Everywhere we look in the natural world,
we see examples of design that amaze us and cause us to wonder at the
intelligence and wisdom we see demonstrated. Reproductive systems are
especially amazing because there are so many things that can happen to
disrupt the reproductive process and destroy the developing offspring.
Most fish reproduce by a mass production system. The female fish will
lay massive numbers of eggs, the male will fertilize them, and in most
cases the adults leave or die and the eggs are on their own. The vast
percentage of the eggs or baby fish become food for other forms of
life. In previous issues of this journal we have talked about salmon
and how they sustain the whole ecological system of Alaska, and they
are an example of this. Some fish that lay fewer eggs hang around and
protect the nest, but even in those cases the reproductive system feeds
many other forms of life.
In the sea horse we have a completely different kind of fish with a
completely different reproductive system. Sea horses are very slow and
most sea horses are too small to produce massive volumes of eggs. The
reproductive system utilized by other fish would not work well for the
sea horse. In fact the reproductive system of sea horses is radically
different than any other fish.
The female will lay her eggs in a pouch on the front of the male sea
horses’ body. The male has a tube-shaped organ called an ovipositor
which fertilizes the eggs, but this tube also secretes a fluid which
contains nutrients and oxygen. The eggs are sustained by the ovipositor
for several weeks, and when the time is right the male “gives birth to”
(or maybe ejects would be a better term) the baby sea horses completely
formed and ready to go into seaweed or some other structure where they
can survive. The sea horse has perhaps the most efficient reproductive
system among fishes and one of the most efficient of all living things
in the sea.
The traditional models of how such a system might develop by chance
processes fail pretty badly. It seems that God has designed a unique
system of reproduction for a unique form of life--a dandy design of the
Reference: Science Illustrated,
November/December 2007, page 33.
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Does God Exist?, JulAug09.