(C) The KIWI: New Zealand’s Wonder Bird
The “National Geographic” gives this vivid description of the incredible Kiwi:
“Impossible!” insisted British scientists in 1813 when they first learned of New Zealand’s unique bird — the flightless kiwi. . . .Only when the skin (of a kiwi) was exhibited in a British museum would skeptics admit the existence of this strange inhabitant of the antipodes.
Little wonder that Britain’s men of science at first considered the report in a class with stories of the mythical mermaid and the unicorn. Who had ever heard of a bird WITH WHISKERS LIKE A CAT’S and with NOSTRILS AT THE TIP OF ITS LONG, CURVED BEAK? Where else lived a bird THAT BURROWS LIKE A GROUNDHOG and LAYS AN EGG EQUAL TO ONE-QUARTER OF ITS OWN WEIGHT? Who indeed had seen a bird with NO TAIL and with useless inch-long wings hidden beneath a coat of silky hairlike feathers?
And yet — there it was. Apteryx australis, they decided to call this utterly surprising creature. The first name means “wingless.” It is a natural wonder, rivaling Australia’s duck-billed platypus. The shy kiwi differs almost as much from its flightless relatives as it does from birds in general.
There are other notable features of this rare creature: the fact that the male incubates the egg, then turns the chick loose to fend for itself. Then too, though it has sturdy clawed feet, “it can move as silently as a rat.”
Like the platypus, the kiwi defies all so-called “laws” of evolution! It is impossible to trace its ancestry, according to evolutionists’ concepts. Here are some unanswerable questions: From whence did the kiwi inherit its ability to lay such a huge egg? No other bird lays an egg proportionately as large as that of the kiwi. From whence did it get its strange feathers, true feathers, but entirely different in style from those of other birds. Why does it have nostrils at the end of its long beak — and in addition, why is the end of its beak a highly sensitive organ of touch? Evolution can not trace its descent from any other animal: it is such a conglomerate creature NO DIRECT CONNECTION WITH ANY OTHER GENUS IS IN EVIDENCE.
(Typists Note: New Zealand’s kiwi population is on the verge of extinction because of ferrets people have had as pets being let go, and they are killing the chicks. Keeping Ferrets as pets is about to become banned.)
(D) PENGUINS: Birds of the Antarctic that Resemble Men in Dress Suits. They swim but do not fly.
Penguins are among the world’s best witnesses to how God in creation has adapted animals to a hostile environment. Living in one of the coldest sections of the world, where they have neither seeds nor insects to live on as most other birds have, penguins are PERFECTLY ADAPTED TO SURVIVE IN AN EXTREMELY HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT. Were they not equipped as they are, they could not endure the rigors of the Antarctic for a month, much less a season. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR A LESS HARDY BIRD GRADUALLY TO “ADAPT” ITSELF TO SUCH RIGORS OF CLIMATE: it would die a million deaths in the “gradual” process demanded by evolution — and never attain “adaptation” through “random changes.” Consider these marvels of “adaptation” that God endowed the penguins with. (The facts here quoted are from an article in December, 1957, “Scientific American,” by William J. L. Sladen, page 45).
“The penguins almost certainly ORIGINATED in the Antarctic region, for fossil penguins found in that area of the world go back to early in the Tertiary Period (i.e., some 50 million years ago).”
This is a confession damaging to the evolutionists. In the first place, it excludes any descent from birds who formerly lived in temperate climates. In the second place, it establishes, what we have before stated, the FIXITY of genera; for Dr. Sladen believes that fossils prove the genera to have REMAINED UNCHANGED FOR AT LEAST 50 million years! So, if there has been no evolutionary change in the last 50 million years, WHEN will evolution go to work on the penguins?
“The penguin’s body is beautifully adapted to its life in cold waters. Unlike other birds, it is almost completely covered with feathers. Its dense coat of short, stiff feathers, overlapping almost like scales, gives it excellent insulation against heat loss.”
And now we read further of a most interesting provision God made for the benefit of their progeny.
“The only piece of bare skin on its whole body is a very narrow strip on its abdomen which widens to about an inch and a half WHEN THE BIRD INCUBATES ITS EGG and becomes grown over with feathers again after the eggs are hatched.”
Penguins (the Adelie species) seem to display INTELLIGENCE in the construction of their nests, made out of stone. This is what they do:
“They build a nest of stones. . . . The purpose of the nest, in part, IS TO KEEP THE EGGS ABOVE WATER when snow falls on the nest and melts.” Did the penguins figure this out, or, DID GOD, THE CREATOR, PLAN IT SO WHEN HE MADE THEM?
Because penguins, living in the Antarctic, have no seeds, grasses, plants, worms or insects to live on, God “adapted” them for survival under such hard conditions by enabling them to LIVE ON SEA FOOD, AND YET HAVE THEIR ROOKERIES INLAND. This is a most amazing “adaptation.”
“Emperor penguins arrive at their breeding quarters around the middle of March at the beginning of the Antarctic winter. It takes two months to incubate the eggs, and the male does all the sitting himself, while the female feeds at sea. At hatching time the female returns (travelling sometimes 50 to 60 miles over the trackless wilds of that frost and ice-bitten area) and finds her mate, though there is no nest, and proceeds to feed her chick. The family maintains its unity in spite of long separation in an icy wilderness without any fixed home. The dedication and endurance of the father are also quite remarkable. HE GOES WITHOUT FOOD THROUGH THE COLD ANTARCTIC WINTER FOR A PERIOD OF ABOUT THREE AND A HALF MONTHS.” This is a approximately 105 days. And that is while the bird is active, and NOT in a state of hibernation. As far as we know, this feat is unparalleled in nature, at least among birds, whose appetites all ornithologists know to be ravenous.
That feat — going foodless for 105 days in the extreme cold of the Antarctic — demands a miracle of construction that could be achieved ONLY by One of super ability and super intelligence.
