Adventures in Evolution-Denialism: Another Gem from Answers in Genesis

I hate to pile it on but this is funny. The AIG video is entitled, “Sorry, Evolutionists: Bees DESTROY Your Entire Worldview.”

I don’t get my “entire worldview” destroyed all that often [in all capital letters, no less] so I just had to check this out:

I guess their argument, allegedly, boils down to this:

(1) According to recent discoveries, bees have totally solved the Travelling Salesman Problem—because by repetition of return visits to a group of flowers with plenteous pollen, they soon shorten their distance travelled to something quite efficient.

(2) The world’s fastest and largest computers struggle to solve Travelling Salesman Problems. But humble bees solve the TSP quite routinely despite having tiny brains. (So there!!)

(3) Computer Scientists are using all kinds of simple but powerful algorithms that they learned from animals. (Example: Drones slowing their approach to an object do what flying insects do and adjust the “rate of expanding image” of the target object until it bring them to a full stop. It gives them a smooth rendezvous and/or landing.)

(4) Therefore, the Theory of Evolution of evolution has to be wrong.

If you are having difficulty following the jump from #3 to #4, I think their reasoning is that such amazing “problem solving” in nature could ONLY come about through supernatural processes and not just natural ones.

In other words, they are complaining about evolution and denying it—but it is actually the casual matter-of-fact methodological naturalism of science that has them so worked up. They insist on confusing a philosophical question with a scientific topic. As usual.

For readers new to Peaceful Science, I will reiterate that I’m fine with a philosophical position which affirms that an intelligent creator has created the biosphere but that poses no conflict with examples of evolution processes producing all sorts of amazing phenomena, such as bees being pretty good navigators.

Thus, if bees are quite good at solving Travelling Salesman Problems, it hardly “destroys the worldview” of this particular “evolutionist.”

Too bee or not too bee. Whether or not someone affirms a role for a creator, bee navigation poses no grand contradiction to the Theory of Evolution.

So bee/be cool about it, AIG.


I haven’t watched the video, and I probably won’t.

I’ve been hearing people say this, probably for several years.

It is nonsense.

The actual travelling salesman problem is about coming up with an optimal route. It isn’t about merely coming up with “something quite efficient”.


Of course to verify this claim, we would have to have a long and detailed conversation with the bees, in order to verify that theirs is a perfect and generalised solution, rather than merely a heuristic or approximation algorithm, of which there appear to be many:

Various heuristics and approximation algorithms, which quickly yield good solutions, have been devised. These include the Multi-fragment algorithm. Modern methods can find solutions for extremely large problems (millions of cities) within a reasonable time which are with a high probability just 2–3% away from the optimal solution.[13]

Could somebody please pass me an English-Bee Dictionary, so I can get started on this. :smiley:


To the surprise of no one, there is no mention of NP-complete algorithms in the video.

It was rather painful to watch. However, it inspired a few fond flashbacks to the early 1980’s when I was teaching “Intro to Analysis of Algorithms” to Bell Labs, Fermilab, and Argonne National Laboratory engineers from what was called at the time “the west-of-Chicago tech corridor.” Fun times. The course assignments were all in BASIC on the university’s PRIME minicomputer.


Here’s the paper it’s (likely) based on:

PLOS Biology

5 flowers arranged as a regular pentagon, with the best routes found through trial and error. If that’s impressive it’s only because we think of insects as stupid. It wouldn’t take a supercomputer to handle that - a 1980’s home microcomputer wouldn’t have a problem.

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Evolutionary algorithms are also
good at finding efficient TSP solutions.


I’ll bet that they’re ignoring the number of nodes, too. I very much doubt that a supercomputer would struggle with the number of flowers a bee visits on a single trip.


Here is a link to the abstract of the 2010 paper: In the study, the researchers claim that bumblebees learned over time to optimize their foraging when given 4 patches of artificial flowers. That does not seem like a difficult number to optimize, actually, since once one site is visited (possibly the one closest to the hive), the others could be visited by following a triangle. It took time to learn the route, so their “computer” is not that fast, and they would occasionally try alternate routes after the optimal route was established.
I can still be impressed by bees, but never am I impressed by AIG.


Obligatory Monty Python reference. :honeybee:

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If anyone is a glutton for punishment, there is also this additional gem:

Evolutionists Do NOT Want You to Realize This!
The Eyes Don’t Have It!

In a nutshell: Eyes are complex and amazing—so the evolution of eyes is impossible.

Once again, they assume the false dichotomy of either “believing in” The Theory of Evolution or in a Creator God.

If I’m feeling especially mischievous with my evolution-fearing Christian friends, I sometimes will cheerfully respond to these kinds of AIG arguments with: “Isn’t it amazing that God would create a universe where evolutionary processes can produce so many different kinds of eyes?”


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