Brainy Octopus

Rarely does the New York Times run an article actually publish something of interest to me, but when they write about how smart the octopus is, I immediately sit up and pay attention.  This is what they did recently, publishing an article that delved into wild speculation about the origin of the octopus, and where it got its brains.  I’ve previously written about cephalopods, particularly the octopus and cuttlefish variants, but since this Times article will be read by millions, I felt it merited a response.

The Times article starts out by introducing how smart octopi are by using the example of an octopus lugging two halves of a coconut shell around with it and hiding inside the halves when danger threatened.  This is by no means the only example of intelligence octopi display. They’ve been known to use rocks as tools, solve puzzles, escape from just about any enclosure, and, in one case the Times cites,  go down a floor drain and to the ocean again!  However, based on the evolutionary paradigm, scientists have no explanation for this intelligence.  According to the evolutionary dogma, intelligence should increase roughly linearly as you ascend the Darwinian tree of life. The cephalopods are invertebrates. By Darwinian ideas, they should be less intelligent than say frogs. Yet to the best of my knowledge, frogs have never been documented to use tools.  The Times, in a rare moment of good journalism, even admits evolutionists have no explanation.

Despite admitting they have no explanation, the Times then goes on to provide several speculative theories as to why cephalopods as a whole are so smart. One of these hypotheses, the so-called social intelligence hypothesis, speculates that social animals learn from cooperating with each other. The Times, demonstrating a colossal lack of self-awareness proceeds to state a few lines down “Nor do cephalopods form social bonds.” So much for that hypothesis. The second hypothesis is slightly less obviously flawed. It is called the ecological intelligence hypothesis and it states that intelligence was evolved to cope with finding food. This sounds good on its face, but it ignores some pretty basic genetics.  Animals only pass on existing information.  Thus cephalopods can only get so smart. There is a hard limit coded in the DNA. Intelligence is limited to what can be learned and what is hard coded. It has been established that cephalopods do not learn in the social style evolutionists propose.  So getting smarter to find more food is out too.

As if they hadn’t speculated enough, the Times goes on even further down the rabbit hole, indulging in whimsical flights of fancy in describing the evolutionary history of cephalopods. The Times claims that snake like ancestors of cephalopods evolved shells that were somehow buoyant and lifted them from the seafloor into the water column. No information is provided on just how the shells evolved, how they became buoyant, why some cephalopod shells are internal, or how cephalopods control the buoyancy of the shell, but it happened because the New York Times found a source that says it did. This is the same New York Times that was accused in 2016 of finding informants to fit preconceived story ideas and telling their informants what the Times wanted them to say.

There is no denying cephalopods are intelligent, unique creatures, that can do things we don’t quite understand. However, by engaging in rampant speculation as the Times does in this pieces, it further undermines the tiny amount of journalistic credibility it had left. Not once in the lengthy article does the Times consider the possibility that the cephalopods might have been designed to be as smart as they are.  Apparently, even a newspaper that will print rampant speculation is afraid to go against the ruling paradigm or is complicit in the suppression of alternate ideas. I suspect complicity is the more likely alternative, thought the complicity may be accidental.

If the Times had taken a step back and considered some of the rampant, irresponsible speculations they were considering printing, they would have recognized how impossible it is for cephalopods to have arisen naturally. The incredible intelligence, the ink dispersal system, the tentacles with suckers that can detach at will are all strong evidence for the intelligent design of the octopus. The fact is the Times, and the scientific community at large does not want to consider this evidence. If they admitted to a designer, then they logically would need to surrender their personal power and their lives to Him, something they cannot abide. Thus God is an anathema to His creations.




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