|by||Eric Lyons, M.Min.|
Much of mankind loves to classify and sort things. We like to sort socks by color and shirts by kind. We categorize books topically. We arrange files alphabetically. We organize tools by their function. We take pictures of people by their size (“tallest in the back, shortest up front”) and then arrange them chronologically in “properly” labeled albums. We like things certain ways; we want things “just so”; and when things do not fall in line with our ideas and expectations, we wonder what happened.
Sometimes we just need to “sit back, relax, and enjoy the view” of God’s handiwork. The Lord says, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). Sometimes we need to press the pause button and take a page out of God’s Creation revelation (Romans 1:20). Recognize that not everything fits neatly in a systematic filing system, and be thankful that God filled the Earth with His glorious, “manifold…works” (Psalm 104:24; Isaiah 6:3)—that He created all manner of creatures, some of which do not fit neatly in a sorting system, but certainly declare their Maker’s majesty.
Take the duck-billed platypus, for example. It is unlike any other animal on Earth. Scientists classify the platypus as a mammal, but it hardly fits neatly into this category. It is about the size of a house cat with fur thicker than a polar bear’s. It can store food in its mouth like a chipmunk. It has a beaver-like tail and webbed feet like an otter. It has spurs like a rooster, lays eggs like a turtle, and produces venom like a snake. Last, but not least, it has a clumsy-looking, duck-like bill with a complex electro-receptor system in it that allows the platypus to sense weak electric impulses in the muscles of its prey (Scheich, et al., 1986, 319:401-402). The platypus’ modern scientific name (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) means “duck-like, bird snout,” yet we call it a mammal. Truly, if there was ever an animal to call “unique,” it would be the platypus.
Consider also the seahorse. It is one of the most curious-looking animals on the planet. Though it has a head like a horse, eyes like a lizard, a tail like an opossum, and can swim like a submarine, the seahorse is considered a fish. Scientists refer to the seahorse as Hippocampus, a name derived from two Greek words: hippo, meaning “horse,” and campus, meaning “sea creature.”
Most fish swim horizontally by moving their bodies back and forth, from side to side. Seahorses, on the other hand, live in an upright position and swim vertically—like a submarine that can go up and down. The seahorse can properly maintain its balance as it goes up and down in the water because of the gas within its swim bladder (“Sea horse,” 1997, 10:579). Like a well-designed submarine that manipulates gas in order to submerge and resurface, the seahorse can alternate the amount of gas in its bladder to move up and down in the water (Juhasz, 1994). The life of the seahorse is dependent on a perfectly designed bladder. With a damaged bladder (or without a bladder altogether) a seahorse would sink to the ocean floor and die. How do evolutionists logically explain the evolution of this swim bladder if the seahorse has always needed it to survive? If it has always needed it, then it must have always had it, else there would be no seahorse.
Perhaps the most puzzling feature of the seahorse, which does not neatly file away in a normal animal fact folder, is that seahorses are the only known animals in which males actually become pregnant, carry young, and give birth. The male seahorse is designed with a special kangaroo-like pouch near its stomach. At just the right time during the courtship, the female seahorse deposits hundreds of eggs into the pouch of the male. The male fertilizes the eggs, and for the next few weeks carries the unborn seahorses, before squirting the fully formed babies out of the pouch (Danielson, 2002). If nothing like this process is known in the animal kingdom, why would anyone think that evolution can logically explain it? How do undirected time and chance stumble across a different and better way for a particular kind of fish to have babies? Did the first male seahorse to give birth simply have an irritable mate who refused to have babies unless he carried and birthed them? Suffice it to say, seahorses are as baffling to the theory of evolution as are duck-billed platypuses. These unusual animals cry out for a creative Creator, Who cannot be contained in the naturalistic box of evolution. As the patriarch Job asked, “Who…does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this, in whose hand is the life of every living thing?... Ask the beasts, and they will teach you…and the fish of the sea will explain to you” (Job 12:9-10,7-8).
CONCLUSIONGod’s creation is full of variety and complexity. The natural world testifies to a masterful Maker, a creative Creator. He made an animal with the bill of a duck and the tail of a beaver. He gave a sea creature the head of a horse and the tail of an opossum. He made furry animals (i.e., bats) that fly on membranous wings, while making flightless birds (i.e., penguins) that live on land and “fly” through frigid waters. He made the prickly porcupine, the puffer fish, and a sloth so slow that it makes the tortoise look like a cheetah. As much as God’s creation testifies to His omniscient, omnipotent, sovereign nature (Job 38-41; Romans 1:20), I respectfully suggest that our great God seems to have had a lot of fun at the foundation of the world. At the very least, His amazing creativity has provided man a lot of laughs and entertainment since the beginning of time.
Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
For the Lord is the great God, and the great King above all gods.
In His hand are the deep places of the earth; the heights of the hills are His also.
The sea is His, for He made it; and His hands formed the dry land.
Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord our Maker (Psalm 95:1-6).
O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all.
The earth is full of Your possessions….
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
May my meditation be sweet to Him; I will be glad in the Lord (Psalm 104:24,33-34).
REFERENCESDanielson, Stentor (2002), “Seahorse Fathers Take Reins in Childbirth,” National Geographic News, June 14, http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/pf/90683716.html.
Juhasz, David (1994), “The Amazing Seahorse,” Answers in Genesis, June 1, http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/cm/v16/n3/seahorse.
Scheich, Henning, et al. (1986), “Electroreception and Electrolocation in Platypus,” Nature, 319:401-402, January 30.
“Sea horse” (1997), The New Encyclopaedia Britannica (Chicago, IL: Encyclopaedia Britannica).
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