Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Scientists Figure Out How Bees Fly

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the hoverbots-to-follow dept.

Science 1237

corbettw writes "Researchers at CalTech have discovered how bees fly, putting one more nail in the coffin of Intelligent Design. From the article: 'People in the ID community have said that we don't even know how bees fly ... We were finally able to put this one to rest. We do have the tools to understand bee flight and we can use science to understand the world around us.'"

cancel ×

1237 comments

Pfft! Why do Bees fly? (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440123)


Nails? Coffins? Intelligent Design? [sfgate.com] Pfft! What do these have to do with each other? Why do bees fly?

Because they forgot how to teleport!

man, i thought everyone knew that already .. all you had to do was ask them.

Cal Tech shouldn't be worrying about beating back old riddles posed by the flocks and get back to the business at hand of figuring out how to hack scoreboards [museumofhoaxes.com] .

Re:Pfft! Why do Bees fly? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14440209)

Researchers at CalTech have discovered how bees fly, putting one more nail in the coffin of Intelligent Design.

So seriously...were these CalTech researchers purposed with finding one more way to discredit ID, or is that just the agenda of our story's submitter (and the original article's author)?

Re:Pfft! Why do Bees fly? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440260)

So seriously...were these CalTech researchers purposed with finding one more way to discredit ID, or is that just the agenda of our story's submitter (and the original article's author)?

In TFA it addresses the old creationist argument that science couldn't explain bee flight. The author simply spun it to ID, nail in coffin, etc.

Teleportation explains how they always managet to be inside your car, even when the windows were all the way up.

Re:Pfft! Why do Bees fly? (2, Funny)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440308)

Yeah, well I misread the title at first. I was intrigued at the prospect of discovering how beers fly!

Re:Pfft! Why do Bees fly? (1, Informative)

Pyrowolf (877012) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440235)

This story, or at least the summary, should most certainly be modded -1 Flamebait. As the parent noted, what kind of purpose does it serve by inserting some remark about Intellegent Design being put in the grave because they figured out how bees fly? And this a few stories after the griping post in regards to story moderation and conspiracy theories.

...Good grief.

Re:Pfft! Why do Bees fly? (2, Insightful)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440253)

And actually, all it really proves is *why* we should teach intelligent design to schoolchildren: So that they can grow up to shoot down the stupider parts of the theory, thus leading to wonderful new aircraft and other inventions.

stupid design (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14440350)

There is a lot of dumb & broken stuff out there. Who designed that?

Re:Pfft! Why do Bees fly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14440254)

Intelligent Design is fundamentally flawed in that the people that believe in it actually don't fit into its own model, thus invalidating it. If Intelligent Design was a driving force behind nature, then it would've been markedly more intelligently designed than to only be a phenomena visible to people who are ultimately wrong. Intelligent Design is a man-made myth that fails to deal with the realities of what's around us and fails at the first hurdle because it can't even validate itself.

Murble... now I've confused myself. If you know what this means and can unravel it, please have a go...

Why this is important (4, Insightful)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440124)

At first glance, this sounds kind of trivial, but from TFA:

The scientists said the findings could lead to a model for designing aircraft that could hover in place and carry loads for many purposes such as diaster surveillance after earthquakes and tsunamis.

Now, if the ID advocates had their way, we would have just said, "Hey, God makes bees fly. Since I already know the real reason, there's no real reason to keep studying it." In fact, some of them will probably even go so far as to dismiss the findings as false because it conflicts with their notion that God must be responsible. If we listened to them, we wouldn't have possible future scientific and engineering discoveries, discoveries that could possibly lead to even more important work on truly world-changing devices.

If they have their way and we stop studying other things that are presumably more important like evolution, stem cells, the origin of the universe, and so on, what else may we be missing out on?

I never cease to be amazed at how science has consistently managed to explain everything ID advocates have thrown at it. Is it always right? No. Is it complete? No. But when it comes to explaining how things work, it has a record that beats non-science every time. As far as I'm concerned, you can keep your "It must be God" explanations to yourself and in your churches. Maybe you want your kids to grow up dumb, but I'd rather my kids study stuff that is real and that can actually contribute to our progress.

One last thing to prove (1)

gcnaddict (841664) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440206)

The last thing Science has left to prove is the existance of God. Of course, this brings us back to the babelfish:

"But the odds of such a creature coming into existance are so unbelievably small, that it proves that You exist!"
"I haven't thought of that" He says, and promptly disappears in a puff of logic.

Re:One last thing to prove (1)

TrumpetPower! (190615) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440299)

gcnaddict wrote:

The last thing Science has left to prove is the existance of God. Of course, this brings us back to the babelfish:

That's not how science works. One does not set out to prove that something exists, but rather that it does not. If you succeed, you know it does not exist. If you fail, you have reason to suspect it might exist.

It's that whole ``falsifiability'' thing.

