Animal minds Darwinism Intelligent Design

Bees, Hexagons, and ID (Or, Example 138,546 for Evidence of Design in Nature)

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I’m allergic to bee stings, and was recently stung by a bee in our home because we have a bee infestation in our attic. My hand swelled up and I was in pain for almost a week. (I couldn’t even play the piano!)

As a result of this, I checked out Internet links on bee extermination.

Here we learn:

Ever wonder why bees use hexagons to make beehives? Two reasons. First, bees want to enclose the largest possible space with the least amount of wax. With this in mind, a circle would be best. So why don’t they use circular combs? Because hexagons are the shape with the most sides that “tesselate”. In other words, if you put a bunch of hexagons next to each other there will be no spaces between them. No shape with more than six sides will do this.

So, how did natural selection and random mutations program bee-brains to figure this out, and to organize all the bees to coordinate their efforts to produce this space-efficient structure?

The most amazing thing about Darwinists is that they are amazingly immune to logic and evidence.

Yes, I know, given enough time, chance and necessity can do anything. But there isn’t enough time in the history of the universe to turn dirt into Mozart, or to turn dirt into bees, or even to turn dirt into the most primitive bacterium.

Science, evidence, and logic are on the side of ID theory. Fantasy, unsupported speculation, and complete irrationality are on the side of the creative powers Darwinian mechanisms.

17 Replies to “Bees, Hexagons, and ID (Or, Example 138,546 for Evidence of Design in Nature)

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Evolution Vs. The Honey Bee – an Architectural Marvel – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4181791/

  2. 2

    Well, hexagons are interesting, but I’m not sure I would use them as an example of design. Similar shapes arise between soap bubbles and other spheres/circles, simply by dint of the competing forces on the sides of the spherical/circular shape. You would get something like a hexagonal shape if you made a bunch of circular shapes tightly together in a material and then worked the edges to be of uniform thickness.

    Bees are pretty remarkable in so many ways that shout design. Just not sure the hexagonal shape is a compelling example.

  3. 3
    GilDodgen says:

    I swear on a Himalayan-sized stack of Holy Bibles that I did not see Denyse’s post concerning bees before I posted mine just a while ago. I went online tonight to find a bee exterminator since my daughter has been nagging me about the bees in our attic, which occasionally find their way into the rest of the house.

    Everywhere a rational person turns there is evidence of design in nature. One really must perform something akin to a self-lobotomy in order not to recognize it. Sorry if this offends, but that’s the way I see it.

  4. 4
    GilDodgen says:

    Similar shapes arise between soap bubbles and other spheres/circles…

    Soap bubbles are not manufactured through the coordinated efforts of independent living creatures.

    You’ve supplied a good devil’s advocate rejoinder, which is appreciated, but not persuasive, in my view.

  5. 5
    GilDodgen says:

    One more thing. Note the teleological terminology in the following:

    …bees want to enclose the largest possible space with the least amount of wax.

    I find this interesting. The language of purpose seems to be inescapable concerning living systems.

  6. 6

    Everywhere a rational person turns there is evidence of design in nature. One really must perform something akin to a self-lobotomy in order not to recognize it. Sorry if this offends, but that’s the way I see it.

    Hey, you’re preaching to the choir, so no offense taken.

    I’m just pointing to a difference in the level of confidence we can attach to a particular system. For example, if I were on stage in front of a large crowd debating design, I’d much rather be talking about the aperiodic, symbolic information contained in DNA than a regular, hexagonal structure that might have a much simpler and more natural explanation.

    Also, I think we have to be careful of just so stories, whether of the Darwinian or the teleological variety:

    …bees want to enclose the largest possible space with the least amount of wax.

    Hmmmm. If that is really what they want to do, then surely they could just make larger hexagons, or squares/rectangles would do nicely. Or perhaps just make one massive enclosure without a bunch of smaller compartments. Efficiency is something we think about a lot as engineers and it tends to get elevated to a hallowed position, but we can easily go astray if we think that efficiency is the primary goal of natural systems. Indeed, that is kind of a Darwinian viewpoint . . . gotta be more efficient than the next guy so that I can survive and reproduce more . . .

