Monday, July 21, 2008

The Red Knot

"The red knot is a sandpiper that every year travels more than 18,000 miles from the arctic islands of northern Canada to Tierra del Fuego, at the southern tip of South America and back again stopping along the way on several Atlantic beaches. During their stay in the southern hemisphere they replace their tattered feathers in a long molt ensuring their flight equipment to be in top condition when, in February, they begin their journey north in flocks of hundreds or thousands. They stop on their way for food, always at the same beaches or marshes where they have fed for centuries. From the northern coast of South America they embark on a week long non-stop flight that takes them to Delaware Bay just as horseshoe crabs are laying eggs by the millions. There they gorge themselves in order to be prepared to engage in the next leg of their long journey – non-stop to the islands north of Hudson Bay. There in the long summer they mate and breed. By mid-July the female knots abandon their offspring and head south and a few weeks later the males follow. The babies fend for themselves until late August when they too commence their 9,000 mile journey. (from Chet Raymo, Skeptics and True Believers)"

Now here is the amazing thing: the young red knots by the thousands and without adult guides or prior experience find their way along the very same migration route of their parents, stop at precisely the same beaches and marshes for food and join the others at precisely the same place in Tierra del Fuego.

"...scientists have no firm understanding why the red knot migrate each year" (from The Nature Conservancy in Delaware).

I truly wonder what Richard Dawkins has to say about this?

I'm convinced there are no less than 100 amazing, scientific, examples of the wonders of God that have no explanation other than a Creator who had a specific plan for exactly how He wanted things to function. The sovereignty of God is on display every day...

Why do we keep missing it?


Blogger Brent said...

Richard Dawkins would have no problem saying it's just one of those things that scientists haven't found the answer to among millions of things we don't know about the universe or biology or any other area of science.

He also would caution you (rightfully so) that just because science doesn't have an answer does not mean that you can, with intellectual integrity, default to "because God created it" positions.

Now, don't get me wrong...I fully agree with you. But when you chat with a skeptic, they don't see the leap we often make (and we do) from "bird migration" to "proof for God." And, it is a leap based on presuppostions on our part.

A read of chapter 3 of his book The God Delusion will help you see the difference. He addresses Aquinas' "proofs" and has a basic philosophy lesson (I took those classes at AU so they weren't anything eye-opening) on logical leaps, and on this one, I agree with him.

A good balance is Keller's book The Reason for God which has a better explanation than these or than I can list here...

3:32 PM


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