Cheers,

b&

P.S. Check my .sig. b&

Re:Why this is important (5, Insightful)

bel_slashdot (659185) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440208)

As a Christian Pastor, I believe the world, and everything in it, was indeed created by God. But I also believe that he is a God of order, and thus there is an order to all things that can be observed and recorded. As science progresses, I would expect that many things that are a mystery to us today would be explained and understood. The fact that there is a scientific explanation for these things does not disprove the existence of God. Sure, for many in the creationist camp, science and God have no business mixing. But there are also those who believe as I do. Why do God and Science have to be mutually exclusive?

Re:Why this is important (5, Insightful)

Prophet of Nixon (842081) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440264)

No reason at all.

Its just that people are silly and like to argue.

Re:Why this is important (5, Insightful)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440344)

Why do God and Science have to be mutually exclusive?

Personally, I'm more impressed by a "God" that can design the rules to the universe and start the big bang more than one who just created everything "as is", in motion.

They don't have to be mutually exclusive. It's the nature of, forgive me for sounding cruel, low intelligence people to turn things in to a black and white equation. They also happen to be a vocal bunch in this country, which is unfortunate. I also believe they are the minority, but a very vocal minority.

Re:Why this is important (3, Insightful)

Fished (574624) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440210)

Now, if the ID advocates had their way, we would have just said, "Hey, God makes bees fly. Since I already know the real reason, there's no real reason to keep studying it." In fact, some of them will probably even go so far as to dismiss the findings as false because it conflicts with their notion that God must be responsible. If we listened to them, we wouldn't have possible future scientific and engineering discoveries, discoveries that could possibly lead to even more important work on truly world-changing devices.
Nonsense. This is a caricature of ID perpetuated by those who know nothing about it, haven't bothered to read the central works, etc. An ID advocate would (and no doubt will say), "Cool! We discovered the novel, innovative way that the Designer chose to make Bees fly!" The more religiously minded intelligent design sorts would say, "Ain't God grand?"

The bogus, idiotic, pseudo-scientific types opposing ID would say, "ooh! Here's an interesting finding that I can somehow stretch to attack ID," on the basis of a few off-hand remarks made by a few non-central ID advocates.

The claim that we don't know how bees fly is by no means central to ID. This is just propaganda.

Re:Why this is important (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14440250)

Yeah right. Like any ID advocate has ever set foot inside a lab.

Re:Why this is important (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14440333)

I hope that's humor... Cause it might just look like you are the one who is being close minded on things.

Re:Why this is important (5, Insightful)

vortigern00 (443602) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440262)

OK, I'll bite.

I, myself, as a scientist and an atheist (although I believe the two have nothing to do with each other) have never read the important works of ID.

As an ID supporter, I am led to believe that you are liely an authority on what those important works are, and I ask you to kindly list those which you feel are most important.

I give you my word that I will read them all with a totally open mind.

Re:Why this is important (3, Insightful)

ndansmith (582590) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440340)

Yes this is a common straw man argument used against ID. Perhaps we should look at this way: ID != Supernaturalism. The point of design is that God is so great that he could cause a bee to fly (or any other astounding example from nature) within the natural order, without relying on his supernatural powers. ID proponents are not looking outside of science to explain how the natural world works. What they are doing is questioning how the natural order came to be.

Re:Why this is important (1)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440349)

The claim that we don't know how bees fly is by no means central to ID.
This is just propaganda.


However it is:
1) Funny propaganda
2) Entirely believable propaganda given the public perception of ID believera

Re:Why this is important (5, Insightful)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440214)

Now, if the ID advocates had their way, we would have just said, "Hey, God makes bees fly. Since I already know the real reason, there's no real reason to keep studying it."

Horse-pucky. You're making the same false argument that various religious advocates make when they say "since some Scientists are Atheists, supporting Science is supporting Atheism."

There are some I.D. advocates who don't know the first thing about science. And there are some who, on every other topic except evolution, are indisinguishable from other speakers or scientists.

By and large, "how Bees fly" says nothing about whether it was an evolved behavior or a constructed behavior. It's wrong for a moronic I.D. advocate to argue so, and it's wrong for a /. nutjob to argue that knowing how bees fly refutes I.D.

Re:Why this is important (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440345)

It doesn't in any way refute I.D. as a general theory. It does, however, help refute the claim that I.D. is a scientific theory.

The excuse given for treating I.D. as a scientific theory is that science can't teach us all of the relatively basic things about our world, and thus, must be flawed in concept, so alternatives should be allowed. By eliminating one of the common criticisms of science, hopefully this will help put to bed the question of whether I.D. should be taught in a science classroom.

Note that I wouldn't be averse to public schools teaching a class on the philosophy of science. However, that is a philosophy class, not a science class, and should not be an alternative to an understanding of the sciences. Such a class should be taught like any other philosophy class, not like a religion class. That is, unfortunately, often hard to do when talking about modern religious ideology.

Re:Why this is important (4, Funny)

dc29A (636871) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440216)

Hey, God makes bees fly.

- Flying Spaghetti Monster you insensitive clod!

Re:Why this is important (1)

ironwill96 (736883) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440248)

I'll probably get flamed a lot knowing the general liberal slant of /. but let me at least try to present a valid response to some of your points.

