Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Oriental Sweetlips and the Glory of God

Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God. (Job 37:14b)

In the book "Reasonable Faith: The Scientific Case for Christianity," Dr. Jay L. Wile presents evidence (based on scientific fact and logical reasoning) that our world could not have possibly appeared by random "chance" but was, in fact, skillfully created by God. When I started reading this book, I was expecting dry, scientific facts and proofs. (Bleh.) To my surprise, though, this book has been very interesting and far from dry.

Dr. Wile starts with explaining the different "theories," how they've come about, and the main objections to each of them. He is very honest about how much can be proven with science. Science cannot prove the existence of God, but it can (and does!) provide overwhelming evidence that makes it very difficult to believe otherwise. He then goes on to highlight some of the amazing design features of our world, beginning with the tiniest atom, and calculates the possibilities of those things occurring in nature by chance.

One of these examples really caught my attention today: the symbiotic relationship of the Oriental sweetlips and the blue-streak wrasse, both fish. The Oriental sweetlips, like many fish, have teeth. Just like human teeth, they rot and fall out if they are not properly maintained. Thus, the Oriental sweetlips must have some means by which it cleans its teeth. The way it does this is quite remarkable.

After swimming around all day, feeding on little fish, the Oriental sweetlips decides that it is time to get its teeth cleaned. In order to accomplish this, the sweetlips looks for a particular color of coral. When it finds that coral, it swims up, opens its mouth, and waits. Soon, several small fish (blue-streak wrasses) dart from the coral and swim directly into the open mouth of the sweetlips. The wrasses then begin to eat all of the food buildup that has developed on the sweetlips' teeth. Once they have finished, the sweetlips allows them to leave so that they can clean another sweetlips' teeth.

Think about this incredible relationship for a moment. The sweetlips could not survive without the help of the wrasse. Neither could the wrasse exist without the sweetlips. Additionally, remember that the sweetlips spends its whole day eating other little fish. Somehow, however, the seetlips knows not to eat this particular little fish. In the same way, the wrasse spends its whole day hiding from bigger fish. It somehow knows, however, not to be afraid of this particular big fish. It somehow knows to swim straight into the jaws of death without any fear at all!

Dr. Wile then goes on to explain how the evolutionist would have to explain this through natural selection:
At some point in time, the sweetlips’ ancestors had no teeth. In a number of generations, however, teeth began to form in a few of the ancestor’s offspring. Now, in order for these teeth to avoid rotting and falling out, this new fish would have to develop the instinct for seeking out the wrasse and not eating it. This instinct, of course, would have to evolve at exactly the same time that the sweetlips’ teeth evolved. That’s not enough, however. At the exactly same time that the teeth and instincts evolved in the sweetlips, the wrasse would have to develop the instinct to swim right into the sweetlips’ mouth without fear of being eaten!

Remember, if all these things didn’t happen in the same exact generation, the system would not work. Obviously, it is ridiculous to believe in all of these chance coincidences occurring at the same time. Over and over again, however, this is what the scientist who is unwilling to believe in God must believe. God-given instinct is the only plausible answer. This symbiotic relationship is just one more example of creation providing witness for its Creator.

Doesn't that move you to praise Him even more? He's thought of EVERYTHING. Nothing has been left to chance. If He made provision for something as minute as cleaning a fish's teeth, how much more will He make provision for all of our needs? What an incredible God we serve!

Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God. (Job 37:14b)

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