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The Lie: Evolution


Then God Said, Let the Earth bring forth the Creeping Thing

 By Jerry Bergman

Man-made objects and those constructed by the Creator reveal a major contrast when examined under a microscope. Objects such as a watch reveal more and more imperfections as the magnification is increased. An old-fashioned gear watch is a thing of beauty when viewed with the naked eye. But under the microscope the flaws in the chrome metal plating and the machining process become more and more apparent until a watch looks imperfect, even crude under high powered magnification.

In contrast, increasing magnification of the natural world reveals heightened detail, intricacy, and perfection. This principle can be illustrated by an evaluation of the lowly beetles, which are one of the most common types of bugs known. In fact, the class insecta has almost a million members-by far more than any other class of creatures. By comparison there are only 3,000 types of mammals.

So it is significant when we read in Genesis 1:24-31, ''Then God said, 'Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: ... and creeping thing ... , each according to its kind'; and it was so. And God made ... everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.' ... and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food,' and it was so. Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day."

Unfortunately, even though God saw what He made as very good, people typically feel revulsion to insects. This dislike can often be overcome simply by learning more about insects and their world. They are enormously important for humans since many kinds of chemicals, dyes, and shellacs are produced from insects. Insects also produce food (such as honey), medicine, clothing (such as silk); they pollinate flowers; and they are even part of our cultural folklore. Butterflies, ladybugs, crickets, and bees are a few examples of insects that bring much beauty into our lives. Most insects are harmless, and some (including lady bugs and spiders) are generally beneficial because both eat many harmful kinds of insects. Fully 85 percent of flowering plants are either completely or partly dependent on insect pollination. Insects also playa critical role in building the soil, and as scavengers they reduce debris and waste material on the ground.

Hours of enjoyable time can be invested observing insects hard at work in their miniature world. The Scriptures state much about the many qualities of certain insects. Careful observation of the ant soon gives meaning to the scriptural exhortation: "Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise," (Proverbs 6:6). An obvious quality of ants is their persistence and determination; they often carry or tenaciously drag over long distances objects weighing more than twice their own weight. As the ants trudge along, they may fall or roll down some precipice, but they always persist in their travels. Ants keep their nests clean, instinctively prepare for their future, and even show concern for their fellow workers (at times assisting injured or exhausted ants back to their nest).

Insects also occupy an important place in relation to the rest of Creation and determine the character of our world to a far greater extent than most people realize. If they were suddenly to disappear completely, the world would be changed so extensively that it eventually could not support life as we know it. Not only would there no longer be the pollination necessary for food production, but also many microscopic creatures that help sustain the health and productivity of fertile soil would be gone. So it was part of God's wisdom to develop an intricate array of interdependent relationships on day six of the Creation week. He apparently did not want any part of His Creation to think that it could stand alone and selfishly exist without the care and cooperation of other parts of His gift of life.

Looking at just one of these tiny creatures with the naked eye, we discover adult boxelder bugs are flat backed, narrow elongated bugs about half an inch long and close to a third of an inch wide. They are typically dark brownish black with three red stripes that run lengthwise along the pronotum (the area behind the head). The proboscis or snout is reddish orange. They also have four thin, long segmented antennae. The nymphs or immature bugs are similar to the adults except that they are smaller, wingless, more rounded in shape, and bright red in color.

The females usually lay eggs in late April to early May inside of tree bark crevices, on grasses, or on the ground around stones for protection. In about 15 days the eggs hatch, and the bright red nymphs appear. Boxelder bugs feed primarily on seed bearing boxclder trees. although occasionally they feed on ash. maple. or other trees. 'They live by sucking sap from leaves, small twigs, or even developing seeds. Boxelder bugs usually do little harm to trees, and most nature lovers leave them alone.

Because boxelder bugs reproduce primarily on female boxelder trees, the bugs are not usually seen in abundance unless a boxelder is nearby. During the summer these tiny creatures live in noticed. In the winter, boxelder bugs move to areas where they can survive the cold, especially inside or under a house or another heated building. The bugs are often noticed in the fall when they migrate to buildings for protection from the cold. They first cluster on the side of a house and slowly crawl into cracks and crevices where they can safely stay warm.

In the spring they reemerge and reproduce as the older generation dies out during the summer. Two generations exist per year, and in the fall the second generation spends the winter in protected sites until the next spring. This cycle of life and providential support for a tiny creature is only one small example of how the Creator has designed and orchestrated His care for every living thing. But it is not until we take a much closer look at this common bug that we realize just how thorough God is.

