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Reason and Revelation Volume 29 #1

Wonders of God’s Creation

According to the General Theory of Evolution, about 14 billion years ago “all the matter in the universe was concentrated into one very dense, very hot region that may have been much smaller than a period on this page. For some unknown reason, this region exploded” (Hurd, et al., p. 61). As a result of the alleged explosion of a period-sized ball of matter, billions of galaxies formed, and eventually planets such as Earth evolved. Supposedly, the evolution of galaxies, and every planet, moon, and star within these galaxies, all came about by non-purposeful, unintelligent accidents. Likewise, every life form that eventually appeared on Earth purportedly evolved by mindless, random chances over millions of years. Some life forms “just happened” to evolve the ability to reproduce asexually, while others “just happened” to develop the capability to reproduce sexually. Some life forms “just happened” to evolve the ability to walk along vertical ledges (e.g., geckos), while others “just happened” to evolve the “gift” of glowing (e.g., glow worms). Some life forms “just happened” to evolve the ability to make silk (e.g., spiders), which, pound-for-pound, is stronger than steel, while others “just happened” to evolve the ability to “turn 90 degrees in under 50 milliseconds” while flying in a straight line (e.g., the blowfly; Mueller, 2008, 213[4]:82). Allegedly, everything has come into existence by random chances over billions of years. According to the General Theory of Evolution, there was no Mind, no Intelligence, and no Designer that created the Universe and everything in it.

Ironically, though atheistic evolutionary scientists insist that the Earth and all living things on it have no grand, intelligent Designer, these same scientists consistently refer to amazing “design” in nature. Consider an example of such paradoxical language in a recent National Geographic article titled, “Biomimetics: Design by Nature” (Mueller, 2008). The word “design” (or one of its derivatives—designs, designed, etc.) appeared no less than seven times in the article in reference to “nature’s designs.” Evolutionary biologist Andrew Parker spoke of his collection of preserved animals as “a treasure-trove of brilliant design” (quoted in Mueller, 2008, 213[4]:75, emp. added). After interviewing Parker, National Geographic writer Tom Mueller noted how the capillaries between the scales of a thorny devil lizard are “evidently designed to guide water toward the lizard’s mouth” (p. 81, emp. added). He then explained how “[i]nsects offer an embarrassment of design riches” (p. 75, emp. added). Mueller referred to nature’s “sophistication” and “clever devices” (p. 79), and praised nature for being able to turn simple materials “into structures of fantastic complexity, strength, and toughness” (p. 79). After learning of the uncanny, complicated maneuverability of a little blowfly, Mueller even confessed to feeling the need to regard the insect “on bended knee in admiration” (p. 82). Why? Because of its “mysterious” and “complicated” design. Brilliant and well-funded scientists around the world admit that living things perform many feats “too mysterious and complicated to be able to replicate” (p. 82). They are “designed,” allegedly, with no “Designer.”

But how can you get design without purpose, intelligence, and deliberate planning? The first three definitions the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary gives for “design” (noun) are as follows: “1a:a particular purpose held in view by an individual or group...b:deliberate purposive planning... 2:a mental project or scheme in which means to an end are laid down; 3a:a deliberate undercover project or scheme” (“Design,” 2008, emp. added). After defining “design” as a drawing, sketch, or “graphic representation of a detailed plan...,” the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language noted that design may be defined as “[t]he purposeful or inventive arrangement of parts or details” (2000, p. 492, emp. added). A design is preceded by “deliberate purposive planning,” “a detailed plan,” or an “inventive arrangement.” A design is the effect, not of time, chance, and unintelligent, random accidents, but of the purposeful planning and deliberate actions of an inventor or designer. A designer brings about a design. Thus, by definition, design demands a designer, and one with some measure of intelligence.

National Geographic purports that nature “blindly cobbles together myriad random experiments over thousands of generations” in order to produce complex, living organisms that the world’s “top scientists have yet to comprehend” (Mueller, 2008, 213[4]:90). We, on the other hand, choose to believe that, just as a painting demands a painter, and a poem a poet, the world’s amazing designs, which continually stump the most intelligent scientists on Earth, demand an intelligent Designer. Consider three wonders of God’s Creation—from the land, sea, and air—that testify on behalf of a grand Designer and against the random, chance processes of mindless evolution.

