Organic Evolution in terms of the Implicate and Explicate Orders.

Part LIX

Hymenoptera (wasps, bees, ants) (Sequel)

The evolutionary diversification in the Order Hymenoptera in terms of Strategies (Sequel).

Primary-Ant (Proformicoid) Phase

As it is now clear, of all considered expressions of familial life, original as well as more developed, in terebrants and in lower, bethyloid, wasps, only one single line, the line of the scleroderms, definitely leads to the ants.
Indeed, in the familial life of the scleroderms, as well as of the melittobias, one could see a number of essential traits that bring their family close to that of the ants, namely :  (1) The existence of a habitation (nest) suitable to the life of the family.  (2) The presence in that nest of a stock of food in the form of a huge prey, suitable for feeding on by the mother-foundress herself as well as by her offspring.  (3) Laying of eggs in groups or packets onto this prey without any adherence of them to the place of oviposition.  (4) A close contact of the long-living mother and her rapidly developing offspring.  (5) The, resulting from all this, encounter of several (two, or even three) generations in their adult state in that same nest.  To this we must add the remarkable morphological feature of the mentioned species of  Scleroderma  and  Melittobia -- their polymorphism and especially the presence in them of two forms of fertile females.
It is not difficult to understand that the only possibility for the "parasitic" (carnivorous) forms to elevate themselves to so high a stage of familial life was the development in them of the ability to seize a, as compared to themselves, huge, hidden-living prey, as we see it in  Melittobia  and  Scleroderma.
In order for the cummunal life of the foundress of such a family with her developing offspring to be more prolonged and not disintegrate at the time of emergence of adults of the offspring, at least one more irrevocable condition is needed -- the presence of a correspondingly large source of food at the place of living and developing of the community, that is, food, suitable to the mother herself as well as to her offspring. Without this necessary condition the communal life of the members of such a community inevitably would end as soon as the store of food in that community becomes exhausted. Therefore, the whole question about the transition of the short-lived family of scleroderms into a permanent community of ants boils down to the question about that, so to say, inexhaustible source of food for the community.
Concerning the question about the founding of a nest by the first ants [that is, by the original, ancient, ants], Handlirsch writes that the, unknown to us, ancestors of the ants acquired dimorphic females, of which the winged ones were perfectly able to reproduce and, perhaps, deposited their eggs on paralyzed insects. The other females, wingless, lost the ability to reproduce, but retained the instincts to nurse offspring, and thus the insects seized by them were infested with eggs of the wingless females' fully developed sisters. From here it is clear that the evolutionarily first ants, according to Handlirsch, had to obtain food for them from outside the nest, in its surroundings.
A similar life is ascribed to the first ants, although with certain essential deviations, by Wheeler. He assumes that the primitive nest of the first ants (Proformicid) consisted of a chamber digged out in the soil. It served as a habitation for the dexterous large-eyed female, armed with mighty jaws and sting.

These features are taken by Wheeler from the Australian ants of the genus  Myrmecia,  about whom we will speak later.

In contrast to the higher ants she was able to hunt for and seize active insects of various sorts, including also other species of ants. Eggs were deposited by her not in packages but having them scattered over the floor of the room. Freshly-caught and partly dismembered insects served as food for her larvae, which is a type of habit intermediate between those of solitary vespids provisioning their larva with paralyzed whole insects, and the habits of social wasps, thoroughly chewing the prey before offering it to the young.
" The adults of the first generation of this primitive female were, probably, very small, as it is also observed in higher ants. All in all they were similar to their mother and of the same sex, but they were wingless and with non-developed ovaries, although they also were capable of independently obtaining food. With the appearance of these auxiliary dwarfs the mother largely did not leave the nest anymore and just continued to produce offspring, like the females of the higher ants do. Later the instinct of provisioning the nest eventually disappeared in the female-foundress and was replaced by increased development in her of salivary glands which gave her the possibility to feed the larvae with food exuding from her mouth".
Accordingly, also Wheeler assumed that already from the very beginning the food for the founded community of the ancestors of the ants was outside their habitation, whereby they worked over in one or another way the prey at the place of hunt and then transported it to the nest.
It is easy to understand that such instincts are completely alien to the scleroderms. Above it was already expounded that the mother-scleroderm not only did not need to displace the prey, but also was not capable to transport its prey as a result of the complete disproportionateness of it with respect to her own size. It is therefore impossible to assume that the closest offspring of the mother-scleroderm in some way lost their original instincts and have made their own a behavior of a totally different type. This difficulty, apparently, was also the chief reason in confusing Wheeler to validate the true significance of the scleroderms as being the distant ancestors of the ants. It is true though that we may see from his expositions that he worried about something else, namely the fact that the young generation of  Scleroderma  quickly leaves the mother. But this -- we should assume -- is only a result of the lack of appropriate conditions for their life at the place of their birth.
With respect to the question about the life of the first ants, Bernard (1951), as it seemed, was inclined to allot  Scleroderma  great significance, but under the influence of the autority of Wheeler he repeated the version saying that the female-foundress of the primitive ants did not stay, as  Scleroderms  did, at a large prey, but went out of the nest in order to hunt and bring in from time to time a prey for its larvae. So here the attention was directed to "progressive provisioning" according to the type of it present in the higher vespoid wasps.

