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Principles of Evolution : A Study in the Evolution of Bedbugs

Principles governing the process of the evolution of a new species based upon observations of bedbugs, with the assumption being made that the explanation for the diversity found in bedbugs, and not found in other insects, is an instability which has as its cause the process of evolutionary change.
Living Evidence of the Evolution of Bedbugs
Living Evidence of the Evolution of Bedbugs

Induction :

Induction is the process by which we conclude that what is true of certain individuals of a class, is true of the whole class, or that what is true at certain times will be true in similar circumstances at all times. --J. S. Mill.

A process of demonstration in which a general truth is gathered from an examination of particular cases. (Dictionary definition of the process of induction).


Photographs of Bedbugs

Bedbugs evolved from what were once insects much like mosquitos. The atrophied remains of wings can be found upon the backs of bedbugs, and bedbugs still sometimes appear with the elongated aerodynamic body shape of a flying insect. A typical bedbug has body shape that is as flat and naroow as a credit card, which is a shape which allows bedbugs to slip through even very narrow cracks.. When a bedbug appears with the body shape of the flying bug from which bedbugs evolved, the body is not flat, but rather is tubular and more rounded.

My place was infested with bedbugs, and when I first saw these long, skinny bugs I did not immediately recognize them as being bedbugs. However they had the same reddish brown color of a bedbug. When you starve a bedbug they lose their reddish tinge and become golden tawny colored bugs that are almost transparent. The same thing would happen to these elongated bugs, and it wasn't long before I realized that these odd shaped bugs were in fact bedbugs.


http://www.awitness.org/column/graphics/bedbug/utoronto.jpg




In this very interesting photograph from the University of Toronto you can see on the bottom of the photograph two adult bedbugs. The bedbugs I had in my place resembled the adult bug on the left, an almost circular oval shaped bug.

At the top of the photograph you can see pictures of bedbug nymphs, and if you look to the bottom right, you can see one anomalously shaped, long, skinny bedbug. This photograph mimics what I saw in my place. The majority of the nymphs of various sizes were almost circular oval shaped bugs, while a minority were these anomalous long skinny bugs.

In most insect species, one bug is pretty much like another. Every ant is the same. The honey bees are the same. The body of these insects is stable. The same is not true of bedbugs which display an interesting instability in the design of their body shapes. Bedbugs are unusual in this way, as the photographs below illustrate.


http://www.awitness.org/column/graphics/bedbug/circle.jpg




This photograph comes the closest to appearance of the majority of the bedbugs I had seen - an almost perfectly circular, flat, oval shaped bug.


http://www.awitness.org/column/graphics/bedbug/harvard.jpg




The bedbug in this photograph from Harvard University shows the body type of a slightly less circular bedbug.


http://www.awitness.org/column/graphics/bedbug/cornell.jpg




A photograph of a bedbug from Cornell University.


http://www.awitness.org/column/graphics/bedbug/kentucky.jpg




An interesting photograph of an unusually shaped bedbug from the University of Kentucky.


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A bedbug with an almost 'triangular' shape.


The evolution of bedbugs

By combining the images above, beginning with the insect with a body type resembling that of a flying bug and working forward to the classic oval shape of the insect we know as the bedbug, we can create a composite image which illustrates the process of evolutionary change.


http://www.awitness.org/column/graphics/bedbug/evolution.jpg




Hypothesis

Every creature that exists today evolved from an earlier life form, but you would never know it by observation of the living creature. The study of the process of evolution requires the painstaking analysis of fossil remains of creatures that existed in the distant past.

We know that life evolved on earth because we have the clear evidence of this evolutionary process found in fossil beds. We do not see evolution taking place today because all existing creatures are stable. They do not change. A lady bug is a lady bug. You do not see long lady bugs and triangular lady bugs. You only see lady bugs. The same principle applies to the ants, or to the honey bees. You do not see short fat wasps, and long skinny wasps, and barrel shaped wasps, or ants with fat behinds and ants with skinny behinds. You see lady bugs, and each lady bug is a lady bug, and you see ants, and each ant is the same, as are bees and as is true of wasps.

