Friday, 13 November 2009

The Migration of Birds

"There is good evidence that young birds are equipped with endogenous migratory programs, which tell them roughly how many days and/or nights that they must fly, and in what direction."

In his book La Puissance et la Fragilité, Prof. Pierre Jean Hamburger from René Descartes University describes the extraordinary 24,000-kilometer journey made by the shearwater that lives in the Pacific Ocean:

It sets out from the coast of Australia. From there it flies straight southward to the Pacific. Then it turns north and flies along the coast of Japan until reaching the Bering Sea where it can rest for a while.

Following that break it sets off again, and this time heads south. Crossing the western coast of America, it arrives in California.

It then crosses the Pacific to return to its starting point. The route and timing of this 15,000-mile (24,000-kilometer) figure ‘8’ journey it makes every year never change.

The journey in question lasts a whole six months, always coming to an end in the third week of September on the island it left six months before, at the nest it left six months before.

What comes next is even more astonishing; after their return, the birds clean their nests, mate, and lay a single egg over the last 10 days of October.

The chicks hatch out two months later, grow very fast and are cared for over three months until their parents set out on that stupendous journey. Two weeks later; around the middle of April, it is time for the young birds to take wing on their own journey. They follow exactly the same route as that described above, with no guide.

The explanation is so obvious: These birds must have all the directions for such a journey within the inherited characteristics passed on within the egg. Some people may claim that birds navigate by the Sun and stars or follow the winds prevailing along their route on this journey out and back. But it is clear that these factors cannot determine the journey’s geographical and chronological accuracy."
Pierre Jean Hamburger, La Puissance et la Fragilité, Flammarion Pub., Paris, 1972.

"migratory birds have comprehensive, detailed, innate spatio-temporal programs for successful migration.

Such programs evidently enable even young, inexperienced birds to migrate alone, with no adult guide, to the species- or population-specific winter quarters that they have never seen before.

As will be explained further below, they do this by "vector" navigation: referring to a vector composed of a genetically predetermined migratory direction and to a time-plan, also genetically predetermined, for the course of migration...

It follows that the departure time is programmed by genetic factors... "

Peter Berthold, "Bird Migration: Introductory Remarks and Overall Perspective", Torgos, 1998, Vol. 28, pp. 25-30

Not only is it preprogrammed, but it is preprogrammed to do impossible things!

"Some birds migrate at seemingly impossible altitudes. For instance, dunlin, knot and certain other small migrating birds fly at a level of 7,000 m (23,000 feet), the same altitude used by aircraft. Whooper swans have been seen flying at 8,200 m (27,000 feet). Some birds even reach the stratosphere, the layer of thin atmosphere, at an altitude of between 8 and 40 kilometers (5 and 25 miles).11 Bar-headed geese cross the Himalayas at an altitude of 9,000 meters
(29,529 feet), close to where the stratosphere begins."

What more do we need before we reject this hopeless theory?

The evidence I have been presenting, and which has received no refutation worthy of the name, supports the exceedingly realistic hypothesis that these things were all super-intelligently designed.

Any aeroplane, flying a journey of 1000 miles or so, with fully functioning GPS, at an altitude of 25,000 feet or more at the very edge of the stratosphere, has got to be intelligently designed, or it either wouldn't get there, or would simply perish.

Consider the requirements of survival alone.

The temperature is killing.

The troposphere begins at the Earth's surface and extends up to 4-12 miles (6-20 km) high. This is where we live. As the density of the gases in this layer decrease with height, the air becomes thinner. Therefore, the temperature in the troposphere also decreases with height. As you climb higher, the temperature drops from about 62°F (17°C) to -60°F (-51°C).).

They must be, therefore, extraordinarily well insulated creatures. Which poses yet another problem for the evolutionists. Did they develop their absolutely superior insulation IN ORDER TO FLY THAT HIGH? Or do they fly that high BECAUSE THEY HAVE THE INSULATION? And how did they figure out how to produce it?

But that's just the beginning of the problem. Water freezes at 0 deg C. The liquid covering the eyes of the birds is mainly water. If it is like normal tears, then it should freeze at -0.52 C. But since the birds fly in considerably lower temperatures, the problem becomes very severe. If the liquid froze at -0.52 C, then they could not possibly fly at that height, because their eyes would freeze up. But they do manage it.

Therefore the tears of their eyes must be specially designed with antifreeze built in. So must their nostril linings, and their lungs.

But how is that possible? A bird has no way of knowing what the upper tropospheric temperature will be. Neither does it know what chemicals need to be in its tears to prevent freezing, and least of all does it know how to synthesise that material.

So where did it come from? Design seems the only possible answer.

And then there’s the pressure question. The cabin of an aircraft flying at 26-30,000 feet HAS TO BE PRESSURISED, or all air travellers would die. The atmospheric pressure outside, is far too low to sustain human life. Here is a summary of what happened to James Glaisher, a balloonist who went up to 26,000 feet in the days before we knew all that we know today about the effects of high altitude:

In 1862, James Glaisher and Henry Coxwell ascended to 29,000 feet in an open hot-air balloon. During the ascent, Glaisher described marked neurologic compromises: appendicular and later truncal paralysis, blindness, initially preserved cognition, and subsequent loss of consciousness.