We might add, for the reader’s information, that penguins live on ocean krill, a small shrimp, which is also the main diet of many species of whales.
Actually, there are scores of other amazing “adaptations” that all point to the inevitable conclusion: Someone who knew what He was doing, created the penguin to MEET THE EXTREME CONDITIONS OF ITS HABITAT. The penguins HAD to be made as they are to survive in their hostile environment.
It is interesting to learn too that the parent penguin who returns to the rookery from the sea, ALSO FEEDS THE BABY PENGUIN. This it does by regurgitating food from its own supply, held in store in its body for this very purpose.
Can you think of anything more wonderful than God’s amazing provision for FOOD for the penguins and their young? Can you think of an “adaptation” more amazing than that which gives the penguin the ability to go 105 days WITHOUT FOOD, and survive and remain well, in the dead of winter of intense cold, while the bird is actively engaged in taking care of its one egg?
It is interesting that the Emperor penguin, that does NOT build a nest of stones, has its own marvelous nest, a “built-in” arrangement, that most certainly reveals Divine forethought in creation and perfection of DESIGN for an intended purpose.
“The emperor penguins incubate their single egg between their feet as they stand upright, A FLAP OF LOOSE SKIN (especially made for this purpose) COVERING AND PROTECTING THE PRECIOUS EGG FROM THE INTENSE COLD OF THE ANTARCTIC WINTER.” (“Strange Animals at the Zoo”). (Caps ours).
It is easy to see the handiwork of God in such an obvious “adaptation.”
(E) The Common, yet Uncommon, WOODPECKER — A Miracle Exhibit in perfect Adaptation for an Intended Purpose. It has been called “Nature’s Power Drill.”
The woodpecker lives in a far more friendly environment than the penguin — nevertheless, the woodpecker reveals in its structure amazing “adaptation” to what the Creator designed it for.
“Woodpeckers are highly specialized for their tree-climbing and grub-hunting activities. Their feet are strong and equipped with sharp, curved claws. Two toes on each foot are directed forward, while the other two point to the rear, thus making an effective pincer for grasping the bark of the trees. (Three-toed woodpeckers have only one hind toe on each foot). The feathers of the tail are stiff and end in sharp spines. These spines are pressed against the ridges in the bark of tree trunks and branches and help prop the bird as it digs for grubs or excavates a nesting site.
“The woodpecker’s head is large and its neck short and powerful, enabling the bird to deliver rapid and forceful blows with its stout beak. This beak, with its chisel shaped tip, is an EFFECTIVE WOOD-CUTTING TOOL. With it, the bird penetrates the bark and wood of trees, where wood-boring grubs, hibernating insects and insect eggs are to be found. Once a small hole is made, the woodpecker’s tongue dislodges the insect prey. The tongue is long and slender and can be protruded a considerable distance from the mouth; its tip is usually pointed and BARBED and is COVERED WITH AN ADHESIVE SECRETION.”
No intelligent person can study the tongue of a woodpecker without realizing that it is well designed for an intended purpose. This “flying power drill” has been called “natures most baffling bird.”
“How a woodpecker can violently slam its head against solid wood hundreds of times a minute without knocking its brains out, or at least getting punch-drunk, still remains a mystery. Scientists think the secret may be in the structure of the woodpecker’s skull, which is constructed with a set of tiny cross braces. . . .which seem to give the skull more flexibility.”
One of the favorite foods of the woodpecker is the beetle. At certain times there are more beetles than he can eat — so, wise old bird that he is, he “stores” the extra beetles ALIVE in a neatly designed and constructed “prison” and so keeps a supply of FRESH food on hand! Now note the woodpecker’s uncanny ability:
“The woodpecker knows how to estimate and drill EXACTLY the right size hole, so that he can squeeze the live beetle into the hole and yet not permit it to worm its way out! If he makes the hole too little, he couldn’t get the insect in; and if he made it too big, the insect would be able to wriggle its way to freedom.” Such a situation of course demands a very close “tolerance” — to use a machinist’s expression. THE UNBELIEVABLE WOODPECKER CAN DO THAT VERY THING! And, remember, the woodpecker has to change its calculations for EACH beetle it puts into live storage — for all beetles differ some in size and shape.
Surely, every woodpecker in the world is a LIVING WITNESS to the fact that GOD MADE IT AS IT IS. Evolution can in no wise explain how the woodpecker got its unique tongue, its specially constructed tail, its designed feet, and above all, its marvelous chisel-like beak! That such amazing equipment, differing from that given to other birds, would have been perfected through long ages of “gradual change” is a preposterous assumption without valid reason for acceptance. We repeat what we have said so often before: ANY SPECIALIZED ORGAN — like the tongue, or the beak, or the tail of the woodpecker — MUST BE PERFECT BEFORE IT SERVES ITS INTENDED PURPOSE. A beak that is only “half” developed to serve as a chisel, or a tail that is only “partially” developed to aid in climbing a tree, or a tongue only 10% long enough to reach a grub hidden inside the trunk of a tree, is absolutely USELESS. The “specialized organs” that all creatures have, had to be PERFECT from the beginning — otherwise they are worthless and impractical.
“IF such “specialized organs” came to pass through the processes of gradual change, due to “random mutations,” what good purpose did they serve while they were in the PROCESS of developing? And what did the poor creature do UNTIL its specialized organ was fully developed? AND WHERE IN ALL NATURE IS THERE ONE EXAMPLE — just one — OF A PARTIALLY DEVELOPED SPECIALIZED ORGAN THAT IS NOT A USEFUL ORGAN IN ITS PRESENT STATE?
(F) The FALCON — Nature’s Great Display of “Controlled Power”
A peregrine flacon “normally kills its prey by climbing above its victim, then ‘swooping’ on its quarry like a thunderbolt. A split second before the impact the talons are brought into position. AND THEN THE STRIKE. The long, needle-sharp hind claw shears through the flesh and bone and, amid a puff of feathers, the prey falls to the earth. . . . The peregrine falcon can strike its prey with such force that it knocks its prey clean in half.” (Nature Parade, page 209).
