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The Intelligent Design Of Animal Behaviors

Synopsis Of The First Chapter Of Nature’s IQ By Balazs Hornyanszky and Istvan Tasi
ISBN 978-0-9817273-0-1

Ethology, the field of biology that attempts to explain the origins of animal behavioral patterns, has traditionally focused on two possible sources for such patterns- those that are inherited and those that are environmentally induced. For the former of these two, the Darwinian mechanism is that which is most commonly advanced. The underlying axiom barely needs repeating- inherited behaviors have been acquired through gradual changes as a result of environmental selective pressures. In his 1973 Nobel lecture entitled Analogy As A Source Of Knowledge, Konrad Lorenz made his case in favor of the link between Darwinian gradualism and animal behavior. And yet in Nature’s IQ, authors Balazs Hornyanszky and Istvan Tasi blast such a gradualistic inference and re-interpret the evidence in favor of the intelligent design alternative.

For many key anatomical features found in nature, a necessary behavioral pattern must be present if a desired function is to be fulfilled. The prominent bioluminescent bulb of the anglerfish for example must exhibit a slow waving motion if it is to lure its prey. As Hornyanszky and Tasi so vividly illustrate, any intermediate behavior on the way to becoming the fully-fledged comportment we see today, would have been inappropriate and insufficient for catching unsuspecting fry. In effect, anglerfish are endowed with an IQ that must have appeared at once and in parallel with its predatory anatomy if it were to provide any selective advantage.

We see the same principle playing out in the trap-like lures of other creatures such as the decoy scorpion fish, the Argentine Horned frog and the copper-head snake. Most prominent of all is the alligator snapping turtle which holds its mouth open for extended periods of time while waiting for a victim to catch sight of its worm-like wriggling tongue. The New Guinean dung spider is able not only to assume the appearance of bird droppings but also produce a characteristic ‘dropping’ smell as a way of enticing and trapping insects that normally feed on such a delectable meal. Hungry Egyptian vultures repeatedly throw stones at ostrich eggs as they try to access their next meal- a behavior that has been conclusively shown to be integral part of the vulture’s genetic constitution.

Hornyanszky and Tasi maintain that for all such cases, both the anatomical features and the accompanying behaviors must have arisen all at once if the observed functions were to have been achieved. In short they build on biochemist Michael Behe’s showcase volume Darwin’s Black Box by inferring that many such anatomical-behavioral functional units are irreducibly complex and thereby inaccessible to a progressive accumulation of random mutations.

Hornyanszky’s and Tasi’s case in favor of intelligent design is made all the more compelling through the wealth of examples that they draw on as well as the rich illustrations that accompany many of these examples. In all, the first chapter of Nature’s IQ provides a firm foundation in support of the Intelligent Design case and sets the tone for the chapters that follow.

For more information and to order Nature’s IQ go to http://www.arn.org/arnproducts/php/book_show_item.php?id=129

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22 Responses to The Intelligent Design Of Animal Behaviors

  1. “would have been inappropriate and insufficient for catching unsuspecting fry.”

    Where’d that leap in logic come from?

    Why could there not have been “unmoving” bulbs which were useful in catching certain prey. When a mutation occurs, ie. the tendency to wave the bulb about, that animal is MUCH more likely to catch prey. Thus, it has a distinct advantage over its competitors.

    This is not irreducibly complex.

  2. Is this the new fad, BMBBP (Buy My Book By Proxy)?

    These gentlemen cannot be serious. Are they really arguing that an anglerfish that didn’t wave its lure would get no benefit from the lure? None at all? A snapping turtle gets no benefit from holding its mouth open without a tongue shaped like a worm? No benefit?

  3. 3

    Yes, they are serious.

    What use is half an eye?

    None at all to them, it appears.

    It’s blind or Hubble. No middle ground.

  4. 4

    Mr Charrington,

    Maybe you missed it, but I do not allow links to the poor souls at AtBC.

  5. Actually, a mutation that causes even ONE cell would give an animal a MASSIVE advantage over its competitors.

    Here is an example of cells which can detect light. http://www.answers.com/topic/euglena

    It’s weird how lots of animals have eyes eh?

  6. “Why could there not have been “unmoving” bulbs which were useful in catching certain prey.”

    From Wikipedia: “The purpose of the lure is to use movement, vibrations, and color to catch the fish’s attention to make them bite the hook.”

    Static lures generally don’t catch fish (or fry) and the anglerfish would starve if this happened.

