awake 4-22-02 "spider masquerades as ant&q...

by Moxy 16 Replies latest jw friends

  • Moxy

    there is a rather fascinating article at the end of the april 22nd awake concerning a certain spider that is able to imitate an ant so convincingly that it can live among ants and escape detection. (puzzlingly the article fails to either name the spider or indicate its native habitat. looking up some info myself, i see that there a several species of ant-mimicing spider, especially of the genus Myrmarachne.) it imitates ants by raising 2 of its eight legs and waving them around to look like antennae. interesting stuff. the article tells us that this spiders mimicry serves a few purposes. it is able to live among ants and avoid detection by its natural predators, birds and such. also, it is also able to roam the anthill freely at night and catch ants for food.

    the article closes with the following:

    Undoubtedly there is much more to learn about this spider. Yet, the same can be said of most other species of animal life on earth. How fine it will be in the future to learn more about God's intriguing creations!
    yes, i would like to learn more about this god who created a spider whose very appearance and behaviour are so clearly adapted for the sole task of fooling ants, other creations of gods, that there can be no doubt that this is their sole raison d'etre. i would also like to know why this spider has been seemingly built to be skilled at avoiding being eaten by other creations of god. the article doesnt mention that when a spider catches its prey, it does not normally kill it immediately. it paralyzes it, using its stomach chemicals to gradually liquefy the prey's tissue and ingest it, presumably while its prey is conscious and aware. yes, i would like to learn more about this wondrous god who sat down sometime on the fifth day of creation. made some ants and then said to his helpers, 'hey, you know what would be really cool? you remember those ants we just made? lets make some other bugs to really mess with their minds, see if they catch on or not. if they dont, they will be killed and eaten in the most excruciating manner we can come up with.'

    in the words of richard dawkins, is he a 'schizophrenic god?'


  • sunscapes

    Hey mox, where's the pic of u sippin Timmy's?

    BTW, all's fair in theocratic warfare!

  • heathen

    Is there any evidence that the ants anatomy has a complex nervous system? I really do look at nature with fascination.My guess is no and it really doesn't experience excruciating pain.What can you say though I don't have any compation for insects.There is an aweful lot of that mimicing stuff going on in the insect world which makes it interesting however.

  • Moxy

    heathen: regarding animal suffering, perhaps i should simply quote the dawkins paragraph i had in mind. from River Out of Eden:

    It is better for the genes of Darwin's wasp that the caterpillar should be alive, and therefore fresh, when it is eaten, no matter what the cost in suffering. Genes don't care about suffering, because they don't care about anything.

    If Nature were kind, She would at least make the minor concession of anesthesizing caterpillars before they were eaten alive from within. But Nature is neither kind nor unkind. She is neither against suffering nor for it. Nature is not interested in suffering one way or the other unless it affects the survival of DNA. It is easy to imagine a gene that, say, tranquilizes gazelles when they are about to suffer a killing bite. Would such a gene be favored by natural selection?

    Not unless the act of tranquilizing a gazelle improved that gene's chances of being propagated into future generations. It is hard to see why this should be so, and we may therefore guess that gazelles suffer horrible pain and fear when they are pursued to the death--as many of them eventually are. The total amount of suffering per year in the natural world is beyond all decent contemplation. During the minute that it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being eaten alive, many others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear, others are being slowly devoured from within by rasping parasites, thousands of all kinds are dying of starvation, thirst and disease. It must be so. If there is ever a time of plenty, this very fact will automatically lead to an increase in population until the natural state of starvation and misery is restored.


    DNA neither cares nor knows. DNA just is. And we dance to its music.

  • Satanus

    Dawkins puts solomon to shame. If nature speaks of the glory of god, as the psalmist said, then we don't need a fiery hell. God is hell.


  • radar

    Good points Moxy

    There are so many ingenious methods that the "creator" has made in his creation, for them to capture and kill each other with.

    This creator must be a bit of a sadist eh!

