'Talking' Ants Are Evidence for Creation | The Institute for Creation Research

'Talking' Ants Are Evidence for Creation

New surprises revealing complex bio-engineering keep emerging as evolutionary scientists continue to unwittingly obey the biblical command to "observe the ant"(Proverbs 6:6; 30:25). The latest bio-engineering discovery is that a key component of ant colony survival is based on sound (acoustic) communication systems.1

One of the long-standing paradigms of animal communication is the use of airborne chemical messages called pheromones. Ants use pheromones to leave chemical trails that can be followed by other members and to also identify which nest an ant is from, along with its social status in the colony. Now, scientists can add yet another layer of complexity and communication in ant colonies based on acoustics.

Scientists have been studying a type of ant commonly found in Europe. This ant has a specialized appendage on its abdomen that it strokes with its hind legs to create sound signals. Other ants can detect and process these signals, resulting in various complex social responses that are key to survival of the colony. Several years ago, researchers found that, in adult ants, these signals can act like an emergency beacon when an ant is threatened by a predator.2

If the discovery of this complex signaling in adult ants was not enough of a surprise, scientists have now determined that developing larvae back in the nest also use this technique, which is important for the ant colony's survival. Everything in an ant colony is performed in an orderly manner.

When an ant nest is disturbed and threatened, the worker ants immediately go about rescuing the nest. First, they grab and remove the mature larvae and then the immature larvae and pupae. As it turns out, the mature larvae use acoustic communication via their early maturing acoustic appendage, which the younger larvae and pupae lack, to signal their social status to the worker ants, enabling them to be extricated first (see image below). In the event of settling a new colony, the mature larvae would hatch first and thus be more valuable assets than the younger larvae, which require more resources.

It is also noteworthy that the acoustic signals are not performed in isolation, but co-processed along with other pheromone sensory signals using complex internal bioprocessing systems. Several other news articles from the Institute for Creation Research have discussed the complexity of ant colonies and their management through highly engineered bioprocessing systems.3,4,5

The combination of various sensory communication and processing systems are a clear example of an all-or-nothing suite of features referred to as irreducible complexity. All the ants would die in one generation if you remove any one of these features: 1) early maturing abdominal acoustic appendage, 2) instinct to "strum"it, 3) sensors in adults to detect it, 4) ant brains to interpret the sounds, and 5) the instinct to protect the mature larvae.

These new discoveries are amazing testimonies to the intelligence of the powerful Creator who engineered these remarkable living systems that utterly defy evolutionary dogma.

References

  1. Casacci, L. P. et al. Ant Pupae Employ Acoustics to Communicate Social Status in Their Colony's Hierarchy. Current Biology. Published online before print, February 7, 2013.
  2. Barbero, F. et al. Myrmica Ants and Their Butterfly Parasites with Special Focus on the Acoustic Communication. Psyche. 2012 (2012).
  3. Thomas, B. Scientists Discover the 'Anternet.' Creation Science Update. Posted on icr.org September 14, 2012, accessed February 11, 2013.
  4. Thomas, B. Ant Algorithms Argue Against Evolutionary Origins. Creation Science Update. Posted on icr.org February 17, 2009, accessed February 11, 2013.
  5. Tomkins, J. Communal Nutrition in Ants: Strong Evidence for Creation. Creation Science Update. Posted on icr.org July 8, 2009, accessed February 11, 2013.

* Dr. Tomkins is a Research Associate and received his Ph.D. in Genetics from Clemson University.

Article posted on February 22, 2013.

The Latest
NEWS
Does Oddball Platypus Genome Reveal Its Origins?
How in the world did a creature as odd as the duck-billed platypus originate? This creature lays eggs like a reptile, has venom like a reptile, spurs like...

NEWS
Is Evolution ‘Fake Science’?
The organization BioLogos, which advocates that Christians accept secular evolutionary claims, recently published an online essay entitled “How to...

NEWS
Cambrian Explosion Alive and Well
A new editorial in GSA Today is claiming that secular scientists should cease using the term “Cambrian Explosion.”1 It’s not...

NEWS
Abraham Ate Bananas?
Since the word banana does not occur in Scripture, any evidence of bananas in ancient Middle Eastern diets would have to come from the ground. New research...

NEWS
3-D Human Genome Radically Different from Chimp
All plant and animal genomes studied so far exhibit complex and distinct three-dimensional (3-D) structures in their chromosome configurations depending...

NEWS
Amazonian Artwork and the Post-Flood Ice Age
An extensive series of South American Ice Age artwork may be of interest to biblical creationists. In 2017 and 2018, scientists discovered a nearly eight-mile-long...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Dinosaurs
You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation with ICR’s special Creation Kids learning...

NEWS
Inside January 2021 Acts & Facts
How is ICR winning science and scientists back to Christ? What is the significance of fossil bone collagen discoveries? Did pterosaurs have feathers?...

ACTS & FACTS
Savvy Sons of Light
Many Christians grow uncomfortable when their pastor teaches about money. If it’s any consolation, I know many pastors who feel the same way....

ACTS & FACTS
Did God Make Harmful Parasites in the Beginning?
Parasites are a unique form of life in today’s world. These invertebrates come in all shapes and sizes, from single-cell animals (e.g., Plasmodium...