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 “behavioral 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 the purely materialistic explanation of gradual development for this mature predator/prey relationship in the insect world, requires the genetic make-up of these two insects to have a nearly self-conscious, lessons-learnable quality of ever-improving informational plateaus, subtly importing the intelligent decision-making choices of thoughtful agency into the otherwise mindless mutation/selection methodology of Darwinian evolution.
The forward looking, intelligent foresight inherent in yes/no choice-making locking-in function in evermore complex plateaus to reach an optimum end-point of equilibrium between the giant Asian hornet and Asian honeybees, is not allowed in a mindless, purely materialistic universe of accidental trial-and-error.
For a system of gradual development in the natural living world to be materialistic it must be mindless and undirected.
For the Asian honeybees to reach defensive parity against the attacking giant Asian hornets, this involves a series of physically structural changes leading to improved function, over and over in reaction to structural changes and improved function in the giant Asian hornet.
It is implausible to have two independent genetic tracks putting-out seemingly coordinated structural changes in the form of beneficial escalating traits, each acted upon in synchronized natural selection in the wild.
Yet without this feature of thoughtfully discerning choice-making stealthily smuggled-in, natural selection could not coordinate the forward-moving trajectories of newly added genetic information that displaces previously less advantageous iterations, that could reach the functionally balanced strategies of this predator/prey relationship for the giant Asian hornet and the Asian honeybee.
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 unworkable.