The Earth

1 – THE ATMOSPHERE

Ours has been called the “water planet;” it is also the “air planet.” These are two special qualities about our world that are not to be found on any of the other planets in our solar system.

The air surrounding our world is called the atmosphere. Air has no color, smell, or taste, yet without it there could be no living plants or animals on the earth. People are known to have survived more than a month without food, and more than a week without water. But without air they die within a few minutes.

Without air, there would be no weather. We could have no wind, and no storms which bring us much-needed water. Without wind there would be no movement of the trees and plants and our world would be very still. It would also be silent, for without air we could hear almost nothing. Most sound travels through the air (although some travels through rock, metal, and water.) Sound cannot travel in a vacuum.

Without air, birds could not fly. Air provides resistance to motion, and it is this resistance which enables birds and planes to fly through the air. Without air, there would be no clouds. The sky would maintain a dreary blankness day after day. The sky would not be blue; instead it would be black.

Air is composed of several invisible gases. About 98 percent of those gases are nitrogen and oxygen. Two-tenths of all the air is composed of oxygen (21 percent). Without oxygen we could not survive, for we need it continually in our blood and tissues. Plants would quickly die without it also. They need it just as they need carbon dioxide.

But eight tenths of the air is seemingly useless to us; it is nitrogen (78 percent). Surely, it must have a purpose also; everything else does. Actually, it is invaluable. Oxygen is combustible; that is, it can be set on fire and burn. If there were no nitrogen in the atmosphere, the world would have burned up as soon as the first fire had been ignited by lightning, or the first two flinty rocks striking one another had sparked. Even iron would have burned. We have cause to be very thankful for the nitrogen in the air around us.

The remaining 1 percent of air consists almost entirely of the gas argon. But there are also small amounts of neon, helium, krypton, xenon, hydrogen, ozone, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane gases.

All those various gases are invisible. What if they were even slightly opaque? Our world would be totally dark. The gloom of eternal night would be upon us, even though the sun shined brightly overhead. Ocean water looks fairly clear, but 200 feet [61 m] down, the sunlight is nearly gone, and 300 feet [91 m] down darkness prevails. The atmosphere over our heads is hundreds of miles deep and covers all the earth. If the gases in it were not transparent, we would all live in perpetual darkness. The world would be ice cold. The warming rays of the sun would be blocked out before reaching us. The tiny photosynthesis factories contained within each plant leaf could not operate. No food would be produced, and all the plants and animals would die.

There is also some dust in the air. This is what provides us with beautiful sunset colors on the clouds and in the sky. A cubic inch of air normally has about 100,000 solid particles. The air over the mid-Pacific has about 15,000, and the air above large cities has 5 million particles per square inch.

There are other things in the air also: salt from the ocean, pollen from plants, floating microbes, and ash from meteors which burned upon hitting our atmosphere. There is also water vapor in the atmosphere—and that vapor is vitally important; without it we would quickly perish! It is part of the water cycle. But more on that in the next section of this chapter.

Because air has weight, we have barometric pressure, wind movement; and air resistance. The weight of all the air in the world is about 5 quadrillion tons (That is a 5 with 15 zeros after it). The weight of the air in a pint [.47 l] jar is about that of a small capsule or an aspirin tablet. The greatest air pressure is found at the earth’s surface, where it averages about 15 pounds [6.8 km] pressing down on every square inch [2.54 sq. cm]. The amount of air pressing down on your shoulders is about 1 ton (1 short ton is 2,000 lbs. [907 km]). Fortunately, you do not feel this weight because it is pressing on you from all sides.

Without air, we could not have weather, and without weather conditions there could be no rain. The sun causes air to move by heating it. The warm air rises upward into the colder areas above it—and clouds form. Sideways pushing and shoving of the warm and cold air against one another causes more turbulence. But what causes rain? We will consider that shortly.

Did you know that there are “air tides” as well as ocean tides? Movements of the earth in relation to the moon and sun cause ocean tides, but the gravity from the moon and sun causes air tides also. This means that plants and people weigh a little less when the moon is overhead.

