National Geographic TV's Undersea Fairy Tales
AA documentary called Built for the Kill has been screened on National Geographic TV. Its aim was twofold. On the one hand, the program described some of the techniques used by sea creatures to hunt or evade capture. On the other, it sent out a Darwinist message by describing some creatures as "programmed to kill" or "ruthless killers."
The flawless design in the creatures described in the documentary were portrayed as mechanisms "developed for survival," although no evidence of this was offered. This is a technique frequently encountered in broadcasts by National Geographic TV and similar Darwinist institutions. However, it is obvious that these descriptions lack any scientific basis, since looking at the features possessed by the creatures and saying "they developed these in order to survive" or sticking an evolutionary label on the design in living things is itself of no scientific value.
For instance, attempting to account for the shiny skin on the underside of the blue shark and the dark skin on the top by means of evolution, while failing to provide any evidence, merely reveals National Geographic TV's prejudices. Another fish, looking down, cannot make out the shark against the dark tones of the sea bottom thanks to the dark color of the shark's skin. The shark will similarly be camouflaged against the brightness of the sea surface stemming from the rays of the sun. If this is to be explained by evolution, then it must also be explained how the information for this camouflage design emerged by chance in the creature's DNA, and scientific proof must be given. Maintaining that this information came about by natural selection and random mutations, in the absence of any scientific evidence whatsoever, is merely Darwinist dogma.
On the other hand, this feature of the shark can be perfectly convincingly accounted for by intelligent design: the information regarding which areas of the shark's skin are to be which colors is present in its DNA. It is utterly rational and scientific to maintain that the encoding of this information came about not by chance but by conscious intervention.
The fundamental factor, which reveals the invalidity of the evolutionist claims put forward in the film, is the exceedingly complex nature of the design in the creatures discussed. The dolphin sonar dealt with in the documentary is one instance of this. Dolphins possess a special organ in their heads that allows them to send out sound waves and sense the echoes that reflect from physical bodies. These sound waves can penetrate some 30 cm beneath the sand and can be picked up in an amazing way by the dolphins as the environment changes (from water to sand and back from sand to water). In this way the dolphin plots a sort of map of what lies beneath the sand.
Another aspect indicative of the perfection in dolphin sonar is the way the U.S. Navy has imitated it in its own development of sonar. Since existing forms of sonar were unable to locate mines buried in the sand during the Gulf War, the U.S. fleet lost a number of ships. It then set out to use the dolphin wave range in the research it supported and to employ the dolphin's sensory technique in its own vessels.
Whitlow Au, a researcher from the Hawaii Marine Biology Institute in Kailua, together with his colleagues, managed to come up with such a sonar system four years ago. A computerized sonar device which monitored and decoded the echoes of the waves it sent was added to this artificial dolphin sonar. This sonar, developed by scientists, was subjected to a number of tests and produced very positive results, registering a 90% success rate in locating mines buried 40 cm under the sand.1
As we can see, an advanced computer needs to be used in order to imitate the action of dolphin sonar. This animal's sonar faculty, which does what an advanced computer can do but in an even more efficient manner, and which is also far more compact than a computer, is a miracle of engineering. To maintain that such an organ emerged by mutations—which evolution depends on—is just as illogical as maintaining that a computer could emerge from the soil as a result of natural phenomena such as wind and rain. No rational person would obviously ever believe such a claim. Yet National Geographic TV glosses over this complex organ during its account of dolphin sonar by calling it "a product of evolution," without offering the slightest evidence.
Another creature whose complex design leaves the theory of evolution floundering is the angelfish. Thanks to its flat body, this animal buries itself in the sand to wait for its prey, and keeps a lookout with two eyes which protrude like periscopes. One of the creature's most astonishing aspects is that it can also detect the approach of prey thanks to an organ which senses electrical signals. When the moment comes, it suddenly lunges out of its hiding place and swallows its prey in a single gulp.
National Geographic TV employed the expression "it developed a sixth sense" during its description of this sense possessed by the creature. This sensory system contains a most complex design: the animal possesses an organ that perceives electrical impulses, nerves which carry the signals received by that organ, and, most important of all, a brain capable of transforming these signals into a meaningful map. Highly effective connections transmit the signals between the nerve cells. These connections have been designed to prevent the signals from being lost or diminished in any way. In short, there is a very detailed design and organization in the sensory system. Since even a simple ammeter for measuring electric currents requires a specific design, it is clear that this much more complex sensory system was also intelligently designed.
After describing all these complex systems, National Geographic TV claimed that they all emerged "by evolution," without feeling the need to offer any evidence for this. Yet again, this shows how dogmatically devoted National Geographic TV is to the theory of evolution. It feels no need to test the foundations of the theory. On the contrary, it seeks to account for the whole of nature in the light of the theory after having swallowed it verbatim.
Nor do the descriptions of some creatures in the program as "ruthless killers" actually reflect the truth. This expression is employed to impose the Darwinist dogma that there is a ruthless struggle for survival in nature and that living things are aggressive, selfish, and ruthless. Yet, the hunting that goes on among living things is not "ruthless killing." Animals kill only for food or self-defense. The method they employ is usually the swiftest, and thus the method that inflicts the least suffering. (For instance, a lion kills its prey by biting its throat.)
The magnificent hunting mechanisms and camouflage skills in living things cannot have come about by evolution. The complex design in animals and all other organisms can only be accounted for by intelligent design. National Geographic TV merely repeats Darwinist shibboleths as it describes natural phenomena. If the channel really wants to defend the theory of evolution, it must account for the origin of complex organs in evolutionary terms. Indeed, the reason why it makes do with offering accounts full of Darwinist slogans is that it is impossible to offer such an explanation.
1. "Spotting Mines With Dolphins Sonar", http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/1998/1016/2