The Wondrous Beauty in Animals 1/4
Newborn kittens are blind and defenseless. They weigh about 100 grams, and their mother cat gets very little sleep as she looks after her tiny babies. She keeps her kittens close beside her so that they are always kept warm and so that she can nurse them when they are hungry. Although their eyes are closed for the first week, her kittens have no trouble finding the nipples where they can get life-giving milk—their mother's milk—exactly what they need in order to live and grow. It is rich in nutrients and contains some special chemical ingredients that protect the kitten from getting sick.
Nine days later, their eyes open, but the kittens are able to fend for themselves only after eight weeks. Until then, their mothers look after them with great care and carry them to secure places to play and to rest.
The devotion of these unthinking and unreasoning creatures to their young should make every intelligent individual pause to consider. Their behavior can come only from the inspiration of Allah, the Ruler of all living things:
There is no creature on the Earth which is not dependent upon Allah for its provision. He knows where it lives and where it dies. They are all in a Clear Book. (Surah Hud: 6)
Self-Sacrifice in Nature Proves Darwinism to be False
The theory of evolution claims that the natural world is the scene of merciless competition, and the theory's supporters try to inculcate this idea into the minds of others. Actually, the erroneous belief that nature is simply an arena of struggle has been a part of the theory since evolution was first proposed. The mechanism of "natural selection" promulgated by Darwin, the theory's author, proposes that creatures strong enough to adapt to their natural environment are able to survive and reproduce, while those that are too weak die off. According to this idea of "natural selection," nature is a savage battleground where creatures contend with one another in merciless struggles for survival, and where the weak is killed by the strong.
According to this idea, every creature must be strong enough to overcome others, if its species is to survive. In such an environment, there is no room for self-sacrifice, altruism, or cooperation because these could prove disadvantageous. Accordingly, every creature must be entirely selfish, concerned only for its own personal food, security, and well-being.
But, is the natural world really an environment where creatures engage in pitiless combat with one another, where cruelly selfish individuals strive to outdo everyone else and destroy them?
No! The observations made in this regard do not agree with evolution. Nature is not merely the place of competition that evolutionists claim. On the contrary, many species offer countless instances of intelligent cooperation: One animal may sacrifice its own well-being to the point of risking death; yet another may put itself in danger for the sake of the flock or herd, with no possible promise of reward. In his book entitled Evrim Kurami ve Bagnazlik (The Theory of Evolution and Bigotry) Dr. Cemal Yildirim, a professor and himself an evolutionist, explains why Darwin and other evolutionists of his time thought as they did:
Scientists of the nineteenth century were easily misled into adopting the thesis that nature is a battlefield, because more often than not, they were imprisoned in their studies or laboratories and generally didn't bother to acquaint themselves with nature directly. Not even a respectable scientist like Huxley could exempt himself from this error.1
In his book, Mutual Aid: A Factor in Evolution, the evolutionist Peter Kropotkin writes about the support that animals give to one another, citing the error that Darwin and his followers fell into:
... the numberless followers of Darwin reduced the notion of struggle for existence to its narrowest limits. They came to conceive the animal world as a world of perpetual struggle among half-starved individuals, thirsting for one another's blood… In fact, if we take Huxley, who certainly is considered as one of the ablest exponents of the theory of evolution, were we not taught by him, in a paper on the "Struggle for Existence and its Bearing upon Man," that, "from the point of view of the moralist, the animal world is on about the same level as a gladiators' show. The creatures are fairly well treated, and set to, fight hereby the strongest, the swiftest, and the cunningest live to fight another day."… [I]t may be remarked at once that Huxley's view of nature had as little claim to be taken as a scientific deduction.2
True; there is a struggle and conflict in the natural world. But along with this fact, there is also self-sacrifice, enough to prove that the idea of natural selection, so basic to the theory of evolution, is totally groundless. Natural selection does not add any new features to any given species, nor can it change existing features to create an entirely new species. These facts stop evolutionists in their tracks; and their stalemate in this regard is discussed in the journal Bilim ve Teknik (Science and Technology):
