Inspirational Readings for Your Daily Walk with God:

Christian Mediation

 "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." Acts 17:11

"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15

 

Why We Believe in Creation

not in Evolution

by Fred John Meldau

Chapter 9. 

BIRDS: "WINGED WONDERS"

Witness Par Excellence for God and Creation

Perhaps in all the realm of nature there is no more forceful witness for Divine creation than birds.  And here is the reason:  there is a bigger gulf between reptiles * and birds than between most any two other groups adjacent in the "evolutionary ladder" — and practically all evolutionists are agreed that "birds developed from a reptilian type of animal, and that the feathers probably developed from scales."

            * Evolutionists are hard-pressed to find any connections whatever between birds and supposed ancestors, reptiles.  One author says, "It is difficult to think of birds as being even remotely related to reptiles."  (The Strange World of Nature, p.52).

            The Archaeopteryx often has been referred to as being intermediate between reptiles and birds.  A careful examination, however, indicates it had very typical bird feathers, feet, and wings adapted for flight.  Practically all of its aberrant features (such as clawed digits of the wings) are to be found in some form in some living birds.

Here is a summary of the argument against evolution, when considering the miracle of bird construction.  Remember, evolution teaches the slow and GRADUAL change of one genus into another; how then can evolution account for all the radical differences that exist between reptiles and birds?  How can evolution account for the complete change of the covering, from scales to feathers?  And explain the many vast simultaneous changes made in body structure?  For example, many of the bones of a bird are hollow, and some have air sacs, in addition to lungs.  In birds heavy jaws and teeth (that would put too much weight too high and too far forward) have been removed and there is provided a gizzard that grinds the food.  The gizzard is lower and farther back in the body than jaws and teeth.  As we proceed with this discussion, many other radical differences between birds and reptiles and other animals will be mentioned.  IF such great differences were brought to pass by gradual changes, there MUST of necessity be some evidences somewhere of the intermediate changes — but there are none. **

            **  J. Augusta, in "Prehistoric Animals" (p. 42) seeking to trace the ancestry of birds, says, "the Saurian (reptilian) arche-ancestors of the birds, which we do not yet know well. . . .seem to have gone over to walking and running on their hind legs only.  Their bodies were still covered with scales.  At a further stage of evolution, FOR WHICH WE STILL HAVE NO PROOFS BUT WHICH WE MUST ASSUME TO HAVE EXISTED, the 'pseudosuchian saurian' changed into a kind of 'pre-bird' — proavis — with its scales changed into feathers and already able to climb about on the trunks and branches of trees.  By the transformation of its scales into feathers (only in the imagination of the evolutionist). . . there arose in the course of the further evolution of the proavis a kind of parachute, which allowed it to glide smoothly down from branch to branch and from a tree to the ground.  That was the first beginning of flight, . . .with the gradual transformation of the proavis into the archebird, and then of the archebird into the bird."

            Read again the above amazing statement by Dr. Augusta, noted Professor of Paleontology.  He admits there is absolutely NO PROOF of any gradual change from "scales to feathers" — and so HE INVENTS A "PREBIRD" that he calls the "proavis" to fill that gap!  WHEN THE ARDENT EVOLUTIONIST LACKS SCIENTIFIC FACT AND PROOF, he imagines the "missing links" and writes them in his books as though they were fact — and our impressionable children and youth take it as gospel truth!           

AS LONG AS THERE IS NO SCIENTIFIC PROOF OF GRADUAL CHANGE FROM "SCALES TO FEATHERS," THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION MUST FOREVER REMAIN A THEORY, SUPPORTED ONLY BY THE VIVID IMAGINATION OF ITS OVER-ENTHUSIASTIC ADHERENTS. 

A reptile is a reptile — designed and adapted for its particular mode of life.  And there is ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE WHATEVER OF THE SUPPOSED "GRADUAL CHANGE" OF SCALES INTO FEATHERS, or of the development of wings, the loss of teeth, the development of exceptional sight and the hundred and more other colossal differences between birds and reptiles.  A partly developed organism (such as a bird's wing, claw, bill, feather, etc.) IS OF NO VALUE WHATEVER TO A LIVING ANIMAL, and such "partly developed" organisms are nowhere found in nature.  Evolution exists ONLY in the minds of its devotees.

            Carl Welty, writing on Birds as Flying Machines, (Scientific American"), sums up the "specialties" that birds have that reptiles do not have, that make birds birds:

            "Birds were able to become flying machines largely (because of) gifts of feathers, wings, hollow bones, warm-bloodedness, a remarkable system of respiration, a strong, large heart and powerful breast muscles.  These adaptations all boil down to the two prime requirements for any flying machine: high power and low weight."

            It has been observed many times by others that "every major transformation of an organ is, in general, correlated with a greater or lesser change OF THE ENTIRE ORGANISM.  The acquisition of flight in birds, to mention a drastic case, involved A REBUILDING OF THE ENTIRE SKELETON, loss of teeth, change of metabolism, change of the sense organs, of the brain, of most of the behaviour patterns, etc . The organism seems to change as a harmonious entity, and NOT by random mutation of its parts." (Systematics and the Origin of Species, by Ernst Mayr; published by The American Museum of Natural History). *

            * Because of their traditional belief that evolutionary changes are a "SLOW PROCESS," evolutionists themselves find it hard to believe their theory.  Ernst Mayr, writing in "Systematics and the Origin of Species, from the Viewpoint of a Zoologist." (American Museum of Natural History), says, "It must be admitted that it is a considerable strain on one's credulity to assume that finely balanced systems, such as certain organs (the eye of vertebrates, or bird feathers) could be improved by random mutations. . . .However, the objectors to random mutations have so far been unable to advance any alternative explanation that was supported by substantial evidence."  WHY DO EVOLUTIONISTS INSIST ON REJECTING THE TRUE EXPLANATION OF DIVINE CREATION? 

            Slight, gradual, random mutations do not account for such drastic changes involved in "the acquisition of flight in birds," for, to be successful, the entire body had to be rebuilt at the same time in order to make flight possible!  The phenomenon of radical changes such as the development of flight in birds, precludes the idea of gradual change by random mutations.  The only way a bird could possibly come into being is by a SUDDEN CREATION; so the gradual change from reptiles to birds is ruled out as an impossibilty.

            Let us further consider in detail how birds are witnesses for God and Creation.

            (1)  Birds are "Miracle" Creatures that give most forceful evidence of Special Design;  they are the work of a Master workman.  Note:

            (A)  The bones and skeleton of birds 

            A mammal bone is heavy, dense; but the bones of a bird are hollow, filled with spongy network and engineered for air capacity and strength.  As a bird breathes, it is inflooded with air to its very marrow!  The air cavities in the bones are directly connected with its lungs.  Yet, strength has not been sacrificed, for the light, hollow bones are stiffened with ridges, where needed, according to advanced engineering principles.  We have before us a drawing of a longitudinal section, showing the internal structure of the metacarpal bone of a vulture's wing.  "The braces within the bone are almost identical in geometry with those of the Warren truss commonly used in steel structure."

            "Combining both lightness and strength, surely the bones of a bird could not have been more wonderfully engineered."  (Eugene Burns, Ranger-Naturalist).

            "Although a bird's skeleton is extremely light, it is also very strong and elastic — necessary characteristics in an air frame subjected to the great and sudden stresses of aerial acrobatics."  (Carl Welty, in "Birds as Flying Machines," in the "Scientific American").  Mr. Welty in his article shows a picture of a cross-section of the frontal bone of the skull of a crow, revealing the hollow bone, with a marvelously intricate and obviously designed braced interior.  The outcome is, says Mr. Welty, "The skull of a crow achieves the desirable aerodynamic result of making the bird light in the head.  Heavy jaws are sacrificed: their work is largely taken over by the gizzard.  The skull of the crow accounts for less than 1% of its total weight."

            Evolutionists recognize the difficulty of accounting for the phenomenon of the bird's light bone structure.  C. H. Waddington, writing in the Scientific American says,

            "There are adaptations of such a kind that it is difficult to see how they could ever be responses to external circumstances.  For instance, birds tend to have hollow bones, by which they gain in lightness without losing strength.  It is impossible to see how external conditions could directly produce hollowness of bones."

            Oh that they would acknowledge the Divine Designer! 

            (B)  The feathers, wings and flight of birds

            A bird is actually a "living airplane."  "It flies by the same aerodynamic principles as a plane," says John H. Storer ("Bird Aerodynamics," in the Scientific American);  "and uses much of the same mechanical equipment — wings, propellers, steering gear, even slots and flaps for help in taking off and landing." 

            "Where is a bird's propeller?" continues Dr. Storer, "Astonishing as it may seem, every bird has a pair of them. . . . They can be seen in action best in a slow motion picture of a bird in flight.  During the downward beat of the wings the primary feathers at the wings tips STAND OUT ALMOST AT RIGHT ANGLES TO THE REST OF THE WING AND TO THE LINE OF FLIGHT.  These feathers are the propellers.  They take on this twisted form for only a split second during each wing beat.  But this ability to change their shape and position is the key to bird flight.  Throughout the entire wing beat they are constantly changing their shape.  ADJUSTING AUTOMATICALLY TO AIR PRESSURE AND THE CHANGING REQUIREMENTS OF THE WING AS IT MOVES UP AND DOWN.  This automatic adjustment is made possible by special features of the feather design.  The front vane of a wing-tip feather is much narrower than the rear vane.  Out of this difference comes the force that twists the feather into the shape of a propeller.  As the wing beats downward against the air, the greater pressure against the wide rear vane on each of these feathers twists that vane upward until the feather takes on the proper shape and angle to function as a propeller. . . .(So) with their specialized design the primary feathers are beautifully adapted to meet the varied demands of bird flight."           

            That is a rather long quotation, but we thought it important — because it shows MARVELOUS DESIGN for an intended purpose.  A bird's wing is self-adjusting, as though it were controlled by a highly complicated, automatic electronic machine that re-acts in a thousandth part of a second!  Honestly now, could such an intricate, complicated, self-adjusting arrangement in the wings and feathers of a bird, that make flight possible, come to pass by "random mutations?"

            The feathers are miracles of ingenuity.  Allen Devoe, writing on The Miracle of Birds (American Mercury, Oct., '53), says,           

            "A feather may seem to be only a central shaft with projections on either side.  It is much more. Each projection (called a vane) from the feather stem is composed of numbers of parallel rods, the barbs.  A barb is itself virtually a complete miniature feather, with extremely fine side-projections called barbules.  Look still closer with a lens and it is revealed that on these barbules are tinier barbicels, and on these are almost infinitestimal hooklets.  The hooklets mesh the barbs; the whole vane is one light, perfect interweave.  Barbules and barbicels on a single feather MAY NUMBER OVER A MILLION!" 

            No wonder Elliott Coues, the famous ornithologist, said, "A bird to me is as wonderful as the stars!"

            Every feather is a mechanical wonder.  The quill is strong, light, hollow, tough, elastic, and tapers to a fine point with geometrical precision — exactly what is needed.

            The miracle of a bird's feathers is further seen:

            "Feathers, the bird's most distinctive and remarkable acquisition, are magnificently adapted for fanning the air, for insulation against the weather and for reduction of weight.  It has been claimed that for their weight they are stronger than any wing structure devised by man. . . . When a bird is landing or taking off, its strong wingbeats separate the large primary wing feathers at their tips, THUS FORMING WING-SLOTS * which help prevent stalling.

