Golden Plover: Intelligent Design or Chance

Golden Plover: Intelligent Design or Chance?<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

David A. Noebel
          Every so often it is important to take a step back from the front lines of our cultural wars and reflect on what it is that we are about.  The Creator and His creation are always a good place to lodge.  The Bible says that "the heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky proclaims the work of His hands." (Ps. 19:1)  Genesis 1:30 speaks about God creating "every bird of the skies."
            What do birds navigating the skies teach us?  Why not observe the Golden Plover and discover the answer yourself!
            Two <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Summit professors, Dave and Mary Jo Nutting, edit a publication call "Think and Believe."  Back in the Winter 2004 edition they printed a highly stimulating article by Dr. Dan Korow entitled "The Migration of the Golden Plover."  I could summarize the article for our readers, but this one is too good to summarize.  So with no apology I invite our readers to search the skies for the Golden Plover via the eyes of Dan Korow…
            The golden plover is no "bird brain."  His summer home is in Alaska, and his winter retreat in Hawaii!  How would you like those living arrangements?  However, Alaska and Hawaii are separated by the Pacific Ocean.  How does this little bird get from one home to the other?  Does it book a flight on United Airlines, sitting in the first class section, munching on a bowl of seeds.  No.  In reality it flies the entire 2,500 mile trip in one fell swoop.  This is no easy task.
            Researchers have estimated that golden plovers flap their wings approximately 250,000 times in succession.  Since there are no rest stops along the way to relax their weary wings, they either reach their destinations or they drown.  It's all or nothing-they do not know how to swim!
            Golden Plovers must also have enough stored energy.  Since their only fuel source is their fat cells, they must have the foresight to "bulk up" to nearly twice their body mass prior to the trip.  Whoever heard of a marathon runner intentionally putting on weight before a long distance race?  Yet, studies show that they increase their size to 200 grams, allowing a maximum of 70 grams as energy for fuel.
            Now, here's the amazing aspect of their migration.  Even with their bulkier bodies, they still do not have enough fat fuel to make the trip.  At weights below 130 grams, these birds would be too weak to fly.  They should run out of steam 72 hours into their 88 hour flight!
            So how do they successfully accomplish this astonishing marathon?  The key is that they must fly in a "V" formation like Canadian geese.  The leader of the pack flaps his wings creating a turbulent airflow behind him.  This swirling air creates an updraft that the followers take advantage of.  As a result, the golden plovers arrive at their destination having used 23% less energy in flight and with approximately 10 grams of fat in reserve!
            Even more astonishing is their ability to navigate the long distance.  If they were only 5% off their target, they would miss the Hawaiian Islands completely.  Yet, even though they lack a compass, maps, or even a CPS, they remain oriented in the precise direction.  Neither cloud cover, adverse weather conditions, night flight, winds, nor a lack of landmarks over a vast ocean can throw them off course.  All of this strongly suggests God's hand of guidance over these amazing birds.
            Unfortunately our [evolutionary] textbooks attribute all this to "instinct," and not to God.  Instead, let's give the credit to the source of true intelligent design:  our all-wise, all-knowing, all-caring, and loving Creator.  He alone is worthy.  If God can lead and direct the golden plover, how much more can He lead and guide you in life through His divine Word and Holy Spirit!  We're in good hands.
            That's the end of Korow's great article, but wouldn't you dear reader like to know from the evolutionists where the bird's "instinct" came from if that's their latest position.  I also would be interested in knowing how many golden plovers fell into the ocean slowly developing this instinct.  But then, that brings us right back into the cultural wars which I originally said we needed to step back from and do some serious reflecting.  So let's together reflect on the how "the skies proclaim the work of His hands." (Ps. 19:1)

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