We now have some beautiful rosellas feeding in our backyard. They have them too.
Ever heard of the gizzard? The ‘gastric mill’ is only found in some animals including crocodiles and birds. It’s been said that: Perhaps in all the realm of nature there is no more forceful witness for Divine creation than birds.
Differences in the bird kingdom
Some birds perch having feet adapted to sitting on a branch with toes pointing forward and backward (parrots and cockatoos) whilst others are ground dwellers (gulls and pelicans) with only forward pointing toes.
Other unique features include the amazing variety of shape, size and colour of beaks and feathers, the breathing apparatus (not ‘bellows’ as in humans), body size and wing shape, fanning or webbing and length of toes (lily pad hoppers and shallow water feeders), call or song (rosellas and magpies), and their nests (sparrows, owls and weaver birds).
Two impressive features are…
(i) The gizzard
Birds don’t have jaws with teeth enabling them to chew and breakdown food and may appear to be absent-mindedly pecking haphazardly at the ground seeking seeds or grubs. Their gizzard has a thick muscular wall containing tiny pieces of grit and gravel that function in the mechanical breakdown of food.
Birds have two parts to their stomach, and all have a gizzard but those that eat easily digested foods such as soft bodied insects, soft fruits or nectar only have a small thin walled one. The first part is the glandular stomach where digestive enzymes are secreted to begin the process of digestion. The second part is the muscular stomach which is particularly thick in some species. These birds eat hard items such as seeds and nuts.
Some species have an expanded, thin-walled offshoot or pouch in the oesophagus called the crop where they store food before it is sent to the stomach or is regurgitated to feed young in the nest.
(ii) The safely sleeping bird
Whether it’s asleep or it’s blustery weather a bird stays safe on its perch because of its perching and tendon locking mechanisms which enable it to rest in trees for hours without falling. When their feet reach the perch the weight of the bird causes the tendons to pull thus closing the toes around it. When the knees and heels are bent the tendons retract dragging the toes inwards as if embracing the branch.
These involuntary reflexes enable its owner to stay gripped without the risk of falling, and with virtually no energetic cost. An intermeshing of structures within the toes keeps the bones bent. Straightening the legs by standing up is all that is needed to unlock the toes and release the grip.
Some ‘birdy’ questions
(i) Why do birds have beaks and lay eggs from which the next generation emerges?
(ii) Why do humans bring forth live young and don’t have feathers?
Regarding the first question it seems that that was God’s choice to bring interesting diversity into the world He had created, principally for our benefit. Were female birds to bear live young the increasing weight of the growing young inside her would have rendered the need for flight (including rapid escape from a predator) more difficult by the day, if not fatally so.
A ‘non-birdy’ question
Why do intelligent people believe that such complicated body structures with precise functionality from day one, have mindlessly evolved from some creature of the deep past such as a gorilla, some remaining behind as gorillas in the mist whilst others evolved into university professors? Even a retired Oxford University professor (Richard Dawkins) espouses such belief in the face of compelling contrary evidence.
Such is the curse of the blinding power of Satan built onto the foundation of the enthusiastically embraced ideological ‘starting-point-conclusion’ which is both emotionally and intellectually comfortable for its advocates, that ‘there is no God’.
This leads to bizarre arguments flowing from commencing with a conclusion followed by wild speculation requiring silly attempts to force the evidence in nature and the world at large, to support it.
Contrast this to every court case in the western world which proceeds by observing the Socratic principle (without ever acknowledging it) of following the evidence to the logical conclusion to which it necessarily leads.
From the day he was made by his Creator the magnificent big male gorilla silverback has walked on all fours, on his feet and knuckles and so it is true that: since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made so that wo/men are without excuse. (Romans chapter 1 verse 20).
Therefore the ‘convinced’ evolutionist (I suspect, not really) and any other non-creationist who has no idea never having investigated it, ignorantly bypassing God during the whole of life whether a university professor, psychopathic gangster, electrician or loving gentle housewife/grandmother eventually standing helplessly alone before Jesus, will hear Him say: I never knew you. They will truly be: without excuse. But: the person who loves God is known by God. (1 Corinthians chapter 8 verse 3 & 1 John chapter 3 verse 1).
The significance of these occurrences
How did they come about? By blind chance or by design? If the latter, who was their designer and do we owe him/her/it anything? Acknowledgement? Love? Obedience?
Any gullible belief that such complex organic structures agonisingly slowly and yet miraculously appeared without masterful design would also have to support the belief that worldwide, gazillions of birds must have tragically fallen off their perches to their death.
Gazillions more so even than have cavemen stumbled if these complex structures had formed haphazardly and randomly minute cell-by-cell via bumbling chance over billions of unmeasurable years.
Some of the technical material here has come from the website of America’s Cornell University - “All about birds”.
Gavin Lawrie is a retired Barrister and Solicitor from Tweed Heads NSW Australia and author of the book: 'THE EVIDENCE OF EVOLUTION: Uncovering The Faulty Science Of Dawkins' Attack On Creationism'. He is married to Jan with two adult children and they are grandparents.
Gavin Lawrie's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/gavin-lawrie.html