The fact that in recent bethyloids the wing venation is simpler [that is, with more reductions of veins, meaning that the venation is evolutionarily more advanced] than it is in ants, does not speak against their being closely related to each other. The divergence of the evolutionary lines of them took place, we must assume, very long ago, [that is,] in the beginning of the Mesozoic or still earlier. Therefore, one can hardly think that the type of wing venation of the supposed prosclerodermoid ancestors of ants was conserved and [is] represented in recent scleroderms in an unchanged state. If also we take into account the fact that winged forms of ants use their wings only for the nuptial flight, after which the males die and the females loose their wings, then it is not surprising that the wings of ants may have preserved more original traits of the venation than they did in scleroderms having wings all their life.
In addition to all this, we should be aware that among recent ants there nevertheless is one family, nesting in the soil, the Leptanillidae, in which the females are wingless, and where in the males the wings are even more simply built [i.e. have undergone more (extensive) reductions of veins] than they are in bethyloids :  They completely lack veins and even lack the pterostigma [the black spot near the apex of the wing].
If we allot decisive significance to the mentioned difference in wing venation, as does Bernard (1951), then with the same right we could deny the close relationship with the bethyloids of  Myzine,  the Tiphiidae, the Mutillidae, and a number of other wasps, of which the origin then will be veiled in obscure darkness.
Here we should note that Emden (1931), having extensively studied the morphology of one of the representatives of Sclerodermini, suggested to call their wingless females "wasp-ants" [or ant-wasps] (Ameisenwespen) "expressing the extreme (morphological! - S. M[alyshev]) similarity, having confused specialists, between their wingless females and ants.

