Pacific Golden Plover: Miracle Bird
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The Pacific golden plover is a handsome bird. Though it doesn’t appear to be anything special, this bird’s behavior can only be described as miraculous. It nests in Alaska and then flies to Hawaii (where it is known as “kolea”) for the winter. Some members of this species go even further—to New Zealand and Australia!
Many birds migrate long distances; this is truly astonishing. But the Pacific golden plover’s performance of this feat, though not breaking any of the laws of physics, must nonetheless be miraculous in its origin.
Here are some facts about this bird:
1. It migrates across more than 2,400 miles of open ocean where there are no islands for landmarks or rest stops.
2. This bird cannot swim so it would drown if it attempted to take a break on the open sea.
3. Therefore, this flight must be nonstop for 88 hours, continuously flapping its wings since the bird also does not soar.
4. If the bird gets off track even a few degrees, it will miss Hawaii and end up dead in the sea. So, its navigation must be precise. Yet each bird goes to the same exact spot in Hawaii and Alaska each year.
5. Before leaving Alaska, it overeats and gains 70 grams of fat.
6. However, this would only supply 85 percent of the needed “fuel.”
7. But the bird succeeds in reaching its destination because it flies in a V-formation with others of its kind. This flight pattern causes air movements which decrease the amount of energy (fuel) needed. The birds also take turns leading, since the leader receives no such advantage.
Here are some questions to ponder about this behavior:
1. How does the bird know it must overeat before it leaves?
2. How does the bird know how much to overeat? Either too little or too much would be fatal since there would not be enough fuel or too much weight for the flight.
3. How does the bird know the most economical cruising speed? Too slow or too fast would result in the “fuel” being used up before the bird reaches Hawaii, which would be fatal.
4. How does the bird know the proper direction to fly?
5. How does the bird stay on course? If a storm would blow it off course, it must make the proper correction to its direction of flight.
Amazingly, the adult birds leave Alaska well before the newly-hatched chicks. Yet the chicks also arrive at the same place as their parents, even though none of them has ever been there before!
All the behavioral instincts programmed into the complex brain of the Pacific golden plover would have been extremely unlikely to arise gradually over many generations, as demanded by evolution. And any incompletely equipped birds that would have perished in the sea would leave no descendants to complete the evolution.
Evolution is basically an attempt to explain the origin of living things by natural processes without God. But we never see physical processes produce high states of organization such as is present in the brain of the Pacific golden plover. In fact, energy interacting with matter always decreases any organization that might be present. A bicycle left out in the elements, subject to sunshine, lightning bolts, wind, etc., will always be degraded. It will never change into a motorcycle, or even a better bicycle. Natural processes cause a decrease in organization. But living systems, including the Pacific golden plover’s brain, are extremely highly organized. They must be, in order to perform such amazing feats. But if natural processes are insufficient to explain the origin of living creatures and their features, we must consider supernatural processes. In other words, the highly organized animals and plants and even our own bodies require the supernatural, all powerful, all wise God as the explanation for their origin. Therefore, we conclude that this physical universe is not all there is. There must be a God!
But some object to the existence of God because of the evil and suffering we see in this world. However, these terrible realities in no way negate the above conclusion. So, what is the explanation for these negative aspects of creation? Why does God allow evil to exist? Since God is so great, as we realize from the things we see, it is reasonable to believe that He is superior to us in all ways. So, there must be an explanation for the existence of evil and suffering.
If we have a sense of justice, then God is even more just. And if we can love our children, then God must love us even more. So, since we do not always see justice and love prevail in this world, we conclude that this life is not all there is. There will come a day when God will judge us to see who is fit to inhabit a new and better world, where justice and love will prevail.
The question now arises—what must we do in order to enter that better world? In the Bible, God tells us that we must repent because He will judge the world in righteousness (Acts 17:30-31). To repent means to turn to God and seek to do His will in all things. For those who repent, God has graciously provided a way that we may receive forgiveness for all the wrong doings of our past. This way is Jesus Christ. He died for all our wrong doings and rose again from the dead, conquering death itself. Through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for our sins, we can be forgiven and therefore be assured that we will be in that better world to come in which there will be no death nor any evil nor suffering.
If it is your desire to repent, just tell God your intention and ask Him to help you live a life in accordance with His will. Then read the Bible to learn how God wants us to live—especially the New Testament.
Also, if you are really serious about doing God’s will, you will find that this is not always easy. Others will seek to influence you away from that. And even our own selfish inclinations are contrary to doing God’s will. To get extra help you should get involved with others who are also seeking to do God’s will. There are millions of such people all over the world. You can find them in Christian churches where the Bible is believed. Pray and ask God to direct you into such a church. You might want to use the internet to look up Bible believing churches in your area.