The birds, therefore, MUST have a compensating mechanism built in. But they didn’t know about all this before starting their journeys! So Who knew?

We will discuss the instincts powering flight later on, but let's return to the navigation problem.

Whooper swans fly from Siberia to Britain and return each year - something over 2000 miles. Short-tailed shearwaters, Puffinus tenuirostris migrate from South Australia to the North Pacific and back - a total distance of some 32,000 km (20,000 miles).

"Each year the bulk of the colony (the breeding age birds) return to the nesting grounds on almost the same day. Individuals return to the same nest burrow they occupied the previous year and generally mate with the same partner throughout their breeding life...

In mid April the adult birds commence their Pacific migration leaving the young behind. Hunger begins to bring the chicks from the nest at night, until they eventually set off after the adults. Somehow they find the migratory route without the guidance of the older birds."

This, I thought, was astonishing enough. Maybe the shearwater is unique in this.

But no. Although not over such a great distance, the Pacific golden plover is another phenomenal migrator.

It flies from its breeding grounds in Alaska to its wintering grounds in Hawaii.

That is a distance of about 2,500 miles across open ocean, without any stopping points either available or possible. The birds stock up on food, fattening themselves, and burn it up on the journey. In Alaska, they breed and rear their young.

But that's not the end of the matter.

When the young have reached a reasonably independent state of maturity, the adults fly off and leave them!

Some time later, the young set off on their own, and without parents or any other guides, fly the return 2,500 miles to Alaska. Again across open ocean: no waymarks, no food, no stopping places.

Can you see the nonsense all this makes of evolution?

There are 2 journeys before us, totalling 25,000 miles, which is approximately the circumference of the planet. The plovers strain credulity, but the shearwaters kill it altogether.

And then we find out about the arctic tern - which flies from the top of the world, down to the antarctic every year, and back again.

All this is unbelievable, but comes from the work of highly reputable observers and organisations.

We may as well toss in the fourth unbelievable migration for good measure.

Cliff swallow scouts fly in from the sea, to the village/town of Capistrano in southern California, on the 17th of March every year. The following day, on the 18th March
EVERY YEAR, the main flock arrives. They return to the nests they built last year, squabble and fight and breed, and then on October 23rd, they fly up, circle the town as if saying goodbye, and disappear out to sea once again.

This happens EVERY YEAR, on the same date (apart from leap years) without fail.

For the longest time, they had no idea where the birds came from, or where they went, until modern tracking methods were employed, and the truth came out.

They start their journey in Goya, a town in southern Argentina, and fly 7,500 miles up to Capistrano, and return about 6 months later.

In every case, there is dating accuracy – but the Capistrano swallows take the breath away. Somehow, those little birds have a calendar built in and arrive on the same date EVERY YEAR.

Now consider what the theory of evolution has to account for.

1 The ability to fly, and how that ability came from wingless reptiles. More on this later.

2 The existence in the birds of an amazingly accurate GPS system which somehow navigates them to and from their incredibly distant destinations.

3 The existence of a calendar in their little brains, accurate to the very day.

Instinct, says the evolutionist. Yes, we say – but where did this stupendous instinct come from?

In order for a GPS system to work, there must be navigational satellites ready set up, and accurate to within a few hundred feet. There has to be a receptor device, which will not only read those satellite signals, but also unscramble them and translate the messages into comprehensible materials.

There has to a map of some kind, built in to the navigator device. And lastly there must be a mind with the ability to receive and obey the messages from the satellites.

If any one of these elements missing, the whole thing is useless. Therefore in the birds, all of this had to have arisen AT THE SAME TIME. But a map implies that someone has been there before, who knows the way, and can program the route into the system.

The sheer improbability of all this happening by chance is incalculable. And there’s no use bleating pathetically that evolution is not a random process. Random or not, it cannot reasonably explain the origin of these mighty instincts by any method at all.

It’s no wonder that they never attempt to explain the origin of instinct.

Darwin was right when he said:

C. Darwin, On the Origin of Species (London: Cassell and Co., Ltd., 1909), p. 189.

"This [instinct] is by far the most serious special difficulty which my theory has encountered. . . . The problem at first appeared to me insuperable, and actually fatal to my theory."

"No complex instinct can possibly be produced through natural selection except by the slow and gradual accumulation of numerous, slight, yet profitable variations. . . .We ought at least to be able to show that gradations of some kind are possible, and this we certainly can do."

He was wrong. No amount of ‘numerous, slight yet profitable variations’ can take a bird from Australia to Japan, to the Bering Strait, to California and back across the Pacific ocean to Australia, to arrive there at the same time every year, and nest in the same nest each time. Any errors, and the bird would be as good as dead.

No amount of ‘numerous, slight yet profitable variations’ can take a bird 7,500 miles from Goya in Argentina to Capistrano in California ON THE SAME DATE every year.

And how many of such variations do we need to carry the arctic tern from the top of the world down to the bottom, every year? Or how many do we need to carry the golden plover young 2,500 miles across a trackless ocean and back – without parents, guides and way marks ? At every step of the way an error means death and species extinction.

Yet they are still here doing the same wonderful things year after year.

How much more evidence do we need before we dump this silly theory which is so hopelessly useless at explaining such gigantic phenomena?




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by Asyncritus


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The Argument No-One Has Developed Before…
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