First of all, i'd like to make it clear that believing in Intelligent Design or in Creationism does NOT in any way prohibit ideas such as evolution, understanding how bees fly, or any other scientific fact that you want to explain. I don't understand why people constantly claim that creationism and science seem to be unable to co-exist! I believe God created the world, but what if he did so through the means of evolution and when "night became day" the big bang occurred? Does it really matter if I interpret the Genesis story to be a bit less literal than some ID proponents might claim?

Also, the thing about say studying stem cells has NOTHING to do with Intelligent Design. It has to do with something called medical ethics - and something called the Hippocratic oath. The issue at stake is when is a person a person by legal rights - does using stem cells from aborted fetuses or harvesting them constitute abuse of someone's human rights or are they not really a human yet because they haven't been born?

Basically my point is before making blanket inflammatory statements about Intelligent Design, Creationism, and their detrimental effect on science, at least stop to think that many of us love Science and desire for them to co-exist. Even some of the most scientifically minded individuals such as C.S. Lewis were turned to God in their pursuit of "evidence" to disprove his existence.

Re:Why this is important (1)

JourneymanMereel (191114) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440281)

Now, if the ID advocates had their way, we would have just said, "Hey, God makes bees fly. Since I already know the real reason, there's no real reason to keep studying it."
/me puts on a flame retardant suit

I firmly believe that God did, in fact, make bees fly. He gave them wings and the ability to use them. He did the same for other flying insects. He also gave wings of a different type to birds... including special ones for the hummingbird. That doesn't in any way shape or form mean that we can't figure out how they do it. If we didn't study some form of defying gravity, we wouldn't have airplanes. I don't know about you, but when I'm going from Michigan to Florida, I sure appreaciate those steal birds.

Heck, some guy from GM made my Jimmy stop when I press the brake pedal but that doesn't mean that I don't appreciate the mechanic that studied how it was done and what to do to fix it in the event that it doesn't work as intended!

Re:Why this is important (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14440297)

I think many people assume that since the ID model includes an original designer that it means we no longer need to understand how how something works-->God made it, I don't have to know how it works, it just does.

ID would say, however, that our world can only be fully understood if we include an original designer instead of random chance. It then goes on to ask the question, "how does it work?".

ID'ers would be every bit as concerned with how things fit together and how things work as someone with an evolutionary model.

Re:Why this is important (5, Insightful)

TheFlyingGoat (161967) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440328)

As someone who believes in creationism and hard science, I think both sides of the argument are taking the issue as black and white instead of realizing if a higher being really did create everything, then there's far more gray area involved.

The people on the science side should continue researching as they have in the past. They're doing great research that can teach us about a number of things, and that research can be used in future technology. Those that don't believe there's a God can continue not believing it.

The people on the ID side should realize that if God did create everything, he's probably smart enough to design things in such a way that it can be explained through science as well. My personal belief is that everything, with the exclusion of miracles, can be explained through science, and that God did this so that people really can have a choice between believing and not believing. In any case, it shouldn't be an issue since the Bible doesn't teach us to argue stuff like this, it teaches us moral lessons like loving one another. People like Pat Robertson give Christianity a bad name. The same is true for terrorists and extremists (the Iranian leader) with Islam.

As for teaching it in school, I don't believe it's right to do so. ID should be taught in Sunday School as it always has been. Christians should try using science to explain their faith, not try to argue that they're opposites. There have been many great scientists in history that have also been religious. They don't have to be mutually exclusive.

In the end it's up to each person to decide what they want to believe, but trying to force faith-based arguments into the classroom is the same as trying to force evolution into church.

Re:Why this is important (1)

jotok (728554) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440329)

Now, if the ID advocates had their way, we would have just said, "Hey, God makes bees fly. Since I already know the real reason, there's no real reason to keep studying it."

Maybe that describes some proponents. But consider this. As a religious person I take ID as an article of faith ("God made the bees and endowed them with the ability to fly.") As a scientist I also believe that every observable phenomenon probably behaves according to certain rules ("The bees fly according to some principle X.") One proposition has nothing to do with the other.

What never ceases to amaze me is that supposedly rational people will make the same mistakes of which they accuse the proponents of ID. While ID errs in claiming it is a science, scientists often elevate empiricism to the place formerly occupied by the Almighty, any time they suggest that anything which cannot be observed and tested must necessarily not exist (hint: empiricism cannot be proven true by empirical methods).

The current push for ID is a power grab. The backlash is another power grab. The problem we're facing with these issues is not with differing (not even "competing") ideas about how the world works, but rather that people with different ideas will start culture wars and attempt to grab power.

Re:Why this is important (1)

1800maxim (702377) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440347)

Any lack of desire to study things has nothing to do with belief in ID/creationism/existence or absense of any supernatural being.

Personally, I don't know why belief in ID has to automatically exclude all science, research and scientific method. ID, in theory, is separate from religion, and does not advocate the existence of one being or another.

