Eagles, Love, and Destruction

Eagles, Love, and Destruction

Recently I’ve been fascinated watching the Southwest Florida Eagle Cam live stream of little, well not so little anymore, E9. It was amazing watching the eagle parents care for the egg. Think about how fragile an egg is… The mom and dad would come and chomp down with their huge beak on the nest material next to the egg to keep the nest aerated, they would gently move the egg around, and would sit on it with their huge talons on either side of the tiny egg.

There were two eggs in the nest and they cared for both of them equally, but one of them never hatched. For a long time, long after any hope of the second egg hatching, the parents protected and sat on that egg. Eventually the egg was buried in the nest as the Eagles seemed to realize hope was gone for a second eaglet.

When E9, they don’t call them human names so as not to personalize them too much – I don’t think it works…, anyways, when E9 hatched he was this tiny little fluff. His parent would come to the nest with a fish, tear off bites and gently feed their baby. It was again, amazing to watch, huge talons, huge beaks, gently caring for their young one. They would sit over E9, large talons on each side of the baby and keep him warm and protected.

The moderators on the site explain a lot of Eagle behavior to the viewers through a chat. As the viewers worried about E9 not getting enough food, they would explain that hunting was hard work and sometimes food isn’t readily available. As E9 started to grow and move around the nest, the viewer worried about E9 falling out of the nest, they worried about what if something happens to the dad, and the moderators were there to teach them about Eagles.

Through watching and learning they grew to care for and love little E9 and his Mom and Dad.

Creation… Amazing Creation…

BirdAnd God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.”  So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day. Genesis 1:20-23

Fall and Destruction…

When I watch little E9 and his parents caring for him, my mind sometimes goes to the cynical side. I think about child abuse, parent’s hurting those they should nurture and protect. I think about our disregard for God’s creation, our wanton killing of things that ‘bother us’ like the cyanide bombs placed around by the wildlife services to destroy ‘nuisance’ creatures. And I tend to get bitter and angry, then I think of Romans:

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Romans 8:18-25 

And Isaiah:

The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den. They shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. Isaiah 11:6-9

Hope, Glorious Hope…

Ours is a future of Hope. God, our Creator came and walked among us. He created a beautiful world full of beauty and love, but it is fallen, death has become a way of life, and our hearts yearn for Christ’s return. We yearn for love and peace to prevail. We wait, but we don’t wait in vain.

Anglerfish

Recently I went to a talk where a scientist from our local University, UNC-Charlotte, was speaking about bacteria.  He shared that at one point in time he was working as a marine biologist in Florida and that they would go out and get samples of marine life.  One of the animals they caught was the anglerfish.  The anglerfish lives in the deep dark places in the oceans and uses bioluminescence to attract prey.

I find this fascinating.  The anglerfish has “a piece of dorsal spine that protrudes above their mouths like a fishing pole.”  National Geographic   At the end of the ‘pole’ there is a bulb filled with bioluminescent bacteria.  These bacteria live in symbiotic relationship with the fish. The Professor said the anglerfish farms the bacteria, proving them nutrients and purging the dead bacteria.

I looked up some other information and found that anglerfish also live in a symbiotic relationship with their mates.

When a male anglerfish finds a female, he will bite her side and become attached to her.  Male anglerfish do not have the bioluminescent rod so they can’t attract prey the way females do.  Eventually “the male physically fuses with the female, connecting to her skin and bloodstream and losing his eyes and all his internal organs except the testes. A female will carry six or more males on her body.” National Geographic

Another article said that the female is constantly releasing the bioluminescent bacteria into the water, providing a source of bacteria for female offspring.

The more I read about and learn about God’s creation, the more in awe of Him I become.  There is such diversity, sometimes oddity, in all the amazing things He has made. When my children were younger, and we were homeschooling, I remember going to sea aquariums and looking at all the variety of fish and thinking not only is God amazing but He must have a wonderful sense of humor too.

And He gave us dominion over these animals, His creation, the work of His hands, which He loves.

