THE INCREDIBLE DESIGNS OF CREATURES
“A woodpecker’s skull is built to absorb shock and minimize damage. The bone that surrounds the brain is thick and spongy, and loaded with trabeculae, microscopic beam-like bits of bone that form a tightly woven “mesh” for support and protection. On their scans, the scientists found that this spongy bone is unevenly distributed in woodpeckers, and it is concentrated around the forehead and the back of the skull, where it could act as a shock absorber.
Woodpeckers' hyoid bones act as additional support structures. In humans, the horseshoe-shaped hyoid is an attachment site for certain throat and tongue muscles. Woodpeckers’ hyoids do the same job, but they’re much larger and are differently shaped. The ends of the “horseshoe” wrap all the way around the skull and, in some species, even around the eye socket or into the nasal cavity, eventually meeting to form a sort of sling shape. This bizarre-looking bone, the researchers think, acts like a safety harness for the woodpecker’s skull, absorbing shock stress and keeping it from shaking, rattling and rolling with each peck.
Inside the skull, the brain has its own defenses. It’s small and smooth, and is positioned in a tight space with its largest surface pointing towards the front of the skull. It doesn’t move around too much, and when it does collide with the skull, the force is spread out over a larger area. This makes it more resistant to concussions, the researchers say.
A woodpecker’s beak helps prevent trauma, too. The outer tissue layer of its upper beak is longer than the lower beak, creating a kind of overbite, and the bone structure of the lower beak is longer and stronger than the upper one. The researchers think that the uneven build diverts impact stress away from the brain and distributes it to the lower beak and bottom parts of the skull instead.
The woodpecker’s anatomy doesn’t just prevent injuries to the brain, but also its eyes. Other research using high-speed recordings has shown that, in the fraction of a second just before their beaks strike wood, woodpeckers’ thick nictitans—membranes beneath the lower lid of their eyes, sometimes called the “third eyelid”—close over the eyes. This protects them from debris and keeps them in place. They act like seatbelts, and they keep the retina from tearing and the eye from popping right out of the skull.
There's also a behavioral aspect to the damage control. The researchers found that woodpeckers are pretty good at varying the paths of their pecks. By moving their heads and beaks around as they hammer away, they minimize the number of times in a row that the brain and skull make contact at the same point. Older research also showed that the strike trajectories, as much as they vary, are always almost linear. There's very little, if any, rotation of the head and almost no movement immediately after impact, minimizing the twisting force that could cause injury.
Earlier this year, another group of researchers in China found that, with all of these adaptations, 99.7 percent of the impact energy from striking a tree is absorbed by the body, but a little bit—that last 0.3 percent—does go to the head and the brain. That mechanical energy gets converted into heat, which causes the temperature of a woodpecker’s brain to increase, but the birds seem to have a way dealing with that, too. Woodpeckers usually peck in short bursts with breaks in between, and the researchers think that these pauses give the brain time to cool down before the head banging starts again and brings the temperature back up.”
“While most birds have one toe pointing back and three pointing forward on each foot, woodpeckers have two sharply clawed toes pointing in each direction to help them grasp the sides of trees and balance while they hammer - this formation is called zygodactyl feet. Many woodpecker species also have stiffened tail feathers, which they press against a tree surface to help support their weight.”
Even with all these mechanisms, woodpeckers would still have a problem with extracting the insects inside the holes they dig. For that matter, God has given woodpeckers tongues as long as one-third of their body lengths which allow them to catch the insects hiding deep inside the dug holes. However, this isn’t enough for woodpeckers to catch their preys because it is very difficult to find the locations of insects in these narrow holes. For that matter, God has given woodpeckers a very acute sense of hearing that allows them to hear tiny sounds that insects make inside the trunk.
