Gears!!! More of the Clearest and Easiest Understood Proof
Michael J Behe’s latest book, “Darwin Devolves: The New Science About DNA That Challenges Evolution”, published on 26 February 2019, contains the following fascinating facts about the bumps on the hind legs of young insects known as planthoppers - another miracle of minuscule proportions:
“A recent study discovered a phenomenal secret of one of the juvenile stages of the species Issus coeleoptratus. It had been reported a half a century ago that strange bumps occurred on the hind legs of young planthoppers, but no purpose had ever been assigned to them. Maybe they were just …… interesting, but functionless.
Wrong. A pair of British entomologists, armed with sophisticated high-speed video equipment, showed that the bumps are actually the teeth of gears (Fig. 2.1). For the planthopper to achieve the high-speed takeoff velocity needed to jump hundreds of times its body length, its hind legs must begin to flex in synchrony very quickly, more quickly than it takes for a full nerve impulse to reach the legs. If one leg is triggered before the other, the insect would lose power and tumble erratically. With the gear teeth engaged and the gears spinning at an astonishing fifty thousand teeth per second, as one leg starts to move, the gear rotation starts the other leg moving as well, and the bug gets maximum power and coordination for its efforts.
Figure 2.1. Leg gears of the planthopper. The bar marked ‘20 µm’ is less than a thousandth of an inch in length.
(From M Burrows and G Sutton, (Interacting Gears Synchronize Leg Movements in a Jumping Insect,” Science 341 (2013): 1254*56. Reprinted with permission from AAAS.)
….. The stark clarity of the structure is a standing rebuke to nonpurposive accounts of the system.” (emphases added)
The authors cited by Behe say in their article that the “interactive gears …. play an essential functional role in a natural behaviour.” The also say glibly, and without indicating how it could have occurred, that the wonderous mechanism they have discovered “evolved in nature”. That means, of course, that it happened by accident. But it is preposterous, if not complete and utter madness, and, incidentally, quite unscientific, to suggest that this complicated piece of fine-tuned, minuscule precision engineering could have come about by accident, in some kind of unguided and undirected way. Obviously, self-evidently, there is a Creative Designing Mind behind all of this.