Variety in Methods of Reproduction
Most higher plants reproduce by fertilized seeds, involving male and female elements. Some plants reproduce by “vegetative propagation,” such as by bulbs, tubers, runners and cuttings. Actually, most plants can be raised from stem cuttings. Algae, fungi, mosses and ferns reproduce by means of small specialized bodies called spores.
Algae seem to excell in the variety of methods of reproduction. Some algae reproduce simply by cell division, others produce offspring by means of asexual spores, some others “reproduce by fusion of sexually undifferentiated gametes,” and finally there are algae that produce true sex cells — eggs and sperm which unite to produce new offspring.
The ameba reproduces by the simple process of dividing into two identical amebas.
Yeast cells reproduce by budding. A small bud appears on the outside of the cell; this grows and finally separates from the parent cell as a new cell.
Reproduction in animals is either “asexual” or “sexual.” But there is a great variety in both realms.
A starfish, if roughly handled, will divide itself — and reproduce; but if it be torn limb from limb and cast into the sea, from each limb (or ray) another starfish will result, provided that a fragment of the central disc adheres to each severed ray.
If a small bit of the base of a sea anemone becomes separated from the parent animal, a new sea anemone will grow from this remnant! By means of muscular contraction in the middle of its body, the sea anemone may divide itself into two parts, and each half will become a new individual. The anemone may also reproduce sexually. The eggs are fertilized in the sea water and develop directly into new anemones.
Corals reproduce by “budding.” New polyps grow off the old ones. Sexual reproduction by means of egg and sperm also occurs among corals.
Sponges reproduce both asexually and sexually. A new sponge will grow from almost any piece which has been broken from a living sponge. Buds or branches may break off and grow into new individuals. Sponges may also develop sex cells (eggs and sperms). In some sponges both kinds of sex cells may arise in one individual; in others, they occur in different individuals, in which case the sperms are brought into the female sponges by the water currents. The fertilized egg then develops into a flagellated larva (the young, free-living stage in the development of animals) which escapes from the parent body, swims about for a while, then settles down, becomes firmly attached, and grows into a new sponge. Evidently God intended sponges to survive and multiply — He gave them so many ways by which to reproduce!
Some sponges, like earthworms, are hermaphroditic, in which each individual has a complete male and female sexual apparatus. Though each earthworm is hermaphroditic, it does not fertilize itself.
Some forms of life reproduce by parthenogenesis, that is, having a mother but no father. This occurs in such animals as bees, some marine worms, aphids, etc.
All of this speaks to us of the fact that the Creator adapted the means of reproduction to the station in life of the creature.
Strange Methods of Hatching Eggs
The female of the Giant Water Bug (about 4 inches long) cements her eggs all over the back of her husband! They stay there until they hatch.
Frogs use “solar energy” quite regularly in hatching their eggs. Their hundreds of eggs are each enclosed in a transparent jelly, and the entire mass has a convex shape which acts like a magnifying glass and concentrates the sun’s rays, focusing them on the embryos in the eggs. The frog’s “incubator” is run by solar heat! Who taught the humble frog this trick?
The female Sawfly has a highly specialized ovipositor (egg-laying organ at the end of her abdomen) with which she cuts a hole in a leaf and lays her eggs. When the eggs hatch into larvae, they have the leaf right there for food! This specialized organ had to be made at once, to be useful. Slow “evolution” in no wise accounts for it.
The eggs of spiders are “all put in one bag.” The eggs are inclosed in a silken bag which is then hung from the web, or is carried about by the female. When the young spiders are born, they emerge from the egg sac, and look like miniature adults. Generation after generation of spiders follow this procedure. There is never any deviation from this among the species where it is the method used. No one claims any “evolution” of spiders for the past million years.
Golden-eye lacewings lay stalked eggs! The eggs are attached to short stalks, and the ends of the stalks are securely fastened to leaves. After they emerge as delicate, thin-winged adults. Why would blind evolution hit on such an unhandy plan? It is much easier just to lay eggs than to have to attach each egg to a long, thin handle, and then fasten the end of the handle to a leaf. Remember, even if a female lacewing ages ago happened to put her eggs on stalks, the next generation would have gone back to the old method — for there is no inheritance of “acquired characters.” All hereditary changes that come are from MINOR MUTATIONS ORIGINATING IN THE SEX CELLS, and never come from any habits or abilities “acquired” during the life time by the parent. Such a radical change from just “eggs” to “stalked eggs” (eggs fastened at the end of poles) is a vast change, and such vast mutations DO NOT OCCUR IN NATURE. All observation indicates that viable mutations are all minor, only slight variations. So evolution is at a loss to account for the unique system of laying and suspending eggs from stalks, to hatch them!
Since they are born with a set instinct, generation after generation of these lacewings act as they do!
Actually there are literally thousands of unique methods of incubating eggs. Space does not permit listing any more, but we know that each different method is a witness for Divine Creation, showing the ingenuity of the Master Workman.
We might mention this interesting fact: fish are generally prolific in laying eggs. The ling fish takes no chance in being left childless; it lays 160 million eggs at one time! But the sunfish beats this by laying 300 million! The herring lays a mere 30,000 — but the eggs are coated with a glue-like substance so that they stick to rocks.
