insects.  It is possible that when insects entered terrestrial habitats, their crustacean ancestors had already diversified in marine environments and occupied all potential niches, which could explain why insects were prevented from colonizing the sea subsequently.

So with no room in Neptune ’s Inn , they took whatever they could get in caves, swamps, deserts, forests, lakes, high mountain peaks, and suburban kitchens.  Now the Darwinian story holds together again, with an added benefit: “Most important, however, the new molecular results offer a solution to the enigma concerning the absence of marine hexapod remains in the fossil records prior to the Devonian.” 1Glenner et al, “Evolution: The Origin of Insects,” Science, 22 December 2006 : Vol. 314. no. 5807, pp. 1883-1884, DOI: 10.1126/science.1129844.

Make like a leaf:  12/26/06

A fossil leaf-mimicking insect said to be 47 million years old is virtually identical to modern ones, reported  What this means, according to the article, is that this insect found a “time-tested strategy” to avoid predators.  The article calls this “an outstanding example of morphological and, probably, behavioral stasis.” It means that “leaf mimicry had already evolved early in the Eocene period when insect predators would have included birds, early primates, bats, and other insects.”  See also the story on Live Science.

12/29/2006 : the paper in PNAS appeared online Dec. 29.2  Portions of the abstract demonstrate the degree of stasis of this fossil:

.... Here we report the first fossil leaf insect, Eophyllium messelensis gen.  et sp.  nov., from 47-million-year-old deposits at Messel in Germany .  The new specimen, a male, is exquisitely preserved and displays the same foliaceous appearance as extant male leaf insects.  Clearly, an advanced form of extant angiosperm leaf mimicry had already evolved early in the Eocene.  We infer that this trait was combined with a special behavior, catalepsy or “adaptive stillness,” enabling Eophyllium to deceive visually oriented predators.  Potential predators reported from the Eocene are birds, early primates, and bats.  The combination of primitive and derived characters revealed by Eophyllium allows the determination of its exact phylogenetic position and illuminates the evolution of leaf mimicry for this insect group.  It provides direct evidence that Phylliinae originated at least 47 Mya.... This fossil leaf insect bears considerable resemblance to extant individuals in size and cryptic morphology, indicating minimal change in 47 million years.  This absence of evolutionary change is an outstanding example of morphological and, probably, behavioral stasis.

This fossil was found in Europe , while most leaf-mimic insects live today in southeast Asia.  This indicates that leaf insects were much more widespread in the past.  It’s possible that fossil hunters missed finding them before now because the mimics were so good, people mistook them for leaves.    What traits did the authors feel were primitive?  Their paper tries to place the new fossil between the stick insects and modern leaf mimics, but admits that their origin is “poorly understood” and that “exact phylogenetic position of the Phylliinae within the phasmid phylogeny is unknown”.  It seems arbitrary, therefore, that their chart places the new insect halfway between the stick insects and the leaf insects, considering that the fossil shares many characteristics with extant leaf insects.  They only pointed to “straight fore femora and the absence of tergal thorn pads” as “primitive” traits resembling those of the stick insects; yet, clearly, this fossil was not primitive.  They restated at the end of the paper that this fossil is an example of “exceptional evolutionary stasis of a highly derived morphology, most likely coupled with very specialized cryptic behavior that lasted for [greater than or equal to] 47 million years.”

As to how exactly this morphology and behavior evolved, they suggested that necessity was the mother of invention: “In all probability,” they speculated, “this advanced type of crypsis evolved in concert with angiosperm leaves on which the insects feed.  It must have been caused by vigorous selection pressure by visually oriented predators” such as birds, lizards, bats and primates.  1Venkatesh et al, “Ancient Noncoding Elements Conserved in the Human Genome,” Science, 22 December 2006 : Vol. 314. no. 5807, p. 1892, DOI: 10.1126/science.1130708.

2Wedmann, Bradler and Rust, “The first fossil leaf insect: 47 million years of specialized cryptic morphology and behavior,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA , published online before print December 29, 2006 , 10.1073/pnas.0606937104.

Do you see how the evolutionary mindset works?  The thought never enters any evolutionist’s brain that evolutionary theory could be at fault.  No matter how bizarre, conflicting and falsifying the evidence, Darwin ’s image must be worshipped and the sacrifices* must continue.  It doesn’t matter that no evolution happens in some lineages for tens or hundreds of millions of years (think about that!) for them to keep the pieces of their story straight, while evolution is extremely, fantastically rapid in other quarters.  In the time tree-swinging monkeys supposedly became philosophers, and all kinds of dramatic other changes took place, leaf-mimicking insects changed nada.  Are we to believe that the predators were all so stupid in this time never to catch on to the trick?  “Don’t eat me; I’m a leaf!”  Right.

