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The Animal Kingdom

The Animal kingdom

One of the great mysteries in the world is the understanding of the Instincts of animals. Instinct is behavior that is inherited rather than learned. Examples include animals fighting, courtship behavior, internal escape functions, and the building of their nests or places of shelter. Baby turtles instinctively know to head straight to the ocean and what direction to go as soon as they hatch, and get out of the sand. Salmon swim hundreds of miles upstream against the mighty forces of rushing water to return to their place of birth so that they may give birth and then die soon thereafter.

Why does a bird fly south as winter approaches? How does he know the way to return home? Why do bees and ants have such high social structure? How does each one of them know their special assignments and rules? Who taught the beavers how to build dams? The answer to each of these questions is instinct. Each and every animal, of his or her given species, is pre-programmed to respond in a defined manner. Each and every animal, of his or her given species, will respond in virtually the same way because they each possess the same instructions—they are following the same program coded in their genes.

The salmon are born in small pools of fresh water in the upper branches of tributaries. They, then, swim downstream to the ocean, by way of the rivers, where they live in salt water for two years. They travel great distances in the salt water as they grow to maturity. Then, they return to the very same fresh water stream where they entered the ocean. They enter the stream and struggle as they swim upstream facing all kinds of barriers, including dams, in their effort to return to their birthplace where they will spawn and then to die. What directs this unique behavior? Biologists now believe that they are directed back to their place of birth by a sense of smell.

As winter approaches, some birds fly to warmer climates and then, as spring approaches, they return to their summer nesting areas. “Approximately 1800 of the world’s 10,000 bird species are long-distance migrants.” We question the factors that cause birds to migrate. How do they know when to leave and how do they know the way?

Many of these birds make stops along the way at the same locations each year. Their destinations seem to be the same. We had a male and female duck who stop at our house every spring, spend two or three days and then move on. Were they the same ducks every year or not? We were never absolutely sure but we thought they were.

Wikipedia says, “The Arctic Tern has the longest-distance migration of any bird, and sees more daylight than any other, moving from its Arctic breeding grounds to the Antarctic non-breeding areas. One Arctic Tern, ringed (banded) as a chick on the Farne Islands off the British east coast, reached Melbourne, Australia in just three months from fledging, a sea journey of over 22,000 km (14,000 miles).

We again, ask the question—how do they know when to leave and where to go? We could say that the lead bird in the formation knows the way from experience. However, when the lead bird becomes tired, the birds rotate positions in the formations thus all the birds seem to know where they are going. Scientist tells us the change in temperature effects the bird hormones which alerts them that it is time to move. They also believe that the birds navigate by three factors: the sun’s position, the earth’s magnetic field and landmarks. Some even believe that the birds can even see the magnetic field. What we do know is that the bird’s navigation system may be as sophisticated and accurate of our GPS’s.

The evolutionist would tell you that this process happen over millions of years through an undirected process of random chance. However, the Bible gives a different answer. It states that the birds are under the control of their designer. In the book of Job, we read, “Does the hawk fly by your wisdom, and spread its wings toward the south? “Does the eagle mount up at your command, and make its nest on high” (Job 39:26-27). This would imply that God is in control of the birds. The Prophet Jeremiah wrote, “Even the stork in the heavens knows her appointed times; and the turtledove, the swift, and the swallow” (Jer. 8:7). Jesus said, “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them” (Matt. 6:26).

Another interesting group of animals is the marine mammals. Some examples of these mammals are the whales, dolphins, seals, walrus, manatees, sea otters, etc. As mammals, they give live birth to their young and the mothers produce milk for the babies. They, unlike the fish which have scales, have hair on their bodies, some so fine you can hardly see it. Some of the mammals, such as the whales and dolphins, live in highly developed families call pods. They have a sonar system where they can send out sound waves, which are called pings, and thus read an echo to find food and to navigate. They also have a highly developed communication system by which they communicate with each other.

For years, the Navy has studied these creatures in order to learn more about their highly developed sonar systems. Dolphins have also been used to locate mines in harbors. Dolphins are very friendly to humans and have also been known to save human lives.

To the evolutionist the question must be asked—how did these marine mammals evolve? In the so-called evolutionary timetable, fish appeared millions of years before the mammals. It has been assumed that mammals evolved from reptiles. It is believed by evolutionist that the marine mammals were once land mammals. Can you imagine what a whale looked like when it existed on land. We must pose this important question—if it takes two mammals to reproduce, then how did the evolutionary process produce both a male and a female marine mammal in the same location at the same time? If left to random chance, what is the probability of this happening?

Another interesting mammal is the bat. Many believe that bats are birds because they fly but they are not birds. They are also blind. They have all the characteristics, as listed above, of a mammal. Millions of blind bats can fly out of a cave very close to each other and never touch. They do this by using radar which is very similar to sonar. They send out sound waves and read the echos. They also locate prey by using their radar. I think it is interesting that these mammals were armed with this ability long before man discovered it.

Now we must ask the question—how did the bat evolve? We would assume that they evolved from the birds but that does not make sense if you are an evolutionist.

Now let us look at the ants and the bees. They both have a highly organized social structure. Each ant or bee not only has a job to do but is highly skilled at that job. Let us focus on the honeybee. There are three kinds of bees: the queen, the male drones and the worker bees. The queen and drones cannot sting you; their job is to reproduce. It is the female worker bees who collect the food in the form of nectar and pollen and bring it to the hive where it is transfered to other worker bees who convert it to honey and store it. An absolutely amazing trait about the worker bees is their communication system. Some of the worker bees serve as scouts and they scout out the locations of nectar. They, then, return to the hive and do a bee dance which communicates the direction and distance of the nectar source. Then the other worker bees go to the source and collect the nectar.

Where did these bees learn these skills? Were they created with these skills of did they evolve?

Now let us examine the monarch butterflies. During the summer months, most monarch butterflies live only two to six weeks as adult butterflies. However, if they are still living when cold weather approaches, the life span of the butterfly changes and they live much longer. Every year the monarch butterflies fly south to the same forest in Mexico. They come from all over the United States and some fly across the Gulf of Mexico to the exact same location. There, they mate and then die. In the spring, the new generation of butterflies returns to the various locations in the United States. There, they mate, lay eggs and die.

Considers that none of these butterflies have every made the trip to Mexico and returned to the United States, how did they know the way?

Darwin would say the natural instincts of animals are the result of undirected chemical evolution. He would also say that it resulted from natural selection being enhanced by the survival of the fittest over millions of years.