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Natural Selection is DEvolution, not Evolution
« Reply #30 on: January 13, 2014, 11:07:31 pm »
Kauai’s silent nights (the crickets have gone quiet)

by David Catchpoole


Crickets, renowned for their distinctively loud chirping song penetrating the night, feature prominently in Polynesian folklore and traditions. But on the Hawaian island of Kauai, the crickets have fallen silent.

The reason?

The larvae burrow into the cricket and devour it—a week later, the cricket is dead.

In the 1990s, a deadly parasitic fly arrived from North America. This “acoustically orienting” fly tracks down male crickets calling for mates (only male crickets chirp) and deposits its eggs on them.1 The larvae burrow into the cricket and devour it—a week later, the cricket is dead.

The impact of the fly was dramatic, as the cricket population on Kauai plummeted. By 2001, the island was “virtually silent”—a university research team heard only one cricket call.2

In 2003, Kauai was still silent. But researchers were surprised to discover that crickets hadn’t been wiped out.3 They found plenty of crickets in fact.4 But they didn’t chirp.5

On closer examination, “virtually all” of Kauai’s male crickets were found to have wings more like female wings than normal male wings, i.e. “lacking the normal stridulatory apparatus of file and scraper required for sound production”—hence why they couldn’t chirp.4 In normal males, the wings have a prominent toothy vein that is scraped to make sound. But now, in most males the vein was smaller and in a different position. Females don’t have the toothed vein at all.

Not surprisingly, this discovery was heralded by many media organizations and the researchers themselves as ‘evolution’.2,3,6 “This is seeing evolution at work,” lead researcher Marlene Zuk said.5

But the information they themselves provided about the observed facts of the case (as opposed to evolutionary interpretation) was sufficient to show that it is not ‘evolution’ at all, in the chemicals-to-cells-to-crickets sense, which requires an increase in complexity and genetic information. Rather, there has been a loss of information (the ability to chirp) because of degradation of the genome.

The silent males were mutants, with the ‘flatwing’ trait being caused by “a mutation to a single gene located on the crickets’ X chromosome.”2Researchers made it clear that the silence-conferring mutation was “not part of the quantitative genetic background of song itself but, instead, a morphological mutation that eliminates males’ ability to produce this sexual signal.”7

This is not evidence for an evolutionary process said to have produced chirping crickets from chancy chaos, no matter how much time is claimed …

So, despite the ‘fogging’ of the facts by evolutionary-paradigm jargon, the story is quite simple—and anything but evolutionary. A loss-of-information flatwing mutation which would presumably normally be a disadvantage (rendering male crickets unable to call acoustically for a mate) became highly advantageous once the acoustically-navigating parasitic fly came to Kauai.8 This is not evidence for an evolutionary process said to have produced chirping crickets from chancy chaos, no matter how much time is claimed for it to have happened. The Kauai change is in the wrong direction to be evidence of microbes-to-man evolution. Instead, it fits with the biblical description of a created world now in “bondage to decay” (Romans 8:19–22).

And other things fit, too. The Hawaiian cricket populations had “extremely low genetic variation” compared to crickets in Australia, with Pacific Islands populations being intermediate.9 This hints at the crickets’ likely island-hopping colonization route to Hawaii (perhaps partially matching that of Polynesian settlers—who seem to have had an affinity with crickets10), with the progressive reduction in gene pool variation consistent with an original higher-level creation, not evolution. A cricket subset of the gene pool, once isolated from its parent population, cannot of itself regain the starting level of genetic information. ‘Evolution’ can’t do it.

Note that there is no doubt here that natural selection is operating, and powerfully. But natural selection is not evolution, as it can only remove individuals (in this case, chirping ones), and thus the genetic information they carry (coding for chirp-capable wings),11 from a population; it cannot provide new genetic information. And it is not the trumpeted ‘rapid evolution’ that is being observed here,12 but the rapid culling of cricket songsters under the deadly selection pressure of being fresh food for fly maggots—natural selection does not need long periods of time to achieve outcomes as dramatic as this—the virtual silencing of a population.13,14

If only more people knew that examples of natural selection such as the Kauai crickets were in no way evidence for evolution but rather evidence for the Creator God of the Bible—now that would be something to chirp about.

Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23


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