Research on Intelligent Design

To put together scientific advances from the perspective of Intelligent Design.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Micro - "Pentagon"

In The ID Report Denyse O’Leary presented the next:

"A fungus called Haptoglossa mirabilis uses a harpoon gun to attack the rotifer (a microscopic animal) and nematode, a simple type of worm that is one of the most common life forms on Earth."

According to University of Guelph (Ontario, Canada) researcher George Barron, the technology by which the fungus consumes the nematode is tiny but sophisticated:

"The head of the harpoon is laminated. This means that it is compressible. As it is pushed up the barrel of the gun it will fit tightly and prevent leakage to maintain maximum muzzle velocity."

"The gun cell is anchored to the substratum by a mucilaginous glue. It also has a swollen base."

"When the gun cell is released the pressure up front is removed and water flows in rapidly through the semipermeable membrane surrounding the vacuole. This squeezes the protoplasm and nucleus, like toothpaste, through the tubular hypodermic. The Haptoglossa gun cell is only about 15 microns long."
So, Denise O'Leary asks:

"Just how do life forms such as Haptoglossa acquire sophisticated equipment, given that they do not, so far as we know, have intelligence in the human sense? Darwinian evolutionists argue that such technologies evolve through a long, slow process of natural selection. However, a harpoon gun that Haptaglossa needs in order to reproduce itself can hardly wait years for Service Pack 2 before it works properly."

Then, she presents her next and pertinent example:

"Gordon Rattray Taylor was a well-respected British science writer, and Chief Science Advisor to BBC Television. Shortly before his death in 1981, he completed a book, The Great Evolution Mystery, in which he explained why he questioned Darwinism and neo-Darwinism."

"...The worm [the flatworm Microstomum lineare] somehow swallows the hydra’s poison gun apparatus without digesting it, and then positions the guns on its own surface. It uses the guns for its own protection; one species actually fires them like rockets at assailants.

As long as the flatworm has ammunition from a previous meal, it ignores hydras. However, when it is low on ammunition, it finds another hydra, eats it, and repeats the cycle

Taylor asks how a creature with no brain or complex nervous system learns this routine. How does it remember and pass it on? He writes: "The theory of evolution by natural selection is powerless to explain how chance variation could have evoked such a closely coordinated programme."

"[Taylor] argued that "we seem to see a purposiveness of the kind which Darwinists refuse to believe in." "
O'Leary concludes:

"Whether the purpose Taylor spoke of resides in the nature of life itself or in something beyond life, many today find it increasingly difficult to ignore — which is why the intelligent design controversy has become so fierce."


Gordon Rattray Taylor, The Great Evolution Mystery (London: Secker & Warburg, 1982), pp. 14–15. For Microstomum, search at.

Denyse O’Leary ( By Design or by Chance? (Augsburg Fortress 2004), p. 93.

The Joy of Fungi, Tom Volk's Links to some other mycological resources on the internet.


"... hydras.... are cnidarians. They have stinging cells that they use like jellyfish do, that they use to catch their prey with. However, in fresh water, there is also a flatworm, a very common one, Microstomum lineare, which is the animal on the right here, which catches and eats hydras, and it saves the stinging cells without discharging them, puts them in its own skin and uses them to catch prey itself." [David Strayer's Transcript on Freshwater Invertebrates]


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