    It’s evolution’s job to explain, step by step, how the bulb started, grew, and went from static to moving using natural selection and random mutations. The only explanation I’ve seen so far is that “nature did it.”

  7. Yes, the purpose of the lure is to vibrate now. How do you know that is what it was used for in the past? Ancestors might have got along just fine without vibration.

    How do YOU know a static lure doesn’t “generally” catch fish?

    Here is a link to an ever-so-reliable wikipedia page regarding the “flashlight fish” which states, “The light is used to attract prey, and for communication.”

    This light is not on a “vibrating lure.” It is located behind the eyes.

    I’ve shined flashlights in the water and the fish are all for it!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flashlight_fish

  8. the_napkin

    Yes, the purpose of the lure is to vibrate now. How do you know that is what it was used for in the past?

    Like, you know, deep massages after a long day of swimming after little fish.

  9. Like, you know, deep massages after a long day of swimming after little fish.

    No wonder you guys are having a hard time following the discussions.

    Are you SERIOUSLY not understanding napkins point?

    This is not rocket science guys.

    The argument in the OP is that the lure must have been put in place AS IT IS CURRENTLY. The reason for this (according to the OP, and ID in general), is that the lure in any other form would be useless.

    All that is needed to refute this point is a single example of a lure that is simpler than the currently existing one, that is also advantageous. In fact, we don’t even have to show that the intermediate step actually existed, only that it is possible, since your argument relies on it being IMPOSSIBLE. This makes destroying your argument extremely easy.

    the_napkin already did this, but since you seem to have somehow missed his point, I will repeat it.

    A lure that does not vibrate is a simpler form of the lure in its current form. There is no reason to believe that fish will not be attracted to a light source, simply because it does not vibrate. So, it is also advantageous.

    The same logic applies to any other example you choose to use.

    I find it interesting that you yourself provided such an example, even though it is extremely silly. Even though the lure as a limb used for massages is extremely unlikely, it is still POSSIBLE, which instantly destroys the argument, DESPITE how silly it is.

    Own goal for the win.

    If you are still not understanding this, please ask questions.

  10. that is example of fine turning. I believe that is certain core behaviors that are made up several genes.
    “It’s evolution’s job to explain, step by step, how the bulb started”
    the question how many genes or Nucleotides that code for the bulb. Depending on the size of the population determine natural selection resolution, also it’s efficiency. Anther variable is selection pressure. I hypothesis that certain traits get selected if selection pressure is high enough. It very difficult for natural to create gene because resolution problem. Natural selection most of the time can see the gene but it can not see the individual Nucleotides. Some times a single mutation can effect whole gene. How ever I do not think that will cause the bulb gene to form. anther problem there might be a gene that extends the bulb way form the fish body. Which leads to anther section scenario problem.
    Genetics is like rocket science guys.

  11. The lure is a good example an arms race between predator and prey. A simple lure might done acceptably in the past, but as prey evolve to be more careful, the anglerfish has to evolve a better lure.

    It would be useful to look at the genes for the wiring of the brain of the prey to see how they have evolved and compare to the genes of the anglerfish lure. I wonder if it is possible to use molecular clocks to estimate the age of these adaptations? It seems to me that these authors have made a large number of ID predictions, that the genes for all of these different adaptations are of the same age, across a wide variety of species.

  12. Is there anything else you might want to know?

    Or will you continue to look up to junk science as seen above?

    I’m not a biology student and yet I have no trouble pointing out similarities between species that totally debunk your logic.

    You will NEVER find something in nature that is irreducibly complex. Just because they have YET to find the answer, does not mean it does not exist.

    So PLEASE, stop trying. You are wasting your time.

  13. 13

    the_napkin,

    ——”You will NEVER find something in nature that is irreducibly complex. Just because they have YET to find the answer, does not mean it does not exist.”

    An expression of enduring faith if ever I saw one.

  14. 14

    Maybe you missed it, but I do not allow links to the poor souls at AtBC.

    Then here is my post with the offending link removed.

    A poster on another message board digs into the background of the authors a little

    http://tinyurl.com/REDACTED

    Also have a look at this
    http://www.vedicscience.eu/dl/.....Tasi_4.pdf

    Not a quality paper by all accounts!

