new research has found that flies use a different method.
It may seem strange that insects need to measure their altitude. Can they not just “tell” how high they are? If I am on an escalator it is immediately obvious to me that I am moving to higher altitudes. Do insects not have such a simple, built-in, sense?
Such built-in sensing capabilities that we have, such as sensing when we are moving upward, are actually not simple. They merely seem so because we are not aware of the sophisticated measurement and processing systems at work behind the scenes. They are seamlessly built-in to our thinking so it seems to us that we can just “tell” how high we are.
Many insects determine their altitude by measuring how fast the ground appears to be moving beneath them. Of course the ground speed does not vary with altitude. What varies with altitude is the angular rate of a vector from the insect to a fixed object on the ground.
This angular rate also depends on the airspeed of the insect, whether it is turning and the wind. So inferring the insect’s altitude is a complicated task involving several measurements and sophisticated processing.
But the fly uses a different method entirely. Experiments involving a virtual reality arena, in which the fly not only can be tracked but its environment can be controlled, reveal that Drosophila maintains its altitude by monitoring objects around it rather than looking down at the ground.
Once again, we find different, unique solutions in biology. With evolution we must believe that completely different solutions just happen to arise (No, natural selection did not create them—selection only kills off the useless designs. According to evolution, biological variation, such as caused by mutations, is not guided by need. These fantastic designs just happened to arise—every mutation involved was a lucky shot that knew nothing of how crucial it was.)
And of course these different solutions are phenomenally complex. Beyond sophmoric just-so stories evolutionists have no idea how insects were so lucky. And yet, in the face of such ignorance, evolutionists dogmatically insist their idea is a fact. Religion drives science, and it matters.