The Anglerfish, one of God's magnificent creatures. "Here is the sea, great and wide, which teems with creatures innumerable, living things both small and great." Psalm 104: 25

Creator = Creation

The Bible teaches us that God created the heavens and the earth and all that is on and in them.

By the Word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host. ~ Psalm 33:6

For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. ~ Psalm 33:9

For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb.  I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well. ~ Psalm 139:13-14

We live in a day and age where all of this is questioned, and not only questioned, but if you believe this you are thought ‘backwards.’  Our culture teaches that evolution is the only way to believe, the only theory that is credible, and that those espousing creation science are not ‘real’ scientists.

Sunset

As a Bible believing Christian, one of my goals in teaching my children is for them to understand that all learning starts with an understanding of God’s Word. The Bible clearly and repeatedly teaches that God is our Creator; God as the Creator flows throughout the pages of Scripture.  If we deny this vital aspect of God then we are not adhering to the whole of God’s Word; we are picking and choosing what we want to believe based on societal norms rather than the absolute standard of God’s Word.  There is an absolute truth, everything isn’t relative, and what we believe about God and His Word should affect every aspect of our learning and our teaching.  It is important that we instill in our children an understanding of who God is, in all His majesty and magnificence.

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.  And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”  John1:1-5

As we see in these verses, God’s light shines forth brightly, but the darkened world does not see it.

Why would we believe the word of man over the Word of God?

Not only has God revealed Himself to us in His Word, but He has also revealed Himself to us in His creation.

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.  For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful. ~ Romans 1:18-21a (You can also read the Psalms where David praises God over and over for His magnificent works and Job where God questions Job about all He (God) has done.)

Again after these verses, the question looms forth “Why would we believe the word of man over the Word of God?”

This brings us to the question of Creation vs. Evolution.  Where is the truth in this issue?  Creationists are sometimes mocked as not being ‘true’ scientists, so let’s start with the definition of science.  Science is:

  • The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena. ~ dictionary.com
  • knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through the scientific method and concerned with the physical world and its phenomena ~ merriam-webster.com

BeeIn other words science is observing things, processes, etc. and trying through observation and controlled experimentation to understand our world and our universe.  As a scientist observes, he postulates different hypotheses as to why things are as they are.

Philip Stott in his book Vital Questions says:  “Science, as Mendeleyev, Mach and Einstein pointed out, deals with what can be measured, everything else is speculation.  Recorded human history goes back approximately five thousand years.  No scientist can go back in time to take measurement of what happened before that, so when scientists make statements about anything that happened more than five thousand years ago they are dealing inevitably with speculation.”  ~ Philip Stott

When a scientist postulates his hypothesis, he then begins testing in a controlled manner and this testing either finds the hypothesis true or false or finds that more testing is needed.  Once a hypothesis is thought to be proved true, it still doesn’t become a theory until much testing is complete.

“If the data continue to support the hypothesis, it eventually becomes a theory.  If it does not, it must be altered or discarded.”  ~ Wile, Jay L., and Durnell, Marilyn F., Exploring Creation with Biology

With Evolution you have several different hypotheses and theories that you are dealing with. Following are a few examples and some key issues surrounding them.

In the 1800’s, Charles Lyell came up with a theory that basically says the present is the key to the past. 

In this theory, we look at what’s happening today and project these processes back through time to understand our beginnings.  Part of this idea is the theory of gradualism, which is:

 ‘Slow processes gradually going on through immense spans of time are assumed to be the only cause for virtually everything in nature and in the universe.’

With this belief comes the idea of evolution, i.e. given enough time anything is possible.

The truth is gradualism is true, but only in part.

CreationThere are other ways things happen besides the slow change over time method.  Think of Mount Saint Helens.  With the eruption of that volcano, scientists were able to observe geological phenomena that were supposed to take millions of years to occur, happen in seconds.  This view, where geological phenomena occur in seconds, is the catastrophic view of how things came/come about.  We see both of these processes occurring around us today.  Some creationists would attribute most of the geological structure we see today to a catastrophic event, such as a great flood, where a gradualist would attribute most of what we see today to change that has taken place over vast amounts of time.

Next we have Darwin, who in his study of animal life noticed amazing similarity between animals.