“Watch the master flier of them all, the peregrine falcon, also called the duck hawk. Many times I have seen one, high above me, turn its nose downward, give a mighty flap for thrust, then close its wings and plummet toward the earth like a hurled stone with incredible speed. Suddenly there is an exploding puff of feathers as the falcon strikes a bird with its large clawed fist. The prey is usually killed outright. But then comes the most amazing maneuver of all: the falcon darts under the falling bird, flips over on its back and catches the prey neatly in its talons! HERE IS ONE OF THE GREAT DISPLAYS OF CONTROLLED POWER IN NATURE.” (“The Truth about Hawks.” Aubudon Magazine; article by Peter Farb).
Could such effective “streamlining” in a body, such co-ordination, such masterly control, such POWER, come to pass as the result of “chance mutations” — or, do we see in the peregrine falcon a perfect adaptation for a desired end, and hence, A DEMONSTRATION OF WHAT GOD HAS ACCOMPLISHED IN CREATION.
(G) The Strange Antics of BOWER BIRDS: bizarre and “seemingly thoughtful Activities.”
In our discussions we often have called attention to actions of animals that SEEM to suggest intelligent, thoughtful activities, as though the animals had planned a course of action deliberately, as the result of careful consideration as to what was wise and best.
The male Bower bird seems to follow a course of “thoughtful activity” in its unusual procedure in its courting. The facts we present here are from an article in the Scientific American, on BOWER BIRDS, by A. J. Marshall. We quote:
“In the 1840’s, a Captain Stokes came upon a peculiar object in the wild bush of western Australia. It was a neat structure consisting of two parallel walls of sticks stuck in the earth, forming a little avenue. the avenue and its entrances were paved with a scattering of white shells. The captain at first decided that it had been built by some aboriginal Australian mother to amuse her child. . . . Later in his voyage settlers showed him another ‘playhouse’ like the one he had seen. This one was occupied by its builder and owner — a gray, pink-crested male bird about the size of a small pigeon, called the BOWER BIRD.
“Captain Stokes’ report on the incident was one of the first accounts of a phenomenon that has continued to perplex scientists to this day.
“Later, as Australia was populated, bower birds gained a fabulous reputation: their bowers were found strewn not only with shells, pebbles, bones, bits of precious opal and pieces of quartz, . . .but also bits of broken glass, nails, beer-bottle tops, and brass cartridge cases!”
Some bower birds build the bowers like a maypole; others build in the form of a pyramid which may reach up to nine feet high; yet others build their bowers in the form of a conical hut; and others add a low stockade to their hut! What is even more curious, “some bower birds actually paint the inside walls of their bowers.”
How complicated these procedures in the building of “bowers” may become is seen in this quotation.
“The blue-black satin bower bird paints the inner twigs of its avenue bower sometimes with charcoal. This charcoal painting is a ritual of fascinating complexity in which it uses a tool of its own making. the bird first collects charcoal (from charred trees, burned by forest fires) and grinds it up in its beak to a sticky black paste. Then it selects a fragment of bark and fashions a tiny oval wad. This is used as a stopper to keep its beak slightly open and allows the charcoal stain to ooze from the sides of the beak. The bird then vigorously smears the stain on the twigs of its bower. . . .ALL THIS HAS BEEN OBSERVED AND PHOTOGRAPHED. . . .Other bower birds plaster the inner twigs of the bower with fruit or grass mixed with saliva.”
THE MALE BOWER BIRD DOES ALL THIS TO ATTRACT A FEMALE TO HIS SIDE. But whatever the factors may be that cause the female to come to him, they work out so that reproduction occurs at the time of the year that is most propitious for the survival of the young!
The male actually seems to PLAN how he can influence and win a bride! And he goes to a great extreme to build an attractive, inviting “bower” where he invites the female for the solemnities of courtship. It is one of the most involved courtship rituals in all nature.
How are we to explain the apparent “thoughtful activities” involved in the construction of the bower? The “intelligence” is NOT inherent in the mind of the bird, but is given by Divine Creation so cleverly that it SEEMS to be more the result of native intelligence rather than a gift from the Creator in the form of instinct.
The point is: SUCH AN INVOLVED PROCESS CANNOT BE ATTRIBUTED MERELY TO “INSTINCT” BUT MUST BE SEEN AS A WORK OF DIVINE CREATION. Instinct that results in such involved construction and actions subsequent to construction cannot be accounted for by any theory of evolution that we know about. It MUST be the work of a Supreme Architect who built into the very nature of the bower bird the “machinery” that causes it to build a characteristic bower generation after generation, even when not influenced by watching other birds build their bowers! EVERY BOWER BIRD IN AUSTRALIA IS A WITNESS TO GOD AND DIVINE CREATION.
(H) The HUMMINGBIRD: God’s Perfect Little Helicopter
The smallest bird in the world is the “fairy hummingbird” found in Cuba. It measures only 2¼ inches from the tip of its bill to the tip of its tail, and weighs but a fraction of an ounce. The majority of the 580 species and sub-species are tiny birds under four inches in length. The hummingbird cannot walk (it uses its feet only for perching), so it has to fly to get about.
Most birds are, aerodynamically, the most perfect flying machines on earth. The hummingbird, in addition, is the only perfect HELICOPTER. His wings are attached to his shoulders in such a way that he can poise motionless in the air, and he can fly in any direction, forward, sidewise, up, down — and even backward, a feat no other bird can do. (Coronet Magazine).
While hovering, a ruby-throated hummingbird beats it wings up to 75 times PER SECOND. In addition to backward flight, the hummingbird has achieved the aerodynamic miracle of sideways flight. . which it does with no appearance of difficulty.” (“Nature Parade,” page 206).
The hummingbird has many other unique features that set it apart as a SPECIAL WITNESS FOR GOD AND CREATION.
We mention its wise way of building its nest.
