The Glory Has Departed


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Thursday, April 7, 2016

All the Beneficial Creatures Work Together


This is more of a summary of the chapter I am writing in Creation Gardening - about how all the beneficial creatures work together.

I am reading Darwin's Black Box again while working on the gardening book. The author, Behe, argues for the engineering evidenced in the smallest parts of the natural world. When looking at the design of microbes, plant cells, insects, spiders, and birds, the facts alone are staggering.

One example is the balance between bacteria and the much larger protozoa in the soil. The protozoa make the bacteria thrive by eating them. Otherwise, bacteria growing on their own would soon equal the bio-mass of the entire world. But - not to worry - protozoa eat bacteria,  and so do earthworms. This constant feasting puts usable nitrogen in the soil and holds it there, while billions of creatures prey upon one another and swap chemicals.

Root hairs hold out carbon for the soil fungi, exchanging the plant's carbon credits for what the plant needs from the fungi. Meanwhile, the fungi are threaded through the soil harvesting those minerals and moving them between plants. One fungus may connect three plants at once.

Human beings are as organized as a herd of stray cats, but these microbes do exactly what they should and accomplish their tasks with exceptional precision. If we bury a diseased, dead animal in the ground, the soil purifies it, as Walt Whitman noted in a poem. Bacteria attack the soft parts. Fungi attack the difficult to digest parts. The disease organism is destroyed, and all chemicals are recycled at various speeds.

Flower Flies look like bees.
They figured that out to protect themselves?
"Ralph, put on your yellow and black suit. It's safer."

Microbe Engineering
The engineering and complexity of microbes should make anyone pause and thank God for all His benefits. Computer experts constantly address the problems of their vast networks, some within the company or school, others connecting the World Wide Web. They build and study complex software that manages these networks, because devices left on their own will fail, create problems, and even send bad messages that bring down the entire network. Software is re-designed all the time, but the microbes continue their labors without upgrades. They are already perfect.



Insect Engineering
I let mites, springtails, fungus, bacteria, and earthworms turn my autumn leaves into food for the soil. Only on that list is an insect - springtails. The very nature of the leaf cover in the wild garden and over the roses means that I will have that many more insects and spiders patrolling my yard this year.

Insects are great for pollination and for feeding birds during the nesting seasons. The bugs burst into life the moment birds need them for their hatching babies. Without thinking or worrying, the parents harvest the bugs and feed them to their young.  Meanwhile, the insects prey upon each other with the same ferocity. The famous beneficial bugs, like ladybugs and preying mantids, dine on their own kind as well.

Spiders build webs, as everyone knows, but another class - the cursorial spiders - go out hunting for prey and do not use a web. One is inclined to ask God, "Haven't you done enough with the vast array of web spiders? Must we come to grips with another group that we never even thought about in the past?"




Pests Are Food for Pest-Eaters
When left alone, nothing gets out of control, because pests are food for pest-eaters. In effect, the pests control the pest-eaters, not the reverse. We learned this when studying rabbits. One book pointed out that the number of rabbits will determine the population of hawks and raptors. If the rabbit population crashes from disease, as it does from time to time, the hawks and owls will go elsewhere for food and diminish in population.

Nothing is more foolish than killing the food of the pest-eaters in order to get rid of the pests. Left along, God's creatures will control the pests by eating them. And the population will not be all spiders or all preying mantids or all toads, because all of Creation remains in balance when deprived of man-made poisons. Spraying the yard for pests will kill most of the beneficial insects, letting the pests come back unopposed. Repeated spraying, which seems necessary with the rebound of pests, will make this even worse.

Close up of peacock feathers.
I rest my case.

Hawks Arrived Here for Birds and Rabbits
Hawks rest in our maple and scream out their warning cries. I feed the birds with toxin-free gardening, suet, and seeds. Our helper laughs about the jumpin' jivin' wild garden, where the insect life is livelier than a Pentecostal convention. Because birds are well fed and have ample water for bathing, hawks visit to cull the population for food. Doubtless they find plenty of rabbits and rodents, too.

Therefore, while the birds are controlling the bugs, who also control each other, the hawks are improving the gene pool of the birds and mammals. Yet all live and thrive together. Below, snakes eat toads, and toads eat thousands of pests each summer. When I began watering more and leaving pans out for bird baths, toads multiplied and took up their stations beside logs and near faucets.

Creation Psalms
The Creating Psalms - 8, 19, 29, 65, 104, 139 - spell out these relationships, while the evolutionists carefully explain how this all came from random development over billions of years.

Psalm 104King James Version (KJV)

Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty.
Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:
Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind:
Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:
Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.
Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains.
At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away.
They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them.
Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth.
10 He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills.
11 They give drink to every beast of the field: the wild asses quench their thirst.
12 By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches.
13 He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works.
14 He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth;
15 And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man's heart.
16 The trees of the Lord are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted;
17 Where the birds make their nests: as for the stork, the fir trees are her house.
18 The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats; and the rocks for the conies.
19 He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down.
20 Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth.
21 The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God.
22 The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay them down in their dens.
23 Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening.
24 Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.
25 So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts.
26 There go the ships: there is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein.
27 These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season.
28 That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good.
29 Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.
30 Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.
31 The glory of the Lord shall endure for ever: the Lord shall rejoice in his works.
32 He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth: he toucheth the hills, and they smoke.
33 I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
34 My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord.
35 Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless thou the Lord, O my soul. Praise ye the Lord.