GIRAFFES

The height of an 18-foot giraffe, the tallest of all land animals, is quite daunting. The clumsy-looking giraffe’s ability to run 34 miles per hour is very impressive. Its minimal sleep requirements—only about 30 minutes a day, often broken up into several short naps—and its ability to go weeks without drinking is remarkable (“Giraffe,” 1999). Its 18-inch, prehensile tongue, eight-foot-long tail, and six-foot-tall newborns are all very striking. Most remarkable, however, is the design of the giraffe’s circulatory system.

Consider that a giraffe’s brain is about eight feet higher than its heart. In order to get blood from its heart up to its brain, a giraffe must have an enormous heart that can pump blood extremely hard against gravity. What’s more, it must maintain such blood pressure as long as the giraffe’s neck is vertically in the air. It should come as no surprise that this long-necked mammal is equipped with a two-foot-long, 20-plus-pound, thick-walled heart that is large enough and strong enough to pump blood eight feet high—creating blood pressure that is about twice that of any other large mammal, and as much as three times that of the average person (Foster, 1977, 152[3]:409).

But what about when a giraffe suddenly lowers its head several feet below its heart to get a drink of water? What happens to all of the blood that the heart normally pumps so powerfully against gravity to the brain? If the design of the giraffe were merely left up to time and chance, one would expect that the first time a giraffe tried to lower its neck to get a drink of water, the heart would pump so much blood to the brain that blood vessels in the brain would explode, or the brain would fill up with blood so quickly that the giraffe would pass out.

How does the giraffe keep from having brain bleeds, or from feeling woozy and passing out every time it bends down and raises back up? A National Geographic article on giraffes explains:

To withstand the surge of blood to and from the brain as its neck sweeps up and down, the giraffe has developed control valves in the jugular veins and a special network of blood vessels in its head. Known as the rete mirabile caroticum—wonder net of the carotids—this circulatory buffer keeps blood pressure constant in the brain” (Foster, p. 409).

A giraffe, then, has intricate valves in its jugular veins that help control how much blood gets to the brain during those times when a giraffe has its head lowered. Working together with these valves is a network of blood vessels that “controls the flow of blood into the head” (p. 411). Then, “[w]hen the head is raised, the same net counters the danger of blackouts from reduced blood pressure” (p. 411).

One might wonder how giraffes, which stand on their feet most of the day and have such high blood pressure, keep their lower extremities from pooling with blood. The fact is, even though “the blood vessels in the lower legs are under great pressure (because of the weight of fluid pressing down on them),” giraffes “have a very tight sheath of thick skin over their lower limbs that maintains high extravascular pressure” (“Giraffe,” 2008, parenthetical comment in orig.). Similar to a fighter pilot’s G-suit that “exerts pressure on the body and legs of the wearer under high acceleration and prevents blackout....[l]eakage from the capillaries in the giraffe’s legs, due to high blood pressure, is also probably prevented by a similar pressure of the tissue fluid outside the cells. In addition, the walls of the giraffe’s arteries are thicker than those in any other mammal” (Kofahl, 1992, 14[2]:23).

So, the giraffe has:

  • “a complex pressure-regulation system” (“Giraffe,” 2008).
  • “unique valves” that prevent overpressure when it lowers its head (Foster, 1977, p. 409).
  • a network of blood vessels that helps stabilize blood pressure as the giraffe moves its neck up and down.
  • a heart powerful enough to send an adequate amount of blood eight feet upwards against gravity.
  • arteries in the lower part of its body thick enough to withstand the high blood pressure.
  • skin tight enough to force blood back upward and keep capillaries in its lower extremities from bursting.
  • oversized lungs (large enough to hold 12 gallons of air) that “compensate for the volume of dead air” in its 10-foot long trachea (Foster, p. 409; “Mammals: Giraffe,” 2008). [“Without this extra air-pumping capacity a giraffe would breathe the same used air over and over” (Foster, p. 409).]

