SCIENTIFIC FACTS AGAINST EVOLUTION
WONDERS OF DESIGN # 1
MATHEMATICS OF A SWIFTLET'S CLICKS
Swiftlets are small birds that live in southeastern Asia and Australia.
They make their nests far back in dark caves. It is not difficult for an
owl to fly through the woods at night, for a small amount of light is
always present and owls have very large eyes. But the situation is far
different for a swiftlet. There is no light in caves! And swiftlets have
small eyes! How then is this little creature able to find its way
through a cave, without running into the walls? Yet he does it.
Designed with fast-flying wings, such as swallows and swifts have, the
swiftlet flies at high speed into its cave. Somehow it knows which cave
to fly into. But, once inside, there is no glimmer of light to guide it.
Yet rapidly and unerringly, it flies directly to one tiny nest. Arriving
there, it is confronted with hundreds of nests which look exactly the
same. How can it know which one is its own? Nevertheless, flying at top
speed, the bird flies across even the largest cavern in only a few
seconds-and then lands at the correct nest.
Part of the mystery is solved when we consider that the swiftlet has
been given a type of radar (sonar) system. But this discovery only
produces more mysteries. As the little bird enters the cave, it begins
making a series of high-pitched clicks. The little bird has the ability
to vary the frequency of the sounds; and, as it approaches the wall, it
increases the number of clicks per second until they are emitted at
about the rate of about 20 per second. The time required for the clicks
to bounce off the wall and return reveals both the distance to the wall
and its contours.
Scientists tried to figure out why the clicks vary in frequency as the
bird gets closer to the wall. After applying some complicated
mathematics, they discovered that the tiny bird-with a brain an eighth
as large as your little finger-does this in order to hear the return
echo! The problem is that the click must be so short and so exactly
spaced apart, that its echo is heard by the ear of the bird-before the
next click is made. Otherwise the next click will drown the sound of the
FOG-DRINKING BEETLE-How can a wingless beetle, living in a desert,
get enough water? This one does it by drinking fog.
Onymacris unguicularis is the name of a little beetle that lives in the
rainless wilderness of the Namib Desert, close to the southwestern coast
of Africa. This flightless beetle spends most of its time underground in
the sand dunes, where temperatures remain fairly constant. But when
thirsty, it emerges from its little burrow and looks about. There is no
water anywhere; rain comes only once in several years. The little fellow
is not discouraged, but climbs to the crest of a sand dune, faces the
breeze, and waits. Gradually fog condenses on its body. It just so
happens that this beetle is born with several grooves on its face. Some
of the water trickles down the grooves into the beetle's mouth. Happily,
the little fellow goes searching for dry food and then returns to its
burrow for a nap.
ELECTRICAL IMPULSES OF KNIFE FISH- The Amazon knife fish is a
strange looking creature. It has no fins on the side, top, or tail; all
its fins are beneath it-in one long, single wave of fin from front to
back! Indeed, this eight-inch fish has no tail at all. The fish looks
somewhat like a sideways butterknife, which narrows to a spear point at
its hind end.
Its one, long ribbon-like fin undulates from one end to the
other-something like millipede legs which move it through the water. As
it travels, it can quickly go into reverse gear and swim backwards with
But the most unusual feature of this little fish is its lateral line.
This horizontal line of cells on its side is an electrical generating
plant, producing impulses which are sent out into the water to both one
-side and the other. These 'impulses bounce off objects and quickly
return where they are sensed by other receptor cells in its skin. The
voltage of these cells is low, only about 3 to 10 volts of direct
current. Yet the frequency of the impulses is high-about 300 a second.
As these impulses go outward, they create an electrical
sending/receiving field of signals, which tell the fish what is around
it-in front, to the side, and even to the rear.
But imagine the problems which ought to occur when two knife fish come
near each other! Both fish are sending out signals, and the resulting
incoming confusion of patterns would be expected to "blind" both fish.
But, no, the Designer gave these fish the ability to change wavelengths!
As soon as two knife fish draw near to one another, they immediately
stop transmitting impulses for a couple moments, and then both switch
them back on-but this time on different frequencies to each other!
UNDERGROUND FLOWERS-We all know that flowers never grow underground;
but here are two that do:
There are two Australian species of orchid which, not only produce
flowers under the earth's surface,-but the entire plants are there also!
The only exception is a tiny cluster of capsules which is occasionally
pushed up to disperse the dustlike seeds.
