William A. Williams:
23. THE INSTINCT OF ANIMALS
The instinct of animals is not due to their own intelligence. It is unerring, unchangeable, without improvement or deterioration. It implies knowledge and wisdom of the highest order. It is beyond the wisdom of man. It comes direct from God. It is not learned nor gained by experience. It is found in many species of animals, and even in a child, until knowledge and reason make it unnecessary.
One of the most familiar illustrations is the instinct of the honey bee. It builds its cells in exact geometric form and we compute, by Calculus, that the form it uses produces the greatest capacity in proportion to the amount of material used. Who taught the bee to build its cell, displaying greater knowledge than that of many a college graduate? Darwin says (Origin of Species), “It can be clearly shown that the most wonderful instincts with which we are acquainted, namely those of the honey bee, could not possibly have been acquired by habit.” We quote from Granville’s Calculus, p. 119: “We know that the shape of a bee cell is hexagonal, giving a certain capacity for honey with the greatest possible economy of wax.” This is demonstrated by the solution of a problem in this same Calculus. Darwin again says (Origin of Species, vol. I, p. 342), “We hear from mathematicians, that bees have practically solved a recondite problem, and have made their cells of the proper shape to hold the greatest possible amount of honey, with the least possible consumption of precious wax in their construction. It has been remarked that a skilful workman, with fitting tools and measures, would find it very difficult to make cells of wax of the true form, though this is effected by a crowd of bees, working in a dark room. Each cell, as is well known, is a hexagonal prism, with the basal edges of its six sides, beveled so as to join an inverted pyramid of three rhombs. These rhombs have certain angles, and the three which form the pyramidal base of a single cell on one side of the comb, enter into the composition of the bases of the three adjoining cells on the opposite side.”
Can any one suggest an improvement or show an imperfection? If this intelligence is the bee’s own, which is far superior to that of the ape, why did not the bee develop a human brain?
Yet in spite of Darwin’s admission, he labors hard to show that “There is no real difficulty under changing conditions of life, in natural selection accumulating to any extent slight modifications of instinct which are in any way useful”! How could the working bee conserve the gains accumulated by experience or habit? The drone is the father and the queen is the mother of the sterile female working bee. Neither parent knows how to build a cell. How could they transmit their knowledge or their habits to the working bee? Every new swarm of bees would not know how to build their cells. There is no improvement from generation to generation. Even if instinct in other animals could be accounted for, evolution can not account for the instinct of the working bees, since they are not descendants of other working bees, from which they might inherit habits or instinct.
Is not the instinct of the bee the intelligence of God, disproving the heresy of an absentee God? Here again we get a glimpse of the unerring wisdom of God.
The immoveable oyster, the bee alive with divine intelligence, and the sterile progeny of the jackass, are enough to upset the whole theory of evolution.