Mind-Control Wasp

The second in the Amazing Creation series.


Image is from this site.

The Emerald Cockroach Wasp, Ampulex compressa, breeds using the American cockroach as a host. The wasp first stings once to mildly paralyze the cockroach’s front legs. Then the it delivers a sting right into a specific part of the roach brain that controls the escape reflex.

This results in the cockroach not even trying to escape. The wasp then leads the roach along to the wasp’s den, by pulling on the roach’s antennae like leashes or reins on a horse. The roach meekly obeys, and once inside the den the wasp lays its egg on the roach.

The cockroach then just sits around as the wasp fills in the hole, the wasp’s larva hatches, and the roach gets eaten from the inside. The wasp larva eats the cockroach’s internal organs in an order which keeps the roach alive for as long as possible.

Wow! Freaky man! But since it’s happening to those be-hated roachies, well, serves ’em right!

Now on to the dilemma for evolutionary theory: HOW did such a finely-tuned wasp evolve by purely random chance???!! Key complex issues include:

The stinging direct  into the correct region of the brain – How did the wasp evolve to find the right spot? What’s more, it had to evolve it after and reliant upon the paralyze-sting behaviour.

The chemical cocktail that makes the roach compliant – Instead of the usual lethal or 100%-paralyzing sting. See next point.

The behavior of leading the roach by the antennae – The wasp is too small to pull the roach to its den. If the wasp didn’t evolve BOTH the mind-control sting chemicals AND the antennae pulling together, then the roach would just lay dead weight on the open ground for other predators to scavenge.

And add in the behaviour of the wasp larva, eating the roach’s organs from least vital to roach life to most vital. Perhaps not as important as the other factors, but it just adds to the complexity.

So how did the mind-flayer wasp evolve, eh? Each characteristic bit by bit, individually (they’d be useless on their own)? How many wasps had to evolve these traits at around the same time for it to be a meaningful addition to the species-wide gene pool?

Do Evolutionists want to really try and solve these questions (and questions on other life forms I will raise in future posts) instead of merely speculating? Because if they did so satisfactorily, I’d be much impressed and consider evolution more seriously.

And if you want to go throw theological connotations into the mix with the old “Oh sure it seems intelligently designed, but what kind of cruel, sadistic intelligence would design such a sick parasite?”, then let me respond with said theology:

The Creator’s original design was exquisitely perfect, and very much nice and kind. Sin (which we Homo self-servingus introduced, didn’t you know) ruined the carefully laid out plans, probably introduced random mutation which is mostly bad rather than good, and brought suffering into the world.

Besides, Intelligent Design does not state that the intelligence is benevolent, loving or kind – just that evidence points to the involvement of intelligence in the intricate design of life. (Christianity is what states that the Creator is love, duh).

20 Responses to “Mind-Control Wasp”

  1. Neil Says:

    Where’s the evidence for Christianity ?

  2. wits0 Says:

    “The Creator’s original design was exquisitely perfect, and very much nice and kind. ”

    1. That seems to say that the Creator stands apart from His Creation. 😉 2. The Creation is not perfect, were that so, why is this existence too often enough described as “a vale of tears”, by many erudite thinkers?

    I should think that if we side with a Concept that Life and Nature is neither perfect nor evil, we stand on more solid foundation in terms of evolving perception. If we can view ourselves as Co-creators of this Universe forged from a Common Mental Realm – yes, one that symbolically depicts all sentient beings each contributing according to its own designated capacity, then it sounds more plausible. This also place the onus of self-responsibility squarely back on us to strive to make this phase and place of existence a better one.

    A simplistic single Entity Creationist Concept will always be severely challenged. And then there are different versions of that too, of differing grades, to make it so disposed to be.

  3. Scott Thong Says:

    That seems to say that the Creator stands apart from His Creation.

    That would be the Islamic concept of Allah then.

    The Creation is not perfect, were that so, why is this existence too often enough described as “a vale of tears”, by many erudite thinkers?

    Well, as I’ve said before and as is the basis of Christian theology, God created things perfect, and man’s rebellion marred it.