How can these plants live underground? Both
species feed on decaying plant material in the soil, breaking it down with
the aid of fungi. They do all their growing and blooming beneath the top
of the soil. Their flowers are regular orchid flowers!
species feed on decaying plant material in the soil, breaking it down with
the aid of fungi. They do all their growing and blooming beneath the top
of the soil. Their flowers are regular orchid flowers!
The first, Rhizanthella gardneri, was discovered by accident in 1928 by
J. Trott, a farmer who was plowing a field near Corrigin, western
Australia. The second, Cryptanthemis slateri, was found by E. Slater in
1931 at Alum Mount in New South Wales. The little plants keep so well
hidden that few have ever been found since then.
KNOWING WHERE TO JUMP-Gobies are small fish which, during low tides,
like to swim in rock pools on the edge of the ocean. One species, the
Bathygobius, enjoys jumping from one tidal pool, over rocks exposed
above the water, into another rock pool on the other side. Researchers
finally became intrigued by this habit and decided to investigate.
They discovered that this little fellow always jumps just the right
amount, at the right place, and in the right direction-without ever
landing on rock! How can this fish know where to leap out of the water,
and in what direction? It cannot see from one rock pool to the next.
Surely it does not have the locations and shapes of all the rock pools
pre-memorized in its tiny head! Although much of the area around a pool
is exposed rock, with no nearby pools beyond it, yet the Goby always
jumps at exactly just the right place. The scientists have guessed that,
perhaps, when the tide earlier came in and covered all the rocks, the
fish swam around and memorized all the bumps and hollows on the rock,
and thus later know where to do its jumping. But, if that was true, then
the mystery would only deepen even more. How could this very small fish
have enough wisdom to go about in advance and learn all that?
VARIETIES OF ROSES-In chapter 13 (Natural Selection) we discuss the
wide range of possibilities to which each natural species can be bred.
Because of this, large numbers of subspecies can be developed. The
making of new subspecies is not evolution.
An example of this would be the rose. More than 8,000 varieties of rose
have been developed for garden cultivation, yet all of them are
descended from only a few wild forms. Although roses have been
cultivated by the Persians, Greeks, Romans, and Europeans, there were
only four or five rose types by the end of the 18th century. This
included the dog rose, musk rose, and red Provins rose.
Modern varieties, such as the hybrid tea rose (single-flowered) and
floribundas (clusterflowered), began to be bred only around 1900, after
the European species were crossed with cultivated oriental Chinese
MIGRATING LOBSTERS-Spiny lobsters live and spawn near coral reefs of
the Bahamas and the Florida coast. But each fall, the lobsters know that
it is time to leave. Storms occur throughout the year; yet, for some
unknown reason, at the time that one of the autumn storms stirs the
waters, the lobsters quickly know that migration time has come. Within a
few hours they gather in large groups.
Then they form into long, single-file lines and begin marching out into
the ocean. They always know to move straight out, and not sideways. As
they travel on the sand, each lobster touches his long antennae on the
rear of the one in front of him. There is no hesitation about these
marches; the creatures gather and immediately depart. As they go, they
travel surprisingly fast, yet maintain their alertness. They can never
know when their main enemy, the trigger fish, or another predator may
suddenly dart down through the clear waters. Indeed, the lobsters are
easy to see, for the tropical sands beneath them are often white.
When a trigger fish does arrive, the lobsters instantly go into action.
They form into circles, with their pincers held outward and upward in a
menacing gesture. When the trigger fish, decides it is not worth getting
pinched and leaves, the spiny lobsters reform into a line and continue
their march. Finally, they reach a lower level and remain there
throughout the winter. Since less food
is available during the winter months, at these lower levels the colder
water temperature helps slow their metabolism and they go into
semihibernation until spring returns. Then they march in lines back to
their summer feeding grounds. Who put all this understanding into the
minds of the little lobsters? Could you train a lobster to do all that?
POP GOES THE MOSS-The various sphagnum mosses (the kind you purchase
at garden supply stores as mulch) grow in peat bogs. These mosses have a
special way of ejecting their . seeds.
In the final stage of ripening, the spore capsules shrink to about a
quarter of their original size, compressing the air inside, and reshape
into tiny gun barrels, each with its own airtight cap. Each barrel is
very small-about 0.1 inch in length.