    Anyway, it is an interesting issue worth thinking about.

    Most importantly, I hope your hand is feeling better and that you got a handle on the bee problem.

    Incidentally, what is it with some insects that die after they sting another creature. That seems pretty strange from a Darwinian perspective . . .

  7. 7
    Jon Garvey says:

    Don’t want to dampen things, but this is one of the few pieces of detailed research that Darwin spells out in “Origin of Species” – 9 pages in my edition.

    Worth reading, in fact, but as far as my memory goes the argument is something like this:
    (a) solitary bees make circular cells
    (b) hive bees squash circular cells together, and the hexagon result is the most economical in terms of space and wax
    (c) this economy gives a selective advantage.

    Not unreasonable – far more problematic for evolution is the complex social structure of the hive.

  8. 8
  9. 9
    M. Holcumbrink says:

    According to the wiki article on honeycomb, single cells are “irregular and lumpy”, not circular (however, paper wasps make the same shape, and the open ends of the colony do look circular). But of note are the closed ends of the honeycomb cell, the shape of which is “also an example of geometric efficiency”, and which obviously cannot be chalked up to squishing the cells together. The cells also need to be angled at about 13° to keep the honey from dripping out.

    But the bottom line is that these bugs are programmed to make these structures, no question about it. And mentioning soap bubbles and such is like looking at an exquisitely detailed and accurate oil painting of a whirlpool and then saying, “well, you know, whirlpools form all the time in nature simply because of gravity and the earth’s rotation and shear forces, so this guy probably isn’t really that great of a painter”.

  10. 10
    GilDodgen says:

    As usual, UD commenters make my points far more insightfully and eloquently than I, and present useful challenges.

    Monsieur Holcumbrink notes:

    …the bottom line is that these bugs are programmed to make these structures…
    …mentioning soap bubbles and such is like looking at an exquisitely detailed and accurate oil painting of a whirlpool and then saying, “well, you know, whirlpools form all the time in nature simply because of gravity and the earth’s rotation and shear forces, so this guy probably isn’t really that great of a painter”.

    Why didn’t I think of that?

    And Eric Anderson makes the perfectly valid point that:

    Efficiency is something we think about a lot as engineers and it tends to get elevated to a hallowed position, but we can easily go astray if we think that efficiency is the primary goal of natural systems.

    I’m basically a simple guy. I try to think logically. I reason and look at evidence.

    In the end, is there any evidence or even speculative justification for the proposition that inanimate matter somehow spectacularly came alive by purely materialistic processes, and then, through a process of introducing random errors (an inherently destructive process) produced bees and Mozart?

    In my view, these theses represent the complete abandonment of all rationality. Bizarrely, they are touted as incontrovertible empirical science by Darwinists.

  11. 11
    M. Holcumbrink says:

    Regarding the efficiency and/or utility of biological systems, and the evolutionists presumed stance that that’s all that matters, I can’t help but think of the quote from Sam Clemens…

    Man has been here 32,000 years. That it took a hundred million years to prepare the world for him is proof that that is what it was done for. I suppose it is. I dunno. If the Eiffel tower were now representing the world’s age, the skin of paint on the pinnacle-knob at its summit would represent man’s share of that age; & anybody would perceive that that skin was what the tower was built for. I reckon they would. I dunno.

    What I find ironic in this quote is that the ultimate purpose of the Eiffel tower has nothing to do with utility. The purpose of the coat of paint is to keep the thing from rusting to powder. But it is nevertheless indispensable, however thin relative to the rest of the structure, in order to maintain a tower that is there for no other reason than to serve man’s whimsical nature. The Eiffel tower was built for the pleasure of man, which is not discernible at all if all you have in mind is utility or efficiency.