    It is my opinion that the plausibility or preferability of any particular belief or philosophy is always subjective.

  4. Scott Thong Says:

    Neil, how’s the following as evidence:

    Archaeological evidence confirming Biblical accounts:




    Internal consistency and textual accuracy of the Bible, from the original manuscripts all those 2000 years ago up till now:






    Incredible ‘coincidences’ in the Bible – prophecies made in proven ancient texts that are fulfilled centuries later:





    Related to the above, the most number of specific prophecies fulfilled were by Jesus Christ; at least 50 prophecies that were made centuries before His lifetime on earth. And as my post on Isaiah in the Dead Sea Scrolls shows, many of those prophecies are proven to have been written down at least 100 years before Jesus’ life:




    The impossibility of evolution’s mechanisms, versus the intuitiveness of an intelligent Creator:



    That enough for ya?

    Now are there any atheists willing to give some examples of evidence for God not existing?

  5. Neil Says:

    Mmm, well, there’s plenty of evidence there about how seriously people take this book called the bible.
    however there’s no proof of anything other than ordinary people’s devotion to it.
    Certainly no proof of god.

    As for evidence of god not existing, there are many accepted Scientific theories like gravity, evolution etc, but the most compelling thing for me, is how impossible religious people find it to truly contemplate oblivion.
    Certain people simply ‘need’ god, and find him wherever they look.

    Science has chased god from the heavens, how long before it finds him out from where he’s currently hiding ?

  6. wits0 Says:

    Scott: “Now are there any atheists willing to give some examples of evidence for God not existing?”

    Hehehe, Scott, I though this line of questioning/rebuttal has been mentioned as something like circular logic and ascribed by FFI(Faith Freedom International) as something islamists commonly use.

    Neil, it is said often enough by such Personalities like Seth(of Jane Roberts)that the greater Reality is Internal while the lesser is External. We are disposed to view things the other way around. Abstract idea are difficult to grasp unless we can kinda meditate/contemplate on ’em ideas.

    Science is too crude with the instrument that can directly probe beyond the Physical. The discovery of sub-atomic particles were achieved by experimental inferences. If some particles can zip in and out of existence, this suggests something very significant.

  7. Scott Thong Says:

    No proof, Neil? Did you even pause to read any of the links I provided 3 comments above, or did you just come here to spam people with your preformed conclusions?

    (Spam = post and post without ever taking into account any feedback)

    Science has chased god from the heavens

    Is that so? Then why is it that many physicists who study the heavens – space and the universe – are also believers in a supreme intelligence that put everything so perfectly in place?

    I’ve collected a whole basketful of quotes, just for you, at https://scottthong.wordpress.com/2007/12/04/physicists-believe-in-god-or-at-least-a-creator-or-designer-a-collection-of-quotes/

    “If we need an atheist for a debate, I go to the philosophy department. The physics department isn’t much use.” – Robert Griffiths, physicist and winner of the Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics

    Now, I’m no astrophysics genius. I can’t even wrap my mind around how Enstein’s relativistic gravity caused by the bending of space-time works, I have to stick with Newton’s gravty as a force.

    But all these people I quoted above study science at the very highest echelons of understanding, of logic, of scientific experimentation.

    They are smarter than me. They know whether something is possible or impossible, even on a quantum physics level where reality gets all screwy. So I trust that they know what they’re talking about.

    And they say: “Based on the empirical evidence, to not have a God who created our universe is just impossible.”

  8. Scott Thong Says:

    Wits0, the logical difficulty in proving that something DOES NOT EXIST is extremely vexing.

    For example, how can you prove that pink unicorns DO NOT EXIST in the whole world? You would have to systematically search the whole world, every nook and cranny, and also ensure that the pink unicorns did not move to a spot you already looked over after you left.

    Likewise, to prove that God DOES NOT EXIST, one would have to search everywhere in time and space – for something that is immaterial.

    The burden of proof is thus on the atheist to prove that God does not exist.