By using a spider web as the framework of her nest, the mother hummingbird has a home that is strong and can be expanded easily. When she builds its, the nest is little more than half an inch across on the inside. As the babies grow they push against the sides, stretching the flexible spider web, and the nest becomes larger with them!
Let us ask: Who gave the tiny hummingbird the ability to hover in the air without moving in any direction, and to fly in any direction, and to fly sidewise and even backwards — feats no other bird can accomplish? And Who gave both the wisdom and the ability to the little hummingbird to make an expanding nest for its growing babies, so that they always had a nest that is the right size, no matter how old or young they are? And Who made each species of hummingbird static in its abilities, instincts and peculiar characteristics, so that generation after generation (instead of exhibiting a gradual change) they stay virtually the same? GOD is the only answer.
(1) GERMAN WARBLERS: Sky Navigators Par Excellece
In the August, 1953, issue of the “Scientific American” Magazine is a revelatory article by E. G. F. Sauer, ornithologist at the University of Freiburg, Germany. These facts are quoted from Mr. Sauer’s article.
Each Fall, the little German garden warbler, weighing barely three-quarters of an ounce, sets off one night on an unbelievable journey. All alone (never in the collective security of a flock) it wings its solitary way southward over Germany, France and Spain and then swings south to its distant goal in southern Africa. It flies on unerringly, covering a hundred miles or more in a single night, never once stopping in its course, certain of its goal. In the spring it takes off again and northward retraces its path to its nesting place in a German or Scandinavian thicket — there to hatch a new generation of little warblers which will grow up, and WITHOUT BEING TAUGHT, will have the self-same capacity to follow the same route across continents and oceans by the map of the stars!
To discover how they oriented themselves Prof. Sauer and his assistants experiment with warblers in cages with a glass opening at the top, so that they could see part of the sky, but nothing else of their surroundings. They also tested the birds in a cage placed in a planetarium — that is with a dome, showing an artificial replica of the natural starry sky — and they found that when the stars were hidden either in the real sky or in the planetarium by thick clouds the birds became completely disoriented and confused. Their experiments proved conclusively that these birds were guided only by the stars in their long semi-annual migrations. The behaviour of the warblers, in these special studies,
“leaves no doubt that the warblers have a remarkable hereditary mechanism for orienting themselves by the stars — a detailed image of the starry configuration of the sky coupled with a precise time sense which relates the heavenly canopy to the geography of the earth AT EVERY TIME AND SEASON. *
* Mr. Sauer’s amazing experiments and discoveries throw light on at least PART of the meaning of Genesis 1:14: “And God said, let there be lights in the firmament of heaven. . . . and let them be for SIGNS, and for seasons. . . “ ‘We know,” quoting Sauer again, “that the warblers ARE NOT THE ONLY CREATURES possessing this gift (of being able to be guided by the stars): other birds, insects, crabs and spiders have been found by experiment to be capable OF GUIDING THEMSELVES BY THE SUN OR STARS.”
And our confidence in the Bible, the Word of God, is confirmed by this startling fact: ages before the modern era of scientific investigation, that has brought these facts to light, THE BIBLE TOLD US THAT GOD PUT THE CONSTELLATIONS IN THE HEAVENS TO BE FOR “SIGNS.” Birds and insects and many other animals find guidance from the stars in their local or worldwide peregrinations or flights. Men of course also use the stars as well as the sun for guidance by day and by night.
At their very first glimpse of the sky the birds automatically know the right direction. WITHOUT BENEFIT OF PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE, with no cue except the stars, the birds are able to locate themselves in time and space to find their destined homes.”
Prof. Sauer continues, giving us more of the “mystery” in this phenomenon: “Even more difficult to explain is the mystery of how the birds ever came to rely on celestial navigation and to develop their skill in the first place. . . .What evolutionary process was it that endowed these animals with the highly sophisticated ability to READ THE STARS?” (Caps ours).
No wonder Prof. Sauer questions how “evolution” could perform such a miracle in these birds and other animals, some of practically no intelligence (to wit) the crab. We, too, question the ability of “evolution” to accomplish such marvels. But we have the answer that evolutionists reject — but it is the only answer that really explains these incredible phenomena: GOD MADE THEM SO. What evolution could not possibly accomplish in a billion ages, GOD DID IN INSTANTANEOUS CREATION.
The entirely inadequate thinking of many evolutionists is set forth in the suggestion advanced (so it is reported) by Mr. Huxley.
“Six monkeys set to strumming unintelligently on typewriters for millions of years would be bound to write in time all the books of the British Museum,” He was working on the thesis that the Law of Probability will produce anything, only given time enough. But Huxley was wrong — wrong as he could be. It takes INTELLIGENCE to write books — say for example, Shakespeare’s 35 plays and 154 sonnets. *
* Young people in our schools today are being mislead by this same sophistry. They are told, “Given enough time, and the Law of Probability — the Law of Chance — will produce anything. This is untrue. INTELLIGENCE is necessary to produce an intelligent composition; limitless time and “chance” can never produce, or reproduce, an essay with an intelligent message.
You and I know that six monkeys could pound typewriters — yea, 6,000 monkeys could pound typewriters — for all eternity AND NEVER PRODUCE ONE OF SHAKESPEARE’S SONNETS OR PLAYS, for the simple reason that the INTELLIGENCE to create his works is lacking in monkeys.
And in Huxley’s illustration we find the fundamental error of most evolutionists: they believe that given sufficient time, ANY AND ALL PHENOMENA OF THE PLANT AND ANIMAL KINGDOMS PRODUCE THEMSELVES. But we all know that one can shake a barrel of printer’s type for untold ages and unless guided by INTELLIGENCE they will NEVER — no NEVER — assemble themselves into the Lord’s Prayer, Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice,” or any other intelligent literary creation. If intelligence is lacking, the Law of Probability (or chance) will not produce an orderly creation. It can produce nothing but jumbled chaos. The orderly “designs” in nature and the intelligent “adaptations” and the marvelous “instincts” and characteristics that have been given to birds, animals and insects, far beyond their limited intelligence, PROVE the fact of a Supreme Creator.
