The Creation Explanation
|Intelligent, Purposeful Design in Nature|
Bird navigators. The navigational abilities of birds remain largely a mystery to science. A species of warbler summers in Germany, where the young are raised. At the close of the season the parent birds depart for the headwaters of the Nile in Africa, leaving behind the young birds, which are not yet ready for the long flight. A few weeks later the young birds take off and fly to Africa, traveling thousands of miles without a guide over a path they have never seen, to join their parents. How do they accomplish this? German scientists proved that they navigate by the stars.15 These birds are hatched from the egg with this ability and with much of the pre-programmed navigation and flight instructions already in their little bird brains.
More recent research reveals that a pigeon has two independent mechanisms for determining direction. In sunny weather the pigeon tells direction by means of the sun, but in cloudy weather it tells direction by means of some kind of magnetic compass located somewhere in its head.16 The common pigeon guards an even more mysterious secret of navigation. It has knowledge of a map which it reads as it travels to its destination. This map is entirely independent of surface features on the earth, yet is strangely influenced by the geographical location in which the bird finds itself. Scientists at Cornell University and other research centers have continued the effort to learn the pigeon's secret. One possible lead comes from recent studies which show that many vertebrate and invertebrate animals, as well as man, have in certain tissues in their heads deposits of microscopically small particles of magnetic iron oxide. This may help explain some directional capabilities observed in many animals and perhaps even in man.
Science has no explanation for the evolution of bird and animal navigation capabilities. The more reasonable and satisfying explanation is that these creatures were designed by the Creator.
Spider aquanauts. Most spiders do not like water. They are dry land creatures. But Argyroneta lives under the water!17 These clever creatures live in little silken diving bells a foot or so under the surface of ponds and streams in Europe. At the surface they capture bubbles of air, which cling to the hairs of their abdomens, and they then fill their diving bells with bubbles brought down from the surface. The female Argyroneta lays eggs in her diving bell, and the little spiderlets hatch out to begin their life there beneath the surface. When they are ready to begin an independent life, they dart out into the water sheathed in a silvery bubble of air borrowed from their mother's diving bell home. Evolutionary science faces a formidable challenge in the search for even plausible speculative scenarios for the evolutionary origins of such features in the world of biology, to say nothing of the task of discovering and demonstrating actual genetic processes which are capable of producing new species with new complex structures, functions and behaviors.
The egg-swallowing frog that spits baby frogs. Female frogs have no womb but lay eggs, usually under water in a gelatinous mass. Tadpoles emerge from the eggs, begin fending for themselves, and gradually are transformed into adult frogs. But in one species of frog in Australia mother frog has a womb. Rather, she has a marvelously adapted stomach and digestive system. Her stomach normally behaves like a stomach should, digesting all of the food delivered to it from the frog's mouth. But when she is ready to lay her eggs, the digestive juices stop flowing, and the frog's stomach converts into a womb. She swallows her eggs which hatch in the stomach and develop into tiny juvenile frogs. Needless to say, mom goes on a fast during this gestation period. When they are ready for the outside world, the young frogs climb up into their mother's mouth, and she spits them out rapid fire. No doubt by now quite hungry, mother frog resumes eating, and her stomach resumes its traditional task of digesting food.18
It would be interesting to discuss this marvelous product of chance mutations and natural selection with an evolutionary biologist. Surely it overwhelms the powers of human imagination and explication. First there would have to occur mutations to change the instinctive maternal tendency to protect her eggs into a tendency to eat them. When this started to happen, the eggs were digested and never became frogs. If the mother frogs continued to eat their eggs, more radical changes would have to occur before the species became extinct from cannibalism. The mother frogs would have to lose their appetites, and shut down their digestive processes. Sufficient oxygen must be transferred to the stomach, either by the mother's swallowing air or by diffusion from the lining of the stomach which normally excretes hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes into the stomach. Question: Do the froglets eat anything while developing in mom's tummy? If not, the original eggs must contain enough nutrition for their development through the tadpole stage into the frog stage. Then the froglets must develop the instinctive behavior of climbing up their mother's esophagus into her mouth to be spit out into the cruel world. Finally, the mother's stomach must resume digestion so that she does not starve to death. And all of these changes happen and are integrated into the new life-style because chance random mutations in the genes are chosen or rejected by natural selection. It's all a trial-and-error process directed by no intelligence and without a purpose or goal.
The complexities of the required interactions of physiology, molecular genetics, biochemistry, embryonic development, instinctive behavior, and the external and internal environment of the mother frogs and their offspring beggar the imagination. Science has essentially no understanding of how even one of these complexities could be originated by genetic and developmental processes. And needless to say, there is no fossil evidence for the origination of this peculiar species of frog and its far-out behavior. Nevertheless, the faithful are required as an essential element of their professional qualifications to believe that this frog was not designed and created by God. Unbelievers are denigrated for being unfaithful to what is supposed to be the true spirit of science.
15. Sauer, E.G.F., Scientific American, Vol. 199, Aug. 1958, p. 42; Emlen, Stephen T., ibid., Vol. 233, Aug. 1975, pp. 102-111.
16. Palmer, J.D., Natural History, Vol. 76, Nov. 1967, pp. 54-57; Keeton, William T., Scientific American, Vol. 231, Dec. 1974, pp. 96-107.
17. Sisson, R.F., National Geographic, Vol. 141, May 1972, pp. 694-701.
18. Cohen, I.L, Darwin Was Wrong--A Study in Probabilities (New Research Publications, Inc., Greenvale, NY, 1984), p. 143.