Just my opinion, of course :)

No one can explain the spitty-slurpy! (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440130)

Possessed Demon: I will now debunk the moonwalk. Toe, slide, toe, slide...easy...

Earl: God made upside-down margaritas, and keg headstands too.
Frat boy: Thank you God!

Ahhhh, UCB, how I miss thee.

Re:No one can explain the spitty-slurpy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14440215)

Time to fly out the window :)

Re:No one can explain the spitty-slurpy! (1)

shotgunefx (239460) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440226)

Spitty Slurpy!

Glad to know I'm not the only one who misses it.

Re:No one can explain the spitty-slurpy! (1)

Monkelectric (546685) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440289)

I thought I was the only one who absolutely worshiped that show. I wish we could get seasons 2 and 3 on DVD ... and seasons 4 and 5 in production :(

I think they use their wings (1)

AssTard (684911) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440137)

I dunno I'm no frikken botanist, but I bet it's there wings, what?

hah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14440139)

"'People in the ID community have said that we don't even know how bees fly ... We were finally able to put this one to rest. We do have the tools to understand bee flight and we can use science to understand the world around us.'"

pwned! *ahem*

Oh boy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14440140)

I can't wait for the calm, stirring, and mentally stimulating debate this is sure to bring to us. Thank you Intelligent designer for giving us this gift!

ID is crap. (1, Flamebait)

grub (11606) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440141)



putting one more nail in the coffin of Intelligent Design

To any rational person, ID's coffin is more nail than wood. Of course the creationists will huff and puff as they grasp to whatever straws they have left.

For those who are interested in how Creationists sleazed ID into school and government I heartily recommend Creationism's Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design [amazon.ca] . Fascinating and scary book. A 'primer' from the authors can be found here [infidels.org] .

Re:ID is crap. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14440288)

+5, Informative Damn crackhead mods. Disagree and it's flamebait or a troll.

Yeah! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14440146)

Yeah!

Bees (0)

nother_nix_hacker (596961) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440155)

Great, now can they stop them chasing my hysterical girlfriend and her ice cream?

The Infinite Coffin (2, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440156)

Researchers at CalTech have discovered how bees fly, putting one more nail in the coffin of Intelligent Design.
Unfortunately, this coffin is infinitely long. I've tried to argue with ID-ists and there's no hope. Why is it infinitely long? Because there is an infinite wealth of knowledge out there and we can never know all of it. As long as there is something we do not know, there will be room for a god or a designer.

To quote someone I admire:
"I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me."
~Isaac Newton (1642-1727)
In Brewster, Memoirs of Newton (1855), vol II, Ch. 27

Re:The Infinite Coffin (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440217)

There is only an infinite amount of knowledge if we live in an infinite universe. That has been neither proven nor disproven. Even Einstein wasn't sure:

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
---Albert Einstein

Re:The Infinite Coffin (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440324)

Allow me to take a stab at this using a very dirty ugly proof.

Proof by Contradiction

1) Assume there is a finite amount of information.

2) Assume there is information regarding how something is stored (i.e. it's physical location whether it be electrical signals in my brain or bits on a hard disk including the time it was acquired).

3) It follows from 1 & 2 that any new information about the finite information would provide information regarding itself (meta-information). This would then require us to store more knowledge regarding the newly acquired knowledge, which we would need to know about, etc.

*tips his hat to Gödel, Escher, Bach*

Re:The Infinite Coffin (1)

Skowronek (795408) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440325)

The important thing here is not to know everything about the whole Universe. It is enough to know everything about the Universe the ID proponents are aware of.

Modding options (1, Insightful)

bobcat7677 (561727) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440157)

Every once in a while I see an article that needs modding on the top level. Obviously there are all the dups that could be modded "redundant". This particular article should have a "flamebait" option.

Article contents (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14440163)


Sara Goudarzi
Special to LiveScience
LiveScience.com Tue Jan 10, 9:00 AM ET

Proponents of intelligent design, which holds that a supreme being rather than evolution is responsible for life's complexities, have long criticized science for not being able to explain some natural phenomena, such as how bees fly.
ADVERTISEMENT

Now scientists have put this perplexing mystery to rest.

Using a combination of high-speed digital photography and a robotic model of a bee wing, the researchers figured out the flight mechanisms of honeybees.

"For many years, people tried to understand animal flight using the aerodynamics of airplanes and helicopters," said Douglas Altshuler, a researcher at California Institute of Technology. "In the last 10 years, flight biologists have gained a remarkable amount of understanding by shifting to experiments with robots that are capable of flapping wings with the same freedom as the animals."

Exotic flight

The scientists analyzed pictures from hours of filming bees and mimicked the movements using robots with sensors for measuring forces.

Turns out bee flight mechanisms are more exotic than thought.

"The honeybees have a rapid wing beat," Altshuler told LiveScience. "In contrast to the fruit fly that has one eightieth the body size and flaps its wings 200 times each second, the much larger honeybee flaps its wings 230 times every second."

This was a surprise because as insects get smaller, their aerodynamic performance decreases and to compensate, they tend to flap their wings faster.