The BEAUTY of Birds Witnesses for GOD
Beauty is found in many realms of nature: consider the exquisite beauty of many flowers, the loveliness of many insects, especially butterflies and moths. No artist or photographer can possibly do justice to the striking beauty of the jewel-like tones of every shade of the rainbow as seen in various species of moths and butterflies! In some, while in flight, the most striking thing is the way the colors shift and change, varying with the angle of the light or the eye of the observer. This subtle play of color reflected from the wings of a butterfly is called “structural color.” produced by the ultramicroscopic structures on the tiny scales on its wings. Consider also the many scores of kinds of brilliantly colored tropical fish, moving about coral reefs. There is a fascinating beauty also in the grace of movement of fish and in the seemingly effortless speed with which they move through the water.
Nor should we forget the beauty in gems. No one can say of that beauty that it is there to “attract the opposite sex” or to attract insects to insure pollination as in certain flowers. In gems beauty is there for beauty’s sake! Who that has seen it has not been charmed by the marvelous transformation of certain minerals and gems under the spell of black light? In a dark room a ruby, when put under artificial light, will glow as though on fire. The moonstone is famed for a bluish-white play of light; the sunstone for a brilliant play of reflections. In Labrador spar appear all the colors of a peacock’s feathers. And who is not fascinated by the glow of a large blue-white diamond, rightly cut! Can any one deny that such displays of beauty are reflections of the Creator’s love of beauty? The fact that there is beauty in nature and that men have the capacity to enjoy it, proves that nature is not a meaningless farce that just “happened,” but is rather the well-planned result of the Creator’s intelligent work.
But of all things beautiful in the world, what can surpass the beauty of birds? What can outdo the peacock for grandeur of display? *
* One author says, “the peacock’s feathers show a repeated and resplendent pattern, produced by the united effect of the combination of distinct and different tints, marked at fixed distances that are minutely fractional, on each separate spray of each feather; and each point in each spray requires a different development to produce the harmonious over-all effect of the glorious peacock’s feathers.” (Number in Nature). There are trillions of chances to one AGAINST such symmetry, such careful, minutely accurate structural planning, with a definite design of beauty, being the result of blind force, which can neither see colors, not take account of measured space, nor delight in the overall result. SUCH BEAUTY, SUCH SYMMETRY, SUCH UNFAILING DESIGN IN MINUTE DETAIL JUST COULDN’T HAPPEN BY CHANCE: such a result had to be planned and the plan had to be executed by One able to plan and able to perform.
What can supersede, for symmetry and sheer finery, the gorgeous tail of the Australian lyrebird? Were they not real, no artist in the world could conceive such matchless beauty as is found in the amazing Birds of Paradise of New Guinea. Some of the 18 species have “all the colors of the rainbow nicely blended.” The Magnificent Bird of Paradise has an iridescent green vest with a sickle tail. In addition to their striking colors, in various combinations, Birds of Paradise have the remarkable distinction of their peerless plumage, which take the form of delicate aigrettes, copious capes and ruffs, waving plumes and odd shaped “wires” adornments are really strange: for example, one species has a peculiar green rolled ornament on the ends of its long tail wires. No one knows WHY all these lovely adornments, except that GOD MADE THEM THAT WAY.
There are of course a thousand and one other beauties in the world of birds. The Red-headed Woodpecker is a showy bird. The Mary-land Yellow-throat is a striking figure, with his bright and various colored feathers. The Black Swan has been described as “a royal bird of grace and beauty.” The Roseate Spoonbill of Texas is most impressive. Orioles and Cockatoos, Motmots and Tanagers, Jays and Warblers, Bluebirds and Goldfinches, Terns and Swallows, Kites and Bitterns — all have a characteristic beauty all their own. WHY SUCH A VAST DISPLAY OF BEAUTY IN NATURE, especially in the world of birds? GOD MADE IT SO! To think that this beauty, this endless variety of loveliness, came about through processes of evolution, is without foundation. It is the handiwork of the Master Artist, the One whose every movement is rhythm and who loves music and song.
The SONGS of Birds Witness to the Creator
John Burroughs, famous naturalist, hit the nail on the head when he wrote,
“The songs of most birds have some HUMAN significance, which I think is the source of the delight we take in them. * The song of the bobolink to me expresses hilarity; the sparrow’s song, faith; the bluebird’s, love; the cat-bird’s, pride; the white-eyed fly-catcher’s, self-consciousness; that of the hermit thrush, spiritual serenity; while there is something military in the call of the robin.” (Green Treasury, page 521).
* Evolutionists teach that the singing of birds is caused by “breeding activity” and the need “to protect the family food supply.” This is crass materialism and hardly explains the continuous singing of the caged canary and the endless variety of song put forth by the versatile mockingbird, and the cardinal’s song in winter. John Burroughs has a much more realistic approach: birds sing, not only for their own propagation and protection, but also for MAN’S benefit! And we might suggest: no doubt the great Creator Himself takes delight in the melodious songs of His birds, and in their pleasing beauty.
The house wren seems to bubble over with emotion, when he sings, for his enthusiastic song “literally shakes every feather on his small body.” The “eerily descending song of the veery (thrush) sounds like neither voice nor instrument, but rather like a thin, vibrant whistle, faraway, wild, remote.” Who can deny that the one song stirs the emotions while the other tends to put one into the hazy dream world of quiet reverie?
The cheery notes of the rose-breasted grosbeak, obviously overflowing with good fellowship, are “tossed into the sunshine far and wide in his rich, rapid warble.” The cardinal is another vigorous, enthusiastic singer, and incidentally he continues to sing right through winter. “His clear, vibrant whistling has all the free spirit of a country boy on his way to the swimming hole,” and so he breathes hope, joy and confidence to man. Who can deny that God made birds with a ministry to man as well as to their own families?
