Communal Nutrition in Ants: Strong Evidence for Creation | The Institute for Creation Research
Communal Nutrition in Ants: Strong Evidence for Creation

Evolutionary scientists have unwittingly obeyed the biblical command to “observe the ant” (Proverbs 6:6; 30:25), and they have found a few surprises.

One of the most intriguing and complex aspects of a communal insect species, like the ant, is the way in which the individual members work together to fill the needs of the group as a whole. One question has been how genetics and social hierarchy interact with the overall nutritional needs of the colony. In fact, social structure greatly complicates the colony’s nutritional regulation, which not only fluctuates according to colony growth and development cycles, but is also impacted by diverse environmental factors.

The tiny, seemingly simple ant precisely and efficiently meets these specific nutritional issues within the colony. For example, recent research has revealed that the amount of food entering the colony is very close to the exact amount that is needed to support the varying nutritional needs of its individual members.

This remarkable phenomenon has confounded evolutionists, particularly those who work with communal insect species. How could the small number of workers collecting food know the precise types and amounts of food to harvest? A recent study published in the journal Current Biology investigated the way communal nutrition was regulated in ants and discovered some startling results.1

The foraging strategy itself is a dynamic process that is adjusted as needed, providing the highest level of efficiency. The research also found that carbohydrate level needs are elevated in mature worker ants, but that developing larvae require extremely high protein levels. Thus, food gathering and processing is tailored to the food’s recipients, whether they need more carbohydrates or more protein. To support these specific needs, a feedback loop provides colony nutrition information via an instinctive informational processing mechanism, resulting in a foraging strategy that exactly matches the changing nutritional needs of the colony.

Remarkably, the complicated (qualitative and quantitative) communal information is used to formulate precise foraging and harvesting strategies in an organism that supposedly lacks advanced cognitive abilities. Just like the recently discovered ant trafficking programs that prevent insect traffic jams, these intriguing multi-level biological mechanisms are hard-wired into the ant genome and involve a complex network of functional gene modules.2 Trait-based genetic regulatory arrangements have been previously discovered in the model insect genome Drosphila (the fruit fly).3 These new discoveries are amazing testimonies to the intelligence of the powerful Creator who engineered these remarkable living systems.

References

  1. Dussutour, A. and S. J. Simpson. 2009. Communal Nutrition in Ants. Current Biology. 19 (9): 740-744.
  2. Thomas, B. Ant Algorithms Argue Against Evolutionary Origins. ICR News. Posted on icr.org February 17, 2009, accessed June 24, 2009.
  3. Ayroles, J. F. et al. 2009. Systems genetics of complex traits in Drosophila melanogaster. Nature Genetics. 41 (3): 299-307.

* Dr. Tomkins is Research Associate at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted July 8, 2009.

The Latest
NEWS
A Supernova and the Scripture
Well, there goes another star, disappearing into the night as if it had never existed. For an entire year, Hubble scientists used the space telescope to...

NEWS
Milankovitch Ice Age Theory in the News
A letter to the editor in Nature Geoscience notes that this year marks the 100-year anniversary of Milutin Milankovitch’s (Milanković’s) book...

NEWS
Viking DNA Highlights Post-Babel Genetic Diversity
The standard theme often given for Viking history is that of blond-haired, blued-eyed, burly men exploring, trading, ransacking, and pillaging across Europe,...

NEWS
Getting Carbon into the First Cell
Today’s secular mindset replaces “In the beginning God…” with “In the beginning, hydrogen….” The extreme specificity...

NEWS
Secular Science Struggles to Explain Origin of Earth’s Water
Tim Clarey, Ph.D., and Jake Hebert, Ph.D. Secular scientists continue to struggle to explain the origin of Earth’s water. And a new study...

NEWS
South American Plant Fossils Confirm Flood Boundary
Jeffrey P. Tomkins, Ph.D., and Tim Clarey, Ph.D. Fossil pollen, leaf and fruit impressions, and petrified wood taken from multiple locations...

NEWS
Record-Breaking Mouse, Higher Than Any Mammal
Recently, researchers have reported on the world’s “highest-dwelling mammal,” the yellow-rumped leaf-eared mouse, observed upon a dormant...

NEWS
Was This Cave Bear Really “Prehistoric”?
The preserved carcass of a “prehistoric” cave bear has been discovered in melting permafrost on an Arctic Russian Island.1,2 Reindeer...

NEWS
Have Scientists Found Life on Venus?
Secular scientists are obsessed with attempting to show that life on Earth is not unique and therefore must exist, if not elsewhere in our solar system...

NEWS
Inside October 2020 Acts & Facts
What is ICR’s vision for the next chapter of creation ministry? Why do mosquitoes attack humans? How did we celebrate the first anniversary of...