Whatever the things said above about provisioning may mean, the ability of the first ants to obtain provisions for the colony from outside the nest cannot be reckoned as being original :  No data on that exist [The habit must have evolved later in history from the original habit of having got the provisions already inside the nest from the very beginning]. But when the beginning ant community, in the absence of correspondingly prepared individuals, could not initially obtain the means for activity outside the nest, it remains to admit that a reliable, sufficiently abundant source of food for the first ants had to be near them, inside the nest. This source might be nothing more than fungus growth. The characteristic living-places of scleroderms -- in old decaying wood -- constitute a very fortunate environment for the development of a fungus flora. Therefore, the appearance of fungal threads on the walls of the nest chambers of scleroderms must be held as being a regular phenomenon, especially at low-lying places, to which also Bridwell (1920) pointed. It is possible that in the beginning, with an extraordinary growth of fungus on the walls of the cavity, it even may have elbowed out the scleroderms, but subsequently things changed.
After the stock of food in the almost completely sucked-out prey was exhausted, the mother-scleroderm, naturally, must have experienced hunger. In such circumstances she, as was told, may eat eggs laid by her, and [eat] her, dying of hunger, larvae. It is perfectly natural that in these limiting circumstances she had, sooner or later, to taste the juicy threads and conidia of fungi finding their way through the wall of the cavity. That such food was not totally alien for her becomes clear from experiments of feeding females of  Scleroderma  who, at first refusing pieces of banana fruit flesh, later, when these pieces had become sour and covered with fungus, greedily consumed them.
Fungus food effected significant increase of fitness of the mother herself, but she had, of course, to look for her regular food. In that case she, as do also recent scleroderms, licked her larvae and found food, or at least remains of it, there from where also her larvae were used to extract food for themselves, that is, just near the mouth of these larvae. It is very probable that precisely in these hard conditions was established the beginning of exchange [of food] between adult individuals and their developing larvae. The bethyloid foundress of the community may have given the larvae sap of fungi and their chewed parts, and in return obtain the nice saliva of the larvae. Together with this, devouring eggs and weak larvae, she could give to the remaining larvae the, essentially, very same meat dish that they also used to consume earlier while feeding on the prey. In this way trophallaxis originated, that is, "mutual feeding", -- a basic phenomenon in formicine [ant] life.
The fact that the first ants were not able -- against the assumption of Wheeler -- to obtain provisions, for the rising community, outside the nest, and as a result of this did indeed end up in the harsh conditions of hunger, can still be observed in the females of recent ants as a deep-seated and persistent rudiment : As is known, the winged young females of ants after fertilization dispose of their wings, and the wing muscles in them become completely atrophied and go to [i.e. become] the food of the organism-female founding the colony. Such a complex adaptation is not observed in females of wasps and bees (bumblebees) independently founding their colony and thereby obtain provisions for themselves and for their offspring outside the nest. So this adaptation is present only in females of ants. This complex physiological and also instinctive adaptation undoubtedly points to the fact that in the evolution of ants there was a moment in which they were not able to obtain -- according to the model of other social hymenoptera -- provisions from outside the nest, and as a result of this had to live for a considerable period secluded from the outside world and starve.
Very indicative here is the habit of females of Australian ants of the genus  Myrmecia,  taken by Wheeler and his followers as the most primitive of recently living ants. According to the latest [as it was in 1966] investigations of Haskins and Haskins, 1955, we may, during the foundation of colonies by these ants, observe all the basic features of the typical method of setting up nests in higher ants. Thus, the young female of  Myrmecia  regularis  CROWL.,  lacking the possibility to obtain food from outside the nest, is nevertheless able to feed the first generation of her larvae only at the expense of food exuding from her mouth (ingluvial food). The females of wasps and bees, setting up their colonies, are, of course, not able to do this. This fact, as it seems, clearly points to the [other] fact that the process of degeneration of the flight muscles could not have originated in ants when they would, already from the very beginning, be able to obtain food for themselves from outside [the nest], using for this their wings like wasps do.
In one experiment in keeping in artificial conditions a female  Euponera  stigma  F.  of the primitive group of ants, the Ponerinae, larvae of higher ants were offered to her, food, consequently, rich in fat and proteins. "Despite all this it was found that the degeneration of the [flight] muscles was accomplished completely, having left large empty pieces, where the food material was fully spent." From this it is "extremely interesting that the degeneration indeed takes place in the female-ponerine in the same degree as in the higher ants, and this independently of the relative non-usefulness of this process in the foundation of the colony in the present case" (Haskins and Enzmann, 1938). It is clear that the given degenerative process did not originate in the life conditions of recent lower ants, but in their ancestors -- the first ants [and appears today in ants merely as an atavism].
The in the nest chamber developing bethyloid ancestors of ants had (the disposal of) a free exit, at least along the way along which the prey of their mother entered the hide-away place. Together with this, the ability to survive a long time of starvation could not have been originated in them when they all [habitually] had left the place of birth directly after the emergence of them as adult. From this it follows that at least some of them (probably only a few individuals) nevertheless stayed at the place of birth. What then, in such circumstances, would keep them in the nest chamber? Possibly this :  Some of the young fertilized females managed to deposit their first eggs onto the remains of the prey of their mother (as it is observed in  Melittobia).  Precisely this evoked in them the inclination to remain in the nest chamber together with their offspring, in the same way [that is, for the same reason] that their mother stayed with her offspring. This inclination [to stay] appeared, evidently, to be that "cenobiotic instinct" [something like a community instinct], that, according to Forel keeps the young females of ants in the original chamber when they found colonies.
