A Creature that Defies Evolution
comments by Michael Fishwick
The following article was published in the March 2006 issue of Catholic, a monthly newspaper, published by the Transalpine Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, Golgotha Monastery Island, Papa Stronsay, Orkney Islands, Scotland, KW17 2AR, under the pen name "Idiota." Some minor grammatical changes have been made in order to make spelling more familiar to an American audience.
THE BOMBARDIER BEETLE
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, at a temperature of 212 degrees F, 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 it accomplishes this impressive chemical feat. He learned that the beetle makes its explosive by mixing together two chemicals (hydroquinone and hydrogen peroxide). The beetle is able to store these two chemicals indefinitely, until it needs to use them. Whenever our beetle is approached by a predator, such as a frog, it squirts the stored chemicals into the two combustion tubes, and at precisely the right moment it adds another chemical, which functions as a catalyst. The catalyst makes it possible for the hydroquinone and hydrogen peroxide to react together, which they do with such great violence that the beetle can squirt the mixture of hot chemicals into the attacker's face.
It is a devastating defense. The beetle is tiny, but the gasses it can squirt out are so hot and so fast that they cause a small explosion. A hungry frog, or even a mouse, could easily be so startled and hurt that the lucky beetle will get enough time to run away.
This little beetle is one of the wonders of God's creation, which happens to make an excellent piece of evidence that atheistic evolution is totally wrong. How could such a marvelous and complex mechanism have evolved piecemeal over millions of years?
Where is the survival advantage in storing what, from the beetle's point of view, are pretty large amounts of two rather unhealthy chemicals? It can not be to deter predators, because that would only apply to the modern beetle, not its semi-evolved ancestor. No doubt an atheist who reads biochemistry books could dream up some sort of an answer to that question, possibly a detail of the beetle immune system or some such thing. Those of us who believe in the truth of Genesis could be forgiven for suspecting that the atheist is begging the question - assuming that his theory is true. There have to be large amounts, otherwise the frog is not deterred and the beetle isn't evolving. It is, of course, argued that these chemicals provide a survival advantage even in small amounts because they make the beetle taste bad. Nonsense! A partially munched-up and spat-out beetle leaves no descendents. Predators can not pick and choose between slightly mutated/evolved beetles that taste bad and less lucky beetles that taste better - they will either go for any of that beetle population or none of them. There is, therefore, no survival advantage in a tiny chemical mutation.
What about the development of the catalyst? There is no need to evolve a catalyst unless you already have the two chemicals you are trying to catalyze. And it has to be exactly the right kind of catalyst, or else the two chemicals would not react enough, or not react at all, or maybe poison the beetle, all of which are not survival advantages.
Obviously, such an arrangement would never arise apart from intelligent foresight and planning. Nevertheless, let us assume that our beetle somehow managed simultaneously to develop the two chemicals along with the all important catalyst. Atheistic fantasy still has not explained how to create a beetle without God. Our beetle still needs to evolve the two combustion tubes, and a precise communications and timing network to control and adjust the critical direction and timing of the explosion. Are we to imagine that for thousands of generations these carefree little beetles went around 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 tantamount to declaring that something can come from nothing without Divine power. Like all God's works, this particular something is far better designed than the best of 21st century technology.
Nature abounds with countless such examples of perfect co-ordination. 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.
Darwinian evolution absolutely must proceed by small mutations, each of which must provide a very notable survival advantage to the population of the 'advanced' mutants over their lesser brethren. One should bear in mind that it is hotly debated whether so much as one single advantageous mutation has ever been proved - and yet harmful mutations happen all the time!
No one has documented in real scientific journals how a partial development of this wonderful defense system could provide a partial defense, because it is obviously a fantasy based upon the rejection of God..
All of the parts are necessary to provide any defense at all, and all of the parts are absolutely useless to the beetle if any other part is missing. Since the partially developed defense system clearly never existed, the beetle originally must have been created just as it is now, with the complete defense mechanism..
"For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made. His eternal power also and divinity: so that they are inexcusable. Because that, when they knew God, they have not glorified Him as God or given thanks: but became vain in their thoughts. And their foolish heart was darkened. For, professing themselves to be wise, they became fools." [Romans I, 20-22]
KOLBE CENTRE FOOTNOTES
. Darwinian evolution philosophically assumes that the primary mechanism of evolution is chance. By referring to logical purpose, the author is considering that to be preserved, in Darwinian terms, a mutation must confer some sort of useful role in an organism. The alleged mechanism of chance is philosophical, and not a scientific hypothesis, because it is unobservable and untestable. Non-Darwinian evolutionists assume ultimate purpose in evolution, but they still fail to provide a scientific mechanism for the fairytale of macro-evolution. Theistic evolutionists, such as Michael Behe, attempt to mix and match - chance and purpose, macro evolution and God - and end up with a position that is untenable to the Faith and to the known corpus of scientific data.
. Catholic Professor of Biochemistry, Michael Behe, adds in his best selling book 'Darwin's Black Box' that: "Not only does the defensive apparatus of the bombardier beetle depend on a number of interacting components, but the cells that produce hydroquinone and hydrogen peroxide depend on a very large number of components to do so; the cells that secrete catalaze are very complex; and the sphincter muscle separating the collection vesicle from the explosion chamber is a system of systems".
. Two wonderful video productions - 'Incredible Creatures that Defy Evolution' - are available from the Kolbe Center Webstore. They are a great source of education and enjoyment for children and adults alike. http://webtools.kolbenet.com/shopcart.php?n=2&cat=videos