What can be slower than air? Actually, few things are faster! Although air may appear to move slowly most of the time, the air molecules within it travel at extremely rapid speeds. The warmer the air, the faster the molecules move. At freezing temperature they are really “slow”—only moving at about 1,085 miles [1,746 km] an hour! That is 1 1/2 times faster than the speed of sound at freezing temperatures.

The exosphere is the highest layer of air above us and starts at about 300 miles [482.7 km] up. There is hardly any air at that height. Below that is the ionosphere,’ which is 50 to 300 miles [80.4482.7 km] above the earth. Electrically-charged ions found in this part of the atmosphere protect us from solar winds and other radiation entering from outer space. The beautiful aurora borealis, or northern lights, glows in this region. The bottom of the ionosphere bounces radio waves back to earth. Without the ionosphere, most radio communications would be virtually impossible. The ionosphere is important for its shielding effect from solar rays and meteors. Without the atmosphere the thousands of meteors which arrive regularly would strike the earth, destroying animal life and vegetation.

https://i1.wp.com/www.windows2universe.org/earth/Atmosphere/images/stratosphere_diagram_sm.jpg

Below the ionosphere is the very important stratosphere, which extends from about 7 miles to about 50 miles [11.26 to 80.4 km] above us. This is where the ozone layer is found. Without that blanket of ozone, ultraviolet rays from the sun would quickly destroy all life on earth. This is also the highest warming layer of the atmosphere. As the sun’s rays strike the ozone, it warms it. The ozone layer helps warm the entire planet. It is about 12 to 21 miles [19.3 to 33.8 km] up, and the warm layer is just above it. Below the ozone layer, the stratosphere is cold (about -67°F [-55°] over the U.S.), but without the ozone layer it would be far colder! The upper stratosphere—in the warm layer about 30 miles [48 km] above the ground,—the temperature is about 30°F [-1 °C].

The troposphere is of extreme importance, for this is where the clouds are,—and where our rain comes from. This region extends from the surface up to about 7 miles [11.26 km], but varies with weather conditions. Every thousand feet [3,048 dm] you go upward through the troposphere, the temperature drops about 3-4°F. The troposphere is the region where weather occurs; above it there are neither clouds nor storms. Above the north and south poles, it ends about 5 miles [8 km] up; above the equator, it ends about 10 miles [16 km] above the earth’s surface.

Air helps to make soil because it contains oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and moisture. The oxygen, carbon dioxide, and water combine with the chemical elements in the rocks. Along with plant, wind, and water action, this causes the rocks to decay and break down into small particles.

Without air, plants would quickly die. Air is absorbed and used throughout the plant. Without air in the soil a plant cannot survive. Even the Florida cypress (one of only two trees in the world which can have its roots permanently submerged) grows “knobs” which stick above the surface of the swamp in order to take in air.

Florida cypress

Human beings would also die without that air. All the cells in our bodies must have oxygen. They use it to change food into energy. When you breathe, air enters your lungs. The blood stream takes oxygen from the air in the lungs and carries it to all parts of your body. Fresh air also makes us feel more comfortable, for it removes the warm, damp blanket of air next to our skin. People who work in the open air, or who know to keep their houses properly ventilated are much healthier and live longer.

Fresh air also has negative ions, which are important in the maintenance of good health.

2 – WATER

Another marvelous substance is water which, when pure, is also colorless, odorless, and tasteless. There is a lot of rock and other material beneath our feet, but covering the surface of the planet there is more water than anything else. Seventy percent of earth’s surface is water. Without it, nothing could live. Your body is about two-thirds water.
There is a million million gallons of water in a cubic mile of ocean (that is 1 with 12 zeros after it). Of the 326 million cubic miles [524,631,800 c km] of water on earth, much of it (97 percent) is in the oceans, but there are also large amounts beneath our feet. The upper half-mile [.8 km] of the earth’s crust contains about 3,000 times as much water as all the rivers of earth. Only about 3 percent of the earth’s water is fresh. About three-fourths of that fresh water is frozen in glaciers and icecaps. There is as much frozen water as flows in all the rivers in 1,000 years.

We can be thankful that so much water is frozen! If it were to melt, all the seaports of the world would be below the ocean’s surface, and much of the continental coastal areas would be lost to us also.

