The Bombardier Beetle’s Unique Chemical Warfare
The bombardier beetle uses a method of defense that virtually defies belief. It defends itself through an enormously complex defensive system involving the precise use of volatile chemicals. A tremendous amount of research has been completed on the chemical warfare methods used by this beetle to protect itself from its enemies. Michael J. Behe wrote about the complex defensive strategy utilized by the bombardier beetle in his book, Darwin’s Black Box, that demonstrated that evolution could never account for the irreducibly complex biological systems we find everywhere in nature. By “irreducibly complex,” Behe describes a biological system such as the eye or this beetle’s chemical defence system that could never have developed gradually as evolution claims because it won’t function at all unless every part of the complex system is present. This tiny beetle (one half inch) uses a unique defensive system that sends an explosive, scalding hot liquid at its enemy through two specialized secretory lobes that are controlled by the beetle’s sphincter muscles. When it senses danger, it squirts two chemicals, hydrogen peroxide and hydroquinone, toward the enemy. In the seconds of buildup to its battle, specialized secretory lobes combine these two chemicals together in a very concentrated mixture. The mixture is initially stored in a storage chamber. This first chamber is connected to another compartment called the explosion chamber. When the insect senses danger, it squeezes the muscles controlling the storage chamber while relaxing the sphincter muscle, allowing the mixture in the storage chamber to transfer to the explosion chamber. Small knobs, known as ectodermal glands, then secrete enzyme catalysts (peroxidase) into the explosive chamber. The key to creating the explosive mixture is the introduction of these enzyme catalysts.
In the presence of the catalysts, the hydrogen peroxide quickly decomposes into water and oxygen. The oxygen now reacts with the hydroquinone, producing heat, more water, and the chemical quinone. A large quantity of heat is released and vaporization occurs. The beetle releases boiling hot vapour (100°C) and exploding oxygen out from the exploding chamber through its outlet ducts into the face of its enemy.10 Researchers are mystified as to how the beetle can have inside its body a powerful explosive system that provides no protection at all until all of the other parts of the system are also in place. The defensive system of the bombardier beetle totally refutes the theory of evolution because this system is irreducibly complex. The entire system is absolutely useless to protect the beetle until every part of the complex storage and explosive chambers, exploding chemicals, the enzyme catalysts, and chemical inhibitors are in place. In other words, the entire system is useless and provides no evolutionary survival advantage until every part of this remarkably complex system is in place. No evolutionist can explain the procedure by which random mutation and natural selection could ever have formed this unique form of complex chemical warfare. Random mutation changes would not provide any advantage and thus would not be passed on to future generations. Until every single part of this system is in place, the beetle is without defenses. The only logical conclusion is that this complex chemical weapons system was intelligently designed from the very beginning.
See the video of how the beetle spray the chemical on an attacker on this link