As he observed, he came up with what to him was a plausible idea, creatures adapted to their environment by changing their characteristics and over time due to the survival of the fittest theory, the ‘new’ animal would be better suited for the new environment and the old would pass away.  For example, given like species, those in a desert climate would learn to adapt and be able to survive with little water, where those in a rainforest would need more water to survive.  When you compare the two you would see many similarities, but at the same time many differences.

The truth is there is truth in Darwin’s observations and ideas.

Animals do change over time, they do adapt to their environment.  God has created this magnificent ability within them; it’s programmed into their genes.  This process is called micro-evolution and we can observe it and verify that it does indeed happen.  The thing is it happens within a species; a species doesn’t become a whole new species.  Look at all the variety of dogs, cats, horses, frogs, and even people you see in the world today.  (If all mankind came from Adam and Eve, then all the races had to come from them too – amazing huh?)

Where Darwin’s theory goes haywire is with the idea of macro-evolution.

Macro-evolution is the theory that says one species brought forth another.

colorful birdDarwin, in his speculations assumed that if a species could change within that species then, given enough time, species could change into a whole new species.  He believed that as scientists researched this idea, they would find in the fossil record many transitional species, which would show the slow gradual change of one species into another (i.e. back to gradualism – over enough time anything is possible), but to his dismay, in his own studies he could not find the numerous intermediate links he believed would be there.

“Geological research, though it has added numerous species to the existing and extinct genera, and has made the intervals between some few groups less wide than they otherwise would have been, yet has done scarcely anything in breaking the distinction between species, by connecting them together by numerous, fine, intermediate varieties; and this not having been affected, is probably the gravest and most obvious of all the many objections which can be raised against my views.”  (The Origin of Species, 6th ed, 1962, Collier Books, NY, p. 462)  (Wile, Jay L., and Durnell. Marilyn F. Exploring Creation with Biology, 286)

Scientists have continued to search the fossil records for these transitional species, but still haven’t found the proof they seek.  With the lack of evidence, you would think that the ‘theory of evolution’ would be called an unproven hypothesis rather than a theory. Today, scientists have come up with a new theory/hypothesis to explain how evolution can be true given the lack of fossil proof, it’s called punctuated equilibrium.

“… in 1972, evolutionary scientists Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge proposed another explanation, which they called “punctuated equilibrium.” That is, species are generally stable, changing little for millions of years. This leisurely pace is “punctuated” by a rapid burst of change that results in a new species and that leaves few fossils behind.” ~ PBS Evolution Library 

Basically, punctuated equilibrium says that there are no transitional species, but that one species births a totally different species without all the intermediate steps.

Scientist in their desire to prove that creation did not happen, have sought many ways to prove evolution true.  So far they have failed, and yet they hold on to their beliefs and come up with new hypotheses and then test and research.

As Christians, we need to set the precedent in the study of God’s truths and do so with a vigor that rivals the evolutionist in his search to prove there isn’t a creator. 

Scripture teaches us about God but so does His creation. We need to hold fast to God’s Word while learning the truths that are around us.  In Darwin’s day, many denied Darwin’s theories and threw out the good with the bad.  In their defense of the Bible, they were unwilling to look at any scientific evidence that would contradict their view of Creation.  It was widely believed in that day that God created each animal unique. Today we have learned much about genetics and can see how God created the ability to change and adapt within the genes.  Does this mean God did not create?  Of course not, it just means His creation is much more complex than those in Darwin’s day thought it was.

As a Christian, I believe that God’s Word is true and that I cannot pick the parts I like from it and throw out any that I may have a hard time grasping.  When modern science and the Bible seem to conflict, I need to take a harder look at what science is actually teaching.  We must never fear to glean all the truth we can from the scientific community, but we must look at all we glean in light of God’s Word to us and make sure we are getting the truth.  This principle holds true for all aspects of our study, science is just one example.

By Tami Munden 

An excellent site for more information about Creation and Science is Dr. Jay Wile’s blog:  http://blog.drwile.com/ .   He also has a helpful list of websites/blogs for people who want to delve more deeply into the subject.