Wednesday, January 20, 2016

#99 Complexity, Equilibrium, and Energy Costs

I’m sure you remember the phrase from physics class that a body in motion tends to stay in motion and a body at rest tends to stay at rest. This is known as Newton’s First Law of Motion.

This has an interesting application to recent research on evolution. As you can imagine, it takes a certain amount of energy to produce something new and different. And mutating new systems is the essence of how evolution creates new species.

If forces are in a state of equilibrium, then generally there will not be change. Darwinism requires that there be change over time and therefore there must be an input of energy.

Here is the definition of equilibrium.

A condition in which all influences acting cancel each other, so that a static or balanced situation results. In physics, equilibrium results from the cancellation of forces acting on an object. In chemistry, it occurs when chemical reactions are proceeding in such a way that the amount of each substance in a system remains the same. [1]

In a July, 2014, peer reviewed article in the journal Complexity, researchers Snoke, Cox, and Petcher have realized that the Theory of Evolution has a major problem. [2] Their conclusion was this.

The bottom line seems to be that whatever cause generated the biological features we observe, unguided Darwinian evolution is not it. [3]

They used a computational model to simulate the processes that must take place for evolution to be true. The Theory of Evolution says that Natural Selection chooses one from among many variations in a survival of the fittest process. The essential point to discuss here is that there must first exist the many variations for Natural Selection to be able to act on something.

If you don’t have many variations already existing, then the odds of Natural Selection working successfully become totally impossible.

In order to get many variations, there is necessarily an energy requirement. The researchers chose a certain level of energy as the amount needed to make a new variation and then tested to see what the results would be.

[T]here is an additional energy cost to increased complexity. ... In real systems, building new systems is costly, and the cost of carrying along useless or redundant systems is one of the arguments for the efficiency of existing living systems, as excess baggage is dropped as too costly. [4]

So in other words, once a good design exists, it tends to be in equilibrium and it will continue. It will not develop other systems because of the extra energy required to develop them. Adding new variations onto an already functioning and efficient system would require extra energy that the organism would tend to select against.

As an example, how do you evolve a human pelvis from a monkey pelvis? The orientation, structure, and strength points are very different because a human walks upright. The monkey pelvis works fine for the monkey. Why would a partially human pelvis and a partially monkey pelvis be remotely a good idea from an efficiency perspective?

You could make the same argument for legs, feet, arms, hands, and on and on, trying to develop a monkey into a human.

The model showed that in most cases, no changes would take place in a working system. It also showed another problem.

If you plug a number into the model that would represent a low cost of energy in order to make a new variation, then you would indeed get lots of variations. This is necessary for Natural Selection to be able to operate. However, many variations when the energy cost is low would also be carried forward even if they did not have a functional purpose. This ultimately caused the organism to fail from the burden of useless vestigial systems.

In order for Natural Selection to function, the theory says there have to be a lot of systems to choose from. But the modeling based on energy costs demonstrates that in reality too many of those various systems would not be discarded. The organism would eventually have to fail from the burden.

There was no stable energy cost point for getting to the scenario where Natural Selection could work its magic. They either got no evolution or too much useless evolution which Natural Selection could not deal with.

The analysis of the energy cost of producing variations showed this:

There are two competing processes. On one hand, the energy cost of carrying vestigial systems makes them weakly deleterious, not neutral, which tends to reduce their number. Conversely, without stabs in the dark, that is, new systems which might eventually obtain new function but as yet have none, no novelty can ever occur, and no increase of complexity. Thus, if the energy cost of vestigial systems is too high, no evolution will occur. [5]

So here is the big problem. The tendency it turns out is to stay in equilibrium once an efficient system is attained. From there, no evolution occurs. The energy cost of many variations is too high. Thus no new systems tend to develop and no further evolution takes place.

When researchers tested what would happen if only a small amount of energy cost was needed to produce lots of variations. They found that this would produce the many new systems that are needed, however, this would also lead to many left over systems that are useless. Over time more and more useless systems would accumulate. Eventually that would cause the organism to die out from lack of efficiency.

But trying lots of new things mean you cannot weed out slightly deleterious traits. Over time unhelpful traits accumulate. Eventually such mutations pile up to an extent that the population reaches a crisis point, and crashes. The junk has become an unbearable burden. The organisms go extinct. [6]

I like this new phrase “arrival of the fittest” in the next quote. Before there can ever be “survival of the fittest”, there has to be “arrival of the fittest” on the scene. Science is now having a problem identifying how systems could even “arrive”, let alone be in a position to be selected.

