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Index to Creationist Claims,  edited by Mark Isaak,    Copyright © 2004
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Claim CB401:

Instincts are too complex to have evolved. Scientists have no way of explaining complex instincts, such as migrations and nest building.


Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1985. Life--How Did It Get Here? Brooklyn, NY, pp. 160-167.


  1. This claim is an example of the argument from incredulity. One's inability to envision circumstances that lead to complex instincts does not preclude such circumstances.

  2. Not all instincts are complex. Some phobias, for example, are no more than a basic emotional response to a simple stimulus, such as loud sudden noise. And there is nothing to prevent the complex instincts from arising gradually. For example, some bees only communicate information about flower species to others in the hive (Dornhaus and Chittka 1999). Complex instincts could arise via small steps such as this.


  1. Dornhaus, A. and L. Chittka, 1999. Evolutionary origins of bee dances. Nature 401: 38.

Further Reading:

Gould, James L. and Carol G. Gould, 1995. The Honey Bee. New York: Scientific American Library.
Weiner, Jonathan, 1999. Time, Love, Memory: A great biologist and his quest for the origins of behavior. New York: Knopf.
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created 2001-2-17, modified 2003-9-17