The idea of gradual change in evolution cannot explain the mechanisms of woodpeckers. The woodpecker is a great example of “irreducible complexity”; the absence of any of the mechanisms that protect them from the continuous impact would suffice to make their lives unbearable, thus rendering all other features redundant. So, we have to accept that woodpeckers were perfectly designed for their lifestyles since the beginning. Many systems and organs of organisms work in a way that requires the collaboration of different organs and tissues. The absence of any of these collaborators would make the rest of the system functionless, which would be an unnecessarily energy-wasting burden on the organism instead of providing an advantage in terms of natural selection. Therefore, it is not possible for complex and interconnected systems to come into existence gradually over time.
Camels are perfectly designed by God according to the conditions of their environments. Here are some of the features that God has given them:
• They have large feet that help them walk on sand without sinking in, and these feet have thick soles that protect them from burning on hot deserts.
• They have nostrils that they can open and close to keep out blowing sand.
• They have long eyelashes to protect their eyes from blowing sand.
• Camels store fat in their hump. If they cannot find food, camels use this fat to produce energy. When full of fat, the hump stands up; but when empty, it is just a loose flap of hairy skin. A thirsty camel can easily drink up to 40 gallons of water in a matter of minutes when it finds a water source, that’s why it can store huge amounts of water.
• Unlike most mammals, the body temperature of a camel changes during the day, but generally is within a range of 93°F to 107°F (34°C to 41.7°C). Because of this change, the camel doesn’t sweat as much when the temperature rises. Sweating causes an animal to lose water, so the camel’s temperature changes help it to conserve water.
• Camels have thick lips so that they can eat prickly desert plants without being injured.
• The color of their bodies helps them blend into their environment. This protects them from predators.
• Camel’s ears are covered with hair, even on the inside. This hair helps keep out sand or dust that might blow into the animal’s ears.
• The protruding bone on their forehead acts much like a sun-visor, which helps keep sunlight out of their eyes.
• The red blood cells of camels are not circular but oval shaped unlike any other mammal on earth. This oval shape allows blood to continue to circulate even if it is thickened from lack of hydration, and to significantly expand after rehydration.
• The camel body reabsorbs more water than other animals during the formation of urine and feces, that’s why camels lose less water through their urine and feces than most other mammals. Camel urine is very thick and camel feces are hard and dry.
As these examples illustrate, every part of the camel is created for the desert environment. The absence of any of these features would suffice to make life unbearable for it. For instance, if it had all the features enumerated above only with the exception of large feet and thick soles, it wouldn’t be able to walk on the hot desert.
The shark skin is covered with teeth-like structures called dermal denticles. Dermal denticles reduce water friction, thus reducing the energy required for swimming. These structures also help to protect the shark skin from injuries.
The teeth of sharks are not connected to their jaw and they shed their teeth quite often. Sharks have multiple series of inactive teeth behind the active teeth row at the front. When a shark sheds its tooth, one from the row behind moves forward to replace it, so they are always geared with a full army of them to attack.
The tail allows sharks to move very fast in the water by propelling the animal forward. Their fins help balance their movements so that they can glide along gracefully.
The shark skeleton is made up of cartilage instead of bone. Since cartilage is less dense than bone, sharks can easily stay buoyant and swim at very high speeds, being able to reach 25 miles per hour (40 kilometers per hour).
The shark’s liver can store oil in it for a very long time. Sharks can survive without eating for a long time thanks to their livers’ oil storage capacity.
Sound is often the first sense a shark relies on to detect prey. A shark's inner ear detects sound, acceleration, and gravity. Sharks are attracted to low-frequency pulsed sounds, similar to those wounded or ill prey would emit. Some sharks are attracted to sound sources from distances as great as 250 meters (820 ft.)
One very important feature of shark sight is the tapetum lucidum, which explains how sharks are able to see in the low light created by murky or deep waters. The tapetum lucidum, located behind the retina, is made up of mirrored crystals. When the light goes through the retina and hits the crystals, it's reflected back onto the retina. Because of the tapetum lucidum, a shark can see about 10 times better than a human can in dim light.
