Theory of Intelligent Design, the best explanation of Origins

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Theory of Intelligent Design, the best explanation of Origins » Theory of evolution » Instinct, evolutions major problem to explain

Instinct, evolutions major problem to explain

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1 Instinct, evolutions major problem to explain on Sat May 10, 2014 7:25 pm



In my humble opinion, instinct is the most remarkable feature of the natural world: second only to the existence of life itself.

It is the force powering behaviour in animals.

We may argue and dispute about whether something evolved or not, but the one thing that is beyond dispute is the fact that instinct  exists, and that there is no evolutionary accounting for its existence.

Looking at the lowliest forms of life the viruses and phages, we see the viruses entering cells, and taking them over, turning them into virus factories. We know the details of how they do this - how they shed their protein coats, invade, and take over the genetic machinery of the cell and compel it to produce more virus material. And so on.

The biochemistry of much of this is well known, but there is one thing that will forever elude description. The WHY of their action. The REASON for what they do.

WHY do they enter the cell? WHY do they take over the genetic machinery?

There is no obvious compulsion for them to do so, yet they are driven to do this, somehow, and by something that cannot be identified. It can be called, even at this level, some form of INSTINCT.

An amoeba approaches a diatom. It's chemotaxis recognises it as food, and it moves toward it, engulfs it, then digests it. But WHY? Why didn't the chemotaxis make it turn in the opposite direction and run away? The amoeba recognises that it is food, it can be 'eaten', it will do it (the amoeba) good. but how does it 'know' this?

INSTINCT again. But what is that? And where does it come from?

The most startling examples come from the more complex animals, and I will present a few examples of the ones that have startled me the most. In every case, no evolutionary explanation can be sensibly offered. The sheer improbability of what actually happens, the fact that at every step of the way any mistake would have resulted in disaster for the species, argue powerfully that these examples originated in one blow, and not by any gradual evolutionary process. At  least none I've ever heard about, but it is up to readers to correct me.

We will begin with the Yucca Moth (Tegeticula spp).

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The pollination of yucca plants is different from all other plants. The flowers of yucca plants can only be pollinated by yucca moths. When a female yucca moth collects pollen from the yucca flower, she then bores holes and lays eggs in the base of the female part of the flower. Afterwards, the moth flies to the top of the flower and crawls onto the stigma, where she unloads the flower’s pollen in order for pollination to occur.

Soon, the yucca flower will be able to produce seeds. In the meantime, the yucca moth eggs will have hatched. The moth caterpillars survive by eating some of the seeds of the yucca plant, which is all they eat—yucca seeds and yucca seeds only. But the caterpillars do not eat allof the seeds. Many seeds are left to fall to the ground to become new yucca plants.

So, yucca moths need yucca plants and yucca plants need yucca moths? Exactly! The relationship between the Yucca plant and the Yucca moth is a mutualistic relationship or interdependence. How could they have evolved independently ? This grand design and dependence on each other for survival testifies to a Grand Designer.


The adult female  moth emerges from the ground in June through July, at the time that the yucca plant is in flower (!!!), and mates shortly after emergence.

She collects the pollen of a yucca plant, using her specially shaped mouthparts, shaping it into a kind of horseshoe-shaped mass. She then flies to another inflorescence (on another plant.) There, she selects a flower, inserts her ovipositor through the wall of the carpel, and lays an egg next to the developing ovules.

She then climbs to the top of the style, and, using her specially shaped mouthparts, called maxillary tentacles (which are unique to the yucca moth), she actively transfers the pollen on to the top of the stylar canal. She repeats the process, several times, thus ensuring that the plant is adequately pollinated, and can produce seeds on which the survival of her young, and the plant, depends.

She then drops off the plant and dies.

The eggs hatch out into larvae after 7 -10 days, and they feed on the developing seeds, leaving one uneaten. After about 40 days, the 4th instar larvae eat their way out of the developing fruit, and drop to the ground using a silken thread. They then burrow their way into the soil, pupate after a year or so, and emerge as adults at the time of the flowering of the yucca plant.

