Symbiosis: Evolution’s Death Knell

Evolution relies heavily on organisms evolving slowly over long periods of time.  Whether this long period of time actually exists is completely irrelevant to this article, however, as we will be assuming, for the sake of argument, that the time needed for an organism to evolve is available. Instead, we will be discussing a different issue, that of symbiosis.  I will attempt to define what symbiosis is, how it works, and why it is a death sentence to Darwinian evolution.

In order to understand what I wrote above, some background is in order.  Both Merriam-Webster and define symbiosis as “the living together in more or less intimate association or close union of two dissimilar organisms” Essentially this means that two organisms, of differing kinds usually, certainly of species, are existing in a relationship of varying natures. There are three commonly known types of symbiosis which we will focus on in this article.  Those three are mutualism, commensalism, and parasitism.

The easiest of these three for evolution to explain is parasitism. It is not a massive stretch for an evolutionist to claim that an organism could evolve to harm another organism. Evolutionists believe that Lions evolved to eat Zebras so it is certainly equally possible for a flatworm to evolve to be parasitic.  The problem with most parasites is that they are specialized to a specific kind of organism. This would not be an issue if it were not for the vectors and secondary hosts. Vectors are animal species, apart from the host species, which transmit the parasite from host to host. Some vectors are non-living, but they are immaterial to this discussion. An example of a vector is the mosquito, which is the vector for the malaria parasite.  Of course, vectors are not the only problem. Secondary hosts are a bigger issue.  A secondary host is a species, apart from the primary host, which has the ability to host, generally the juvenile, parasite.  Therein lies the problem for evolutionists.  How could a parasite evolve to fit a specific vector perfectly? And even given that this could occur, which is incredibly unlikely, how would an organism know that its larval form could not survive in a primary host and instead need a secondary host. Let us presume that an organism could become parasitic by evolutionary means.  It then gets stuck in its primary host because it has no vector. It never leaves its host.  Eventually, the host dies and the parasite then dies.  Suppose then it evolves a way to get to a vector and survive the vectors digestive system during transit. The larva then escapes the primary host, but then cannot leave the vector. Again it dies.  Even supposing it escapes the vector, the larva stands a good chance of dying if it requires a secondary host. How would it determine which animal is needed as such a host?  Parasitism on the surface appears to support an evolutionary mindset, but upon closer examination, it leaves more questions than answers.

Commensalism is the second form of symbiosis which seems a bit neutral of the origins debate. After all, by the evolutionary mantra, could not natural selection adapt a creature to live alongside another creature in a passive, non-invasive way? Here is where the argument gets interesting.  Suppose such a relationship could occur naturally, such as the remora swimming beneath the shark.  The shark could easily snap up the remora, putting an end to that experiment in commensalism.  This is not what happens of course. The remora survives and thrives, eating scraps and traveling in the broken wake left by the shark.  Why does the shark simply not gulp down the tasty morsel dangling by its mouth? There is no benefit to the shark for the remora to be there. By the maxims of evolution, the shark should simply eat it. Yet the remora operate without fear. Evolution has no answer to this question.  I searched through several pages of google search and found several articles speculating about possible pathways. However, I could not find one remotely coherent explanation for why a shark does not simply gulp down a remora, or for any other example of commensalism And yet, neither this nor the parasitism above is the worst of evolution’s problems in this area. That is below when we come to mutualism.

Mutualism can be defined as two organisms of different kinds sharing a relationship which benefits them both.  Examples come in many forms. The most well known are the various forms of cleaning symbioses, such as cleaner shrimp and wrasses. In the image atop the article, a cleaner shrimp is at work on a moray eel. Evolution has a serious issue with this for a number of reasons. It is plausible, however unlikely, that a single species could evolve to, for example, clean other species of parasites.  However, if the other species involved are not evolved to accept the cleaning, suddenly the cleaner shrimp is lunch for the moray. If the moray evolves the ability to patiently wait while a shrimp cleans it, but the shrimp never evolves the ability to clean it, the moray’s patience is wasted.

For the mutualistic relationship to occur, both creatures need to simultaneously evolve this habit. The odds of just one beneficial mutation such as this were calculated by Julian Huxley, an evolutionary biologist of some note, as conservatively being 1/1000.  So there is a 1/1000 chance that a preexisting moray eel could evolve the ability to permit a cleaner shrimp in its mouth without eating it. However, the shrimp requires more than one beneficial mutation. It requires the cleaning instinct, the specialized claws used for cleaning, the knowledge of what is parasitic or surplus to the eels requirements.  Getting these three mutations together, not including any others I may have missed has a Huxley stated probability of 1/1,000,000,000. This is a one in a billion chance that a shrimp evolves just these three things. Let us assume that a shrimp somehow beat the odds and evolve those three beneficial mutations. It then attempts to clean a moray. Except the moray has not mutated to permit the cleaning so the shrimp is eaten and evolution has to start all over again.  The odds of both mutation chains happening separately is 1/1,000,000,000,000. However, this one in a trillion odds assumes that the two developed at different periods throughout history.  The probability of the two events happening together is  .0000000001%. This probability is merely for one moray eel genus to permit cleaner shrimp to clean it. If we extend the math through every mutualistic relationship, the odds only get longer.   Since it is unknown exactly how many mutualistic relationships exist,  the exact odds against them all coming into existence cannot be calculated. However, given how long the odds are for just one to come into existence via evolutionary mutations, it is safe to say that the odds of them all happening is impossibly low.

So where does that leave evolution? Symbiotic relationships exist, therefore they must be explained. Yet the evolutionary theory has no explanation and faces massive mathematical odds against it. There has never been a coherent theory proposed for how all the commensal, parasitic and mutualistic relationships in the world. Evolution fails on this threshold.

Creation has no problem with any form of symbiosis. Parasitism would have come about after the fall, as organisms designed to be either commensal or mutualistic suddenly began to take advantage of their host.  Commensalism and mutualism would have been built into God’s original creation. Animals cooperating fits beautifully into the Creationist worldview.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s