All living things contain lots of water. It is truly the element of life. Your body is about 65 percent water—the same as a mouse. An elephant and an ear of corn is about 70 percent; a chicken is 75 percent water; a potato, earthworm, and pineapple are 80 percent; a tomato is 95 percent; a watermelon about 97 percent.

You can live a month without food, but only a week without water. A person that loses more than 20 percent of his normal water content becomes over-dehydrated and dies a painful death. Each of us must take in about 2 1/2 quarts [2.4 l] of water each day in water and food. On the average, a person takes in about 16,000 gallons [605 hl] of water during his lifetime.

Plants, animals, and people must have a daily inflow of nutrients. Water dissolves those nutrients so they can be carried throughout the body in the blood stream, taken through cell walls, and utilized by the body. The chemical reactions can only take place in a fluid environment. We are here briefly describing processes which are so utterly complex that mankind still has only the barest understanding of them.

Water is needed to grow plants. It requires 115 gallons [435 l] of water to grow enough wheat to bake a loaf of bread. To produce 1 pound [3.7853 l) of potatoes takes 500 pounds [1,892.6 l] of water. About 41 percent of all water used in the United States is for irrigation.

A larger amount, 52 percent, is used to keep the factories going. Without water much of the manufacturing would stop. It takes 65,000 gallons [2,460 hl] to make a ton [.9072 mt] of steel; 10 gallons [37.85 l] to refine a gallon [3.753 l] of gasoline; 250 tons [226.8 mt] to produce a ton [.9072 mt] of paper. In industry, it is especially used to clean, liquidize, but, most of all, to cool.

Without water mankind could accomplish little, much less survive long. Yet it is all based on the water cycle. Water evaporates from oceans, lakes, and rivers. Taken up into the air, it falls as fairly pure water in the form of rain or snow. About 85 percent of the water vapor in the air comes from the oceans. Plants also add moisture to the air. After water is drawn up from the ground through the roots, it passes up to the leaves where it exits as vapor. A typical tree gives off about 70 gallons [265 l] of water a day, and an acre [.4047 ha] of corn gives off about 4,000 gallons [151 hl] a day. This continual drawing of water from the roots up through the stems, trunk, and through the leaves gives torgor (stiffness) to the plants. Without it, they would wilt, become flabby and die.

The oxygen and water given off by plants is part of the reason why you feel more refreshed near plants than in a desert or on a city street.

Water can be a solid, a liquid, or a gas. No other substance appears in these three forms within the earth’s normal range of temperature.

Nearly every substance in the world expands as it warms and contracts as it cools. But water is different: As it cools, it continues to contract, and then, a few degrees before it freezes at 32°F [0°C],—it begins expanding. As it continues to cool, it continues to expand. For this reason, ice is lighter in weight than an equal amount of water. So the ice floats on water, instead of sinking into it—and filling all the lakes and rivers with solid ice in the winter. Because ice expands, the ice sheet on the surface of a pond pushes sideways and lock against the banks on either side. Below it, the water continues to remain liquid and the ice insulates the water from becoming too cold and freezing also. If it were not for this cooling expansion factor, no plants, fish, frogs, or any other wildlife could survive a winter in rivers and lakes where freezing occurs.

It is a miracle that water is liquid at livable temperatures. Other substances (such as H2Te, H2Se, and H2S) which are similar to water (H20), are gases at normal temperature, and do not change into water until the temperature falls to -148° to -130°F [-100°C to -90°C]! As their formulas show, they are very similar to water, each having two atoms of hydrogen, but, instead of an atom of oxygen, they have an atom of tellurium, selenium, or sulfur. If water was like them, there would only be steam; no water, no water vapor, no clouds, no snow, and no ice.

Still another amazing quality of water is the fact that, between the time it begins to boil and when it turns to steam,—it stores so much energy as it is heated. When water reaches 212°F [100°C], it does not immediately turn to steam, but instead there is a pause, during which the water absorbs additional heat without any rise in temperature. This heat is called latent heat. More than five times as much heat is required to turn boiling water into steam as to bring freezing water to a boil. Thus, steam holds a great amount of latent heat energy. Because of that fact, steam can be used to operate machinery.

