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The bombardier beetle, the toad, and – after all these years – Mike Behe


From Susan Milius at ScienceNews:

In a lab face-off, 43 percent of Pheropsophus jessoensis bombardiers escaped alive after being swallowed by toads, a pair of researchers at Kobe University in Japan report February 7 in Biology Letters. These lucky beetles were vomited up — in one case, 107 minutes after being gulped — covered with goo, but still able to pull themselves together and walk away. Fifteen of the 16 beetles coughed up into daylight lived for at least 17 days, with one still going 562 days later.

Scalding internal beetle blasts proved vital in persuading the toads to spit the bugs up, ecologists Shinji Sugiura and Takuya Sato report. The pair prodded beetles into spraying until no more defensive chemicals remained, and then fed defenseless beetles to toads. The toads kept almost all of these beetles down.

The bombardier group of more than 600 beetle species has become a textbook example of chemical defense (SN Online: 4/30/15). More.

In Darwin`s Black Box (1996), Michael Behe reflects on whether the beetle`s unique apparatus features irreducible complexity. A lay-friendly description of the mechanism is offered here.

Behe`s book is still no. 8 in organic chemistry (approx 7:30 am EST, February 8, 2018), so someone is still thinking out there:

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

See also: Genetic novelty conference Salzburg July 4-8, 2018: “Errors cannot explain genetic novelty and complexity.” Conference statement: “This new empirically based perspective on the evolution of genetic novelty will have more explanatory power in the future than the “error-replication” narrative of the last century.” One thing that`s changed in the twenty-two years since Behe`s book was published is that lots of people besides ID theorists sense that there is something wrong with the cocksure Darwinian explanations that, in those days, engulfed Behe and any other curious person, no matter what the context.

Did the Darwinians pioneer PC “You’re not allowed to think that?” Or had they just taken the course offered by the arts faculty?

Hmmm, that's a bit like me after I've read certain articles on either climate "science" or evolution! ronvanwegen

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