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The Lie: Evolution


Flickering, Flashing Fireflies

by Lanny and Marilyn Johnson

Just as dusk is falling on a warm summer night, God presents one of His most beautiful light shows. A mysterious light twinkles in the air, then disappears and then reappears. Soon many tiny lights are flickering and flashing - like brightly colored stars shining on and off in the twilight. The fireflies have begun their nightly mating ritual.

Fireflies are not really flies at all. They are beetles and like most beetles, fireflies are rather slow and clumsy fliers. The males do most of the flying. They flit about at night, signaling to the females in the' grass below. Although the female firefly generally has wings, she does not fly about looking for a mate. Instead, she waits on a blade of grass, watching for a signal from a male of her species (or same kind.) When she sees his light, she flashes in response. With his large eyes the male can easily spot the females flash from the grass below. Once a male has flashed his light and sees an answer from a female, he flies to her to mate.

While fireflies of many species may all be flashing their lights in the same area, the fireflies do not get confused. Each kind of firefly has its own signal or code. Only members of the same kind will answer one another. The codes vary according to the brightness and color of the glow, the number of flashes of light, and the length of time the light stays on and off.

Just how the firefly produces light is still somewhat of a mystery. But scientists are beginning to understand the process. Two substances, called luciferin and luciferase, are stored in the light-producing cells in the fireflies belly. Oxygen is carried to these cells through many tube-like vessels called tracheae. When luciferin and luciferase combine with oxygen, light is produced.

Another mysterious thing about firefly light which scientists still do not understand, is that the firefly's glow is a "cold" light. Most light gives off heat. Only 10% or less of the light produced by, fireflies is heat. An ordinary light bulb (incandescent) on the other hand wastes 90% of its energy as heat.

The firefly truly is a wonderful mystery. The biggest mystery, though, is how evolution could ever explain how all those special chemicals, special cells, flashing codes, and "cold" light of the firefly could ever have happened by chance and accident. It looks as though it was all planned out by design.

So the next time you see a firefly, keep in mind that its flickering isn't just a wonder of the night - it's also a unique creation of God!


> While each firefly species has its own pattern of flashing, some females imitate the patterns of other species. Males land next to them -- only to be eaten alive.
> Luciferin was named after Satan, or Lucifer the angel of light (II Corinthians 11: 14) in 1885 by Raphael Dubois, a French physiologist.
> Latin American women collect large, colorful fireflies. They fasten them in netting and dress up their hair or clothes with the fireflies, which shine like jewels in the dark.
> In Japan, people value fireflies so much that they buy and sell them. The fireflies are kept in bamboo cages and used as soft lighting for homes, gardens, and restaurants.
> In the West Indies, people catch fireflies and fasten them to their ankles and wrists. The fireflies
serve as lanterns so that when the West Indians go hunting or fishing at night in the dark, they do not lose their way.
> Some experts think the firefly's flashy style may warn predators of the insect's bitter taste. On the other hand, some frogs eat so many fireflies that they, themselves, begin to glow!

Source: Alpha Omega Institute