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A Message from Glowworms

Safak Ozturk

2006-04-01 00:00:00

Professor Joachim Illies was stunned when he observed the luminescent behavior of the glowworms-Arachnocampa luminosa-found in the Waitomo caves of the islands to the north of New Zealand. He described what he saw as a miraculous phenomenon in the field of biology:

“We were thrilled to see a dome we came across in the cave after turning a few curves as we drifted along the current of the sea. What we saw in this pitch dark corner of the cave was a glorious sky adorned with thousands of stars and we felt as if on a remote planet yet unidentified. These mysterious stars would suddenly fade out as if they were frightened by each noise we made, the splash of the oars, or waves hitting the boat. They would glow back marvelously after a short while when their fear was over. It was an amazing luminousness coming out of thousands of lights.”

A scientist with infinite determination, Professor Illies says they now know who the players were who were involved in and the realities behind this enchanting show: Arachnocampa luminosa. This self-glowing fly, which is endowed with a peculiar light-radiating system, is known by different names in other parts of the world.

Mysterious light-radiating mechanisms

A microscopic organ found in the stomach of the glowworm is the source of light which creates the glow. Two chemicals are produced in two very close locations in this organ which is essential for the glowworm to continue its existence: Luciferin and Luciferase. These glowworms have no idea that they glow when these chemicals are mixed together with oxygen as the third component, which is taken in via respiration. They are neither blessed with the intellectual capacity to determine how much of these chemicals should be utilized or which stages this chemical reaction will go through; they are unaware of the nature of this glow, but they can radiate it for three consecutive hours thanks to this complex mechanism installed within.

A normal electric bulb can transform a maximum of 3-4% of the electrical energy supplied into light, whereas this output is 10% in the fluorescent bulb; the rest of the energy is released as heat, a waste in production. The ideal 100% efficiency would be to transform all energy into light with no release as heat. Today’s technology has not yet reached that level of illumination; even the most productive devices release heat to some degree. For thousands of years, however, the tiny bodies of glowworms are like power stations, yielding 100% light, a capacity which engineers have not yet achieved.

Can Darwinism explain a luminosa’s glowing mechanism?

The glowworms of the Waitomo caves are equipped with bioluminescence, a system of illumination that is the result of chemical reactions. Researchers are seeking answers to why Arachnocampa luminosa lives in the cave and radiates light. The first answer that comes to mind is that it uses this light to catch its prey. In a dark cave, the strong light attracts the prey which is caught by the sticky droplets secreted along silk threads that hang from a web. The glowworm digests its prey together with this thread. The explanations of evolutionists, based on natural causes regarding this complex bioengineering mechanism possessed by a worm, are far from satisfactory.

These explanations were confirmed (!) by behaviorist Niko Tinbergen, a Nobel-prize winner in medicine, in the introduction to his The Animal in its World (1972): “It is manifest that an animal can do stunning things and it can get accustomed to its habitat. The environment has shaped the evolution’s path, and it still does.” A hundred years after Darwin, Konrad Lorenz would state the following with additional emphasis: “The conviction that all the important details found in the structures and behavior of living things can be explained by the mechanisms discovered by Charles Darwin becomes stronger as I am getting older.” A superficial and distorted perspective on nature…

If we were to explain animal behavior according to the perception of evolutionists we would have to accept that during the evolution process of Arachnocampa the luciferin chemical came into being at a stage that was followed by the formation of lusiferase enzyme coincidentally, and thus the glowing started. Recently, it has been discovered that the larvae of glowworms also produce light. A larvae feeds on microorganisms (fungi spores) which are completely insensitive to light; this proves that the light produced is not a necessity for nutrition. Natural selection, a mechanism proposed by Darwin, cannot explain why the larvae wastes the energy obtained via nutrition under difficult circumstances by glowing. Each adult Arachnocampa goes through the larvae stage, which spoils Darwin’s “chain of development.” Coincidental mutations, natural selection, and re-combinations present nothing but contradictions.

