Re: Predicting eyes

Bryan Bishop (
Tue, 18 Nov 1997 17:46:41 -0500

I guess I'll finally stop lurking and put my 2 cents in. Its been a while
since I posted (2-3 years), but I'm not going to give my bio again since
the main thing in my life (besides Christ and family) is some silly
manuscript called a dissertation that eats up a lot of time.

>>Bilateral symmetry is predictable from evolution-
Art wrote:
>Name me some observation in nature that is not in hindsight pridictible
>from evolution. The point is evolution by definition (since it is assumed
>true) explains everyting and thus explains nothing.
In the Hymneoptera (bees, ants & wasps), sex is determined by a
haplodiploid system; males are haploid and females are diploid. In the
eusocial ants (those that have a sterile worker caste, made up of females),
the coefficient of relatedness among sisters is 3/4, but sisters are
related to brothers by only 1/4. Mothers (queens) are related to their
daughters by 1/2.

Kin selection has been proposed as model of how eusociality is at least
maintained in these insects. The inclusive fitness of sisters raising
other sisters is greater than going out and raising their own daughters.

Kin selection would predict that sisters should invest a ratio of 3:1 in
favor of sister production (future queens) over brother production. In
other words, workers should invest only 1/3 (0.33) as much in males as they
do for sisters. (Remeber sisters share 3/4 their genes but are related to
brothers by only 1/4.) Investment can be approximated by the dry weight
(biomass) of queens vs males.

The fun part comes in in that this ratio should only be true in those
colonies with one queen,( monogynous). In colonies with more than one
queen (polygynous), "sisters" are not as closely related, so it shouldn't
be a benefit to put as much investment into raising queens over males. The
investment ratio should therefore be 1:1 (a 0.5 investment for males).

This is one of the few cases (that I am aware) where evolutionary theory
actually predicts a specific quantity rather than some qualitative trend or
what not. And this was a prediction made before the testing of it (not a
hindsight prediction, of which there are quite a few).

In monogynous colonies (n = 34), the biomass investment in males is on
average 0.28 and in polygynous colonies (n = 15) the biomass investment in
males is 0.52.

Both of these numbers are very close to the numbers (ratios) predicted by
kin selection. Maybe some other models might also predict these observed
ratios (in hindsight) that I am not aware of.

In closing, I want to thank Art and others like him for restoring my trust
in at least some of my brothers and sisters in the sciences who might not
agree with me on the age of the earth and/or evolution. Like Glenn, I
reached a crisis and finally rejected most if not all of what YEC people
said. (I know, many evolutionists can also be "untrust worthy" in what the
say, but I at least expected more from Christians.) Christ has used Art and
others like him to both humble me for my attitude and remind me not to put
people (or God) in a box.

Now that I de-lurked, I may not be so quite... then again...

In Christ.
"The ant ascends the tree that it may milk its cows, the aphids, not kill
them." C. von Linne, 1758

The ant is the sewage engineer of the aphid. Sudd 1987

D. Bryan Bishop
Entomology Dept, Michigan State University