Posted by: Rob Lester | May 31, 2010

Water striders—best foot forward

Water striders are the spider-like insects which can walk on the surface of water.  Its long legs bend like spring steel in response to the surface tension of the water molecules whereas a short, rigid leg would sink.  There is a measurable relationship between leg length and weight-bearing.  Short, rigid legs would sink, but increased length means more weight can be supported.  However, there is a point at which more weight will not be supported no matter the length.  Guess how long water striders’ legs are—just short of this critical measurement, maximizing the weight support.  Answers in Genesis asks, “The question is, how many generations of water striders would have to drown before developing the ‘just right’ combination of leg rigidity and length, body weight, etc.?  Natural selection could not have favored intermediate forms that all drowned on the way to the only water strider that didn’t drown!” Because they would have drowned before reproducing and passing on the ‘partial mutation’ in their genes.  Their legs are the perfect length because God designed them that way from the beginning.  Otherwise they could not have survived.  You can believe what God said He did in Genesis chapter one.

Zelkowitz, Rachel. “Water Striders Put Best Foot Forward” ScienceNow 8/8/08



  1. When a boy I was truly amazed by these bugs that “walked on water.” I continue to be amazed at the many and varied, simple and complex, organisms God has created.

  2. You have it backwards, the strider moved to the water once there was a food source. The more the legs adapted, the better the strider was able to stay afloat. That strider because the grandfather of all striders today.

    Do not put the wagon before the horse. Your argument is a fallacy.

    • Fred,
      Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. Water striders feed on insects and organisms found on the surface of the water so I wonder what they ate on land before they were driven to the water. What did the water striders who never ventured into the water evolve into? And the question remains of how dead insects drowned at the bottom because of incompletely-evolved legs could have passed on their partially-adapted genes to keep the engine of evolution going. Your rebuttal is a fallacy.

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