“Adaptation” and “Design” are phenomena of nature that prove the presence of a Superintending Mind. “Design demands a Designer.” The millions of odd shapes and differing habits of the plants and animals making up the teeming populations of creation were all cleverly designed to enable each species to live and survive and to reproduce its kind in a very complicated world. C. H. Waddington, writing in the Scientific American, describes “Adaptations” in these words:
“Every kind of creature is endowed with or develops qualities — we call them ‘adaptations’ — which are neatly tailored to the requirements of its special mode of life.” He mentions the mystery and miracle inherent in such “adaptations;” “How these adaptations come (or came) into being is one of the oldest and still one of the thorniest problems of biology. . . . Darwin argued that the whole of evolution depends on RANDOM CHANGES in the hereditary constitution and the selection of helpful changes by the environment. If a change, which we nowadays call a gene mutation, happens to make an animal better adapted and thus more efficient, that animal will leave more offspring than its fellows and the new type of gene will increase in frequency until it finally supplants the old.”
Recognizing that many will question the adequacy of Darwin’s theory of “RANDOM CHANGES” to account for the marvels of “design” and “adaptations,” Theodosius Dobzhansky, another writer in the Scientific American, says:
“Perhaps the most troublesome problem in the theory of evolution today is the question of HOW THE HAPHAZARD PROCESS OF CHANCE MUTATION and natural selection could have produced some of the wonderfully complicated adaptations in nature. Consider, for instance, the structure of the human eye — a most intricate system composed of a great number of exquisitely adjusted and co-ordinated parts. COULD SUCH A SYSTEM HAVE ARISEN MERELY BY THE GRADUAL ACCUMULATION OF HUNDREDS OR THOUSANDS OF LUCKY, INDEPENDENT MUTATIONS?” (Caps ours). “Some people believe this is asking too much for ‘natural selection’ to accomplish, and they have offered other explanations.” (Dr. Dobzhansky himself believes in the theory of evolution; but at least he raises the question and shows that many do NOT consider Darwinism or any other theory of evolution as giving an adequate explanation of the fact of adaptations in nature).
Personally, we think it is absurd to believe that “RANDOM CHANGES” can account for the marvelous “adaptations” and “design” found in nature. The only explanation that meets the demands of reason is the fact of Divine Creation.
Perfect “adaptations” are the rule of life. “Always, wherever an animal appears it comes perfectly equipped for the sphere in which its life is to be lived.”
Evolution claims that the myriads of forms of life, each with its perfect adaptations, came about GRADUALLY. This confronts the thinker with an impossible situation. Here is the argument:
Evolution teaches that fish evolved from lower animals. How did they get fins? No evolutionist claims that fins came in one generation, but rather in many generations. In other words, the development of fins was a GRADUAL development. And from where did birds get their wings? No evolutionist claims that wings came in one generation, but rather in many generations. They claim that the development of wings was through a very slow, gradual process. Now when the process, let us say, was half way complete, the “fin” or the “wing,” as the case may be, would be useless — good for nothing — for a fish cannot swim with a part-fin nor can a bird fly with a part-wing! A part-fin or a part-wing, would be a monstrosity, not a perfect adaptation such as we see everywhere in nature. NOWHERE IN THE WORLD TODAY CAN ONE FIND PARTLY DEVELOPED APPENDAGES OR ORGANS, but, rather, everywhere there is perfect adaptation, perfect development for its intended purpose. That fact proves that EACH CREATURE, IN ALL ESSENTIAL FEATURES, HAS BEEN EXACTLY AS IT IS NOW, and was so created in the beginning.
Think for a moment of the trunk of an elephant; it is perfectly adapted to the use the elephant puts it. Having 20,000 muscles, the trunk of an elephant has great versatility. With it he can lift a peanut to enjoy, or lift and crush to the ground a 600 pound tiger. He can twist his trunk in every direction; and its sensitive end is endowed with such a delicate sense of touch that he can pick up even a small pin from the ground at his feet! But what good would a “partially developed” trunk be?
What good to an eagle would a “partly developed” wing be? Everything in nature is perfect for the purpose and environment for which each creature was created. Anything less than perfection would be useless. On the very surface, the theory of evolution proves itself to be a nightmare, an impossible theory that does NOT fit the facts of a world that functions as this one does. For a workable world, it is absolutely necessary that all living things be created perfect!