Water vapor also has a tremendous amount of latent heat energy. This energy is released when the vapor cools, condenses, and falls as rain. The high latent heat of water is related to its remarkable heat capacity. Heat capacity is the ability of a substance to absorb and hold heat without itself becoming warmer. Water can do this better than any other substance in the world, except ammonia!

For example: If three solid substances (gold, ice [frozen water], and iron) were placed at the temperature of absolute zero, which is -460°F [273.3°C; 0°K]. (Absolute zero is the theoretical temperature where a substance contains no heat of any kind.), and then all three substances were heated, making sure that all three were receiving (absorbing) the same amount of heat,—when that point was reached where the gold melted at 2016°F (-1138°C],—the ice would still be -300°F [-184.4°C]! If additional heat were equally applied to the ice and iron, when the iron began to melt at 2370°F (-1334°C], the ice would finally have reached 32°F [-0°C]!

Another example: take two cooking pots and put nothing in the first (make sure it is a worthless pot!) and fill the second with water, set both on two fires on the stove. Very quickly, the second will get extremely hot and may turn red. At the same time, the water in the second pot will only be starting to get warm! It had been absorbing heat energy without itself changing much in temperature.

This ability of water to absorb heat or lose heat without itself hardly changing temperature is an amazing quality. It is for this reason that the oceans can store large amount of heat and keep the planet warmer—without that water turning to steam. Conversely, the water can give up a lot of heat before it turns to ice. For the same reason, fish and plants can over-winter in lakes, ponds, and rivers without freezing, and they can go through the summer without the water boiling them to death!

Water has powerful dissolving ability. It can dissolve almost any substance, including some of the hardest rocks. It also dissolves the nutrients that plants and animals need for nourishment. Dissolving the nutrients in soil, it carries them to plant roots, and thence up through the plant to cells within the plants. It also dissolves the food that animals and people eat. Within the body, it carries those nutrients to each cell, and then carries off wastes.

This solvent quality enables you to wash things with water. How would you like to take a bath in turpentine, kerosene, paint thinner, or cleaning solvent? Water cleans best and does it without injury.

Capillary action is the ability of a liquid to climb up a surface against the pull of gravity. Because of this, water is drawn up from the roots into the tops of trees hundreds of feet in the air. The capillarity of water helps pull it through the soil, through plants,—and through body tissues as well.

Surface tension is the ability of a substance to stick to itself and pull itself together. Water has one of the highest surface tensions of any substance. Because of this, water forms into drops; it is actually clinging together! Water molecules cling together so tightly that insects can walk on it. This tension is also a sticking factor. It makes water able to stick to things—and wet them. In doing this, it can dissolve substances and then transport them to another location.

3 – SOIL

The ground beneath your feet has a lot more mysteries and marvels to it than you might think. In chapter 5 (Origin of the Earth), we learned that there is a thick layer of granite beneath all the continents. This granite gives rigidity to the continental masses, and is the foundation upon which rests the sedimentary strata, laid down by the Flood. This granite also provides a base on top of which are underground river channels, various pockets of minerals, petroleum, etc. Still farther up is to be found the soil which is close to the surface. Air, water, ice, roots, flood, and glaciers all work to crumble the rocks near the surface. Plant and animal remains, and body wastes, add to the mixture, and soil is the result.

https://i1.wp.com/pgsgrow.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/soil-life-300x265.jpg

When plants die, they decay and form humus, an organic material that makes the soil more fertile. Animal remains add to the humus. Bacteria in the soil help the plants decay. Animals that burrow in the soil help mix it.

An extremely valuable creature is the earthworm. It swallows soil as it burrows, chews it up, and excretes it again. The result is a finely pulverized soil. Earthworms feed on dead plant material in the soil. The worms help break down the humus—the decaying matter—in the soil. The necessary air for plant growth enters the soil through the burrows made by the earthworms.

The topsoil is the best soil for growing plants. It is seldom more than a foot deep [30.5 cm]. below is the subsoil, which may be 2-3 feet ]61-91 cm] deep. This is not as rich, for the earthworms and microbes have not worked it over, and it lacks the humus.