The instinctive behaviours in this life history are nothing short of astounding.


1 The young never see their mother or father, and therefore cannot copy what they did. They are born with the behaviour somehow programmed into their genes.

2 The female moth somehow knows that pollination of the flower is essential to the formation of the seeds, which are going to become the food for her offspring. She knows where the pollen needs to be placed in order to effect fertilisation.

3 Her mouthparts are shaped precisely to create the mass which is to fit into the stylar canal.

4 She somehow knows that the ovary contains the food her developing larvae will need to eat. If the plant is not pollinated, the seeds cannot develop.

5 The larvae, it has been observed, never eat all of the developing seeds, but always leave one or more to perpetuate the plant.

6 She ensures cross-pollination of the flowers, by flying from one plant to another after collecting the pollen.

7 The larvae, the grubs, pupate. That means, they dissolve entirely into a fluid within the pupal case, and reform into a flying creature, the moth. This by itself is a major, miraculous feat.

8 The pupae hatch out in June/July, at the very time that the yucca plant is in flower. Although they were underground, they are somehow aware of the correct time to hatch out and fly.

I have used the word ‘knows’ several times in this account. A moth cannot ‘know’

1 How to dissolve its grub character into a fluid enclosed in a case which is somehow going to reconstitute itself into a flying moth fully armed with instincts.

2 When to emerge at exactly the right time that the yucca plant is flowering

3 That pollination is essential to the fertilisation of the seeds and the survival of her larvae. How could she know? She never lives long enough to see either take place.

4 That the pollen she collects with her peculiarly shaped mouthparts is shaped exactly correctly to fit the stylar canal.

5 That the ovary contains ovules, which are going to develop into seeds on which her young can feed.

6 That cross pollination will ensure the continuance of the yucca plant

7 If the larvae do not have the silk thread, they would probably perish on impact with the ground.

Without the moth, the yucca species will perish. Without the yucca, the moth will perish. Each is entirely dependent on the other for its survival, because the moth lives on no other plant, and the plant is not fertilised by other insects. No moth, no yucca. No yucca, no moth.

The instinct displayed defies belief. Yet several reputable observers have described the behaviour in detail and published their findings, mithering foolishly about 'co-evolution' when they try to explain the origin of the behaviour.

It's like a lock and a key. Without the key, the lock is useless. Without the lock, the key is useless. Both have to be present at the same time for the device to work - and both are the work of an intelligent designer.

Here, we have several miracles rolled into a single life cycle. The moth would perish without the plant, and the plant would perish without the moth. Which came first? Answer: neither. They appeared there at the same time, fully formed and fully functioning. There's no evolution here, that's for sure.

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Computer is composed not only of hardware and software but also of firmware. The firmware (middleware) serves as an intermediary between systems software and applications. The firmware program is stored in the BIOS and instructs how the software and hardware interact with each other. Without firmware, computer is just a piece of machine that can’t do anything. A person who designed the computer have to provide instructions how the computer behavior. This instruction program is embedded in the BIOS and called firmware.

This concept is similar to an instinct of the animals. Behaviors of all animals are subject to instinct. If they are hungry they look for something to eat and if they feel thirty they look for water to drink. If they defy instinct, they can’t survive in nature. Most of the debates about the creation and evolution deal with the hardware aspect (i.e. body shape, bone structure, etc...) or biochemical aspect, but we will deal with animal's instinct (firmware) to discuss creation vs. evolution. For this, we will illustrate two examples: how the instincts of mason bees and weaver birds function when they build their nests.

a) Nest building of Mason Bee

Nest building process of a mason bee is well described in the Fabre’s Book of Insect. Mason bees build nest near the river bank. They pick small flat river rock and build their nest on it by stacking multiple layers of doughnut-shaped mortar that was made from earth mixed with saliva. If they finish to building the nest, they fill the nest with honey and pollen and seal the nest after laying an egg.