The teeth of carnivores (flesh eaters — dogs, wolves, tigers, lions, hyenas, etc). are especially adapted to seizing and rending prey. The South American anteater, on the other hand, has NO teeth, but a long snout, at the end of which is a small, toothless mouth with a tiny slit as the opening. The tongue of the anteater is a tubular affair about eighteen inches long that can be used either to pick up ants off the ground or in the passageways of ant colonies. Think for a moment: what good on earth would an anteater’s snout be if it were only partly developed? Imagine a monstrous creature, with a few deformed canine teeth in a half-developed snout, with a tongue not fully adapted to picking up ants! Such “messes” would wreck the world of nature in one generation, if they prevailed. In nature any imperfection is like an incomplete bridge.
Hugo de Vries aptly said, “Natural selection may explain the survival of the fittest, but it cannot explain the arrival of the fittest.”
Other writers have sensed this preposterous absurdity in the theory of evolution. Dr. Criswell says,
“Take a spider. In the posterior region of the spider are highly specialized organs for the spinning of a web. He spins the web in order to gain food to eat — in his peculiar way. Now, in the millions, and millions, and millions of years it took for those modifications in the posterior regions of the spider to develop into those highly specialized organs, so he could spin a web, so he could catch his food, why did he not starve to death while those organs were developing so he could spin his web?” (Did Man Just Happen?)
Obviously, all specialized organs, such as the trunk of an elephant, the spinning apparatus of a spider, the eye of an eagle, the retractable claws of the tiger, the beak of a woodpecker, the tongue of an anteater, the quills of a porcupine, HAD to be created perfect and suddenly — otherwise they would never serve their intended purpose. The evolutionary idea of gradual development through “random changes” through long ages of time can in no wise account for the facts of a practical, workable world.
“ADAPTATIONS” AND “DESIGN” SEEN IN PLANTS
In the whole panorama of plant life there are literally millions of special “adaptations” and evidences of special “design.” We select but a few that illustrate this point — “Design” demands a Designer of Intelligence; and “Adaptations” have to come SUDDENLY and be PERFECT to accomplish their purpose, and that eliminates the preposterous idea of “random changes” through long periods of time as an explanation for adaptations.
Who gave cacti and other succulent plants of arid regions their unbelievable ability to store enough water during the rainy season to carry them through the many dry months? Most plants lose gallons of water daily through their leaves — but not the cactus; it has no leaves. The swollen stems function to carry on the process of food-making, and water storage. Who put the spines on cacti to protect them from being eaten by foraging animals? And who left the spines off other plants, so foraging animals could have food? Do cacti have the intelligence or the foresight to protect themselves from raiding animals? To ask the question is to answer it: the wisdom in evidence is NOT in the plant, but in the God who created the plants as well as the animals, and Who designed all things to fit into a perfect, workable economy.
Who designed the arrangement of leaves on such native trees as the beech, elm, oak and chestnut, to secure a maximum amount of sunlight for all leaves? The leaves are arranged on the vertical shoots in spirals so that any given leaf does not shade the leaf next below it on the shoot. That is the result of INTELLIGENCE — not “random chance” or “chance mutations.” In a case like this, where the individual members of the plant seem concerned with the welfare of the entire tree, one must presuppose “actual foresight,” which is NOT as asset of mindless plants.
Who shaped the leaves of the teasel and compass plants so that both rainwater and dew are retained at the bottom of the leaves in a little cup, long after evaporation would have dried the leaves were they not so shaped?
Who anticipated the need of the morning glory, when the bee makes a sudden crash landing in its open mouth, for strength for its delicate flowers to handle the impact? The five corrugated blades of the flower that radiate upward from the stem, held together by tissue — thin curved sheets — take the blow easily without injury to the flower and enable the flower to deliver nectar and pollen, according to plan.
Who designed the walnut shell, making it hard to crack, so preserving at least some of the walnuts to serve as SEED for other trees, and guarantee the cycle of life? A walnut shell is most interesting. An Engineer of great ability had to figure out the design, which no man yet has been able to improve on “to get strength without weight.” To its naturally rigid dome shape is added a compression ring around the middle. Then the surface to the shell is heavily corrugated so it can not be dented. Inside, two tension plates at right angles — the whole thing being very light weight material — give still more rigidity!