    (If the atheist objects that it is the burden of proof of the believer to prove that God does exist, my response is that I am an a-atheist. I do not believe that atheism is true, i.e. I do not believe that God does not exist.

    Therefore, the burden of proof once again returns to the atheist to prove to me, the a-atheist, that God does no exist.

  9. wits0 Says:

    Scott: “The burden of proof is thus on the atheist to prove that God does not exist.”

    People can argue about this till the cows come home but either way it is argue, the fact remain that even the Buddha never acknowledged it either way. Was Buddha ignorant?!

    My personal take is that that the Universe is of Mental Construct and Mind creates Matter, not the other way around. The efficacy of a Belief System lay in its Moral Core, its harmlessness and humanitarian considerations. One can also say that Jesus was perfectly correct to say, “By their fruits shall ye judge them.”

    In your Book of John, there’s this thing about, “…In the beginning was the Word…etc”. What’s this thingy, “Word”? Then only “God” was mentioned afterwards. Rather intriguing.

  10. Scott Thong Says:

    Funny you should mention that. A commentor emailed me to tell me about Jehovah’s Witnesses, so I researched a bit into their version of the Bible (New World Translation).

    I shall put it to use here:

    John 1:1

    Greek transliteration:
    en arche en ho logos, kai ho logos en pros ton theon, kai theos en ho logos

    Literal English:
    in beginning (or “original”) was the word (or “saying”), and the word (or “saying”) was with the god, and god was the word

    The ‘Word’ is identified as Jesus, as clarified by John 1:14 – The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

    From the standpoint of Christian theology, Jesus is God’s Word just as the Bible is, because both are forms of how YHWH’s plan for humanity is revealed to us.

    Since YHWH (the proper name for the God of Judaism and Christianity) is invisible and immaterial, the only way He can communicate with us is through manifestations of His power – such as by speaking to us (literally with sound to our ears or not).

    As Jesus (God the Son) was perfectly in tune with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit, everything He said and did was a reflection of YHWH’s will and personality.

    Ergo, Jesus was the representative voice of YHWH on earth, just as Malaysia’s ambassador to the United Nations is the representative voice of Abdullah Badawi’s administration.

    For more clarification, I took and modified the following from http://www.learnthebible.org/s_o_john1_1-5_jesus_christ_as_the_word_of_god.htm :

    Why is Jesus called the Word?

    1) He is an expression of the unseen God (John 1:18 – No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known).

    2) He reveals to man the true nature of God (Matthew 11:27 – All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him).

    3) He makes us to understand the true nature of God (Hebrews 1:1-3a – In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.).

    4) He transforms those who will listen to Him (John 1:12-13 – Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God — children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God).

  11. wits0 Says:

    Scott, Jesus was reformer to the Jewish, Mosaic monotheistic tradition which had grown too severe and Spiritually stunted with those unforgiving, “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” stricture. To reform the ancient Jewish people still bounded by these savage laws, he has also to work along the established monotheistic line. No way he could have been able to succeed along any different line of thinking and beliefs.

    If you tell me that he was born perfect, that can’t be. To say that he was well prepared (from even while in his mother’s womb) is quite certain. in the Apocryphal are many mentions of how and also about his childhood. For if he was born perfect, there would have been no need for the final struggle and victory during the 40 days in the wilderness(its really a deep symbolism).

    Somehow the statement that God needs a name is somewhat oxymoronic (to me at least) – like any other anthropomorphic projection, a frailty of the limited human way of thinking projected towards that conceived Godhead. That Jesus was the Word is taken on interpretation, no one really is 100% certain. All the same, he was a great guy and Spiritual Teacher and I like him. Not forgetting that he said to his closer circle that to them is given the deeper understanding of the “Kingdom of God/Heaven” but to the commoners, its told in parables. This is something very significant.

  12. Scott Thong Says:

    Explanations of mainstream Christian theology follow.


    Scott, Jesus was reformer to the Jewish, Mosaic monotheistic tradition which had grown too severe and Spiritually stunted

    Actually, it was more of a completion and upgrading, while keeping the spirit of the Law (to love YHWH and man) than a reformation.

