Science With the Scriptures
See note on the "Scriptures: Let Us Study" page.
Creation Corner (copied from Shelter In The Word)
For I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are Thy works (Psalm 139:14)
by C. Frazier Spencer
Logically, there are only two alternatives. Either we are:
1) The result of a Creator Yahweh, or
2) The result of accidental evolution.
On the one hand is the [Scripture] which says is was written by a Being who is above all other elohims because He created the wood, stone, metals, the sun and stars; the very things which make up other elohims. Strong words indeed! (Psalm 95:3-5; 115:3-8; 135:5,15-18; Isaiah 44:all; Jeremiah 10:2-15). Moreover this Being write He is the given or life. (Job 33:4, Proverbs 4:4; 7:2; Romans 6:23; John 1:3-4) This being further writes in Romans 1:20 that the invisible things of Him are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made.
Therefore proving the Creator Yahweh seems to be a logical starting place for people interesting [a new Life]. Notice Paul used the Creator [Yahweh] as a starting place (Acts 17:24-25) when first revealing [Yahweh] to the pagan philosophers at Athens.
On the other hand is evolution which says every living things is the result of mindless, purposeless, accidental chance. It goes even further by saying humans "are just animals". Evolution is now taught in our schools and acclaimed by the media as established fact and has itself taken on many aspects of being a religion.
The goal of this column is to counter evolution doctrine by presenting some of the things that have been made so the Creator Yahweh can be seen.
Italics or underlining may have been added to the various quotes in this article.
Little Noticed Systems
In the air, all around us birds are darting back and forth. On the ground, the fields, forests, and of course our own backyards, there are field mice, squirrels, and various other small animals scurrying to and fro. Deer, muskrats, beavers, foxes, and other large animals inhabit rural areas and forests. We are literally surrounded by all kinds of creatures busy doing their thing.
This vast multitude of creatures live -- and then they die.
Yet, how often do we see the corpse of a dead bird, a dead squirrel, a dead rabbit, a dead deer, or whatever? Very rarely indeed. So rarely that when it does happen it seems to be so out of place that it troubles us for some little time. The same thing when we see an occasional man-killed road animal, that too generally troubles us.
But if we think about it for a minute -- the ground should be littered with naturally dead birds and animals.
Why then do we see so little of dead things?
Ponder for a moment - is it by pure accident that there are so few dead carcasses to be seen? Is it by pure accident that with rare exception we can hike all day through a forest and never see a dead thing? Is it by pure accident that we can enjoy strolling a lake or ocean beach that seems in a pristine state with little or no dead litter that would spoil our enjoyment?
Or, could it possibly be waste disposal systems have been put in operation? Systems so quiet, so effective, so routine, that we don't even realize they are at work? Systems so effective that the only time we might think of them is when one item has not been taken care of?
A Thoughtful Example
John N. Clayton (1) writes the story about his family as they watched a National Audubon Society documentary on African wildlife. The segment was about a large herd of elephants. In the film, one of the elephants stopped and deposited a huge mass of dung on the ground.
We have seen similar happenings many times. But then came the penetrating logic of a child. The youngest daughter whispered to her father the question:
"Who cleans up the mess?"
[Great] question youngest daughter! One we ourselves should have asked. But instead we take it all for granted and don't even exercise child-like questioning wisdom.
You see, elephant messes are taken care of! Those who travel in Africa report they rarely see elephant dung on the ground. There are elephant mess cleaner-uppers that have been assigned that very task.
Scientists recognize the collectors and have named them dung beetles. Clayton explains, "When an elephant deposits a pile of dung, the odor of the material attracts the beetles. Within 15 minutes of being deposited over 3,800 beetles were observed on one sample studied by scientists. Within 30 minutes this sample of over 30 quarts of dung, weighing about 75 pounds, was gone!" Does that seem like an extremely efficient waste disposal system to you? It sure does to me.
Clayton continues, "The beetles had cut the dung into various sizes -- from BB size to tennis ball size -- and had buried the balls in the ground. Each ball had a beetle egg placed in it. When the baby beetle hatches out of the egg it has all the food it will need until it is able to function on its own."
Consider for a moment if there were no elephant dung beetles. Just four elephants produce a metric ton of dung per day. As a constant week end visitor to Grandpa's farm, this writer has stepped around, and yes stepped into his share of cow pies, so I can well imagine the problems with odor, flies, germs, suffocation of vegetation, etc. that huge 75 pound piles of elephant pies all of over the place would cause!