"And this was just for hovering," Altshuler said of the bees. "They also have to transfer pollen and nectar and carry large loads, sometimes as much as their body mass, for the rest of the colony."

Try this!

In order to understand how bees carry such heavy cargo, the researchers forced the bees to fly in a small chamber filled with a mixture of oxygen and helium that is less dense than regular air. This required the bees to work harder to stay aloft and gave the scientists a chance to observe their compensation mechanisms for the additional toil.

The bees made up for the extra work by stretching out their wing stroke amplitude but did not adjust wingbeat frequency.

"They work like racing cars," Altshuler said. "Racing cars can reach higher revolutions per minute but enable the driver to go faster in higher gear. But like honeybees, they are inefficient."

The work, supervised by Caltech's Michael Dickinson, was reported last month in the Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences.

The scientists said the findings could lead to a model for designing aircraft that could hover in place and carry loads for many purposes such as diaster surveillance after earthquakes and tsunamis. They are also pleased that a simple thing like bee flight can no longer be used as an example of science failing to explain a common phenomenon.

Proponents of intelligent design, or ID, have tried in recent years to promote the idea of a supreme being by discounting science because it can't explain everything in nature.

"People in the ID community have said that we don't even know how bees fly," Altshuler said. "We were finally able to put this one to rest. We do have the tools to understand bee flight and we can use science to understand the world around us."

        * Flight of the Fly
        * Dancing Bees Speak in Code
        * The First Biplanes Were Dinosaurs
        * Secret of Bird Flight Revealed

Visit LiveScience.com for more daily news, views and scientific inquiry with an original, provocative point of view. LiveScience reports amazing, real world breakthroughs, made simple and stimulating for people on the go. Check out our collection of Amazing Images, Image Galleries, Interactive Features, Trivia and more. Get cool gadgets at the new LiveScience Store, sign up for our free daily email newsletter and check out our RSS feeds today!

too easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14440164)

Who/what do you think designed the bee?

Scientists Figure Out How Bees Fly (5, Funny)

Life700MB (930032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440167)


Scientists Figure Out How Bees Fly

Well, doh, by moving their little wings up and down quickly?


--
Superb hosting [tinyurl.com] 20GB Storage, 1_TB_ bandwidth, ssh, $7.95

saw this on TV (3, Insightful)

Douglas Simmons (628988) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440169)

This will be good news for the scientists who are trying to make robot insects but just cannot nail it. But is there anything to suggest that this may be a more efficent form of flight than what methods we already have?

And by the way, is it one of /.'s top priorities to attack religion every chance it gets? Can't we stick to republicans and Microsoft, or whatever Netcraft has confirmed to be dying?

Re:saw this on TV (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440287)

And by the way, is it one of /.'s top priorities to attack religion every chance it gets?

ID isn't a religion, last I checked. Further, I don't believe any major religiouns associate themselves with it.

It's a silly little idea being pushed by a vocal minority of nut jobs in the US. It may have roots in religion, but that's about it.

While we are on the subject, religions are pretty silly to begin with. How many do we have, in the US alone? How many are sure their flock is going to be saved while everyone else is going to burn? Further, do you agree with everything your religion your teaches you? Does that make you a sinner if you don't?

The entire concept of religion really starts seeming silly when you sit down and think about it.

So... if science couldn't explain it... (1)

Catbeller (118204) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440177)

What are the Creationist proposing? MAGIC holds the bees in the air? I mean, call it by the proper name. Magic, or Godpower, same thing...

Try what? (5, Funny)

tehshen (794722) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440181)

From TFA:

Try this!

In order to understand how bees carry such heavy cargo, the researchers forced the bees to fly in a small chamber filled with a mixture of oxygen and helium that is less dense than regular air.


"Try this!" I should try what? I am not sure about these researchers, but I do not yet have wings and an air tank. Maybe they're overestimating the Try-This-At-Home market a little.

This has nothing to do with ID (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14440186)

ID people: We must be right because you can't explain everything.
Evolution People: Wait a sec, we figured something else out, you are now wrong.
Is it just me or does this have nothing to do with any scientific arguement?

Bee's and ID (1)

sheared (21404) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440192)

putting one more nail in the coffin of Intelligent Design.

How does figuring something out put a nail in the coffin of Intelligent Design? If figuring it out is all it takes, didn't that happen the first time man figured anything out?

Talk about stupid cause-effect relationships....

God kn0ws a11 (1)

XflopThreeShitty (943599) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440195)

just b3caus3 we n0w h0w b33z fli dusnt meen God dusnt 3x!st!!! h0w stuuup!1!!

Now: (1)

Tim_TDS (944863) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440202)

Now only if scientists could get the bees to stop stinging me...time for a mass neutering of the stinger!

Nail in the coffin? (3, Interesting)

dslauson (914147) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440207)

I'm not sure you can call this a "nail in the coffin" of ID when there's still such a high percentage of our population that believes in it, you know? The catch-22 of ID is that it can't really be disproved with logic or science. You can shoot down their arguements when they try to put it in terms of biology like this, but I think we all know that this is not going to convince any "true believers" out there.