Then the cap breaks under pressure, and the trapped air escapes with an
audible pop, firing the packet of spores as far as 7 feet. How could
this tiny plant devise a battery of natural air guns to disperse its
Evolutionists glibly tell us it all happened "by accident." But, first,
it could not happen by accident. Only a fool would believe that (and the
Bible defines a "fool" as one who does not believe in God [Psalm 14:1;
53:1]). Second, it could not even happen by human design. It would be
impossible for a person to get a plant to do the things these little
mosses regularly do in the process of preparing their seeds, packing
them in for firing, and then shooting them off.
SPIDER MAKES HIS DOOR-Although only an inch long, the female
trap-door spider makes excellent doors and latches. After digging a
burrow six inches deep into soft ground, she lines the walls with silk,
and then builds the front door.
This is a circular lid about three-quarters of an inch across. A silken
hinge is placed on one end, and gravel on the bottom. In this way, as
soon as the lid is pulled over, it falls shut by its own weight. The top
part of the door exactly matches the surroundings; and, because it just
happens to have a carefully made beveled edge, the door cannot by the
closest inspection be seen when closed. Throughout the day, the door
remains shut, and the little spider inside is well-protected from
enemies. When evening comes, the door is lifted and the little creature
peers out to see if it is dark enough to begin the night's work.
With the door open wide, the spider sits there, with two front feet
sticking out, awaiting passersby. When an insect happens by, the door is
shut and lunch is served.
Sometimes the spider locks the door. This is especially done during
molting time, when the door is tied down with ropes of silk. The males
build similar tunnels.
FAST-GROWING TREES-It is always a marvel how a tiny seed can grow
into a mighty tree.
But, although it takes time for a tree to grow, some trees grow very
But, although it takes time for a tree to grow, some trees grow very
The fastest-growing tree in the world is the AIbizzia falcata, a
tropical tree in the pea family. Scientists in Malaysia decided to
measure how fast one could grow, and found it reached 35.2 feet in 13
months. Another in the same region grew 100 feet in five years. The
Australian eucalyptus is also a speedy grower. One specimen attained 150
feet in 15 years.
BABY GLUE GUNS-Ants have discovered that babies make good glue guns.
The green tree ants of Australia make their homes out of living leaves.
Several workers hold two leaves together, while others climb up the tree
trunk carrying their children (the little grubs which will later change
into adult ants). Arriving at the construction site, these ants give
their babies a squeeze, and then point them toward the leaves. Back and
forth they swing their babies across the junction of the leaves, and out
of the baby comes a glue-like silk which spot-welds the leaves together.
It looks as if a white, silken network is holding the leaves together.
When the building project is finished, the ants move into their new
home. Perhaps they thank their young for providing the nails to hold the
MILKING THE TREES- That is what they do in Venezuela: milk trees.
The South American milk tree (Brosimum utile) belongs to the fig family
and produces a sap that looks, tastes, and is used just like cow's milk.
Farmers go out and collect it. The trees are easy to care for; it is not
necessary to chase after strays, string barb wire, round up the herd and
put them into barns at night, or teach the young to drink out of pails.
RUNNING ON WATER-How can a skimmer, the little beetles which glide
effortlessly over a water pond, run across the surface of the water?
It is now known that they are pulled by the surface tension of the water
ahead of them. But how can this be, for is there not just as much
surface tension in the water behind them? No, there is not. These little
skimmers can only travel as fast as they do, because they lower the
surface tension at the rear of their bodies in a very special manner.
There is a small gland at the back end of their abdomens. A tiny amount
of fluid from that gland is placed on the water as they run along. This
fluid lowers the water's surface tension! But the surface tension ahead
of them remains high, and it is an obscure law of physics that this
difference tends to pull them forward!
Seriously now: What self-respecting beetle would be able to figure out
the complex chemical formula for that fluid, much less planning how to
restructure its body in order to manufacture it in the gland it is
produced in? How would he know enough about physics to understand, in
the first place, what he was trying to do?
Or could you, with your large brain, restructure your body? There is
hardly a boy in the land who would not like to have the muscles and
endurance of the tiger, but he cannot do it.
MORE ABOUT CLOWNFISH-In chapter 24, we discuss the astonishing
activities of the clownfish, which lives amid the stinging tentacles of
the anemones without ever being injured by them. Scientists have puzzled
over this for years. It has recently been discovered that the answer is
that other fish have a certain chemical in the mucus covering their
bodies which, when touched by the arm of an anemone, causes its stings
to discharge. Clownfish lack this chemical, and are thus able to live
amid those tentacles, and let the anemone defend them.