Devious Methods Used at Times in Sex
In addition to the orthodox methods of conjugation and propagation of species through fertilized eggs, spores, cell mitosis, etc., that we have mentioned, there are scores of “devious routes” followed by sex that we want to call to our reader’s attention.
(1) The Strange Case of the Bedbug
“The male bedbug does not inject sperm into the female genital tract, but into an entirely separate structure known as Ribaga’s organ, on the right side of the females body. This organ has no connection with the ovaries. The difficulties encountered by the sperm are increased by the fact that Ribaga’s organ contains cells that eat sperm. Nonetheless, some of the spermatozoa manage to survive and fertilize eggs. Passing between the cells in Ribaga’s organ, they enter the body cavity, travel up the walls of the females reproductive tract and ultimately reach the ovaries.
“Normal copulation is impossible because the large, inflexible sex organ of the male cannot fit into the female genital opening. Without the mutation responsible for the evolution of Ribaga’s organ, bedbugs would have become extinct — to the advantage of the human race.” (“Unorthodox Methods of Sperm Transfer,” by Lord Rothschild, “Scientific American,” 11-’56).
How illogical can the evolutionist get? Remember, evolution teaches the “gradual” change by “random mutations” through “long periods of time.” If normal copulation is impossible — and in the case of the bedbug it is — every bedbug in the world would have died childless long before “evolution” got around to establishing this devious sex route followed by the bedbug. Say it took a million years to develop “Ribaga’s organ.” Every bedbug in the world would have perished — and even their memory would have been long lost in the shadows if antiquity — while waiting, patiently waiting, for this organ to “evolve.”
Say folks — since Evolution has taken to itself the credit for “evolving” Ribaga’s organ, and since it is so anxious to achieve something, why don’t we forget logic for the time being, and let it have the credit for “saving bedbugs for the world!”
Seriously, all logical thinkers can see that there has been imposed a HANDICAP on the pesky little bedbugs. Though God pronounced a judgment on the world — and this judgment is on nature also (see Genesis 3:17-19; Romans 8:20-22) — apparently He in mercy set limits to that judgment, and, in the case of the bedbug, He made it difficult for them to propagate. HANDICAPS are to be seen everywhere in nature; and these “Handicaps” are a witness for the fact of Divine Intervention in life on earth. If “survival of the fittest” were the law of nature, the world would have been destroyed by pests or monsters ages ago; but the Creator so balanced all life that the evil that are strong would not prevail, and completely dominate and ruin His creation.
Some sponges, and spiders, lobsters and leeches use a roundabout method to achieve copulation. (See Lord Rothschild’s article referred to above). And each is a distinctive witness for Creation and against evolution.
(2) The Curious Behavior of the Stickleback
Thousands of species of animals — birds, fish, mammals, reptiles and insects — go through a distinctive courtship routine, prompted and established in pattern by unchanging INSTINCT. As an example of this phenomenon we quote from an article by Prof. N. Tinbergen (zoologist).
“The sex life of the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus) is a complicated pattern, purely instinctive and automatic, which can be observed. . . .at will. The mating cycle follows an unvarying ritual.
“First each male leaves the school of fish and stakes out a territory for itself, from which it will drive any intruder. . . .
“Then it builds a nest. It digs a shallow pit, piles in a heap of weeds, coats the material with a sticky substance, and shapes the weedy mass into a mound with its snout. It then bores a tunnel in the mound by wriggling through it. The tunnel, slightly shorter than an adult fish, is the nest.
“Having finished the nest, the male suddenly changes color — from an inconspicuous gray to a bright red and a bluish white.”
“In this colorful, conspicuous dress the male at once begins to court females. He performs a zigzag dance before them until a female takes notice. He then swims toward the nest, and she follows. She enters the nest. . . .and lays her eggs. . . .and slips out of the nest. He then glides in quickly to fertilize the clutch.
“One male may escort three, four or even five females through the nest, fertilizing each patch of eggs in turn. Then his mating impulse subsides, his color darkens. Now he guards the nest from predators and ‘fans’ water over the eggs to enrich their supply of oxygen. This he does daily until the eggs hatch. For a day or so after the young emerge the father keeps the brood together. But soon the young sticklebacks become independent and associate with the young of other broods.” (Condensed from “The Curious Behaviour of the Stickleback,” by N. Tinbergen; “Scientific American,” 12-’52).
It is safe to say that almost all life on earth — below the level of mankind — is guided largely by INSTINCT. Instinct creates behaviour patterns like that given above; instinct teaches a bird how to build its particular type of nest; instinct teaches the hunting wasp how to paralyze but not kill the caterpillar; instinct teaches the bee how to make the honeycomb. Since instinct enables an animal to exhibit intelligence in actions, without having actual intelligence, instinct must be a gift of the Creator to His creatures. The fact that all life is largely guided by God-given INSTINCT is one of the most powerful of all arguments in favor of creation. There is no proof anywhere for the evolution of instinct. It is unchanging. Instincts can not be evolved gradually.