Who gave countless plants their hairy stems and branches to keep off pilfering ants and beetles? This is another case of obvious foresight, which plants do not posses. Who thought of the idea of giving milkweeds, wild lettuce and dandelions a white, sticky milky sap, and made the surface tissue tender, so that when ants and beetles seek to climb up the plants, their pick-like claws pierce the tender tissue, letting a tiny droplet of sticky “milk” gush out? Soon the legs of the unwanted insects become covered with the sticky adhesive and further progress for them becomes difficult — and the trespassers retire in disgust.
“Adaptations” and “Design” seen in Insects.
Insect structures show vast variations — hundreds of thousands. The grasshopper’s leg was designed for jumping; the leg of the diving beetle for swimming; the leg of the bumblebee for carrying pollen: and in each case the leg is perfectly adapted to its intended use.
The tongues of some moths and butterflies are as long as their bodies. The nectar, which is their food, is produced in the deep, hidden pockets (nectaries) of flowers. By unrolling the tongue and thrusting it into the far recesses of the flower, the insect is able to reach the nectar and suck it up. Commenting on this amazing fact, one evolutionist says,
“This long tube has been developed in the course of ages from the jaws of the insect.” (Article on “Butterflies and Moths”).
A partly-evolved sucking tongue would be useless; such a tongue is of no use whatever unless and until it is PERFECTED FOR THE JOB IT MUST DO. Surely no thinking person can be so foolish as to believe that such an intricate instrument as the long sucking tube of the butterfly, which it neatly curls up when not in use, was the product of “development through the course of ages.”
Who gave locusts their “automatic stabilizer” (an aerodynamic sense organ, surrounded by hairs on the front and top of the insect’s head)? and who devised an automatic “gyroscope” (club like structures called “halters”) for flies? During flight the
“tips of the halters swing to and fro in the arc of a circle. When the fly is turned off its course, the halters continue to swing in the same plane as before the turn, on the principle of a gyroscope” (Smithsonian Institute Report, 1954).
What mechanical genius devised the wings of Glossina palpalis (tsetse-fly) that beat 120 times per second — and arranged the timing of the beat so that the wing actually rests three-fourths of that time! (rest periods between each beat). If that is startling, think of Who is able to create wings for the tiny midge (an insect less than one-tenth of an inch long) that beat 2,000 times per second! (Nature Parade).
Miracles galore mark the “Nature Parade!”
Who first instructed the water spider in the art of making and using a “diving bell?”
“The tiny, inverted nest of silk is anchored firmly underwater — a watertight air chamber. the spider then fills it with air by trapping a bubble between its hind legs; the air in this bubble is released into the nest. Fresh air is brought down to this ‘diving bell’ as often as required until the family is raised.”
Who designed the amazing architecture of the grasshopper’s hind legs? Graham Hoyle, writing in a recent issue of the Scientific American, describes the astonishing mechanism.
“The grasshopper’s jump is one of the most remarkable performances in the biological world. The little animal can leap about 10 times its body length in a vertical jump or 20 times its length (almost one meter) horizontally. . . .The grasshopper weighs only two grams, and its leg muscle is only 1/25th of a gram. . . . but the tiny muscle exerts the astonishing power of some 20,000 grams per gram of its own weight (10 times that developed by the muscles of man). Two features of MECHANICAL DESIGN account for the efficiency and enormous power of the grasshopper’s jumping muscle. First, the muscle fibers are very short — about 1.5 millimeters, or one-twentieth of an inch. Secondly, they are arranged like the fibrils of a feather along the whole length of the femur, attached to the external skeleton of the insect’s leg and to a long, broad tendon inside the leg. Thus the load is distributed evenly over the whole limb. Such an even distribution is impossible in a vertebrate structure.”
Who gave to the bombardier beetle the formula for its poison gas? In its body it secretes a foul-smelling liquid which turns into a vapor as it is discharged from two glands near the anus. There is a sound like the explosion of a tiny pop-gun as the gas attack is launched against its enemy!
Who gave the strange Ichneumon fly (Thalessa) a drill, about 4½ inches long? The Thalessa “bores into WOOD and lays its eggs.” Moreover, the female Thalessa lays her egg near the larvae of the Tremex. When the Ichneumon larva hatches, it attaches itself to the Tremex larva and feeds greedily on it.
Who first suggested to balloon spiders that they spin parachutes of silk which they use to transport themselves across fields, or as far as a hundred miles away? And who gave the water spiders the ingenuity to build tiny rafts, held together by the silk they spin, and on which they sail over the surfaces of ponds or calm streams?