Because at a certain moment the store of food in the nest chambers of the bethyloid ancestors of the ants came to be exhausted, the young females which had stayed in these chambers ended up in the harsh conditions of starvation. Precisely in these conditions began to take place in them the degeneration of flight muscles, and then, connected with that degeneration, also originated in them the instinct of breaking off their wings after fertilization, having become at this moment superfluous to them. Thanks to this peculiar adaptation, so-called "autophagia", the young bethyloid females could live for some time at the expense of their internal stock. But this was also the period that was favorable to the development of a fungus flora near them on the walls of their habitation, on their wastes and excrements. And if they, in these harsh conditions, had not turned to fungus food, only "autophagia" could not have saved them, and they would sooner or later perish of hunger. The original habit of consuming fungus which grew on the walls of the nest cavity, was preserved, as will be explained later, in some recent ants, appearing in them today at the [act of] foundation by them of colonies. Subsequently, feeding on fungus received in ants an extraordinary development.
Now it becomes clear why the melittobias, having reached that same hemi-formicine [ant] phase, as also had the scleroderms, did not go, as the latter did, further. Going after their hosts -- solitary wasps and bees -- which develop in dry well sunlit places, they [the melittobias] fell into different environmental conditions which normally are alien to a fungus flora. Therefore the very possibility of transition to feeding on fungus dropped out, and together with that also the possibility of passing over to the next primary-formicine Phase.
The change of nutritional conditions at the transition from feeding at the expense of a paralyzed prey to autophagia, mycetophagia [feeding on fungus], and trophallaxis [mutual feeding], had an essential influence on the development of the scleroderm-like primitive ants. In the initial low-numbered aggregation of their colony the feeding of the larvae by means of trophallaxis naturally was scanty. This led first of all to a slow-down of the development of fully fledged sexual individuals. In all this the wingless form of the males, in some species meagerly represented anyway, now completely disappeared. Then wingless females, in their larval stage not receiving sufficient food from their mother and from their initially few sisters, began to lag behind in their development and then turned into females unable to reproduce, or "workers", which also took to nursing the offspring produced by their mother. Subsequently, after the increase of the number of auxiliary wingless females, the conditions of feeding of the larvae of subsequent broods of the mother-foundress significantly improved, and as a result, in the same nest began to appear normally developed males and females. Having been generated more or less at the same time, they together left the maternal nest, "swarmed", after which the fertilized females, each one by itself, took to searching their usual preys of some sort in old tree-stumps and trees, where fungal feeding for them and for their offspring was subsequently guaranteed.
With the establishment of the new feeding regime, the development on the walls of the initial chamber of a fungus flora and its use in trophallaxis, became an absolute condition for a successful foundation of a colony. And then the significance until now of the original prey of the bethyloid ancestors of the ants began to dwindle :  The instinct to look for a prey weakened and at the end of the Phase almost disappeared. It is interesting that among the most primitive recent ants, as will be explained later, there is a determined indication to an earlier habit of their ancestors to found a community on a large larva to be hit by them, living in wood rot. In the new conditions the indicating factor in the foundation of a colony was already represented by fungi, that is, not the prey, and therefore the usual place to establish a community, that is, in old wood, lost its imperative significance. Now, also the soil, rich in rotting debris, and forest litter, and other places with sufficiently moistened debris, turned out to be no less appropriate for it. Here, into these places, began to penetrate many female-foundresses for the foundation of a community. [When the first (large) prey was consumed completely, or when the nest was not founded in a hide-away place of a large prey anymore, but simply in the soil, where fungi grew, the first ants settled down in various new places, that is, not necessarily in decaying wood anymore.]
After the fly-out of winged individuals, the female-foundress and her wingless auxiliaries continued their usual activity for an indefinite time, as long as the life conditions in the nest remained favorable. Apparently, already from the very beginning of mycetophagia the new food may be obtained not directly from there where the eggs had been laid and the larvae developed, but a little away from them, on the walls of the nest cavity. This also led to the birth of new habits, to transporting provisions from the place where it was obtained to the place where it was needed. Subsequently, upon increase of aggregation of worker individuals, the small intial room became crowded. This urged the first ants to gnaw channels in adjacent parts of the substrate where they also found food for themselves and for the other members of the community, and disposed of litter that got in their way. In this way the activity of the "worker" individuals of the first ants expanded beyond the borders of the nesting substrate -- trunks or stumps of trees -- into the more or less remote surroundings of it. From there already the primitive forms, beit in very limited numbers, began to bring into the nest various objects, either having a feeding significance, or wholly non-nutritive things but serving them subsequently as material for nest building. The in this way originated ability of the first ants to transport to the nest these or those things was determined for a large part by two facts :  First of all (1), as a result of their morphological closeness to bethyloids the first ants were, as the latter, very small, and the wingless auxiliary females were probaby even smaller. Therefore they could transport to their nests only small objects. Further (2), as to their nature, the first ants were, as explained, carnivores. They could therefore not be satisfied with merely vegetarian food [like the bees and termites, which both are wholly vegetarian], and from time to time aimed at animal food -- chiefly at various larvae, as it is characteristic also to their closest ancestors-scleroderms. But now they had not only to overpower the prey but also to take it with them to the nest. This was realized, apparently, in various ways. In a number of cases, applying the experience that was worked out in feeding on fungi (bite to pieces the food), they used it also in the hunt for insects, which they could now cut up and transport in small parts.
There is evidence to suppose that very early, already in the first ants, the new peculiar ability of their using also a large prey that was not far away from them in an isolated place appeared, that is, in that same stump or old trunk of a tree where they lived. In this case, not having enough power and possibilities to drag the prey with them through the thickness of the wood[rot], they did the reverse :  They carried their larvae from the nest to this prey. Thus, one more trait characteristic of formicine [ant] life was born :  "pampering" the young -- eggs, larvae, and pupae -- which [trait] subsequently also underwent a significant developement, about which we shall speak later. But it is difficult to understand more precisely from which prerequisites this new peculiar instinct of the ants could have been evolved.