(3) Dandelions Have Said Good-bye to Sex
Science Digest (May, 1957) had an interesting article on this theme, “Dandelions Have Said Good-bye to Sex,” by Joseph Wood Krutch. Dandelions are one of the “highest” of all plants, and as a race, dandelions are “prospering and inheriting the earth.”
“But in this most recent. . . .of all plant groups, the flower is. . . .devolving rather than evolving. Some plants have returned to a more primitive form of sexuality. . . .but the dandelion is one of the very few plants that has gone these other (plants) one better (or worse); it has abandoned sex entirely. Its ovaries are not fertilized by pollen from a stamen in the same flower. They are not fertilized at all. No sexual process takes place. Every seed and therefore every new generation is the product of a virgin birth. For good or ill, dandelions have said good-bye to sex.
“Sexuality made the dandelion what it is. The abandonment of sexuality will keep it almost precisely that. . . .If it lasts for ANOTHER HUNDRED MILLION YEARS IT WILL. . . .’IMPROVE’ NOT AT ALL.”
And so God has chosen the humble dandelion — as well as the bedbug — to be one of His witnesses! Read the above paragraphs again, and see this amazing confession: Without sex, involving the interchange of genes from both parents, there is little prospect of any change. Having “abandoned sex,” they say, “the dandelion will remain unchanged for the next hundred million years.” But since sexual reproduction is NOT the original method of reproduction, say the evolutionists, but simple cell division is, we know that evolution is a vain theory, for if there was a time when there was no sex, that time gave little hope of transmutation from one genus into another, even though minor mutations developed. It is “sex” that gave the terrific drive to mutations! A SEXLESS WORLD, we are told, is a world that has little hope of ever changing. Evolutionists admit that in the world that existed before “sex” there was little possibility of “evolution” — so slight, in fact, that a “sexless dandelion” has no chance to improve or evolve in the next 100 million years! HOW THEN DID THAT PRIMEVAL WORLD EVER GET OUT OF ITS SEXLESS RUT?
This is not the only instance in which evolutionists are thoroughly confused and have to resort to such statements as “they are devolving, not evolving.” We have read similar confessions many times. The truth is, the facts of nature when viewed as a whole and in detail confute the theories of evolution.
(4) It is Sex that made the Midwife Toad Famous!
“Most frogs and toads which live on land return to the water when mating time comes, for the eggs have to hatch in water for the sake of the tadpole stage. But the midwife toad does not return to the water for mating. This takes place on land, and while it goes on the male, using his hind legs, literally pulls the eggs out of the body of the female. The eggs form a long string, about 30 inches in length, consisting of a jelly-like substance in which the eggs are imbedded at regular intervals. The male loops this string of eggs around his hind legs. . . .He then digs himself a hole in moist sand, or soil, which he does with great skill and very fast. There he sits with the egg string, waiting patiently while the eggs incubate. After waiting a few weeks, the male finds water, jumps in and starts swimming very energetically. This breaks the eggs membranes and the tiny tadpoles scatter in all directions.” (Salamanders and Other Wonders, pages 29, 30).
Darwins Frog (Shinoderma darwinii) presents an even more striking oddity. The male has modified vocal sacs which he converts into receptacles for the eggs of his mate! The pouch, which becomes an extensive chamber under the body is entered by two channels on the floor of the mouth, and into this — “the most curious of all nurseries in terrestrial animal life” — the eggs are received. There the dozen or so young are born and they stay there until they pass through the larval stage! This father is taking no chances in having his youngsters (tadpoles) eaten! Here again evolution is dumb and helpless; it has no adequate explanation for this phenomenon. The only possible answer is, GOD MADE IT SO; and He assured the continuance of this odd life cycle by impressing on the hereditary genes the stamp of this odd body and weird manner of rearing young. What croaking frog would wish such a task as this on himself?
It is our conviction that the Creator injected such reversals of the general trend in nature to demonstrate the fact of His handiwork. Established by inflexible instinct, the male midwife toad goes through this trying procedure generation after generation, while his wife enjoys herself! The poor male would be the first one to grab onto some stray, “chance mutation,” to get out of his slavery to the maternity ward — but no luck. In this instance, as in thousands like it, evolution explains nothing; all it does is give us a confused babble of meaningless words.
(5) The Curious Life Process of the Alpine Salamander
“The Alpine Salamander, living from 3,000 to 10,000 feet up the slopes of the Alps, produces her young alive, and that by the most curious process yet observed. Of 50 eggs which the oviducts may contain only two are fertile. When the two tadpoles emerge from the eggs, they are not extruded from the parent body, but are nourished upon the substance of the remaining 48 eggs,” so there in the mother’s body the twins undergo their metamorphosis, protected and with abundant food, and emerge, like their parents, only smaller!
Here is an amazing adaptation to climate that permits the Alpine salamander to live and reproduce in conditions normally adverse to salamanders. Instead of spending their tadpole stage out of doors, as other salamanders do, these little ones are fed from a wellstocked pantry, and are brought through their tadpole stage right in the protection and coziness of the mother’s body! To believe that this adaptation happened through a chance mutation, or “random changes,” millions of years ago, and through a period of millions of years, is more than we can accept — and we’ll tell you why: In the course of those millions of years, we are told by geologists, the alpine areas went through several radical climatic changes from ice age, to a warm climate and back again to another ice age, and then a return to a warm climate! When would evolution have time enough, with so many climactic changes, to perform its wonders? When just about ready for a cold climate, the weather would change — and all the “mutations” for clod weather would be lost! Poor, confused Evolution would surely get frustrated and quit trying.
