Extraordinary Design in Nature


"O Lord, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches." (Psalm 104:24)


The Sea Slug

One of the most intriguing mysteries among marine creatures is found in the truly remarkable sea slug. The sea slug lives along the sea coast within the tidal zone where it feeds primarily on sea anemones. Sea anemones are not exactly the most inviting of dinners as they are equipped with thousands of small stinging cells on their tentacles which explode at the slightest touch, plunging poisoned harpoons into intruders. The speared intruder is paralyzed and drawn into the anemone's stomach to be digested.

Although this is an impressive defense system, the remarkable sea slug is able to eat sea anemones without being stung, exploding the stinging cells, or digesting them. One of the most fascinating mysteries in nature is what the sea slug does with the poor anemone's stinging cells. The undigested stinging cells are swept along through ciliated tubes which are connected to the stomach and end in pouches. The stinging cells are arranged and stored in these pouches to be used for the sea slug's defense! And so, whenever the sea slug is attacked, it defends itself using the stinging cells which the ill-fated anemone manufactured for its own protection.

The highly complicated series of modifications that would have had to occur to produce this incredible relationship completely defies evolutionary explanation. First of all, in order to prevent the stinging cells from exploding, the sea slug would have to evolve some sort of chemical means to temporarily neutralize them. The sea slug would also have to evolve a new digestive system, which would digest the tissues of the anemone but not the stinging cells. The sea slug would also have to cleverly evolve the sophisticated ciliated tubes and pouches as well as a highly complex mechanism for arranging, storing, and maintaining the stinging cells. Finally, and contrary to evolutionary expectations, the anemone would have to endorse the sea slugs plans by refraining from evolving countermeasures.

Obviously, there is no satisfactory evolutionary explanation for the existence of such extraordinary adaptive design. The only reasonable solution to this fascinating relationship is offered by Biblical creationism. These organisms were specifically created and carefully designed by their Creator to fit into their respective ecological niches.


Gardening Ants

Another fascinating relationship, which has been observed in nature, concerns the Bull's Horn Acacia tree of Central and South America. This tree is furnished with large hollow thorns that are inhabited by a species of ferocious stinging ants. Small bumps on the tree also supply food to the ants. Consequently, the ants get food and shelter from the tree. The tree, for its part of the bargain, receives complete protection from all animal predators and plant competitors. The ants viciously attack any and all intruders. But the truly remarkable aspect of this symbiotic relationship is the fact that these ants are gardeners! They make regular raids in all directions from their home tree, nipping off every green shoot that dares to show its head near their tree. As a result, this particular tree always has plenty of sunlight and space which is a rarity in the tropical jungle where the competition for such things is intense. Experiments have shown that when all of the ants are removed from one of these trees, the tree dies within 2 to 15 months.

Evolutionists casually label this type of symbiotic relationship as an example of co-adaptation. Of course, they never attempt to explain just how such an intricate relationship might have developed through the evolutionary process. Hence, the evolutionary viewpoint continues to be a matter of faith or presumption, not science. But how much more reasonable and logical is the faith of the creationist who perceives that these wonderful relationships are the purposeful and intelligently designed handiwork of an omniscient Creator.


Cleaning Symbiosis

An amazing relationship found in nature, which ridicules evolutionary thinking, is that of cleaning symbiosis. Fish, for example, roam about feeding on smaller fish and shrimp only to find that their mouths have become littered with debris and parasites. The solution to this problem for several types of fish is a visit to the local cleaning station.

At the cleaning station, the large fish opens its mouth and gill chambers, baring vicious-looking teeth, and in swim the undaunted little cleaner fish and shrimp to do their jobs. After their chore is completed, they swim back out of the larger fish's mouth unharmed, and the big fish swims away.

It is obvious that all parties involved benefit from this relationship, but this does not explain the origin and development of this special relationship. Survival value can only be used as an argument after a relationship has been established. The picture is further complicated for the evolutionist by the fact that several species of predatory fish, cleaner fish, and shrimp are involved in this operation.

