Creationist Wisdom #111: Parasites

Headless fire ant's brain eaten by fly maggot

YOUR Curmudgeon is, as you know, a non-judgmental, sensitive, compassionate, caring-sharing evolutionist, with ooey-gooey feelings and a touchy-feely attitude. We embrace diversity and practice togetherness. Our fondest hope is that we’ll all get along and everything will be nicey-nicey and fuzzy-wuzzy. Our humble blog seeks to present all sides, including not only the strengths but also the weaknesses of the theory of evolution.

In accordance with that courageous statement of principle, we’re not afraid to “teach the controversy.” Therefore, we offer you the view from the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — truly the fountainhead of creationist wisdom. They have this new article at their website: Did God Make Fire Ant Parasites? Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:

Most residents of the southern states of America are uncomfortably familiar with fire ants. People who have experienced the bites and stings that give these insects their name are often willing to try almost anything to get rid of them. Many of them might hesitate, however, to use the particularly gruesome method favored by one tiny predator.

Particularly gruesome? That sounds interesting. Let’s read on:

Entomologists are currently looking into eco-friendly biological control of fire ants, and University of Texas biologists have been experimenting with importing one of the fire ant’s natural predators. These parasitic creatures, a kind of phorid fly, are known as “ant-decapitating flies.” The fruit fly-size female lays her eggs inside the ant’s body, accessing it through the neck. As the larva grows, it feeds off the ant’s body fluids. At the right moment, it knows just how much of the ant’s brain to consume in order to hijack the ant’s nervous system.

The ant will then just march away from its colony ― sometimes walking for two weeks straight. The parasite eventually secretes an enzyme that dissolves the ant’s exoskeleton, causing the ant’s head to fall off. The fly then uses the emptied head capsule “as a pupal case” until it metamorphoses into an adult.

That’s a great lifestyle! We continue:

How could such creatures have been part of the “very good” creation depicted in Genesis? [Footnote to Genesis 1:31, which says: “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.”] Darwin himself raised a similar objection after studying how parasitic wasps treat certain caterpillars. The apparent presence of evil in biological systems has frequently been used as an argument against a creation-based interpretation of scientific data.

We are pleased to see that the creationists aren’t afraid to ask important questions. Let’s observe how they deal with this:

However, it is exceedingly unlikely that this phorid fly evolved through chance and random mutations. Fire ants are its primary diet, and the instincts and enzymes that it uses are too precisely specified to its mode of living for it not to have been a product of purpose, either directly or indirectly.

Ah, we’re told that this parasitic, brain-eating fly is “exceedingly unlikely” to have evolved, therefore … it didn’t evolve. Okay! Here’s more:

The fly has so many specifications ― the ability to see, fly, run, and reproduce, all contained in a remarkably small package ― that it must have originated outside of nature. The clever recycling of the ant’s decapitated head also infers design. These very complicated and effective specifications are not “natural” ― they represent the opposite of what nature produces, which is decay. Plus, the Genesis account states that God made “every thing that creepeth upon the earth,” [Footnote to Genesis 1:25, which says: “And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.”] and this clearly included insects.

It’s impressive that we’re provided with authority for all claims. Moving along:

One possibility for the origin of this fly’s life cycle is that its current host-specific habits resulted from a narrowing-down of options from a wider array of instincts and abilities possessed by an originating phorid fly. This narrowing process would have occurred after the fall of man, when death, decay, and other evils entered the world. [Footnote to Genesis 3:17-19:]

And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;

In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

One must be persuaded by the careful attention to source material, and the keen reasoning applied thereto. Another excerpt:

It is apparent that God instantly reworked some biological systems at that time, such as when He made “thorns also and thistles.” Therefore, it is possible that decapitating flies and similar parasites were a direct result of God’s intervention at the curse, which in turn was a result of the sin of mankind.

Verily, it is apparent. And now we come to the end:

At present, gruesome parasites — along with carnivores and violent competition in the living world — serve as persistent reminders that the world is not all good, and not as it should be. But this is just what the Bible describes, along with the promise that all creation will someday be transformed and restored to an entirely good condition, like it was immediately after its original creation. [Footnote to Revelation 21:1, which says: ” And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.”]

That’s the creationist view of parasites. Now you know. Go forth, wiser than before.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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8 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #111: Parasites

  1. Discoveroids… rhymes with Hemmeroids, and aren’t they both a pain [edited]

  2. I have heard that Dembski’s latest book explains death before the Fall of Adam and Eve by causation backwards in time.

    After all, we know that birds fly for two main reasons: to be predators and to avoid being prey. Birds on isolated islands, where there are no prey, often become flightless.

    The famous “bombardier beetle” beloved of creationists has an “intelligently designed” defense mechanism.

    Examples of “intelligent design” often turn out to be cases of “design” only in the context of predator-prey situations.

  3. Even though “The Fall” only involved Adam, Eve and a serpent (whatever that was), God was such a vindictive entity that He/She/It cursed the entire universe. That hardly sounds like an “intelligent” design.

  4. Wow, nice punishment for eating an apple. And God spoke “For a couple of legally handicapped people to eat an apple, thou ant, shall have thy brain consumed by parasites.” And these guys are arguing that He’s the good guy? Hey at least they are giving us the perfect Hitler/Stalin/evil guy argument. “Yeah, well your God created parasites, plagues, natural disasters, and death itself and that has killed or will kill everyone on the planet.” Might be fun to see if some of their heads explode.

  5. Albanaeon says: “Wow, nice punishment for eating an apple.”

    That’s the deal. If you don’t like it, find yourself another universe.

  6. I thought I had. It’s called Reality. Creationists should try it sometime. Its a place where people are responsible for their own actions and there are big scary sky people waiting to punish you for being born a human.

  7. Clearly the creationists are under the influence of a brain-eating parasite that causes them to do say such silly things. Just wait ’till their heads start popping off!

    And what an incredibly negative world view, to see everything as decay and evil. I don’t think the creations are even doing religion right.

  8. Tomato Addict says: “And what an incredibly negative world view …”

    When you have only one book, it limits the possibilities.