Why does a woodpecker peck wood? Evolutionists don't know. But you can! Read the accompanying article for the answer.
The BIGGEST false doctrine today is EVOLUTION. Evolution is a FAITH — an almost religious-like BELIEF IN SOMETHING NOT SEEN — not proved! IS there a God? Did that God CREATE? Can you PROVE it? Evolutionists say no, and offer the theory of evolution as the only possible substitute for belief in God. But how accurate, how logical, how SOUND IS their theory? Read, in this article, only a few of the reasons why evolution is UTTERLY impossible!
"AT THE MOMENT, we have to confess that our ignorance of the actual creation is more or less complete." Shocking words? No — quite commonplace among astronomers. The quotation came as a summary of the views of Drs. John Shakeshaft and Peter Scheuer of the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory, Cambridge, England. The astronomers were being interviewed over BBC. Under discussion were current theories of the origin of the universe. The astronomers showed how one more of the theories had been recently discarded — that of the "steady-state," or "continuous creation" theory which had caused so much discussion. But does the average layman know astronomers, geneticists, physicists, biologists, chemists, or paleontologists and geologists oftentimes disagree among themselves over the various hypotheses advanced in support of evolution? Probably not. Evolutionists, of course, view such disagreement as a healthy sign of progress. Admittedly progress in an uncertain direction — but progress, nevertheless. For example, a blue-ribbon meeting of scientists recently gathered for a two-day symposium in Philadelphia. By agreement at the beginning, there was NO DISCUSSION of the influence of God or any form of Supreme Being! How about that? They had agreed IN ADVANCE not to "clutter up" the arguments with any POSSIBLE idea of a Supreme Being! The results of the meeting? They attacked Darwinism; showed how the theory of evolution, as it presently stands, is "incomplete." But just what was MISSING? They didn't say. But let laymen attack Darwinism? Evolutionists would lift up hands of horror and disbelief. For one who is not "qualified" to give an opinion — for one who has not agreed in advance to keep all ideas of a Divine Being OUT of the discussion to challenge evolutionary thought is not "fair"; it's not abiding by the tacit "RULES" of scientific "thinking." But is such an approach truly objective? Is it TRUTH they seek? What about you? Do YOU ever sincerely WONDER about life? Do you ever look at the breathtaking marvels all around you — the limitless sky — the vastness of incomprehensible space — the myriad life forms — do you ever look, and WONDER?
Evolutionists Keep God Out of Their Discussions
Evolutionists have generally agreed among themselves NOT to open up to question the whole framework of evolution. Notice an outstanding example: "How did it all begin?" asks a geologist in an article directed toward oil drillers. "Several theories as to the origin of the raw material from which the earth was formed do exist and are quite reasonable," he explained. Then came the decision to avoid issues and questions. Notice it: "as we must use something as a starting point and as we want to avoid stepping into the realm of theology and philosophy, we shall use as our beginning, the time in the history of the earth when it MAY have consisted only of a gigantic turbulent cloud of gas... " (The Johnson Drillers Journal, May-June, 1966). (Emphasis ours.) Is it significant that the most popular idea for the origin of the earth is described as a huge cloud of gas? But WHY NOT step in to the realm of theology and philosophy? WHY NOT be willing to QUESTION a theory which is NOT PROVED? Why not look at the marvels of "nature" and ask specific, positive, practical questions about HOW evolution could have taken place? Evolutionists seek to AVOID such practical questions. They agree, BEFORE beginning discussions about evolutionary thought, to KEEP GOD OUT OF THE PICTURE! What a remarkable fulfillment of what Paul was inspired to write, "And even as they did not like to RETAIN GOD in their knowledge, God gave them over to a REPROBATE MIND..." (Rom. 1:28). And these ancient philosophers of whom Paul wrote were among the very earliest "evolutionists"! But it's about time you THREW OUT of your mind all prejudice against God, and against HIS KNOWLEDGE! Take a look at some of the marvelous creatures in this earthly environment of yours, and ask yourself some logical, simple, rational, scientific questions about them! How can evolution be true? How did these life forms develop? How did these creatures survive? How could all present life forms have "gradually EVOLVED" from brown seaweed, or from trees, or from amoeba, or from flatworms?