            * "Many birds have on their wings a little group of feathers known as the alula or 'bastard wings.'  These come into operation. . . .when the bird is in danger of losing lift or stalling.  The 'alula' then acts as a safety device.  Actually, it was not until Sir Frederick Handley Page invented the now famous 'slotted wing' anti-stalling device, which has done so much to make airplanes safer, THAT IT WAS REALIZED THAT BIRDS HAVE HAD IN THE ALULA THE SAME SAFETY GEAR FROM TIME IMMEMORIAL." (p. 193, "Nature Parade").  (Caps ours).

It seems remarkable that man took so long to learn some of the fundamentals of airplane design which even the lowliest English sparrow demonstrates to perfection." (See "Bird Aerodynamics," by John H. Storer, Scientific American, April, 1952).

            "Beside all this, feathers cloak birds with an extraordinarily effective insulation — so effective that they can live in parts of the Antarctic too cold for any other animal.

            "The streamlining of birds of course is the envy of all aircraft designers. . . .The feathers shape it to the utmost in sleekness." 

            Dr. Gray, writing on "The Flight of Animals," in the 1954 Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institute, p. 290, says, 

            "A bird's front limbs have been COMPLETELY specialized for flight." (Caps ours; note: the transformation — according to evolution — from legs to wings is COMPLETE, not partial).  "Each wing forms a structure of peculiar beauty and complexity. . . . UNLIKE THAT OF ANY OTHER FLYING ANIMAL, the wing surface in a bird is made up of feathers, all fitting together to form an efficient lifting surface and yet capable of being neatly furled when not in use."  Again we see, from expert authority, that birds' wings are specialized organs that are COMPLETE and perfectly designed for their intended use, with no evidence whatever of being in the process of gradual change from one form of life to a higher form.  We ask the evolutionist, WHEN and HOW did this transformation take place from legs to wings, and where is the evidence of transitional forms?  There is NO evidence of transitional forms from saurian (lizard-like) limbs to birds' wings, save in the imagination of evolutionists! 

            Birds are by far the fastest creatures on our planet.  The streamlined peregrine falcon can dive on its prey at speeds up to 180 miles an hour (some authorities say 250 miles an hour).  And yet their great speed is under perfect control!  The African eagle, swooping down at its prey at a speed of over 100 miles an hour can brake with "such stunning skill, by spreading wings and tail in a aerial skid-stop, that it comes to a dead halt in the space of 20 feet!"

            Authors wax eloquent indeed as they describe the wonders of bird's wings and bird flight.

            Actually, hundreds of "special adaptations" in as many different birds have been observed by naturalists.  For example, the wing and tail feathers of most owls are covered with a soft pile — an effective "silencer" equipment: quite necessary when one remembers that a large part of an owl's diet consists of mice, whose ears are very sensitive, hence the owl's need for silent flight becomes apparent.  Incidentally, the Indian fishing owl (Ketupa), which lives primarily on fish, does NOT nave this "silencer."

            Note again, the shape of a bird's wing is clearly related to its habitat and manner of life.  Thus the 11-foot-long wing span of the wanderer albatross, makes it one of the most efficient soaring birds in the world; the albatross lives in regions where there is always a strong wind to enable it to rise.  But such wings would be useless where there is not a prevailing wind.  In fact, the albatross is so poor at taking-off that it can only with difficulty get off the ground without the aid of wind.  On the other hand, birds which live among trees or underbrush have, of necessity, short, rounded wings.  What they lose in flight ability is compensated for in safety: long wings would get caught in branches more readily, and lead to their destruction.  God made the birds so that they could live and thrive in their peculiar habitat. 

            (C)  The sight and hearing of birds

            An owl scans the dark woods with eyes ten times as sensitive to faint light as ours.  Most birds have prodigious eyesight.  In some birds the eyes are so big in relation to the head that there is scarcely room for them in the skull!  Nature has also endowed them with a third eyelid that can be drawn back and forth across their eyes as a "windshield wiper" as they rush through the high sky, constantly encountering bits of dust and other irritants.  One of the outstanding miracles of the eyes of birds is their remarkable "telescopic adaptability" for rapid adjustment. 

            The swallow, darting swiftly through the air, is able to see the tiniest insect as it swoops down through the sky.  A bird of prey, even at high altitude, can perceive a small object far below and in its lightning descent (its eyes constantly change focus) so that it is able to snatch its prey without a crash landing."  (p. 269, "Miracles of Science"). 

            The robin "has unbelievably acute hearing.  When a robin on your lawn stops and cocks it head to one side, it is listening to the soft stirring of an earthworm under the grass."

           (D)  the legs and feet of birds

            The legs and feet, including claws, of birds show as much design for intended purpose as other features of their anatomy.

            A bird cushions its landing with its legs, which consist of three single rigid bones, with joints that work in opposite directions — thus making an amazingly efficient shock absorber.

            Many people wonder why a sleeping bird does not topple off its perch. 

            "Attached to the ligaments which operate a bird's toes, is a very long tendon which runs nearly the whole length of the leg, and broadens into a muscle on the front thigh.  When the bird perches, its knees and ankles bend and automatically tighten the tendon, which contracts the bird's toes so that they grip tightly.  The bird is then virtually locked to its perch."  Who invented this natural "safety lock mechanism" so obviously designed for the benefit of the sleeping bird? 

            The legs and feet of birds are designed for perching, running, swimming, wading, climbing, scratching, tearing, or holding.  Birds of prey have strong feet, armed with sharp, hooked talons.  The foot of the climbing birds, like the parrot and the woodpecker, is equipped with two toes in front and two behind.  Scratching birds, like chickens and turkeys, have short, thick toes, fitted with stout, blunt claws.  The wading birds, as the crane and heron, are long and slender-legged for walking in the water of lakes and marshes.  Many of the swimming birds, like ducks and swans, have webbed feet.  God is very wise:  He equips every creature perfectly to meet its needs — even to the "fur"-covered foot of the ptarmigan, to protect it against the extreme cold.

            The thick foot of the ostrich is a weapon of defense; on the other hand the peregrine (falcon) has a hind toe like a steel spike, with which it knocks its prey senseless when it hits it in its power-dive, a lightning-like "stoop" from above. 

The Remarkable Feet of the Jacana 

            Perhaps in no other bird's feet is "design" for an intended purpose so evident as in the Jacana.

            "The jacana has most remarkable feet.  It has very long spreading toes which are exceptionally slender and weak.  At first glance it would seem that Nature erred in giving this creature such freakish equipment, but she didn't.  The jacana spends most of its life stepping from one floating lily pad to another in search of food.  Its outlandish feet distribute its weight evenly over the wide surface of the pads, enabling them to support the bird."  In all seriousness, HOW could a bird with short stubby feet EVER develop the long, slender feet and spreading toes necessary to walk on lily pads?  Every time a bird with short stubby feet tried to walk on a lily pad, it would sink, and the poor thing would die of frustration in less than a week — if it did not drown before that!

              And so the jacana, unintentionally, becomes another witness for God and divine creation, for it is clear to all that the feet off the jacana HAD to be as they are, from the very beginning, in order to do what the jacana does — walk on lily pads.  FEET ANY LESS THAN OR ANY DIFFERENT FROM WHAT THE JACANA HAS WOULD NOT WORK AS THE JACANA USES THEM.  No theory demanding "gradual change" by chance mutations can account for a highly specialized organ as the feet of the Jacana.

 

            Speaking of the special equipment that a duck has, one author says, "Notice the feet of the duck:  at the end of each leg he has an ingenius paddle, or oar, to drive him through the water.  Either on the surface or underneath, the duck is able to proceed because of his webbed feet.  The question arises, did he take to the water because he had webbed feet, or did he get webbed feet because he took to the water?  It is evident the latter cannot be the case — for what would the duck have done in the water while he was getting or developing those web feet?  Also, the down on a duck that keeps him safe in the water MUST have been provided him in the very hour of his origin, or the water would have been as fatal to him as it is to a chicken today!" 

            (E)  The bills and beaks of birds

            The bills or beaks of birds are very efficient, and carefully designed devices for obtaining food, and for protection, in some cases.  A beak consists of an upper and a lower mandible, or jaw.  Birds which live on tough-shelled nuts usually have strong, heavy bills so they can crack the shell.  Birds like hawks, owls and eagles have hooked bills so they can tear their prey apart.  Scavengers like vultures, also have hooked bills, but they are much weaker, for the flesh of a dead animal will tear off much more easily than that of a live one.  Boring birds are furnished with a long, straight and pointed beak with which to dig into bark in search of grubs and insects.  The goose and duck are furnished with a spoon bill, suitable to get food from the bottom of lakes and pools.

            Let us mention a few of the strikingly different kinds of bills, among the many hundreds, that birds have — and note especially that they are designed for a PURPOSE.  The bill of the curlew bends down, that of the avocet curves up, whereas that of the snipe is almost straight.  The bill of the stork is pointed, that of the spoonbill is flat, and that of the flamingo has a sharp, right-angle bend in it.  The beak of the falcon is hooked, that of the touraco is short, that of the adjutant is long, that of the toucan is enormous and that of the pelican carries a pouch underneath.  Who is responsible for this variety?  Consider the fact that the beak of a bird is designed for a purpose: that it might eat a particular kind of food.

            The bill of the northern shrike is hard; it is used as a hammer.  He kills mice and small birds by giving them a sudden blow with his bill on the back of their heads.

            The woodcock lives largely on worms.  He has a comparatively long bill that is flexible at the end; with this he probes into worm holes in search of his food.  The flexible end of his bill enables him to probe readily until the worm is discovered.

            The long-billed curlew has a beak well situated to drag crabs and worms from their holes in the sand.

            The woodpecker finch of the Galapagos has a most curios method of obtaining its food.  It picks up a long, thin cactus thorn in its short bill — admirably adapted to holding the thorn — and with it pokes out insects hiding in the crevices of bark and wood!  When the insect runs out of hiding, the bird drops the prod and eats the insect!

            With its arched, blunt beak, the flaming ibis dredges its food out of mud banks.

            Of all bills, that of the pelican is one of the strangest.  Diving for fish, it uses its more-than-foot-long bill like a mechanical scoop.  When the fish is caught, it is stowed away in a fleshy, pouch-like sack that extends between the two sides of the lower mandible.  From this reservoir the pelican swallows the fish at its leisure.  But the pouch serves yet another purpose.  The pelican partially digest its food, then regurgitates it into this same pouch.  Then the young pelicans eat right out of this pouch, when father or mother (both parents take turns feeding their young) opens its mouth for "junior" to get his meal!  What bird would "invent" such a system to feed its young?  But God has plans of His own, and these are seen in nature on all sides, reflecting the fact of special design in creation.

            The tooth-billed pigeon of the Samoan Islands has a highly specialized bill that has notches like teeth in the lower mandible.  It feeds mostly on the fruit of a fig tree, and this bill is admirably designed for that purpose.

            The shoe-bill stork has a great, broad bill, depressed in the middle and hooked at the end — suggesting a large wooden shoe.  The stork, you will recall, is a voiceless bird.  But the shoe-bill stork claps its mandibles together, and so expresses itself in times of danger or excitement!  Such phenomena in nature are NOT the result of "survival of the fittest" — for certainly a "voice" is an asset.  But this peculiar organ (the shoe-bill) was so designed by the Great Creator who fashioned many kinds of life to carry many lessons to the world of men.

            The humming bird has a long slender bill that serves as a drinking straw to extract nectar from the long "throats" of flowers.

            The flamingo has a built-in sieve in its bill with which it sifts small shellfish and other titbits from the mud of shallow water.

            The plant cutter birds (Phytotmidae) have conical bills that have fine saw cuts along the edges of their mandibles, and with these cutting edges they cut off pieces of leaves, buds and fruit for food.