  • dmouse

    What about the male praying mantis, which has it's head chewed off by the female while it's procreating!

    God really does have a sense of humour!

  • Scully


    It sounds as though this spider is the perfect metaphor for JWs.

    It exists for the sole purpose of deception and preys on those it deceives. Its whole raison d'être is summed up in the JW tactic known as Theocratic War Strategy.

    Love, Scully

  • You Know
    You Know

    Some might enjoy this repost of a piece I wrote some time back. It's entitled:

    ________________________THE MASTER OF DECEPTION______________________

    The uninitiated reader of course naturally assumes that Satan would be the Master of deception, but in actuality, while he is the malevolent Arch-deceiver, Jehovah is actually the Master. Let’s see how that could be so.

    Consider for a moment God’s creation. Paul said that God’s “invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship.” Looking then at God’s creation, we clearly see that the creation employs a considerable bit of deceptive techniques as it goes about its business. Take for example the angler fish, I believe it’s called; the fish actually has a worm-like lure attached to a fishing pole-like apparatus that it dangles in front of itself to entice the unsuspecting nibbler to come within range of its jaws. How ingenious the deception!

    One of my favorites is the way some species of birds lure prowling house cats away from their nests. The bird will actually flop on the ground in front of the stalking feline as if it were disabled by a broken wing and unable to fly. When the tabby begins to stalk the new prey and is near to pouncing the bird flits off a few yards and begins the ruse anew. By this process the bird instinctively lures the predator away from the nest, and as soon as the cat has been sufficiently distracted and forgotten about the nest, then the bird simply flies back home.

    Of course, time and bandwidth would fail me if I went on to relate in detail about how the partially submerged crocodile appears to be a floating log. Or, about the various plant species that employ deception to lure insects either to pollinate them or to actually serve as food in the case of the Venus fly trap. Or the variety of orchids that have a design on their pedals that resemble a female wasp, which of course attracts the male wasp and he inadvertently pollinates the flower. Other orchids put off the odor of a wanting female, with of course the same result. And of course many different types of animals use various camouflage techniques to either escape predators or to entrap their prey. There are examples of this sort that are far to numerous to mention, but the point is that the Creator of all things is obviously well acquainted with the art of deception.

    Now, though, when it comes to humans, Jehovah had no reason at all to use deception with his intelligent creatures, as humans are a higher order of creation than animals. However, Satan the Devil chose to use deception to lure mankind away from God. At that point a long-running enmity and outright warfare erupted between the growing families of the two opposed spirits. Now Jehovah, the One who says: “I shall prove to be what I shall prove to be,” proves to be the Master strategist, becoming a “Manly person of war” when it proves necessary, as well as employing the art deception in warfare as he sees fit. Satan simply proves to be no match for the Master. There are many examples of Jehovah’s use of deception on the actual field of battle.

    For example, Gideon and his men, at God’s instruction, used an ingenious ploy to deceive the camp of Midian into thinking that the entire Israelite army was descending upon them when it was only a tiny band of 300 men blowing horns and crashing water jars and waving torches, and shouting Jehovah’s war cry in the gloom of night. The result was that the terrorized Midianites ended up slaughtering each other in the confusion.

    David and Joshua were both outstanding military men in Jehovah’s army and they always consulted with God as to strategic maneuvers. God often gave specific instructions as to how they should deceive, terrorize, or ambush their enemies on the field of battle.

    One interesting account regarding the apostate king Ahab reveals that God actually solicited the suggestions of his angels, at least in a vision, as to what strategy they might employ to lure Ahab to his well-deserved destruction. One of the spirits came forth and suggested putting a deceptive spirit in the mouths of Ahab’s advisors in order to fool him into attacking the king of Syria. Jehovah sanctioned the subterfuge and Ahab fell in battle ending his wicked reign over Israel.

