Thursday, January 24, 2008

Irreducible Complexity: Three Species Wide

I've written before about the topic of Irreducible Complexity: the idea that some systems in nature are too complex and interdependent to have come together by method of gradualism. Each part of the system relies on all the other parts of the system to have any function or meaning. Therefore, this system can't have come into existence by slow gradual improvement. This still hasn't stopped researchers from trying to compose a story line for how it happened anyway.

Irreducible Complexity is bad enough a problem for Evolutionists to try to explain; but researchers have stumbled upon an even greater challenge to the evolutionary faith. What do you do when the irreducibly complex system in question spans three different species!?!

A species of ant called Cephalotes atratus was discovered looking much like a berry of the bush it was climbing. This seemed odd to the researchers since his million or so cousins and nephews had black abdomens. As it turns out, the berry-ant was infected with a certain round worm's eggs that made it's abdomen inflamed and reddened. What else is odd is that the ant tended to stick it's abdomen up in the air each time it stopped, which had the effect of making it look even more inviting to passing birds. The birds would come by, eat the infected ant thinking it was a berry. The bird would excrete the digested ant a day or so later, and the eggs previously occupying the ant's abdomen would be hatched in a fertile pile of the bird's droppings, where they would mature, wallow a bit, and lay new eggs (very high ik factor).

This involuntary symbiosis was destructive to the ant, irrelevant to the bird and critically important to the roundworm. But the question is, how does a system like this get started? A keen observer would see that the ant and bird would naturally have existed before this entire symbiosis existed if evolution were true. But then how could the reproductive cycle for the roundworm have gotten started. There's no reason to believe that the roundworm couldn't have live elsewhere in other conditions as well, pads of bat guano, for instance would provide large fields of persistent housing for these dung-fairing roundworms. The ants might have wandered into a cave where they sampled a bit of the bad guano smörgåsbord and become infected. Thus, the cycle could have come together gradually!! A victory for evolution!

But wait. Then how come the eggs make the ant's abdomen look like host berries? A roundworm on the outside of the ant's abdomen could see what the abdomen of the ant looked like, but didn't stand to effect the ant's appearance. A roundworm on the inside could affect the ant's appearance, but couldn't see what change he might affect from in there! Besides, the roundworms don't even have eyes, let alone know what the berries look like, or how an ant could be made to look like a berry, especially to passing birds! And even if it could, how does this worm coax the ant into sticking his abdomen way up in the air to appear like a stemmed berry, y'know, like the rest of the bush's berries? Perhaps one of the worms wiggles his way to the ant's eardrums and sings Elvis hits into his ear? Do ants have ears? Hmm. It does beg some questions.

Some systems in nature are so obviously the handiwork of a Designer that any attempt to explain them in other terms sounds desperate; bias, might one say?

If the ants worms and birds could talk and reason (like in Narnia), then scientists would congratulate them on their cooperative intelligence and ingenuity. Since they can't, scientists mysteriously detect no intelligence at work at all. How convenient. My recommendation to the scientists, don't look down the barrel of your intelometer, you might not like what you find.

1 comment:

maranatha777 said...

What a blessing to read this!!! God's glory is shown in His creation, isn't it?

Kate