Ho Hum. Another Day, Another Startlingly Lifelike Decoy Expertly Sculpted by a...Spider
A reader points out a report in Wired on a Peruvian spider, a newly found species of the genus Cyclosa, that uses debris to construct something almost like a scarecrow. Except that a scarecrow scares pests away and this one is intended as more of a decoy-like subterfuge.
Go over there or over here and take a glance. The construction looks like a larger version of the spider itself, complete with eight legs. The idea seems to be that the predator goes after the fake spider, thinking it's all smart for doing so. Meanwhile the diminutive Cyclosa is waiting and observing in safety nearby. That sounds like a pretty intelligent design.
Not a big deal, actually, explains biologist Phil Torres.
"Considering that spiders can already make really impressive geometric designs with their webs, it's no surprise that they can take that leap to make an impressive design with debris and other things," he said.Isn't this classic? A breathtaking innovation in nature is deflated and brushed aside simply by applying to it the assertion that after all, it's "no surprise," no big deal. This is the Darwin v. Design debate in a nutshell.