National Geographic would have us believe that “nature” provided giraffes with all of this “special equipment” (Foster, p. 411). Supposedly, giraffes’ specialized, necessary, “unique” control valves are “remarkable adaptations” that “developed” (p. 409, emp. added). In other words, multiplied millions of years of “evolution” have “modified the giraffe’s anatomy to allow this stretched-version mammal to function” (p. 409).

How do the mindless, purposeless, random processes of time and chance adequately explain “unique valves,” “a complex pressure-regulation system,” a “wonder net” that “keeps blood pressure constant in the brain” (whether the giraffe’s neck is raised or lowered), a heart, lungs, and arteries all just the right size, etc.? Even more difficult (impossible) for evolution to explain is how all of these sophisticated body parts came about simultaneously? After all, what good is a big heart without a network of blood vessels that stabilizes blood pressure? And what is the point of the rete mirabile caroticum, if the giraffe did not have a heart powerful enough to pump blood eight feet into the air? Evolutionist Robert Wesson openly addressed this issue in his book, Beyond Natural Selection. He wrote:

All these things had to be accomplished in step, and they must have been done rapidly.... That it could all have come about by synchronized random mutations strains the definition of random. The most critical question, however, is how the original impetus to giraffeness—and a million other adaptations—got started and acquired sufficient utility to have selective value.... The observer must be often tempted to suppose that organisms have responded to their conditions and needs more purposefully than strict Darwinian theory can allow (1991, p. 226, emp. added).

Truly, the amazingly intricate design of the giraffe’s circulatory system, as well as the rest of its anatomy and physiology, demand a better explanation than the random, chance processes of evolution. The fact is, the giraffe is brilliantly designed—a wonder of God’s creation.

CUTTLEFISH

Two colorful, eight-legged cephalopods, known as cuttlefish, recently graced the cover of the journal New Scientist (2008, 198[2653]). With bluish-green blood, iridescent skin, feeding tentacles that shoot from their mouths like birthday party blowers, and eyes like something from a Batman movie, it is no surprise that the editors of New Scientist used the term “alien” in their description of the cuttlefish; the animals do look bizarre—plain and simple. Make no mistake, however, these creatures are anything but simple. In fact, just above the cuttlefish was the cover title, “Alien Intelligence: Secret Code of an Eight-Legged Genius” (Brooks, 2008, emp. added). Michael Brooks, author of the feature article, declared that the cuttlefish is “the world’s most inventive mollusk” (2008, p. 31, emp. added) with a “sophisticated system for talking to one another” (p. 28, emp. added). Scientists have documented “around 40 different cuttlefish body patterns, many of which are used to communicate with other cuttlefish” (p. 29). At other times, cuttlefish send “tailor-made” signals to predators (p. 29, emp. added).

Even more incredible than their communication skills, is the cuttlefishes’ ability to blend in to their surroundings. Brooks described them as having “the world’s best camouflage skills” (p. 29). Similar to how these mollusks (cuttlefish have an internal shell called a cuttlebone, thus, scientists classify them as mollusks) communicate with other animals via a variety of body patterns, they also move their bodies into a variety of positions in hopes of staying hidden. For example, while swimming next to large seaweed, a cuttlefish can mimic the motion of the grass by positioning and waving its eight arms similar to how seaweed sways in water. This makes it very difficult for both attackers and possible prey to locate the cuttlefish. In a recent study, scientists placed either horizontal or vertical stripes on the walls of cuttlefish tanks. How did the cuttlefish react? According to Dr. Roger Hanlon, “If the stripes were vertical they would raise an arm. If the stripes were horizontal they would stretch their bodies out horizontally” (as quoted in Brooks, p. 31). Amazing! Cuttlefish can even change the texture of their skin to mimic the shape of certain barnacle-encrusted rocks or corals.