            The wood hewers of Central America have bills that curve downward and are long and slender.  With these they search for insects and larvae in the cracks in bark and in tree crannies — and so the Creator of all, Who has adjusted ALL life and made it interdependent, provides a special bird as a "tree surgeon" to protect trees from the ravages of insects!  Did such a provision of benevolence for trees "just happen" — or was it all in the original blueprint, in the original plan of the Creator.

            The woodpecker lives chiefly on insects lodged in the bodies of the trees (often in decayed parts).  Its bill is straight, hard and sharp — like a chisel — so it can dig and bore after insects.

            The gannet, which feeds on fish, has the sides of its bill irregularly jagged in order to hold more securely its slippery victims.

            The mandibles of a heron are long and pointed, and the beak is especially suitable for spearing small fish and frogs in shallow water.

            The snipe has a long soft bill with a nerve going to its end, giving it feeling.  The tip of the bill is moveable.  Because the bird cannot see down in the mud, it must depend on this type of a bill to locate worms, for food. 

The Strange Bills of the Nuthatch, Bower-birds and Crossbills 

            Of all the hundreds of types of bills, we consider these three among the most peculiar.

            The nuthatch will wedge a nut in a crack of the bark of a tree.  Pivoting on its legs, it strikes the nut with the full force of its body with its beak, which serves as a hatchet — and it certainly knows how to use its hatchet bill to best advantage!  While opening a nut, "it almost seems to prefer to hang head downwards, probably because this position adds power to its strokes."

            Two species of bower birds actually paint the twigs and grass stems that form the walls of their bowers.  One of these, the spotted bower, was filmed in the act. 

            "The paint used was chewed-up grass mixed with saliva, and the actions of the bird when painting were . . . as follows:  The bill, exuding paint, was wiped repeatedly with short jabs, first on one side and then on the other, on the stems forming the bower walls." (The Strange World of Nature, p. 109).

            The crossbill "has one of the strangest tools (its bill) in nature, and surely one of the most specialized."  Its peculiar crossed mandibles are used to pry apart the cones of certain pine trees. 

Here is how it is done: 

            "The bird inserts its opened bill under the scale of a fir cone and levers it up with a lateral movement.  The lower mandible, which is applied to the body of the cone, acts as a fulcrum, while the upper part of the crossed bill does the work,  While the scales are held apart in this manner, THE SINGLE SEED, with its delicate wing attached, is then removed by the tongue." (Ibid).

             If evolution, with its need for countless ages of time, had to be depended on, the poor crossbill (before it was the crossbill) would have starved to death a million times over — that is, if it had to depend only on the seeds hidden in pine cones.  And if it lived on other types of seeds, it would never need its crossbill!  This highly specialized organ (the bill of the crossbill) had to be made AS IT IS, at once, to work as it works.

            Let us raise one more question relative to birds' bills. How does the evolutionist explain the outlandishly large bill of the South American Toucan?  The bill of the toucan is so large it makes the bird look ludicrous.  It is about half as big as the bird itself, and seems unnecessary — except that the toucan is at catching fruit tossed to it.  Fortunately, though the bill is gigantic and looks heavy, it is actually hollow and light, supported by an interior network of interlacing bony fibers.

            How can evolution account for this awkward bill?  It is no advantage, in this instance, as far as eating is concerned, for the toucan lives mostly on fruit.  Did the Creator want to make a bird bill obviously not designed to give the bird an advantage in eating habits?  God is sovereign in His creative activities.  "Natural selection" and "random mutations" leading to advantage do NOT explain the bill of the toucan — but Divine Creation does!

                      (F)  Other unique features of the anatomy of birds

                        The heart and lungs of birds are truly phenomenal.  The heart of the bird is the largest in proportion to its body size of any animal, and its rate of beating, sometimes as high as 600 beats per minute, is far more rapid than man's.  And through the bird's heart is pumped "the richest blood in the world" — i.e., blood with the highest count of oxygen-carrying red cells.  A bird maintains a very high temperature (about ten degrees higher than man's) which assures a steady flow of energy, regardless of weather conditions.  And this, incidentally, makes the bird ravenous, which in turn means that each bird will consume enormous quantities of insects, and so keep down insect pest populations.

             "The lungs of man constitute about 5% of his body volume; but the respiratory system of a duck, in contrast, makes up 20% of the body volume (2% lungs and 18% air sacs).  The anatomical connections of the lungs and air sacs in birds seems to provide a one-way traffic of air through most of the system, bringing in a constant stream of unmixed fresh air, whereas in the lungs of mammals stale air is mixed inefficiently with the fresh.  IT SEEMS ODD THAT NATURAL SELECTION HAS NEVER PRODUCED A STALE AIR OUTLET FOR ANIMALS.  The air sacs of birds apparently approach this ideal more closely than any other vertebrate adaptation."  (Scientific American: article by Carl Welty, on "Birds as Flying Machines").

               Mr. Welty says that the respiratory system of birds is far superior to that of mammals — and wonders WHY evolution (natural selection) did not do as much for mammals as for birds!

            This is indeed a difficult problem for the evolutionist, but it is not difficult for those who believe that all nature is the handiwork of the Sovereign, all-wise God, who gives to each form of life blessings and abilities best suited to their status and function in life.

            Another writer calls attention to the "super-efficiency of the bird's respiratory system."  Because the air passes through the air sacs as well as through its lungs, "the bird gets oxygen when it inhales and also when it exhales, because the air passes through the lungs to the air sacs and, on its return, again passes through the lungs.  The lungs consequently receive two doses of oxygen."  So DIVINE DESIGN works wonders for birds that evolution is unable to achieve for more advanced forms of life — according to evolution's adherents. 

            A thousand and one "miracles of anatomy" could be cited that make birds among the most marvelous of all God's creatures.  Some of these miracles of construction are:

            The tongue of a woodpecker.  To extract grubs from trees, a woodpecker has a tongue so long it curves over inside the bird's head and is actually anchored, not in the throat where one would expect, but IN FRONT OF ITS EYES, to give it more length!

            The uncanny time-sense in many birds.  Many coastal birds have a built-in time-sense so precise that after inland trips they return to shore for feeding AT THE EXACT HOUR WHEN THE TIDE IS RIGHT. 

            (2)  Birds' Eggs give most convincing Evidence of Special Creative Design.

            An egg looks simple enough — but it is "incredibly complex," from the air space at its end to the twisted cords that suspend the yoke in perfect tension at the eggs center.  The yoke is something like a boat: it is lighter at the top where the germ cell is.  No matter what way the egg is turned, the germ cell, being in the light top section, is always on top, near the warmth of the mother's breast!  The egg shell has tiny funnel-shaped pores that let the embryo breathe. If you varnish an egg, the embryo dies because it needs oxygen that seeps through the pores of the egg. 

            A baby chick starts to breathe with its lungs two days before it is hatched.  There is enough air in the little air space at the end of the egg to keep the chick breathing for just two days.  Then, when the air runs out, the chick jerks its head, and what would seem to be its death struggle, gasping for breath, proves to be the needed agitation of its head, with the temporary hard cone on its soft bill, that breaks the egg shell, and lets the chick get out of its shell!  SUCH AN INGENIOUS ARRANGEMENT THAT CAUSES WHAT WOULD APPEAR TO BE A DEATH STRUGGLE TO TERMINATE IN LIBERATION AND LIFE, IS THE WORK OF AN INTELLIGENT BEING OF VAST RESOURCES OF THOUGHT AND ACHIEVEMENT.

            The Master of all life has so created its various departments as to preserve what we have before referred to — "the balance of nature."  This carefully DESIGNED "balance of nature" can be traced to the very origins of life: eggs; for the NUMBER of eggs wild birds lay varies from one to thirty each season.  Birds which build their nests in protected places usually lay few eggs; on the other hand, domestic fowl, whose eggs are used by man, lay many eggs — obviously so designed for man's benefit!  A quail, whose nest is on the ground where it is subject to more hazards, will lay up to thirty eggs, while the eagle, whose nest is on  a high cliff, or in a tall tree, lays only two eggs.

            Even the color of eggs is well planned by the Supreme Architect — and all with a purpose in view.  Woodpeckers lay white eggs; most other birds lay eggs with colored or spotted shells.  The nests of Woodpeckers are in the dark hollows of trees, and white eggs are more easily seen in a dark place when the mother bird returns from the bright sunlight of the open.  Birds which lay eggs in open nests on the ground usually lay eggs with brown spots.  This makes them look much like stones and clumps of dead plants that surround the nest.  Did the birds select the color of the eggs they lay?  Of course not.  Who did then?  The Great Designer, who wisely created all things.  The red-wing blackbird, which builds its nest in bushes near water or in the tall grasses in the marsh, lays three to five pale-blue eggs, streaked with purple — obviously camouflaged to make them hard to find in their natural surroundings.  Did the red-wing blackbird think up this special color design for its eggs, or did the Creator so plan it to give added protection to the species? 

The Egg of the Murre 

            The egg of the Murre is distinctly pointed at one end — and there is a reason for its odd shape.  The egg of the Murre is often laid on a narrow rock shelf high above the sea, along the coast.  When the wind blows across the rocky shelf, the egg rolls in a small tight circle, with pointed end inward.  Even a strong wind will make the egg spin, but it will NOT roll off the ledge!  Obviously, the Murre did not decide what shape it wanted its eggs to be.  An Intelligence outside the bird did all the designing. 

            (3)  Bird's Nests give convincing Evidence of Special Creative Design

            Of God's creatures, birds show more "personality" than most others.  Their songs, their distinctive beauty, their very nests, reveal individuality of a high order.  And the nature of birds is as different as that of individual men:  some kinds of birds are "cross," some are cheery, some are lazy (e.g. the cuckoo), some are fierce, some are gentle — gentle as a dove — and some are industrious, bundles of energy, as the hummingbird.  Who gave birds their distinctive personality?  If you give evolution the credit, WHAT caused one kind to differ from another when many kinds live in the same environment?

            Let us consider the miracle of VARIETY in bird's nests.  This is a subject of surpassing interest, and causes us to fall in love even more with these fascinating creatures of God's handiwork.  Each species has a characteristic nest!  And the young birds never need to be taught how to build their nest. *

            * All authorities agree, "The first nest a bird ever builds is just as expertly constructed as any made thereafter."

            "Four generations of weaverbirds were bred under artificial conditions in which they never saw a nest or nest material.  Then the FIFTH generation of the birds were set free.  At once they began constructing with unerring skill the complex woven nests of their ancestors! (Alan Devoe).

Who teaches the young bird to build a nest, according to an established pattern?  Though there are literally thousands of types of birds' nests, some simple, some complicated, there is NEVER any deviation from the established style!  This is most amazing, and is evidence of Divine Creation, certainly not of "evolution."

            God made mention of birds' nests in the Bible.  this shows the Divine interest in maintaining "balance in nature," for if mother birds are not protected, and are indiscriminately killed, the insects will greatly multiply, for birds keep down insect populations.  Here is the Biblical reference to birds' nests: 

            "If a bird's nest chances to be before thee. . . .and the dam (mother bird) sitting with the young, or upon the eggs, thou shalt not take the dam with the young; but thou shalt in any wise let the dam go. . . .that it may be well with thee." (Deuteromony 22:6, 7). 

            Nature (the work of God) has been careful to protect birds' nests, not only by obvious efforts to camouflage, but also by keeping the female birds a plain color, drab or brown — while their mates may be dazzling red, yellow blue or white.  The reason is clear: it is usually the female bird that sits on the eggs — so nature keeps the female bird colors plain, to protect the mother, her young and the eggs.  Surely the Hand of God can be seen in such obvious provisions in nature!  For the same reason eggs frequently are given protective coloring. 