The Amazing Archer Fish
Look carefully at our beautiful color illustration of one of the breathtaking marvels of "nature." The Archer fish is only one example out of the more than ONE MILLION, THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND catalogued "species" on this earth. And in EVERY ONE of those 1,300,000 cases, there is a special, interesting, life story. In every case there are special methods of nest building, of protection through camouflage, of coloration, of mating and breeding, of migrating, or of food-getting techniques. Every creature has different methods for "survival" which evolution CANNOT EXPLAIN! The little Archer fish is given his name because of his phenomenal ability to shoot down his meals from overhanging branches above the water! Strange anatomical and behavioral characteristics make this beautiful little fish one of the most perplexing problems to evolutionists. The Archer fish, or T. jaculatrix (for "ejaculator fish"), of the genus Toxotes, (Greek word for "archer"), is nature's version of the Polaris submarine. The fish lives in coastal salt water, brackish waters of swamps, or fresh water of estuaries, rivers and streams. It is native to Indian and Southeast Asian waters, and found even in Northeastern Australia. A small fish, it attains a maximum size of only about 7 inches. From the moment of birth, the Archer distinguishes himself as one of the most unusual of all creatures. Babies are gregarious, and, since they live in ofttimes murky, brackish waters, they shine with bright, luminous spots, resembling tiny, greenish Buorescent lamps. Researchers surmise the luminosity helps the tiny fish keep contact with one another in the dark and muddy waters. The Archer's wide-eyed stare is because his eyes are so remarkably more complex than those of most fish. He is equipped with "binocular" vision just like humans. While his eyes are on the sides of his head, he can swivel them sufficiently to see ONE image in front, or above. Archers with one eye gone, because of parasite or injury, continually shoot their jet of water too far to one side (depending on which eye is lost), and are even unsuccessful in jumping clear of the water to reach food. The retina of the Archer's eye is much more complex than that of most fish, having a very large number of cones and rods. But even in this, the Archer is still more complex. The cones (the tiny tissues of the retina of the eye which act as microscopic focusing devices) number only 8 or 9, since they're for daytime vision. But the rods (for vision in muddy or dark water!) number 217! It has been proved Archer fish can extinguish cigarettes in total darkness with their instinctive jet of water! As the little fish develop, they begin "spitting" at numerous targets above the water in their natural habitat. At first, the tiny fish succeed in squirting their jet only two or three inches. Later, as adults, they will spurt a stream of water as far as FIFTEEN FEET! Normally, the adult Archer shoots down his prey at a range of only 3 to 4 feet, however, and the jet of water carries its flat trajectory only about twenty-two inches. What makes this fish "shoot down" his prey? Ichthyologists have discovered a tiny groove in the roof of the Archer fish's mouth. When the tongue, which is hard and bony, is compressed against the roof of the mouth, and water forced through the mouth by a sudden snapping shut of the gill covers, the water squirts out the gun-barrel-like groove, usually striking its target the first time, at distances up to 2 or 3 feet! When did the FIRST Archer fish "decide" to shoot down its prey? When it HAD to? If the Archer had to develop his remarkable "polaris" ability, are we to assume he did so because it was necessary for his survival? If that could POSSIBLY be true, then how did all the OTHER fish who swim side-by-side with the Archer, and who always feed on the bottom, in the water, or at the surface, survive? Are we to assume the Archer was the ONLY SURVIVOR? But such theories are only idle guesswork, and, pardon the expression, don't hold water! What really baffles evolutionists about the Archer fish is that spouting IS NOT ITS PRIMARY FOOD-GETTING METHOD! It doesn't NEED to spout! The Archer feeds on the surface, jumps clear of the surface to take insects on the wing, or feeds on objects which sink a few inches into the water. No vague theory of the "survival of the fittest" can POSSIBLY account for the unique ability of this marvelous little fish! And no imaginings of supposed "mutations" could POSSIBLY account for it! Many vain thinkers allow themselves to indulge in careless, idle speculation! They DAYDREAM, in their own minds, various fictitious ways in which this special food-getting apparatus could have evolved. One might theorize that one day, long ago, a little Archer fish made his very first attempt at "spitting." But he succeeded (since his special apparatus had not yet "developed" fully) only in gurgling a tiny few drops above the surface. Then what did he do? Keep trying, and trying, and trying, until he finally succeeded? But the Archer fish, remember, doesn't NEED to obtain his food by spouting his well-aimed jet of water. Further, an Archer does grow tired after several spouts — and will rest before trying again, or leave his spouting efforts