Bedbugs are not stable. It does not seem to be a coincidence that the instability found in bedbugs can be seen to be steps in the transition between two different species of bugs, as illustrated in the photograph above. If bedbugs such as these were to be found in fossil beds or captured in amber, then the argument could easily be made that here was a clear example of the evolution of a species. However bedbugs are a living species and for this reason it might prove more difficult to make the same argument, even though the evidence is the same, for no other reason than that the evidence is alive rather than dead, and therefore is not found in fossil beds or in amber.


Principles of Evolution

1. All creatures are stable once they have reached a steady state. Evolution only occurs when something disturbs the equilibrium in such a way as to threaten a species with extinction..

Bedbugs were flying bugs which then became fixated upon biting human beings to the exclusion of all other creatures. Human beings are easier to bite. They don't have fur and feathers to get in the way. Human beings are also dangerous to bite. A bug is much less likely to be swatted while biting a bear or an antelope. If an insect wants to specialize in biting human beings then it must longer be like the mosquito, which is an insect which can still be found biting a bear or an antelope. If mosquitos are being swatted by human beings, the entire species is not in danger of extinction, because mosquitos are not specialized bugs. The insect which was to become the bedbug was in danger of extinction. If these bugs were to successfully specialize in biting only human beings they could not longer follow the strategy of mosquito, but rather it was required that they evolve, and become a new species of bug..


2. Biological algorithms exist, and the purpose of this software of life is to transform the physical body. It is these algorithms which are responsible for what was once considered the activity of the 'supernatural' or what were considered 'miracles'. A certain percentage of fatal illnesses go into spontaneous remission. This is the result of the actions of biological algorithms, and not supernatural intervention.. This claim is not just speculative wishful thinking, but rather physical evidence does exist of the power of this biological software. See the following links one two three four five six


3. The evolution of species is not the result of randomly occurring changes. It is a directed goal oriented process of intelligent selection, with the intelligence driving the process of change located in 'biological software'. Feedback from the environment is somehow processed by this software, and then intelligent design choices are made, which then initiates a goal oriented process of evolutionary change.

Bedbugs possess remarkable adaptions which have been specifically targeted to allow bedbugs to bite human beings and survive. They possess a type of syringe which they use to inject two special purpose chemicals : an anesthetic, so that the bite of bedbug is painless and an anticoagulant to thin the blood and make extraction easier. The crawl of a bedbug is undetectable on human skin. A bedbug has the ability to determine when a human being is in the deepest stages of REM sleep. They can do this from a distance. Of the bedbugs I experienced, only a small percentage left painful welts much like those a mosquito, and the rest of the bites were simple puncture wounds. The only symptom experienced was a delayed itching reaction which would not take place until about five or six hours after awakening. Bedbugs are insects, and as such they cannot possess advanced medical knowledge. They can never be pharmacists or nurses, and yet we see bedbugs running diagnostic medical tests, and we see bedbugs administering specific drugs designed to accomplish a specific task.

The design choice which is the end target of bedbug evolution is the wide almost circular oval shape. A bedbug is an insect which has developed a strong aversion to crawling, since crawling brings risk. These insects are invisible. You never see them. They only come out to feed, and then only for a matter of minutes. They are shy, retiring bugs. For this reason bedbugs gorge, which then allows them to do without a meal for much longer time, so that they may remain safely hidden. The wide circular oval provides the bedbug with the largest possible container, which equates to the longest possible time between feedings. It is the most intelligent design choice, and thus we see bedbug evolution moving in this direction. In the population of bedbugs I had the opportunity to study, the circular oval insect was in the majority, and given enough time we can expect the less desirable bedbug body designs to fade away, the evolutionary process will be complete, and the insect will become stable in its new circular form.


4. All living creatures remain stable and evolution of species does not occur unless equilibrium is disturbed in such a way as to threaten extinction. Evolution is a goal directed software driven process the purpose of which is to make the intelligent decisions required to prevent extinction. The process is dependant upon input from the environment which must be processed successfully if the evolutionary process is to succeed and the extinction event averted.

Dodo birds are extinct. It is impossible for a software program to arrive at a correct solution when the problem is that in a very short time a flightless bird was being gunned down in a hail of bullets.