Wrens are in the top rank as singers: “full of trills, runs, and grace notes, the volume startling from a bird of such small size.” The picturesque bluebird is one of the most pleasant of singers, with his warm-hearted warbling.
Famous authors and naturalists have written essays on the marvelous songs of the nightingale. Pliny, of ancient Rome, wrote (Natural History):
“Nightingales pour out a ceaseless gush of song. . . . (Think) of the consummate knowledge of music in a single bird: The sound is given out with modulations, and now is drawn out into a long note with one continuous breath, now varied by managing the breath, now made staccato by checking it, or linked together by prolonging it, or it is suddenly lowered, and at times sinks into a mere murmur, loud, low, bass, treble, with trills, with long notes. . . .soprano, mezzo, baritone; briefly, it has all the devices in that tiny throat which human science has devised with all the elaborate mechanism of the flute.”
Edward Thomas, of England, speaks of the swift notes of the nightingale resembling “the liquid sweetness as a grape,” yet “wild and pure as mountain water in the dawn.”
Undoubtedly, the mockingbird is “the most gifted of all song birds.” He likes to tease, and he can imitate all kinds of noises of animals and the songs of other birds. He can even duplicate the squeak of an old wheelbarrow or the barking of a dog. Mockingbirds are brilliant singers, “having marvelous technique. . . .and some observers say . . . “they excel even the nightingale and the American thrushes in their emotional outbursts.” While not all mockingbirds are as adept as others, there is on record “one mockingbird which imitated 32 different species of song birds during the course of ten minutes of continuous singing.”
The hermit thrush is said to emit “one of the most ethereal of all songs, a leisurely series of rising cadences so bell-like, so spiritual in tone and rendering, that they seem beyond the ability of even a bird.”
Who created the tiny throat of the nightingale, the thrush and the wren, made them far more versatile than any flute devised by man, and gave them a heavenly ability to produce such consummate music? Who fashioned the throat of the mockingbird so that it can reproduce, faithfully, a hundred sounds that scarcely can be distinguished from the original? Who put the endless variety of music in the world of songbirds, giving us sounds and music all the way from the laughter of a loon in the night and the call of Canada geese, to the glorious singing of a robin or a meadowlark? Surely every bird in the world is a living witness for God his Creator. Unaided evolution could never produce the throat of a nightingale or the voice box of a mocking bird or put ten thousand miracles of song in other species of birds.
ODDITIES IN BIRD LIFE WITNESS FOR THE CREATOR
Young birds nesting in trees are so helpless that the mother bird must put food into their mouths. The bills of these young birds usually have yellow rims so that the mother bird can see them easily, even when it is dark. Young birds nesting on the ground, like the quail, are usually spotted or striped. When danger comes, the mother gives a cry of warning and the young will lie flat on the ground, camouflaged by their spots or stripes, so that they blend into their surroundings. Who so designed these young birds for their protection?
There are over ten thousand species of birds — and each has distinctive characteristics that mark it as a special creation of God. Some are odd specimens indeed. Why is the male of the Phalaropes less brightly marked than the female — contrary to the usual order? Who designed the Mexican “roadrunner” or “snake killer” so that he easily can kill rattlesnakes? Who designed the fantastic kingfisher, with his large crested head, long bill and short tail? Who created the strange three-wattled bellbird, that has mustaches like an ancient Chinese mandarin? Who first dressed the male umbrella bird in velvety black and gave it a crest that grows up and forward from the crown, shading the bill and providing a sort of umbrella for its head? This same bird also has an odd appendage called a lappet that dangles from the upper breast. When excited or disturbed, the bird can expand that appendage that hangs from its throat from a normal eight inches to thirteen. All these oddities point to special CREATION, the work of a Designer, rather than the result of blind chance mutations. Who put the collar on the ruffled grouse? Who made the saucy jay? Who decorated the snowy egrets with such beautiful plumage that the desire for their plumes for women’s hats almost led to their extermination in the early years of this century? Who put “the world’s most extraordinary plumes” on the King of Saxony’s bird of Paradise? Who constructed the original of Wallace’s Standard-wing Bird of Paradise — “the bird to make you rub your eyes; the bird that differs most remarkably from every other bird of paradise.” Who fashioned the gorgeous golden oriole? Who made the parrot and the black Hill Myna so they could imitate the human voice, and learn to talk? Surely, the Hand of God can be seen everywhere in His creation of such an endless variety of life, especially in the amazing world of birds.
THE MIGRATORY INSTINCT: A Witness for Divine Creation
Birds do not have much mind, but they are gifted with amazing instinct that tells the mother bird to turn her eggs, teaches the new home maker to construct a nest in harmony with that used by its species, even though she has never done it before nor even seen it done, and leads birds into amazing feats of migration that are inexplicable mysteries.
Without baggage, lunch or bedding, and with no chart, compass, map or guide — except the sun and stars — the migratory birds make unbelievably long trips, and they make them successfully, even though when first they make the trip they have never been there before!
The champion “globe trotter” and most renown of all migratory birds is the Arctic tern that spends six months in the daylight of the far north and then goes to the Antarctic to spend the next six months in the daylight there! Its annual round trip may be well over 22,000 miles — for it does not make its journey in a straight line, but meanders off its course.
The Atlantic golden plover, a robin-sized traveller, goes south by one route in the fall and returns in the spring by another route!
“Their route is in the form of a great ellipse. From Canada they strike out over the Atlantic to South America. In Spring they return by way of the Mississippi valley.”
Frederick C. Lincoln, noted ornithologist and American authority on migration, says,
“The Golden Plover travelling over the ocean covers the entire distance from Nova Scotia to South America without a stop. This is accomplished with the consumption of only a few ounces of fuel IN THE FORM OF BODY FAT.” Such an amazing “engine” is a billion times more efficient than man’s best airplane.