(6) The Butterfly: A Witness Against Evolution
“Human genius has never invented anything lovelier than a butterfly, nor anything so wonderful.”
In all nature one can scarcely find anything more beautiful than the butterflies! But before a butterfly becomes an adult, it must go through a complete metamorphosis in four stages: egg, larva (worm or caterpillar stage), pupa (or chrysalis), and then the adult butterfly. Why such a roundabout path to produce a butterfly? If unguided nature or evolution were doing it, according to Darwin’s theory of “natural selection” and “survival of the fittest” the impractical devious route would not have a chance. The butterfly would hatch directly from the egg, as would seem to be the normal route. Unguided evolution in a billion years could not even think up such an involved plan as “complete metamorphosis” — much less put it into working order.
Could it be that God, the Master Teacher, so designed the life cycle of the butterfly to teach us a lesson? Undoubtedly, spiritual and moral truths are illustrated in nature — and the metamorphosis of the caterpillar into the butterfly is an obvious lesson. If the grovelling, repulsive, greedy, earth-bound caterpillar pictures man in his lowly, fallen estate, then the transformation into the butterfly is a lesson in the need and reality of the new birth (see John 3:3, 5, 7). And the butterfly, released from its cocoon, flying heavenward, is a picturesque display of glory, speaking of the glory of the coming resurrection for the saved of earth (1 Corinthians 15:42-44; Philippians 3:21).
One student, writing of this miracle of metamorphosis, says,
“The metamorphosis of the butterfly cannot be reasonably explained by any mechanical theory of evolution. The idea that this mysterious process by which a certain form of animal is changed comparatively suddenly into something entirely different, and which goes on with undeviating regularity generation after generation, could have come about by the selection of chance variations or mutations, without plan and without directing force is so contrary to intelligence and so basically unscientific that it cannot be supported. It is manifestly absurd, and the more one considers the process of metamorphosis the more obvious it becomes that no theory of ‘fortuitous variations’ large or small can explain it.” (Evolution: the Unproven Hypothesis; page 48).
The life story of the butterfly begins with the tiny egg which the butterfly deposits upon a branch. And, mysterious miracle, — each kind of butterfly seems to prefer its own special kind of plant or tree. No one knows why. Another miracle: the eggs “are as exquisitely beautiful as gems — lustrous as pearls, more delicate than hand-wrought jewels. They are fluted, ribbed, patterned in a score of different ways — perfect as works of art, yet contrived with marvelous skill for the admission of the fertilizing substance. The material of which the eggs are made also provides the larvae with their first meal after they have hatched from the shells.” Most anyone can see that the “design” and beauty in these eggs is the work of the Master Artist, the Creator whose works are perfect!
“The grown-up insect goes back to the plant or tree trunk on which it was nurtured in its early life. This is wonderful. No moth or butterfly eats solid food (though some butterflies drink nectar); some can not even take moisture. Yet all lay their eggs on a substance which will be cradle and larder to the caterpillars into which those eggs will hatch! . . .Generally (with a few exceptions) there is one food, and one only, for a species. If that fails, the caterpillar will die in the midst of abundance, starving while caterpillars of other species are flourishing. the parents, to which solid food is not necessary, find it without fail for their offspring which the parents may never live to see. . . .Yet Nature, by some magic, guides the parent to the right tree, bush or weed. There, on the very substance essential to the creature yet unborn, the egg is laid. There is no more perfect example in the world of unerring instinct.”
Evolution is not equal to a feat like that! To put such ability in an insect is the work of Infinite Intelligence.
Another feature about the egg laying is its great variety.
“The eggs may be laid singly, in clusters or in masses. . . .In some species they hatch in a number of days, in others the egg is buried underground or covered with a coat of varnish, and survives the winter, hatching the following spring.”
Surely, this speaks of the Great Designer, who loves variety in His creative handiwork.
If the eggs are interesting, the career of the caterpillar till it becomes an adult butterfly is even more so. Having eaten the shells of the eggs from which they emerge, caterpillars begin a “campaign of gorging” and almost burst with food!
The larva of Polyphemus (the American silkworm) in its two-months career actually consumes 86,000 times its own weight when first hatched! The caterpillar of the Goat-moth reaches a weight 72,000 times as great as its weight when first hatched!
The larva of the monarch butterfly is about an eighth of an inch long when it is first born. Soon it sheds its skin in the first of four molts. In about two weeks it is full grown, and it then begins preparation for a major change in its way of life.
Seeking a convenient leaf or stem, he proceeds to spin a tough, flat button of silk. This amazing feat is done by means of a liquid secretion of glands in his head. The secretion hardens into a thread when it is squeezed out into the air from an opening on the lower lip. How can one account for the fact that he not only possesses a chemical factory, but also he is an
“architect and designs a house, though he has never lived in one before and has never seen one? His first attempt follows a pattern that is standard dwelling for all caterpillars of his variety, and is perfect for its purpose!” He is not only an architect and a builder; he is an interior decorator and a water-proofer as well. And he builds for himself a habitation “that the genius of man cannot duplicate.”