But what must give other sea life more problems than anything is the cuttlefish’s ability to change color—and to do it so quickly. A cuttlefish can change the color of its entire body in the blink of an eye. If this mollusk wants to change to red, it sends signals from its brain to its “pigment” sacs (called chromatophores) to change to red. Cuttlefish can hide from other sea life by changing to the color of sand or seaweed. They can also appear as a strobe light, blinking “on and off” very quickly. So extraordinary are these “masters of camouflage” (p. 28) that government researchers are even “looking into the possibility of copying cuttlefish camouflage for use in the military” (p. 31). Researchers are enamored with “how cuttlefish achieve their quick and convincing camouflage” (p. 30). Nevertheless, “[i]t’s highly unlikely that anyone could achieve that same level of camouflage” (p. 30). Scientists admittedly find it difficult “mimicking the colour-matching abilities of the cuttlefish...and its texture-matching ability, which utilizes the muscles beneath it” (p. 30). In fact, “[n]o one knows exactly” how cuttlefish match their backgrounds so effectively, especially since “[e]xperiments have shown that cuttlefish don’t look at their skin to check how well it matches the background” (p. 31, emp. added). What’s more, if, as scientists believe, this animal is colorblind, only seeing in shades of green (p. 31), how does it always choose the color most helpful (like changing to the color of sand when on the ocean floor)?

The cuttlefish is a remarkable creature. Evolutionists have called this animal a “genius.” Scientists admit that cuttlefish are “sophisticated,” “intelligent,” “tailor-made” creatures with a “secret code.” Yet “evolution” was the very first word Michael Brooks used in his New Scientist article to explain the existence of cuttlefish (p. 29). But how can intelligence arise from non-intelligence? How can something “tailor-made” have no tailor? No one would suggest that Morse code is the product of time and chance, yet Brooks and other evolutionists would have us believe that the cuttlefish’s “secret code” is the product of millions of years of mindless evolution (p. 31)? Preposterous! Nature cannot explain the cuttlefish. The real Code-Giver, the intelligent Designer Who “tailor-made” the cuttlefish, is God. He “created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind” (Genesis 1:21).

GODWITS

As of the summer of 2008, Usain Bolt was the fastest man alive. During the 2008 Olympics, Bolt set Olympic and World records by running 100 meters in 9.69 seconds. A human running at a speed of 28 miles per hour is quite impressive, but neither Usain Bolt nor any other human can maintain such a speed for more than a few seconds. Marathon runners may be able to run 26.2 miles without stopping, but no one averages more than 13 miles per hour while running great distances. Although the human body is a meticulously designed “machine” (see Jackson, 2000), which functions perfectly for its intended purpose on Earth, there are limits to what a person can do. When these limits are compared to the speed and distance a particular bird flew some time ago, one gains a greater appreciation for God’s wondrous creation.

In February 2007, scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey fitted 16 shorebirds, known as bar-tailed godwits, with satellite transmitters. One of the godwits, dubbed E7, made its way from New Zealand to Alaska over the next three months, flying 9,340 miles with one five-week-long layover near the North Korea-China border (Hansford, 2007). After nearly four months, the godwit began its uninterrupted flight back to New Zealand. Amazingly, this little bird, which normally weighs less than one pound, flew 7,145 miles in nine days without stopping, averaging 34.8 mph. Without taking a break to eat, drink, or rest, the godwit flew “the equivalent of making a roundtrip flight between New York and San Francisco, and then flying back again to San Francisco without ever touching down” (“Bird Completes...,” 2007). Equally impressive, the godwit’s approximately 16,500-mile, roundtrip journey ended where it began. Without a map, a compass, or even a parent, godwits can fly tens of thousands of miles without getting lost.

Scientists have studied the migration of birds for decades and still cannot adequately explain this “age-old riddle” (Peterson, 1968, p. 108). Their stamina and sense of direction is mind-boggling. In his book Unsolved Mysteries of Science, evolutionist John Malone reported how much progress man has made over the last few centuries in understanding how birds are able to journey thousands of miles with pinpoint accuracy (2001, pp. 114-122). Yet, he concluded his chapter on bird migration with these words:

Partial explanations abound, but every book or scientific article on bird migration is full of conditional words and phrases: “It may be...but it also might not be.” We know more about how birds might achieve their epic flights around the world, but there are still far more mysteries than there are explanations. The tiny songbird that reappeared to build its nest in the apple tree outside your window—and we know from banding that it can indeed be exactly the same bird—has been to South America and back since you saw it last. How can that be? This is one case where it may be nicer not to know—simply allow yourself to be swept up by awe and wonder (p. 122, emp. added).