The ability of the female to displace the eggs laid by her, rarely appears also in representatives of other insect Orders. So it is known that females of certain grass bugs (Sehirus  luctuosus  M.R.,  Legnotus  limbosus  GOEFFR., and others) carry, as the case may be, heaplets of eggs laid by them, from one place to another.

In other cases, having found not [too] large a prey, [but] unsuited to be cut up on the spot, they began to act together in order to drag it into the nest, albeit without unanimity among each other. Striving with the prey away, to the nest, they, little by little, moved the treasure into the necessary direction. By the way, this third ability appeared, we must suppose, [only] later, when the ants became bigger and significantly more powerful.
In this way, in the sclerodermoid ancestors of ants the chief prerequisites for the creation of the typical formicine phase originated. These are :  The foundation of the community by one single fertilized female, well adapted to living in a closed habitation in conditions favorable for the development of a fungus flora useful to it. Application of "mutual feeding" (trophallaxis) in the hard initial conditions of rearing the young without contact with the outside world. The appearance of the caste of auxiliary females ("workers"), looking like their mother, but wingless by nature, and generally not fertile, able to serve the community, and, finally, the peculiar instinct of "pampering" the young.
Here then we see in what complex and peculiar way the bethyloid ancestors were brought closer to ants. And now it is clearly visible how far away from ants do stand the originally solitary wasps such as Mutillidae, Tiphiidae, Scoliidae, and  Myzine,  in the habits and way of life of which there are absolutely no hints to one or another possibility of a transition of them to familial life or hemi-familial life for that matter. The idea of considering them to be closely related to ants must therefore totally be abandoned.
In the light of what has been expounded about the life and habits of the hypothetical first ants, certain details, appearing in the foundation of colonies in recent ants, are of specific interest to us (See next document).