    So we see here a straw man presented by the great Mark Twain, or at least a really bad analogy. He thinks of the coat of paint as man’s time, and the rest of the tower as all of geologic time before that; but what he should be thinking is that the whole tower, including the paint (or man), represents all of creation, and the purpose of the tower is for man’s pleasure in the exact same way that all of creation is for God’s pleasure. If he is answering someone’s claim that creation was built for man, maybe he has a point, but then again, if man is on the planet from here on out to the end of eternity, then the coat of paint in the end is going to dwarf the rest of the structure, and his argument fails (which shows a severe lack of perspective and foresight on his part, I think).

    No matter how you slice it, this is a silly argument from Clemens, and I can’t believe that Atheists use it.

  12. 12
    Jon Garvey says:

    The whole “Copernican indifference” principle is a poor argument, even before the fine tuning arguments were put forward (ie before we knew the Universe had to be this big for us to be this small).

    Even when Mark Twain was alive, the Curies needed a ton of pitchblende to refine out about 125mg of radium. Which means that pitchblende is far more important than radium, right?

  13. 13
    GilDodgen says:

    M. Holcumbrink,

    I’m thoroughly impressed by your eloquence and insight. Where do we find this kind of thing on the Darwinist side?

    As many UD readers know, I came from a militantly atheistic background, but had an extraordinarily sophisticated education not only in math, chemistry, physics and other hard sciences, but in the muscial arts, foreign language, and literature.

    It was perhaps because of this eclectic educational background that I finally applied my learning to the problem of origins, and what I found stunned me.

    What stunned me was the transparent denial of evidence and logic on the part of Darwinists, even as the scientific evidence mounted evermore forcefully against the hypothesis that random events (whether filtered or not) could account for what has been discovered in the last half-century about the nature of living systems.

    At this point it became obvious to me that Darwinism never had anything to do legitimate science. It was always an anti-rational, anti-evidential, anti-mathematical desperate attempt to prop up a materialistic worldview.

  14. 14
    M. Holcumbrink says:

    thanks, Monsieur Dodgen.

    I was raised in a Christian home, but wavered badly from the faith because of the Darwinist propaganda, among other things. At one point I began a search for truth with the intent of leaving no stone unturned, and Behe’s ‘Black Box’ was the first stone I came across. I never knew there were answers to my questions out there, and as soon as I found out that there were answers, I began to read all the ID books I could get my hands on (if given the time). But still having serious doubts, I prayed to God that if he were there, that I would be fully persuaded that nature is his handiwork – and that prayer was answered, big-time. Once I got to Johnson’s ‘Programming of Life’ and Abel’s ‘Capabilities of Chaos and Complexity’, I was profoundly anchored. It is so obvious to me now, I look in horror at the blindness of those that are still trapped in the materialistic mindset. And just when I think I can’t be any more convinced, I will read something that convinces me all the more.

    But I will say that being a Mechanical Engineer, and especially having experience with automated assembly and manufacture, has lent itself to being able to see and appreciate the design of life. Knowing something of autonomous vehicles helps a lot, too (because living systems are autonomous vehicles, and oh, how exquisite the design! How supple and elegant and beautiful is life compared to the clunkiness of man’s most fantastic inventions – I think of the slow motion youtube video of the owl posted here at UD not so long ago; man can only dream of creating an autonomous system so absolutely perfect and wonderful. Our best and most expensive flying machine is crap compared to that. Absolute crap).

    And I very much desire to see others liberated from the lie that held me captive for such a long time, and I only hope that I might be of service to that end from time to time, if ever I feel I might be able to contribute (which isn’t that often). So to hear you say that perhaps my contributions here are insightful is very encouraging to me.

  15. 15
    Mung says:

    Gil, your count is off by one. That’s example 138,547 for Evidence of Design in Nature.

  16. 16
    GilDodgen says:

    Mung:

    Gil, your count is off by one. That’s example 138,547 for Evidence of Design in Nature.

    I have one transcendent goal in life, and that is to hear the words: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

    All else is meaningless.

  17. 17
    kairosfocus says:

    MH:

    Would you want to do a guest post or series on automation and the nanomachines of cell based life, for UD? And/or on related matters?

    I would be perfectly willing to host such. (Do contact me through my email accessible through my handle which goes to my online research notes on my own study of ID.)

    KF

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