Re:Nail in the coffin? (1)

Enigma_Man (756516) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440354)

It can be disproved with logic, because it is illogical that something that by it's very definition cannot be learned of (god) would exist. The flying spaghetti monster, the easter bunny, and santa claus have just as much credibility as the christian god, or any god.

-Jesse

(Not to be outdone) (2)

vsimon (638650) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440212)

This just in..."ID Scientists Figure Out How Pigs Fly"

Flying Pigs.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14440331)

Pigs do fly...

Blue and White helo's :P the Intelligent Designer has given these particular beasts search lights, radios and FLIR's.

Now if you don't believe in ID try having the average scientist design a flying pig...er helo :P

So....? (1)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440213)

How does this put a nail in the coffin of ID? Could the ID's just simply say that we don't even know how 'x' works and their claim still hold true? But can't we all just play nice? Can't we just let people who believe in ID to do so, and those who don't stop whining that somebody could ever believe in that? I mean, I would think that our /. crowd would be the epitome of open mindedness and understanding.

Ha ha ha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14440326)

"I would think that our /. crowd would be the epitome of open mindedness and understanding."

Too rich! :-D

I must be slow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14440222)

Just because we understand how a bee flies, why does this mean there is no designer? I know how a computer works, so does that mean it must have evolved? I think the crux of the ID argument is that life is extremely complicated - as is demonstrated by how many things we don't understand ... and it is very hard to believe that all that intricate complication simply "happened" due to random chance.

Re:I must be slow (1)

alexborges (313924) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440271)

Who said ANYTHING about random?

You need to go back and read your darwin laws toddler... go on now...

Why bees fly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14440230)

Uhh... they have wings, they flap them, they fly. Duh?

First the Chewbaca Defense, now the Bee Defense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14440233)

Uh, so you take one statement, show it false, and that now somehow invalidates an entire set of theories? Hell, this is no better than the lame first grade "there is evil in the world so God must not exist" arguments. Please people, don't counter stupid statements by coming up with stupid reasons why the stupid statements are wrong (and don't call me on doing exactly the same thing ;)

Ignorance on the side of ID (1)

genrader (563784) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440236)

If Intelligent Design proponents such as myself would actually read the Bible, there is no reason to say "LOL WELL GOD DID IT." Of course God did it. But wouldn't you like to know why, or how? The Bible also says to be ready to give every man an answer that has questions, and to prove that the Bible is true. Lastly, I, as an avid creationist, have never thought of not saying "LOL WELL GOD DID IT" in regards to bees flying. Of course there is an explanation. I, for one, have never read from a real credible creation-advocating science research center that there is no explanation to why bees fly other than "God made it that way."

Problem for ID? (1)

RoadDogTy (921208) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440237)

Saying that ID hinges on occurences that can't be explained by science (like bees flying) is basically just setting up a straw man, there may be some ID'ers that hold to that but its definetely not essential for some sort of Intelligent Designer to exist. A truly Intelligent Designer would probably be more apt to design a world where everything is discoverable and explainable by rational thinkers practicing good science.

"Putting a nail in the coffin" (odd expression given that I don't think ID is really "in the coffin" so to speak, it seems a bit premature) IMHO would consistute proving some of the Irreducibly Complex Systems that ID'ers have raised to be reducible. After all, Darwin himself listed Irreducibly Complex Systems as a means of proving/disproving his theory.

This has nothing to do with ID (5, Insightful)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440239)

News Bulletin: Scientists have now accurately determined the mass of Pluto, further proving that Pluto is not actually a God, but a planet. This adds one more nail into the coffin of Greek and Roman mythology.

WTF??? Why did the article even see a need to comment about the impact on this psuedoscience theory. The researchers looking into bee flight weren't doing it to disprove ID. It sounds like some pissed-off researcher, or perhaps a news reporter with an agenda, decided to throw in an off-hand comment about ID. It cheapens the research.

Why did the bee cross the road? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14440243)

Because that's where the stupidest write-up was.

Who cares about ID? (1)

aluminum_geek (756252) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440244)

When scientific papers are being written about refuting ID, that bothers me immensely. Should we disscuss the fact that it does refure ID? Of course. But scientific papers should be discussing the research they did, specifically about the flight of bees. The purpose of these papers is exposition about their research. Within journals there are places to discuss the merits of theories and the implications of research.

I don't like the idea that the prime goal of the researchers was to refute ID. I like my scientists to be impartial. Research should be done to figure out how something happens, and let whatever the implications of that research be what they may be. If you can't seperate your feelings from your research, how can we possibly trust your research as being scientific?

I was interested in the fact that we figured out how bees fly, because I think it's interesting, not because I want to refute ID. I'm sure we could find a link to this that ISN'T about fighting intelligent design.

Re:Who cares about ID? (1)

dwayner79 (880742) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440292)

that is because these scientist's thesis always end in " ... which refutes ID."

"To prove the earth is round... which refutes ID."
"To prove the sky is blue... which refutes ID."
"To prove my crap is brown... which refutes ID."

