Intelligent Design

“Unintelligent Design” now a term of use in the biological literature

Spread the love

Single locus Complementary Sex Determination in Hymenoptera: an “unintelligent” design?
Frontiers in Zoology 2006, 3:1 doi:10.1186/1742-9994-3-1
Ellen van Wilgenburg (ellenv@unimelb.edu.au)
Gerard Driessen (gerard.driessen@ecology.falw.vu.nl)
Leo W Beukeboom (l.w.beukeboom@rug.nl)

Abstract. The haplodiploid sex determining mechanism in Hymenoptera (males are haploid, females are diploid) has played an important role in the evolution of this insect order. In Hymenoptera sex is usually determined by a single locus, heterozygotes are female and hemizygotes are male. Under inbreeding, homozygous diploid and sterile males occur which form a genetic burden for a population. We review life history and genetical traits that may overcome the disadvantages of single locus complementary sex determination (sl-CSD). Behavioural adaptations to avoid matings between relatives include active dispersal from natal patches and mating preferences for non-relatives. In non-social species, temporal and spatial segregation of male and female offspring reduces the burden of sl-CSD. In social species, diploid males are produced at the expense of workers and female reproductives. In some social species, diploid males and diploid male producing queens are killed by workers. Diploid male production may have played a role in the evolution or maintenance of polygyny (multiple queens) and polyandry (multiple mating). Some forms of thelytoky (parthenogenetic female production) increase homozygosity and are therefore incompatible with sl-CSD. We discuss a number of hypothetical adaptations to sl-CSD which should be considered in future studies of this insect order.

Key words: arrhenotoky, diploid males, Hymenoptera, inbreeding, mating system, sex determination, thelytoky

5 Replies to ““Unintelligent Design” now a term of use in the biological literature

  1. 1
    Red Reader says:

    Evolutionists seem incapable of simply reporting the data.
    ….
    “The haplodiploid sex determining mechanism in Hymenoptera…has played an important role in the evolution of this insect order.”
    ….

    Evolutionists MUST continuously expend enormous amounts of time and energy fitting every square peg into some round hole: the loose ends must be tied tight to silence opponents and reassure proponents that their theory is not counterintuitive.

    The historical alternative, on the other hand, requires far-less drum beating: the “Design Inference” is “self-evident”.

  2. 2
    TomG says:

    We review life history and genetical traits that may overcome the disadvantages of single locus complementary sex determination (sl-CSD).

    “May overcome the disadvantages”–isn’t that what design is about–trade-offs?

    This “unintelligent design” code word is of course their way to say, “if somebody smart like us had done this he/she/it would have done a better job of it, so obviously this didn’t come from anyone with any brains.” (Wouldn’t it be fun if they were really postulating an unintelligent designer against the Intelligent Design position?) Yet it appears from the abstract that they explain why the design wasn’t so bad after all.

    “Unintelligent design” is thus an irrelevant, cheap, throwaway term with only emotive content. And they accuse ID of dissembling!

  3. 3
    DonaldM says:

    Tom G writes:

    “Unintelligent design” is thus an irrelevant, cheap, throwaway term with only emotive content. And they accuse ID of dissembling!

    Agreed. There are so many logical problems here. First of all, one would need to establish what “intelligent design” was with respect to a particular system, else on what basis can a design be called “unitelligent”. Unactualized imagined improvements can not tell us if these imaginings actually represent improvements for the entire system. I believe Bill Dembski made the observation in his book “Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science and Theology” that one needs to show that such imagined improvements won’t cause deficits elsewhere in the system.

    Secondly, the way the term is used in this article title seems to conflate ‘unintelligent’ with ‘sub-optimal’, which is a very different thing. But the same problem remains: optimal in what sense? What would ‘optimal’ mean with respect to this article? What’s the scientific way to determine a given system is optimally designed?

    Third, if ID is unscientific because it is neither testable nor falsifiable, then how is that this article purports to have tested and falsified the ID of this particular system? The falsification of ID is the plain meaning of the phrase “unintelligent design” in the title, it seems to me. If it means anything else, then the use of the phrase is not scientific, but philosophical, and we need to ask why is a philosophical opinion being inserted into what is supposed to be a purely scientific research article?

  4. 4
    Hamilton says:

    eh, suggestion: read the article before commenting on its contents?

    eh, suggestion: back up your vague accusation next time. -ds

  5. 5
    DaveScot says:

    It’s sort of like a secret handshake. In order to be published they have to make their obeisance to the Church of St. Charles. It appears to be obligatory in any life science. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Leave a Reply