Further development of the Noëtic Theory of Evolution

In earlier documents, that is, already in those concerning the evolution of Diptera, we had established a number of facts or conjectures :
In the Explicate Order (physical or material, and [also] biological space) an organic "strategy" is the complete set of features characteristic of a given species of organism, that is, is set of specific (as contrasted with individual or accidental) features, including the relevant biochemical, physiological, morphological, morphogenetical, and behavioral ones. In the Implicate Order (noëtic space) these strategies are represented by noëtic, that is, immaterial, patterns or forms :  descriptions.
We maintain that in the Explicate Order many, if not all, groups of organisms have at least a strong tendency to evolve along more or less independent parallel lines of evolution. We have so concluded on the basis of the fact that many related organisms cannot, as it appears, be derived (consecutively) from each other (specialization crossing). So in the Explicate Order we see, not a "genealogic tree" of organisms, but a large number of parallel evolutionary lines, individually ascending from the depths of the history of the earth. But we have also found out that many of these lines nevertheless converge to common points. However, this convergence took place, not in the Explicate Order (material space), but in the Implicate Order (noëtic space). So letting the Implicate Order being involved in the evolution of organisms, we indeed see evolutionarily branched systems of organisms [these systems in turn all having a single common origin (in the Implicate Order), or not]. And these branched sequences of organisms seem more or less to coincide with the "cladograms" resulting from Phylogenetic Systematics in the sense of Hennig. We have further established that the  s u c c e s s i v e  evolution as roughly visible in the Explicate Order must be the reflection of, and correspond with, noëtic derivations (often involving "noëtic reactions") of strategies (as noëtic patterns) in the Implicate Order [where a "strategy" is a noëtic description of how this very description itself, this same immaterial pattern, is able to exist and persist materially in the Explicate Order]. The derivational structure of (organic) noëtic space is thereby expressed by "noëtic trajectories", connecting  c o n s e c u t i v e  noëtic derivations (of strategies from other strategies). These noëtic derivations, and thus the noëtic trajectories, do not take place in time (nor do they in physical space), they are only noëtically (in the way mathematical or logical patterns are) consecutive (they are not successive). In the Explicate Order this noëtic consecutivity is expressed in the temporal appearance of material strategies (organisms) : By "projecting" into the Explicate Order of noëtic patterns (such as strategies) these patterns become ontologically complete (i.e. Form having found its ultimate ontological substrate, Prime Matter). These noëtic patterns, as being just Forms in the Implicate Order, may subsequently obtain their ontological completion by being themselves strategies of how to exist in the Explicate Order (and especially complex patterns perform that [act of] "existing" in the form of organisms). Being in the Implicate Order merely noëtic descriptions (of such strategies), they become, upon projection,  m a t e r i a l  strategies -- organisms in the Explicate Order.
But the precise correspondence of (1) the noëtic non-temporal derivational consecutivity in the Implicate Order with (2) the temporal successivity in the Explicate Order can only be achieved by assuming that a noëtic derivation -- be it as a one-reactant noëtic reaction, or as a more-than-one-reactant noëtic reaction -- can only take place when the noëtic reactants have actually been projected into the Explicate Order (without "exhausting" the original noëtic reactants). And a given noëtic reactant (a strategy) can only be projected into the Explicate Order when the relevant ecological conditions are such that they can receive such a materialized strategy (organismic species), that is, when existing ecological conditions are fully compatible with that to be projected strategy. If they are not, then projection will not take place. And as long as that projection has not actually happened, a further noëtic derivation from, or a noëtic reaction of, that strategy is not possible. But as soon as the mentioned ecological conditions in the Explicate Order allow projection of the given strategy into that Order, some other strategy can be noëtically derived from it.
It is, however, hard to understand why, in noëtic space, a derivation cannot, and then 'later' can, take place. No time is involved in the Implicate Order, so all noëtically possible patterns (patterns each for themselves forming a unity, and without internal contradictions) -- among which [there are] strategies -- must already be present in that Order. And if a given strategy cannot give further derivations of it, then it is so 'forever'.
We solve this problem by stressing the fact that the "not yet now, but perhaps later" in the Implicate Order can only be seen as such from [the viewpoint of] the Explicate Order : If we were allowed to 'look' into the Implicate Order at a given point in time in the Explicate Order, we may not find in the Implicate Order a derivative of some given strategy. But if we look again into the Implicate Order, but now at a later point in time in the Explicate Order, we may well find this derivative (whereby we know that it was present there all along!).