It is a very un-scientific obsession.

intelligent design - in the eye of the beholder? (1)

scottripley (301548) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440246)

(while coming solidly from the perspective that evolution is a sound scientific theory... and not necessarily a proponent of ID...)

if someone were to argue that DNA is a construct (that evolves) that is the product of intelligent design... is a possibility... no?

(i.e. science is striving to understand life processes... suppose one day we can assemble DNA and a cell from scratch and zap it into being... would that not provide evidence that intelligent design is a plausible theory?)

Obligatory... (1)

Cereal Box (4286) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440251)

Still no cure for cancer yet.

Nothing to do with ID... (1)

dwayner79 (880742) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440252)

OK... so there are people who site science as not being able to explain everything. Duh. That is obvious. We are still learning. The fact is ID is NOT BASED ON THIS.

Whether science is able to understand how everything in the universe works TODAY, they have still not undermined true ID theory. They have only explained how $diety did what He/She/It did. Origins of the earth have nothing to do with figuring out how Bees fly, but of course to those wanting everything to be a fight against Christianity, I suppose it does.

Embarrasing (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440257)

Jeez. What the hell is a science article doing crowing about "putting another nail in the coffin of ID"? Do articles about space crow about putting another coffin in the nail of the flat earth theory? Is it too much to ask that we please just show up school boards when necessary, but otherwise just ignore the ID loonies?

In any case, the ID folks don't typically use the "science can't explain everything" as their strongest argument. In fact, the bee thing gives them MORE ammunition. "The bees flight dynamics are so complex that only a creator could have designed it."

I understand the defensive impulse since ID has been coming out of the woodwork a lot lately, but sheesh. Stuff like this does NOT fight against them, it plays into their hands by legitimizing them as an "outlaw" theory. The best way to fight them is to not give them any more press than necessary.

Re:Embarrasing (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440279)

putting another coffin in the nail of the flat earth theory

LOL. Oops...

Re:Embarrasing (1)

dwayner79 (880742) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440336)

"The bees flight dynamics are so complex that only a creator could have designed it."


Exactly.

Just what Taco was complaining about (1)

mi (197448) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440258)

The story has such an introduction, that instead of discussing the scientific breakthrough, most of the posts are going to be on Intelligent Design...

Were the scientists really concerning themselves with spiting the ID advocates?.. If so, ID may be good for something afterall, but I strongly doubt it...

Old news (5, Informative)

AC-x (735297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440265)

People in the ID community have said that we don't even know how bees fly ... We were finally able to put this one to rest.

"Finally able to put this one to rest"????

This taken from 1993!


Author: underdog
Text: Can you explain "how" it is that a bee is capable of flying?

Response #: 1 of 1
Author: ProfBill
Text: This is just an old engineering myth. There really is not a
problem understanding how bees fly. The muscles that move the wings down are
powerful enough to generated enough force to lift the weight of the bee. On
the downstroke, the wings are "feathered", that is turned vertically so that
moving up they do not generated a force down to undo all the work of lifting
the bee in the first place. Much like a rower turns the oar parallel to the
water on the return stroke, but perpendicular to the water to generate force
on the power stroke. It all adds up just fine. The real unanswered question
is how the bee's nervous system coordinates all this, especially the bit
about compensating for wind, turning, etc.


As far as I can see the only difference with this article is they've got a bit more detail on it, talk about sensationalist headlines!

Bizarro-world logic (4, Funny)

Peter Trepan (572016) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440273)

Creationists: We don't know how bees fly, therefore Jehovah created them in their present state.

Scientists: Oh yes, we do. Therefore, they evolved from primitive replicators.

Me: (Smacks them both with a copy of The Baloney Detection Kit)

intelligent design... (5, Funny)

portwojc (201398) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440278)


"When you do things right, people won't be sure if you did anything at all."

-Futurama

Can't We All Just Get Along? (5, Insightful)

writerjosh (862522) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440285)

I've always found it perplexing that the ID crowd and the Evolutionist crowd can never seem to get along. It seems to me that there is no real conflict of interest: is it not possible that God created evolution? That is to say, yes, there could have been an initial creator being, but he was smart enough to create a self-automating system of creation. He/she got the ball rolling, then just let it go. That seems to satisfy both camps if they just let it.

The ID crowd shouldn't be so naïve as to say that God is up there controlling the every movements of a bee's wings, but the Evolutionist crowd should be more open to the possibility that all things in the known world had a start initiated by intelligence rather than "it just magically happened." That's just as ingenuous as saying God just magically controls everything.

what nail? (1)

bLindmOnkey (744643) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440295)

erm. I don't see how this puts the "final nail in the coffin" for ID. We discovered how bees fly-not how they weren't created by some force other than evolution. whoopdeedoo.

OK, (1, Offtopic)

venicebeach (702856) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440298)

Fine, you win on this one, science.

But I'd like to see them figure out how the Flying Spaghetti Monster flies.

Reports one scientist... (1)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440300)

Reports one scientist...