            "The speckled eggs of the piping plover, laid in a slight hollow of a beach,  are almost invisible to the passerby because of their coloring and pattern, WHICH MAKE THEM APPEAR TO BE A PART OF THE SHELL STREWN GROUND."  They were planned that way, don't you think?

             As we describe some of the more interesting birds' nests, note how many of them are intended to conceal the nest or camouflage it or merge it into its surroundings — all, of course, for the protection of the birds and their eggs and their young.

            The PLACES where birds build their nests vary greatly.  Most nests are built in trees or bushes and are shaped like a cup; but some choose the grass, others sand, or even rock.  Some dig into a clay bank, others select the eaves of houses, some build inside the trunks of trees and others choose dark and foreboding caves.

            There is also great variety in the selection of MATERIALS out of which they build their nests.  Some use sticks laid crosswise.  Others use grass, stems, roots, moss, yarn, feathers, horsehair, and even mud.

            The examples of peculiar birds' nests we give here will bear out this statement by Alan Devoe:

            "Birds' nests are often so elaborate that it is almost impossible to believe such skill can be instinctive.."

            Some birds, such as the megapods of Australia, lay their eggs in sand.  In Australia also lives a strange race of birds called mound builders, or "brush turkeys."

            "The cock Brush turkey in spring walks backward in circles, kicking the fallen leaves as he goes until he raises a mound at least six feet high, and many yards in circumference, and often weighing as much as FIVE TONS.  In this heap several hen turkeys lay their eggs, and there the eggs stay until the heat of the sun and the warmth of the rotting rubbish hatch them — just as alligator's eggs are hatched."

            Who CREATED the type of egg that would hatch under such adverse conditions?  And who taught the father and the mother bird their respective duties — the one to make the huge mound, the other to lay her eggs in it?  Did such a devious scheme of hatching "just happen?"  Of course not; it was so planned.

            We might mention further, concerning these mound nests, that "the birds have to lay their eggs (in these mounds) at a time when the temperature is remarkably uniform" — otherwise, the eggs would never hatch.  Who teaches the birds the need of selecting the proper TIME OF YEAR to lay their eggs in "mounds?"

            Emperor Penguins have the most unusual nest of all.

            "The single egg rests on top of the bird's feet, tucked under a feather flap that hangs down from the lower belly.  Before going to the ocean to feed the incubating bird stands close to its mate; the egg is transferred to the mate's feet and tucked under the flap there!"

            Who put that flap on BOTH father and mother penguin, that they might take turns going to the ocean to feed?  This is only one of a million evidences that God provides for all His creatures.  He so made them that they would not lack food. 

            "Behold the fowls of the air; for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your HEAVENLY FATHER FEEDETH THEM."  (Matthew 6:26). 

            The nest of the FLYCATCHER is a beautiful, symmetrical structure:  it resembles the horn of plenty.

            One of the most remarkable of all nests is that of the TAILOR-BIRD.  These birds actually sew large leaves together with fibers — using their beaks as needles!

            The long-tailed TITMOUSE builds a bottle-shaped nest, skillfully woven from the cotton-like down of the willow.  The PENDULUM TITMOUSE goes one better, and suspends its nest from a flexible willow branch!

            The nest of the BAYA SPARROW is designed to give the parents a chance to think things over if they quarrel!  The nest is built with TWO entrances, one for mother and one for father, and the nest contains separate rooms!  So, when they are not on speaking terms, they can pout in the seclusion of their own rooms! 

            The CHIMNEY SWIFT builds a nest of twigs by gluing them to the inside of a hollow tree or a chimney not in use.  He pastes the nest to the wall with a sticky material from his mouth.  WHERE DID HE GET THE GLUE FACTORY IN HIS MOUTH?  And why does the chimney swift have such a glue factory and other birds do not?  To try to explain this phenomenon by "natural selection" or "random mutations" is ridiculous.

            The RUFUS FANTAIL makes a curious nest at the fork of two tree branches; it decorates its nest by attaching a tassel that dangles from the bottom of the nest — and the next generation, and the next, and the next, WILL BUILD THE SAME TYPE OF A NEST!  No one knows why, except — GOD MADE THEM SO!

            The red OVENBIRD of Argentina builds nests of mud, mixed with a binding material.  It builds a domed nest out of mud, with hair and rootlets added.  It constructs an entrance chamber on one side, then a curved passage to an inner chamber which is lined with dry grass.  Here it lays its white eggs. 

The Superb Achievement of the Oriole 

            The BALTIMORE ORIOLE builds a deep, purse-like nest that dangles lightly from the descending outermost twigs of a tree.  Its nest "is among the most complicated known to man."  Many thousands of shuttlelike movements of the oriole's bill are needed to produce the thousands of stitches, knots and loops found in the average oriole's nest.  When completed, the nest looks like a small hammock.  It is so well made that it often hangs on a tree for years without being broken by winds or storms.  This one bird's nest knocks out the theory of evolution.

            But the KINGFISHER, we are told, "through thousands and thousands of years" of the "workings of evolution," came to a different conclusion as to the relative merits of nests and nesting.  He decided to build a nest in the side of a bank; so he digs a tunnel four to twelve feet into a bank along a stream.  At the end of the tunnel he builds his nest — out of fish scales and bones that he has partly digested and regurgitated!

            But the saucy WOODPECKER frowns on such an idea as building his nest in mud.  So he chisels out a hole in solid wood (and he has the beak to do it with) "as round as if measured with a compass."  First he goes downward at an angle for about six inches, and then he goes directly down for about ten inches more. He is careful, while building his capacious home, to carry the chips away from the tree and scatter them at some distance to divert suspicion.  AND THE NEXT GENERATION OF WOODPECKERS WILL FOLLOW THE SAME PATTERN!  One can readily see that the woodpecker was MADE to dig a nest in wood, and the oriole's bill was MADE to weave with, and the kingfishers beak and feet were MADE to dig with!  The problem is as simple as that:  each species is MADE to perform as it does.  Why complicate the matter with much mystery and theorizing?  Why not accept the simple obvious fact that WHERE THERE IS CLEAR EVIDENCE OF DESIGN FOR AN INTENDED PURPOSE A DESIGNER DID THE DESIGNING.  The only Designer who could create such an involved system of life as we find in this world is the Almighty.

            Consider next this phenomenon:  Without "overseer or master" a colony of a hundred to two hundred African WEAVERS will get together and build a gigantic, mushroom-shaped mass which turns out eventually to be a veritable "bird apartment house."  Each individual nest in this huge conglomerate mass is entered from below.  Future generations may add to the mass, until eventually "the whole thing may collapse from sheer weight and crash to the ground — tree and all!" 

The Henpecked Female HORNBILL   

            We speak — that is, we men do — of the "henpecked man."  But nature provides the spectacle of a "henpecked female."  (The phrase doesn't sound right; but anyhow, you know what we mean). 

            "The male of the African HORNBILL walls up the opening to the nest in a hollow tree with mud, until ONLY THE FEMALE'S BILL CAN BE PROTRUDED.  He keeps her locked up in the small nest; he then proceeds to bring her all her food, and likewise that for the young later on.  And she remains a prisoner there UNTIL HER YOUNG ARE NEARLY FULL GROWN."

            Most females are patient, but not THAT patient, by nature.  How, in the course of a thousand million years, did that male ever persuade his wife to submit to SUCH tyranny?  And why, in the name of self-preservation, did he WANT to assume the task of providing food daily for his imprisoned wife and children, when at times the task wears him out to the point of complete exhaustion, and even death?  Such oddities in nature just do not make sense, until we realize that GOD MADE THEM SO, for reasons best known to Himself!  "Natural evolution" could not persuade a female to permit herself to be penned in like that!  Such freaks in nature as the "imprisoned female African hornbill" can not be accounted for other than on the basis of Divine Creation.

            We could write page after page on such bird's nests as the swallow's nest of mud, built under the eaves of barns; of the "expanding nests" of some species of hummingbirds who use spider's web in the construction "so their nests will stretch with the growth of their young!"  Of the nest of the Toddy bird that looks like a miniature canoe!  Such miracles are more than strange; they are prevalent in nature to attract our attention to this fact: there is a Master Designer Who has worked in the shadow behind the strange workings of "nature." 

            (4)  Peculiar Birds that Defy the Rules, and bear Witness to God and Creation

            Among the "roughly 25,000 species and subspecies of birds" (Carl Welty's estimate, in the Scientific American)  there are innumerable oddities and strange specimens in the world of birds that defy explanation.  One must just accept them — as part of God's vast creation.  There are birds that talk; bower birds that go through an intricate procedure of building a BOWER where the male courts the female; birds of great beauty, like the cockatoo, the peacock and the birds of paradise; there are birds that are scavengers and birds that are pure killers.  Let us consider some of these interesting kinds of STRANGE BIRDS that bear witness to God and Creation. 

            (A)  The Water OUZEL: "the Bird of Three Elements"

            "Though the ouzel is 'the most buoyant bird in all the records of ornithology' and can float on the surface of water like grease, seeming to ride just above the water, instead of partly in it, the hidden observer is startled to see the water ouzel suddenly descend into the swift stream LIKE A LEAD SINKER!  Then this strange creature of three worlds — land, air and water — WALKS about on the bottom, as though he were made of iron instead of flesh and bones." 

             This seemingly miraculous conduct is possible only because of special equipment that the ouzel has — and this argues for the fact of specific and special creation.  The bird is provided with a special muscular apparatus that instantly exhausts the air from all its body, and gives it the weight needed to sink in swift water, and to stay down!  Then when it comes to the bank it fills its body with air and so instantly regains its lost buoyancy, and floats away on the surface of the stream as though it never did anything else!  To fly at will, float on the water or sink like a stone into the water and walk along the bottom of a stream requires DESIGNING from some Master Artisan, Evolution would match God if it alone could achieve such marvels. 

            (B)  The Accommodating HONEY - GUIDE of Africa

            "The honey-bird of Africa, a bird no larger than a sparrow, will deliberately lead men or honeybadgers to a bee's nest, twittering loudly to them as it does so, while they respond with calls or grunts (as the case may be) to show that they are following.  The association is obviously of benefit to both parties: the bird cannot break into the nest itself, but the men or badgers can, and are bound to leave enough honey and grubs around to satisfy a small bird." (The Living Sea; page 124). 

            Who gave the honey-guide such wisdom?  Who first taught it to do this?  To say that it is "instinct" and that instinct is the "congealed actions of centuries" explains nothing — for what force first caused "actions" to become repetitive?  And why did one bird turn out to be a honey-guide and another a falcon, for example?  The whole mysterious realm of nature can not be explained by such trite phrases as "congealed actions" and "random mutations."   In the honey-guide we find a behaviour pattern that is certain, yet static, with no evidence whatever of having come about through a gradual process.  The honey-guide seems to have intelligence above instinct; but it is an intelligence that is instinctive that God gave it. 

            (C)  The KIWI:  New Zealand's Wonder Bird

            The "National Geographic" gives this vivid description of the incredible Kiwi: 

            "Impossible!" insisted British scientists in 1813 when they first learned of New Zealand's unique bird — the flightless kiwi. . . .Only when the skin (of a kiwi) was exhibited in a British museum would skeptics admit the existence of this strange inhabitant of the antipodes.

            Little wonder that Britain's men of science at first considered the report in a class with stories of the mythical mermaid and the unicorn.  Who had ever heard of a bird WITH WHISKERS LIKE A CAT'S and with NOSTRILS AT THE TIP OF ITS LONG, CURVED BEAK?  Where else lived a bird THAT BURROWS LIKE A GROUNDHOG and LAYS AN EGG EQUAL TO ONE-QUARTER OF ITS OWN WEIGHT?  Who indeed had seen a bird with NO TAIL and with useless inch-long wings hidden beneath a coat of silky hairlike feathers? 

