Why does the Lancet Liver Fluke leave me so agnostic?

So, there's this parasite, a little worm that likes to live in sheep livers. It then deposits its eggs so that they be moved outside through the convenient medium of sheep poop. So there the eggs sit until a certain kind of snail comes along and dines on the poop, ingesting the eggs, which hatch and become larvae. These larvae are an irritant to the snail's digestive system, so it encysts them in slime and leaves them out along its slime trail. Now, apparently, this snail slime happens to be a favorite beverage of certain kinds of ants. They enjoy a refreshing draft of slime, picking up the parasite. Now, these parasites hijack the ant's nervous system, causing it to climb up a tall stalk of grass each night, waiting, hoping to be eaten by a sheep. Once it is chewed up, it can make its way to the sheep liver and start the process all over again.

Now, on the one hand, I find it hard to imagine a serious of intermediate forms, each one needing to be a completely viable organism on its own, that could lead to such a convoluted, Rube Goldberg style life cycle. On the other hand, I cannot possibly conceive what kind of insane "intelligent designer" would come up with that either!


Just so folks know, I'm not really at all agnostic on the topic of biodiversity through natural selection. But I heard about this creepie and just had to share. Thanks to everyone who is sharing the other nasties. Eats fish tongues?! Ewwwwww.

9 Answers

  • Favorite Answer

    Here's a nother creepie one:

    If you ever have a choice between being possessed by the devil and being possessed by a Sacculina carcini, opt for the devil – no contest. A female sacculina begins life as a tiny free-floating slug in the sea, drifting around until she encounters a crab. When that fateful day arrives, she finds a chink in the crab’s armor (usually an elbow or leg joint) and thrusts a kind of hollow dagger into its body. After that, she (how to put this?) "injects" herself into the crab, sluicing through the dagger and leaving behind a husk. Once inside, the jellylike sacculina starts to take over. She grows "roots" that extend to every part of the crab’s body – wrapping around its eyestalks and deep into its legs and arms. The female feeds and grows until eventually she pops out of the top of the crab, and from this knobby protrusion, she will steer the Good Ship Unlucky Crab for the rest of their co-mingled life. Packed full of parasite, the crab will forgo its own needs to serve those of its master. It won’t molt, grow reproductive organs, or attempt to reproduce. It won’t even regrow appendages, as healthy crabs can. Rather than waste the nutrients on itself, a host crab will hobble along and continue to look for food with which to feed its parasite master.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Religions have attempted over millenia to answer the fundamental questions surrounding the human experience. As we've evolved and grown in knowledge via the collective human-enterprise, science has the led the way out of the darkness of superstition, delusion, ignorance and barbarism. The more we know, the less we need to explain with mystical dieties and djinns, gods and angels, devils and curses. Humans are smarter now in 2009 than year 9, simply because through trial and error, we've better-learned how the Universe operates. As Carl Sagan said, 'Humans are the way for the Universe to know itself'. We simply don't need religion in a modern age. Morality, kindness, compassion, these are all human traits, mixed in with some of our more violent tendencies which we must sometimes work to suppress. Religion has become an unsatisfactory answer in the days of DNA sequencing and probes landing on Mars. Simply saying 'god did it' just won't satisfy the curious and won't cure the sick or invent the wheel. Anwering a mystery with a mystery leaves a mystery, but real human ingenuity with some real effort provides real results. With great success in technology and cultural experiments there will be inevitable failure, but even the failed experiements provide more knowledge than hands clasped in prayer. In America, non-theists are the fastest-growing minority at about 15-16%, which is about 33 million or more. This outnumbers other minorities such as gay people, blacks, Jewish/Catholics, etc. This is simply because atheism is the logical conclusion when religion is put under the microscope....and the same reason I reject all religion is the same reason a Catholic would reject Judaism and vice versa. Religion just doesn't satisfy people anymore...we're evolving past that. One cannot prove the Bible with God and vice versa, and you'll do no better trying to prove the Flying Spaghetti Monster with a can of Spaghetti-O's™. Someone once said, 'All religions can't be right, but they CAN all be wrong'.

  • 1 decade ago

    Brilliant observation. I can only quote a great theologian:

    "The rivers are full of crocodile nasties;

    He who made kittens put snakes in the grass:

    He's a lover of life but a player of pawns

    The King on his sunset lies waiting for dawn

    To light up the jungle as play is resumed

    We monkeys seem willing to strike up the tune."

    Source(s): Ian Anderson: "Bungle in the Jungle" [Jethro Tull]
  • 1 decade ago

    Good story. To me, this kind of thing absolutely negates random selection in evolution, and my alternative to "intelligent design" (by an external omnipotent deity) is that all life, maybe all things, living and non, have some deep, purposeful "intelligence" which is Alien to our own. (like in the Sigourney Weaver movies, maybe?? ( tee hee...)

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Dude, there's an even worse parasite called a Cymothoa exigua. It bites off a fish's tongue, and grafts itself to the fish where the tongue was, and lives off its blood and eats its food. That's just f'ucked up in so many ways.

    And it lives in New Jersey.

  • 1 decade ago

    Parasites will one day take over the world.....they are well on their way already.

    There are parasites that change the behavior of mice so that they are attracted to cats. There are parasites that convince grasshoppers to drown themselves. Can you imagine what they are doing to us?

  • Maybe that's how Gnostic dualism began.... Only a demiurge could be that twisted.

    Source(s): Such lovely reading just before bed. You owe me one, Rico. Grrr.
  • Center
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Agnostic? Why not atheistic?

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Boy I will cut you

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