Daily Devotional – November 20
High in the Himalayas, there is a mystery. In the permafrost lives a parasitic fungus called the yartsa gunbu. This fungus attacks a live host (such as a worm or ant), invading and replacing tissues in the worm or ant’s body. In some species, the parasitic fungus can even force its host, such an ant, to climb a tree and attach itself to a leaf before it dies - such that the spores from the fungus spread under optimal conditions. How could a “primitive” fungus learn to control its host? How the worm that hosts the yartsa gunbu fungus is even able to survive high in the Himalayan Mountains and reproduce in such a cold climate is as strange as the medicinal herb the worm’s body becomes. Once the worm bores underground, the fungus kills it, and out of its dead body grows a plant-like shoot, that pierces the frosty ground - enabling courageous Nepali explorers to find this strange medicinal herb.
In Eastern medicinal practices, the fungus grown from the dead worm is marketed as a powerful healing herb that sells like gold. The price of this parasite has risen almost 1000% from the 1980s to today (from 1000 Yuan/kg to 100,000 Yuan/kg). Its value has drawn the strongest Nepalese to risk their lives and trek three to four days from their remote villages into the thin, bitterly cold atmosphere. There are many stories of men who never return.1
Use of yartsa gunbu has been recorded as far back as the 15th century in a Tibetan text translated An Ocean of Aphrodisiacal Qualities. Related species have shown interesting biological and pharmacological properties, such as an immunosuppressive drug helpful in human organ transplants and as a drug used to treat multiple mclerosis. There are many wonders in nature that God has prepared for our benefit!
I have made the earth, and created man upon it...
~ Isaiah 45:12
Daily Devotional – November 19
Try the following three movements:
- Rotate your wrist in a 360 degree circle.
2. Move your extended arm at the elbow straight up and down like a hinge on a door.
3. Swing your arm in a circle at the shoulder.
Your arm is designed with three completely different types of joints to allow an amazing range of movement - from throwing a baseball to picking up a pebble and placing it overhead into a cup. Without all three of these very differently designed joints, this range of movements would be impossible.
Guess what engineers have discovered as they have worked to design robots used for everything from painting cars on an assembly line to the robotic arm on the space shuttle? They need to use exactly the same three types of joints! Every robotic arm has some combination of a rotational joint (similar to our wrist), a hinge joint (similar to our elbow) and a universal joint (similar to our shoulder). Yet, the manmade joints are crude, cumbersome, and wear out far quicker than those designed for our bodies. Isn’t it obvious the designer of our bodies was the greatest engineer of all?
Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?
~ Isaiah 53:1
Daily Devotional – November 18
What bird did the Wright brothers copy in order to make an airplane? The turkey vulture. More than 100 years ago, Bible-believers Orville and Wilbur Wright spent years studying and working to produce the first motorized airplane. They began by observing birds in flight through their binoculars. One of the many things they noticed were birds changing the shape of their wings as they flew into the wind. The birds would curve the surface of their wings allowing the air to flow over the curved surface - creating lift. The Wright brothers’ first powered flight lasted 12 seconds and flew 120 feet. That same day, they flew several more times; the last flight was 59 seconds and covered 852 feet. Since that cold, wind-swept December day on a beach in North Carolina in 1903, the airplane industry has worked hard to develop well-designed airplanes. Our best design ideas for airplanes have come from observing birds and how they fly. When we see an airplane, we know there must be an airplane designer. When we see a bird, we know there must be a bird designer, and that designer is God.
The way of an eagle in the air… [is] too wonderful for me….
~ Proverbs 30:19, 18
Daily Devotional – November 17
Frogs go through metamorphosis from egg to tadpole to frog. They begin life in the water like a fish and later develop legs and lungs to live on land and water. This is an amazing body transformation; virtually every organ and body system is radically reworked in a specific order so that a tadpole can survive while it is turning into a frog. A tadpole gets oxygen from the water using gills; it changes to a frog that uses lungs to get oxygen from the air. A tadpole goes from having a tail to a frog with legs and no tail. The tadpole goes from living in the water to a frog living on both land and water. If evolution were true, how would a tadpole, a fish-like creature, mutate with both the ability and the desire to drop its tail, get legs, rid itself of gills and make lungs? Could genetic mistakes rework virtually everything in order to go from a tadpole to a frog? Remember that it is the frog and not the tadpole that makes babies.