There are many varieties of moths and butterflies and many varieties of patterns of life followed by them. For example, the “Leaf-rollers” (moths) cement together two edges of one leaf, or two different leaves, and “in the little room thus formed make their home, snugly furnished with a couch of web spun from their silk gland.”
There is a poisonous species of caterpillar (from the Puss-moth larva), that spit out their poison a considerable distance, reminding one of a little spitting Cobra.
The Wooly Bears (larvae of moths) weave their own (but now useless) hairs into their silken cocoons; the caterpillars of the Dicranura chew such hard materials as wood and even sandstone, and mix that with their silk! Most wonderful of all: an African moth (Nyctemera group) wraps itself merely in a cloak of bubbles that it blows up and then goes to sleep! Practical thinkers know there is an Intelligent Creator behind such marvels.
Lazy days pass in the caterpillar’s pupal house. There the chrysalis takes its final shape, and the outer skin hardens. Within this dry shell the organs of the caterpillar are dissolved; special organs are generated (in the apparently lifeless body) whose function is to devour the organs which once worked for the caterpillar, and reduce them to a pulp — a seemingly formless glob, “a kind of soup.” A miracle takes place!
“Nothing remains unchanged, save perhaps its system of breathing. Jaws, claws, claspers, pro-legs, digestive system, even the very shape — all disappear. Then the shapes of the head, legs and thorax of the butterfly gradually appear upon the chrysalis case, and the first rough draft of the coming butterfly is dimly seen on the horny case of the chitin.”
The hour arrives for the insect to wake up and come out of its chrysalis. At this time it voids a quantity of a rather corrosive liquid which softens and partly dissolves the silk at one end of the chrysalis. Through the opening thus formed the butterfly emerges. The ugly grub has vanished; and in its place is a lovely winged butterfly as colorful as a flower, and in the case of the Monarch butterfly, capable of winging its way across an ocean! When it emerges, it is “resurrected” — full grown — and does not have to grow up like a baby chick. There is no growth thereafter for either moths or butterflies, whether it be the tiny moths of the leaf-mining group, or the giant Atlas moths of Africa, which have a wing span of nearly a foot.
We must call attention to one more miracle: the subtle beauty of the butterfly’s wings. Their beauty is proverbial.
One writer says, “Most butterflies appear like animated pieces of art with an amazing combination of small-patch color schemes.” Another says, “The most striking thing is the way the colors shift and vary with every change in the angle of the light or of the eye of the viewer.” (Nature’s Wonders; page 99).
Another writer, describing a certain gorgeous butterfly, says, “It shows a play of iridescent colors that can hardly be matched in jewel-like tones by any other one thing.” We will explain why the colors of many butterflies are iridescent.
Under a grant from the Radio Corporation of America, Drs. T. F. Anderson and A. Glenn Richards, Jr., studied the brilliant blue tropical butterfly (Morpho cypris), which is prized as a decoration for coffee trays and the like. They used the electron microscope which can “see” objects smaller than a wavelength of light. They discovered this incredible phenomenon:
“There is a three-dimensional architecture on each wing scale. The wings are covered with these minute scales that overlap much as a roof is covered with shingles. The surfaces of these scales are covered with perfect structures — rows upon rows of them that look like long narrow skyscrapers on arching supports! Imagine each ‘skyscraper’ to be made of a transparent material like glass and the distance between reflecting floors to be half a wavelength of blue light! Each of these scales reflects blue light and no other. These ‘skyscrapers’ have ‘floors’ only 1/100,000 of an inch apart. this is NOT guesswork; pictures taken with the electron microscope are so sharp that details as small as three-ten millionths of an inch can be seen in the ‘walls’ of the ‘skyscrapers.’ (And remember, these ‘skyscrapers’ are but minute portions of the infinitestimal scales on the wings of a butterfly!). These ‘details’ may well be the molecule-sized ‘bricks’ of which these ‘skyscraper’ structures on the wing scales are built. But how these ‘bricks’ make the skyscrapers’ is still an unsolved mystery.”
Can you beat that for miracle in the unseen world of nature! The color in a butterfly’s wings is not from pigment, but from the reflected light from these transparent wing scales, made to reflect different colors according to the size of the “skyscraper” arrangement on each wing, or on each part of each wing. This is amazing beyond description, and is the fitting work of an infinitely wise, all powerful Creator. Such a wing could no more develop through the so-called evolutionary processes, by “random changes,” than that a dog could jump to the moon. Let us be honest; give the Creator the credit due Him.
The Testimony of a Great Scientist
A German biologist Richard Goldschmidt, “set himself the task of proving by laboratory research what Charles Darwin had assumed to be true.” He became an authority on the gypsy moth (Lymantria), following about the same line of work on it that others have done with the fruit fly (Drosophila). Goldschmidt became director of the famous Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin, and recently he has been head of the department of Zoology in the University of California. (He is now deceased). In his book, The Material Basis of Evolution (Yale University Press), he tells of his disappointment in not being able to verify the theory.