"It was so obvious all along! They flap their wings!"

Seriously (1, Insightful)

INester (944882) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440305)

"People in the ID community have said that we don't even know how bees fly," Altshuler said. They have? I always thought ID folks were more concerned with the development of the wing (which evolution really cannot explain) then with "how something flies" But you tech heads run amuck and bash the "rational thinking is not possibly capable of a 100% explanation in this Sensory driven and corruptable world" folks like me

Re:Seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14440343)

Evolution is a process, not an explanation.

Just because we have not fully documented the development of the wing does not suddenly invalidate the theory of evolution or marvelously endorse ID as the explanation.

This is like saying the laws of physics did not exist until we documented and understood what they were.

Double stupidity (3, Insightful)

LordOfYourPants (145342) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440306)

1) The article is stupid for mentioning anti-intelligent design stuff over and over. Tell us about the discovery in the article and save the anti-religious commentary for people that get off on arguing this shit over and over elsewhere.

2) Intelligent design people are stupid for ever making the argument that since scientists can't understand natural/common phenomenon X that God designed the world. Are there really people out there saying this about the bees? I haven't gone out looking for it myself and consider myself lucky I don't have friends that would make this argument in front of me.

I don't think there's much more to say. Just lots of stupidity to go around on *both* sides.

The Original Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14440307)

The original story, for those who haven't heard it, has nothing to do with ID.
It is said, that by all the laws of aerodynamics, bumblebees shouldn't be able to fly. They should, rather, plummet. Instead, because the bumblebee is unaware of this, it continues to fly. Sounds a lot like cartoon physics (An object will remain at rest until made aware of its situation), but i have no doubt that a few coders have discovered this fact. It works until you are made aware that it shouldn't.

Glad that is cleared up... (1)

UOZaphod (31190) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440311)

Good to know that the only leg ID had to stand on was the lack of knowledge scientists had about the way bees fly.

Step 1) Discover the way bees fly.
Step 2)
Step 3) ID is dead

Well duh! (1)

adolfojp (730818) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440312)

Bees fly by flapping their wings!
Next question please, and where is my grant money?

Cheers,
Adolfo

Last nail in the coffin, sorry but no (1)

raider_red (156642) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440313)

ID is an ideological position, and has nothing to do with scientific evidence. The people who advocate it will continue to advocate it, regardless of mountains of evidence.

By the same token, those who oppose it have also taken an ideological position, and will probably oppose it even if a Made By God sign miraculously appears in the sky in full view of everyone.

Let's treat this for what it is: a cool scientific discovery with some really fantastic applications.

New aircraft? (1)

bcattwoo (737354) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440321)

The scientists said the findings could lead to a model for designing aircraft that could hover in place and carry loads for many purposes such as diaster surveillance after earthquakes and tsunamis.

Imagine that, an aircraft that could hover in place? We could come up with some crazy name for them like autogyros or even helicopters. In addition to helping people, they may even have applications in killing them as well!

decidedly unscientific (1)

mtrupe (156137) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440327)

To openly declare that intelligent design is not even possible is decidely unscientific. That is all.

Re:decidedly unscientific (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14440358)

How so?

Talk about stirring the pot.... (1)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440332)

We were talking about how bees fly back when I was in college (clap-fling motion or whatever). Pulling intellegent design into this one seems just a bit awkward, almost as if you are trying to steer the commentary in that direction.

weak....

Nails in the coffin? (1)

d3cr33p (629445) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440334)

Researchers at CalTech have discovered how bees fly, putting one more nail in the coffin of Intelligent Design.

I don't follow the logic. This is like figuring out how a car engine works and coming to the conclusion that there are no engineers.

Altshuler said. (1)

Andy Gardner (850877) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440353)

"They work like racing cars," Altshuler said. "Racing cars can reach higher revolutions per minute but enable the driver to go faster in higher gear. But like honeybees, they are inefficient."

Ohhhhhh, now I understand....

Can someone explain this? (1)

complexmath (449417) | more than 8 years ago | (#14440362)

In order to understand how bees carry such heavy cargo, the researchers forced the bees to fly in a small chamber filled with a mixture of oxygen and helium that is less dense than regular air. This required the bees to work harder to stay aloft and gave the scientists a chance to observe their compensation mechanisms for the additional toil.

The bees made up for the extra work by stretching out their wing stroke amplitude but did not adjust wingbeat frequency.


Okay, so as load increases bees beat their wings harder, not faster. Seems reasonable. They're probably built in such a way as either to optimize efficiency at a specific frequency or perhaps they simply can't beat their wings at any other frequency for some structural reason.

"They work like racing cars," Altshuler said. "Racing cars can reach higher revolutions per minute but enable the driver to go faster in higher gear. But like honeybees, they are inefficient."

So why is this design inefficient? The bee may perform more work per wing beat, but shouldn't it perform the same work per unit of time? And what about the comparison to car transmissions? If higher RPMs were more efficient wouldn't cars be designed differently? Also, if this design is inefficient, why would we model hovering planes after it? We've already got helicopters, after all.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...