            And yet — there it was.  Apteryx australis, they decided to call this utterly surprising creature.  The first name means "wingless."  It is a natural wonder, rivaling Australia's duck-billed platypus.  The shy kiwi differs almost as much from its flightless relatives as it does from birds in general.

            There are other notable features of this rare creature:  the fact that the male incubates the egg, then turns the chick loose to fend for itself.  Then too, though it has sturdy clawed feet, "it can move as silently as a rat."

            Like the platypus, the kiwi defies all so-called "laws" of evolution!  It is impossible to trace its ancestry, according to evolutionists' concepts.  Here are some unanswerable questions:  From whence did the kiwi inherit its ability to lay such a huge egg?  No other bird lays an egg proportionately as large as that of the kiwi.  From whence did it get its strange feathers, true feathers, but entirely different in style from those of other birds.  Why does it have nostrils at the end of its long beak — and in addition, why is the end of its beak a highly sensitive organ of touch?  Evolution can not trace its descent from any other animal: it is such a conglomerate creature NO DIRECT CONNECTION WITH ANY OTHER GENUS IS IN EVIDENCE.

(Typists Note:  New Zealand's kiwi population is on the verge of extinction because of ferrets people have had as pets being let go, and they are killing the chicks.  Keeping Ferrets as pets is about to become banned.) 

            (D)  PENGUINS:  Birds of the Antarctic that Resemble Men in Dress Suits.  They swim but do not fly.

            Penguins are among the world's best witnesses to how God in creation has adapted animals to a hostile environment.  Living in one of the coldest sections of the world, where they have neither seeds nor insects to live on as most other birds have, penguins are PERFECTLY ADAPTED TO SURVIVE IN AN EXTREMELY HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT.  Were they not equipped as they are, they could not endure the rigors of the Antarctic for a month, much less a season.  IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR A LESS HARDY BIRD GRADUALLY TO "ADAPT" ITSELF TO SUCH RIGORS OF CLIMATE:  it would die a million deaths in the "gradual" process demanded by evolution — and never attain "adaptation" through "random changes."  Consider these marvels of "adaptation" that God endowed the penguins with.  (The facts here quoted are from an article in December, 1957, "Scientific American," by William J. L. Sladen, page 45).

            "The penguins almost certainly ORIGINATED in the Antarctic region, for fossil penguins found in that area of the world go back to early in the Tertiary Period (i.e., some 50 million years ago)." 

            This is a confession damaging to the evolutionists.  In the first place, it excludes any descent from birds who formerly lived in temperate climates.  In the second place, it establishes, what we have before stated, the FIXITY of genera; for Dr. Sladen believes that fossils prove the genera to have REMAINED UNCHANGED FOR AT LEAST 50 million years!  So, if there has been no evolutionary change in the last 50 million years, WHEN will evolution go to work on the penguins?

             "The penguin's body is beautifully adapted to its life in cold waters.  Unlike other birds, it is almost completely covered with feathers.  Its dense coat of short, stiff feathers, overlapping almost like scales, gives it excellent insulation against heat loss."

             And now we read further of a most interesting provision God made for the benefit of their progeny.

             "The only piece of bare skin on its whole body is a very narrow strip on its abdomen which widens to about an inch and a half WHEN THE BIRD INCUBATES ITS EGG and becomes grown over with feathers again after the eggs are hatched."

             Penguins (the Adelie species) seem to display INTELLIGENCE in the construction of their nests, made out of stone.  This is what they do:

             "They build a nest of stones. . . . The purpose of the nest, in part, IS TO KEEP THE EGGS ABOVE WATER when snow falls on the nest and melts."  Did the penguins figure this out, or, DID GOD, THE CREATOR, PLAN IT SO WHEN HE MADE THEM?

             Because penguins, living in the Antarctic, have no seeds, grasses, plants, worms or insects to live on, God "adapted" them for survival under such hard conditions by enabling them to LIVE ON SEA FOOD, AND YET HAVE THEIR ROOKERIES INLAND.  This is a most amazing "adaptation."

             "Emperor penguins arrive at their breeding quarters around the middle of March at the beginning of the Antarctic winter.  It takes two months to incubate the eggs, and the male does all the sitting himself, while the female feeds at sea.  At hatching time the female returns (travelling sometimes 50 to 60 miles over the trackless wilds of that frost and ice-bitten area) and finds her mate, though there is no nest, and proceeds to feed her chick.  The family maintains its unity in spite of long separation in an icy wilderness without any fixed home.  The dedication and endurance of the father are also quite remarkable.  HE GOES WITHOUT FOOD THROUGH THE COLD ANTARCTIC WINTER FOR A PERIOD OF ABOUT THREE AND A HALF MONTHS."  This is a approximately 105 days.  And that is while the bird is active, and NOT in a state of hibernation.  As far as we know, this feat is unparalleled in nature, at least among birds, whose appetites all ornithologists know to be ravenous.

             That feat — going foodless for 105 days in the extreme cold of the Antarctic — demands a miracle of construction that could be achieved ONLY by One of super ability and super intelligence.

            We might add, for the reader's information, that penguins live on ocean krill, a small shrimp, which is also the main diet of many species of whales.

            Actually, there are scores of other amazing "adaptations" that all point to the inevitable conclusion:  Someone who knew what He was doing, created the penguin to MEET THE EXTREME CONDITIONS OF ITS HABITAT.  The penguins HAD to be made as they are to survive in their hostile environment.

            It is interesting to learn too that the parent penguin who returns to the rookery from the sea, ALSO FEEDS THE BABY PENGUIN.  This it does by regurgitating food from its own supply, held in store in its body for this very purpose.

            Can you think of anything more wonderful than God's amazing provision for FOOD for the penguins and their young?  Can you think of an "adaptation" more amazing than that which gives the penguin the ability to go 105 days WITHOUT FOOD, and survive and remain well, in the dead of winter of intense cold, while the bird is actively engaged in taking care of its one egg?

            It is interesting that the Emperor penguin, that does NOT build a nest of stones, has its own marvelous nest, a "built-in" arrangement, that most certainly reveals Divine forethought in creation and perfection of DESIGN for an intended purpose.

             "The emperor penguins incubate their single egg between their feet as they stand upright, A FLAP OF LOOSE SKIN (especially made for this purpose) COVERING AND PROTECTING THE PRECIOUS EGG FROM THE INTENSE COLD OF THE ANTARCTIC WINTER."  ("Strange Animals at the Zoo").  (Caps ours).

            It is easy to see the handiwork of God in such an obvious "adaptation."

             (E)  The Common, yet Uncommon, WOODPECKER — A Miracle Exhibit in perfect Adaptation for an Intended Purpose.  It has been called "Nature's Power Drill."

            The woodpecker lives in a far more friendly environment than the penguin — nevertheless, the woodpecker reveals in its structure amazing "adaptation" to what the Creator designed it for.

             "Woodpeckers are highly specialized for their tree-climbing and grub-hunting activities.  Their feet are strong and equipped with sharp, curved claws.  Two toes on each foot are directed forward, while the other two point to the rear, thus making an effective pincer for grasping the bark of the trees.  (Three-toed woodpeckers have only one hind toe on each foot).  The feathers of the tail are stiff and end in sharp spines.  These spines are pressed against the ridges in the bark of tree trunks and branches and help prop the bird as it digs for grubs or excavates a nesting site.

            "The woodpecker's head is large and its neck short and powerful, enabling the bird to deliver rapid and forceful blows with its stout beak.  This beak, with its chisel shaped tip, is an EFFECTIVE WOOD-CUTTING TOOL.  With it, the bird penetrates the bark and wood of trees, where wood-boring grubs, hibernating insects and insect eggs are to be found.  Once a small hole is made, the woodpecker's tongue dislodges the insect prey.  The tongue is long and slender and can be protruded a considerable distance from the mouth; its tip is usually pointed and BARBED and is COVERED WITH AN ADHESIVE SECRETION." 

            No intelligent person can study the tongue of a woodpecker without realizing that it is well designed for an intended purpose.  This "flying power drill" has been called "natures most baffling bird." 

            "How a woodpecker can violently slam its head against solid wood hundreds of times a minute without knocking its brains out, or at least getting punch-drunk, still remains a mystery.  Scientists think the secret may be in the structure of the woodpecker's skull, which is constructed with a set of tiny cross braces. . . .which seem to give the skull more flexibility."

            One of the favorite foods of the woodpecker is the beetle.  At certain times there are more beetles than he can eat — so, wise old bird that he is, he "stores" the extra beetles ALIVE in a neatly designed and constructed "prison" and so keeps a supply of FRESH food on hand!  Now note the woodpecker's uncanny ability:

            "The woodpecker knows how to estimate and drill EXACTLY the right size hole, so that he can squeeze the live beetle into the hole and yet not permit it to worm its way out!  If he makes the hole too little, he couldn't get the insect in; and if he made it too big, the insect would be able to wriggle its way to freedom."  Such a situation of course demands a very close "tolerance" — to use a machinist's expression.  THE UNBELIEVABLE WOODPECKER CAN DO THAT VERY THING!  And, remember, the woodpecker has to change its calculations for EACH beetle it puts into live storage — for all beetles differ some in size and shape.

             Surely, every woodpecker in the world is a LIVING WITNESS to the fact that GOD MADE IT AS IT IS.  Evolution can in no wise explain how the woodpecker got its unique tongue, its specially constructed tail, its designed feet, and above all, its marvelous chisel-like beak!  That such amazing equipment, differing from that given to other birds, would have been perfected through long ages of "gradual change" is a preposterous assumption without valid reason for acceptance.  We repeat what we have said so often before: ANY SPECIALIZED ORGAN — like the tongue, or the beak, or the tail of the woodpecker — MUST BE PERFECT BEFORE IT SERVES ITS INTENDED PURPOSE.  A beak that is only "half" developed to serve as a chisel, or a tail that is only "partially" developed to aid in climbing a tree, or a tongue only 10% long enough to reach a grub hidden inside the trunk of a tree, is absolutely USELESS.  The "specialized organs" that all creatures have, had to be PERFECT from the beginning — otherwise they are worthless and impractical.

            "IF such "specialized organs" came to pass through the processes of gradual change, due to "random mutations," what good purpose did they serve while they were in the PROCESS of developing?  And what did the poor creature do UNTIL its specialized organ was fully developed?  AND WHERE IN ALL NATURE IS THERE ONE EXAMPLE — just one — OF A PARTIALLY DEVELOPED SPECIALIZED ORGAN THAT IS NOT A USEFUL ORGAN IN ITS PRESENT STATE?

             (F)  The FALCON — Nature's Great Display of "Controlled Power"

            A peregrine flacon "normally kills its prey by climbing above its victim, then 'swooping' on its quarry like a thunderbolt.  A split second before the impact the talons are brought into position.  AND THEN THE STRIKE.  The long, needle-sharp hind claw shears through the flesh and bone and, amid a puff of feathers, the prey falls to the earth. . . . The peregrine falcon can strike its prey with such force that it knocks its prey clean in half." (Nature Parade, page 209).

            "Watch the master flier of them all, the peregrine falcon, also called the duck hawk.  Many times I have seen one, high above me, turn its nose downward, give a mighty flap for thrust, then close its wings and plummet toward the earth like a hurled stone with incredible speed.  Suddenly there is an exploding puff of feathers as the falcon strikes a bird with its large clawed fist.  The prey is usually killed outright.  But then comes the most amazing maneuver of all:  the falcon darts under the falling bird, flips over on its back and catches the prey neatly in its talons!  HERE IS ONE OF THE GREAT DISPLAYS OF CONTROLLED POWER IN NATURE." ("The Truth about Hawks."  Aubudon Magazine;  article by Peter Farb). 