He argues that there are “large species . . . which are distinct from one another, and separated from one another by ‘bridgeless gaps’ with no transitions from one to another (page 29). Within each of these groups varied changes may occur, but such changes never amount to enough to form a distinct different kind, and we have no scientific knowledge that new species have been formed in this way.” (Boldface type ours).
This witness is all the more valuable for Professor Goldschmidt still believed in organic evolution, “somehow.” But being an honest man, he gave as his considered judgment that he could find no scientific evidence for belief in evolution.
MORE ABOUT “SPECIALIZED ORGANS”
Many times in this book we have pointed out the miracle of “specialized organs,” organs created for a special function. Again and again we have called attention to the fact that ALL SPECIALIZED ORGANS HAVE TO BE PERFECT TO WORK — and that a partly developed of partly formed “special organ” is useless. Hence we KNOW that all specialized organs came into existence AT ONCE, IN THEIR COMPLETED, PERFECT FORM; otherwise they would not function properly.
Actually, the world around us is full of wonders, including many strange and fascinating specialized organs. One author says,
“Artists in the Middle Ages painted snakes — mostly the well-known ‘sea-monsters’ — as some kind of monstrous (animal). Today we smile at these grotesque conceptions. . . .Science has done away with all these fantasies and replaced them by real creatures, the complexity of whose body structure FAR EXCEEDS THAT OF THE STRANGE CREATURES OF IMAGINATION.” ( Reptile Life).
Let us examine some of these strange creatures.
The Lionfish (Pterois radiata) is a strange fish that lurks on coral shelves, 130 feet below the surface of the ocean. It has long, singular bristling spines that inject a potent poison into any living thing that touches them. The human victim experiences excruciating pain, if his arm or leg is pierced by one or more of these spines. No antidote is known. Whatever possessed evolution to turn out such a frightful creature? The evolutionist might counter with, “why accuse a benevolent Creator of making such a repelling, poison-inflicting creature? The answer is: Nature is full of symbols of evil as well as good. There are poisonous snakes as well as milk cows. As nature is a reflection of a fallen, sin-cursed world, much that is evil and injurious is in evidence — to teach men moral lessons. Poison in nature, with its lethal consequences, is a picture of sin and it deadly consequences. It is to be avoided.
Aside from the reason why there is such a creature as the death-dealing Lionfish, we know of no link of intermediary forms that lead up to the lionfish.
The Lungfish has been described as “the strangest fish in the world.” In South America and in Africa they live in stagnant pools that dry up in the rainless season. In such a situation, fish that breath with gills die. But the creator made a fish for just such an emergency. When the weather dries up the pool, the lungfish digs into the ground, curls up comfortably, and goes to sleep after enveloping itself in a sort of mucilage cocoon! It gets its air through a hole that extends to the surface of the ground. And so it sleeps on through the dry season; and when the spring rains fill the pool again, the water melts the cocoon, and releases the lungfish to swim around in the pond! The Darwinian theory of “natural selection” falls down completely here, for the first dry season for a normal fish would KILL IT when the pond dried. Natural selection cannot reach into the execution chamber of a dry pond and save even one fish that is not FROM THE BEGINNING equipped for such an emergency as is the lungfish. CREATION is the only logical answer to such a strange creature as the lungfish.
The South American Sloth is a singular quadruped.
“Though all other quadrupeds rest on the ground, this singular animal is destined by nature to be produced, to live, and to die in the trees. He has no soles to his feet, and he is ill at ease when he tries to move on the ground. He spends most of his life hanging upside down from the limb of a tree! In fact, he spends his whole life in trees and never leaves them but through force or by accident. And what is more extraordinary, the sloth rests not UPON the branches or limbs, like the squirrel or monkey, but UNDER them! He moves suspended from the branch, he rests suspended from it, he sleeps suspended from it. To enable him to do this HE MUST HAVE A VERY DIFFERENT (PHYSICAL) FORMATION FROM THAT OF ANY OTHER KNOW QUADRUPED. . . .When his form and anatomy are attentively considered, it is evident that the sloth cannot be at ease in any situation where his body is not suspended, as from a limb of a tree.” (Charles Waterton).
How can even the most imaginative evolutionist possibly come up with an explanation of how the sloth got its entirely different body for its radically different manner of life? He (the Creator) “hath given it a body as it hath pleased Him.”
The characteristic animals of Madagascar are the lemurs (related to monkeys). They live in trees, and are all night prowlers. One of the weirdest of the lemurs is the Aye-aye that has large protruding ears designed to catch the faintest sound made by insects; and one of its fingers is more than twice as long as the others, “as skinny as a living limb can be and equipped with a curved, hooklike nail for dragging insects out from under the bark of trees.” (Salamanders and Other Wonders, Page 171).
With ears designed to hear the unsuspecting insect, and finger clearly designed to drag insects out from under the bark, this strange animal needs its ears and slim finger to make its living! Ears and finger work together for an intended end. In this instance, the co-ordination of TWO unusual developments was essential to accomplish what the Aye-aye lemur has. To believe that one series of “chance mutations” produced the weird finger is asking a lot; but to have to believe that TWO series of “chance mutations” came at the same time and developed simultaneously into a co-operating pair is more than we can believe. To us the case is clear: the Almighty Creator gave that little creature both the unusual ears and the more unusual finger, to enable it to make its living in the trees!
