The Giant Asian Hornet, revised Part 2

Constrained Optimization

            Our modern Age of Information tells us that the only thing capable of the engineering concept of the constrained optimization of a sequential series of decisional yes/no choices aimed specifically at reaching targeted end-point outcomes in the future, using foresight…is intelligent agency.

            As argued here, this is not fact-based evidence that supports the loosely termed “behavior adaptation” used by Jerry B. Coyne to enlist the defense strategy of the native Asian honeybee into the doctrinal camp of Darwinian macroevolution.

            The concept of Asian honeybees immobilizing and taking-out the lone scout wasp mirrors the capture of an enemy spy in human warfare over the long course of human history.

            How would and could this intelligence-based military defense tactic of catching and taking-out a spy on reconnaissance for the enemy army, be functionally operative within the instinctual program of an insect like the Asian honeybee?

             The more plausible analysis of this remarkable reality in nature is that the balanced predator/prey relationship between the giant Asian hornet and their native honeybee counterpart cannot be explained through an incrementally escalating arms-race of competing features over time, using small-step improvements. 

            The trial-and-error approach of materialism produces an oscillating, back-and-forth battleground of colossal failure for one side or the other until they both reach the equally balanced, competing features we observe today between these two native, Asian insect combatants.

            To posit a purely materialistic explanation for this mature predator/prey relationship requires a conscious, lessons-learned quality of ever-improving informational plateaus, subtly importing the intelligent decision-making of thoughtful agency into the mindless mutation/selection methodology of Darwinian evolution.

            The intelligent foresight inherent in yes/no choice-making locking-in function in evermore complex plateaus, is not allowed in a purely materialistic universe of accidental trial-and-error.

Yet without this feature of thoughtfully discerning choice-making stealthily smuggled-in, natural selection could not coordinate the forward-moving trajectories of added information that could reach the functionally balanced strategies of this predator/prey relationship.     

            We do not have to uncritically swallow the idea that the European honeybees imported into the foreign environment of Japan will over time (thousands of years?) through the accidental method of trial-and-error likewise discover this singular, successful defensive strategy on their own in isolation, all the while suffering heavy losses in route to finding the very specific information that 115-117º F combined with CO² will defeat this otherwise unstoppable predator.

            This complex, highly specified, and coherently integrated information is intelligently designed upfront into the DNA and the gene regulatory networks of the native Asian honeybees, but is clearly absent in the European honeybees, evidenced when they are imported across the continent to Japan.

            This highlights an original intent found in the molecular biochemical information that must reside within the living cells of the Asian honeybee, being unnaturally overridden through the independent intervention of the agency of unknowing human beekeepers in Japan and Europe importing foreign, European honeybees into Asia.

            In this case of importing European honeybees into Asia, the playing-field of environment is not a factor.  The challenge for the European honeybees is not adaptation to a changed external environment, but adaptation to a lethally superior predator.

            The key question then in biology is how and when does the critical survival strategy get introduced at the genetic level, to produce in the living honeybees this distinctive lifestyle habit supported by their architectural body-plans, that can actualize into viable function a military defense strategy from abstract information to a winning outcome in the real world?

            Will the mutation/selection mechanism of Darwinian evolution in small-step, incremental gradualism be up to the job, or is it self-evident that upfront, instantaneous function and fit is the more plausible explanation?

            I would argue from the evidence that the input of this genetic information to produce function and fit occurs at the inception of the Asian honeybee.

I would argue that the materialistic program of an unbroken continuity of a small-step, incrementally progressive series of back-and-forth improvements in the arsenals of the Asian honeybees and the giant Asian hornet…is plausibly untenable.

Blocks of New Cell-Types in Clustered Groups

            I would argue from the evidence that the introduction of the genetic information and the new and different cell-types to create a functional Asian honeybee, to survive in an environment that contains the giant Asian hornet, must occur through the addition of a block of new cell-types in a clustered group, and not doled-out one at a time in a blind search for function through the trial-and-error processes of materialism.

            This I would also argue is factual evidence for designing agency that is not illusory.

