BIRDS, BEETLES, AND LIFE

by Barry Setterfield


Have you ever noticed how you can usually tell if something is man-made or is just an artefact of time and chance? For example, a lump of marble, when left to wind and rain does not form a human face: that requires a sculptor. Likewise, the Sydney Harbour Bridge implies a designer, even though we may never have met him. Similarly, the Bible also says in Romans 1:16 that "the Creator's eternal power and Godhead, though invisible to us, are clearly evidenced by the created order in the cosmos."

Is this really the case? Is there evidence that life was formed by a loving and all-wise Creator and did not just evolve? Consider the little fish, wrasses that act as cleaners. The mouths of fish accumulate food debris and parasites, and they have no toothbrush! So wrasses clean them up inside and out. They swim into the mouths of big fish amongst the vicious looking teeth. The big fish make no attempt to eat these little cleaner fish. Even the spotted trunk-fish that exudes a poison from its skin withholds that poison while its cleaned up. In 1977, Nobel prize winner Albert Szent-Gyorgyi said in Synthesis Vol. 1: 1

"All this may sound very simple, but it involves a whole series of most complicated chain reactions with a horribly complex underlying nervous mechanism. All this had to be developed simultaneously. The chance of this happening as a random mutation has the probability of zero."

Examine the woodpecker! It gets its food by banging its beak into trees like a pneumatic drill to get the beetles and bugs hiding in the wood. It has an unusual arrangement of 2 toes at the back of its foot that allows it to hang on to trees. But the shock absorber mechanism in its head that allows it to drill into wood is not only unusual; it is unique. However, there is no point in drilling into wood unless you can get the food there. So the woodpecker has an extremely long, very flexible tongue that reaches way down into cavities in the wood. But where do you put a long tongue when its not in use? This bird wraps it under its skin, and right around its head, and anchors it in its right nostril! None of the pieces in this evolutionary puzzle have any survival value until the whole set is functioning together. Imagine a woodpecker evolving a tongue that was too long for its beak but too short to get the beetles! Plan, purpose, and special creation are far more likely than time, chance, and natural processes.

The giraffe's neck is a problem! How do you get the blood up to its head? Well the giraffe has a huge heart that sends blood out at high pressure. This pressure would damage the giraffe's brain, but gravity reduces it dramatically. But how does the giraffe cope with the rush of blood at high pressure when it bends down to drink? Well, it has a wondernet at the base of its brain, a spongy complex of small arteries and veins that enlarge considerably and reduce the pressure. Meantime, a remarkable series of valves close in its jugular vein that prevents blood in the neck flowing backwards into the head. When the giraffe suddenly straightens up it does not faint because of the reserve blood supply in the wondernet. Now think! Without the massive heart it would never get blood to its brain. If it had the heart without the wondernet it would die when it stooped to drink. If it had the heart and wondernet without the valves in the jugular vein, the wondernet would burst. All associated features must be in place simultaneously. The giraffe's neck is a testimony to special design and planning..

Look at the bombardier beetle! Despite its very ordinary appearance, it possesses a remarkable explosive chemical defence system. The beetle manufactures hydrogen peroxide and hydroquinone that come down twin tubes into a combustion chamber. At the concentrations used by the beetle, its an explosive mixture. But the mixture does not explode in the beetle because an inhibitor enzyme comes down with the two components. Then, when this mixture is about to be fired at a hungry toad or predator, an anti-inhibitor is injected and the toad gets an explosion in its face at 100 degrees Celsius!

Imagine the first beetle evolving this system. If it had not evolved the inhibitor, the beetle would blow up! With any other of the component chemicals missing, the toad would have eaten the beetle. In other words, it could not have evolved gradually over time. The whole complete system had to operate from the beginning. Nor is this all. The beetle's chemical spray is highly directional, and is pulsed at the rate of 500 bursts per second! This complete functional chemical unit therefore requires a whole series of nerve and muscle attachments for aim and control. It speaks of plan, purpose and special creation.

These creatures, and life itself, therefore testify to a wise and loving Creator Who has a Plan and purpose for every life that comes into this world. But His Plan and Purpose for your life can only be discovered by putting yourself completely in His hands, and by accepting His sacrifice for your sins. After all, since He created and runs the cosmos, you can surely trust Him to look after your Life.



June 14, 1998
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