Fabre did some interesting experiment. He switched the nest that was just being built with a finished one, and watched how the mason bee behaves when she returned from collecting earth to build the nest. If we are in mason bee’s boot, we can take the finished nest and will start to fill honey in it. However, the mason bee keeps building on top of the finished one and produce awkward-shaped nest (see Fig. 17) .

Fig. 17. Mason bee keeps building nest on finished one

Fabre did opposite experiment. When mason bee finished building nest and went to collect the honey, he replaced finished nest with unfinished one and watched how the mason bee behaves. In this case, the mason bee keeps filling honey to the unfinished nest if honey is overflowing. These two experiments tell us that the mason bee behaves according to the program stored in her instinct: that is finish nest building first then collect honey second, and this sequence can not be switched.

Fig. 18. Mason bee keeps filling honey in unfinished nest

Another instinct-related experiment Fabre did was the sequence of filling honey and the behavior of hatched mason bee. When bee returns from collecting honey, she puts her head into the nest to regurgitate honey (Fig. 19). After emptying her honey-bag, she turns around and robs off pollens carried on her legs to the nest. If someone interrupts bee when she starts to rob off the pollens, she flies away momentarily. After return to the nest again, she starts to regurgitate honey even if there’s nothing left in her honey-bag and turns around and robs off the pollen. Here, we can also notice that mason bee tries to follow predetermined sequence: regurgitates honey, turns around, and robs off pollens (Fig. 20).

Fig. 19. Bee regurgitates honey first, then robs off pollens second

Fig 20. If interrupted, she repeats regurgitating honey first then robbing off pollens second

We can observe a similar behavior in a hatched bee. Mason bee's nest is very hard like a cement wall. If a bee hatches from egg, she cuts top of the nest with her strong jaws. If we place one more layer of paper on top of the nest, she has no problems to cut it out. However, if we put a paper cone on top of the nest (see Fig. 21), she doesn’t know what to do next (even if she has a very strong jaws capable of cutting cement wall) and trapped between the nest and the paper cone and starved to death. From this experiment, we also notice the sequence of behavior inscribed in her instinct what to do when she hatched. After cutting through the nest, she expects to have open air and flies away to seek honey. If some unexpected circumstance happens like a paper cone on top of the nest, she doesn’t know what to do next. This experiment also tells us that instinct governs bee’s behave in the nature and she just follows the sequences inscribed in her instinct.

Fig. 21 Mason bee can cut two layers of nest, but can't do if there is a space between them

b) Nest Building of Weaver Bird

We can find a similar instinct-driven behavior for weaver birds. The weaver bird builds nest with long grass by intertwining them as shown in Fig. 22. Marais performed experiment for the weaver bird. He caged weaver bird and didn’t provide grass to build nest during egg laying period. If she can't find grass to build nest, she just lays egg on the ground. He caged the hatched bird and did the same experiment to the 4th generations. After that, he provided grass when the 5th generation offspring lays egg. When the weaver bird saw grass, she immediately starts to build exactly the same nest as shown in Fig. 22. She hasn’t seen the nest before nor learned how to build it, but she instinctively started to build the nest. How can that be possible?

Fig 22. Nest of weaver bird

Here, we notice that the firmware in computer and the instinct in animal are built on the same concept: namely, the builder of the computer and the creator of the animal programmed them to function properly in cyber world (computer) and in nature (animal), that in turn suggest that they are not evolved but are created.

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Only God Can Make an Instinct – Scientific Evidence for Creation

The Mallee Fowl is a mound building bird that lives in Australia. It is about the size of a chicken and is an incredibly busy worker. In the fall of each year, the male begins to dig a hole about three feet deep. After the hole is dug, he piles leaves and twigs into the pit. After each rain he covers a layer of vegetation with sand sealing in the moisture. The mound he builds can be up to 35 feet across and 15 feet high. He will move as much as 6000 pounds of material to build his mound. As the wet vegetation decays, it produces heat. So as the leaves and twigs rot, the pile warms up.

