Recently, a desert fruit fly with excellent likenesses of ants on its wings has hit the news: How did those images get there?
A friend wrote to ask what to say to a theistic evolutionist (Christian Darwinist) who demanded that he tell him why he thinks that neo-Darwinism (natural selection acting on random mutation) could not possibly cause such a feature.
When ID theorist Mike Behe, author of Edge of Evolution, heard of it, he repsponded,
Arguing against “couldn’t possibly” is a sucker’s game. To do so you essentially have to show the thing is not just scientifically ludicrous, but logically impossible. A much better line of argument is to show what Darwinian processes are known to do—breaking genes in humans such as globins and others in response to selective pressure from malaria, for example. Then ask, why should anyone think such a destructive process could build [whatever is under discussion]? That places the burden of evidence back where it should be—on the person proposing the counterintuitive idea. Best wishes.
Best wishes indeed. When it comes to theistic evolution or Christian Darwinism, “theistic” and “Christian” are mere adjectives; “Evolution” and “Darwinism” are the nouns. The pay load.
Meanwhile, from Darwin’s man, Jerry Coyne:
The truth is that we don’t really know why this fly has antlike markings, but we can predict that studying how the fly uses its wings, and knowing more about its ecology, will suggest some testable hypotheses. I’m too harried to think about alternatives now, but I bet some readers, particularly our entomologists and field biologists, can suggest an evolutionary explanation for ant markings.
We see his bet and raise him. Just So Story Time starts at 8:00 pm EST.