until later. Evolution demands the development of highly specialized food-getting apparatus could come only through beginning mutations, and gradual development over interminable years of time. Given enough TIME, they reason, ANY-thing could have happened. But the Archer didn't need his special vision, if he weren't spouting jets of water high above the water. He couldn't spout streams of water accurately until he had the vision. He couldn't solve the problem of parallax until his trajectory and distance of spouting had been established; but that trajectory and distance could not have been established until his whole spouting mechanism had been PERFECTLY formed. But his spouting mechanism could not have been perfectly formed, including his hard, bony tongue, his little groove in the roof of his mouth, his specially built, large, forward-focusing eyes, with their unusual numbers of cones and rods for vision in and above brackish waters, until he really NEEDED it formed TO SURVIVE! But the Archer DOES NOT NEED TO SPOUT TO SURVIVE! No — no amount of guesswork, idle speculation, hazy notions, and day-dreams are going to "explain away" this little marvel of what people call "nature." Not by a long shot. Of water, that is! But look at the METHODS USED in AVOIDING THE WHOLE ISSUE! Here is a direct quote from one of the most thorough and comprehensive reports on the Archer fish available, written by an ichthyologist who devoted himself to extensive research, anatomical study through dissection, and experimentation with Archer fish. He says, "This [the fact the Archer does not need to depend on spouting for his food] raises an interesting question for evolutionary theory; Spouting, if it is so unimportant, can hardly have been a significant factor in the survival of the species or in selection and differentiation within the species." The next statement in the article about this marvelous creature? "LEAVING THIS QUESTION ASIDE, it is true the archer fish DOES spout and knock down insects" (Emphasis mine.) ("The Archet Fish," K. H. Luling). But WHY LEAVE IT ASIDE? Simply because it CANNOT BE ANSWERED! Notice — spouting is admitted to be of no real importance in either the survival of the species, or the "selection and differentiation within the species." That means no evolutionist can try to explain away the Archer fish by claiming one ancient parent had, through mutations, only a tiny PART of the fantastic apparatus required for spouting, and that ancestor happened to mate with another who had another tiny part, and then their babies happened to mate with some Archers (who weren't Archers, then!) who had SOME OTHER tiny part — and so on. The noted ichthyologists who have studied the fish make no such claims. Why? Simply because this goes beyond the known and POSITIVE LAWS REGULATING mutations. By such vague reasoning, humans with long noses could, in a few generations, rival elephants! Yes, the Archer fish does spout — even though he doesn't NEED to. But the spouting is more complex than just squirting a jet of water! First, the little fish must solve the problem of refraction. Refraction is the bending of the light rays as they enter the water, causing objects to appear where they are not. Any boy who has thrown rocks into a clear stream has seen refraction. But the Archer fish solves the problem each time — with remarkable accuracy. Tests have shown the little fellow even pinpoints his spout with such care he blasts insects away from a perch to which they could cling. For instance, when an insect is crouching on the side of a tank, the fish would aim the jet of water directly beneath the insect, thus dislodging it from the glass, rather than hitting it on the back, and only succeeding in getting it wet! Not only does the Archer solve the refraction problem, but he also solves immediately the parallax problem. Parallax is the difference between the location of the fish's eyes in relation to the target and the location of his mouth. Again, the little spouter performs with hardly a miss! This led one ichthyologist to suggest the fish must have a "truly remarkable trigonometric range finder in its brain." What a dilemma to the evolutionist! The Archer DOES SPOUT! But he didn't NEED to spout — and therefore did not "gradually develop" this remarkable anatomy, these fantastic eyes, that tiny groove in his mouth, and his hard, bony tongue, IN ORDER TO SURVIVE! No, the Archer didn't "DEVELOP" Anything! He was CREATED! He was given INSTINCT, by the All-wise Divine Creator Being who gives YOU every breath of air you breathe! The Archer is not just an automatic "squirt gun." He's a little living creature, who makes mistakes, and grows tired. He's been known to shoot at almost ANYTHING within reach of his deadly accurate stream of water — and even shot one researcher right in the eye, when the batting of the man's eyelids attracted the little fish. Such a highly complex, living testimony to the wondrous handiwork of your Creator ought to be admired, and enjoyed — and we should come to see more of the love, warmth, and even HUMOR of OUR GOD in these little creatures — not the idiocy of "no god" theories! The unanswerable ability of the Archer fish says the theory of evolution is "all wet" — shot down, by a tiny creature made by the great God of the Universe!