Man and the bats are not the only creatures in God’s world who use the secrets of sonar. There is a fish (Gymnarchus niloticus), that lives in the Nile. Shaped like a compressed eel, it has the ability of storing electricity in its stubby tail and of discharging it into the water in controlled bursts.
“What is more, it can pick up or receive these impulses as they bound back from solid objects. Thus it uses its electromagnetic energy for an efficient form of underwater radar — and it manages to interpret those reflections, just as bats do with air-borne waves, in time to alter its course and so avoid running into things when darting backward, even in muddy water at night!”
This is such a highly developed “specialized organ” that its development by chance is ruled out.
Even a cursory examination of nature reveals literally hundreds of thousands of “specialized organs” in all forms of life. Who designed the unique mouth strainer for the baleen whale — “ingenius horny plates with fringed edges” — that permits the small plant and animal plankton to sift back into the ocean, but keeps in the krill for food when the whale gulps in great mouthfuls of sea water?
Who gave the brainless starfish an extraordinary stomach that “turns itself inside out” to envelop its food? And what Engineer devised the unusual means of locomotion for the five rayed starfish, so that it can move by means of a most amazing :hydraulic pressure mechanism,” known as a “water vascular system?”
“Water enters by minute openings on the upper surface of the starfish and is drawn down a tube to a ring canal, encircling the disk. From this central ring canal go five radial canals one for each arm. Each of these connects by short branches to hundreds of pairs of tube feet — hollow cylinders that end in suckers. On each tube foot is a muscular sac. When this sac contracts, the water, prevented by a valve from flowing back into the radial canal, is forced into the tube foot; this extends the tube foot, which attaches to the sub-stratum by its sucker. Then the tube feet contract — shorten — and draw the animal forward a tiny bit. This process is repeated and the starfish slowly moves forward.” (Animals Without Backbones,” pages 300, 301).
Obviously, a brainless starfish could not devise such an intricate system, using “valves, water pressure, canals, tube feet, muscular contraction, suckers etc.,” all finely co-ordinated to give this humble creature controlled locomotion! This interesting creature is so different from all other animals, we ask the evolutionist, What could this singular animal have evolved from?
We next mention the sponge as a highly specialized creature and a witness for Creation. Get a mental picture of a sponge. Can you conceive of an animal more unusual than a sponge? It is a real puzzle to evolutionists, too. Read carefully this statement:
“The sponge body plan is unique. No other many-celled animals use the principle opening as an exhalant opening instead of a mouth, or have the peculiar collar cells, or show so low a degree of co-ordination between the various cells. Hence, it is thought that the sponges have evolved from a group of protozoa different from the ones that gave rise to all the other many-celled animals. And the phylum Porifera has sometimes been set aside as a separate sub-kingdom of animals. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT THE SPONGES HAVE EVER GIVEN RISE TO ANY HIGHER GROUP. This does not mean that the sponges have been a failure, for they are an abundant and widespread phylum. . . .But in the general trend of animal evolution the sponges are little more than a side issue.” (Animals Without Backbones, page 68, Caps ours).
“There is NO EVIDENCE that sponges have ever given rise to any higher group.” And there is NO EVIDENCE that sponges ever evolved from any lower group! And so the humble sponges become — along with the equally humble bedbugs, dandelions and starfish, as well as many more — witnesses for God and His amazing creative work.
We call on another witness for God and Creation: the amazing complex SPIDER, with it highly specialized organs.
This little creature and its habits are so wonderful, we ought to give a whole chapter to it; but space is limited. We believe, after considerable research, that a study of spiders is as compensatory and as interesting as that of either bees or ants.
For ages past spiders have been “ballooning through the atmosphere, diving under water with oxygen tanks, and spinning filaments so fine that even modern science can’t duplicate them.” These wonder workers are called “Arachnida.” But the so-called “common spiders” are some of the most uncommon creatures on earth! They are also among the most numerous. Naturalist W. S. Bristowe estimated that there were 2,265,000 spiders per acre on a certain grassy plot in England.
There is a tremendous versatility among the 30,000 odd species of spiders. Not all spiders spin webs.
(1) The non-spinners. Among the non-spinners are the RUNNING SPIDERS — hairy, speedy spiders that can be located under logs; the JUMPING SPIDERS — chubby little fellows that jump around like bucking broncos.
Among spiders that spin are:
(2) TRAP-DOOR SPIDERS that build tunnels for their permanent homes. They cement the walls with glue to keep them dry and prevent cave-ins; then they line them with silk to make them warm and attractive. Next, they fit them with a real, hinged trap door! And every new generation of these spiders build the same type of home, with the same type of trap door — even though they have never seen such a building before, nor ever made one!
(3) The CRAB SPIDER. When she lives in the yellow plumes of the goldenrod, she too is yellow in color! When an innocent bee arrives, this “villain” jumps out from her ambush and actually lassoes the bee with silken thread hurled speedily over her wings. This is quickly followed by more silken strands over her legs to stop her thrashing and to hogtie her. The spider then injects a chemical into the bee to paralyze her — and soon she begins her tasty meal.