Even more astonishing is the conservation of noncoding elements between sharks and humans.  Evolutionary theory is so plastic and malleable (like silly putty, (12/14/2004), it makes evolutionists downright silly, buddy.  We are asked to believe that all the radiations of fish into seahorses and angler fish and tunas showed more evolution of these elements from their cartilaginous swimming mates than 530 million years of evolution of all the other vertebrates—reptiles, birds, and every mammal from shrews to giraffes to elephants and man.  We are expected to trust the evolutionists because they are priests of Science and know the Truth of Almighty Darwin (t.o.a.d.).  Don’t be a toady.

Darwin Missed the Beetle Can Opener Trick     12/05/2006  

You know those big horns on rhinoceros beetles?  They’re not just for showing off.  Scientists at Indiana University found a “surprising function” for them.  It turns out “horned beetles use their young horns as a sort of can opener, helping them bust out of thick larval shells.” 

The function of horned beetles’ wild protrusions has been a matter of some consternation for biologists.  Digging seemed plausible; combat and mate selection, more likely.  Even Charles Darwin once weighed in on the matter, suggesting -- one imagines with some frustration -- the horns were merely ornamental.

Since only the adult males retain them, biologists were misled into looking into an explanation invoking sexual selection.  Armin Moczek warned biologists not to ignore the developmental stages:

Despite the growing presence of developmental biology in evolutionary studies, “Even today, evolutionary theory is very much a theory of adults,” Moczek said.  “But evolution doesn’t morph one adult shape into another.  Instead there’s an entire lifetime of development that we can’t afford to ignore.

The female beetles also have horns in the embryo, he explained, but lose them after hatching.  Special enzymes reabsorb the horn tissue after its function as a can opener is done.  The male, meanwhile, retains it for sexual prowess, or maybe for some beetle version of Monday night football (can opener, get it?); to the horny males, the game’s not the same without beetle juice.  In some species, however, it’s not beetle Bailey, but the female that retains the horn, while in others, both sexes lose them in adulthood.    Looking back on this oversight stretching back to the time of Darwin , Moczek thinks mistakes were made:

“I think these findings illustrate quite clearly the importance of development to evolutionary biology,” Moczek said.  “By including studies of your organism’s development, at the very least you stand to gain fundamental insights into its biology.  More often than not, however, you may prevent yourself from making big mistakes when drawing up evolutionary histories.  In this case, I think we did both.”  See the related story on EurekAlert.

Source: press release from Indiana University; see also Science Daily.

Lest the proponents of evo-devo think they have scored a point, the authors did not explain where horn-making genes and protein machines came from.  As far as the evidence goes, the ability to make horns and remove them was always present.  How the traits got sorted out in the descendants of horn beetles are due to loss-of-information mutations and natural selection.  Nothing new has been gained. “The hornlessness of some adult beetles is therefore not the result of an inability to make horns....,” the press release mentions, “but the reshaping or reabsorption of horn tissue before the beetles become adults.”

Evolutionists also cannot explain the sequence of events.  Moczek said that they can’t tell if the horn was needed because the carapace got bigger, or the bigger carapace allowed the formation of horns.  “We are left with the commonly asked question in evolutionary developmental biology, ‘Which came first?’”  Generalizing that question shows that evolutionists know very little at all.  Picture poor Charlie wondering in consternation what tall tale to tell about the big male horns and the hornless females.  He only pondered the adults; he didn’t even think to watch the larvae pop their cans with their clever tool.  Darwin disciples continue to make the same mistake and miss out on a lot of the fun.

This story is also a lesson about so-called vestigial organs and secondary sexual characteristics (e.g., see entry about male nipples, 11/28/2006).  Something is not vestigial if it had a function in the embryo.  Just because an organ like a tonsil or appendix looks shriveled up compared to its counterpart in other animals, and just because it can be removed without harm, does not mean it is a relic of some mythical evolutionary past.  The right approach should be to look for a function when none is apparent.  A little humility would have saved biologists from getting squirted when this new information popped out of the can.

Also see “Evolutionism Evangelism”.