When I did make it to class, I remember hearing my Biology professor, Mr. Knowsitall, claim that my great-great-great-great-grandfather was an ape. My response: “Does that make you a monkey’s uncle?” earned me an instant “F” on my term paper about the Theory of Evolution. I even pointed out that he looked like the missing link because he was Greek.
Some people have no sense of humor.
I was better educated through Woody Woodpecker than my college Biology class. After watching a few episodes (and reading a book by Gary Parker), I began thinking.
The woodpecker lives by banging its head into trees. How does “survival of the fittest” prompt you to say to yourself, “Hey, wouldn’t it be fun to slam my skull into that fichus tree over there?” For most creatures this would cause a few problems – just think back to crashing your bike into your neighbor’s oak.
Creation says the woodpecker was designed from the beginning for pecking at wood. Evolution claims that mutations gradually changed the woodpecker over millions of years to its current form. So, using evolution, how much wood could a woodpecker peck if a woodpecker would peck wood? (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)
If you’re banging your nose against a tree, your nose better be tough. Let’s say you’re a woodpecker and evolution has provided you with a tough beak. You decide to try it out. WHACK! You throw your head into a tree. Your nose is fine but your skull is now crushed. Do you know how hard it is to find a date for the prom when your face is concave in shape?
Perhaps evolutionary mutation gave you a heavy-duty skull first. WHACK! You throw your head into a tree – and now your skull is okay, but the only thing your nose is good for is accordion lessons… and there’s no social life (or evolutionary future) in that either.
The problem is that your beak and skull must be tough together! Let’s continue.
When you hit that tree your eyelids automatically snap shut. But what if you began pecking before evolution graced you with eyelids? Wood chips get into your eyes, your eyes pop-out from the g-force of the sudden stop, now you’re a blind woodpecker and unable to find a date or a tree. You die… single and hungry.
Woodpeckers eat beetles living inside the trees. Of course, beetles hear this pounding, so they tunnel deeper into the tree to escape the noise (much like we do when hearing the booming base sound coming from an oncoming teenager’s car).
Getting at the beetles is not a problem if you’re a woodpecker, because you also have a long sticky tongue. But if you get a long sticky tongue by chance, where do you keep it? It hangs from your beak, girl woodpeckers hate that you’re drooling everywhere, you daily step on your tongue leaving the shower, and during your flight to woodpecker school you fly too close to a branch, snag it, wrap yourself around a twig and hang all day like Charlie Brown and his kite.
Evolution doesn’t solve this problem. But if it’s your job to create woodpeckers, and you designed the long sticky tongue, you can design a place to put that thing. The woodpecker slips its tongue into a muscular sheath that wraps around the skull, under the scalp and inserts into the right nostril!
Okay, so it’s gross, but it makes good science. And it also makes good sense if you’re planning ahead. But that poses a real problem if you believe only in time, chance, and evolution.