Monday, 28 June 2021

Malevolent Designer News - The Sadistic Monster Has Been at it for Millions of Years!

Mushroom growing out of ant's rectum
Mushroom growing out of fossilized ant reveals new genus and species of fungal parasite | Oregon State University

The standard excuse by Creationists for why there is so much evil in the world, in the form of parasites, is because of Eve's sin. Unwittingly, with this excuse, they give away the fact that intelligent [sic] design is far from being the alternative science that Michael J. Behe and the Discovery Institute liars pretend it is, but is nothing more than Biblical fundamentalism in disguise. What other science needs to invoke religious superstition and unproven Bronze Age origin myths to explain anything?

But what are these frauds to make of the fact that one of the nastier parasites has been turning ants into zombies for millions of years, from way before the Bronze Age goat-herders set their tale of Adam and Eve just a few thousand years ago; millions of years before there were any humans to scrump a god's apples even, let alone eat one.

According to George Poinar from Oregon State University Department of Integrative Biology and Yves-Marie Maltier from France, a fungus was parasitising ants 50 million years ago, according to the evidence found in Baltic amber.

Ants are hosts to a number of intriguing parasites, some of which modify the insects’ behavior to benefit the parasites’ development and dispersion. Ants of the tribe Camponotini, commonly known as carpenter ants, seem especially susceptible to fungal pathogens of the genus Ophiocordyceps, including one species that compels infected ants to bite into various erect plant parts just before they die...

We can see a large, orange, cup-shaped ascoma with developing perithecia – flask-shaped structures that let the spores out – emerging from the rectum of the ant. The vegetative part of the fungus is coming out of the abdomen and the base of the neck. We see freestanding fungal bodies also bearing what look like perithecia, and in addition we see what look like the sacs where spores develop. All of the stages, those attached to the ant and the freestanding ones, are of the same species...

There is no doubt that Allocordyceps represents a fungal infection of a Camponotus ant. This is the first fossil record of a member of the Hypocreales order emerging from the body of an ant. And as the earliest fossil record of fungal parasitism of ants, it can be used in future studies as a reference point regarding the origin of the fungus-ant association.

George Poinar, Lead author
Department of Integrative Biology
Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA
Readers of my popular, richly illustrated book, The Malevolent Designer: Why Nature's God is not Good will be aware of the fungus that takes control of an ant's behaviour and induces it to find a leaf in the forest canopy, then bite into a midrib on the underside and die, so the fungus growing inside it can produce a fruiting body, growing out of its head, to make spores which can infect another ant.

This newly-discovered Ascomycota fungus produces fruiting bodies out of the ant's abdomen, including its anus.
A mushroom is the reproductive structure of many fungi, including the ones you find growing in your yard, and Poinar and a collaborator in France named their discovery Allocordyceps baltica. They found the new type of Ascomycota fungi in an ant preserved in 50-million-year-old amber from Europe’s Baltic region...

The new fungal genus and species shares certain features with Ophiocordyceps but also displays several developmental stages not previously reported, Poinar said. To name the genus, placed in the order Hypocreales, Poinar and fellow researcher Yves-Marie Maltier combined the Greek word for new – alloios – with the name of known genus Cordyceps...

The fungus could not be placed in the known ant-infecting genus Ophiocordyceps because ascomata in those species usually come out the neck or head of an ant, Poinar said, and not the rectum.
The researcher's findings are published in the journal of the British Mycological Society, Fungal Biology, published by Elsevier Ltd., sadly behind an expensive paywall.

So, if you've believed the Intelligent Design hoax, you now need to explain why your putative intelligent [sic] designer was designing these nasty parasitic fungi to infect, control and kill ants, millions of years before there were humans so millions of years before this mythical 'fall' that is routinely cited to explain the presence of these manifestations of evil (if they were intentionally designed).

Clearly, parasitising ants has nothing to do with what a mythical ancestral human couple are supposed to have done according to a Middle Eastern Bronze Age creation myth. For some inexplicable reason, Creationists are not permitted to ascribe these things to an amoral, natural, unguided process - evolution by natural selection - but, instead, must assign it to the intentions of an omniscience designer, so making it appear that this 'designer' is a malevolent monster who enjoys watching its creation suffer.

How many devout Christians and Moslems prefer this view of their god to the view that it had nothing to do with creating these parasites or the suffering they cause, and for some reason, despite its omnipotence and supposed omni-benevolence, is either unaware of them, powerless to prevent them doing what they do, or indifferent to the suffering they cause?

Reference:
Poinar, George; Maltier, Yves-Marie
Allocordyceps baltica gen. et sp. nov. (Hypocreales: Clavicipitaceae), an ancient fungal parasite of an ant in Baltic amber
Fungal Biology 2021 DOI/: 10.1016/j.funbio.2021.06.002

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