            Could such effective "streamlining" in a body, such co-ordination, such masterly control, such POWER, come to pass as the result of "chance mutations" — or, do we see in the peregrine falcon a perfect adaptation for a desired end, and hence, A DEMONSTRATION OF WHAT GOD HAS ACCOMPLISHED IN CREATION. 

            (G)  The Strange Antics of BOWER BIRDS: bizarre and "seemingly thoughtful Activities."

            In our discussions we often have called attention to actions of animals that SEEM to suggest intelligent, thoughtful activities, as though the animals had planned a course of action deliberately, as the result of careful consideration as to what was wise and best. 

            The male Bower bird seems to follow a course of "thoughtful activity" in its unusual procedure in its courting.  The facts we present here are from an article in the Scientific American, on BOWER BIRDS, by A. J. Marshall.  We quote: 

            "In the 1840's, a Captain Stokes came upon a peculiar object in the wild bush of western Australia.  It was a neat structure consisting of two parallel walls of sticks stuck in the earth, forming a little avenue.  the avenue and its entrances were paved with a scattering of white shells.  The captain at first decided that it had been built by some aboriginal Australian mother to amuse her child. . . . Later in his voyage settlers showed him another 'playhouse' like the one he had seen.  This one was occupied by its builder and owner — a gray, pink-crested male bird about the size of a small pigeon, called the BOWER BIRD.

            "Captain Stokes' report on the incident was one of the first accounts of a phenomenon that has continued to perplex scientists to this day.

            "Later, as Australia was populated, bower birds gained a fabulous reputation: their bowers were found strewn not only with shells, pebbles, bones, bits of precious opal and pieces of quartz, . . .but also bits of broken glass, nails, beer-bottle tops, and brass cartridge cases!"

             Some bower birds build the bowers like a maypole; others build in the form of a pyramid which may reach up to nine feet high;  yet others build their bowers in the form of a conical hut; and others add a low stockade to their hut!  What is even more curious, "some bower birds actually paint the inside walls of their bowers."

            How complicated these procedures in the building of "bowers" may become is seen in this quotation.

             "The blue-black satin bower bird paints the inner twigs of its avenue bower sometimes with charcoal.  This charcoal painting is a ritual of fascinating complexity in which it uses a tool of its own making.  the bird first collects charcoal (from charred trees, burned by forest fires) and grinds it up in its beak to a sticky black paste.  Then it selects a fragment of bark and fashions a tiny oval wad.  This is used as a stopper to keep its beak slightly open and allows the charcoal stain to ooze from the sides of the beak.  The bird then vigorously smears the stain on the twigs of its bower. . . .ALL THIS HAS BEEN OBSERVED AND PHOTOGRAPHED. . . .Other bower birds plaster the inner twigs of the bower with fruit or grass mixed with saliva."

             THE MALE BOWER BIRD DOES ALL THIS TO ATTRACT A FEMALE TO HIS SIDE.  But whatever the factors may be that cause the female to come to him, they work out so that reproduction occurs at the time of the year that is most propitious for the survival of the young!

            The male actually seems to PLAN  how he can influence and win a bride!  And he goes to a great extreme to build an attractive, inviting "bower" where he invites the female for the solemnities of courtship.  It is one of the most involved courtship rituals in all nature.

            How are we to explain the apparent "thoughtful activities" involved in the construction of the bower?  The "intelligence" is NOT inherent in the mind of the bird, but is given by Divine Creation so cleverly that it SEEMS to be more the result of native intelligence rather than a gift from the Creator in the form of instinct.

            The point is: SUCH AN INVOLVED PROCESS CANNOT BE ATTRIBUTED MERELY TO "INSTINCT" BUT MUST BE SEEN AS A WORK OF DIVINE CREATION.  Instinct that results in such involved construction and actions subsequent to construction cannot be accounted for by any theory of evolution that we know about.  It MUST be the work of a Supreme Architect who built into the very nature of the bower bird the "machinery" that causes it to build a characteristic bower generation after generation, even when not influenced by watching other birds build their bowers!  EVERY BOWER BIRD IN AUSTRALIA IS A WITNESS TO GOD AND DIVINE CREATION.

  (H)  The HUMMINGBIRD: God's Perfect Little Helicopter

            The smallest bird in the world is the "fairy hummingbird" found in Cuba.  It measures only 2¼ inches from the tip of its bill to the tip of its tail, and weighs but a fraction of an ounce.  The majority of the 580 species and sub-species are tiny birds under four inches in length.  The hummingbird cannot walk (it uses its feet only for perching), so it has to fly to get about.

             Most birds are, aerodynamically, the most perfect flying machines on earth.  The hummingbird, in addition, is the only perfect HELICOPTER.  His wings are attached to his shoulders in such a way that he can poise motionless in the air, and he can fly in any direction, forward, sidewise, up, down — and even backward, a feat no other bird can do.  (Coronet Magazine).

            While hovering, a ruby-throated hummingbird beats it wings up to 75 times PER SECOND.  In addition to backward flight, the hummingbird has achieved the aerodynamic miracle of sideways flight. . which it does with no appearance of difficulty." ("Nature Parade," page 206).

             The hummingbird has many other unique features that set it apart as a SPECIAL WITNESS FOR GOD AND CREATION.

            We mention its wise way of building its nest.

             By using a spider web as the framework of her nest, the mother hummingbird has a home that is strong and can be expanded easily.  When she builds its, the nest is little more than half an inch across on the inside.  As the babies grow they push against the sides, stretching the flexible spider web, and the nest becomes larger with them!

             Let us ask:  Who gave the tiny hummingbird the ability to hover in the air without moving in any direction, and to fly in any direction, and to fly sidewise and even backwards — feats no other bird can accomplish?  And Who gave both the wisdom and the ability to the little hummingbird to make an expanding nest for its growing babies, so that they always had a nest that is the right size, no matter how old or young they are?  And Who made each species of hummingbird static in its abilities, instincts and peculiar characteristics, so that generation after generation (instead of exhibiting a gradual change) they stay virtually the same?  GOD is the only answer.

             (1)  GERMAN WARBLERS:  Sky Navigators Par Excellece

            In the August, 1953, issue of the "Scientific American" Magazine is a revelatory article by E. G. F. Sauer, ornithologist at the University of Freiburg, Germany.  These facts are quoted from Mr. Sauer's article.

             Each Fall, the little German garden warbler, weighing barely three-quarters of an ounce, sets off one night on an unbelievable journey.  All alone (never in the collective security of a flock) it wings its solitary way southward over Germany, France and Spain and then swings south to its distant goal in southern Africa.  It flies on unerringly, covering a hundred miles or more in a single night, never once stopping in its course, certain of its goal.  In the spring it takes off again and northward retraces its path to its nesting place in a German or Scandinavian thicket — there to hatch a new generation of little warblers which will grow up, and WITHOUT BEING TAUGHT, will have the self-same capacity to follow the same route across continents and oceans by the map of the stars!

             To discover how they oriented themselves Prof. Sauer and his assistants experiment with warblers in cages with a glass opening at the top, so that they could see part of the sky, but nothing else of their surroundings.  They also tested the birds in a cage placed in a planetarium — that is with a dome, showing an artificial replica of the natural starry sky — and they found that when the stars were hidden either in the real sky or in the planetarium by thick clouds the birds became completely disoriented and confused.  Their experiments proved conclusively that these birds were guided only by the stars in their long semi-annual migrations.  The behaviour of the warblers, in these special studies,

             "leaves no doubt that the warblers have a remarkable hereditary mechanism for orienting themselves by the stars — a detailed image of the starry configuration of the sky coupled with a precise time sense which relates the heavenly canopy to the geography of the earth AT EVERY TIME AND SEASON. *

            * Mr. Sauer's amazing experiments and discoveries throw light on at least PART of the meaning of Genesis 1:14:  "And God said, let there be lights in the firmament of heaven. . . . and let them be for SIGNS, and for seasons. . . "    'We know," quoting Sauer again, "that the warblers ARE NOT THE ONLY CREATURES possessing this gift (of being able to be guided by the stars):  other birds, insects, crabs and spiders have been found by experiment to be capable OF GUIDING THEMSELVES BY THE SUN OR STARS."

            And our confidence in the Bible, the Word of God, is confirmed by this startling fact: ages before the modern era of scientific investigation, that has brought these facts to light, THE BIBLE TOLD US THAT GOD PUT THE CONSTELLATIONS IN THE HEAVENS TO BE FOR "SIGNS."  Birds and insects and many other animals find guidance from the stars in their local or worldwide peregrinations or flights.  Men of course also use the stars as well as the sun for guidance by day and by night.

            At their very first glimpse of the sky the birds automatically know the right direction.  WITHOUT BENEFIT OF PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE, with no cue except the stars, the birds are able to locate themselves in time and space to find their destined homes."

            Prof. Sauer continues, giving us more of the "mystery" in this phenomenon:  "Even more difficult to explain is the mystery of how the birds ever came to rely on celestial navigation and to develop their skill in the first place. . . .What evolutionary process was it that endowed these animals with the highly sophisticated ability to READ THE STARS?"  (Caps ours).

             No wonder Prof. Sauer questions how "evolution" could perform such a miracle in these birds and other animals, some of practically no intelligence (to wit) the crab.  We, too, question the ability of "evolution" to accomplish such marvels.  But we have the answer that evolutionists reject — but it is the only answer that really explains these incredible phenomena: GOD MADE THEM SO.  What evolution could not possibly accomplish in a billion ages, GOD DID IN INSTANTANEOUS CREATION.

            The entirely inadequate thinking of many evolutionists is set forth in the suggestion advanced (so it is reported) by Mr. Huxley.

             "Six monkeys set to strumming unintelligently on typewriters for millions of years would be bound to write in time all the books of the British Museum,"  He was working on the thesis that the Law of Probability will produce anything, only given time enough.  But Huxley was wrong — wrong as he could be.  It takes INTELLIGENCE to write books — say for example, Shakespeare's 35 plays and 154 sonnets.  *

            * Young people in our schools today are being mislead by this same sophistry.  They are told, "Given enough time, and the Law of Probability — the Law of Chance — will produce anything.  This is untrue.  INTELLIGENCE is necessary to produce an intelligent composition;  limitless time and "chance" can never produce, or reproduce, an essay with an intelligent message.

             You and I know that six monkeys could pound typewriters — yea, 6,000 monkeys could pound typewriters — for all eternity AND NEVER PRODUCE ONE OF SHAKESPEARE'S SONNETS OR PLAYS, for the simple reason that the INTELLIGENCE to create his works is lacking in monkeys.

            And in Huxley's illustration we find the fundamental error of most evolutionists: they believe that given sufficient time, ANY AND ALL PHENOMENA OF THE PLANT AND ANIMAL KINGDOMS PRODUCE THEMSELVES.  But we all know that one can shake a barrel of printer's type for untold ages and unless guided by INTELLIGENCE they will NEVER — no NEVER — assemble themselves into the Lord's Prayer, Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice," or any other intelligent literary creation.  If intelligence is lacking, the Law of Probability (or chance) will not produce an orderly creation.  It can produce nothing but jumbled chaos.  The orderly "designs" in nature and the intelligent "adaptations" and the marvelous "instincts" and characteristics that have been given to birds, animals and insects, far beyond their limited intelligence, PROVE the fact of a Supreme Creator.

