Darwin’s Dyke: The Lobster’s Ears

I attented the September ’08 meeting of the Kanawha Creation Science Group recently, where we screened and discussed Dr. David Menton’s video, “The Hearing Ear and the Seeing Eye.” The video lecture gets it’s title from Proverbs 20:12:

“The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord has made both of them.”

Dr. Menton apologized at one point that those who’d agreed to have the lecture wanted him to make it not only boring, but informational as well! This video was truly jam-packed with information about the irreducibly complex mechanisms God created to give us sight and hearing! Sometimes it was almost too overwhelmingly technical. But it was worth the time to get an overview of how well-designed and complex these organs are.

One of the things that struck me was an aside about the lobster’s ears and how the lobster goes about re-asserting its balance whenever it molts. The following synopsis was taken from the Creation Instruction Association‘s website:

“Our sense of balance is regulated by fluid that seeks its gravitational balance as well. There are also hair cells within this that can register the movement of this fluid with the aid of little rock-like structures that react to gravity and pull the hairs down etc. Without these, we would have no sense of balance. Even lobsters have stones in their ears. When they shed their skeleton they actually lose these stones and, therefore, lose their sense of balance. To overcome this, they somehow know that they need to stuff bits of sand into their ear after shedding their shell (who told them to do this?). Gravity causes the sand to fall into this chamber than the hair registers this and he has balance again. One could do an interesting science experiment. Take a crawfish or lobster and keep it in a tank. When it sheds its shell make sure there is no sand or gravel in the tank. Then put iron filings in the tank. Once the lobster inserts them into his ear, a simple magnet can cause it to lose all sense of orientation.”

Another proof of the Intelligent Designer’s agency! Praise be to God!

The Kanawaha Creation Science Group will next meet on October 2nd, the day before the Kanawha Creation Science Conference, at 7:00 PM at Greater Things Fellowship.

Directions to Greater Things Fellowship:
Exit I-64 at Exit 56 (Montrose Drive), turn left on Kanawha Turnpike, make a right at the second street (Tremont Street), turn right at the end of this street onto Highland Avenue. The church is on the left near the end of Highland Avenue.

*The general meeting of the KCSG is the first Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m., also at Greater Things Fellowship and includes a speaker or Creation presentation.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. penguinfactory says:

    [Sirius: I approved this one because it amused me, especially the satirical note he ends on. Somesay that imitation is the surest form of flatter… they forgot about mockery. Ah well. At least he’s amused me. That’s something.]

    You know, pointing out that something is complex isn’t the same as showing that it must have been designed.

    [Sirius: I know that. You know that. You point is?

    Seriously, haven’t we moved beyond the “complexity isn’t enough” canard by now? We know that. No one in ID circles has ever seriously suggested otherwise. In fact, irreducible complexity is only one qualification for something possibly having been designed. To rule out the possibility of naturally occuring phenomenon, we also check other factors, including specificity. To suggest that ID advocates are simply assigning reductionist goddidit explanations to anything complex, especially this late in the conversation, is simply bad rhetoric. Unless of course you aren’t aware that we’ve all moved beyond that, in which case it’s a simple case of insular ignorance.

    In any case, I think you might want to watch Dr. Menton’s video before you go any further with blanket condemnations of the evidence delivered on principle simply because someone suggested a cause other than naturalism. I think it’s actually available on YouTube.]

    How do lobsters know to put sand in their ears? There’s a field of psychology called evolutionary psychology that attempts to explain some features of the mind, such as ingrained behaviour, as evolutionary adaptions.

    [Sirius: Of course there is. Go on…]

    Now I’ll admit right up front that there’s a lot of controversy surrounding this- many areas of human pschology in particular have been explained away as holdovers from our evolutionary lineage with little or no evidence (or sometimes even common sense).

    [Sirius: You read my mind. Keep going…]

    Regardless, inherent behaviour doesn’t automatically need a designer to explain. It’s fairly easy to envision how certain behaviours could be selected for in much the same way that physical traits are.

    [Sirius: By “envision” I’m assuming you mean speculate, since they don’t really have anything going for them except the fact that they’re “evolutionary.” You may beg off that inherent behaviour doesn’t automatically need a designer to explain it, but to be fair I would have to ask, Why then does inherent behaviour automatically need an evolutionary explanation? Why is design ruled out a priori so that we can, on faith, await an evolutionary explanation from a field of study that is shaky even when they’re only speculating? [Or maybe it’s BECAUSE they’re only capable of specualtion where inherent behaviour is concerned.]

    And dice your “certain behaviors” dodge. We’re not speaking in generalities here. How in the blazes do these lobsters know to do this? And how in darwin’s name did they survive long enough to figure it out not just individually but AS A SPECIES?!? Seems to me that the evidence overwhelmingly points to a designer who programmed or hardwired this inherent behaviour into said lobsters – else I cannot possibly account for their present existence under the past handicap of not knowing which way was up or down until the day they got an evolutionary free lunch.]

    By the way, I was researching this (I do that) and, unwary of jumping to conclusions and declaring lobster ears to be proof of natural selection’s agency (praise be to Darwin) I E-mailed a lobster research institute to ask them how lobsters learn to inserts sand into their ears. I’ll be sure to share their reply.

    [Sirius: Ha! And this last tasty paragraph is the only reason his comments got approved.]

  2. Viggy says:

    Sirius, you amuse me with your statements (this is a good thing). I enjoy learning from your point of view and the way you use language is great. Not only do I laugh, but I learn. I just started reading and studying this part of science (I am a psychologist so there are different things I study) and it is amazing how many fairy tales are published as truth. Thanks again for your posts.

    God Bless


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