The question is, why do living beings help one another? According to Darwin's theory, every animal is fighting for its own survival and the continuation of its species. Helping other creatures would decrease its own probability of surviving, and therefore, evolution should have eliminated this type of behavior, whereas we observe that animals can indeed behave selflessly.3
These facts about the natural world completely invalidate evolutionists' claim that nature is an arena of self-interested struggle, where the individual who best protects his own interests comes out on top. With regard to these characteristics of living creatures, John Maynard Smith poses a question to his fellow evolutionists:
Here one of the key questions has to do with altruism: How is it that natural selection can favor patterns of behavior that apparently do not favor the survival of the individual?4
John Maynard Smith is an evolutionist scientist and evolutionists cannot give an answer in the name of their theory to the question he has asked. (For examples of the extraordinary self-sacrifice and mutual assistance among creatures in the world of nature, see Harun Yahya's, Devotion Among Animals Revealing the Work of Allah, Global Publishing, Istanbul: 2004)
Evolution Cannot Explain Instinct
Another deception evolutionists resort to is pointing to the similarities between animal and human behavior. On this basis; they claim that human beings and animals are descended from a common ancestor and that similar behaviors have been passed down from that ancestor to subsequent generations. Some evolutionists, viewing aggressive behavior as a universally inherited impulse or instinct, maintain that we humans have not yet found a way to suppress it in our daily lives. This intentionally deceptive claim rests on no other foundation besides evolutionists' imagination. We must be careful to point out that actually, the impulse or instinct supposed to reside in both human beings and animals brings the theory of evolution to an impasse and is enough to demonstrate its invalidity.
Evolutionist scientists use the word instinct to describe certain behavior patterns that animals are born with, but they leave unanswered the questions of how creatures came to possess this instinct, how the first instinctual behavior patterns came about, and by what mechanism they are passed on from one generation to another.
In his book, The Great Evolution Mystery the evolutionist and geneticist Gordon Rattray Taylor admits that with regard to instinct, there is an impasse in the theory:
If in fact behaviour is heritable, what are the units of behaviour which are passed on-for presumably there are units? No one has suggested an answer.5
Unlike Taylor, many evolutionists cannot make this admission, remain silent on the question, and try to gloss over it, offering answers that make no real sense. Actually, Charles Darwin himself realized that animals' instinctive behavior posed a serious danger to his theory. In his book, The Origin of the Species, he actually admitted as much—several times. Here is one such:
So wonderful an instinct as that of the hive-bee making its cells will probably have occurred to many readers, as a difficulty sufficient to overthrow my whole theory.6
Darwinists commit another error by claiming that their supposed instinctual impulses have been passed down to us from preceding generations. From the scientific point of view, this "Lamarckian" way of thinking was proved to be false a century ago. So even evolutionist scientists themselves admit that instinctual impulses could not have evolved over generations! Gordon R. Taylor labels "pathetic" the claim that behavior patters are inherited by subsequent generations:
Biologists assume freely that such inheritance of specific behaviour patterns is possible, and indeed that it regularly occurs. Thus Dobzhansky roundly asserts: "All bodily structures and functions, without exception, are products of heredity realized in some sequence of environments. So are all forms of behaviour, without exception." This simply isn't true and it is lamentable that a man of Dobzhansky's standing should dogmatically assert it.7
Your Lord revealed to the bees: "Build dwellings in the mountains and the trees, and also in the structures which men erect. Then eat from every kind of fruit and travel the paths of your Lord, which have been made easy for you to follow." From inside them comes a drink of varying colors, containing healing for mankind. There is certainly a Sign in that for people who reflect. (Surat an-Nahl: 68-69)
In Surat an-Nahl in the Qur'an, Allah gives the example of the honeybee to demonstrate the extraordinary secrets in the behavior of living creatures. Not only honeybees, but all living things behave according to Allah's inspiration. It is He Who inspires acts of self-sacrifice in living creatures and gives them their wonderful abilities.
Lions are among of the strongest predators in the African continent. They can be very savage towards their enemies and their prey, but very tender towards their own young. When baby lions are born, they are very small. They begin to eat meat at the age of three months, but the mother and other female lions in the pride continue to suckle them until they are six months old.
Lions, leopards and other big cats carry their young by the scruff of their neck, and while they are being carried, their babies stay completely still, allowing their mothers to carry them safely.