    One of the most outstanding examples though of Jehovah’s mastery of deception in the art of war was the way in which he dealt with the murderous Pharaoh of the Exodus. After God brought the haughty monarch to his knees with the 10th plague upon all the firstborn of Egypt, God knew that Pharaoh still had not learned his lesson. So after the camp of Israel had departed Egypt they headed into the direction of the wilderness, which is not the direction that it would be assumed they would have taken on a direct trek to Palestine, the Land of promise. The camp seemed to be wandering in confusion with their backs against the Red Sea, with seemingly no way out. Now, Pharaoh is lured into attacking what he imagines to be a lost and defenseless people, but it is Pharaoh who has just taken the bait from the Master of deception and suicidally plunged headlong into the watery trap. You know the rest of that story.

    Now, in the ongoing warfare between Satan and God, that has now in this modern era focused upon Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Great God Jehovah will once again prove himself to be the Master of his enemies---ingeniously employing deception. Consider now the simple verse where the Lord Jesus says: “But there is nothing carefully concealed that will not be revealed, and secret that will not become known.” You might assume that this applies to the secret sins of mankind being revealed by God’s exposure, but that is not all. Ask yourself this question: Who does the concealing? Is it sinful man or Satan, or God? The answer is that it is God who conceals the truth; and, “carefully” was the adverb that Jesus used to describe how God’s secrets are concealed. And, indeed, Paul later revealed that “CAREFULLY CONCEALED in him (Christ) are all the treasures of wisdom and of knowledge.” (Colossians 2:3)

    Now you must ask yourself one more question: From what we may understand about how God deals with his enemies, how likely is it that God will allow apostate enemies of his access to his “carefully concealed” secrets? In the aptly named “truth wars” can anyone outside of Jehovah’s intimate company claim to know THE TRUTH? There is in fact no possibility that God will allow his faithless enemies access to his hidden treasures.

    Just how does the Master fools the presumptuous faithless ones and lures them into position where Jehovah administers the coup de grace upon his stupefied enemies? Consider the following:
    In warfare communications between the commanders behind the lines and those on the frontlines are vitally important in relating tactical troop movements and strategy and so forth. Oftentimes messages relayed are encrypted so as to keep them from being intercepted by the enemy. Which, also, opens up the possibility that false information may be intentionally leaked as a means of deception. One footnote to WWII, illustrating the effectiveness of deceptive intelligence, is when the Allies were preparing the Normandy invasion and they allowed bogus documents to fall into enemy hands to deceive the Nazis into thinking the invasion forces were going to land elsewhere.

    Now, with full knowledge that there are many enemy infiltrators deep within Jehovah’s camp; namely, the false ones whom Paul spoke about who sneak in to spy upon us, what means could God possibly use to conceal his vital secrets from them, seeing that his war plans are for the most part open to public view in the Bible? In view of the fact that we have previously noted that Jehovah has mastered the art of war, when it comes to this aspect of communicating battle plans to those in his army, God likewise has used a sophisticated means of encrypting his battle plans. However, in doing so, God has also seen fit to allow his own officers to unwittingly pass false information to the enemy within as a means of deception. Let’s see how this works and what purpose it might serve.

    In the first century Jesus sent out the apostles and 70 other disciples with the charge to preach that “the kingdom of the heavens has drawn near.” However, did the disciples at that time even understand what the kingdom of the heavens was? No, they only had a very rudimentary idea about the message they were preaching. All they knew, really, is that Jesus was the Son of Jehovah and the designated Christ. No doubt the disciples at that time were imagining that the kingdom Jesus told them to preach about was going to be a physical kingdom along the order of the previous davidic kingdom. It is evident that that was their understanding of things when the Scriptures reveal that the apostles “were imagining that the kingdom was going to instantly display itself.” Where they went astray was in confusing the prophecies of Jesus’ human ministry with those of his Parousia and ultimate arrival as the King of the world.