According to an evolutionist scenario the latter stages of development witnessed one of the Arachnocampas started to produce light for no obvious reason (!). It became stronger with this new physiologic aspect; although it drew attention with this new light it did not become a prey to its enemies, but on the contrary it snared other insects more easily. It left this new hunting skill as a legacy for future generations (!). In the meantime, the remaining old-type Arachnocampas, which did not have this skill, became extinct with no trace left on earth. The glowworm thus perfected its physiology and anatomy, and there was no need for change for millions of years to come!

Evolutionists can do nothing but explain with unintelligent mechanisms the glowing that is created by a reflecting tissue at the back of the body and the fact that the light is condensed to be directed towards one course. Otherwise the light would only illuminate the roof of the cave. They further explain, with an analysis that is not based on logic, that the glowworm can detect air waves (like bats hunting by ultrasound waves), and thus can turn on and off the light, control the glow and hide from danger. It is so difficult for an evolutionist to accept creation that they adhere blindly to these theories. If one would argue how baseless these explanations were, they are likely to receive the response “a scientist should not be narrow-minded” and that “we are not at that stage to appreciate the importance of coincidence in the formation of such behaviors.” “This will change in the future when we attain the necessary information.”

Professor Ernst Mayr assures (!) us about the role of coincidence: “The variety in nature produced by mutation and re-combination takes place only by coincidence. The destiny of every being is determined by surrounding factors through selection. There are no long term decisions in nature. The existence of a thing is determined by these mechanisms for that moment.” Mayr would probably find it a silly question to ask whether the windshield wipers of his car came into being by coincidence.

“Surrounding factors determining perfection” brings along several questions. The limestone which forms the essential material of a cave is biologically dead, and it does not sound very logical to depict it as the primary factor in the occurrence of such a complex organism. There are a number of insects that live in these caves but which do not possess the characteristics of Aluminosa. Moreover, from a neo-Darwinist approach, insects living in these dark caves should have lost their vision in accordance with the theory. The natural selection mechanism argues that eyes which are of no use in these dark caves should be an unnecessary organ. These organisms could have channeled the energy they allocated for their eyes for a more functional sense, and this could avail them many advantages. On the contrary, these glowworms have perfect eyesight which they use in communication.

Science develops theories for observable objects. Under the twilight of the lack of information and blurred perspective on nature, these theories are perceived as realities. And science becomes the slave of the genie that science has released from the lamp. Joachim Illies underlines this as follows: “It is better not to disturb the sacred cows for no reason. Darwinism has become one of those sacred cows. These cows stand in the middle of the road and the traffic flows into byways so as not to disturb them.”

In the world of living things, examples of Arachnocampa luminosa are not few and they cause metaphysical headaches for the Darwinists. In the face of such pain they load the burden of keeping silent on the “Darwinist coincidence.” They silence their conscience and distort reality; their explanations do not make any sense. We wish they could turn to God Almighty for once, rather than chasing after coincidence and natural selection up so many blind alleys.


  • Portmann, Adolf: An den Grenzen des Wissens – Vom Beitrag der Biologie zu einem neuen Weltbild; Buchclub Ex Libris Zurich 1975, S. 145 – 159.
  • Darwin, Charles: Über die Entstehung der Arten durch naturliche Zuchtwahl; Parkland Verlag Koln 2002, S. 97 – 153.
  • Illies, Joachim: Der Jahrhundert Irrtum; Umschau Verlag 1983 / Frankfurt am Main; 122 – 131, S. 92 – 117.
  • Zimmermann, Walter: Evolution-Die Geschichte Ihrer Probleme und Erkenntnisse; Karl Alber Verlag Munchen 1953; 480 – 496.
  • Thurkauf, Max: Die moderne Naturwissenschaft und Ihre soziale Heilslehre–der Marxismus; Novalis Verlag Munchen 1980, S. 190 – 217.
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