Many scientists now recognize the insufficiency of the classic Darwinian story to account for the appearance of new features or innovations in the history of life. They focus on other theories to account for remarkable differences between genomes, the appearance of novel body plans, and genuine innovations like the bat's wing, the mammalian placenta, the vertebrate eye, or insect flight, for example. They realize that the traditional story of population genetics (changes in allele [7] frequencies in populations due to mutation, selection, and drift) cannot account for "the arrival of the fittest" and not just the "survival of the fittest." [8]

Let me repeat the conclusion of that peer-reviewed article. Please pass it on to others so that they too will be aware of what researchers themselves are more and more aware of.

The bottom line seems to be that whatever cause generated the biological features we observe, unguided Darwinian evolution is not it. [9]

As research continues, even stubborn believers are going to have to give up on Darwinian unguided evolution. The end has to come sooner or later and it will be scientists who pull the plug on Darwinian Evolution.

There must have been some intelligence far greater than ours to engineer the world around us.

There must be God.

[1] The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition, Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

[2] Snoke, David W.; Cox, Jeffrey; and Petcher, Donald, "Suboptimality and complexity in evolution", Complexity Journal, Volume 21, Issue 1,

[3] Luskin, Casey, "Peer-Reviewed Paper Reveals Darwin's Unavoidable Catch-22 Problem", December 27, 2015,

[4] Snoke, David W.; Cox, Jeffrey; and Petcher, Donald, "Suboptimality and complexity in evolution", Complexity Journal, Volume 21, Issue 1,

[5] Snoke, David W.; Cox, Jeffrey; and Petcher, Donald, "Suboptimality and complexity in evolution", Complexity Journal, Volume 21, Issue 1,

[6] Luskin, Casey, "Peer-Reviewed Paper Reveals Darwin's Unavoidable Catch-22 Problem", December 27, 2015,

[7] Allele: one of two or more alternative forms of a gene that arise by mutation and are found at the same place on a chromosome.

[8] Gauger, Ann, "Waiting for Mutations: Why Darwinism Won't Work", Sept. 23, 2015,

[9] Luskin, Casey, "Peer-Reviewed Paper Reveals Darwin's Unavoidable Catch-22 Problem", December 27, 2015,

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

#98 Acacia Trees and Ants

Gardening is thought of as a skill that requires pretty advanced intelligence. Humans in the whole history of evolution did not start to garden until about 10,000BC. [1]

This Proof for God is about the symbiotic relationship between certain trees and certain types of ants. In particular I want to talk about the Central and South American Bull-Horn Acacia tree and the Pseudomyrmex ant, which is a genus of stinging, wasp-like ants.

“Many species of acacia tress that are deficient in chemical defenses have developed a mutualistic relationship with stinging ants in which protection is exchanged for nutrients and a home. Acacia trees and their symbiotic partner can be found all over the world in temperate, desert, and tropical regions, especially since some species of acacia trees are highly invasive. They reach sexual maturity typically three years after germination, and the adult trees can be used for industrial or decorative purposes. During development, the acacia trees form symbiotic relationships with ants to promote healthy growth for both the ant and the tree. Not only are the trees vigorously protected, but they also provide ants and their larvae a ready home and available nutrients.” [2]

“Ant-plant mutualism is not rare with at least 100 other species of plants and ants exhibiting this relationship.” [3].

Note that the author of the above quote talks about the plant and ants as if they are intelligently discussing with each other how they are going to form a mutually beneficial partnership. How come we humans can’t form a relationship with a plant if an ant can do it? Or how come we can’t form a nice relationship with a bunch of ants if a plant can do it?

As I explain below what amazing things scientists have discovered about this relationship, you will see that the Theory of Evolution has no plausible explanation for its existence. Even if one such implausible relationship could have evolved, how could 100 totally distinct and unique types of plant to ant relationships evolve without any connection to each other?

An important point to make in the beginning is that the Bull-Horn Acacia tree cannot survive without the help of the ants. In experiments where the ants were taken off the tree, the tree died within two to fifteen months. “In studying this amazing relationship, researchers removed the ants from some of these trees. Within two to fifteen months the tree was dead. Without the ants' care, animals eat off all the leaves and surrounding plants overrun it.” [4]

So without help from the ants, there could not be any Bull-Horn Acacia trees. So how could the trees ever have evolved without the ants already there to take care of them? But how did the ants learn how to take care of these particular trees before the trees existed? Gardening the trees would have to have evolved too. It would take a long process of learning for the ants, if ants can even learn like that. Taking care of the Acacia trees is very, very complicated as we shall see.

If you have two minutes, check out this National Geographic video about a similar Acacia tree and its ants. I think you will be amazed:

In this symbiotic relationship, let’s look first at what the Acacia tree does for the ants. There is a lot of the trademark of intelligence here and if you don’t accept that there is a God, then you have to think it is the tree that has intelligence or else it is just some accidental process.