    So, Jehovah did not allow them to correctly decipher his encrypted messages at that time. In fact, it is most notable that the apostles were absolutely unable to grasp that Jesus was even going to die---something that seems so elementary to Christians today. It didn’t matter how plainly Jesus told them that he was destined to die, because it didn’t fit in to their preconceived notions of what the Messiah was supposed to do they were unable to accept the simple truth that Jesus was going to be taken from them. Luke 9:44 is one place where Jesus spoke plainly of his death, yet we read in verse 45: “But they continued without understanding of this saying. In fact, IT WAS CONCEALED FROM THEM THAT THEY MIGHT NOT SEE THROUGH IT, and they were afraid to question him about the saying.”

    Only after Jesus was resurrected were their minds more fully opened to perceive some of the previously hidden treasures of truth pertaining to Christ.

    But, now imagine the disciples going back out into the field to preach that Messiah had not really died but that he is alive in the invisible realm and that’s where the kingdom of the heavens was going to rule from. Talk about a doctrinal flip-flop! Naturally they would be open to considerable amount of ridicule from the Jews, but as Paul said the talk about the torture stake was foolish to the Greeks and a stumbling block to the Jews. In fact that is how Christ became the stone of stumbling during that period. That was however the means that God chose to separate his friends from foes.

    As the Christian era went on and a body of letters came to be compiled, now known as the Christian Greek Scriptures, and as enemy infiltrators began to proliferate in the organization, God chose another means by which to befuddle his apostate enemies. Paul speaks about this in prophecy, in his second letter to the Thessalonians. In the second chapter where it was foretold that God would allow “an operation of error go to them that they may get to believing the lie, in order that they may all be judged because they did not believe the truth.” So, a mysterious man of lawlessness would deceive those who had originally been under apostolic authority, and he would bring them under his own domination. Using “every unrighteous deception,” the man of lawlessness would presumptuously set himself up as the expert on interpreting and explaining God’s word. And Jehovah himself allows this to take place “as a retribution” upon those who loved the lie. God then allows “an operation of error,” in that he caused his own word to be written in such a way so that it would conveniently lend itself to be misinterpreted by those so inclined to twist it.

    A classic example of how this works is the way John 1:1 is written. God could have easily seen to it that any ambiguity was cleared up, but he didn’t. Instead, he allows the insertion or the omission of one letter to ensnare those who are so unreasonable so as to ignore the vast body of truth that indicates that Jesus is not God. Jesus himself even employed a similar means of weeding out those that didn’t love the truth when he spoke about eating his flesh and drinking his blood. He knew that those wanting to find a way out from following him would seize upon his statement in feigned outrage and disgust. And it gave it to them.

    Now, to the modern era: As was noted above, Jesus sent out his disciples with a message that they, at best, only had a fragmentary understanding of. It is only reasonable then, that, the Lord would follow that same pattern when he returned to restore his congregation to the truth that had been veiled for centuries, in that he entrusted his message and commissioned those, who, at the time had many erroneous ideas about the kingdom. As we look back upon the work of those early Bible Students it goes without saying that they too, like the original disciples, had certain things concealed from them by God. Nonetheless, the kernel of their message was the truth, and due to God’s blessing, it has sprouted, and taken root, and continued to flourish for more than a century now since its planting.

    All the while, as in the first century, the light of God’s word has grown brighter and brighter, especially in contrast to Christendom. And the errors that come to light, Satan and his agents exploit these, which serves once again as a means of sifting out those who are not loyal to Jehovah’s organization and have no real love for the truth.

    Yet, now, at this present moment, we stand on the brink of the final decisive separation of Jehovah’s people and the seed of the Devil. The judgment will ultimately be determined by whether a person actually has faith in Jehovah God and his Christ and will remain loyal to the brotherhood under test when things go terribly wrong.

    With knowledge of the masterful way in which Jehovah was dealt with his enemies in the past we may expect the unexpected. Just as when the apostles were finally confronted with the awful truth that their Master was going to be taken from them, so too, it is a certainty that the events yet to unfold will test the faith of all professing Christians to the limit. In order to finally, once and for all time, shut the mouth of the one who accuses us relentlessly, especially through his earthly apostate mouthpiece, it is Jehovah’s good purpose to conceal certain crucial truths from even his otherwise trusted servants.