    How do animals know what, when and how to do something? Of course, they have
    some kind of “programme” or “software” in their minds from the time of their birth.
    Modern-day evolutionists say that every innate physical and mental ability has
    developed step by step, by genetic mutations and natural selection. But inborn
    instincts are sometimes very complicated and these “behaviour chains” probably
    could not emerge by “gradual development”, as the incomplete forms of a complex
    behaviour are often not advantageous for the living being. In this way, inborn
    instincts support intelligent design and the creation concept of the Vaishnava
    Vedanta

    And, er, is it the case that the paper linked above got one of the authors their “degree”? Not worth the paper it’s printed on I think. Quite low standards at teh Bhaktivedant College it appears.

  15. Clive Hayden,

    Yes, I have faith that the scientific process that has already provided a factual account of how all living things came to be, will eventually fill in most of the gaps that ID proponents are so apt to jump on.

    If I believe that all things have evolved, then I MUST conclude that there are no things in nature that are irreducibly complex.

    My faith will endure.

  16. 16

    the_napkin,

    ——”Yes, I have faith that the scientific process that has already provided a factual account of how all living things came to be, will eventually fill in most of the gaps that ID proponents are so apt to jump on.

    If I believe that all things have evolved, then I MUST conclude that there are no things in nature that are irreducibly complex.

    My faith will endure.”

    I appreciate your honesty.

  17. The napkin: “How do you know that is what it was used for in the past? Ancestors might have got along just fine without vibration.”

    How do you that’s not what it was used for in the past?

    “How do YOU know a static lure doesn’t “generally” catch fish?”

    Because generally, lures are made to be mobile underwater. Fish are attracted to motion (think of sharks being attracted to the vibrations of a dying fish). Anyway, how do you know a static lure does catch fish?

  18. Barb,

    If you go back a couple posts I described the Flashlight Fish with a quick wiki link.

    That IS a STATIC LURE that is USED to catch PREY!

    – Fish are attracted to motion (think of sharks being attracted to the vibrations of a dying fish).

    Yes, they are attracted to motion, but they are ALSO attracted to light. Which is why if you shine a light in the water at night fish will come around. And why a flashlight fish is able to use its light to attract prey WITHOUT vibration.

    PLUS, the properties of moving water will tend to bend light. That’s why a static lure will look like it’s moving or shimmering from afar.

    –Because generally, lures are made to be mobile underwater.

    Where does this “generally” come from? What’s the source? What is general? Are you a marine biologist? I capped my “YOU,” because I wanted some sourcing saying “static lures are incapable of catching fish.” You have failed.

    –”How do you know that’s not what it was used for in the past?”

    Again, note the flashlight fish with an analagous light emitting organ that gets along just fine without vibration. Although I’m unable to delve into their genetic similarities, is it IMPOSSIBLE that these two fish have a related ancestor that at one point developed light emitting cells?

    If you answered YES to the final question, please show me evidence that there can be no such connection. And remember, just because there is no “in-betweener” that can’t be found, does NOT mean that it did not exist.

  19. Barb-san,

    Anyway, how do you know a static lure does catch fish?

    I’ve caught fish with a static lure.

    But say for the anglerfish that the lure just waved in the current, passive, not active motion. Or it moved when the fish moved its entire body. Are you saying that all these motions are worthless? That only active motion will allow it catch prey? That seems to be the argument of the authors.

  20. COULD IT BE?

    Have a lowly journalism student and Japanese fellow debunked arguments by leading minds in the field of Intelligent Design.

    Well, that was easy. No wonder they’ve banned it from being taught in schools.

    It has NO scientific basis. It is based on the premise that since you can’t prove every step of the process, and since a lot of things look mind-bogglingly complex, then all things must have been created.

    It is a cop out of epic proportions. If these ideas are what concern you from a religious standpoint, it is clear why there is so much wrong in today’s religion.

  21. the_napkin:

    I agree with your position, but I do have one nit to pick. There are many IC systems in existance. An IC system is simply a system where the removal of any of the parts makes the system stop working. Saying that there are no IC systems is, strictly speaking, not true.

    That being said, I have not found a single ID supporter who is able to explain to me how to identify IC systems. I am sure they exist, but how exactly do you ideantify them? More specifically, how do you identify the parts of an IC system? Or ANY system?

    If IC systems cannot even be identified, how can they be of any use to anyone, or used as evidence for anything?

  22. If the minds of the ID supporters in this thread are not capable of seeing how a static lure can be useful, then I am afraid thier minds will not be capable of understanding any moderately complicated concepts.

    Seriously, this is easy stuff. If this is giving them a hard time, we can hardly expect them to grasp the interactions between mutations, natural selection and all the other building blocks that make evolution work can we?

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