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The Affection of Grebe Birds for Their Offspring

What might be expected from an animal that has no consciousness is its leaving its offspring after giving birth. However, on the contrary, animals take all the responsibilities for their offspring to such an extent that they don't neglect measures that could protect their broods from dangers they might face in the future.

One of the best examples of this is the grebe, a species of water bird. Grebes carry their offspring on their backs and, for this reason, the parents become a kind of floating nest for their offspring. The newly hatched youngsters climb onto the back of the father or mother. The mother slowly raises her wings so that her offspring will not fall off and feeds them with morsels she holds in her beak, reaching her head out to one side.

However what grebes give to their offspring first is not actual food. Grebes first make their offspring eat feathers that they either collect from the surface of the water or pluck from their breasts. Each chick swallows a large number of feathers. Well, what might be the reason for this interesting diet?

The feathers the chicks eat are not fully digested but rather gathered in their stomachs. Some of them form a felted plug at the point where the stomach leads to the intestine. Fish bones and indigestible parts of other foods accumulate here. Thus, sharp fish bones or hard parts of insects are prevented from passing through the stomach and doing harm to the delicate walls of the intestines. This experience of eating feathers will continue throughout the bird's life. However, the first feathers it is fed are an important precautionary measure for its very health.35

It is possible to see in all creatures behavior like that of the grebes, actions aimed at meeting the needs of the offspring and protecting them in every way. Every creature on Earth assumes every kind of responsibility for their offspring until they reach sufficient maturity to meet their own needs.

This kind of behavior seen among creatures in nature nullifies the evolutionists' claims that "nature is an arena for battle and the survival of the fittest." It is obvious that the origin of this kind of behavior in creatures cannot be in their intelligence and that a bird, tiger or any other animal cannot act according to the needs of other animals, taking delicate details into consideration. These creatures behave by the inspiration of Allah. Allah inspires every creature in its behavior and they conform to this perfectly. Every one of them obeys Allah who has created them. This fact is stated in the Qur'an as follows:

Everyone in the heavens and earth belongs to Him. All are submissive to Him. (Surat ar-Rum: 26)

Flight Engines: Dragonflies

The dragonfly has a flawless flying capacity, so much so that it can stop suddenly and begin to fly in the opposite direction at whatever speed or in whatever direction it chooses. Moreover, it can hang in the air in a suitable position to attack its prey. In addition, it can head towards its prey, making agile turns to do so. These are only some of the maneuvering skills of the dragonfly that have provided inspiration for helicopters, the products of today's advanced technology.

The body of the dragonfly has a helical structure wrapped with a metal covering. The dragonfly, which can have various colors, from ice blue to maroon, has two pairs of wings on its back, one pair in front and the other pair to the rear. The wings work in a coordinated way. In other words, as the two front wings rise, the two wings at the rear descend. The movement of the wings is accomplished by the movements of two opposite groups of muscles. One end of the muscles is attached to extensions in the body in the shape of a lever. While one group of muscles contracts and causes a pair of wings to rise, the other group of muscles loosens to the same degree and causes the second pair of wings to fall. In fact, helicopters that are produced using dragonflies as their model descend and ascend using the same principle.

The perfect flight of dragonflies is realized by these four large independent wings carrying its body's weight. This feature enables the insect to make sudden maneuvers, increase its speed and fly at a speed that reaches 10 meters (33 feet) per second.36

The sight capacity of the dragonfly, which can make sudden maneuvers at very high speeds, is also perfect. The eye of the dragonfly is considered, in scientific circles, as the finest insect eye in the world. Each of its eyes contains 30,000 individual lenses. The eyes look like two hemispheres covering half of its head, and they provide a very broad field of vision for the insect. With these extraordinary eyes, the dragonfly can almost see what's happening behind its back.37

As shown above, the dragonfly has a perfectly structured individual system. The slightest deficiency in any one part of these systems will cause the other systems to become useless. However, all the systems have been created perfectly and the creature survives by means of this. The unique design in the dragonfly belongs to Allah. He has the knowledge of all creation.

Life in The Desert

Extreme heat in the daytime, freezing cold at night, droughts lasting for weeks or even months on end, scarcity of food… All this is part of the environment of deserts. It is very difficult to survive under such harsh conditions. However, in spite of all these hardships, there are many creatures that survive and even thrive in the deserts. When we look at these creatures, we see that all their movements and body structures have been created with the characteristics that are appropriate for living there. Allah protects these creatures from heat with unique features He created. When we take a close look at some characteristic examples, we clearly see that the attributes of these creatures couldn't have come into existence by chance, but instead were created by a Creator Who has a superior power.

