TITLE: A Search for Causes 4/29/14
By Richard McCaw
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A Search for Causes
â€śThe universe does not have a cause!â€ť or â€śThe universe is eternal or self-existent!â€ť You may have heard similar arguments and not known how to answer them. The issue of cause and effect therefore must be seriously examined.
Imagine entering an auto dealer, hoping to buy what you consider one of the finest cars on the market. You approach one of the salesmen.
â€śThat car is a beauty!â€ť you exclaim.
â€śYes, sir!â€ť he replies. â€śIt has the most up-to-date amenities on the market so far!â€ť He begins to recite them one by one.
You are awestruck. You never knew there was that much comfort within its framework.
â€śAmazing!â€ť you exclaim. â€śBut tell me, sir, What company made this car?â€ť
â€śAre you kidding, mister?â€ť he replies with a blank smile. â€śNobody made it. The parts just came together, and now we have this beauty!â€ť
Imagine your astonishment. You would walk out thinking he was crazy. However, when it comes to the universe, far more complex than an automobile, modern science tells us that the parts just came together. When it comes to our individual lives, events just happened by chance.
To come to a clearer understanding, imagine Woody Woodpecker. He was one of my favorite cartoon characters as a child. A visit to him may enlighten us. Between his head and beak, he has special cartilage to absorb some of the shock from the continuous drumming on trees. But imagine a very distant ancestor of Woody, whose bill is like chisel, tough and sharp for digging into trees. A cushion has not yet evolved behind that tough beak to protect his head from the beating it gets whenever he bangs his bill against a tree. Imagine the consternation of his relatives and neighbors as they see this Great Great Great Grandfather Woodpecker in a coma after falling on to the root of a tree, half dead. His daughter bursts out in uncontrollable weeping. Most of the woodpeckers, who gather round, try consoling her, but everyone appears suffering from malnutrition, sick, and barely able to stand.
â€śI told him,â€ť she gasps, barely able to lean against the tree trunk, â€śHe needs to wait a few more millionâ€¦... (gasp) years. Thatâ€™s what the evolution book says (gasp). A cushion will evolve (gasp) behind our tough beaks (gasp) and that will protect our heads (gasp) when we keep banging our bills against trees.
â€śBut he wouldnâ€™t listen (gasp). Old woodpeckers are so stubborn! (gasp) Weâ€™d better call the (gasp) woodpecker ambulance. He may still (gasp) be able to make it!â€ť
Obviously, certain parts of the woodpecker must be present at the exact moment for it to peck into wood. Possessing a part of the apparatus just will not do the work. Just as an automobile must have the ignition switch, gas pedal, steering wheel and other important parts for it to function, the woodpecker also must have all its parts for pecking into trees.
The woodpeckerâ€™s beak is also unlike that of any other bird, designed to hammer its way into the hardest tree. If the woodpecker evolved, how would it develop its thick, tough beak? Moreover, the woodpecker does not have to visit the machine shop to sharpen its beak, it comes with the most up-to-date self-sharpening ability! How about that for skillful planning!
Also to help absorb the constant pounding, the woodpecker has uniquely resilient tail feathers. And please note, the tail feathers (especially the central one or two pairs) are stronger in woodpeckers, resisting the wear caused by their use in propping up the birdâ€™s body as it hammers with the bill. Besides, its tail feathers and feet form a tripod effect as it clings to the tree. Even its feet are specially designed to enable it to move up, down and around vertical tree trunks. The woodpeckerâ€™s feet have two toes in front and two toes in back. Most other birds have three toes in front and one in back.
If you were to examine a woodpeckerâ€™s tongue, you would observe that it is several times longer than the average birdâ€™s tongue. Chiseling into a tree, the woodpecker occasionally comes across insect tunnels. With its long, slender tongue it stretches far beyond the tip of itâ€™s beak as it searches the larval tunnels for insects. The tip is like a spearhead with a number of barbs or hairs pointing rearward, designed to secure the insect while transporting it to the beak. Besides all this, a sticky glue-like substance coats the tongue to aid the project as well. This mini glue factory sticks to insects but does not stick to the woodpeckerâ€™s beak. Simply amazing!
Nor is the tongue from its throat up into its mouth like other creatures, but loop down into the throat, under the skull, around the back of the skull beneath the skin, and over the top between the eyes, terminating usually just below the eye socket! In some woodpeckers the tongue exits the nostril to a point directly between the eyes! It is to be noted that a simple organ like a tongue is made up of very many proteins, nerve cells, blood vessels, etc. which must be quite perfectly coordinated. Evolutionists must therefore answer this important question: How could changes of one amino acid in one protein bring any organ into existence? And this one: From which ancestor did the woodpecker inherit its special beak, feet, tail feathers, shock absorbing cartilage, thicker skull and unique tongue?
We may still be asking the question â€śDoes the universe not have a cause?â€ť or â€śIs the universe eternal or self-existent?â€ť
At least when we examine the woodpecker, we have one example that demonstrates for us the issue of cause and effect. Clearly, an intelligent mind must have brought all the parts together for Woody to peck at trees without starving to death or killing himself. And as we continue our search for causes, we will find very many more examples that appear throughout our amazing universe.
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