Bombardier Beetle Debate and Poll
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PRO 1The Bombardier beetle is 1/2Ē long, but it has a very mighty weapon. When an enemy is closing in behind him, and just about ready to eat him, an explosion occurs right in the face of the enemy with a very bad smelling gas that shoots out from two tail tubes, the temperature of boiling water. How did he do that? He was studied by two German chemists who discovered that it has 2 chemicals in itís body, 1) hydrogen peroxide, and 2) hydroquinone. When mixed together you get an explosion. Now how can he carry these chemicals around in him without exploding. He carries a 3rd chemical which is called an inhibitor. The 2 chemicals are mixed with the inhibitor and stored in 2 chambers in itís body until needed. Then when an enemy approaches, the little beetle squirts the two liquids together and adds a 4th chemical...... and ďantiĒ inhibitor. Then the resulting action is BOOM!!! A hot irritating foul smelling gas is blown right into the face of the predator. Now the fact that he is able to do that is in itself a marvel, but even more interesting, is how he could have evolved that feat. Imagine billions of years ago this little beetle evolves from a...... whatever and has contained in his little body all of these chemicals. Now comes along someone who wants him for lunch. Now keep in mind, heís the first of his kind to have evolved with this gift. Now he has to figure out just how much hydrogen peroxide and hydroquinone to mix with the inhibitor, and how much of everything to mix with the anti-inhibitor, and at what moment to do so. He has to also keep in mind that if he doesnít get it exactly right the first time......BOOM! There goes the family tree, along with any future descendants. No, he HAD to be created that way.
Much creationist literature gives an inaccurate account of the process. Based on an admittedly sloppy translation of a 1961 article by Schildknecht and Holoubek, [Kofahl, 1981] Duane Gish claimed that hydrogen peroxide and hydroquinones would explode spontaneously if mixed without a chemical inhibitor, and that the beetle starts with a mix of all three and adds an anti-inhibitor when he wants the explosion. [Weber, 1981] In fact, the two do not explode when mixed, as others have demonstrated. [Dawkins, 1987, p. 86-87]