The feat of the Pacific Plover is equally astonishing. It flies from Alaska to Hawaii. How it can traverse thousands of miles over the trackless ocean wastes and find tiny specks of islands in mid-ocean is a mystery that has baffled scientists for years. In the Spring it returns to Alaska — and in the Fall it goes back TO THE SAME TINY ISLAND IN THE PACIFIC!
A little bird called the Wheatear, no larger than the English Sparrow, travels every year all the way from AFRICA to GREENLAND. It crosses an ocean to go to another continent — and it makes this long trip year after year, on a regular schedule.
More than a hundred different kinds of our American birds spend the winter in Central and South America.
The tiny blackpoll warbler nests in Canada, then wings its way to Brazil, 4,000 miles away.
Much of the traveling of migratory birds is at night, and much is over the wilderness of waves of what might seem to a small bird to be boundless oceans. And here is another mystery: eastern birds mix freely with western birds and with tropical birds during the winter season in South and Central America; but when the time comes for the northward trip every species behaves according to its own pattern, and goes back to its own home, flying over the same fields and alighting on the same fence posts! Miracle supreme: when their sons and daughters are old enough to migrate, they go to the same place their ancestors went, and HAVING NEVER MADE THE TRIP BEFORE. And they go unguided by any other bird! The whole subject of bird migration is clothed in deep mystery. We read:
“What strange power impels a tiny winged creature to leave its summer home within two or three weeks of the same day each year (long before its food supply is exhausted and before the extreme cold weather comes) and fly thousands of miles to a winter home it has never seen? What then drives it to return again to the same part of the United States or Canada where it had been raised and to arrive so punctually that the date of its return can often be predicted to within a single week? How, year after year, does it find its way back to the identical field or wood where it raised its first young?
Birds are not the only creatures that migrate. Insects such as the monarch butterfly and the locust take long migrations. The eel, salmon and other fish also migrate, in most mysterious and unbelievable ways. The whale, the porpoise and the seal find their way through water as unerringly as the birds do in the air: and they migrate long distances.
What remains an insoluble enigma to the scientist is clear to the devout believer in a personal God? Migratory birds and other migratory animals do as they do BECAUSE GOD MADE THEM SO.
So sum up: BIRDS and their characteristics are marvelous witnesses for God and Divine Creation! With NO intermediary stages to be found either in nature or in fossil form, how could anyone believe that heavy-boned reptiles, with scales, could evolve into light, efficient “flying machines” with feathers and wings and characteristic feet and beaks and songs — and a thousand and one other unique characteristics?
BATS: Flying Mammals with Built-in SONAR
Bats are not birds, but are the only “flying Mammals” there are. *
* The flying lemur and flying squirrel glide through the air, but do not fly.
They sleep during the day and come out of their caves and other hiding places to hunt for food at night.
Their knees face outward and bend backward instead of forward, as in most mammals. the foot has a short sole and five toes, all about the same length. These features are exactly what a bat needs to hang on to rocks and trees, for bays hang upside down to sleep. Here again we see PERFECT ADAPTATION for the manner of life planned for it by the Creator. “Natural selection” would never develop bats with such a peculiar manner of sleeping: it requires less “change” from the conventional types, to sleep right side up as most birds as mammals do.
The outstanding peculiarity of bats, which sets them off from all other mammals, is there unique “sonar” system. They fly by ear, and guide themselves by the echoes of their high-pitched squeaks!
“The complicated flaps of skin found around the nostrils of some bats, and certain strange structures in their ears, are for the projection and reception of sound waves of ultra high frequency upon the principles we now call sonar. The bats emit bursts of sound of frequencies up to 32,000 per second, ** but for intermittent periods of as little as a two-hundredth of a second each. These air-borne waves bounce back from obstacles ahead of the bat when it is in flight, and are picked up by the supersensitive ears of the animal IN THE BRIEF PERIODS OF SILENCE BETWEEN THE BURSTS OF SOUND. So sensitive and accurate is this system that the bats can alter their course in time to avoid hitting the obstacle.”
** Such sound frequencies are quite imperceptible to the human ear which is usually insensitive to frequencies above 12,000 per second.
Donald R. Griffin, Prof., of Zoology at Harvard, has this to say about “Bat Sonar” in an article in the July, 1953, “Scientific American.”
“In these days of technological triumphs it is well to remind ourselves that living mechanisms are often incomparably more efficient than their artificial imitations. There is no better illustration of this than the sonar system of bats. Ounce for ounce and watt for watt, it is billions of times more efficient and more sensitive than the radars and sonars contrived by man.”
“To appreciate the precision of the bat’s echo-location system we must consider the degree of their reliance upon it. Thanks to sonar, an insect-eating bat can get along perfectly well without eyesight. . . .Bats easily find insects in the dark of night, even when the insects emit no sound that can be heard by human ears. A bat will catch hundreds of soft-bodied, silent-flying moths or gnats in a single hour (simply by the use of its sonar system).
“One highly specialized group, the horseshoe bats of the Old World, have elaborate nose leaves which act as horns to focus their orientation sounds in a sharp beam; they sweep the beam back and forth to scan their surroundings. *
* There are about 2,000 species of bats, many of them with highly specialized organs. Some bats live on nectar and pollen; they have elongated muzzles and very long tongues — sometimes with a brush at the tip of the tongue, ideally adapted to their type of feeding. Unquestionably, the most dramatic “adaptation” in feeding habits is that of the vampire bats of tropical America. They live on blood drained from living animals! They tiptoe up to their sleeping or resting victims. Then with the sharp, narrow blades of their specially designed upper incisor teeth, they excavate a small segment of skin and underlying tissue, usually without waking or paining their host. The vampire then sucks up, with piston-like movements of its tongue, the blood that flows into the excavation. Its digestive tract is designed to receive and digest blood, and is reduced to a folded tube for that purpose. (Adapted from an article by William A, Wimsatt, Corbell University).