“The mutualistic relationship is established when a newly mated queen is attracted to a tree by its odor and starts nesting inside the large, hollow acacia thorns. She lays 15-20 eggs to produce the first generation of workers. As the colony grows, more thorns become inhabited, and when the colony reaches around 400 individuals, the ants start to protect the plant.” [5]

Scientists know that the queen ant can smell an Acacia tree. Think of all the evolution that would have to go into an ant being able to smell, let alone being able to recognize a particular tree as the one that would provide a good place to start a nest.

The Acacia tree provides a wonderful place for ants to build their nests. The ants can drill a hole into the horns of the plant that are hollow inside and this makes a perfect place for a nest. Since the horns are fairly small, the ants will make nests in the horns all over the tree.

The Acacia tree actually has special glands on their stems which secrete a carbohydrate-rich, sweet nectar that is very nutritious for the ants. If that gland evolved through a slow and gradual process and the nectar that is secreted then also had to evolve by a slow and gradual process, don’t you think the ants would find a different source of nutrition instead of waiting around? Evolutionists have amazing imaginations, but I’d like to see them point out any actual plant that has ever evolved something like this on its own in the thousands of years that humans have been watching plants. It’s never been seen, but still they believe in evolution.

The Acacia tree also produces what are called “Beltian bodies” on the tips of its leaflets. These Beltian bodies are made of a protein-lipid which doesn’t seem to have any other use or value except for the ants to feed their larvae. [6] The Beltian bodies seem to be perfect for that single purpose. Look at the picture below of Beltian bodies and imagine the evolution that had to take place for the tree to produce such a “fruit”. Trees live a long time. They would have to produce seeds, which grow up, and then produce new seeds. How many generations would it take in a slow and gradual process of tree after tree until the Beltian bodies were perfected. Remember that the Beltian bodies give no benefit at all to the tree except to attract the ants by providing the perfect nutrients for their larvae. Remember that without the ants, the trees mostly die so getting many generations of trees to evolve implies that the ants were always there.

That’s already too incredible for evolution. But now let’s take a look at what the ants do for the tree.

If a plant eating animal or insect comes along that will harm the Acacia tree, the ants release a pheromone which is a nasty odor and it sounds the alarm. All of them rush out to attack. They will bite and sting any intruder very severely, usually driving them away.

However, the ants are uniquely selective. If a Praying Mantis or a spider comes along, which actually can benefit the Acacia by eating insect pests, the ants leave them alone. Now how could they have ever evolved that type of selectivity? Ants also will not bother the bees that pollinate the tree.

Another thing that the ants do for the tree is keep away vines and other plants. The ants will chew through any vines that come on their tree or its leaves, thus getting rid of any threat. The ants seem to even know that the tree needs sunlight and will remove leaves of other trees that are obstructing the sunlight.

"According to Daniel Janzen, livestock can apparently smell the pheromone and avoid these acacias day and night. Getting stung in the mouth and tongue is an effective deterrent to browsing on the tender foliage. In addition to protecting V. conigera (Acacia) from leaf-cutting ants and other unwanted herbivores, the ants also clear away invasive seedlings around the base of the tree that might overgrow it and block out vital sunlight." [7]

And here is a very amazing fact that was discovered recently, the ants actually help prevent bacteria problems on the leaf surfaces. Scientists have found that it is likely something on the legs of the ants that yields the antibacterial benefit. Evolutionists are going to have a problem explaining how something like that evolved.

"Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, have now found that ants also keep harmful leaf pathogens in check. The presence of ants greatly reduces bacterial abundance on surfaces of leaves and has a visibly positive effect on plant health...

"Detailed analysis of the bacterial composition on the surfaces of the leaves suggested that the presence of mutualistic ants changed the bacterial populations and reduced harmful pathogens.
"How antimicrobial protection is transferred from ants to plant is still unclear." [8]

Is that convincing enough that this relationship was designed and not evolved? How about one more point. Researchers have discovered that the tree secrets some repellent, probably from its pollen, that keeps the ants away. This maximizes the reproduction of the seeds of the tree because the ants don’t run over them and disturb their growth. But the secretion eventually wears off about the time that the fertilization has already taken place.  So now the ants will come around and they will perform their duty of protecting the leaves and tree again. [9]

No human being could design something with this chemical and biological sophistication.

There must be God.
[1] History of Farming,

[2] Themes of Parasitology: Relationship Advice: Acacia Trees and Ants

[3] Piper, Ross. Extraordinary Animals: An Encyclopedia of Curious and Unusual Animals. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2007. 1-3. Print.

[4] Bartz, Paul, "Ants who garden",

[5] Themes of Parasitology: Relationship Advice: Acacia Trees and Ants

[7] Wikipedia, "Vachellia cornigera", (Bullhorn Acacia),

[8] Wikipedia, "Vachellia cornigera", (Bullhorn Acacia),

[9] McDaniel College, "Ant-acacia mutualism",