The care and tenderness that lions show for their young is only one of the proofs that invalidates the claims of evolutionists. They claim that in the natural world only the strong survive; the weak are eliminated and die off. The world of nature, they claim, is dominated by self-interest and a savage struggle for survival. Of course, creatures in their natural habitats hunt to provide themselves with food, and sometimes may even attack to defend themselves and ensure their security. But apart from this, the majority of animals in nature performs remarkable acts of self-sacrifice for their young, their families, and even for other members of their group, placing their own lives in danger.
Almighty Allah, the Creator of all things, teaches these creatures to be tender and compassionate towards their young, to protect other members of their herds or flocks, and to care for them.
By means of all the special attributes that He has created in living creatures, Allah shows us His eternal power and dominion over all living things.
When their young are in danger, mother animals behave differently than usual. Deer, for example, are usually timid and excitable creatures, but don't hesitate to use their sharp, cutting hooves against any fox or coyote that threatens their young. If they understand that they cannot repel an enemy threatening their fawns, they immediately throw themselves into the attacker's path, to divert the enemy away from their young.9
Why do these animals put their own lives in danger to protect their young? As stated earlier, proponents of evolutionary theory assert that the world of nature is a battlefield, where creatures are in a constant struggle with one another in which the strong dominate and the weak are killed or die off. But this claim is very erroneous: As is the case with deer, many creatures are willing to risk their lives to protect their young, which fact by itself shows clearly how unreasonable the claims of evolutionists are.
With His supreme power, Allah has created gazelles, antelopes, elephants, birds and every other living thing. He is Lord of everything on Earth and in heaven.
For a few days after giving birth, a mother giraffe licks and sniffs at her baby. In this way, she both cleans it and learns its scent, which will later allow mother and baby to find each other in a large herd. If the young giraffe is in any kind of difficulty, it makes various vocalizations to attract the mother's attention. She immediately recognizes her baby's voice and runs to its assistance.
A mother giraffe never lets her young leave her side. If they are attacked, she pushes the baby under her body and strikes out at the enemy, hard, with her two front legs.
Giraffes live in small herds and look after their young together, and adults take turns caring for the young. Because of this cooperative system of "babysitting," other mother giraffes can leave their babies and go kilometers away in search of food.10
All the beautiful creatures in the natural world show us the majesty of Allah. And we must always be mindful of His existence and thank Him for all the blessings He has given us.
In the Qur'an, Allah has told us that we must be thankful to Him for everything:
Allah brought you out of your mothers' wombs knowing nothing at all, and gave you hearing, sight and hearts so that perhaps you would show thanks. (Surat an-Nahl: 78)
One factor that helps ducks swim so well is their webbed feet. When they push their feet out behind them, the webs spread out to give them more surface area to propel them. Baby ducklings have this ability from the moment of their birth. Allah, with His unlimited knowledge, has created ducks with everything they need to survive.
The feathers of a female duck are less colorful than those of the male. This difference in color is an important advantage for the females, who must sit on her eggs in the nest; their lack of bright color makes them less visible to predators as they wait for their eggs to hatch. They blend with their environment, and because of this camouflage it is harder for their enemies to notice them.
On the other hand, a male duck uses his brightly colored feathers to protect his females, diverting the attention of enemies while she is building the nest or sitting on it.
If trouble approaches the nest, the male immediately takes flight, making a lot of noise; doing everything he can to lead the enemy away from the nest. These acts of self-sacrifice, vitally important for baby ducklings' survival, sometimes end with the death of a parent and provide yet another example of Allah's creative artistry.
One of the most noticeable characteristics of elephants is their attachment to one another. Acts of self-sacrifice and assistance occur not only among families but throughout the entire herd. For example, when hunters shoot at members of the herd, the other elephants do not flee but hurry toward those in danger.
The young elephants are the reason behind this tightly knit cohesion of the whole group.11 A newborn elephant receives great love and tenderness from adults in the herd. If a mother elephant dies, another lactating elephant will continue to suckle it.12
For the first six months, a mother will follow her baby elephant wherever it goes. Each makes sounds that keep them continually in touch with each other. If the baby makes the indication that it's in any danger, all members of the herd come together to investigate the situation—a tactic that is quite good at dissuading enemies.13
This raises some questions: Why is it that all elephants act in concert on behalf of their young? How can they determine their needs? How do elephants and other animals understand one another since before they are born?