“The most surprising of all the specialized bats are the species that feed on fish. They have a well developed system of frequency-modulated (‘FM’) sonar, but since sound loses much of its energy in passing from air into water and vice versa, the big puzzle is: HOW CAN THESE BATS LOCATE FISH UNDER WATER BY MEANS OF THIS SYSTEM?” They do this as they fly along close to the surface of the water.
“Probably the most impressive aspect of the bats’ echo-location performance is their ability to detect their targets IN SPITE OF LOUD ‘NOISE’ OR JAMMING. They have a truly remarkable ‘discriminator,’ as a radio engineer would say. Hundreds of bats will fly in and out of the same cave within range of one another’s sounds. YET IN SPITE OF ALL THE CONFUSION OF SIGNALS IN THE SAME FREQUENCY BAND, EACH BAT IS ABLE TO GUIDE ITSELF BY THE ECHOES OF ITS OWN SIGNALS. . . .With an auditory system that weighs only a fraction of a gram, and in the midst of a great volume of surrounding noises, a bat can distinguish its own echoed signals, even though they are 2,000 times fainter than the background noises!” And think: the original sound that the bat emits can not be heard by the human ear!
Certainly, such a marvelous system MUST be the work of an infinitely careful and capable Workman!
And again we ask — if bats were evolved, from what animal did they evolve? Some evolutionists claim that bats evolved from mice; but if so, WHERE ARE THE INTERMEDIARY FORMS? There are none in existence in nature today, nor are there any in the world of fossils. It is quite a jump from mice’s feet to bat’s wings, and from ordinary ears and nostrils to the intricate sonar system that bats have, How could any intermediate possibly survive even one season?
The True Explanation of the Wonders in Nature
It has been proved that there is no such thing as inheritance of “acquired characteristics” that Lamarck supposed. He taught that “an animal which acquired a characteristic would transmit it to its progeny,” and so the offspring would get not only inherited characteristics but also “acquired” characteristics. That theory has been completely demolished. The modern science of genetics and innumerable experiments have proved that characteristics are passed on to succeeding generations only through the genes and chromosomes (and some cytoplasmic inheritances) in the germ cells.
For many generations the Paduangs of Burma have, from early childhood, stretched the necks of their young girls by winding malleable brass rings around their necks. As the neck is stretched, additional brass rings of half inch diameter are added, until as many as twenty are around their necks, yet their baby girls are NOT born with long necks!
For many generations the Chinese tortured their girls by tying back their toes so they would have small feet; but invariably, new Chinese babies were born with normal feet! Weismann experimented with rats by cutting off their tails for generation after generation. He proved conclusively that by so doing one can NOT develop tailless rats.
Long ago true scientists gave up the Lamarckian theory of the inheritance of “acquired characters.”
Darwin taught evolutionary development through “natural selection” — the “survival of the fittest.” In the struggle for existence, needed and useful variations remained and variations that proved weak or useless perished. But this circumscribed procedure produces only variations of already existing “characters;” it never produces new characters (organs, organisms). Nor does the more recent theory of “sudden changes” called “mutations” * solve the problem — for such chance mutations are always comparatively minor, and can in no wise produce “new characters” (organs) or account for the tremendous gaps between major groups, such as from reptiles to birds; nor does it account for the great DIFFERENCES that exist among the genera of a family or phylum. But there is an explanation for all phenomena of nature: GOD, THE CREATOR. * *
* Most all mutations, whether produced by chemicals, X-rays or other outside stimuli, tend to HARM the individual. For the past fifty years scientists have experimented with the Drosophila (fruit fly) and have succeeded in producing many freaks, including horrible abnormalities. They finally produced “A strange breed of four-winged flies” at the California Institute of Technology. BUT, according to their own confession, “the accomplishment represents A STEP BACKWARD along the path of evolution to a time when (probably) all flies had four wings. Dr. Edward B. Lewis professor of biology (California Institute of Technology) said in the Institute’s “Engineering and Science,” that “by tampering with the genes of the tiny fruit fly we have constructed a four-winged fly. . . . But these four winged flies cannot fly.” Prof., Leroy Victor Cleveland, discussing the work done by modern scientists on the fruit flies, says, “When scientists descend to accepting LOSSES of organs (or functions) as their only proof of evolution of new organs and structures, they are supporting a lost cause.”
* * It is a fact that 99.9% of all mutations are either lethal or at least harmful. Many of the remaining 0.1% are neutral (neither good nor bad), e.g. hair color, etc. To date no geneticist can give a single example of a new organ, or even a new, beneficial hormone, enzyme, etc., that has arisen by mutations.
At last scientists have come to the conclusion — since “natural selection” alone is not the answer, nor is the theory of inheritance of “acquired characteristics” — that it must be “random mutations” and “natural selection” — or else GOD. But “random mutations” and “natural selection” can in no wise explain the marvelous gamut of life with MILLIONS OF EVIDENCES OF “SPECIAL DESIGN,” MILLIONS OF PERFECT “specialized organs,” with absolutely NO evidence whatever of intermediary forms.
J. T. Patterson and W. S. Stone, writing in “Evolution in the Genus Drosophila” (Macmillan Co., New York; 1962), admit,
“The only alternative to evolution by selection among random mutations, is. . . .DIRECTED MUTATIONS…POSSIBLE ONLY UNDER SUPERNATURAL GUIDANCE.”
Obviously, every one must choose between “Evolution” and “Divine Creation.’
Patterson and Stone are evolutionists, but they admit that scientists “cannot hope, on the basis of the theory of gradual change through mutations and selection, TO DEMONSTRATE THE EVOLUTION FROM ONE GENUS TO ANOTHER IN THE LABORATORY.” (pages 235, 503. See also page 1: “Organic evolution is not a repeatable experiment”).
What a confession that is! After years of experimenting they now know that “evolution can not be demonstrated in the laboratory.” Most modern scientists admit that the theory of evolution can not be proven, but they would rather accept it as a theory than to admit GOD and His work of creation.