    Jeremiah 31:31-34

    The time is coming,” declares the LORD,
    “when I will make a new covenant
    with the house of Israel
    and with the house of Judah.

    It will not be like the covenant
    I made with their forefather
    when I took them by the hand
    to lead them out of Egypt,
    because they broke my covenant,
    though I was a husband to them,”
    declares the LORD.

    “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel
    after that time,” declares the LORD.
    “I will put my law in their minds
    and write it on their hearts.
    I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.

    No longer will a man teach his neighbor,
    or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’
    because they will all know me,
    from the least of them to the greatest,”
    declares the LORD.
    “For I will forgive their wickedness
    and will remember their sins no more.”

    Luke 22:20

    In the same way, after the supper he (Jesus) took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.

    2nd Corinthians 3:4-6

    Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant — not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

    In Christian belief, Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit of God as our help and comfort to be with us always, as Jesus Himself returned to heaven until the last days.

    Hebrews 8:6-13

    But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises. For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another.
    But God found fault with the people and said:

    “The time is coming, declares the Lord,
    when I will make a new covenant
    with the house of Israel
    and with the house of Judah.
    It will not be like the covenant
    I made with their forefathers
    when I took them by the hand
    to lead them out of Egypt,
    because they did not remain faithful to my covenant,
    and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.
    This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel
    after that time, declares the Lord.
    I will put my laws in their minds
    and write them on their hearts.
    I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.
    No longer will a man teach his neighbor,
    or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’
    because they will all know me,
    from the least of them to the greatest.
    For I will forgive their wickedness
    and will remember their sins no more.”

    By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.

    The above section of the book of Hebrews (New Testament/Judaism) directly quotes the prophecy/promise of the book of Jeremiah (Old Testament/Christianity) to claim that Jesus brought the new covenant (promise) that YHWH said He would replace the old one with.

    Compare the verse from Luke 22:20 earlier above, with the following:

    Hebrews 9:11-15

    When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation.

    He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.

    The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
    For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

    The above neatly explains why Jesus HAD to die on the cross.

    In Old Testament law, sins could be cleansed/atoned for by sacrificing an unblemished (perfect) animal to YHWH. The blood of the animal was used as a ransom for the blood of the person who should be punished for committing evil. But every time new evil was committed, another sacrifice had to be made.

    Jesus came as the ‘lamb of God’ and lived a perfectly sinless life (though the enemy tried his worst to tempt Jesus). He willingly died on the cross and offered His perfect blood as the sacrifice for sin.


    Leviticus 1:3-5

    ‘If the offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he is to offer a male without defect. He must present it at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting so that it will be acceptable to the LORD. He is to lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him. He is to slaughter the young bull before the LORD, and then Aaron’s sons the priests shall bring the blood and sprinkle it against the altar on all sides at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.

    This is similar to the ‘korban’ concept that Islam borrowed from Judaism (even the word itself is the same), and which is still practiced today by Muslims.

    Because Jesus was perfectly sinless, His sacrifice lasts forever – no more need to sacrifice animals on the altar every time we commit new evils.

    Because He is God, His sacrifice is valuable enough to count foe the atonement of ALL humanity.

    In short: God Himself chose to willingly suffer and pay for all our wrongs against Him and each other, for all eternity.

    So as you can see, all the various seemingly disjointed doctrines in Christianity (e.g. Jesus is God, Jesus died on the cross, Christians do not follow Old Testament rituals any more) are actually all intricately interlinked in the most basic statement of Christian belief – Jesus is God, He loves us and died to cleanse us of for our sins.


    Somehow the statement that God needs a name is somewhat oxymoronic

    It’s not so much that God needs a name, but that He already has a name:

    Exodus 3:14-15

    God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”

    God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers — the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob — has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.

    Hence, God revealed the name by which He is to be properly called.

    YHWH sounds like the Hebrew for ‘I AM’. Most likely, one of those words is derived from the other. In English translaions, YHWH is always translated to The LORD (all capital letters).