            How exactly would a naturalistic Mother Nature provide the intentional foresight and directional determination to persist through the enumerable lethal failures of a hypothetical trial-and-error process, to reach a successful outcome for the honeybees defending themselves? 

            To do this Mother Nature would have to rise to the level of being a conscious, deliberative deity herself.

            This information-based defensive strategy by the native Asian honeybee colonies is successfully functional and universally operative today in Japan. 

            The question can be asked, do we currently see a positive move forward by the European honeybee colonies imported into Japan, exhibiting a trial-and-error start of clustering around the intruder scout wasp and in unison flapping their wings, exhibiting the first signs of a developing defense in support of the behavioral adaptation theory?

            Can we identify an experiential transition part-way in development within the imported European honeybee colonies pointing towards the future perfected use of this successful defense tactic commonly utilized by their Asian cousins?

            Has word begun to spread through the natural, molecular language of inter-breeding and genetic drift from the successfully armed Asian honeybees to the unsuccessfully unarmed, newcomer European honeybees imported into Japan (if this is even possible)? 

            This vital genetic information for survival would then be actualized through the mechanisms of molecular biochemistry within the cell.

            But behavioral adaptation, inter-breeding, and genetic drift do not take us back the necessary one-step to explain the introduction of this information-based, novel defense strategy of the Asian honeybee in the first-place.

            Long before a back-and-forth, escalating arms-race campaign can commence towards achieving these two incredible military-quality strategies of attack and counterattack, the fundamental question must be asked-and-answered as to the original source of this complex information.

            How could a purpose-free and meaningless material universe produce such a complex, fine-tuned, and coordinated relationship, exclusive to these two species of insects alone, falling-short of an all-hands-on-deck, all-out warfare but instead focuses and stops at the predetermined sweet-spot of the limited goal of taking-out the lone scout only?

            This has the constrained optimization of ecological balance written all over it, which chooses between multiple competing objectives to reach the optimum sweet-spot in the Asian insect-world, of neither the giant Asian hornet nor the Asian honeybees being able to completely wipe-out the other in all-out, major combat.  

            No other living insect species that I know of clusters around a captured lone spy and flaps their wings to raise the temperature and create CO² gas to kill this roving scout on reconnaissance, before the scout can communicate back the whereabouts of the honeybee beehive.

Skeletal Explanatory Frameworks Enable Spinning the Narrative of Facts into Differing Hypotheses

            At this point someone will logically suggest the Darwinian mindset that given millions of years for development, would not a series of trial-and-error failures and successes eventually lead to the perfected defense strategy of the Asian honeybee?

            This assumes that length of time is the beneficially determining factor.

            The skeletal explanatory framework upon which to connect the various factual data-points used in the standard methodology for all scientific research, is in scientific jargon called a theoretical hypothesis, but is always based upon the known factual evidence available at that time-period in human history.

            In defense of Charles Darwin in 1859, he was basing his theoretical hypothesis upon the idea that the physical universe was eternal, that he had unlimited time to work with to extrapolate microevolution into macroevolution.

            Darwin did not know that in 1929, an expanding universe would be discovered by Edwin Hubble peering through the massive telescope at the Mount Wilson Observatory, that looking backwards in time would pinpoint a beginning of the physical universe that now limits the length of time for progressive development down to a finite amount. 

            But the issue isn’t length of time, but instead philosophical interpretations as selected by humans to create skeletal explanatory frameworks…being theoretical hypotheses.  

            One of the themes of this book is to say that the theorizing and conceptualization that is an essential part of science, is related to, but categorically disconnected from the empiricism of the scientific method of research that follows sequential step-by-step protocols that produce fact-based evidence.

            The theorizing and conceptualization part of the scientific enterprise is philosophically analytical, and produces provisional conclusions that are not themselves scientific, fact-based, raw data.  

The theoretical hypothesis from a philosophically naturalistic viewpoint says that the only acceptable route for the Asian honeybee to achieve defensive survivability against the giant Asian hornet, over a long time-period is through the small steps of gradual, continuous development.