The most credible hypothesis which explains the extinction of the dinosaurs is that a comet hit the earth. There is evidence for the impact crater in the Gulf of Mexico. As well there is a layer of iridium which marks the boundary of the extinction event in the fossil record. The source of this element would be a comet, and it is found to be dispersed globally, which is an indication of the severity of the impact. This would have raised a great cloud of dust which would have blanketed the planet, lowering temperatures. Dinosaurs became extinct because of the sudden change (evolution is a process), but mammals survived, because mammals are creatures with fur coats. (This suggests that all eggs should never be put into one basket, but rather that life should be found colonizing every possible environmental niche, so that even in the case of catastrophe, species may become extinct but life itself will not become extinct)


5. The old gives birth to the new.

Every creature which exists today emerged from a creature which no longer exists.


6. The evolutionary process begins with a single female, mediated in the womb or in the egg If this proves to be true it would suggest a special function for Mitochondrial DNA. It takes time for the evolutionary process to reach a stable state. This occurs because the evolution of a new species begins with a single female and it then takes time and generations for the change to predominate at the population level. The length of the process can be shorter if the ancestral animal is driven to extinction, which eliminates its genetic contribution.

Pesticide resistant bedbugs were present in the building I live in. I noticed the following consistent pattern. Every time pesticides were sprayed, most of the oval shaped bedbugs would die and elongated tubular shaped bedbugs would survive. This occurred in spite of the fact that oval shaped bugs were in the clear majority and elongated tubular shaped bedbugs were in the minority. This pattern kept repeating itself again and again. It was obvious that there were two separate lines of descent. Pesticide resistant females were surviving and producing offspring without resistance, which was the contribution of the father. There were significant numbers of these offspring present, and this was not the work of a single female. All the elongated bedbugs which survived spraying were at the same stage of development. A single pesticide resistant females was surviving and was producing elongated offspring with a strong resistance to pesticides (the contribution of both the mother and the father...we can draw this conclusion because breeding experiments reveal that pesticide resistance behaves like a recessive trait, and nonresistance behaves like a dominant trait so that resistance is reduced when exposed to the genes for nonresistance.)

From this observation I draw the conclusion that a newly evolving species emanates from a starting point in a population line that originates at a single point at an earlier time.

From the Wikipedia site : Mitochondrial Eve (mt-mrca) is the name given by researchers to the woman who is the matrilineal most recent common ancestor (MRCA) for all living humans. Passed down from mothers to offsprings over more than a hundred thousand years, her mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is now found in all living humans...The existence of Mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromosomal Adam does not imply the existence of population bottleneck or first couple. They co-existed with a large human population."

From the TalkOrigins site : "Consider the set of all women living today, then the set of all their mothers, and so on. Obviously, each set will be as small as or smaller than the previous set. Eventually the set will contain only one woman, who is known as "mitochondrial Eve". The mtDNA of all living humans is inherited from mitochondrial Eve...However, using the genetic difference to estimate the time of the last common ancestor is difficult, for a couple of reasons. One is that the rate at which mtDNA mutates is poorly measured. "


7. The old coexists with the new. The evolutionary process begins with a loss of stability caused by a loss equilibrium. A period of instability follows , during which time the old forms coexist with the new. The evolutionary process ends with a return to equilibrium, after which the new life form becomes stable and enters into a steady state. The process is complete when the old transitional forms have disappeared. Instability is the evidence of the active evolutionary process. Most creatures are perfectly stable, and all traces of the creature they may have once been have long since disappeared. Creatures which are evolving into a new species are unstable, and it is possible to see where they came from and where they have been, and given enough time it would also be possible to discern the final destination. This is certainly true of the bedbug, as can be seen by lining up the variant forms assumed by that insect, and noting the evidence for an evolutionary transition (a picture is worth a thousand words, as the saying goes).

We know from the fossil record that an extinction event is followed by an explosion of new life. Currently human beings are creating an extinction event. For this reason although what we see in the bedbug has been uncommon in the past, we should anticipate that it will become very common in the future. If a new flying creature appears, we should expect that new creature to be found in the nest of an existing bird. Given that extinction pressure is increasing, we should expect to see emerging signs of the instability which would be the defining characteristic of the evolution of species.