The Mallee Fowl keeps checking the temperature of the mound by pushing his heat sensitive beak and tongue into the mound. It may take four months for the mound to reach the perfect temperature (92 degF). When it is warm enough, the male digs an egg chamber and the female starts to lay eggs over a period of many days. After each egg is laid, the male covers it with sand. He continually tests the temperature of the mound with his bill and adjusts the insulating layer of sand to raise or lower the interior temperature of the mound.
If the nest is too hot because of the rotting plants under the eggs; he removes sand from the egg chamber to let it cool down. If the nest is too hot from the sun heating the nest from above; he adds sand to the nest to insulate it better. If the nest is too cold and the sun is out he will remove insulation so that the sun’s heat can warm the mound. The Mallee Fowl keeps the nest within 1 degF at all times.
The female will visit the nest every few days until she has laid from 6 to 30 eggs. The eggs hatch after 9 weeks buried in the mound. Each chick, once it has hatched, will struggle from 2 to 15 hours to dig its way to the surface of the mound. They then totter to the shade to rest. Within 24 hours of hatching, they can fly! The baby birds then have no contact with their parents. They are on their own as soon as they hatch. The parents rest for a month and then start the whole process over again. The male Mallee Fowl spends up to 11 months a year taking care of the nest. That’s dedication!
When Mallee Fowl mature at 2 years of age, they find mates and start their own nests. How do they know how to do that? They were never taught by their parents. No one taught them that as soon as they hatch they need to dig their way out of the mound of rotting vegetation. No one taught them which way is up. How do they know to find shelter in shade? How do they know to eat seeds? How do they know that their tongue can be used to sense exactly 92 degF? How do they know to add sand or remove it to keep a steady temperature? How do they know to bury plants because rotting vegetation gives off heat?

Even if one bird somehow discovered some of these things; countless scientific experiments have shown that learned knowledge is not biologically passed from one generation to the next.
The way animals know how to survive is called instinct. Instinct is knowledge which is programmed into a creature before birth. Man has never been able to explain how it could have developed by any evolutionary process. Instinct shouts that there is an instinct maker. Such programmed wisdom demands an intelligent programmer. Such intelligence testifies to a creator. Psalm 104:24 says it best, “O Lord, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom Thou hast made them all. The earth is full of Thy riches.” God is the one Who made instincts.

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Genetically encoded instincts could not have evolved gradually

Complicated instincts are encoded by multiple genes. Incomplete instincts are useless. Instincts are irreducibly complex.

"A model for the inheritance of altruistic behavior is illustrated through the example of honey bees dealing with foul brood. The behavior has two steps: to uncap an unhealthy cell and then to dispose of the diseased larva (called “hygienic behavior”). After crosses that wouldn’t be unfamiliar to Mendel, biologist W.C. Rothenbuhler found that a generation showed three phenotypes: perfect hygienic behavior, no hygienic behavior, and half-way hygienic behavior, where bees would remove the caps but not touch the larva. He showed that the behavior was coded with two genes by removing caps in the “no hygienic behavior group,” where the bees would then dispose of the diseased larva. This shows that we can speak of gene behavior even without knowing the exact chain of chemicals and that genes can cooperate within a survival machine. Additionally, we can speak of genes “for” performing certain behaviors, even though they may be quite improbable or complex. (64-66)"

Incomplete instincts do not work. Read this:

In this way, unconsciously, Richard Dawkins has proved the existence of irreducibly complex instincts

Professor Dawkins has many times served the theory of intelligent design! ;

"Charles Robert Darwin (1809–1882). Origin of Species.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

VIII. Instinct

Instincts Comparable with Habits, but Different in Their Origin

MANY instincts are so wonderful that their development will probably appear to the reader a difficulty sufficient to overthrow my whole theory. I may here premise that I have nothing to do with the origin of the mental powers, any more than I have with that of life itself. We are concerned only with the diversities of instinct and of the other mental faculties in animals of the same class. [....]"

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