The March 22 edition of Hurriyet Science magazine carried an article titled “How Do Flies Fly?” This described the exceptional maneuvering capability of flies and reported that attempts were under way to develop new flying machines by imitating them. Hurriyet Science magazine explained how very complex fly flight was and how even the most advanced technology had proven unable to develop a machine with the same maneuverability as these insects, and generally heaped praise upon that flight. However, a major contradiction appeared towards the end of the piece, when it was suggested that these creatures, with far superior flight capabilities to human technology, and which are even robots individually designed for flight, had emerged with evolution, itself based on blind chance. Hurriyet Science magazine maintained a Darwinist position, ignoring both the fossil record and the complex nature of flight. This article explains the true origin of flies and sets out Hurriyet Science magazine’s Darwinist errors.
Let us first arm ourselves with some information about fly flight in order to understand why the insect occupies such an important place in the attempts to develop new flight technology. Hurriyet Science magazine provides the following details about fly flight:
• A fruit fly is capable of beating its wings 200 times a second
• A fly can maneuver faster than a jet fighter
• It can land upside down on the ceiling
• It can move to the side, forwards and backwards, and turn back on itself
• One of the most surprising features of flies for scientists is that they control all these very complex movements with a nervous system consisting of very few neurons. Michael Dickinson, the biologist in charge of the research into this area reported by the magazine, expresses that amazement in these terms: “Every time we perform an experiment we wonder how a nervous system the size of a sesame seed can do all this.”
The following statements then appear about the fly’s nervous system, such a perfect flight mechanism:
A fly uses most of its neurons to collect sensory information; for instance, it perceives light with its eyes, smells with scent-sensitive hairs, and establishes balance by means of the long, stick-like gyroscopes (organs used in flight and which indicate an airplane’s position relative to the horizon) under its wings. These signals pass through the nervous system, and commands are sent from there to the wings. Those commands need to be very clear and simple, since the period between one wing beat and another is only a few thousandths of a second.
Scientists are still engaged in research into the details of fly flight in order to develop robot flies, which imitate that flight. To that end, it is essential to measure the formation and size of the forces on the wings. Yet it is almost impossible to measure these complex movements because of the insect’s speed. Hurriyet Science magazine expresses that difficulty: “However, nobody has been able to calculate even half the lift-off force generated by flies. According to Dickinson: ‘No computer in the world can tell us what these forces are.’”
Flies and Flight
Flies are compared with airplanes in the article, and the advantages possessed by the former set out: “According to one pilot, it is very dangerous to tilt wings at a right angle. As the plane rises, the air current acting on the wings places a strain on the edge. When the current entirely disappears, the plane loses height and lurches. On the other hand, the fly is at an advantage over the airplane since it does not have to keep its wings in a fixed position. The fly beats its wings so fast that by the time the connection between the point of the wing directing flight and the air current is broken another movement takes place. At the end of each movement the fly rotates its wings around itself and allows its wings to beat in the opposite direction. This forms a new vortex and there is no turbulence.”
The fact which these details about the fly and its flight reveal is this: Fly flight is such a complex phenomenon that it cannot be replicated even by the facilities of advanced 21st century technology and all mankind’s accumulation of engineering knowledge. From this point of view, flies are like robots designed for flight. Dickinson compares flies to machines and states: “Flies are amazing creatures. A person sees one every day, yet we do not realize their existence. These extraordinary, tiny machines are moving around just beyond our noses.”
Hurriyet Science’s Fly Evolution Nonsense
After providing information about the perfection of the design in the fly and the superiority of that design over technology, Hurriyet Science magazine follows up with a short section titled “How Flies Evolved.” The following claim appears in the magazine, backed up by no scientific Evidence whatsoever: “Insect wings in all probability developed from their carapaces.”
The reason why Hurriyet Science is unable to offer any evidence for this is that there is none. On the contrary, wings show that no such evolution took place. Insects emerged suddenly in the fossil record. The interesting thing is that it has been realized that both winged and wingless insects emerged not in stages, but during the same period. No fossil has ever been found of a wing-like structure which might represent a transition between a wingless insect and a winged one. Quite the opposite, flawless 350-million-year-old fly fossils prove that since there was nothing similar to them before them insect flight cannot have come about with evolution. (1) These fossils belong to the dragonfly, which possess even more splendid flight characteristics than the fruit fly. Apart from their size, these fossilized dragonflies are no different to their present-day counterparts and are literally “living fossils.” It is as if the ancient Meganeura monyi species fossil from the Carboniferous Period had been made “yesterday.”
Then again, the fact that the magazine is so devoted to Darwinism as to be able to maintain that such a complex design emerged by blind chance reveals that it is unable to provide a consistent account of the subject. It is quite impossible for mutations based on randomness to produce a fly’s wings, eyes, muscles, nervous and many other system, legs, respiratory system, antennae etc. Furthermore, even when mutations do have an effect, these are always harmful. Most of the laboratory experiments on mutations are carried out on fruit flies, examples of which are cited in Hurriyet Science magazine. Mutations have never been able to improve on fruit flies, and have always resulted in deformed structures.
It is complete nonsense to “believe” that mutations, which arise by chance and whose effects, when they have any, are always harmful could have produced a creature as complex as the fly. Hurriyet’s Science’s belief in the evolution of the fly is as irrational as believing that lightning bolts falling into a scrap metal dealer’s could produce a jet engine equipped with the latest technology and electrical systems.
Our advice to the magazine is to abandon this irrational position and to cease blindly equating the origins and properties of living things with evolution.2003-03-22 00:00:00