If evolution says that the tadpoles evolved—well- -no babies. Frogs and their metamorphosis cry out design; the frog’s life cycle had to work all at once, or it would not have happened. Perhaps God chose this unique and fascinating method for a frog’s development so we would know He exists.
Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes.
~ Psalm 119:68
Daily Devotional – November 16
The third largest land animal today is the rhinoceros – often weighing over 6000 pounds (as much as three compact cars)! Pound per pound, it is also the fastest land animal – capable of running almost 30 mph and knocking over a SUV loaded with gawking tourists! Yet, this mighty beast is dependent on the smallest of creatures for its survival.
The rhino is a herbivore designed to eat plants that many animals cannot. Rhinos survive in harsh environments filled with low nutrient (even poisonous) plants that deer and other herbivores cannot digest. What is the rhino’s secret to survival? It has an integrated system of bacteria and specialized organs that allow it to thrive.
The microbes that process a rhino’s food live in the caecum (a special section of the intestine downstream of the small intestine), and they break down the cellulose materials that the rhino eats – turning them into sugars, vitamin B, and amino acids that the rhino cannot directly obtain from plants. But this symbiotic relationship between the biggest and smallest of organisms is even more amazing. The transformation of nutrients takes place downstream of the rhino’s small intestine, but nutrients the rhino needs must be absorbed upstream (in the small intestine). So how does the rhino survive? Powerful muscular contractions in the rhino’s digestive tract move things in both directions in the rhino, either driving nutrients upstream for absorption by his body or driving waste downstream for elimination. The unique design of such a complex system testifies to the genius of its Creator.
Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day.
~ Psalm 7 1:8
Daily Devotional – November 15
In 1998, a new type of octopus was discovered - the mimic octopus (Thaumoctopus mimicus). It has the amazing ability to change shape, color, texture and swimming patterns in seconds to impersonate poisonous marine animals. This brown and white striped octopus is 2 feet long with pencil thin tentacles about ten inches long. This octopus lives off the sandy shores of the Indonesian islands. Scientists are astounded at the wide variety of marine animals that this mimic octopus can transform itself into within seconds. It can transform itself to look like the poisonous flat fish or the poisonous lion fish. When damselfish are near, it transforms itself to look like the poisonous sea snake; sea snakes are a known predator of damselfish.
Scientists have documented the mimic octopus doing 15 different imitations in order to escape its predators. This means that the mimic octopus knows which animals will threaten the predator that is threatening him! How does evolution explain the mimic octopus’s ability to know the predator’s predator and then impersonate it? God gave to the mimic octopus the intelligence to discern which dangerous marine creature to mimic- -so the predator would be afraid--AND the ability to mimic the predator’s predator. The mimic octopus testifies to God’s creativeness and skill!
Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things.
~ Psalm 72:18
Daily Devotional – November 14
Ask people when the dinosaurs died out, and they will usually answer 65 million years ago. Then why are scientists now finding soft tissues in some dinosaur bones? Dr. Mary Schweitzer was analyzing the fossilized thigh bone of a T-rex found in the Hell Creek formation of Montana and found, to her amazement, blood vessels, cells with nuclei, tissue elasticity and intact protein fragments. Can these survive 65 million years? No! Could they have survived since the Flood of Noah’s day (~ 4400 years ago)? Yes!
Many studies of Egyptian mummies and other humans of old age show the same sort of details as Schweitzer reported in her T- rex. Since Schweitzer’s discovery, more paleontologists are cracking open dinosaur bones and finding, to their amazement, the same thing: blood vessels, cell nuclei, tissue elasticity and protein fragments. Dinosaurs’ soft tissues reveal they did not die out millions of years ago. If these dinosaur bones are not millions of years old, then neither is the earth’s rock layers in which these bones are found. The earth’s sedimentary rock strata were formed as sediment-filled water deposited layer after layer of sediment during the year-long flood of Noah’s day (about 4400 years ago), trapping dinosaur remains in the deposits. Dinosaur soft tissue shouts that we live on a young earth!