The BEAUTY of Birds Witnesses for GOD

             Beauty is found in many realms of nature:  consider the exquisite beauty of many flowers, the loveliness of many insects, especially butterflies and moths.  No artist or photographer can possibly do justice to the striking beauty of the jewel-like tones of every shade of the rainbow as seen in various species of moths and butterflies! In some, while in flight, the most striking thing is the way the colors shift and change, varying with the angle of the light or the eye of the observer.  This subtle play of color reflected from the wings of a butterfly is called "structural color." produced by the ultramicroscopic structures on the tiny scales on its wings.  Consider also the many scores of kinds of brilliantly colored tropical fish, moving about coral reefs.  There is a fascinating beauty also in the grace of movement of fish and in the seemingly effortless speed with which they move through the water.

            Nor should we forget the beauty in gems.  No one can say of that beauty that it is there to "attract the opposite sex" or to attract insects to insure pollination as in certain flowers.  In gems beauty is there for beauty's sake!  Who that has seen it has not been charmed by the marvelous transformation of certain minerals and gems under the spell of black light?  In a dark room a ruby, when put under artificial light, will glow as though on fire.  The moonstone is famed for a bluish-white play of light; the sunstone for a brilliant play of reflections.  In Labrador spar appear all the colors of a peacock's feathers.  And who is not fascinated by the glow of a large blue-white diamond, rightly cut!  Can any one deny that such displays of beauty are reflections of the Creator's love of beauty?  The fact that there is beauty in nature and that men have the capacity to enjoy it, proves that nature is not a meaningless farce that just "happened," but is rather the well-planned result of the Creator's intelligent work.

            But of all things beautiful in the world, what can surpass the beauty of birds?  What can outdo the peacock for grandeur of display? *

            * One author says, "the peacock's feathers show a repeated and resplendent pattern, produced by the united effect of the combination of distinct and different tints, marked at fixed distances that are minutely fractional, on each separate spray of each feather; and each point in each spray requires a different development to produce the harmonious over-all effect of the glorious peacock's feathers."  (Number in Nature).  There are trillions of chances to one AGAINST such symmetry, such careful, minutely accurate structural planning, with a definite design of beauty, being the result of blind force, which can neither see colors, not take account of measured space, nor delight in the overall result.  SUCH BEAUTY, SUCH SYMMETRY, SUCH UNFAILING DESIGN IN MINUTE DETAIL JUST COULDN'T HAPPEN BY CHANCE:  such a result had to be planned and the plan had to be executed by One able to plan and able to perform. 

What can supersede, for symmetry and sheer finery, the gorgeous tail of the Australian lyrebird?  Were they not real, no artist in the world could conceive such matchless beauty as is found in the amazing Birds of Paradise of New Guinea.  Some of the 18 species have "all the colors of the rainbow nicely blended."  The Magnificent Bird of Paradise has an iridescent green vest with a sickle tail.  In addition to their striking colors, in various combinations, Birds of Paradise have the remarkable distinction of their peerless plumage, which take the form of delicate aigrettes, copious capes and ruffs, waving plumes and odd shaped "wires" adornments are really strange:  for example, one species has a peculiar green rolled ornament on the ends of its long tail wires.  No one knows WHY all these lovely adornments, except that GOD MADE THEM THAT WAY.

            There are of course a thousand and one other beauties in the world of birds.  The Red-headed Woodpecker is a showy bird.  The Mary-land Yellow-throat is a striking figure, with his bright and various colored feathers.  The Black Swan has been described as "a royal bird of grace and beauty."  The Roseate Spoonbill of Texas is most impressive.  Orioles and Cockatoos, Motmots and Tanagers, Jays and Warblers, Bluebirds and Goldfinches, Terns and Swallows, Kites and Bitterns — all have a characteristic beauty all their own.  WHY SUCH A VAST DISPLAY OF BEAUTY IN NATURE, especially in the world of birds?  GOD MADE IT SO!  To think that this beauty, this endless variety of loveliness, came about through processes of evolution, is without foundation.  It is the handiwork of the Master Artist, the One whose every movement is rhythm and who loves music and song. 

The SONGS of Birds Witness to the Creator 

            John Burroughs, famous naturalist, hit the nail on the head when he wrote,

             "The songs of most birds have some HUMAN significance, which I think is the source of the delight we take in them. * The song of the bobolink to me expresses hilarity; the sparrow's song, faith; the bluebird's, love; the cat-bird's, pride; the white-eyed fly-catcher's, self-consciousness; that of the hermit thrush, spiritual serenity; while there is something military in the call of the robin."  (Green Treasury, page 521).

            * Evolutionists teach that the singing of birds is caused by "breeding activity" and the need "to protect the family food supply."  This is crass materialism and hardly explains the continuous singing of the caged canary and the endless variety of song put forth by the versatile mockingbird, and the cardinal's song in winter.  John Burroughs has a much more realistic approach: birds sing, not only for their own propagation and protection, but also for MAN'S benefit!  And we might suggest: no doubt the great Creator Himself takes delight in the melodious songs of His birds, and in their pleasing beauty.

             The house wren seems to bubble over with emotion, when he sings, for his enthusiastic song "literally shakes every feather on his small body."  The "eerily descending song of the veery (thrush) sounds like neither voice nor instrument, but rather like a thin, vibrant whistle, faraway, wild, remote."  Who can deny that the one song stirs the emotions while the other tends to put one into the hazy dreamworld of quiet reverie?

            The cheery notes of the rose-breasted grosbeak, obviously overflowing with good fellowship, are "tossed into the sunshine far and wide in his rich, rapid warble."  The cardinal is another vigorous, enthusiastic singer, and incidentally he continues to sing right through winter.  "His clear, vibrant whistling has all the free spirit of a country boy on his way to the swimming hole," and so he breathes hope, joy and confidence to man.  Who can deny that God made birds with a ministry to man as well as to their own families?

            Wrens are in the top rank as singers: "full of trills, runs, and grace notes, the volume startling from a bird of such small size."  The picturesque bluebird is one of the most pleasant of singers, with his warm-hearted warbling.

            Famous authors and naturalists have written essays on the marvelous songs of the nightingale.  Pliny, of ancient Rome, wrote (Natural History): 

            "Nightingales pour out a ceaseless gush of song. . . . (Think) of the consummate knowledge of music in a single bird: The sound is given out with modulations, and now is drawn out into a long note with one continuous breath, now varied by managing the breath, now made staccato by checking it, or linked together by prolonging it, or it is suddenly lowered, and at times sinks into a mere murmur, loud, low, bass, treble, with trills, with long notes. . . .soprano, mezzo, baritone; briefly, it has all the devices in that tiny throat which human science has devised with all the elaborate mechanism of the flute."

            Edward Thomas, of England, speaks of the swift notes of the nightingale resembling "the liquid sweetness as a grape," yet "wild and pure as mountain water in the dawn."

            Undoubtedly, the mockingbird is "the most gifted of all song birds."  He likes to tease, and he can imitate all kinds of noises of animals and the songs of other birds.  He can even duplicate the squeak of an old wheelbarrow or the barking of a dog.  Mockingbirds are brilliant singers, "having marvelous technique. . . .and some observers say . . . "they excel even the nightingale and the American thrushes in their emotional outbursts."  While not all mockingbirds are as adept as others, there is on record "one mockingbird which imitated 32 different species of song birds during the course of ten minutes of continuous singing." 

            The hermit thrush is said to emit "one of the most ethereal of all songs, a leisurely series of rising cadences so bell-like, so spiritual in tone and rendering, that they seem beyond the ability of even a bird."

            Who created the tiny throat of the nightingale, the thrush and the wren, made them far more versatile than any flute devised by man, and gave them a heavenly ability to produce such consummate music? Who fashioned the  throat of the mockingbird so that it can reproduce, faithfully, a hundred sounds that scarcely can be distinguished from the original?  Who put the endless variety of music in the world of songbirds, giving us sounds and music all the way from the laughter of a loon in the night and the call of Canada geese, to the glorious singing of a robin or a meadowlark? Surely every bird in the world is a living witness for God his Creator.  Unaided evolution could never produce the throat of a nightingale or the voice box of a mocking bird or put ten thousand miracles of song in other species of birds.

ODDITIES IN BIRD LIFE WITNESS FOR THE CREATOR 

            Young birds nesting in trees are so helpless that the mother bird must put food into their mouths.  The bills of these young birds usually have yellow rims so that the mother bird can see them easily, even when it is dark.  Young birds nesting on the ground, like the quail, are usually spotted or striped.  When danger comes, the mother gives a cry of warning and the young will lie flat on the ground, camouflaged by their spots or stripes, so that they blend into their surroundings.  Who so designed these young birds for their protection?

            There are over ten thousand species of birds — and each has distinctive characteristics that mark it as a special creation of God.  Some are odd specimens indeed.  Why is the male of the Phalaropes less brightly marked than the female — contrary to the usual order?  Who designed the Mexican "roadrunner" or "snake killer" so that he easily can kill rattlesnakes?  Who designed the fantastic kingfisher, with his large crested head, long bill and short tail?  Who created the strange three-wattled bellbird, that has mustaches like an ancient Chinese mandarin?  Who first dressed the male umbrella bird in velvety black and gave it a crest that grows up and forward from the crown, shading the bill and providing a sort of umbrella for its head?  This same bird also has an odd appendage called a lappet that dangles from the upper breast.  When excited or disturbed, the bird can expand that appendage that hangs from its throat from a normal eight inches to thirteen.  All these oddities point to special CREATION, the work of a Designer, rather than the result of blind chance mutations.  Who put the collar on the ruffled grouse?  Who made the saucy jay?  Who decorated the snowy egrets with such beautiful plumage that the desire for their plumes for women's hats almost led to their extermination in the early years of this century?  Who put "the world's most extraordinary plumes" on the King of Saxony's bird of Paradise?  Who constructed the original of Wallace's Standard-wing Bird of Paradise — "the bird to make you rub your eyes; the bird that differs most remarkably from every other bird of paradise."  Who fashioned the gorgeous golden oriole?  Who made the parrot and the black Hill Myna so they could imitate the human voice, and learn to talk?  Surely, the Hand of God can be seen everywhere in His creation of such an endless variety of life, especially in the amazing world of birds. 

THE MIGRATORY INSTINCT: A Witness for Divine Creation 

            Birds do not have much mind, but they are gifted with amazing instinct that tells the mother bird to turn her eggs, teaches the new home maker to construct a nest in harmony with that used by its species, even though she has never done it before nor even seen it done, and leads birds into amazing feats of migration that are inexplicable mysteries.

            Without baggage, lunch or bedding, and with no chart, compass, map or guide — except the sun and stars — the migratory birds make unbelievably long trips, and they make them successfully, even though when first they make the trip they have never been there before!

            The champion "globe trotter" and most renown of all migratory birds is the Arctic tern that spends six months in the daylight of the far north and then goes to the Antarctic to spend the next six months in the daylight there!  Its annual round trip may be well over 22,000 miles — for it does not make its journey in a straight line, but meanders off its course.

            The Atlantic golden plover, a robin-sized traveller, goes south by one route in the fall and returns in the spring by another route!           

            "Their route is in the form of a great ellipse.  From Canada they strike out over the Atlantic to South America.  In Spring they return by way of the Mississippi valley." 

            Frederick C. Lincoln, noted ornithologist and American authority on migration, says,

            "The Golden Plover travelling over the ocean covers the entire distance from Nova Scotia to South America without a stop.  This is accomplished with the consumption of only a few ounces of fuel IN THE FORM OF BODY FAT."  Such an amazing "engine" is a billion times more efficient than man's best airplane. 

            The feat of the Pacific Plover is equally astonishing.  It flies from Alaska to Hawaii.  How it can traverse thousands of miles over the trackless ocean wastes and find tiny specks of islands in mid-ocean is a mystery that has baffled scientists for years. In the Spring it returns to Alaska — and in the Fall it goes back TO THE SAME TINY ISLAND IN THE PACIFIC!