In addition, in the reefs off Australia and New Guinea, the clownfish
protects the anemone. The butterfly fish is in that region, and-also
lacking that chemical-it is able to bite off parts of the anemone. But
when it swims near, the little clownfish comes out and attacks it,
driving it away. In this way, the clownfish protects the anemone which
FISH THAT BUILD NESTS-Some fish are born in nests. The labyrinth
family (which include the Siamese fighting fish) are air-breathing fish.
They build nests in vegetation near the surface. Sticky bubbles are
blown by the male, who places the eggs in the nest and watches over them
until they are born, and thereafter for a time.
The stickleback fish also builds nests. The male collects pieces of
aquatic plants, and glues them together with a cement secreted from its
kidneys. Placing the plant mass in a small pit in the sand, it then
makes a burrow or tunnel inside, where the eggs are then laid.
Other fish form depressions in the sand and remain there to care for
their young after they hatch. But no other nesting material is used.
Nesting, whether done by birds or fish, is actually a very complicated
pattern. It is not something that a weak-minded bird or fish could ever
,have thought up by itself. Yet most birds and some fish regularly do
It is of interest that, even if a solitary bird had actually stumbled
upon the idea of making a nest, that bird would not have taught it to
its babies. So the pattern would have stopped right there. Just as there
is no way that the pattern could be started, there is no way it could be
passed on to the next generation. "Oh," someone will reply, "the
information simply passed into the genes." Not so, any good scientist
will tell you that there is no such thing as inheritance of acquired
STICK-BEATING BIRD-No, this isn't a stick beating a bird, but a bird
beating with a stick. The huge black palm cockatoo of northern Australia
enjoys screeching high notes and whistling low ones to its neighbors. It
wants everyone to know it is there. Yet even this is not enough to
satisfy it. To insure that no rival cockatoos enter their territory,
breeding pairs signal their ownership of a territory by breaking off a
small stick with their claws and beating it against a hollow tree.
HEAD-DOOR FROGS-Some Mexican tree frogs use their heads to survive.
Called helmet frogs, they have bony crests on top of their skulls. When
drought begins, these little frogs climb into tree trunks or into holes
in bromeliads (plants of the pineapple family) that grow high in trees.
Once inside, they use the tops of their heads to seal off the entrance!
Then they just sit there till rain falls again. Little water is lost
through their head, and it makes an excellent camouflage at the doorway
to their home.
MILKY WAY CAVES- The fungus-gnat of New Zealand lives in dark caves.
You can find them there by the millions. Each of these little insects
first makes a horizontal maze, which looks something like a spider web.
Then it drips down several dozen mucus threads, which hang downward from
its nest. Each of these threads has globs of glue at several points on
the thread-and those threads glow in the dark.
Entering one of these caves and gazing upward, you will see the steady,
unblinking light of millions of stars overhead. Some seem slightly
closer, and some farther away. Everywhere you look above you, the stars
SKIN BREATHERS-Most amphibians breathe with gills when they are
larvae in the water, and later with lungs when they become adults and
live on land. But there are also land-living, cavedwelling,
tree-climbing, and water-living species that do not breathe through
lungs or gills. Instead, they breathe through their skin!
An example of this would be the frogs of the genus Telmatobius. These
little frogs live underwater in lakes in the high Andes. That water is
cold! Yet these frogs, having no gills or lungs, are able to absorb
oxygen from the water through their skin.
EGG PRODUCERS-Some people wish each hen in their chicken yard would
produce at least one egg a day. But some creatures can do better than
that. A single female cod can produce six million eggs in one spawning.
A female fruit fly is far too small to do as well as the codfish but,
even she can lay 200 eggs in a season in batches of a hundred at a time.
Yet there are creatures which can produce far more eggs than that. These
include the corals, jellyfish, sea urchins and mollusks. The champion is
the giant clam. Once each year, for 30 or 40 years, it will shoot one
thousand million eggs out into the water. This is 1,000,000,000, or a
The largest litter produced by any placental mammal is that of the
Microtus, a tiny meadow mouse living in North America. This little
creature can give birth to 9 babies at a time, and produce 17 litters in
a breeding season. Thus it is capable of producing 150 young each year.
