New at ARN: The Intelligent Design Of Animal Behaviors
[Robert Deyes looks at the interesting new Hindu-sponsored ID book, which focuses on the sources of intelligence in nature.]
Synopsis Of The First Chapter Of Nature's IQ By Balazs Hornyansky and Istvan Tasi
By Robert Deyes
Ethology, the field of biology that attempts to explain the origins of animal behavioral patterns, has traditionally focused on two possible sources for such patterns- those that are inherited and those that are environmentally induced. For the former of these two, the Darwinian mechanism is that which is most commonly advanced. The underlying axiom barely needs repeating- inherited behaviors have been acquired through gradual changes as a result of environmental selective pressures. In his 1973 Nobel lecture entitled Analogy As A Source Of Knowledge, Konrad Lorenz made his case in favor of the link between Darwinian gradualism and animal behavior. And yet in Nature's IQ, authors Balazs Hornyansky and Istvan Tasi blast such a gradualistic inference and re-interpret the evidence in favor of the intelligent design alternative.
For many key anatomical features found in nature, a necessary behavioral pattern must be present if a desired function is to be fulfilled. The prominent bioluminescent bulb of the anglerfish for example must exhibit a slow waving motion if it is to lure its prey. As Hornyansky and Tasi so vividly illustrate, any intermediate behavior on the way to becoming the fully-fledged comportment we see today, would have been inappropriate and insufficient for catching unsuspecting fry. In effect, anglerfish are endowed with an IQ that must have appeared at once and in parallel with its predatory anatomy if it were to provide any selective advantage.
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