Computer is composed not only of hardware and software but also of firmware. The firmware (middle-ware) serves as an intermediary between systems software and applications. The firmware program is stored in the BIOS and instructs how the software and hardware interact with each other. Without firmware, computer is just a piece of machine that can’t do anything. A person who designed the computer have to provide instructions how the computer behavior. This instruction program is embedded in the BIOS and called firmware.
This concept is similar to an instinct of the animals. Behaviors of all animals are subject to instinct. If they are hungry they look for something to eat and if they feel thirty they look for water to drink. If they defy instinct, they can’t survive in nature. Most of the debates about the creation and evolution deal with the hardware aspect (i.e. body shape, bone structure, etc...) or biochemical aspect, but we will deal with animal's instinct (firmware) to discuss creation vs. evolution. For this, we will illustrate two examples: how the instincts of mason bees and weaver birds function when they build their nests.
a) Nest building of Mason Bee
Nest building process of a mason bee is well described in the Fabre’s Book of Insect. Mason bees build nest near the river bank. They pick small flat river rock and build their nest on it by stacking multiple layers of doughnut-shaped mortar that was made from earth mixed with saliva. If they finish to building the nest, they fill the nest with honey and pollen and seal the nest after laying an egg.
Fabre did some interesting experiments. He switched the nest that was just being built with a finished one, and watched how the mason bee behaves when she returned from collecting earth to build the nest. If we are in mason bee’s boot, we can take the finished nest and will start to fill honey in it. However, the mason bee keeps building on top of the finished one and produce awkward-shaped nest (see Fig. 17) .
Fig. 17. Mason bee keeps building nest on finished one
Fabre did opposite experiment. When mason bee finished building nest and went to collect the honey, he replaced finished nest with unfinished one and watched how the mason bee behaves. In this case, the mason bee keeps filling honey to the unfinished nest even if the honey is overflowing. These two experiments tell us that the mason bee behaves according to the program stored in her instinct: finish nest building first then collect honey second, and this sequence can not be switched.
Fig. 18. Mason bee keeps filling honey in unfinished nest
Another instinct-related experiment Fabre did was the sequence of filling honey and the behavior of hatched mason bee. When bee returns from collecting honey, she puts her head into the nest to regurgitate honey (Fig. 19). After emptying her honey-bag, she turns around and robs off pollens carried on her legs to the nest. If someone interrupts bee when she starts to rob off the pollens, she flies away momentarily. After return to the nest again, she starts to regurgitate honey even if there’s nothing left in her honey-bag and turns around and robs off the pollen. Here, we can also notice that mason bee tries to follow predetermined sequence: regurgitates honey, turns around, and robs off pollens (Fig. 20).
Fig. 19. Bee regurgitates honey first, then robs off pollens second
Fig 20. If interrupted, she repeats regurgitating honey first then robbing off pollens second
We can observe a similar behavior for a hatched bee. Mason bee's nest is very hard like a cement wall. If a bee hatches from egg, she cuts top of the nest with her strong jaws. If we place one more layer of paper on top of the nest, she has no problems to cut it out. However, if a paper cone was placed on top of the nest (see Fig. 21), she doesn’t know what to do next (even if she has a very strong jaws capable of cutting the cement wall) and trapped between the nest and the paper cone and starved to death. From this experiment, we can also notice the sequence of behavior inscribed in her instinct what to do when she hatched. After cutting through the nest, she expects to have open air and flies away to seek honey. If some unexpected circumstance happens like a paper cone on top of the nest, she doesn’t know what to do next. This experiment also tells us that instinct governs bee’s behave in the nature and she just follows the sequences inscribed in her instinct.
Fig. 21 Mason bee can cut two layers of nest, but can't do if there is a space between them
b) Nest Building of Weaver Bird
We can find a similar instinct-driven behavior for weaver birds. The weaver bird builds nest with long grass by intertwining them as shown in Fig. 22. Marais performed experiment for the weaver bird. He caged weaver bird and didn’t provide grass to build nest during egg laying period. If she can't find grass to build nest, she just lays egg on the ground. He caged the hatched bird and did the same experiment to the 4th generations. After that, he provided grass when the 5th generation offspring lays egg. When the weaver bird saw grass, she immediately starts to build exactly the same nest as shown in Fig. 22. She hasn’t seen the nest before nor learned how to build it, but she instinctively started to build the nest. How can that be possible?
Fig 22. Nest of weaver bird
Here, we notice that the firmware in computer and the instinct in animal are built on the same concept: namely, the builder of the computer and the creator of the animal programmed them to function properly in cyber world (computer) and in nature (animal). This strongly suggests that mason bees and weaver birds are not a product of evolution but creation.