            A little bird called the Wheatear, no larger than the English Sparrow, travels every year all the way from AFRICA to GREENLAND.  It crosses an ocean to go to another continent — and it makes this long trip year after year, on a regular schedule.

            More than a hundred different kinds of our American birds spend the winter in Central and South America.

            The tiny blackpoll warbler nests in Canada, then wings its way to Brazil, 4,000 miles away.

            Much of the travelling of migratory birds is at night, and much is over the wilderness of waves of what might seem to a small bird to be boundless oceans.  And here is another mystery: eastern birds mix freely with western birds and with tropical birds during the winter season in South and Central America; but when the time comes for the northward trip every species behaves according to its own pattern,  and goes back to its own home, flying over the same fields and alighting on the same fence posts!  Miracle supreme: when their sons and daughters are old enough to migrate, they go to the same place their ancestors went, and HAVING NEVER MADE THE TRIP BEFORE.  And they go unguided by any other bird!  The whole subject of bird migration is clothed in deep mystery.  We read: 

            "What strange power impels a tiny winged creature to leave its summer home within two or three weeks of the same day each year (long before its food supply is exhausted and before the extreme cold weather comes) and fly thousands of miles to a winter home it has never seen?  What then drives it to return again to the same part of the United States or Canada where it had been raised and to arrive so punctually that the date of its return can often be predicted to within a single week?  How, year after year, does it find its way back to the identical field or wood where it raised its first young? 

            Birds are not the only creatures that migrate.  Insects such as the monarch butterfly and the locust take long migrations.  The eel, salmon and other fish also migrate, in most mysterious and unbelievable ways.  The whale, the porpoise and the seal find their way through water as unerringly as the birds do in the air: and they migrate long distances.

            What remains an insoluble enigma to the scientist is clear to the devout believer in a personal God?  Migratory birds and other migratory animals do as they do BECAUSE GOD MADE THEM SO. 

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            So sum up: BIRDS and their characteristics are marvelous witnesses for God and Divine Creation!  With NO intermediary stages to be found either in nature or in fossil form, how could anyone believe that heavy-boned reptiles, with scales, could evolve into light, efficient "flying machines" with feathers and wings and characteristic feet and beaks and songs — and a thousand and one other unique characteristics?

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BATS: Flying Mammals with Built-in SONAR 

            Bats are not birds, but are the only "flying Mammals" there are. *

            * The flying lemur and flying squirrel glide through the air, but do not fly.

They sleep during the day and come out of their caves and other hiding places to hunt  for food at night.

            Their knees face outward and bend backward instead of forward, as in most mammals.  the foot has a short sole and five toes, all about the same length.  These features are exactly what a bat needs to hang on to rocks and trees, for bays hang upside down to sleep.  Here again we see PERFECT ADAPTATION for the manner of life planned for it by the Creator.  "Natural selection" would never develop bats with such a peculiar manner of sleeping: it requires less "change" from the conventional types, to sleep right side up as most birds as mammals do.

            The outstanding peculiarity of bats, which sets them off from all other mammals, is there unique "sonar" system.  They fly by ear, and guide themselves by the echoes of their high-pitched squeaks!

            "The complicated flaps of skin found around the nostrils of some bats, and certain strange structures in their ears, are for the projection and reception of sound waves of ultra high frequency upon the principles we now call sonar.  The bats emit bursts of sound of frequencies up to 32,000 per second, ** but for intermittent periods of as little as a two-hundredth of a second each.  These air-borne waves bounce back from obstacles ahead of the bat when it is in flight, and are picked up by the supersensitive ears of the animal IN THE BRIEF PERIODS OF SILENCE BETWEEN THE BURSTS OF SOUND.  So sensitive and accurate is this system that the bats can alter their course in time to avoid hitting the obstacle."

            ** Such sound frequencies are quite imperceptible to the human ear which is usually insensitive to frequencies above 12,000 per second. 

            Donald R. Griffin, Prof., of Zoology at Harvard, has this to say about "Bat Sonar" in an article in the July, 1953, "Scientific American."

              "In these days of technological triumphs it is well to remind ourselves that living mechanisms are often incomparably more efficient than their artificial imitations.  There is no better illustration of this than the sonar system of bats.  Ounce for ounce and watt for watt, it is billions of times more efficient and more sensitive than the radars and sonars contrived by man."

            "To appreciate the precision of the bat's echo-location system we must consider the degree of their reliance upon it.  Thanks to sonar, an insect-eating bat can get along perfectly well without eyesight. . . .Bats easily find insects in the dark of night, even when the insects emit no sound that can be heard by human ears.  A bat will catch hundreds of soft-bodied, silent-flying moths or gnats in a single hour (simply by the use of its sonar system).

            "One highly specialized group, the horseshoe bats of the Old World, have elaborate nose leaves which act as horns to focus their orientation sounds in a sharp beam; they sweep the beam back and forth to scan their surroundings.  *

            * There are about 2,000 species of bats, many of them with highly specialized organs.  Some bats live on nectar and pollen; they have elongated muzzles and very long tongues — sometimes with a brush at the tip of the tongue, ideally adapted to their type of feeding.  Unquestionably, the most dramatic "adaptation" in feeding habits is that of the vampire bats of tropical America.  They live on blood drained  from living animals!  They tiptoe up to their sleeping or resting victims.  Then with the sharp, narrow blades of their specially designed upper incisor teeth, they excavate a small segment of skin and underlying tissue, usually without waking or paining their host.  The vampire then sucks up, with piston-like movements of its tongue, the blood that flows into the excavation.  Its digestive tract is designed to receive and digest blood, and is reduced to a folded tube for that purpose.  (Adapted from an article by William A, Wimsatt, Corbell University).

            "The most surprising of all the specialized bats are the species that feed on fish.  They have a well developed system of frequency-modulated ('FM') sonar, but since sound loses much of its energy in passing from air into water and vice versa, the big puzzle is: HOW CAN THESE BATS LOCATE FISH UNDER WATER BY MEANS OF THIS SYSTEM?"  They do this as they fly along close to the surface of the water.

            "Probably the most impressive aspect of the bats' echo-location performance is their ability to detect their targets IN SPITE OF LOUD 'NOISE' OR JAMMING.  They have a truly remarkable 'discriminator,' as a radio engineer would say.  Hundreds of bats will fly in and out of the same cave within range of one another's sounds.  YET IN SPITE OF ALL THE CONFUSION OF SIGNALS IN THE SAME FREQUENCY BAND, EACH BAT IS ABLE TO GUIDE ITSELF BY THE ECHOES OF ITS OWN SIGNALS. . . .With an auditory system that weighs only a fraction of a gram, and in the midst of a great volume of surrounding noises, a bat can distinguish its own echoed signals, even though they are 2,000 times fainter than the background noises!"  And think: the original sound that the bat emits can not be heard by the human ear! 

            Certainly, such a marvelous system MUST be the work of an infinitely careful and capable Workman!

            And again we ask — if bats were evolved, from what animal did they evolve?  Some evolutionists claim that bats evolved from mice; but if so, WHERE ARE THE INTERMEDIARY FORMS?  There are none in existence in nature today, nor are there any in the world of fossils.  It is quite a jump from mice's feet to bat's wings, and from ordinary ears and nostrils to the intricate sonar system that bats have, How could any intermediate possibly survive even one season? 

The True Explanation of the Wonders in Nature 

            It has been proved that there is no such thing as inheritance of "acquired characteristics" that Lamarck supposed.  He taught that "an animal which acquired a characteristic would transmit it to its progeny," and so the offspring would get not only inherited characteristics but also "acquired" characteristics.  That theory has been completely demolished.  The modern science of genetics and innumerable experiments have proved that characteristics are passed on to succeeding generations only through the genes and chromosomes (and some cytoplasmic inheritances) in the germ cells.

             For many generations the Paduangs of Burma have, from early childhood, stretched the necks of their young girls by winding malleable brass rings around their necks.  As the neck is stretched, additional brass rings of half inch diameter are added, until as many as twenty are around their necks, yet their baby girls are NOT born with long necks!

            For many generations the Chinese tortured their girls by tying back their toes so they would have small feet; but invariably, new Chinese babies were born with normal feet!  Weismann experimented with rats by cutting off their tails for generation after generation.  He proved conclusively that by so doing one can NOT develop tailless rats.

             Long ago true scientists gave up the Lamarckian theory of the inheritance of "acquired characters."

            Darwin taught evolutionary development through "natural selection" — the "survival of the fittest."  In the struggle for existence, needed and useful variations remained and variations that proved weak or useless perished.  But this circumscribed procedure produces only variations of already existing "characters;" it never produces new characters (organs, organisms).  Nor does the more recent theory of "sudden changes" called "mutations" * solve the problem — for such chance mutations are always comparatively minor, and can in no wise produce "new characters" (organs) or account for the tremendous gaps between major groups, such as from reptiles to birds; nor does it account for the great DIFFERENCES that exist among the genera of a family or phylum.  But there is an explanation for all phenomena of nature:  GOD, THE CREATOR. * *

            * Most all mutations, whether produced by chemicals, X-rays or other outside stimuli, tend to HARM the individual.  For the past fifty years scientists have experimented with the Drosophila (fruit fly) and have succeeded in producing many freaks, including horrible abnormalities.  They finally produced "A strange breed of four-winged flies" at the California Institute of Technology.  BUT, according to their own confession, "the accomplishment represents A STEP BACKWARD along the path of evolution to a time when (probably) all flies had four wings.  Dr. Edward B. Lewis professor of biology (California Institute of Technology) said in the Institute's "Engineering and Science," that "by tampering with the genes of the tiny fruit fly we have constructed a four-winged fly. . . . But these four winged flies cannot fly."  Prof., Leroy Victor Cleveland, discussing the work done by modern scientists on the fruit flies, says, "When scientists descend to accepting LOSSES of organs (or functions) as their only proof of evolution of new organs and structures, they are supporting a lost cause."

            * * It is a fact that 99.9% of all mutations are either lethal or at least harmful.  Many of the remaining 0.1% are neutral (neither good nor bad), e.g. hair color, etc.  To date no geneticist can give a single example of a new organ, or even a new, beneficial hormone, enzyme, etc., that has arisen by mutations. 

            At last scientists have come to the conclusion — since "natural selection" alone is not the answer, nor is the theory of inheritance of "acquired characteristics" — that it must be "random mutations" and "natural selection" — or else GOD.  But "random mutations" and "natural selection" can in no wise explain the marvelous gamut of life with MILLIONS OF EVIDENCES OF "SPECIAL DESIGN," MILLIONS OF PERFECT "specialized organs," with absolutely NO evidence whatever of intermediary forms.

            J. T. Patterson and W. S. Stone, writing in "Evolution in the Genus Drosophila" (Macmillan Co., New York; 1962), admit,

            "The only alternative to evolution by selection among random mutations, is. . . .DIRECTED MUTATIONS. . . .POSSIBLE ONLY UNDER SUPERNATURAL GUIDANCE."

            Obviously, every one must choose between "Evolution" and "Divine Creation.'

            Patterson and Stone are evolutionists, but they admit that scientists "cannot hope, on the basis of the theory of gradual change through mutations and selection, TO DEMONSTRATE THE EVOLUTION FROM ONE GENUS TO ANOTHER IN THE LABORATORY."  (pages 235, 503. See also page 1: "Organic evolution is not a repeatable experiment"). 

            What a confession that is!  After years of experimenting they now know that "evolution can not be demonstrated in the laboratory."  Most modern scientists admit that the theory of evolution can not be proven, but they would rather accept it as a theory than to admit GOD and His work of creation. 

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