Even the most dedicated political junkie should step away from the din of the fray occasionally. The lack of sound reasoning that is often featured on the media is enough to drive a sane person to the brink of Wack-a-Doodle Ville. A periodic retreat to a far less complicated world is essential therapy. With the announcement of spring, fishing is a recommended remedy. Chased by thoughts of hungry trout, I recently found myself in the store purchasing some fishing flies. This led me to questions that were not very productive. The problem is, even when on mental vacation, the habit of investigating liberal logic is a menacing ghost that pops up at the most inconvenient times. For example, if I were an evolutionist, I would need to know how and why there are several varieties of trout. Surely somewhere back on the scale of evolutionary progression, there was just one kind of trout, but now there is the rainbow, the brook, the brown, the cutthroat, the laker, et cetera. I suppose the scientific answer is mutations, but that makes me wonder which one was the original and how we can know. Perhaps the hybrids like Kamloops and Cuttbows contribute to the dilemma, except they are incapable of reproducing—is there a deviate gene that turns a hybrid into a mutation? But wouldn’t we need the mutation before the hybrid…I am confused.
Further considerations are even more baffling—who equipped fish to divide H2O into three parts in order to utilize the oxygen in water. In Malay there is a fish with bifocal eyes. Why don’t flounder and catfish have them? In California the female grunion lays her eggs in the sand exactly fifteen minutes after high tide (she reads the tide tables and sets her watch according to the observatory in Greenwich, England) the night after the “fortnight” high tide. The egg has to be fertilized by the male within thirty seconds (don’t worry, they all carry stopwatches, and they have a repair shop just forty miles off Santa Barbara). By this method the eggs are safe until the next high tide. By that time the egg has hatched and the new born “small fry” are washed back into the sea to swim when the saltwater touches them on the next tide. Who synchronized the incubation periods with the next high tide with all the tides changing every week? How did the grunion learn these things, and how did they survive during the learning period of several thousand years?
A female mackerel lays 500,000 eggs at one time. A ten year progeny of this laying (if all survived) would fill the Atlantic and Pacific oceans full of mackerel to a depth of 20,000 feet. If the same thing happened with herring (all eggs hatched and survived), in twenty years they would equal the size of the earth. Isn’t it remarkable forethought that evolution remembered to kill 90 percent of the eggs that fish lay?
All of this fishing is beginning to give me a headache, so I shall turn my attention to something loftier—say, birds. How did the reptiles learn to sing after turning into birds? The migrating birds who fly from Alaska to Hawaii to join their parents simply take off and fly over 2000 miles without a chart, compass, map, previous instructions, or guidance. A tagged Baltimore oriole can take a trip to South America and return to the same elm tree that he left in New York. The golden plover goes 2500 miles from Newfoundland to Columbia. The Shrike travels 3500 miles to French Equatorial Africa from Central Asia. Not one bird in the bunch needs a planned itinerary, a guide, or a pilot. Only man requires these things—are we really at the top of the evolutionary ladder?
Fishing birds have barbed hooks on the back of their claws to match the serrations on the front. Did you ever try to pick up a catfish and hold it in the water? How many fish did the fishing birds lose while trying to develop a bone which had to originate from putting their feet in water? Undoubtedly millions of them starved to death before 100 million B.C.
All of these thoughts about fish and our feathered friends have cluttered a mind seeking relaxation—necessity demands something as simple as the spider on the outside of my window. OH NO! I am reminded of a spider on the Pacific Coast that lifts a shell 12-20 inches above the ground on two silk cables by putting one wet thread on it at a time until the threads dry and gradually lift the shell up—the equivalent of a man raising 3600 tons of concrete in the air. This is accomplished without instructions from any outside source. Having lifted his shell, the spider lines it up with silk and cuts a door in it.
Question: How many spiders since 70 million B.C. tried to do this and failed? And why did they continue until they prevailed when they were faced only with failure? Isn’t this learning something “the hard way”? All attempts to think these wonders through from an evolutionary viewpoint are wearing me out. I think God’s annotation will serve me the best: “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God, for it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness” (I Corinthians 3:19). If a person truly desires to find evidence of random chance with no further explanation of existence, they may be well-served to investigate the halls of Congress. There are creatures in those caverns that defy all forms of logical plan or purpose. As for me, I agree with Simon Peter when he said “I go a fishing.”