    Remember, that Jeremiah said of his God: “You have fooled me so that I was fooled. You have used your power against me so that you prevailed.” The Jeremiah class today naturally doesn’t appropriate that aspect of the prophet’s ministry to themselves, but that is to be expected, isn’t it?

    It is not necessary for it to be demonstrated in this hostile forum that there are a number of things yet to be set forth correctly regarding the outworking of the final phase of God’s kingdom purpose. Suffice it to say that there is a large body of judgments that Jehovah has yet to unseal. They are safely encrypted, as it were, by the genius of him of whom it is said in this regard: “This also is what has come forth from Jehovah of armies, who has been wonderful in counsel, who has done greatly in effectual working.” And again: “That he may do his deed---his deed is strange---and that he may work his work---his work is unusual. And now you scoffers, in order that your bands may not grow strong, for there is an extermination, even something decided upon…” (Isaiah 28:29 & 22)

    By so doing, God’s purpose is accomplished, in that, his own servants are given the opportunity to demonstrate their absolute trust in God himself when things seem to go wrong, and the apostate infiltrators and pretenders are left without a lamp as the lights are turned off and the finale begins. Apostates are destined to be caught in a pit of their own excavation is the way the Psalmist describes it. In effect, unfaithful ones and other undeserving ones have been handed a phony map by God’s unknowing, but faithful courier, which, when it really counts, will prove to be of no value; reminiscent in some respects of when Elisha lead the blinded Syrians on a tramp.

    So, just as Christ was taken from the disciples unexpectedly, being betrayed by the original apostate during the “hour of the authority of the darkness,” a similar pattern of outright betrayal, upheaval, persecution, doubt, and confusion is certain to erupt among Jehovah’s Witnesses during the initial phase of the tribulation. Jesus even warned his friends that the deception would be so effective so as to deceive even the chosen ones, adding, “if that were possible.” Correspondingly, Jesus urged the disciples to walk in the light they had while it shone upon them.

    Numerous places Jehovah speaks of keeping himself concealed until a certain point of unveiling, or revelation, or apocalypse if you prefer. For instance, Isaiah 30:19 says: “Your Grand Instructor will no longer hide himself, and your eyes must become eyes seeing your Grand Instructor.” It stands to reason, then, that if at some point when Jehovah reveals himself to those whom he has otherwise instructed up to that point, that before he causes his servants to see Him that they are in a relatively unenlightened state even though they are those who had been instructed by Jehovah.

    Jehovah proves that even the satanic deception that originally broke out in the Garden of Eden is no challenge for him. He in effect triumphs over deception, even turning it upon its originators to ensnare them with their own device, thus proving himself the Master of deception and towering over all would-be-gods and charlatans that have tried to steal his glory by their deception. Now, as to how Jehovah may ultimately prove to be Satan’s master, consider how God lastly triumphs over the Devil himself.

    Ezekiel speaks of God putting hooks in Gog’s jaws to induce him to attack. Some have reasoned---‘why would Satan fall for it knowing the outcome beforehand?’ The answer is that Jehovah apparently deceives the Devil too. He is led to believe that God’s people are in such a vulnerable position that he can crush them. This sort of satanic thinking is obviously reflected in the thinking of apostates who foolishly imagine that they are going to bring down Jehovah’s organization. And indeed, Satan can crush us, and apparently will to a great extent according to Satan’s vicious pleasure. And so he is tempted beyond what he can endure, and he takes the bait, like Pharaoh plunging headlong into the watery chasm on the seabed, and it is he who falls into the hand of the Almighty. That is the point at which God speaks of his anger coming up into his nostrils and it is simply all over for the Devil and his world at the point when God exhales his furious blast.

    / You Know

  • Moxy
    What about the male praying mantis, which has it's head chewed off by the female while it's procreating!

    the really fascinating part is that the male's decapitation usually doesn't affect his performance. now that's determination!


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