In order to detect prey in very low light where eyesight has no use, sharks utilize their lateral line system. The lateral line system is a series of fluid-filled canals just below the skin of the head and along the sides of the body. It is used to sense tiny vibrations in the water. The canal is open to the surrounding water through tiny pores. Tiny modified hair cells line its walls and are instrumental in sensing vibrations and movement. These structures are so well tuned that they are able to detect frequencies as low as 25 Hertz. As vibrations make contact with these hair-like cells, they move and sway within the liquid. This causes messages to be transported via nerves to the brain, providing important information regarding the whereabouts and nature of the vibrations detected.
Sharks are famous for their acute sense of smell. They can smell one drop of a chemical in an Olympic-sized swimming pool, and smell the blood of its potential prey from hundreds of meters away. As the shark swims, it automatically moves its head back and forth. This allows more water to enter into the nostrils, helping the shark follow the scent accurately as it speeds up.
Sharks have electroreceptors called the Ampullae of Lorenzini. These electroreceptors cover most areas around the mouth and nostrils, and they are used to detect the electric fields produced by the movement of other animals. All living organisms produce electrical fields, and sharks can sense their prey by detecting the electric fields they generate.
As you see, sharks have so many capabilities for sensing, catching, and killing that the situation seems totally hopeless for their prey. You would be safe from a shark in your vicinity only if you were not bleeding, moving, had a non-beating heart and a non-functioning brain, and were lucky enough to come across a blind shark. Sharks are a shining example of God’s magnificent art for hundreds of millions of years.
Honeybees are one of the best mathematicians in nature. They make their honeycombs in hexagons and people have always been curious about why they prefer hexagons. Mathematicians discovered the reason behind this in the recent past by doing pages of calculations. If these units were circles or pentagons, there would be gaps between units and the area wouldn’t be used with maximum productivity. If these units were triangles or rectangles, there wouldn’t be gaps between units but more material (wax) would be needed in comparison to hexagonal units. The hexagonal shape creates no gaps and requires the least amount of wax in the construction of honeycombs. Bees apply this mathematical fact that we only recently understood although they have no mind or education.
This is not the only math that bees know. When bees find food, they tell the coordinates (the direction and distance) of the food to their friends by dancing. They use the angle that the road they came from makes with the Sun to calculate the location of the food. In calculating this, they even take the Sun’s motion in the sky into account during their travel from the food source to their friends. Moreover, they assign more distance to the food in windy weathers in order to show that they need more energy to reach the food in the face of the wind. Even an intelligent mathematician has to put great effort to make this calculation that bees can quickly and spontaneously make.
Well, how do atheistic evolutionists explain this magnificent dexterity of bees? They again use the famous word that they use whenever they want to make something sound explainable when they cannot explain it: instincts. Evolutionists name all complex behaviors of organisms as “instincts”, thus trying to make them sound simple. The word “instinct” means inborn behaviors that are not learned throughout the animal’s life. Designating a behavior as instinct doesn’t explain that behavior, it merely categorizes it. Let’s assume that honeybees can do everything by instincts, do inanimate and unconscious RNAs have instincts too that allow them to synthesize proteins with incredible precision? There is no life in the organelles of cells that can create instincts, but they can do sophisticated and incredible jobs that are not expected of them. If we don’t attribute the fabulous jobs of honeybees to God, we will have to attribute them to mindless and unknowing bees, just like we have to attribute the works of cells to inanimate and unconscious molecules unless we attribute them to God.
It is impossible for the dance of honeybees to be the product of evolution. If bees learned how to dance first, this dance would be useless since there would be no bee that can understand the meanings of those movements. In other words, bees must’ve learned the dance and the meaning of that dance simultaneously so that the dance can have a function. This is mathematically impossible, and it defies the idea of gradual development in the theory of evolution. It is also difficult to explain with evolution how honeybees learned to build honeycombs in hexagonal shapes. Suppose that in the past, bees would build their honeycombs in squares when one bee gained the new instinct of building hexagonal units. One bee’s building of hexagonal units while all of his colleagues were building square units would disarray the entire order, distort the honeycomb’s shape and reduce its productivity by creating unnecessary gaps between units. In other words, if not all the bees in a hive build hexagons, it would be detrimental rather than beneficial if one or a few of them built hexagons. This is why the idea of gradual change is also problematic here. In fact, it is very difficult for social creatures that collaborate and have their lives dependent upon each other to evolve because an individual’s developing new and unique features would cause it to disaccord with the rest of the population and eventually be an outcast. Since it is statistically impossible for the whole population to evolve at the same time, a few individuals’ developing of new features is equivalent to disarraying the existing order. The definite punishment of this is perishing after being excluded from the population.