A scanning electron microscope (with magnification up to 300 times) reveals that the intricate designs of a common boxelder bug shows evidence of an all wise design. Further magnification shows that the box elder eye is a compound design containing hundreds of facets that allow the insect to be aware of much of the world around it. The eye design lets it accurately see not only he world on each side of it but also above and below it-nearly a 300 degree angle of vision (picture 1). As it moves along in its travels, it picks up information about what is on each side, as well as directly in front, above, and below (picture 16).

Notice the hair structure details which are designed to help the creature increase its awareness by the feel of its environment. Especially note that even the hairs have their own pockets and a frame which protects the shell of the insect yet allows the hair to move (picture 26). Some hair structures are refined enough to allow the hair to move yet they become thicker and stiffer close to the base giving strength to help the animal protect itself from its enemies. In contrast the tips of the hairs possess the fine sensitivity needed to help the sense of touch. Hairs on the side of the bug also help it become aware of the environment and are arranged, in a pattern to maximize tactile stimulation input. The single hair projecting farther than the others (picture 6) lets the insect sense more of its surroundings and helps it to respond accordingly.

The hairs often assist in guiding the insect as it maneuver through the tight spaces which ar typical of its world. Most insects live on the ground and scurry between grass, rocks, or leaves. They must not only be aware that there are objects surrounding them, but insects often must learn something about those objects-whether they are a leaf, a rock, or a blade of grass. This helps them orient themselves to their micro world and find their way to and from certain destinations, much to the fascination of humans who study them.

God also designed miniature claw structures to effectively grab things and allow the insect to climb trees or plants to feed (picture 10) A closer look also reveals certain variations. While some parts were designed to grab (picture 10); others are designed to push the animal 0bjects (picture 12); still other parts assist in gathering information through the sense of touch.

The Creator provides a powerful lesson here through our close observation of His handiwork. Perhaps a key reason that the insects are the largest group of any creatures involves their incredible ability to take in so much information about their environment through their senses.

They know how to best maneuver to avoid dangers and pitfalls that could lead to their peril. We, on the other hand, have become complacent and even lethargic due to the comfort of our environment. Our senses have in many cases become numb to the world around us or overstimulated by the onslaught of high-tech gadgetry to the point of being rendered less effective in recognizing minuscule yet important details for our physical and spiritual well-being. This leaves God's children in a very vulnerable position, and we are warned in I Peter 5:8, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour."

Not only are the senses of sight and touch profoundly well designed in insects, but God in His infinite wisdom has also made each tiny creature unique for various purposes. One example is revealed by the striking contrast between the spider (pictures 22 and 30) and the boxelder bug. The powerful magnification of the scanning electron microscope reveals some of these enormous differences which have fascinated entomologists for centuries.

These pictures do not reveal the full beauty of the insect photographed because the image produced is always black and white. A scanning electron microscope uses an electron beam which rasters (or travels) across the image being scanned. The electrons bounce off the image and then are picked up by a camera like device. The electrons shot at the image bounce off at an angle which changes according to the shape of the image. These changes in the electron beam can be processed by a computer to reproduce the image being scanned on a TV screen.

As part of the viewing preparation process, the object being scanned must be plated with metal (often platinum or gold) which is applied through electrically charge both the metal and the object to h coated. The metal sticks to the ot due to the electrical charge. Meta plating allows excess electrons in the imaging process to effectively be drained away when viewed. Otherwise the image would produce a poor picture and would also be burned. Furthermore, metal plating helps the electrons rastering across the image to ricochet more accurately. Actually the metal plating is usually imaged not the actual bug. Nonetheless, an enormous amount of detail can be obtained because the metal plating incredibly thin and accurately reflects most of the contours of the object being scanned.

Examining one aspect or individual part of God's handiwork using this phenomenal technology reveals astoundingly intricate detail that is beyond the possibility of happenstance. The boxelder bug is only one of almost a million kinds oj insects. Each tiny creature has its 0wn amazing details and an amazing story t0 tell regarding its cycle of life. Each one fits well within the delicately balanced world of selfless interdependence that God was orchestrating as His Creation week drew to a close. The study of each tiny characteristic of each tiny insect is a fascinating journey that reveals the infinite wisdom and handiwork of our Creator, and this study could very likely keep us awe inspired for much of eternity.

Creation Illustrated Spring 1999