The ideal soil is structured so that each grain is not entirely separate, but sticks together with others in small crumbs. Humus is valuable in helping the soil stick together in this way. A good soil texture is one in which particles are not too small (clay) or too large (sand, pebbles, or small rocks). The best soils will be a mixture of sand, clay, or silt without too much of either, plus a good amount of humus.

There are small creatures, bacteria (also called microzyma) which live in the soil and help condition it.

As the evening cools, dew forms on the plants and ground and waters the earth. Plants reach their roots down into the ground and tap underground water. But the earth has been damaged. The aerial and underground watering system was partially deranged at the time of the Flood. Another problem was deposition by flood waters of sections of clay, sand, exposed rock, gravel, and calcite, iron, selenium and other beds. Soils may lack calcium or have too much (and thus be too acid or alkali).

When too much rain falls, erosion results as soil is carried off. Rain also leaches the soil, taking nutrients downward into the ground. But while the top layer is leached by rainwater, minerals in the rock beneath it can be reached by plant and tree roots, which draw up more nutrients. In addition, humus can be built up by falling leaves and stalks, and by man as he works with the soil.

The result is garden plants containing the nutrients needed for life. We plant, tend, harvest, and eat the plants and obtain the vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and proteins needed for the sustenance of life. We drink the water from the skies, and bathe our bodies in it. The sunlight falls upon us and deepens our health. Amid all the work, we grow stronger. It is all part of a good plan by One who looked upon the world when it was first made and declared, “It is good.”

Chlorophyll

4 – CONCLUSION

In air, water, and soil we see basic provisions for life on our planet. It is true that the Flood damaged the soil and inundated much of the world with oceans. But in and through it all a careful plan is revealed, so that plants, animals, and man can live in our world. Yes, it takes work, but work was given to mankind as a blessing.

The promise has been given that someday the earth will be restored to the Edenic beauty it had before the Flood. But even now we have many good things. This world was designed for plants, animals, and people to live. The arrangement did not come about by chance. Too many factors are involved, and if even one was missing, life could not exist here.

Recent scientific studies have disclosed that if the sun had been just a little closer or farther away from our planet, no life could survive. Scientists have discovered that if the Earth was only one percent closer to the sun, or one percent farther away from it,—we would all quickly perish!

If the earth’s magnetic outer barrier did not exist, solar winds and other radiation would render it impossible for anyone to live. If the oceans did not exist after the Flood, not enough rainfall could fall on the continents. Without broad oceans there would not be enough oxygen, since small ocean plants called plankton make most of it. Without the ability of water to absorb and retain heat—plus the great ocean currents—much of the world’s continental areas would be too hot or cold to live in. We cannot drink seawater, and without winds and storms we could not have rain, rivers, lakes, and countless other blessings.

Yes, our world was designed for people, animals, and plants. A molten mass cooling down (such as is theorized by evolutionists as earth’s beginnings), could not have produced the intricate arrangement that makes possible the web of life we now see about us on planet Earth.

THE VIEW FROM SPACE

Western astronauts and Soviet cosmonauts have had an opportunity to see the earth from outer space. All who have done so have been awed by the sight. Here are a few selected quotations from men who have had an unusual opportunity to realize how wonderfully designed is our planet.

“Space is so close: It took only eight minutes to get there and twenty to get back.”—Wubbo Ockels, in Kevin W. Kelley, The Home Planet (1988) [Netherlands].

“There is a clarity, a brilliance to space that simply doesn’t exist on earth, even on a cloudless summer’s day in the Rockies, and nowhere else can you realize so fully the majesty of our Earth and be so awed at the thought that it’s only one of untold thousands of planets.”—Gus Grissom, Gemini: A Personal Account of Man’s Venture into Space (19678) (USA].

“The sun truly ‘comes up like thunder,’ and it sets just as fast. Each sunrise and sunset lasts only a few seconds. But in that time you see at least eight different bands of color come and go, from a brilliant red to the brightest and deepest blue. And you see sixteen sunrises and sixteen sunsets every day you’re in space. No sunrise or sunset is ever the same.”—Joseph Allen, “Joe’s Odyssey,” in Omni, June 1983, p. 63 [USA].
“We entered into shadow. Contact with Moscow was gone. Japan floated by beneath us and I could clearly see its cities ablaze with lights. We left Japan behind to face the dark emptiness of the Pacific Ocean. No moon. Only stars, bright and far away. I gripped the handle like a man hanging onto a streetcar. Very slowly, agonizingly, half an hour passed, and with that, dawn on Earth.