Try as they might, evolutionists attempting to explain the complexities of bird migration can only offer woeful (and often contradictory) theories, at best (Peterson, p. 108). How can a person reasonably conclude that non-intelligence, plus time, plus chance, equals a one-pound, bar-tailed godwit flying 7,145 miles in nine days without stopping for food, water, or rest? The “awe and wonder” to which John Malone alluded should be directed toward neither mindless evolution nor the birds themselves, but to the “great and awesome God” (Daniel 9:4) Who has done “wondrous works” and “awesome things” (Psalm 106:22), including endowing birds with the amazing trait we call “instinct.” Truly, it is not by evolution or man’s wisdom that a bird “soars, stretching his wings toward the south” (Job 39:26). Rather, “the stork in the sky knows her seasons; and the turtledove and the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration” (Jeremiah 8:7, NASB), because all-knowing, all-powerful Jehovah is the Creator of them all.

CONCLUSION

Whereas National Geographic highlights “nature” and encourages readers to “learn from what evolution has wrought” (Mueller, 2008, 213[4]:75, emp. added), mankind would do better to heed the example of a noble inventor/designer from the mid-1800s. Samuel Morse, who invented the telegraph system and Morse Code, sent the very first telegraph from Washington, D.C. to Baltimore, Maryland on May 24, 1844 (“Today...,” 2007). His message consisted of a brief quotation from Numbers 23:23: “What hath God wrought!” (emp. added). Samuel Morse unashamedly testified to what everyone should understand: design demands a designer. Morse’s code and the telegraph system were the immediate effects of a designer: Samuel Morse. But, the Grand Designer, Who created Morse and every material thing that Morse used to invent his telegraph system, is God. Morse recognized this marvelous, self-evident truth. Should we not recognize it as well, especially in view of the abilities of giraffes, cuttlefish, and godwits—wonders of God’s creation?

For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God (Hebrews 3:4).

The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours; the world and all its fullness, You have founded them. The north and the south, You have created them (Psalm 89:11-12).

This great and wide sea, in which are innumerable teeming things, living things both small and great. O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all (Psalm 104:25,24, emp. added).

REFERENCES

“Bird Completes Epic Flight Across the Pacific” (2007), ScienceDaily, September 17, [On-line], http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070915131 205.htm.

Brooks, Michael (2008), “Do You Speak Cuttlefish?” New Scientist, 198[2653]: 28-31, April 26.

American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (2000), (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin), fourth edition.

“Design” (2008), Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, [On-line], URL: http://www.merriam-webster.com/diction ary.

Foster, Bristol (1977), “Africa’s Gentle Giants,” National Geographic, 152[3]:402-417, September.

“Giraffe” (1999), Smithsonian National Zoological Park, [On-line], URL: http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/AfricanSavanna/fact-giraffe.cfm.

“Giraffe” (2008), New World Encyclopedia, [On-line], URL: http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Giraffe.

Hansford, Dave (2007), “Alaska Bird Makes Longest Nonstop Flight Ever Measured,” National Geographic News, September 14, [On-line], URL: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/09/070913-longest-flight.html.

Hurd, Dean, George Mathias, and Susan Johnson, eds. (1992), General Science: A Voyage of Discovery (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall).

Jackson, Wayne (2000), The Human Body—Accident or Design? (Stockton, CA: Courier Publications).

Kofahl, Robert (1992), “Do Drinking Giraffes Have Headaches?” Creation, 14[2]:22-23, March, [On-line], URL: http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v14/i2/giraffes.asp.

Malone, John (2001), Unsolved Mysteries of Science (New York: John Wiley & Sons).

“Mammals: Giraffe” (2008), San Diego Zoo, [On-line], URL: http://www.sandiegozoo.org/animalbytes/t- giraffe.html.

Mueller, Tom (2008), “Biomimetics: Design by Nature,” National Geographic, 213[4]:68-91, April.

Peterson, Roger (1968), The Birds (New York: Time-Life).

“Today in History: May 24” (2007), The Library of Congress, [On-line], URL: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/may24.html.

Wesson, Robert (1991), Beyond Natural Selection (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press).



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