None of these creatures can manage these accomplishments through their own intelligence and willpower. The fact that elephants in every part of the world assist one another in these ways is an indication that a single Creator created them all; and that Creator is Allah with His limitless power. The amazing acts of self-sacrifice among animals form one of the wonders of His creation. In the Qur'an, Allah says:
The kingdom of the heavens and Earth belongs to Allah. Allah has power over all things. (Surah Al 'Imran: 189)
A mother zebra will risk her life to save her baby. If an enemy attacks, she uses her body as a shield between her foal and the attacker. Although she can run much faster, she runs much more slowly so that, if a predator animal catches up with them, she will be killed and not her baby. As a result of one of these dangerous encounters, the mother zebra may expose herself to death and even lose her life to protect her baby—behavior that cannot be explained by the imaginary theory of evolution.
All animals in the natural world are engaged in a struggle. They hunt to survive and may attack when they have to defend themselves. Evolutionists take only these characteristics into account, disregarding the acts of self-sacrifice that animals employ to protect their young. In addition, behavioral patterns of cooperation, support and concern for the welfare of other creatures are frequently encountered in the animal world.
Because the theory of evolution regards the natural world as a battlefield, it can't explain the instances of self-sacrifice that occur there. The way animals live in the natural world clearly invalidates the basic claim of this theory. It cannot explain why a zebra that had run away to safety from its enemies returns at the risk of its own life and rescues other zebras surrounded by those enemies.
The self-sacrificial and cooperative behavior exhibited by animals is clear proof of the fact that the theory of evolution is untenable. Allah is the Supreme Creator Who has made the universe and every creature acts by His inspiration:
Allah created every animal from water. Some of them go on their bellies, some of them on two legs, and some on four. Allah creates whatever He wills. Allah has power over all things. (Surat an-Nur: 45)
It is unthinkable that acts of self-sacrifice by living creatures could result from millions of years of evolution. The intelligent behavior exhibited by animals is not a strategy they have developed over time, nor a solution produced by chance. We can't possibly expect intelligent, self-sacrificial behavior from a creature that is supposedly the product of natural selection, struggling to prolong its own lifespan in a savage world. The evident foresight and planning that animals display destroys Darwinism's basic assumption, that every creature is engaged in a self-centered battle for its own individual survival.
Creation is the only way to explain all of these animals' special characteristics. The instances of mutual support and intelligent strategy in every species clearly demonstrate Allah's dominion over living creatures. All the abilities they possess, as well as their intelligent behavior, are taught to them by Allah, the Creator of all, Who teaches them and shows them how to use their abilities. In His endless compassion and mercy, He protects and looks after all His creatures.
1. Cemal Yildirim, Evrim Kurami ve Bagnazlik [The Theory of Evolution and Bigotry], p. 49.
2. Peter Kropotkin, Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution, 1902, Chapter I.
3. Bilim ve Teknik [Science and Technology] - Turkish Scientific Journal, no.190, p. 4.
4. John Maynard Smith, "The Evolution of Behavior," Scientific American, December, 1978, volume 239, no.3, p. 176.
5. Gordon R. Taylor, The Great Evolution Mystery, Sphere Books, London: 1984, p. 221.
6. Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species: A Facsimile of the First Edition, Harvard University Press, 1964, p. 233.
7. Gordon Taylor, The Great Evolution Mystery, p. 221.
8. Janine M. Benyus, The Secret Language and Remarkable Behavior of Animals, Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers Inc, New York: 2002, p. 133.
9. Russell Freedman, How Animals Defend Their Young, E. Dutton, New York: 1978, p. 57.
10. Janine M. Benyus, The Secret Language and Remarkable Behavior of Animals, p.201
11. Janine M. Benyus, The Secret Language and Remarkable Behavior of Animals, p.136
12. David Attenborough, Trials of Life, William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd, London: 1990, p.50
13. Janine M. Benyus, The Secret Language and Remarkable Behavior of Animals, p. 155.