MOST EXTENSIVE MINER-The Russian mole rat is a champion burrower. In
its search for underground bulbs, roots, and tubers, it excavates long
tunnels that include resting chambers, food storage rooms, and nesting
areas. Scientists excavated one tunnel system in the former Soviet Union
and found it was 1 ,180 feet in length. They calculated that it took
about two months to construct.
The Russian mole rat is blind and digs with its teeth, not with its
claws. It rams its head into the soil to loosen it as it chews out new
tunnels. Every so often, it comes to the surface and makes a mound of
earth from the tunnel. The longest tunnel had 114 interconnected mounds.
If that little rat can do that, just think what you can accomplish!
CHILDREN'S CHILDREN-The greenfly is a live-bearer insect, which
means it does not lay eggs but brings forth its babies live, as mammals
But the greenfly does it a little differently. During the summer months, when there are lots of food plants in leaf, she produces eggs within herself which are self-fertile; that is they were never fertilized by a male. In addition, all her eggs will hatch into females. But there is more: Each of her daughters will automatically be fertile, so that daughter will, in turn, be able to lay fertile eggs.
MORE ON THE KANGAROO-In chapter 32, we discuss the kangaroo. But
here is more information:
After being born, the baby kangaroo journeys to its mother's pouch and
begins nursing. After about 9 months it will begin climbing out of its
mother's pouch and begin feeding. But, at times, it will jump back in
and continue taking milk. Then, at 10 months it no longer jumps in, but
remains with its mother and reaches in from time to time to take more
milk, until it is 18 months old.
There are two striking facts about this: (1) The mother frequently has
already given birth to another tiny baby which is also in the pouch
nursing, so she will have a baby and an adolescent nursing at the same
time. (2) The teat giving milk to the infant produces different milk
than the one which the older one drinks from! It matters not which teat
it is; the older one will always receive a different composition of milk
than the baby kangaroo is given. The tiny infant has very different
nutritional needs. But the question is how can the mother vary the type
of milk which is given, at the same time, to both an adolescent and an
An example of this is the red kangaroo, which provides milk both to a
tiny joey attached in the pouch to a teat, and also to a large joey
which has left the pouch. The older one is given milk with a 33 percent
higher proportion of protein and a 400 percent higher proportion of fat.
IDENTICAL QUADRUPLETS EVERY TIME The female nine-banded armadillo is a common armadillo, which ranges from the southern United States to northern Brazil. It only bears identical quadruplets. This means that all four babies in each litter come from one egg, which split after fertilization. So each litter is always the same sex.
FRIGHTENING THE ENEMY-Evolutionists tell us that creatures in the
wild think through the best ways to avoid being attacked, and then
develop those features. But, of course, this cannot be true. There is no
way an animal can change its features, or through "inheritance of
acquired characteristics," give them to its offspring. But the myth is
adhered to, because the obvious explanation is unwanted. The truth is
that a Master Designer provided the little creature with what it needed.
The Australian frilled lizard is about 3 feet long. When an enemy draws
near, this lizard raises a frill which normally is flat along the back.
This frill stands out in a circular disk which can be 2 feet across. How
did that frill get there? Did the lizard "will it" into existence? Did
it tinker with its own DNA? How does it know to use it to frighten
The lizard adds to this immense, apparent increase in size by opening
its mouth, which is bright yellow inside. By now, the situation is
surely looking worse, as far as the predator is concerned. Then, to
settle the matter once and for all, the lizard gives a terrible hissing
sound and slowly moves toward the enemy. By that time, the troublemaker
generally decides to leave.
BABY NURSERY-The eider duck sets devotedly on her eggs without
eating anything. When they hatch, she leads them down to the pond.
Entering it with her newborn there are often many other ducklings
already there that are supervised by one or two adult females, some of
which are not mothers. She leaves her brood with them, and departs to
find food. Because some of the food is in deeper waters, she may be gone
for several days. Upon her return, she, at times, will help take care of
the nursery while other mothers leave.
The French word for "nursery" is creche (pronounced kresh). When animals
care for their babies in nurseries, scientists call it a "creche." Some
eider duck creches have been counted at over 500. If marauding gulls
appear, the adult females sound an alarm, and the young gather close
about them. If the gull tries to catch one, the adult will try to grab
him by the legs and pull him down into the water. As for the chicks,
they only need protection from these adult nursery attendants, for they
are well-able to find food for themselves.
