Thursday 3 June 2021

Unintelligent Designer News - Does God Favour Spiders?

Photographs of worker ants of Myrmica rubra (a), Lasius niger (b) and Camponotus modoc (c) that were used to prepare test stimuli, and of subadult female spiders of Steatoda grossa (d), Latrodectus hesperus (e), Eratigena agrestis (f) and Araneus diadematus (g) that were tested in laboratory experiments. Bar length, 1 mm.
Spiders can sniff out and avoid killer ants, SFU study finds - University Communications - Simon Fraser University

Findings like his throw up all sorts of questions for Creationists - who normally avoid them like the plague, being fully aware of how toxic facts are to their cult.

It is the discovery by a team of researchers based at Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada, that spiders avoid building their nests in the vicinity of European fire ants, their natural predators.

Foraging ants leave a scent trail when foraging, to act as a marker for other ants and so they can find their way back to the nest. The researchers collected samples of this scent by exposing filter papers to several species of ant then placing the impregnated filter papers in a chamber of a multi-chambered habitat occupied by four species of spider. They found that the spiders preferred to stay and build their webs in the chambers without the ant scent-contaminated filter-papers.

The strongest deterrent effect was found for the European fire ant, Myrmica rubra, a recently-introduced species to North America, which the team attribute to evolution under strong selection pressure, however, Creationists are required by dogma to reject that natural explanation so must attributed it to design by their solitary putative designer, of which more later. The teams findings are published open access in the Royal Society Open Science journal:
Many ants prey on spiders, suggesting that web-building spiders may avoid micro-locations near ant colonies or frequented by foraging ants. Here we tested the hypothesis that ant-derived semiochemicals deter synanthropic spiders. To generate stimuli, we exposed filter paper for 12 h to workers of European fire ants, Myrmica rubra, black garden ants, Lasius niger, or western carpenter ants, Camponotus modoc, and then offered select urban spiders in three-chamber olfactometer bioassays a choice between ant-exposed filter paper and unexposed control filter paper. Semiochemical deposits of M. rubra, but not of L. niger or C. modoc, had a significant deterrent effect on subadults of the false black widow, Steatoda grossa, the black widow, Latrodectus hesperus, and the hobo spider, Eratigena agrestis, as well as a moderate (but statistically not significant) deterrent effect on the cross spider, Araneus diadematus. The deterrent effect caused by semiochemical deposits of M. rubra may be attributable to the aggressive nature and efficient foraging of M. rubra in its invaded North American range, exerting selection pressure on community members to recognize M. rubra semiochemicals and to avoid micro-locations occupied by M. rubra.

So, the question for those Creationists who have fallen for the intelligent [sic] design hoax and who believe the putative designer of all living things is the solitary god of the Bible; where is the intelligence to be found here, please? In what meaning of 'intelligent' is it intelligent to design ants to predate upon spiders, then to design spiders to detect and avoid being predated upon by ants, by detecting the scent trails ants were designed to lay down to navigate by? Does this putative god prefer spiders over ants for some reason, or does it enjoy watching ants finding it hard to locate their prey species?

And why is that a more rational explanation than that provided by the scientific Theory of Evolution, which predicts that the result will resemble that produced by an unintelligent, unthinking, unplanned natural process?

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