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Plain Truth Magazine
January 1978
Volume: Vol XLIII, No.1
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Plain Truth Staff

   Most mothers in the animal world are, as you would suspect, very solicitous of the future welfare of their offspring. However, it's not every day that you'll find one who will dangle her progeny in midair a few inches away from certain destruction. But that's exactly what the female potter wasp makes a lifelong career of doing.
   To start the next generation off on the right foot, the mother wasp builds a small urn from mortar where she places several paralyzed caterpillars. Traditional waspish wisdom would then call for her to deposit her egg in close proximity to the caterpillars so that her newly hatched larva would have no trouble finding its next meal. But in this case the caterpillars are only partially paralyzed and their constant twitchings and thrashings would pose a serious threat to the larva. So mama wasp, having plenty of insight into these matters, attaches her egg to the end of a silken thread that dangles from the ceiling of her little mud enclosure.
   But in solving one problem, the wasp creates another. Suspended in midair above the caterpillars, the larva has no way to safely get to its food supply. Almost, that is.
   Again the potter wasp shows remarkable foresight. When her tiny larval offspring hatches, the egg case doesn't break open like a normal egg, but it unwinds to form a miniature spiral staircase leading down to the caterpillars.
   At first the small wasp larva can only sally down its silken steps and take a few tentative bites out of its wriggling hosts. But after a few days it has grown to the point where it can abandon the safety of its perch, dispatch its victim, and spend the rest of its larval days blissfully munching on the remains of the carcasses.
   According to conventional evolutionary litany, the potter wasp should probably have solved the problem simply by fully paralyzing the caterpillars. After all, other wasps do this. Why not the potter? Why go to all this trouble for a single wasp egg? And how does a wasp somehow come up with unwinding eggshells that turn into spiral staircases along with an "understanding" of how to suspend them?
   Certainly the potter wasp's strange behavior has to leave evolutionary theory hanging in midair along with its offspring. And maybe it's trying to tell us something about a Creator who obviously has a lot of architectural expertise along with a pretty ingenious imagination.

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Plain Truth MagazineJanuary 1978Vol XLIII, No.1
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