What Makes a Woodpecker Peck Wood? Or: How Much Wood Can a Woodpecker Peck?
One of the most interesting sights you probably recall from childhood experience was a woodpecker hammering furiously against a tree. Anyone who has spent much time in the woods in almost any part of the United States has heard the familiar rat-a-tat-tat of a woodpecker banging his sharp, stout beak against wood. Woodpeckers have some of the most remarkable habits of all living things. They're another amazing example of highly specialized creatures who obtain their food in a very unusual manner. One ornithologist told of seeing a woodpecker land on his favorite oak tree. Seeing the blurred head as the bird furiously hacked clouds of splinters and sawdust out of his favorite tree, the man shouted at the bird, then decided to girdle the part of the tree the woodpecker had attacked with a heavy wire mesh, in an attempt to discourage it. But the woodpecker was soon back. This time, the man found the wire mesh in shreds, and the bird busily drilling deep into his tree! Finally, however, after finding the going a good bit tougher through the wire, and after being frightened away repeatedly, the bird was heard by the owner of the tree drilling away on trees more distant in the forest. Several years later, he reports, a severe storm snapped his beautiful oak tree right where the woodpecker had been drilling. Deep within the trunk, the ornithologist discovered a big colony of carpenter ants, and a labyrinth of galleries they had gnawed inside it. It was then the man decided that, had he permitted that woodpecker to clean out that ant nest, he would still have his beautiful oak tree, only made more rustic by the familiar drilling marks of the bird families' answer to the jackhammer, the woodpecker. But how did the woodpecker know those ants were deep inside a tough old oak? Why does a woodpecker obtain his food in the most difficult manner possible? COULD woodpeckers have "evolved" gradually — learning to "survive" in the only way possible for them, pecking deep into tough trees? There are many different species of woodpeckers. One hundred seventy-nine in the world, and twenty-two of them in North America. They range in size from the huge pileated woodpecker (19 inches from tip of tail to tip of beak — about the size of a crow) to the tiny downy. Each species finds its food in a slightly different fashion, and feeds on different things. The little downy feeds on caterpillars found in small twigs and tiny crevices, while the redheaded woodpecker (the one with which most people seem at least partly familiar) feeds on ants and grubs inside the trees. The gaudily decorated pileated woodpecker can strip the bark completely from a tree (one ornithologist watched a huge pileated remove 30 feet of bark from a tree in less than 15 minutes!) that has been attacked by carpenter ants, thus preventing the spreading of the ants to other healthy trees nearby. The flicker (named because of the flash of white color on its wings in flight) feeds on or near the ground, lapping up ants with its sticky tongue. The woodpecker is totally different from other birds. First and most obvious, is his beak. It is straight, very hard in comparison with most birds, and pointed. The head is constructed differently, too. The skull is much thicker than other birds, and the skull and beak are moved (sometimes more than 100 times a minute!) by powerful muscles. The bones between the beak and skull have their own built-in "shock absorbers," being constructed differently than those of other birds, which are usually directly joined together. Rather, in the woodpecker family, the beak and skull are joined by connective tissue that is spongy and elastic. Every part of the woodpecker's anatomy is specially constructed for the sale purpose of drilling into wood. Their claws are divided into two sharp and powerful toes forward, and two backward, like a pair of ice tongs, for gripping the bark. Their tail feathers act as a brace, steadying the bird on a firm tripod as it whacks away. The tail feathers are unusually strong, and during molting season, the main propping feathers do not fall out until other feathers have already been replaced, and can support the weight of the bird while the bigger, stronger feathers molt. How do they locate their food? Once, a pileated was observed whacking away on a tough old hickory. Ants were using a little knothole as an entrance into the tree — but the bird ignored the knothole. Instead it began pounding on the trunk as it slowly circled the tree — tapping, then pausing. Then it drilled its way into the very heart of the ant nest — five feet below the knothole the ants were using. Omithologists speculate the woodpeckers use their acute sense of hearing (another remarkable part of their anatomical structure) to locate the insects either by hearing the insects, or else detecting the subtle differences in the sounds of the woods over insect channels, or both. The woodpecker's tongue is perhaps its most remarkable instrument. In most cases, it is barbed, and about four times as long as the beak. The woodpecker snakes his tongue in and out of his beak like a snake's tongue. In some species, the tongue is coated with a sticky substance, used as bait to catch ants. A wood pecker will drill into a tree, then snake out its long, sticky tongue, waiting until the ants, believing it to be a worm invader, swarm all over it. The woodpecker then whips the unsuspecting ants into his mouth. Three woodpeckers were being studied in a cage by ornithologists when they decided to attempt an experiment. The experimenters tried holding food above and behind the birds heads, and were astonished when they whipped their tongues up over their heads, snatching away the foods, with out looking around or turning their heads!