“First, a slim greenish-blue line on the farthest horizon turning within a couple of minutes into a rainbow that hugged the Earth and in turn exploded into a golden sun. You’re out of your mind, I told myself, hanging onto a ship in space, and to your life, and getting ready to admire a sunrise. “—Valeri Ryumin, 176 Days in Space: A Russian Cosmonaut’s Private Diary — And an Incredible Human Document, p. 15 [USSR].
“Firefly meteorites blazed against a dark background, and sometimes the lightning was frighteningly brilliant. Like a boy, I gazed open-mouthed at the fireworks, and suddenly, before my eyes, something magical occurred. A greenish radiance poured from Earth directly up to the station, a radiance resembling gigantic phosphorescent organ pipes, whose ends were glowing crimson, and overlapped by waves of swirling green mist.

” ‘Consider yourself very lucky, Vladimir,’ I said to myself, ‘to have watched the northern lights.’ “—Vladimir Remek, in Kevin Kelley, The Home Planet (1988), [Czechoslovakia].

“I shuddered when I saw a crimson flame through the porthole instead of the usual starry sky at the night horizon of the planet. Vast pillars of light were bursting into the sky, melting into it, and flooding over with all the colors of the rainbow. An area of red luminescence merged smoothly into the black of the cosmos. The intense and dynamic changes in the colors and forms of the pillars and garlands made me think of visual music. Finally, we saw that we had entered directly into the aurora borealis.— “Aleksandr Ivanchenkov, in Kevin Kelley, The Home Planet (1988), [USSR].

“The Earth reminded us of a Christmas tree ornament hanging in the blackness of space. As we got farther and farther away it diminished in size. Finally it shrank to the size of a marble, the most beautiful marble you can imagine. That beautiful, warm, living object looked so fragile, so delicate, that if you touched it with a finger it would crumble and fall apart. Seeing this has to change a man, has to make a man appreciate the creation of God and the love of God.”—James B. Irwin, in J.B. Irwin and W. A. Emerson, Jr., To Rule the Night (1982) [USA].

“Suddenly from behind the rim of the moon, in long, slow-motion moments of immense majesty, there emerges a sparkling blue and white jewel, a light, delicate sky-blue sphere laced with slowly swirling veils of white, rising gradually like a small pearl in a thick sea of black mystery. —It takes more than a moment to really realize this is Earth; this is home!”—Edgar Mitchell, Noetic Scientific Brochure (1982) [USA].

“On the way back [from the moon] we had an EVA [extra-vehicular activity, or spacewalk] I had a chance to look around while I was outside and Earth was off to the right, 180,000 miles away, a little thin sliver of blue and white like a new moon surrounded by this blackness of space. Back over my left shoulder was almost a full moon.

“I didn’t feel like I was a participant. It was like sitting in the last row of the balcony, looking down at all of that play going on down there . . I had that insignificant feeling of the immensity of this, God’s creation.”—Charles Duke, Jr., in Kevin Kelley, The Home Planet (1988) [USA].

“Several days after looking at the Earth a childish thought occurred to me—that we the cosmonauts are being deceived. If we are the first ones in space, then who was it who made the globe correctly? Then this thought was replaced by pride in the human capacity to see with our mind.”—Igor Volk, in Kevin Kelley, The Home Planet (1988) [USSR].

“You see layers as you look down. you see clouds towering up. You see their shadows on the sunlit plains, and you see a ship’s wake in the Indian Ocean and brush fires in Africa and a lightning storm walking its way across Australia. You see the reds and the pinks of the Australian desert, and it’s just like a stereoscopic view of all nature, except you’re a hundred ninety miles up. “—Joseph Allen, “Joe’s Odyssey,” in Omni, June 1983, p. 63 [USA].