Honeybees are mentioned in the Quran and the Quran contains a very profound miracle about them. The only life purpose of male honeybees is fertilizing females; they are cast out of the hive after fertilization and eventually die of hunger. All the important jobs of honeybees are done by their females. Female honeybees build the hive, and collect the nectars of flowers from which they make honey. This is described in the Quran as follows: “And your Lord inspired to the bee, ‘Take for yourself among the mountains, houses, and among the trees and [in] that which they construct. Then eat from all the fruits and follow the ways of your Lord laid down [for you].’ There emerges from their bellies a drink, varying in colors, in which there is healing for people. Indeed in that is a sign for a people who give thought. (Quran 16:68-69)” In Arabic, verbs are conjugated differently depending on the gender of the interlocutor. In the case of a mixed-gender group, verbs are conjugated according to males; only when referring to a group consisting of only females do Arabs use the female conjugation. The Quran conjugates the verbs according to female interlocutors while giving the orders in the verse above, and this means that these orders address female honeybees. This is a huge miracle because the tasks stated above are done by female honeybees, not male ones. This knowledge was definitely unknown at the time the Quran was revealed; in fact, many people didn’t even know if bees have genders or not. Those who would’ve conjectured that bees have genders would probably have also conjectured that it is the male honeybees that do the work and the female honeybees that are only responsible for reproduction as this is usually the case among humans.
Even creatures like bees, ants, and mosquitos have features that fascinate us despite looking simple and worthless from outside. The sonar system of the dolphin that lets it locate objects and detect their motions (the ability to interpret these objects is another level of design), the light-producing system of the firefly (its protection from the heat of its own light is another level of design), the electricity-producing system of the electric eel (its protection from its own electricity is another level of design) are too magnificent to be the products of random mutations.
Every organ that God created is a monument of his supreme power. For example, the human brain is a network of approximately 90 billion interconnected neurons. The human brain contains at least 100 trillion synapses. Synapses are the places of chemical transmission between neurons. A neuron in the brain can connect to thousands of other neurons through its synapses. The speed of transmission is extraordinary thanks to this incredible network, the brain is hundreds of thousands of times more efficient than any computer. Scientists can’t even fully understand how our brain functions, let alone create something similar to it. Moreover, evolutionists claim that the human brain has developed in 2-2.5 million years, which is a relatively short time for macroevolution. Well, let’s ask our question: Is it possible that the brain be a product of unconscious and mindless nature when even the most intelligent people fail to fully comprehend it? If this question is asked you on Judgment Day, would you be able to give a logical response to it? If you claim that you can, go ahead with what you believe in. The one who attributes the blessings that God has bestowed upon him to blind and unconscious nature instead of being grateful for them must question his way as soon as possible. The one who attributes the entire creation to coincidences when even the coincidental formation of a single protein is mathematically impossible has a lot to answer to God on Judgment Day.
Researching the perfect designs of organisms and organs undoubtedly increases the faith of anyone with intellect and a heart. We humans have learned and discovered a lot about organisms and humans in particular in the last couple of centuries. We didn’t see disarray and coincidence under microscopes; rather, we saw a perfect design and harmony. “We will show them Our signs in the horizons and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that it is the truth. But is it not sufficient concerning your Lord that He is, over all things, a Witness? (Qur’an 41:53)” This verse refers to the discoveries of the modern era that we witness which are supposed to fortify our faith. Unfortunately, the places where Darwinian beliefs prevail –including our schools- refrain from mentioning the wonderful designs of creatures. The reason is clear: The incredible designs of animals leave no room for coincidental development, and this fact doesn’t suit evolutionists’ book.
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