Most of us have had some kind of an acquaintance with bears. If we have not seen them in the wild, we have seen movies about them-- both factual and fictional. Zoos always have a number of bears which are usually good attractions. As scientists study bears of all kinds, amazing facts come to light on how they live and the designs built into them to enable them to survive in some extreme climates. Consider the following:
Off-and-On Baby Techniques. Black and brown bears do not mate in the fail when fattening up for winter is a major concern Instead, they mate in late spring and early summer. Once the sperm meets the egg, the egg begins to divide and then it just stops, dropping into a state of suspended animation. It stays in this state for several months until the bears have gorged on fall food in preparation for winter. Once that is accomplished, the eggs resume their development into a baby bear.
Kidneys Lock Up. Most animals that hibernate wake up every so often to urinate and get rid of wastes. Black and brown bears go through their entire winter sleep without urinating. This is especially amazing when you consider the fact that their body temperature does not drop anywhere near as much as hibernating animals like ground squirrels. To continue to have fairly active body function and yet no removal of waste is amazing.
They Are All Cousins. 77 years ago, scientists recognized 86 species of bears. Today science recognizes just three. The design features we have mentioned are so universal that every one seems to agree they are all one. The problem is something like some anthropologists who tend to classify every hominoid as an exotic new species of man when, in reality, they are all one with racial variations explaining the differences.
Superbear. Bears are capable of smelling something that is 40 miles away especially food sources. A 150 pound bear can move a 300 pound rock. Brown bears can run 40 miles per hour, and polar bears can swim 40 miles.
Like all animals, bears are designed in an incredible way to survive in the environment in which they live. Polar bears do not have white fur, but rather have translucent fur that conducts light to their skin. The incredible capacity of bears to live in hostile environments in very successful ways is a testimony to the brilliance of the design of their bodies. This design is beyond capricious accidental chance. God has designed life to live in incredible places in incredible ways.
Sonrce:International Wildlife, October, 1994, page 30-34
When I present scientific evidence that God designed the creation and that it is not a product of chance, one response that frequently comes from skeptics is that perhaps there is some other way that life and the conditions to support it could exist. "Maybe there is life totally different than our kind of life so that the odds diminish because there are different ways and forms that life can take" is a common response.
In a statement like this one, we have to assume that a scientific proposal is being made-not a religious one. If a person wishes to argue for rock people or fire people, they can do so, but not on a scientific base. Life is generally defined as having the characteristics of moving, breathing, reproducing, and responding to outside stimuli. Things like viruses and anaerobic bacteria are hard to fit into any definition, but Fire people would be even more of a problem.
The reason that there is no other way is because of the chemical restraints on all of life's processes. In order for an animal to breath, for example, it is necessary that a gas be used that supports combustion. Some gases burn like methane, hydrogen, propane, and the like. Some gases smother like carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, helium, and the like. Only a very few gases support combustion. When a piece of coal burns, the carbon combines with oxygen, producing heat and light. The process is unique because energy is given off in large amounts quickly, and we call it burning. The design of the oxygen molecule enables it to do this with many materials-- many of them giving off heat and light. When we breathe, the same thing happens, but not as rapidly. The heat given off maintains our body temperature of 98.6'F, and the energy released powers our bodies.
Are there other gases which support combustion in the same way that oxygen does? The answer is yes! Materials like chlorine, fluorine, and bromine do exactly the same thing. It is difficult from a chemical standpoint, however, to believe that these materials could ever be involved in a living organism as an oxidizing agent. These elements are among the most active in the periodic chart, and the compounds they form are extremely heavy. Only oxygen has the density, mass, electron configuration, and chemical activity to allow life to exist.
There is no other way! The unique designs of oxygen and also of
carbon are the result of a beautifully engineered chemical system that
allow us to breathe and give us the capacity to move, reproduce, and
respond to outside stimuli. Truly, we are fearfully and wonderfully
made (Psalm 139:42) and each breath we take testifies that the plan
designed to allow our survival works in an incredible way.
Back to Contents September/October 1995