You might think one specific beetle handles elephant dung. Not so. Actually there are over 2,000 species of dung beetles in Africa. Why so many? Wouldn't just one be enough to do the job? Clayton tells us,
"Well, with so many species, each with its own habits, the dung is scattered and spread out. Some beetles bury the balls are far as three feet under ground while others go just deep enough for it not be visible. Some beetles bury it on the spot, while others roll the ball to a distant location - sometimes as much as 150 feet away."
Is it possible there has been a carefully thought out scattering plan? Not only is the ground cleared of the dung, the burying also "fertilizes the soil at several different depths, it puts moisture into the soil that otherwise would evaporate, it aerates the soil by putting holes in it, and it provides food for the life forms that live below the soil."
Without Dung Beetles
What if there were no dung beetles? Obviously they are very important to the disposal of elephant dung. The book "Alien Empire" (2) gives us another example illustrating their importance. Cattle do not naturally occur in Australia. When cattle were imported, the only dung beetles available were those handling the hard, dry pellets produced by kangaroos. The author tells us:
"These native dung beetles could not cope with the soft cowpats produced by the vast herds of cattle. This created problems. Because the dung was not being disposed of, it acted as a superb breeding site for the bush fly, Musca vetustissima, which is a serious nuisance to both cattle and people. The scale of the problem is huge: each cow produces enough dung annually to cover about 13.5 acres."
The solution? "The African dung beetle, Onthophagus ferox was imported and now helps dispose of cattle dung in Australia."
The book, "Natural History of Insects" (3) gives more information about dung beetles. "One approach (by beetles) is to construct a series of branching subterranean chambers directly beneath the dung. This then lies conveniently to hand to be pulled down below and moulded into a spherical, pear-shaped or sausage-like brood mass."
Small Corpse Disposal
The author tells us how the corpses of some small animals are handled by the Necrophorus burying beetle. "A small animal corpse, such as a mouse, is the trigger for a complex suite of behaviors, usually performed by a male and female working together....The pair toil away to scrape and bite the fur off the corpse as they gradually inter it inside a "crypt" beneath the ground. Once safely hidden from competitors, the nice clean-shave meaty corpse can now easily be molded into a more or less globular shape, in which the female chews a bowl-shaped depression. It is into this that the larvae eventually crawl, sticking out their tiny heads and begging for food from their parent's mouths, like chicks in a nest. Parents and offspring also communicate with each other through a series of chirps."
Bees, Another Example
Let's look at one of the tinier creatures. John N. Clayton (1) writes about a study done by Karl Visscher of Cornell University. His study shows "1% to 2% of a bee hive colony is devoted solely to the job of removing dead bees from the hive. These undertaker bees remove any bee that dies in the hive to a distance up to 400 feet away from the hive. To prove that these bees are truly selecting dead bees,...Visscher deposited freshly killed bees and balsa wood models that resembled dead bees into a hive."
"Within an average of seven minutes, the dead bees were removed from the hive, but it took more than seven hours for the models to be removed...more as a nuisance evidently" So the "undertakers" were shown to be legitimately after dead bees.
The reasons for such fast removal are obvious. Clayton explains, "by removing them, the diseases from which they might be dying are also removed from the other bees. Left to rot, the dead bees could draw undesirable scavengers and fungus that could threaten the hive."
As we ponder which is true, evolution or creation, we might consider a couple of questions:
1) If honeybees evolved, as some say from a fruit fly - becoming a 25% honeybee, to a 50% honeybee, to a 90% honeybee, finally to become a full 100% honeybee - if this is so, at what point did the undertaker bees evolve?
2) How does the undertaker bee ratio of 1 to 2% remain so constant? Just enough to do the job, yet not too many so as to burden the hive?
An Example Within Our Own Body
Inside our own bodies are several waste disposal systems. M. Scott Peck, M.D. (4) describes the marvelous system that heals a wound. The process includes waste disposal. The author writes, "Moving through the porous walls, the white blood cells (called "phagocytes" or eating cells) go to the diseased spot and gobble up dead cells, bacteria, dirt, and other debris. They actually digest this debris and then return through the porous walls into the blood vessels. It is a remarkably efficient, microscopic garbage and collection service."
The Example Of Human Corpses
Upon our death another waste system kicks in. In my digestive system, and in yours, at this very moment, are bacteria ready to start the disposal system the minute death occurs.
