Nature’s IQ

Some years ago, I was in Europe, speaking about my book Forbidden Archeology in seminars and lectures. At a semi­nar in Belgium, a young Hungarian scientist, a cultural anthropologist named Istvan Tasi, approached me. Like me, he was a member of the Krishna consciousness movement. He asked if I could come to Hungary and give lectures about my work there. I said I would be happy to do so, but I had some conditions. First, my book had to be published there in the Hungarian language. After that, when it came time for me to come, the tour should include not only lec­tures for universities and scientific associations, but also for the general public. And there should also be media inter­views. Istvan returned to Hungary. He found a publisher who would bring out a Hungarian edition of the abridged version of Forbidden Archeology. And he also arranged an author tour exactly as I had asked. So I came to Hungary and executed the tour. There was a good response from university audiences, the general public, and the media. Ist­van accompanied me all around the country and served as my translator for lectures and interviews. Istvan was some­what surprised to see what an impact a Vedic anti-evolutionist like me could have. Of course, there was also some op­position to what I presented, but the controversy just seemed to generate bigger audiences and more media interviews.

Istvan told me he wanted to follow in my footsteps in challenging the theory of evolution. I told him it was possi­ble, but advised him he should first write a book. A book would give him credibility and create opportunities for lec­tures and interviews. So Istvan and another young Hungarian scientist and member of the Krishna consciousness movement, biotechnologist Balasz Hornyanszky, began researching and writing a book called Nature’s IQ. The book is about animal behaviors that defy explanation by the theory of evolution by natural selection. Istvan asked me to write a foreword to the book, and I was happy to do it. The book was first published in Hungarian, and as expected, it attracted attention within the scientific world and the general public there. Istvan was launched into a whole series of lectures and interviews in his homeland, and the book sold well. Then I brought the book to the attention of my pub­lisher Alister Taylor of Torchlight Publishing, and now the book is available in English translation.

In a novel departure, the authors apply the principles of intelligent design not to biological form but to animal be­havior. Applied to biological form, intelligent design theory claims that some biologically complex structures are composed of interacting parts that must all be present simultaneously in order for the complex structure to perform any useful function for the organism. Therefore, these complex biomolecular structures cannot have arisen gradually step by step in the manner that evolutionary theory requires. They must have been designed. Similarly, many animal behaviors are complex. They are composed of several behavioral elements that must all be present simultaneously for the behavior to be carried out and be of survival value to the organism. These behaviors thus appear to be irredu­cibly complex, and therefore could not have come about gradually step by step as evolutionary theory requires. They must have come about by the arrangement of higher intelligence, which in Vedic cosmology is called the Supersoul, who resides in the hearts of all living things.

Let me give one of the hundreds of examples documented in the book, which is beautifully illustrated with nu­merous full-color photos on every page (photos with this article are not taken from the book). In Australia, there is a bird called the mallee fowl (Leipoa ocellata). In order for the birds to successfully reproduce, their eggs have to be kept at the ideal temperature of 93.2 degrees Fahrenheit for nine months after they are laid. If the temperature of the eggs deviates from the ideal temperature by only a few degrees, the eggs will not hatch. So the male mallee fowl keeps the temperature of the eggs within a range of 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, plus or minus, from the ideal temperature. How the male bird does this involves complex behavior.

In the winter, a mating pair of birds digs a hole five feet deep and fifteen feet in diameter in the earth. They fill the hole with twigs, leaves, and other plant remains. These soak in rain water. Then the birds cover the vegetable materi­al with sand. The finished mound is about five feet high, with a hollow egg laying chamber inside. In the spring, the female mallee fowl lays some eggs in the chamber. Then the male covers it up. The eggs will hatch because of the heat coming from the rotting vegetation, but the temperature must be kept close to the ideal temperature of 93.2 de­grees.

To check the temperature, the male bird sticks its beak into the mound and uses its long tongue as a thermome­ter. In spring time, as the weather grows warmer, the heat from the rotting vegetable material can drive the tempera­ture of the eggs to a dangerously high level. At such times, the male bird removes sand from the top of the mound to allow the heat to dissipate. In the summer time, the hot sun becomes the cause of dangerously high temperature. So the mallee fowl adds more soil to the top of the mound to bring down the temperature of the eggs. In the fall, the weather turns colder and the heat from the vegetation also decreases. During the day, the male mallee fowl removes the upper layers of the mound so that the sun warms the eggs, and during the night he again covers the egg chamber to retain the heat.

If the male bird does his job, the eggs eventually hatch. The male chicks eventually grow up and automatically en­gage in the same temperature maintenance behavior when they mate, without having learned it. This means the be­havior is somehow encoded in the genes Supposedly the mallee fowl evolved from some bird that did not have this complex behavior, but instead just sat on its eggs to keep them warm. Some might suggest there were intermediate steps. But intermediate steps would not be of any survival value to the organism. All parts of the complex behavioral system must be there for the birds to reproduce. From the point of view of the male bird, the following elements have to be there: knowledge of how to dig a hole of appropriate depth and width; knowledge to fill the bottom of the hole with vegetable matter that will eventually rot and produce heat; knowledge to cover the vegetable matter with soil; knowledge to build an egg-laying chamber; knowledge not to let the female in to lay the eggs until the chamber is at the right temperature; knowledge of the proper temperature for the egg; knowledge to restructure the mound in complex ways to keep the egg temperature constant during daily and seasonal changes of temperature. Pretty amaz­ing. It seems the elaborate nesting behavior was built into the birds when they were created by higher intelligence.

There are other intriguing behaviors. The Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus) throws stones to break open one of its favorite foods, ostrich eggs. The eggs have thick, hard shells and are quite big, and the vultures cannot open them with their beaks. The vulture throws stones at the eggs until they break. Could it be that the vultures learn this behavior? That is not the explanation, because experiments have shown that young vulture chicks raised alone will manifest this behavior. When the chick observes an ostrich egg, it searches around for a suitable stone, brings it to the egg, and throws it at the egg repeatedly. So the behavior must be coded in the genes of the vulture.

The usual textbook explanation is that the behavior somehow evolved step by step in vultures that did not origi­nally possess this ability, by chance mutations and natural selection. According to the theory of evolution, each step would have to be beneficial to the animal’s survival. The authors of Nature’s IQ say, “The phenomena that constitute the feeding behavior of the Egyptian vulture—the search for stones upon seeing the ostrich egg, the retrieval of the stones, and the repeated casting of the stones upon the egg—would only be meaningless and useless if all of them were not present and fully developed at the same time . . . . Therefore we can conclude that the stone-throwing be­havior of the Egyptian vulture is a system of irreducible complexity that could not have evolved gradually.”

In my own work, I have concentrated on showing that there is archaeological evidence for extreme human antiq­uity that contradicts the theory of evolution. I am happy that there are other researchers showing there are other problems for the theory.

Michael A. Cremo is author, with Richard Thompson, of the underground classic Forbidden Archeology: The Hid­den History of the Human Race. His latest book is Human Devolution: A Vedic Alternative to Darwin’s Theory (see www.humandevolution.com).

By Michael Cremo

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