Sand vipers (Cerastes Vipera) live under the sand. The viper dives into the sand with a sideways wiggle. It moves its tail from left to right very quickly and then this movement covers the whole body, consisting of three twists, until has the snake buried itself completely, save perhaps one or both of its eyes. This way, the viper lies in wait and so hunts for its prey. But such a strategy runs the risk of the snake's eyes suffering harm, since they are kept outside in a place where sandstorms may suddenly whip up. However, because of the design of the viper's eyes, this risk is completely eliminated. The eye of the viper is protected against the irritating effects of the sand with an outer "spectacle" made up of a transparent scale.38

The cream-colored fennec fox, the smallest of the foxes, another desert denizen, has very large ears. These foxes live in the sandy deserts of Africa and Arabia. Its wide ears not only help to determine the location of its prey but also serve to prevent excessive heating and enable the animal to stay cool.39

The shovel-snouted lizard, which lives in the desert, moves as if dancing on the sand in order to cool its tail and legs. Then, taking support from its tail, it transversely lifts one front and one back foot. After a couple of seconds, the feet switch positions. The lizard almost swims on sand hills by means of its aerodynamically shaped nose and body, and its large feet enable it to run on the sand very rapidly.40

The desert frog, which lives in Australia, is like a water tank. When it rains, the frog fills the pouches in its body with water. Then it buries itself under the sand and begins to wait for the coming rains. When they become thirsty, other desert animals find these animals and drink water from them, taking them out of the sand.41

Variety in Animal Eyes

The structure of the eyes of fish enables them to see clearly underwater, while the eyes of birds make it possible for them to see through the air as they fly. The structures of the eyes of other creatures are likewise designed according to their needs. It is obvious that an organ like an eye which has a complex structure cannot acquire its features on it own, features that are different in every creature. Any person who examines the examples of this with wisdom and conscience will immediately see the fact that all creatures have been created by Allah. The examples given below constitute a way to reflect upon this fact.

Birds have a sharper sense of sight than humans, and they can scan a broader area in detail. A bird can see a number of images that a man only perceives by seeing in parts, but for a bird they are as a whole at a single glance. For birds, this is a great advantage for hunting. When compared to humans, some birds can see a distance six times farther than our sight.

For man, the momentary loss of sight that occurs during the split-second blinking of an eye is not very important. However, this could very well cause a problem for a bird flying very fast at an altitude of hundreds of meters. For this reason, when birds blink their eyes, there are no interruptions whatsoever in their seeing for birds have a third eyelid called a nictitating membrane. This membrane is transparent and it moves from one side of the eye to the other. Thus, birds can wink their eyes without completely closing them. In addition, birds that dive into water use this membrane as diving glasses and so protect their eyes from harm.

BAs another example, the eyes of the camel also have features that provide protection exactly as needed. The hard bones around the eyes protect them from sunlight and against blows. Even the strongest sandstorms do not hurt the eyes of a camel because its eyelashes have an interlocked structure and the eyes close automatically at the moment of danger. Thus, even a small bit of dust cannot enter the animal's eyes.

Fishes' eyes look at the world from behind a transparent screen. This curtain resembles divers' "goggles." Their firm, spherical eye lenses are adjusted to see nearby objects. Another reason for a fish's lenses being spherical is that light refracts when passing through water. Since their eyes are filled with a fluid that is almost at the same density as water, when the images formed outside are reflected in the eye, refraction does not occur. As a result of this, the lens focuses the image of the outside object on the retina perfectly and, unlike humans, the fish can see very clearly under water.

The Special Cooling Systems in Gazelles' Bodies

People have recently invented mechanical cooling systems and, with technological advancements, can bring them up to today's modern conditions. Yet, we were not the first to discover cooling systems. Every warm-blooded creature on Earth already has the necessary mechanisms in its body for heat control and was created in possession of this design. We can give the speedy gazelles of Africa as an example of this. The gazelle has to run away from its enemies in order to survive, because it has no another defense method. This burst of speed causes a sharp increase in the body temperature of the gazelle. However, in order to survive, the gazelle needs to keep its brain cooler than its body.

The gazelle has a unique cooling system in its brain. Gazelles and similar animals have hundreds of small arteries that divide and pass through a large pool of blood lying next to their breathing passages. The air they inhale cools this nasal pool, so the blood passing through the tiny arteries in it is cooled, too. Then the tiny arteries come together in a single blood vessel that carries blood to the brain.42

The interesting point here is that this flawless system cannot come into being by itself, since the non-existence of such a necessary cooling system would spell the end of the gazelle when it makes its very first run.

As is seen in the example of the gazelles' cooling systems, the design of creatures has such complexity that it cannot be explained by the "gradual development" claim of evolutionists. In other words, it is impossible for a creature's bodily structures and organs to come into being, over time, through small changes. The bodies of living things are full of structures, similar to that of the gazelles' cooling system, which will be of no use whatsoever if even a single part is missing. This proves that creatures have not come into being over time, through chance but, on the contrary, have been created perfectly by Allah. This is an obvious fact for people of intelligence as also stated in the Qur'an:

He said, "The Lord of the East and the West and everything between them if you used your intellect." (Surat ash-Shu'ara: 28)



35- CDavid Attenborough, The Life of Birds, Princeton University Press, New Jersey, 1998, p.256.

36- DScience et Vie, no.931, p.5

37- http://www.cs.tut.fi/~hirvone2/Dragonfly.html

38- Evolution Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, http://evolution-facts.org/2evlch20.htm

39- Michael Scott, The Young Oxford Book of Ecology, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1994, p. 49.

40- International Wildlife, November-December 1997, no.6, p.53.

41-Maurice and Robert Burton, Encyclopedia of Reptiles, Amphibians and Other Cold Blooded Animals, Octopus Books Limited, 1975, p. 48

42-Lawrence O. Richards, It Couldn't Just Happen, Word Publishing, Dallas, 1987, p.108.


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