Here is some of the specialized equipment of the "common" woodpecker: 1. A powerful, heavy duty BEAK — perfect as a wood-boring tool. 2. Tough NECK MUSCLES, necessary to deliver staccato, "jack-hammer" blows with its beak. 3. A THICK SKULL, mode flexible by tiny cross braces. 4. SHOCK ABSORBERS of heavy tissue between beak and skull — not found in other birds. 5. A long slender TONGUE, generally barbed and covered with sticky substance to "fish out" insects. 6. Short, powerful LEGS, unlike spindly legs of most birds. 7. Viselike TOES, two in front and two in back — a perfect pincer for grasping bark. 8. Stiff TAIL FEATHERS that end in sharp spines. These are essential to prop up the woodpecker as he excavates nesting site. Could all EIGHT of these specialized parts evolve at once? Impossible!
Every different woodpecker performs a special service in policing a balanced forest. As an article in American Forests! by Peter Farb, said, "Woodpeckers are the only creatures who spend most of their waking hours banging their heads against wood. They do this because of the role they seem to have been assigned in the living community: to glean insects from under the bark of trees." Yes, "seem to have been ASSIGNED," but by WHOM? Said the article, "They are the only things able to locate and eradicate these insect hordes." But when did the VERY FIRST woodpecker decide to PECK WOOD? In the vague guesswork of Evolution, coming to grips with such practical questions is rarely, if ever, done. But think about it. If woodpeckers "evolved," as evolutionists say they did — HOW did they? Let's "imagine" if we can, the very FIRST ATTEMPT of a woodpecker to peck wood. Remember, IF evolution "happened," it had to START SOMEPLACE! What made that first "woodpecker" (or would-be woodpecker?) decide to peck wood? Was it necessary for him to survive? But how could that be? Millions of other birds are still with us; and they obtain food on the ground, on shrubs and leaves, in the air, in the water, or, like as not, from the backs and mouths of animals! WHY PECK WOOD? But, for whatever reason, let's "assume" our first would-be woodpecker did decide to peck wood. How did he know there was any food INSIDE a tree? He didn't see it, didn't yet have his highly acute hearing to hear it. He didn't yet have his shock-absorbing cartilage between his beak and his head. His head wasn't yet thicker than other birds and his beak wasn't yet stronger, longer, or sharper. His tail feathers had not yet "somehow decided" to molt in SPECIAL ORDER SO he would always have his ready-made prop under him, and his tongue was just a little short thing, up inside his beak like most other birds. But here is the poor little would-be woodpecker. About to peck wood. Pick a tree. Any tree. Don't even pick a hickory (like modern woodpeckers often do); pick a softer tree, say, an elm. He begins banging away. OUCH! Can you imagine it? The forest floor littered with dead and dying would-be woodpeckers, who broke their beaks, dislocated their necks, shattered their heads, or broke their tail feathers, and were rendered unable to fly. Perhaps others By wildly about, in the throes of blinding, dizzying, wrenching headaches — crashing blindly into trees! For millions — no, billions — of years this continues. No woodpecker obtains his food from a tree — for he hasn't yet developed all the elaborately specialized equipment he needs. All woodpeckers keep dying. None survive. They don't survive for several reasons. First, they MUST OBTAIN THOSE ANTS AND GRUBS INSIDE OF TREES to survive! And they can't develop all their special apparatus for food-getting until they NEED to. And if they NEED to — they had better HURRY — because birds have rapid metabolism — and must eat more, proportionate to body size and weight, than almost any creature. But they keep killing themselves in the attempt. Some are stuck in cracks, pulling with futile struggles to free their beaks, caught in a stiff old oak. Others die of migraine headaches. All the rest die because they can't build nests. You see, woodpeckers build their nests inside trees. But they don't pick "old hollow trees." Rather, they hammer out their own