And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen.
~ Genesis 8:5
Daily Devotional – November 13
Have you considered our genetic code? Genetic scientists can now track genetic mistakes on the human genome. They are finding that each generation is adding genetic mistakes, not getting better. The genetic code is rapidly deteriorating; there is an increasing incident of birth defects. With such rapid deterioration of the human genome, evolutionists can hardly believe that humans exist! That’s because they assume that humans have been around for some 100,000 years (some say millions). Yet, humans do exist and are not extinct. This can only mean that humans have not been around as long as evolutionists assume.
The biblical view that humans have been around for about 6,000 years, with only 200 or so generations since Adam and Eve. This agrees with what we see in science and observations of the rapidly deteriorating the human genome. Human DNA currently contains over 5000 mistakes leading to various genetic diseases. Adam and Eve were created perfect. Their children married brothers and sisters. It was not until the time of Moses that God prohibited the marriage between close relatives. God saw that this was necessary to minimize offspring becoming deformed. Our genetic code is deteriorating - not improving. How old is the Earth and its creatures? When we examine the genetic code, it says we live in a young Earth, just as God tells us in the Bible.
For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
~ Romans 8:22
Daily Devotional – November 12
A 2013 study estimated that 345 billion barrels of oil are recoverable from oil-containing-shale rock layers. This is typically done by a common oil-drilling process known as fracking. Shale is a clay-rich sedimentary rock that seals in the oil and gas – preventing movement of the fluids.
Where did all this oil come from? It is possible that some oil was created along with all the other resources of the earth, but most seem to be derived from organic matter. Oil has its own “fingerprint,” and most oils match up with marine algae deposits (type 1 oil) and marine planktonic deposits (type 2 oil). To create oil, these deposits of organic debris needed to be heated; this is done by the Earth’s thermal gradient. In other words, these deposits were buried at a certain depth, 8,000 to 15,000 feet, in order to “cook” at a temperature of 180 degrees – 250 degrees Fahrenheit. This is called the “oil window.” Of course, there are variations; if there is a nearby active volcano, the area does not need to be buried as deeply to produce oil. If, the organic debris passes through the “oil window” and cooks at higher temperatures, the result will be a natural gas deposit.
Do we see oil forming naturally today? NO. Nearly all organic debris is eaten by microorganisms and scavengers prior to becoming trapped in sediment. So, what event in history led to the creation of oil and gas? Noah’s Flood buried huge amounts of marine algae and plankton, trapping them faster than they could naturally decay and covering it with lots of sediment. The Earth’s oil reserves are young, not millions of years old. If the oils were old, they would have been destroyed by bacterial action by now. Even the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico saw surface oil quickly eaten by bacterial action. We also know that bacteria live virtually everywhere, even deep within the Earth. So, we can assume that old oil would not exist after millions of years. The Flood of Noah’s day has provided us with this much needed blessing for our modern world.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
~ James 1:17
Daily Devotional – November 11
One of the ways to determine whether a canyon or cliff has been recently formed--or is very old--is to look at the pile of rubble at the base of the cliff or canyon. This rubble is the result of wind, rain, and temperature changes wearing away at the cliff face – resulting in material falling away from the vertical face and accumulating as a pile at the bottom of the cliff. This rubble at the base of a steep slope is called “talus.” The older the canyon or cliff, the more talus there should be at the bottom. Eventually, the vertical wall should completely disappear and be replaced by a sloped pile of accumulated talus.
The fact is many, if not most, cliffs and canyons in the Western United States, and many other places around the world, still have vertically-walled valleys and have relatively small piles of talus at the base of cliffs. This is strong evidence for young geological features. If these vertical canyons and cliff walls were millions of years old, they would have eroded away long ago. Vertical canyons and cliff walls with little talus testify to a young Earth. So the next time you see a canyon or cliff, examine how much talus exists at its base.
And surely the mountains falling cometh to nought…
~ Job 14:18