            But length of time as the controlling factor in the equation unjustifiably assumes that change will always go in a positive direction, leading eventually to function, which is a philosophical projection based upon the factual evidence that change does go in a positive direction over time.

            But time cannot be the explanatory causation here, because change in a random and undirected process could go forwards, backwards, or in endlessly repetitive circles.

            The obvious problem that should shout-out to us here in this example is that given millions of years to work with, the Asian honeybees in route towards a functional defense strategy this brilliantly original and well-conceived, would be annihilated in the naturalistic process of gradual, incrementally progressive steps before ever reaching successful function.

            Time plus chance does not lead to function when the systems of information for survival are as complex as the defense strategy of the Asian honeybee.

            Time plus chance cannot reach a successful outcome when there are too many complex steps to get there.

            The fundamental problem in looking at the myriad of diverse instinctual lifestyle habits prolific in the natural living world, is that from a materialist worldview it presumes on philosophical grounds that these end-point maturities must be arrived at through the gradual process of small incremental steps…as long as time plus chance equates to unbroken continuity in a positive direction to reach function.

            The skeletal explanatory framework connecting the factual data-points is what is wrong here, when the philosophical worldview of scientific materialism is utilized.

From Pondering Our Creation: Christian Essays on Science and Faith.

Author: Barton Jahn

I worked in building construction as a field superintendent and project manager. I have four books published by McGraw-Hill on housing construction (1995-98) under Bart Jahn, and have eight Christian books self-published through Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). I have a bachelor of science degree in construction management from California State University Long Beach. I grew up in Southern California, was an avid surfer, and am fortunate enough to have always lived within one mile of the ocean. I discovered writing at the age of 30, and it is now one of my favorite activities. I am currently working on more books on building construction.

5 thoughts on “The Giant Asian Hornet, revised Part 2”

  1. My feedback, brother, would be that although you may be well educated and experienced in your field of “construction”, it is not wise or justified to comment, critique or criticise the work of those you have little to no education or experience or expertise to match their education or experience in their field. It stretches credulity and understanding that you don’t see this to be the case. The sheer hubris and arrogance of trying, as you do, does neither christianity nor you personally any favors in others seeing these types of apologetic “tacts” as anything more than silly and idiotic… sprinkled with a heavy helping of “low self awareness”. A batchelors in “construction” doesn’t qualify you to criticize and trash the study, experience or even the thinking of any PhD biologist or physicist. You’re not even close to their level. And thinking you are isn’t rational… it rises to the level of delusion.

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  2. Hello Barabbas Me. Please give me some feedback from your perspective of the dichotomy or line that differentiates between the raw database of empirical, fact-based evidence that accrues from the research done through the scientific method, and the provisional conclusions drawn from the evidence that by definition are not scientific facts but instead belong within philosophy. I think this recognition that the scientific enterprise is part empiricism and part philosophical reasoning, makes critiquing PhD scientists and physicists on their interpretations of the facts a legitimate imperative for the general public…otherwise we simply have to rely upon the authority of scientists.

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  3. It was neither a compliment nor a criticism. It was just a question as to your competence to critique and criticise the work of PhD scientists and physicists.

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  4. Hello Barabbas Me. I can take your question as a compliment, or as a question regarding my credentials. I have a B.S in construction management. But I do know something about basic field research. I have 4 books published by McGraw-Hill (1995-98) on how to avoid mistakes in housing construction (went out of print in 2010) and have 8 books self-published on Amazon covering 1,300 topics with 1,925 drawings. Like journalists who do research but do not have to have formal degrees in the subjects they cover, if people stick to facts then they are allowed to participate in the conceptualization and theorizing zone of enquiry. So much of the empiricism in this field of science is accessible and understandable to the layman today, that generalized conclusions can be pondered and arguments can be made by non-specialists. Thanks for your comment. See my post 8/21 on part 4. I may add an answer to your question at the end of this first essay in this book I am fine-tuning, as many other people may have the same question on credentials to opine on science and Christian faith.

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