Logical Arguments for God’s Existence – Part 1: The Godwit

Job 12:7 “Ask the birds of the air and they will tell you; Who doesn’t know the Lord has done this?” 

It is the time of year when all those birds we loved to watch during the spring through fall have left on their annual migrations to warmer weather. Have you ever wondered how they not only know where they are going but how they have the strength to endure the journey? Meet the Godwit, a shining example of “natural theology.” As this week’s verse says, by studying this bird we will see God’s handiwork.

Before we examine the Godwit, let me remind everyone that the Olympics are just around the corner. Most of us remember in 2012 when Usain Bolt set Olympic and World speed records in the 100 and 200 meters and the 4×100 relay. A human running at a speed of close to 30 miles per hour is quite impressive, but neither Usain Bolt nor anyone else can maintain this speed for more than a few seconds.

When it comes to endurance, marathon runners run 26 miles without stopping, but no human has ever averaged more than 13 mph while running 100’s of miles. The human body has its limits.

When these limits are compared to what, as our verse says, the Godwit “tells us” about itself, anyone interested in growing closer to the God of the Bible cannot help but be in awe of Him as our Creator.

In February 2007, scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey fitted 16 bar-tailed godwits with satellite transmitters. One of the godwits, dubbed E7, made its way from New Zealand to Alaska over the next three months, flying 9,340 miles with one five-week-long layover near the North Korea-China border. After nearly four months, the godwit began its uninterrupted flight back to New Zealand. Amazingly, this little bird, which weighs less than one pound, flew 7,145 miles in nine days without stopping, averaging 34.8 mph.   

The Godwit flies faster than Usain Bolt’s fastest 100-meter sprint, for over 7,145 miles in only one of its three flight patterns! Without taking a break to eat, drink, or rest, the godwit flew the equivalent of making a roundtrip flight between New York and San Francisco, and then flying back again to San Francisco without ever touching down.

But even more impressive than its speed and endurance, the godwit’s 16,500-mile, roundtrip journey ended where it began. Without a map, a compass, or even a parent, godwits can fly tens of thousands of miles without getting lost.

Scientists have studied the migration of birds for decades and cannot explain this ‘age-old riddle.’ Their stamina and sense of direction is mind-boggling. We know more about how birds might achieve their epic flights around the world, but there are still far more mysteries than there are explanations.

The tiny songbird that reappeared to build its nest in the apple tree outside your window – and we know from banding that it can indeed be exactly the same bird – has been to South America and back since you saw it last. How can that be?

Evolutionists trying to explain the complexities of bird migration offer only theories. How can a reasonable person conclude that non-intelligence, plus time, plus chance, results in a one-pound, bar-tailed godwit repeatedly, year after year, flying the exact same route of 7,145 miles in 9 days without stopping for food, water, or rest?

The awe and wonder should be directed toward neither mindless evolution nor the birds themselves, but to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: “All things were made through Jesus Christ, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:3). He is also the God who promises His love and mercy: “O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments” (Daniel 9:4).

The Evidence of Faith’s Substance _ Article #482

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