The Lucky Horseshoe Crab
Cartoon horseshoe crab

One of the most ancient of the creatures known to man is an ugly looking creature called the horseshoe crab. Horseshoe crab fossils are found in rocks that predate the dinosaurs. They are related to the trilobite and are found all over our planet today even though the trilobite has been extinct for a long time. Horseshoe crabs are not esteemed by most of us. They are not attractive to look at, they are not good to eat, they do not seem to be too important to the ecology of the ocean or the food chain, and they offer no startling new information on the history of the earth. Outside of possible use as fish bait, they might appear to be totally useless.

 Nothing could be further from the truth. If you have ever taken a prescription pill, gotten an immunization, had a hip or knee replacement, had an IV, or received an organ transplant, you can thank the horseshoe crab for the good that came out of that medical material.

 The horseshoe crab's blood contains amebocytes--similar to human white blood cells. When a drug or surface contains impurities, the amebocytes immediately clot with the impurities. If there is no clotting, there are no contaminants. All attempts to find a man-made substitute for horseshoe crab blood have failed miserably, and crabs are now being raised, bled periodically, and nurtured by scientists. Dr. Jim Berkson of the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences at Virginia Tech says "Horseshoe crabs are ecologically, economically, and medically essential.. They're not cute and cuddly and they can't fetch a ball, but the fact is we need them."

 Man needs all the things that God has designed into the cosmos. We may not know all the things we can do with what God has given us, but ultimately we learn it all has a reason to exist. To view all of this as a product of chance does not fit the picture well because the cosmos should be mindlessly neutral toward man, with nothing that favors man in any way--if chance is what caused it. Obviously there are those who will claim that this is the case, but every time a case like the horseshoe crab is explored and is shown to be uniquely suited to helping man in his survival on the earth, that position is weakened. We suggest that this crab is a lucky horseshoe--a symbol of God's wisdom and design in the cosmos.

Back to Contents Does God Exist?, JulAug01.