“Myriad small ponds and streams would reflect the full glare of the sun for one or two seconds, then fade away as a new set of water surfaces came into the reflecting position. The effect was as if the land were covered with sparkling jewels.”—Karl Henize, in Kevin Kelley, The Home Planet (1988) [USA],

“The Pacific. You don’t comprehend it by looking at a globe, but when you’re traveling at four miles a second and it still takes you twenty-five minutes to cross it, you know its big.”—Paul Weitz, quoted in Henry F.S. Cooper, A House in Space (1976) [USA].

“Although the ocean’s surface seems at first to be completely homogeneous, after half a month we began to differentiate various seas and even different parts of oceans by their characteristic shades.

“We were astonished to discover that, during an flight, you have to learn anew not only to look, but also to see. At first the finest nuances of color elude you, but gradually your vision sharpens and your color perception becomes richer, and the planet spreads out before you with all its indescribable beauty. “—Wladimir Lyakhov, quoted in J. E. and A. R. Oberg, Pioneering Space (1986) [USSR].

“We were able to see the plankton blooms resulting from the upwelling off the coast of Chile. The plankton itself extended along the coastline and had some long tenuous arms reaching out to sea. The arms or lines of plankton were pushed around in a random direction, fairly well-defined yet somewhat weak in color, in contrast with the dark blue ocean. The fishing ought to be good down there.”—Edward Gibson, quoted in Henry F.S. Cooper, A House in Space (1976) [USA]..

“As we were flying over the Mozambique Channel, which separates the island of Madagascar from the continent of Africa, we could clearly see the transverse sand bars at its bottom. It was just like a brook one waded in childhood. “—Lev Demin, in Kevin Kelley, The Home Planet (1988) [USSR].

“The first day or so we all pointed to our countries. The third or fourth day we were pointing to our continents. By the fifth day we were aware of only one Earth.” —Sultan Bin Salman al-Saud, in Kevin Kelley, The Home Planet (1988) [Saudi Arabia].

“We had various kinds of tape-recorded concerts and popular music. But by the end of the flight what we listened to most was Russian folk songs. We also had recordings of nature sounds: thunder, rain, the singing of birds. We switched them on most frequently of all, and we never grew tired of them. It was as if they returned us to Earth. “—Anatoli Berezovoy, in V. Gor’koy and N. Kon’kov, Cosmonaut Berezovoy’s Memoirs on 211-Day Spaceflight (1983) [USSR].

“A strange feeling of complete, almost solemn contentment suddenly overcame me when the descent module landed, rocked, and stilled. The weather was foul, but I smelled Earth, unspeakably sweet and intoxicating. And wind. Now utterly delightful; wind after long days in space. “—Andriyan Nicolayev, in Kevin Kelley, The Home Planet (1988) [USSR].

MORE WONDERS OF DESIGN

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 returning echo.

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 butter-knife, 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 that fin.

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 dust-like 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!

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 knows where to do its jumping. But, if that were 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 (cluster-flowered), began to be bred only around 1900, after the European species were crossed with cultivated oriental Chinese imports.

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 semi-hibernation 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 dust-like spores?

Evolutionists glibly tell us it all happened “by accident.” But, first, it could not happen by accident. 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 rapidly.

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 house together.

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 rove 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 get it.

If we cannot change our bodies, why should anyone imagine that animals can 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 protects it.

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.

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 characteristics.

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 shine.

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, cave-dwelling, 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 Telmafobius. 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 so, 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 full billion.

The largest number of young 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 do.

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 —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 infant kangaroo?

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 enemies?

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 crèche (pronounced kresh). When animals care for their babies in nurseries, scientists call it a “crèche.” Some eider duck crèches 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 crèche 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 a later chapter.

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 —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 it proceeds.

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 stings.

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 levels.

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 —Later we consider the marvel of bird migration. Here is yet another example:

The bronze cuckoo of New Zealand (which lays its eggs in the nest of other birds) abandons its young in the care of their foster parents, 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 that no other bird in New Zealand migrates 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 edge and out over it. 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 Archipelago.

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 falls. 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 specialty 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 30°C and 31 °C, 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 30-31 °C. 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 with.

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.

Advertisements
Explore posts in the same categories: Evolution Cruncher

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: