The Bombardier Beetle—A Bombshell for Evolutionists

From Issue: Discovery 3/1/2013

Scientists estimate that four out of every ten species of insects are beetles, including click beetles, dung beetles, Rhinoceros beetles, ladybugs, and boll weevils. In one sense, beetles are common creatures. That is, they are commonly seen creatures. But don’t think of them as unremarkable animals: beetles do some exceptional things that testify to a grand Designer. Consider, for example, the bombardier beetle. 

What is so special about this little bug? Of all the things to consider in life, why would a one-half-inch-long, average-looking beetle be worthy of space in Discovery magazine? Because this beetle is a ticking time bomb.

No, the bombardier beetle does not have explosives tied to its back. It doesn’t carry around a miniature stick of dynamite. Nor are its insides full of nitroglycerin (nie-truh-GLIS-er-in)—the explosive liquid present in dynamite and other explosives. What does the bombardier beetle possess that makes it so unique? This little bug has tiny glands inside its body that hold two harmless chemicals known as hydroquinones (hi-dro-KWI-nons) and (the more familiar) hydrogen peroxide. The bombardier beetle secretes these chemicals into a kind of “holding area” or “storage tank.” Then, if the beetle senses danger and is agitated by an attacker, it quickly moves the chemicals from its storage tank into yet another chamber, which could be called the “explosion chamber.” In this compartment, the beetle secretes special catalyst enzymes into the once-harmless chemical mixture, making a toxic spray that reaches 212 degrees Fahrenheit (or 100 degrees Celsius)—the temperature at which water boils.

Amazingly, the beetle doesn’t blow up. It doesn’t develop a high fever and die. The noxious spray doesn’t eat through the chamber walls and kill the beetle. No, the beetle sizes up its attacker and quickly rotates two rear nozzles at the end of the explosion chamber so that they point in the direction of the attacker. The bombardier beetle then fires the boiling-hot mixture toward the enemy with pinpoint-accuracy in a high-speed, machine-gun-like fashion—at about 500 “rounds” (pulses) of toxic spray per second.

Evolutionists allege that this amazing insect is the product of millions of years of evolution. Can you imagine the evolution of a bombardier beetle? If this theory were true, then there had to have been a time when the bombardier beetle did not produce a toxic spray. There had to have been a time when it didn’t store a 212-degree-mixture. There had to have been a time when it had never shot anything out of its back end as hot as boiling water. If so, what would have happened the first time the beetle evolved the ability to mix a boiling-hot solution, without already having a storage tank in place that could withstand such temperatures? What would have happened the first time this beetle ever blew a “bomb” out its backend? Why did the beetle not blow up the first time it ever created a “bomb”? The answer: because the bombardier beetle did not evolve by time and chance, and unintelligent, natural processes over millions of years. Common sense calls for a Creator Who made this insect with all of its necessary parts in place at the same time—at Creation. The amazing defense mechanism of the bombardier beetle declares the glory of God and defies the theory of evolution.


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