Certain Crab spiders hurl their silken strands across the gap between a flower or branch on which they are sitting and an adjacent one. After the far end has been successfully snagged, they walk over their new suspension bridge!
(4) The GRASS SPIDER weaves a “blanket” on top of grass (or other plants) and then she strings a series of sticky lines above the blanket to stop flying insects. The snare works, and when the insects land on the blanket below, the spider runs out and captures them.
(5) Some spiders construct “balloons” or “kites” by means of which they float around, sometimes going many miles.
“Some spiderlings,” says Dr. Willis Gertsch (Curator of spiders at the American Museum of Natural History), “climb up on threads like little acrobats, and in this way control the ship they are flying!”
(6) Another spider binds together dead leaves with its silk so it can sail downstream on its own canoe. When prey is spotted, it leaps from its craft, strides on the surface of the water (easily done, since its feet are constructed like little snowshoes) and soon returns with its victim to its floating dining room.
(7) There is also a European WATER SPIDER that uses its silk to construct an undersea house. The female spreads a silken sheet between underwater plants and then makes repeated trips to the surface to collect air bubbles, which enable her to survive under water. At mating time, the male builds a smaller house alongside the female’s and joins the two with a silken tunnel! Peter Farb, writing on “NATURE’S WONDERFUL WEAVERS” says of these fascinating creatures:
“Spiders have achieved all this without a glimmer of intelligence. They are creatures of blind instinct, locked into patterns of behavior that go back a hundred million years. And, through all the countless generations since, they have methodically continued to weave their individual webs, WITH NARY A VARIATION.”
And so Mr. Farb says exactly what Bible believers have been saying: God created all things to reproduce “ after their kind” (Genesis 1), and ALL the different genera God has made have “methodically continued” their original manner of life “with nary a variation.” WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE EVOLUTION?
Speaking of the amazing water spider, the late Philip Mauro in his book, “EVOLUTION AT THE BAR,” fitly remarks: “It is manifest that its extraordinary manner of life, and the highly specialized organs, which are vital to it, could not possibly be the outcome of a long and slow process of evolution. Before the life of a water spider could begin, it must be equipped, first, with the means of secreting a waterproof material; second, means for spinning that material into a watertight cell; third, protective hairs to keep it from getting wet; fourth, the peculiar apparatus for filling its underwater ‘house’ with air; fifth, the instincts which prompt the doing and give the ‘know how’ for the doing of these things.”
(8) Let us now consider the WEB-SPINNING types of spiders.
“Every species of spider MAKES ITS OWN KIND OF WEB, and builds it by instinct. When a baby spider spins its first web, if it has never seen a web before, it makes one just like its forebears, except on a smaller scale.” (Spiders’ Webs, Peter Wilt, in “Scientific American”).
“The orb web is one of the most marvelous of natural objects — a truly marvelous engineering work. Each circle and spoke is laid with geometric accuracy, to a degree or two; and the whole web, consisting of thousands of separate parts, takes the spider less than an hour to complete. It consists of a framework of DRY lines that bridge an open space and lines that radiate outward from a central hub. On this are laid down many spiral turns of a sticky silk. Insects that walk or fly into this trap struggle helplessly in the seemingly flimsy, elastic lines. But the wily spider, who hangs away from the web, touches only the DRY lines with the tips of his legs when he walks out to further ensnare his prey, and so he manages not to become entangled.”
A spider’s thread sometimes is only a millionth of an inch thick, and is invisible to the naked eye.
From the moment of birth a spider starts spinning, and there after, for the rest of its life, it never loses the ability. A spider as it walks, climbs or jumps, lays behind it a silken lifeline which guards against falls. The silken strand also serves as the telegraph line to announce when prey has arrived at the trap, and then the victim is promptly handcuffed and strait-jacketed with it.
With their ingenius traps, spiders have snared objects hundreds of times their own weight. One observer saw a mouse trapped in a spider’s web; and within 12 hours the mouse had actually been hoisted a couple of feet off the floor “by the soundest engineering principles of block-and-tackle lifting.”
“The spider’s silk is undoubtedly the most versatile substance in nature. It is also the strongest, for its size. Some of these silks can stretch a third of their length before snapping.
“The average spider has six minute spinnerets on its belly, each shaped much like the nozzle of a watering can. They can be manipulated as easily as we move our fingers.
“Each nozzle is made up of roughly 100 tubes and each tube is connected to its own silk-making gland. But that is not all. The glands manufacture a VARIETY of silks, usually three or four. The spider can use as many of the tubes as she wishes, combining them in a well-nigh infinite assortment, to cope with every possible need.” (“Nature’s Wonderful Weavers,” by Peter Farb).
Consider then the little SPIDER as a unique witness for God and creation. According to scientists, it has not changed its ways for millions of years, and gives NO EVIDENCE now of “evolving” or having ever “evolved.” Spiders always have been spiders, since the day they were created.
These spinnerets are essential in the makeup of the web-building spider. A complicated machine only works when completed. A partly assembled typewriter is useless. Logic assures us that these highly specialized organs — spider’s spinnerets — were completed when the spider itself was made: and that of course means CREATION.