In addition to those internal once, within working distance are various flies and insects ready to respond to scents that emanate from a new corpse thus signaling them to do their job of disposal. This part of the system is so exact, so well programmed, that detective story fans, such as this writer, are well aware scientists use disposal creatures' habits to make surprisingly accurate calculations regarding the time of human death.
This is because disposal insects follow an exact and pre-determined order.
In the book "Maggots, Murder and Men" (5) veteran Forensic Entomologist Dr. Zakaria Erzingclioglu explains this in more detail:
"As time passes and decomposition progresses, different insect species will be attracted to different stages of decay. Bluebottles and greenbottles will arrive to lay their eggs which hatch into maggots that feed voraciously on the tissues. Beetles will arrive, not only to feed upon the tissues, but also upon the maggots. Minute wasps will arrive to parasitize the maggots. Tiny flies, who very existence remains unguessed by most people, will similarly arrive at various stages of decay and will leave tell-tale signs of their visits.
Myriads of other creatures will arrive at various times, each to leave its mark for future interpretation by those who look into such things.
On the basis of the fact that anything that changes with time can be used as a clock, the succession of insects occurring on a dead body can, in principle, be exploited as a measure of time since death."
Let's ask some questions. If all is in a race for the fittest, why don't all of these flies, beetles, and insects rush to a new body at the same time? What is holding them back? What makes them go only in their allotted turn. And await their turn with such regularity and patience? So regular and so consistent are they that man can devote a whole science to the study of them and the conclusions that can be drawn from their very consistency!
Could it be that a [Sovereign] Planner/programmer was responsible? Could it have been a [Sovereign] Planner/programmer who put together the arrangement of body temperature, odors, and the like and then programmed and matched those signals to the particular insect needed for each part of the job?
The writer has mentioned before the advantage our generation has over previous ones. Because we use computers, we should be able to "see" something a Creator Yahweh has "made" by recognizing programming when it has been done in nature. Programming is something previous generations without computers could not even begin to imagine.
How Important Is All of This?
How important to us anyway is an earth that has constant waste disposal?
In the book "Alien Empire" (2), this conclusion is made, "Without insects, we would be inundated with dead plant and animal material."
Another statement is this one, "They (insects) process more flesh that all the large carnivores - crocodiles and alligators, lions, tigers, and wolves - put together."
In the book "The Secret Life of Germs" (6), the author says that without germs (and insects) "Before thousands of years had passed there wouldn't be an inch of ground left for plants to grow on or for other organisms to live on. The very oceans would be thick with corpses."
"Without germs (and insects), all of the earth would soon be one great garbage dump and graveyard spinning lifelessly in space."
It seems as if constant waste disposal is vitally important.
We have looked at the disposal of masses of elephant dung, the helpful scattering of that dung, learned the work of dung beetles is so important that they had to be imported into Australia, learned in detail how small corpses, like mice, are disposed of, learned about "undertaker" bees, considered waste disposal at a wound site of our own bodies, considered the various insects that operate on an exact time schedule to aid the breakdown of a human corpse, and been told waste disposal is vital to continued life on our planet.
We have just scratched the surface on this subject. It is hoped sufficient examples have been presented so readers can agree there are in fact quiet and highly efficient waste disposal systems in place all around us. So efficient and so smoothly operating we take little notice of them. But if they would cease to operate for just a few days, we would soon notice it very much indeed!
So now we come to the question: Are all of these waste disposal systems the result of evolution which admittedly is:
Mindless, Purposeless, Accidental chance?
Or, are they more logically the result of:
Planning, Design, [Sovereign] programming, An intelligent, purposeful Creator?
Which makes more sense to you?
Endnotes: (1) Dandy Designs, Vol. I 1984 and Vol. II 1991, published by John N. Clayton, S. Bend, IN, now Niles, MI 49120. (2) Authors Rod and Ken Preston-Mafham, published 1996 by Crowood Press, Ramsbury England. (3) Chris O'Toole, author, published 1995 by BBC Books, Books, London, England (4) "A World Waiting to be Born" published 1993 by Bantam Books. (5) Published 2000 by St. Martin's Press, New York, NY 10010 (6) Philip M. Tierno, Jr., Ph.D. author, published 2001 by Pocketbooks, New York, N.Y. 10020
Note: I restored the Hebrew Names (e.g. Yahweh instead of God) and "safer words" (e.g. Ruler instead of Lord) to this article. For more of an explanation, see, "Please take note:" Thank-you! Rebekah