Earlier we said that in the Implicate Order a given strategy cannot give any derivative as long as this strategy has not been projected into the Explicate Order. What should this exactly mean (because 'later' such a derivative may appear in noëtic space)? Well, it means that the strategy -- as being a noëtic pattern -- is somehow 'blocked' to give rise to any derivative of it, or to engage in any noëtic reaction for that matter, as long as projection of the reactant(s) has not taken place. But upon projection (being in turn only possible when the ecological conditions allow such a projection) this obstruction is somehow removed.
All this is, of course, highly hypothetical, but something like that, we deem, must be assumed, if we want to account for the correspondency between (1) noëtic consecutive derivations of strategies in the Implicate Order and (2) the material successive appearances of these strategies in the Explicate Order (and also if we want Dollow's Law of Irreversibility in evolution to be accounted for). Only in this way we can view the material ecological relationships (in material biological space) as being a reflection (and with it a result) of the noëtic 'ecological' relationships in noëtic space [We roughly and generally described these 'ecological' relationships ("noëtical ecological systems") in noëtic space a few documents ago (Part LVII)]. The upshot of all this, of course, remains the supposed fact that all subtle and sophisticated adaptations and seemingly worked-out strategies in organisms, as we see them in the Explicate Order (In Nature, that is), are forged, not in material space, but in noëtic (that is, immaterial) space. And this is against the conventional supposition that such adaptations and strategies have originated by the action of random genetic mutation in organisms and natural selection of mutants that are more fit in a given environment (random search in a fitness landscape), that is, that these adaptations and strategies were forged in material space.
Together with most biologists, but not with most philosophers, it is our conviction that organisms, including humans, are completely material, physical, biological, entities. Even behavior in animals and psychological features in man are material. Of course we can consider behavioral and psychological features as they are "in themselves", that is, as immaterial features, but this is only a result of  c o n c e p t u a l l y  isolating them from matter, that is, by letting all physical, chemical, and biological, aspects out of consideration. Indeed, we can speak of the symmetry of a crystal, where "symmetry" in itself, that is, considered in itself, is an immaterial feature. But this feature of the crystal in fact consists entirely of matter. It is a material configuration. And although symmetry can be conceptually isolated from such a crystal, it cannot in reality be so separated. The same holds for all biological and psychological features. But while the intricate structure of a given crystal, resulting in features like (internal and external) symmetry, or the structure of any other inorganic entity, may be reduced to physical 'blind' forces, and the settling of its parts into configurations that correspond to states of lowest energy, the forging of organisms cannot be so reduced. Organisms do, like all inorganic entities, consist completely of material parts. So material structures can be like that, that is, they can be organisms, but their very 'invention' cannot have taken place in the physical order. Such a conclusion has led astray a number of investigators, and especially some philosophers, to assume the existence of one or another "designer", in the form of a thinking god, or some other transcendent being. We, ourselves, are emphatically against such a personification of the natural cause or causes of organisms. But we fully agree that organisms and their strategies, although fully material, cannot have been forged in the material order. And that was the reason why we have hypothesized about Reality consisting, not of just a single Order, but of two of them :  The Explicate Order (physical, material, order) and the Implicate Order (noëtic immaterial, order). These two Orders of Reality are, however, not supposed to be transcendent to each other, that is, the one is not secluded from the other [this is the Aristotelian spirit]. They interact by the phenomena of projection and injection. And it is noëtic reactions (and thus not physical or chemical reactions) taking place in the Implicate Order that forge organisms, their adaptations and their strategies. In fact they forge new noëtic patterns (from antecedent patterns), that, upon projection into the Explicate Order, appear as organisms, their adaptations, and their strategies.
Upon projection, a strategy, a description, is unfolded along the space and time dimensions of the Explicate Order, which unfolding boils down to the fact that the physical forces in the Explicate Order are harnessed by the projecting noëtic pattern :  The description is 'realized', that is, its  m e a n i n g  is generated. From the first projection (into the material Order) onwards, it is then constantly being injected, re-projected, re-injected, etc. (where "injection" means that the given material pattern [that may be a strategy] is being enfolded back along these dimensions, that is, 'rolled up' along them, entering in this way the Implicate Order again). This process will continue as long as the prevailing ecological conditions in the Explicate Order allow it to do so (If projection has been blocked, there is then, of course, no injection anymore). This projection/injection embodies the mutual ontological  i m m a n e n c e  of both Orders.

With all this -- biological facts and theory of the origin of ants (and a further development of noëtic theory appended) -- we conclude our exposition of the Primary-Ant (Proformicoid) Phase of hymenopterous evolution.
In the next document we will consider the final stage of ant evolution (as to their origin and establishment), viz., the Secondary-Ant (Formicoid) Phase.

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