Creationists maintain that this type of relationship could never have resulted from a mere chance, trial and error evolutionary process. Animal instincts for self preservation would surely override any such unnatural suicidal tendency. Also, the temptation to get an easy free meal or to react to the irritating cleaners would tend to discourage the development of such a relationship. This type of arrangement can only reflect special creation.

It should also be added that cleaning symbiosis is by no means limited to fish alone. Amazingly enough, there is a bird (the Egyptian plover) that is willing to walk right into the mouth of the Nile crocodile to clean out parasites. He, too, leaves completely unharmed. Oh, the wonders of God's creation!


Beetle Warfare

Did you ever notice how sometimes big surprises can come in little packages? Well, such is the case of the surprising little bombardier beetle. The bombardier beetle is a small insect that is armed with a shockingly impressive defense system. Whenever threatened by an enemy attack, this spirited little beetle blasts irritating and odious gases, which are at 212 degrees F, out from two tail pipes right into the unfortunate face of the would be aggressor.

Dr. Hermann Schildknecht, a German chemist, studied the bombardier beetle to find out how he accomplishes this impressive chemical feat. He learned that the beetle makes his explosive by mixing together two very dangerous chemicals (hydroquinone and hydrogen peroxide). I n addition to these two chemicals, this clever little beetle adds another type of chemical known as an inhibitor. The inhibitor prevents the chemicals from blowing up and enables the beetle to store the chemicals indefinitely.

Whenever our beetle friend is approached by a predator, such as a frog, he squirts the stored chemicals into the two combustion tubes, and at precisely the right moment he adds another chemical (an anti-inhibitor). This knocks out the inhibitor, and a violent explosion occurs right in the face of the poor attacker.

Could such a marvelous and complex mechanism have evolved piecemeal over millions of years? The evolutionist is forced to respond with a somewhat sheepish "yes," but a brief consideration of this opinion will reveal its preposterous nature.

According to evolutionary "thinking" there must have been thousands of generations of beetles improperly mixing these hazardous chemicals in fatal evolutionary experiments, blowing themselves to pieces. Eventually, we are assured, they arrived at the magic formula, but what about the development of the inhibitor? There is no need to evolve an inhibitor unless you already have the two chemicals you are trying to inhibit. On the other hand, if you already have the two chemicals without the inhibitor, it is already too late, for you have just blown yourself up. Obviously, such an arrangement would never arise apart from intelligent foresight and planning. Nevertheless, let us assume that our little beetle friend somehow managed to simultaneously develop the two chemicals along with the all-important inhibitor. The resultant solution would offer no benefit at all to the beetle, for it would just sit there as a harmless concoction. To be of any value to the beetle, the anti-inhibitor must be added to the solution. So, once again, for thousands of generations we are supposed to believe that these poor beetles mixed and stored these chemicals for no particular reason or advantage; until finally, the anti-inhibitor was perfected. Now he is really getting somewhere! With the anti-inhibitor developed he can now blow himself to pieces, frustrating the efforts of the hungry predator who wants to eat him. Ah yes, he still needs to evolve the two combustion tubes, and a precision communications and timing network to control and adjust the critical direction and timing of the explosion. So, here we go again; for thousands of generations these carefree little beetles went around celebrating the 4th of July by blowing themselves to pieces until finally they mastered their new found powers.

But what would be the motivation for such disastrous, trial and error, piecemeal evolution? Everything in evolution is supposed to make perfect sense and have a logical purpose, or else it would never develop. But such a process does not make any sense at all, and to propose that the entire defense system evolved all at once is astronomically improbable, if not impossible. Yet, nature abounds with countless such examples of perfect coordination. Thus, we can only conclude that the surprising little bombardier beetle is a strong witness for special creation, for there is no other rational explanation for such a wonder

The water beetle is also equipped with an impressive although different defense mechanism. He manages to escape his enemies by secreting a detergent substance from a gland. Ejecting the detergent accomplishes two things. Firstly, it serves to propel the beetle forward quickly so that he is out of the immediate danger. Secondly, the detergent causes the surface tension of the water to break down, and the pursuing insect sinks into the water. How true are the words of the Psalmist who wrote:

"O Lord, how manifold are thy works! In wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches." (Psalm 104:24)

Scott M. Huse, The Collapse of Evolution (Baker Book House)