In South America, the Patagonian cavy (which is somewhat similar to the
guinea pig) is also initially cared for in a creche of babies hidden in
a tunnel by the rocks. One of the fathers cares for the group till the
mothers return from feeding. Upon her arrival, she gives a call and out
come about a dozen cavies. She sniffs among them, until she finds her
two, and then leads them away. More babies are dropped off, and more
mothers return for theirs. The babies remain in the nursery tunnel,
guarded by an adult above. Adults never use the tunnel, although they
initially dig it for the nursery.
When bats return to their caves after feeding, they must find their own within a nursery of a million or more baby bats! Each mother flies in and lands close to her own. Then she calls for several seconds and her baby gives an answering squeak. Formerly it was believed that they merely nursed whatever baby they landed near. But genetic tests established that it was their own. How they find their own child in such an immense nursery is astounding. After nursing her own, she flies off to another section of the large cave, hangs from the ceiling, and sleeps for a time. Then she flies off to obtain more food to feed her only baby.
VISION SKIN-DEEP-Some insects can see light through their skin, even
when their eyes are covered. Experiments were done on moth and butterfly
caterpillars, when their eyes were covered. There are other insects
which also have this ability.
In addition, they often have eyes in very unusual places, as we discuss
in chapter 16.
SUNGLASSES TOO- Yes, even sunglasses existed in nature before man
began using them. Seabirds, such as gulls, terns, and skuas have
built-in sunglasses. All day long they have to search for food, as they
glide above the ocean's surface. Staring down into the waves for fish,
the glint of sunlight on the waves reflects up into the eyes. The
solution is sunglasses, which they have.
The retinas of these birds contain minute droplets of reddish oil. This
has a filtering effect on light entering the eye, and screens out much
of the sun's blue light. This cuts down on the glare, without lessening
their ability to see the fish near the surface.
FLICKER'S LONG TONGUE-In chapter 28, we discuss the woodpecker. Here
is additional information on his amazing tongue, and that of the
Woodpeckers like to eat beetle grubs. Cocking their heads to one side
and then another, they carefully listen for them. When the grub is heard
chewing its way through the wood-which it does most of the time,-the
bird swiftly bangs on the tree with its sharp bill, drilling a hole as
Then it reaches out its enormously long tongue. How can a tongue be four
times as long as the beak, when the beak itself is very, very long? It
took special designing; accidents could never have produced the tongue
of the woodpecker.
This tongue is attached to a slender bony rod housed in a sheath which
extends back into its head, circles around the back of its skull and
then extends over its top to the front of the face. In some woodpecker
species, it also coils around the right eye socket.
Then there is the American flicker. This woodpecker-like bird is equally
amazing. The tongue is so long that, after reaching around the back of
the skull, it extends beyond the eye-socket and into the upper beak.
Here it enters the right nostril so that the bird can only breathe
through the left one. Flickers use this tongue to extract ants and
termites after drilling for them.
But a tongue is not enough. The flicker must put something on the tongue
to deal with those ants. Its saliva, wetting the tongue, does two
things: First, it makes it sticky, so the ants will adhere to it; and,
second, the saliva is alkaline, to counteract the formic acid of ant
The evolutionists will tell us that all this came about by slow,
laborious chance. But, obviously, such complicated structures and
functions could not develop by accident even once in millions of years.
-Yet in the world we find six others, totally different creatures which
use this long, sticky tongue method to catch ants: the numbat, a
marsupial in Australia (which is something like a small antelope); the
aardvark in Africa; the pangolins in Asia and Africa (which are covered
with horny plates, so they resemble giant moving fir-cones); and three
very different anteaters of South America: the gazelle-sized giant of
the savannahs, the squirrel-sized pygmy which lives in the tops of
forests, and the monkey-sized tamandua which lives in the mid-tree
As usual, the evolutionists have no answer. To make matters worse,
paleontologists tell us that they can find no fossil evidence of any
antiquity to explain these matters to us. In other words, there is no
evidence that the woodpecker, flicker, anteater, and the others evolved
from anything else.
