Evidence for creation is seen in both the sudden origin1 of spiders, as demonstrated in the fossil record, and their amazing design.2 All spiders are created with four pairs of walking legs. Spider fossils are rare. Only about a thousand fossil species have been described worldwide. But they always display their iconic eight legs, remarkably complex eyesight organs and are, as creationists predict, 100% spiders. The Jurassic Period was supposedly 165 million years ago, and yet spider fossils found in Northern China show spiders have evolved very little since then. 3 This is because spiders didn’t evolve from an unknown non-spider ancestor—they evidentially didn’t evolve at all.
Although invertebrate zoologists have known the structure of spider-web fibers and the main sequence of amino acids that make up some spider-silk proteins, current research has further uncovered how black widow spiders (Latrodectus) produce their steel-strength silk webs.4 It’s not a simple process by any means,
The biologists went down to the nanoscale when they looked in the spider’s silk glands to determine “the storage, transformation and transportation process involved in proteins becoming fibers.”4 The key is in a supramolecular assembly of very tiny units called micelles. The researchers discovered that, even starting out, these micelles were both complex and compound, which was not predicted. They initially thought the black widow spider’s remarkable fibers originated from a random solution. Instead they found “hierarchical nano-assemblies (200 to 500 nanometers in diameter) of proteins stored in the spider’s abdomen.”
Researchers want to duplicate the spiders’ unique production of steel-strength fibers to make “equally strong synthetic materials” that would be used in “high-performance textiles for military, first responders and athletes; building materials for cable bridges and other construction; environmentally friendly replacements for plastics; and biomedical applications.”
Creationists give the Creator—not time and chance—credit and praise for designing spiders and their incredible silk production. Chance processes can’t create complexity no matter how long they try.
1. Sherwin, F. Spiders Have Always Been Spiders. Creation Science Update. Posted on ICR.org March 19, 2015, accessed November 9, 2018.
2. Thomas, B. Scientists Decode Key to Spider Web Strength. Posted on ICR.org March 19, 2012, accessed December 5, 2018; Thomas, B. The Masterful Design of Spider Webs. Posted on ICR.org March 30, 2012, accessed December 5, 2018; Sherwin, F. Spiral Wonder of the Spider Web. Posted on ICR.org May 1, 2006, accessed December 5, 2018.
3. Ghose, T. Stunningly Preserved 165-Million-Year-Old Spider Fossil Found. Wired. Posted on Wired.com February 9, 2010, accessed November 15, 2018.
4. Mystery of how black widow spiders create steel-strength silk webs further unravelled. ScienceDaily. Posted on ScienceDaily.com October 22, 2018, accessed November 15, 2018.
*Mr. Sherwin is Research Associate is at ICR. He has a master’s in zoology from the University of Northern Colorado.
Article posted on December 6, 2018.