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Discovery Magazine 11/1/2007

E7 Did Not Evolve

Imagine if scientists could build a robotic bird weighing less than one pound, that could fly non-stop more than 7,000 miles. Without ever stopping to oil its wings, tighten its screws, clean its gears, or recharge its lightweight batteries, this flying machine weighing less than a stapler could fly all the way from New York to Las Vegas and back to New York. What’s more, this robo-bird need not be controlled remotely, because it was programmed ahead of time to fly precisely from one place to another. With perfect precision, it lands in the intended spot.

Can you imagine such a flying machine? It would take thousands of hours, millions of dollars, and extremely intelligent scientists to design and build such an amazing robotic bird. To the best of our knowledge, no flying robot has ever accomplished such great feats. There is, however, a real bird that has.

In February 2007, scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey fitted 16 shorebirds, known as bar-tailed godwits, with satellite transmitters. One of the godwits, named E7, made its way from New Zealand to Alaska over the next three months (flying more than 9,000 miles with one layover on the North Korea-China border). After nearly four months in Alaska, the godwit began its uninterrupted flight back to New Zealand. Amazingly, this little bird, which normally weighs less than one pound, flew 7,145 miles in nine days without stopping, averaging 34.8 miles per hour. Without taking a break to eat, drink, or rest, the godwit flew the equivalent of making a trip from New York to Las Vegas and back to New York.

Equally impressive, the godwit’s 16,500-mile, roundtrip journey ended where it began. Without a map or a compass, godwits can fly thousands of miles without getting lost.

Scientists have studied the flight of birds for decades and still cannot adequately explain their stamina and sense of direction. How can a person reasonably conclude that non-intelligence, plus time, plus chance equals a one-pound, bar-tailed godwit flying 7,145 miles in nine days without stopping for food, water, or rest?

The fact is, evolution cannot logically explain how a bird “soars, stretching his wings toward the south” (Job 39:26). Rather, “the stork in the sky knows her seasons; and the turtledove and the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration” (Jeremiah 8:7, NASB), because the all-knowing, all-powerful God is the Creator of them all.



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