JOURNEY TO THE UNKNOWN-In chapter 28, we consider the marvel of bird
migration. Here is yet another example:
The bronze cuckoo of New Zealand abandons its young and flies to its
off-season feeding grounds, located far away. After the babies hatch,
they become strong enough to fly. But they have never seen their parents
and have no adult bird to guide them. Added to this is the fact that,
when their parents left New Zealand, they flew to a place where no other
bird in New Zealand flies to. So, as soon as these babies are strong
enough for vigorous flight, what do they do? Why, they fly after their
parents-and take exactly the same route. Here is the story:
The young set out each March on a 4,000-mile migration from their
parents' breeding grounds in New Zealand. They fly west to the ocean's
edgeand keep going. How would you like to do that? The Pacific is an
incredibly big ocean.
With no bird to instruct or guide them, these young birds accurately
follow the path of the parent flock over a route of 1,250 miles of open
sea. Arriving in northern Australia, they turn north, fly to the ocean's
edge-and start off again. Arriving in Papua New Guinea, they head off
again. This time they fly the grueling distance to the Bismarck
Just one slight error in direction, and they would die. Why? Because not one of the birds can swim.
AMAZING HOUSE OF THE TERMITE
Termites build their homes of mud. Their homes are amazing structures,
as we will learn below. Yet those large, complicated buildings are made
by creatures which are blind. They have no instructors to teach them,
and they spend their lives laboring in the dark. Nevertheless, they
accomplish a lot.
Termites, of which there are over 2,000 species, only feed on dead
plants and animals, and have very soft bodies which need the protection
of strong homes. And the houses of some species are among the strongest
in the world.
It all starts with two termites-a king and Queen. They burrow into the
earth and lay eggs. For the rest of her life, the Queen will continue to
lay eggs. Gradually, an immense colony of termites comes into being.
Working together, they construct an immense turret of hardened mud that
reaches high above ground. In northern Australia, in order to keep the
termite tower cool, each of these tall spires is made in the form of a
long, upright, rectangular wedge. Each side may be 10 feet across and 15
feet high, while only a couple feet thick at the bottom and Quite thin
at the top. So the wedge points upward. The narrow part of the termite
tower lies north and south; the broad side is toward the east and west.
The colony is Quite cold by sunrise, but their home Quickly warms up
because the morning light shines on its broad east face. Then comes the
hot, midday sun. But now the narrow edge of the nest faces its burning
rays. In late afternoon, as everything cools, extra sunlight falls on
the termite's home to help keep it warm through the night.
The lesson here is that it is well, in hot areas, to build one's house
with the long side facing east and west.
But how can a blind termite, working inside the darkness of mud
cavities, know which direction to face the tower towards? Would you know
if you were as small, and weak, and blind as the termite?
Scientists have decided that the termites use two things to aid them in
orienting their homes: (1) They use the warmth of the sunlight. But it
takes more than the sun circling overhead; intelligent thought about how
to place the slab tower in relation to that moving orb of light is also
needed. Frankly, the termite is not smart enough to figure it out.
(2) The termite builds in relation to magnetic north. Experiments have
been carried out, in which powerful magnets were placed around a termite
nest. The termites inside were still able to face their towers in the
correct direction, but they no longer placed their nests inside in the
right places. So they use solar heat to orient the direction of the
tower, but magnetic north to tell them where, within the darkness of the
tower, to place the nests of their young.
Termite homes, located in tropical areas, have different problems. There
is too much rain and the little creatures could be drowned out, and
their homes ruined by the downpours. If you were a blind termite, how
would you solve that puzzle? The termites do it by constructing circular
towers with conical roofs, to better shed the water as it fails. One
might consider that a simple solution. But if you were as blind as a
termite, with a brain as big as one, how would you know how to build
circular towers or conical roofs? Moreover, the eves of those conical
towers project outward, so the rain cascading off of them falls away
from the base of the tower. That takes far more thinking than a termite
is able to give to the project.
When these termites enlarge their homes, they go up through the roof and
add new sections; each section with its own new conical roof protruding
out from the side. The tower ultimately looks like a Chinese pagoda.
The bellicose termites in Africa are warlike, hence their name. In
Nigeria, they build an underground nest containing a room with a huge
circular ceiling, large enough for a man to crawl into. It is 10-12 feet
in diameter and about 2 feet high. It is filled with vertical shafts
down to the water table. Termites go down there to gather moist dirt to
be used in enlarging their castle. "Castle?" yes, it looks like a
castle. Rising above the termite made underground cavern is a cluster of
towers and minarets grouped around a central spire that may rise 20 feet
into the air. In this tower is to be found floor after floor of nursery
sections, fungus gardens, food storerooms, and other areas, including
the royal chambers where the king and Queen live.