Who equipped the water-scorpion with a snorkel-type tube so that it can breathe fresh air while submerged?
Who taught the tent caterpillar to use guide lines which it spins and lays down as it travels from branch to branch on an apple tree? By following these lines in the evening it finds its way back to its nest!
Who gave the female mosquito such an elaborate “surgical kit” that she can drill through skin and get her fill of blood?
“Nature has fitted the mosquito with a perfect midget tool kit. It is carried in the beak, which is a long, slender sort of nose. The tools are sheathed in a well fitting pocket of soft skin which is really the mosquito’s lower lip. Inside the cover are six long neat tools, a pair of saws, a pair of lancets, a syringe and a syphon. . . . And in the mosquito’s head, placed where they can see and supervise the drilling operation, is a pair of compound eyes. . . . We are not ‘bitten’ by a mosquito. The thirsty little monsters have no teeth. The damage is done with a tool kit.” It literally cuts a disc out of the victim’s skin.
And all this was achieved by “RANDOM CHANGES?” Tell me, thinking reader. HOW MANY BILLIONS OF YEARS WOULD BE REQUIRED “ACCIDENTLY” TO develop such a minute, intricate kit of surgical instruments — plus the ‘know-how’ given to the mosquito to use the kit? And, remember, if such a marvel were developed step by step — it would be useless until perfected! Who is so naive as to believe such puerile nonsense ?
For unparalleled ingenuity, though, one must study the hunting wasp. Let us examine the procedure used by the Odynerus hunting wasp. We quote from the book, “The Hunting Wasp.”
“Odynerus (hunting wasp) makes and cements a horizontal cell, broad at one end and narrow at the other. From the ceiling of the broad end she hangs a silken thread and on the end of this thread, in mid-air, she suspends her egg. Under the egg she places two or three caterpillars, and in the narrow part of the cell she places a lot more — about twenty — jammed together so that they cannot move or wriggle away. What happens? The egg splits and a tiny yellow larva emerges. It does not fall to the ground but hangs from the end of the shell of the egg, and its weight lengthens the thread. The larva stretches its little head down and takes a small bite out of one of the recumbent forms below.
“These (stored) caterpillars are not dead; they have not been treated too severely and are not inert. Observers have found that, at a touch, up will go their tails. They have in fact only been treated in the head end. So, on the bite (from the hunting wasp larva) being taken, the caterpillar rears and the scared lava streaks up its thread out of harm’s way. By and by, when all is quiet again, it steals down and takes another bite and the caterpillar rears as before. As the caterpillar weakens with this treatment the grub grows stronger. In twenty-four hours it has eaten the first caterpillar, and starts on the next. With the body of a whole caterpillar inside it, it is of course, larger and stronger” and soon it is able fearlessly to tackle and devour, one by one, its remaining stock of caterpillars — all kept as fresh meat until eaten, by the neat process of the mother wasp’s stinging the victim in one segment only — so paralyzing it but not killing it! (P. 176).
Generation after generation — without change — the Odynerus hunting wasp goes through this procedure. Such miracles can not be explained by evolution, or “chance mutation” or “random change,” or any other theory that leaves God out. The very intricacy of the scheme used by this wasp demands that some superior Intelligence devised the entire thing, and created the wasp with those strange, yet practical, habits that provide so uniquely for its offspring.
Some will ask, Is God then the author of such schemes that involve the killing and eating of one form of life by another? True, this is an effective way of keeping over-population of animals in check. We must also remember that we are living in a world judged by reason of the Fall of man (see Genesis 3:14-19). Death is the wage of sin — and the animal creation suffers with mankind in the judgments of God on sin. We read of this “sympathetic” suffering in Romans 8:
“For creation was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope.
“Because the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
“For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” (Verses 20-22)>
“Food chains” are a part of God’s creation, in a world under the “curse” of sin. Birds can eat worms and insects; foxes and wolves eat rabbits; large fish eat small fish, etc. And all life — plant and animal — eventually ends in death, so reflecting the judgment of death God has placed on mankind because of sin (see Romans 5:12; 6:23).
Vast changes will take place at the second advent of Christ, when the present “curse” on creation will be removed. then Edenic conditions will be restored and the nature of wild animals will be subdued (see Isaiah 11:6-9; Romans 8:19, 23).