Thursday, 21 January 2010


There is something ugly in this article.

This example may be gruesome in some ways, but it does demonstrate what I consider to be an unevolvable phenomenon.

The mature liver fluke lives in the bile duct of a mammal.

It is a flat, leaf shaped organism when mature, which is hermaphrodite, containing both testes and an ovary.

It produces eggs, self-fertilised, which pass into the mammal's duodenum. Strangely enough, they are not digested by the proteolytic enzymes produced by the pancreas.

The eggs pass out in the faeces of the animal in an unembryonated state. They take 2 weeks or so to develop into 'miracidia' as they are called, which are actively mobile, and swim using flagella, no less.

A snail, coming into contact with the miracidia, is penetrated by them, and they burrow into the snail's digestive tract, where a 'sporocyst' forms: completely different in appearance to the flagellated miracidium.

Inside this structure, a 'redia' forms, which is again completely unlike the sporocyst, and inside the redia, another quite different form develops called a 'cercaria'. Inside one redia, many cercaria form and eventually there are so many of them, the snail dies. Each cercaria looks like a tadpole with a tail.

The cercaria erupt out of the snails tissues, find wet grass blades, and swim up the film of water, and then encyst, in which form they are able to resist drying out to a limited but not indefinite extent.

The cyst is now ingested by the mammal as it eats the grass. It survives the passage through the rumen, the reticulum, the omasum and the abomasum - the four stomachs of a ruminant animal - and when it reaches the duodenum the cyst wall digests, and the young parasite emerges.

Amazingly, it burrows its way through the duodenal wall, into the peritoneal cavity, and finds its way to the liver. There it feeds on the host's blood, grows to maturity, and then, again remarkably, makes its way into the bile duct where it lays its eggs, and the cycle begins again.


It would be difficult to imagine a life cycle like this: but there it is.

Every stage is preparatory to the next, and any failure to develop say the redia, would mean the end of the life cycle.

So the young swim.

They produce digestive enzymes to penetrate the snail.
Having penetrated the snail they become something totally different.

Where did the instinctive behaviour come from? At what point in the parasite's evolution did it decide to enter a snail? And when it entered, why did it decide to go through 2 phases?

How did it know that it had to get out of the snail's body and on to the grass? And why grass which would be eaten by mammals? It then encysts - in order to pass through the mammal's stomach(s).

How could it be that the cyst's material resist the digestive juices of 4 ruminant stomachs? And then, conveniently digests in the duodenal juices?

But the young parasite itself is not digested! It somehow has the equipment to bore its way through the duodenal wall, and in the darkness of the peritoneal cavity finds its way unerringly to the liver. As if it knew the anatomy of the sheep!

And finally, it somehow finds its way into the bile duct - the only place where it could possibly lay its eggs and be certain that they would enter the sheep's alimentary canal again.

This life cycle is complex to the nth degree. Everything had to be in place AT ONCE for this to happen: the liver of the sheep, the gall bladder, the snail, the grass, the sheep's grass eating habit.

It is totally inexplicable on any evolutionary hypothesis.




Evolution's Soft Underbelly
by Asyncritus


The Argument Darwin Dreaded…
The Argument No-One Has Developed Before…
The Argument to Which There Is


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