    So the above could be read as “I AM what I AM” or “I will be what I will be” or “YHWH is YHWH” – basically stating that God is who God is, why do you need to define or label Him?

    This is echoed by Jesus several times in fact, as a subtle declaration of His being God, the most poignant time being:

    John 8:52-59

    At this the Jews exclaimed, “Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that if anyone keeps your word, he will never taste death. Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?”

    Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.”

    “You are not yet fifty years old,” the Jews said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!”

    “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I AM!

    At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.

    Why did the Jews react so violently? It wasn’t just out of frustration with Jesus, as He had gotten them riled up many times already.

    As Jews, they recognized immediately that Jesus was quoting the very first time God revealed His name as YHWH – ‘I AM’. Therefore, what Jesus was claiming was nothing less outrageous than:

    “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was born, I AM / YHWH!

    ‘Before Abraham was born, I am God.’ That was sheer blasphemy to the Jews, hence their intention to stone Jesus for daring to claim divinity.

    Some translations render that verse as “Before Abraham was born, I alredy existed”. It carries a similar meaning of eternity, but loses the direct declaration of divinity.

  13. Shin-chan Says:

    evolution does not happen “by purely random chance”.
    natural selection is a non-random process.

  14. Scott Thong Says:

    Natural selection may be non-random, but mutations which lead to different fitness levels are. Sexual fertilization is also random. Therefore, the basic mechanism that enables evolution is random.

  15. Shin-chan Says:

    ok. but the basic mechanism that enables evolution is natural selection which is non-random. without it, evolution cannot take place.

  16. Yoda Says:

    The atheism = evolution / christianity = creationism paradigm is just embarassing to educated Christians. Christianity is true AND evolution happened. Give God some credit guys – he’s not some sort of cosmic lab monkey who spends his time designing bugs and you don’t have to willfully suspend your God-given intelligence to be a Christian. Using evolution to create the complexity of life on earth requires a far more sophisticated God that does Creationism.

    Many wasp species subjugate other creatures for the purposes of feeding their young. Some of the less sophisticated techniques include simply the laying of eggs near dead insects. It’s easy to conceive of a slow adaptive chain of events over millions of years (yes!) that ended in ampulex’s eloquent (though cruel) approach.

  17. Scott Thong Says:

    Could you suggest one such adaptive chain for our educational sake please?

    Not being sarcastic – I am now more open to evidence for evolution. See If Not Evolution, Then What Alternative For God Creating Life? where I ponder the topic.

    See also The Sin Theory of Evolution and tell me what you think of my thought experiment.

  18. mejdrich Says:

    Well, there are many fairly obvious ways this behavior could evolve. The wasp most likely was in the habit of killing the cockroach with a strike to the brain and found as a helpful accident.

    Also, your excuses for ID is lacking. First off, it’s a little disingenuous to go on about a mysterious designer when, by the context of the rest of your post, you seem happy to invoke a abrahamic god.

    But that aside, if you maintain that sin caused “random mutation,” then you are relying on exactly the kind of explanation you say evolution can’t deliver. If, as you imply immediately afterward, that this is the intentional design of a incompassionate deity, then clearly such a deity would earn our contempt and disgust.

  19. Scott Thong Says:

    I address the latter issue in a lengthy thought exercise at https://scottthong.wordpress.com/2007/11/22/the-sin-theory-of-evolution-reconciling-evolution-creationism-and-intelligent-design/

    Basically, critics who assume that the Creator must be supremely sadistic to create all the world’s horrifying and twisted creatures (including Darwin himself – and I’ll leave this fragment intentionally vague!) must have skipped Genesis 3 in its entirety.

    I would of course invoke an Abrahamic god, as I hail from an Abrahamic religion, with all its corresponding influence on worldview. This does not necessarily mean that other proponents of Intelligent Design share the same view of the nature of the Designer, however – https://scottthong.wordpress.com/2008/04/16/critics-of-intelligent-design-are-a-confused-bunch/

  20. david blaine levitation explained Says:

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    […]Mind-Control Wasp « LEADING MALAYSIAN NEOCON[…]…

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