Undaerector callahanis

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CyclopeanWaveguide_600.jpg

Undaerector callahanis – Cyclopean optical waveguide

Cyclopean here means one-eyed (note the lens on the left flange). Never mind that the dictionary thinks it means gigantic; we have plenty of synonyms for gigantic. The antenna responds to centimeter waves and is tuned to detect pheromones. The waveguide has only one internal organ, which serves as both mouth and rectum; it is especially well adapted to politics.

14 Comments

Is this April Fool’s Day prank inspired by that question you asked on moth antennae? ;)

Well, sort of - it is a waveguide critter I made many years ago for someone on his retirement. I kept a picture, never guessing that I might some day look at it again.

No photograph tomorrow, Monday, incidentally - I will let this one suffice for the week.

Finally, I hate to incriminate anyone, but I forgot to thank Reed Cartwright for the Latin name.

The link to “Electromagnetic communication and olfaction in insects” was interesting, but the attempts to use studies like this to justify “resonances” in homeopathy are a bit over the top.

While it would not be surprising that insects would be sensitive to the FIR spectral lines of various vibration modes of molecules, it is hard to see any meaning to “resonances” with homeopathic dilutions that remove all molecules and simply “leave the imprint of those molecules on the water” used in dilution. That’s just plain silly.

Some of the current near IR to far IR detectors are among the classified technology at the moment. It would be interesting if researchers could gain access to this technology to study just what insects are responding to.

But CO2 absorption and emission lines are fairly easy to detect using current technology; and, as I understand it, researchers suspect that mosquitoes sense the presence of warm CO2 around potential hosts. It is quite possible that they sense other chemicals as well.

It’s still a critter.

Optical waveguides are made of glass and have dimensions on the order of a human hair. That’s a microwave waveguide in the photo. If I had to guess I would say from a marine radar, though there are other applications.

That’s a microwave waveguide in the photo.

It is an optical waveguide – when I held it up to the light, I could see right through it. Besides, it has a glass lens on the front.

The link to “Electromagnetic communication and olfaction in insects” was interesting, but the attempts to use studies like this to justify “resonances” in homeopathy are a bit over the top.

You are too kind – homeopathy is complete nonsense.

Also, and at the risk of getting serious: I have been communicating with an entomologist lately, and apparently it is now pretty clear that the insects detect pheromones chemically, not by their IR emissions. Still, the insect antenna looks so remarkably like a log-periodic antenna that it is hard to imagine that it does not have some function detecting electromagnetic waves; what other selection pressure might have given it that form? Mike Elzinga probably knows better than I do, but I think that the typical log-periodic antenna is fairly broadband and would not be useful in discriminating one molecular spectrum from another, so I agree with my informant that it probably does not detect pheromones.

Perhaps it is a device of irreducible complexity? Can it smell an ID/creationist a mile away?

Matt Young said:

The link to “Electromagnetic communication and olfaction in insects” was interesting, but the attempts to use studies like this to justify “resonances” in homeopathy are a bit over the top.

You are too kind – homeopathy is complete nonsense.

:-)

Also, and at the risk of getting serious: I have been communicating with an entomologist lately, and apparently it is now pretty clear that the insects detect pheromones chemically, not by their IR emissions. Still, the insect antenna looks so remarkably like a log-periodic antenna that it is hard to imagine that it does not have some function detecting electromagnetic waves; what other selection pressure might have given it that form? Mike Elzinga probably knows better than I do, but I think that the typical log-periodic antenna is fairly broadband and would not be useful in discriminating one molecular spectrum from another, so I agree with my informant that it probably does not detect pheromones.

I don’t know much about insects or what kinds of “antennae” they have. The fact that insects such as mosquitoes tend to be active at night or in some very cloudy weather does suggest sensitivity to sunlight. I don’t know if there is something in the spectrum of sunlight that overwhelms some of their sensory input.

From what I understand, the chemical detection of pheromones is fairly well confirmed.

However, I’m not sure that a broadband antenna is necessarily something not useful if there are other selection mechanisms in the nervous system of the insect. With some of the modern IR detecting imaging devices currently in use, the amount of information available in these images is quite amazing. They leave plenty of room for very selective analyses based on emission patterns associated with the objects being imaged. I don’t know how sophisticated an insect’s neural processing is.

DavidK said:

Perhaps it is a device of irreducible complexity? Can it smell an ID/creationist a mile away?

It would have to be something that detected noxious “philosophy” emissions; which is about all that ID/creationists seem to emit.

Matt Young said:

Well, sort of - it is a waveguide critter I made many years ago for someone on his retirement. I kept a picture, never guessing that I might some day look at it again.

No photograph tomorrow, Monday, incidentally - I will let this one suffice for the week.

Finally, I hate to incriminate anyone, but I forgot to thank Reed Cartwright for the Latin name.

I’m interested in taking a look at a cladogram showing its relationship to other, similar, taxa (And if you do believe that, then I have a bridge in Brooklyn, NY that I can sell to you.).

I’m interested in taking a look at a cladogram showing its relationship to other, similar, taxa (And if you do believe that, then I have a bridge in Brooklyn, NY that I can sell to you.).

Put descriptions of this thing, microscopes, telescopes, TV cameras, diodes, transistors, antennas, and various other gadgets, into one of those cladistic analysis programs, and see what comes out!

I do believe this organism falsifies Common Descent.

Therefore, I suspect fraud.

Henry J said: Put descriptions of this thing, microscopes, telescopes, TV cameras, diodes, transistors, antennas, and various other gadgets, into one of those cladistic analysis programs, and see what comes out!

Niles Eldredge did something like that to look at the phylogenies of psalteries and cornets.

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This page contains a single entry by Matt Young published on April 1, 2012 12:00 PM.

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