My wife and I began noticing an unusual whirring sound that seemed to come from the northwest part of our yard. We discovered that it was the mating call of the l7-year cicada. Along with a similar insect, the 13-year cicada, this bug is adapted to its environment in a strange and unusual manner that includes its large size, its ability to sustain a loud noise, and an extremely long (for insects) life cycle. Perhaps equally peculiar is the literally “odd” number of years of the creature’s period: 13 and 17 years. Those are prime numbers. Prime numbers cannot be divided evenly by any integer other than l and itself. This means that the cicada cannot have a major predator, unless it keeps the same crazy schedule, which is not going to happen. Could this be an indication of design?
This merger of mathematics and entomology is fascinating to me. Here we have a bug that lives underground for 99% of its life and manages to keep up with what year it is for 17 years. It has the genetic programming and the biological mechanism to accomplish such a task and does not need a calendar! You must grant a lot of respect for an insect that burrows into the ground immediately after it is hatched, sucks roots for food and then emerges at precisely the right day 17 years later. Does not the Creator of such a fascinating creature deserve some recognition? There is no mathematician or entomologist who understands these things like our Creator does. To him we say. “Wonderful are Your works: And my soul knows it very well” (Psalm 139:14, NASB).
© Priscilla. Image from BigStockPhoto.com