Evolution May Be the Victim of Spiders' Webs
“So are the paths of all that forget God; and the hypocrite’s hope shall perish: whose hope shall be cut off, and whose trust shall be a spider’s web.”
For over a century, scientists have wondered about the embellishments that at least 78 species of spiders weave into their webs. The extra bars and Xs seem to have no obvious purpose. Some have suggested that they might be hiding spots, sun shields, bird warnings or insect lures. Now a researcher at the University of Kyoto may have discovered the purpose of these designs. If he is right, evolutionary theory may be the victim of these spiders’ webs.
The Asian spider the researcher studied builds two different types of webs. When it is well fed, this spider adds silk bands along the web spokes. However, when this spider is hungry, it arranges these bands so that they spiral toward the center of the web. After testing the tension in both web types, he discovered that the webs with the spiral bands are much more sensitive to even the smallest insect than the banded webs.
In other words, the hungry spider is looking for any insect it might eat. Spiders that are not hungry are interested only in larger insects. The question is: How could mindless evolution give these spiders the knowledge of structural engineering needed to create these designs? In addition, according to the evolutionary tree for spiders, this knowledge would have to have evolved at least nine times! A much more logical and straightforward explanation is that the Creator gave spiders this knowledge when He made them.
Help me, Lord, to do all things excellently, as You have done. Amen.
Science News, 3/25/00, p. 198, “Hungry spiders tune up web jiggliness.” Photo: Underside of yellow garden spider. Courtesy of Spazoto. (CC BY-SA 3.0)