hole in a tree. Granted, the tree can be partly hollow, or have a knothole to start on, or have an ant colony inside it. But chisel away they do — and they had to start sometime. The woodpeckers (who are not yet woodpeckers) keep dying. None survive. As the succeeding generations keep attempting to peck away, one little woodpecker (who doesn't exist, since none survived — since they couldn't survive if they failed to obtain their food from inside the trees) finally developed all the amazing special adaptive requirements for being a true, honest woodpecker. Sound logical? Is it credible? Can you believe it? Apparently, vague guesses and notions, idle daydreams and opinions, hazy ideas and hypotheses are able to "set this question aside," too. Mutations can't explain away the woodpecker. Vague ideas about birds "cleaning" their beaks on limbs, and just "accidentally" beginning to peck lightly on trees won't explain it. And remember, about 99 out of 100 mutations produce INFERIOR creatures, NOT equipped as well to survive. No, millions of woodpeckers in the world have pecked holes in the theory of evolution. It's about time you got back to the TRUNK OF THE TREE — just like the woodpecker does — and prove to yourself GOD CREATED! Every one of the hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of species of life on this earth has its own special story! And everyone of them should be studied, thought about, pondered. The amazing life forms around you were made — made to be appreciated, admired, and enjoyed! But unless you can constantly rejoice in the LOVE, WARMTH and BEAUTY your Creator has put all around you, continually recognizing HIS great designing ability, His humor and wit, His perfect planning and great Creative power — you're MISSING OUT on some of the truly savory moments of this life God has given you. Do YOU know of some interesting and unusual creatures? Have YOU ever wondered what makes a spider spin, or how eggs are formed, or why deer have hollow hair? Have you any interesting creature you'd like to see pictured, and thoroughly explained, in The PLAIN TRUTH magazine? Have you any interesting stories to tell about animal instinct or creature habits you have observed, personally? If so, then write in and tell us about them. Soon, we'll tell you about the mysterious Australian brush turkey — with nature's most remarkable thermostat, and "anableps," a little creature who walks on water, and show you more of the wonders and marvels of God's great creation. WORSHIP God — HE made the earth, and every creature in it.
HOW AMBASSADOR COLLEGE "SHOT" THE ARCHER FISH!
Realizing the importance of the Archer fish as a living witness to the creative handiwork of God, our Photographic Laboratory began the attempt to photograph it in action. Several specimens were acquired from local tropical fish stores. (The Archer is actually found in waters from India to the northeastern tip of Australia.) The one particular fish we wanted to photograph, had never to our knowledge "spit." His owners had always thrown food into the water. However, we had purchased another, smaller, but extremely vivacious young Archer. He shot at any object. It wasn't long before the big Archer came rumbling from his rock hideaway to take a shot at the insect decoy hanging in the fish tank. A mechanism was perfected so sensitive that it recorded the extremely fast action of the Archer's "squirt." (The mechanism consisted of a needle hanging next to a contact point.) As soon as the water splattered the insect suspended on the end of it, the needle touched the contact-and set the electronic flash off. The camera shutter was opened in the darkened area by hand — just a second before the Archer began to shoot. After many exasperating sittings before the fish tank, our photographer was finally able to snap a color photograph of the stream of water. (As other investigators have found, the Archer sends out a single jet of water. It travels a few inches and breaks up into a fine spray plus a few larger but fast-moving droplets. This barrage of droplets batters the insect.) The Ambassador College photograph at the left was the final result. — See PDF for Pictures.