The other night as my wife fell asleep watching the seventh rerun of her favorite "Law and Order: SVU," I took the opportunity to channel-surf to the History, Military and Discovery channels. Lo and behold, here was a documentary on animal survival.
The zebras were particularly interesting! There are many theories about their stripes. They camouflage the zebra by helping it to blend into the grassland and, some suggest, even the heat rays rising from the savannah. It appears to be very effective, but one must ask the question, "How did this come to be?"
Are we to believe that the member of the horse family that was to become the zebra underwent numerous mutations before it arrived at the black-and-white stripes that enhanced his likelihood of survival so much that it became the dominant pattern in the zebra population? I wonder how many mutations and eons that took. Did anyone notice this happening?
Consider the lowly flounder. This bottom-dweller is born with two eyes, one on each side. As it matures, one eye migrates, so as an adult, both eyes are on the upside. Quite a trick! Do we find other bottom-dwelling fish mutating migrating eyes?
Look at the chameleon. It is a small lizard that takes the color of its surroundings, so as to avoid predators. Its camouflage is extremely effective and definitely enhances this lizard's chances for survival, but just how did this get started? Seems like this great mutation would have found its way throughout the animal kingdom!
Many believe nature is survival of the fittest, and if a certain trait enhances survival, that feature will be handed down from generation to generation. Because of this advantage, the offspring will live longer, and therefore reproduce more often. As generations pass, the population will reflect that trait. Some would argue that as populations become isolated and genetic traits become more dominant, eventually new species will arise.
Science calls it evolution. That sounds good and makes sense, but there are problems with that theory. Why have some life forms remained essentially unchanged for millions of years? Are they perfectly evolved? Why have some disappeared? Couldn't they evolve?
Others believe in "intelligent design." I don't like the term "intelligent design." It seems like a politically correct term for God, without the danger of offending someone by mentioning that three-letter word.
Is it evolution or God's creation? Let's take for example the biggest problem with the evolution theory: human beings. Proponents of evolution believe we evolved from apes and after all, there is a family resemblance. Skeletons of ancient hominoids have been found and speculation is that they are our earlier ancestors. Missing links, if you will!
It could be true! Thousands of years ago in Europe, there was a population of hominoids called Neanderthals. Studies have shown them to be rather primitive, dim-witted, living in caves and eating a strict organic diet. They built no homes or villages and had no agriculture. They were certainly liberals, sharing their wealth and respecting the ecosystem.
Then about 80,000 years ago, Homo sapiens encroached upon their environment and our cousins, the Gumps, were history. Some scientists conclude that the Neanderthal gene is still active in a sub-species of human called liberal Democrats.
But seriously, where did we come from? Why is it that the rest of the animal kingdom is pretty much on the same level of intelligence, and then you have man? No other species has ever dominated the world so quickly or so completely. Has any other species even harnessed fire, let alone electricity, nuclear power, or space travel? Of course not!
What other species has developed hundreds of complex languages, built cities, organized governments or transplanted organs? None! Why have we put men on the moon and dogs are still chasing their tails?
The majority of human beings believe in God. We call him many different names and the belief in an eternal afterlife is common. Many do not believe, but what other animal knew there was even a choice?
The latest "estimated" size of the universe is 150 billion light years. The speed of light is 186,282 miles per second. Can we even comprehend 186,282 miles per second x 60 seconds x 60 minutes x 24 hours x 365 days x 150 billion years? We can not imagine!
Why are we head and shoulders above the rest? Why have we done what no other species has ever done? Is all this just evolution and happened by chance, or is this God's creation? I don't believe in chance. I believe in God's creation.
Chuck Pinkey is the owner of River Valley New Holland Inc. in Otego. He can be reached at email@example.com.