Tuesday, January 22, 2013
All of Creation Proclaims His glory!
For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has
shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power
and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation
of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without
excuse. (Romans 1:19-20 ESV)
One of my favorite subjects is things in nature that proclaim the glory of
God. Here are a few:
Weighing just 1/14 of an ounce (less than a penny), the hummingbird
is an absolute marvel of engineering. About 75% of the weight of the
hummingbird is in the flight muscles alone. Their wings flap up to 100
times per second while their hearts beat up to 1260 times per minute.
Their lungs flows air in one direction only and are connected to air
sacs in the body, wings, and even the legs. The wings are designed
so they provide lift and propulsion both on the up and down stroke.
Some of the beautiful colors we see on hummingbirds are not due
to pigmentation, but microscopic prisms built into the feathers.
Hummingbird metabolism is so high, they are always within a couple
of hours of starving to death. They must consume more than their
own body weight in nectar each day to survive. They will not feed on
flowers whose nectar is less than 10% sugar and select flowers with
certain kinds of sugar over other kinds of sugar. Some hummingbirds
only feed on certain flowers and those flowers can only be pollinated
by the hummingbirds that feed on them. At night, they go into a semi-
hibernation state called torpor which causes their metabolism to slow
to 1/15th of its waking state. A little-known fact about hummingbirds
is that they also eat some insects. This is because nectar is what we
would call mostly “empty calories” and insects are a necessary source of
vitamins and minerals.
The Arctic Tern
The Arctic Tern is the world-champion migrator, putting on over 44,000
miles each year! For those of you who spend the winter in Arizona and
the summer in Minnesota, the Arctic outdoes you like no other as it is
always flying toward summer. This bird sees more daylight hours than
any creature on the planet. Its wintering grounds are in the Antarctic
and its breeding grounds are in the Arctic. It literally flies from one
end of the globe and back again every year. Amazingly, even chicks
separated from their parents somehow make it to their destination.
Okay, not generally considered a “pretty” animal, the octopus is still
amazing in many ways. Even though they have no internal or external
skeleton, they are by no means a “primitive” animal. The octopus is
highly intelligent, having shown evidence of both short and long-term
memory in laboratory experiments, in addition to maze and problem-
solving skills. Even though they have a highly complex nervous system,
two thirds of their neurons are found in their arms, not localized in the
brain. They can learn by watching, but their parents do not teach them
since the young are on their own from a very early age. They are highly
intelligent and there are examples of octopuses boarding fishing vessels,
opening the holds, and stealing crabs to eat. Their vision is excellent,
but their pupils are horizontal, like a goat’s. Their suction cups contain
chemoreceptors, so they can taste what they touch. Many octopuses
can change shape and color to some degree, but the mimic octopus is
a master shape shifter. It’s virtually invisible when resting on a piece of
algae, and in a matter of seconds can mimic a poisonous lion fish, flat
fish, or sea snake. One amazing aspect of the octopus is that it has three
hearts which pump blood that carries oxygen to its tissues on copper-
based hemocyanin, not iron-based hemoglobin like ours. As a result,
octopus blood is blue, not red.
God is amazing indeed. The tremendous variety and love he has for his
creatures (including us) is beyond our comprehension and we discover
more miracles of creation each and every day.
Of course, His greatest gift to us is His Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and
Let everything that has breath praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD (Psalm 150:6 ESV)