The entire structure is so large that-if termites were the size of
people-their residential/office building/factory complex would be a mile
high. Could mankind devise a structure so immense, so complicated? Yes,
modern man, with his computers, written records, architects, and
engineers could make such an immense building. But how can tiny, blind
creatures-the size and intellect of worms-manage a proportionally-sized
process, much less devise it?
Before concluding this section, let us view the air conditioning system
used in this colossal structure. If you have difficulty understanding
the following description, please know that, generation after
generation, blind termites build this complicated way-and the result is
a high-quality air conditioning system:
In the center of the cavernous below-ground floor is a massive clay
pillar. This supports a thick earthen plate which forms the ceiling of
the cellar, and supports the immense weight of the central core of the
structures built in the tower.
Down in this basement cellar, the tiny-brained termites build the
cooling unit of their Central Air Conditioning System Processor. This
consists of a spiral of rings of thin vertical vanes, up to 6 inches
deep, centered around the pillar, spiraling outward and covering the
ceiling of the cavernous basement. The coils of each row of the spiral
are only an inch or so apart. The lower edge of the vanes have holes, to
increase the flow of air around and through them. The sides of these
vanes are encrusted with salt.
These delicate and complicated vanes, made of hardened mud, absorbs
moisture through the ceiling from the tower above. This decidedly cools
the incoming air, making the cellar the coldest place in the entire
building: The evaporating moisture leaves the white salts on the vanes.
Heat, generated by the termites and their fungus gardens in the tower,
causes air from the cellar to rise through the passageways and chambers
linking the entire structure. But, as any college-trained civil engineer
would know, the cooling system is not yet complete. A network of flues
must be installed to take the hot air down to the cooling unit in the
cellar. Yes, the ignorant, blind termites also provided those flues!
From high up in the tower, a number of these ventilation shafts run
downward. As they go, they collect air from the entire tower and send it
down, past the floor plate, into the cool cellar. As heat is produced in
the various apartments of the tower, the air flows downward through the
flues, drawn by the coolness of the cellar beneath.
The heat exchange problem has been solved, but there is yet another one:
gaseous exchange. .
Air may be flowing throughout the cellar/tower, nicely cooling it, but
carbon dioxide must be eliminated. The problem here is that no casual
openings to the outside are permitted. The termites have only a few tiny
entrances to the outside world, and carefully guard each one against
their many enemies. Yet they must somehow refresh their air. Ask an
engineering student to solve that one. He has enough equations,
calculators, and material specifications that he ought to be able to
provide you with a workable answer.
But those blind termites, the size of very small worms, were applying
the solution before your engineer was born, the first college was built,
and the first books were invented.
The flues are built into the outer walls of the tower. The lining of the
flues, facing the outside of the structure, are built of specially
porous earthen material. During construction, the termites dig small
areas-or galleries-out from the flues toward the outer surface of the
outside walls. These galleries end very close to the outer surface so
gases can easily diffuse through the earth. As the stale air travels
slowly through the flues, the carbon dioxide flows out and oxygen flows
in. By the time the air has arrived at the cellar, it has been
oxygenated and refreshed. In the cellar it is cooled and then sent back
up into the tower! Any thinking human being could, without advance
training, use the above guidelines to work out an excellent
air-conditioning system for a house. The only basic requirement is moist
heat in the upper part of the building. Engineers today call their
modified versions "passive air conditioning," but the termites have used
it ever since they came into existence.
With this system operational, the termites are able to keep their fungus
beds permanently between 30C and 31C, exactly the temperature the fungus
need to grow and digest the food the termites give them.
At this point, you might wonder why those termites cultivate such fungus
beds. While many other termites go out and eat wood, which microbes in
their stomachs digest for them, the bellicose termites only eat fungus
(they lack those stomach microbes). So they cultivate gardens of manure
in which fungus grows. The fungus grows best within a very precise
temperature range of 30-31C. However, the processes of decay in the
gardens produces a lot of heat (for it operates somewhat like a compost
heap). If you think about that awhile, you will realize that this frail
termite, which cannot live outside his termite house, needs his fungus
gardens, and yet, without complicated air-conditioning, cannot maintain
those beds. The termite colony needs everything just right to begin
We have here another "chicken-and-the-egg" puzzle. The world is full of them; they are all solved by the great truth that God is the Creator. Nothing else can explain those puzzles.