Aug
27

AN ALBATROSS AROUND A CREATIONIST’S NECK?

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A fisherman came home and said to his wife, “Look at what I caught today.”  She replied, “The neighbour  told me she saw you at the supermarket.”  And he countered, “Of course she did.  I reeled in so many, I had to first stop and sell some of them!”

Recently, Creation Magazine had the following article on the albatross, the master aviator of the ocean winds:

Graceful.  In control.  Effortless.  That’s how the wandering albatross has appeared to generations of sailors on the far-flung seas, who marveled at its ability to stay aloft without flapping its wings.  The bird is known to travel up to 16,000 km (10,000 miles) in a single journey and circumnavigate the globe in 46 days.  Flying no higher than about 20 meters (65 feet) above the sea surface, the albatross searches the vast expanses of the ocean for fish to eat, and can spend months, even years, at sea. There, around half its time is spent diving for food or floating on the surface while for the other half it remains airborne.  This supremely energy-efficient, long-distance forager, in favorable flying conditions has an in-flight heart rate (an indicator of energy use) nearly as low as its base heart rate when at rest on land.  The albatross seems to be able to stay aloft at will, continually gliding hither-thither in a series of graceful side turns, pull ups, and descents, but that’s only when the wind is blowing.  If the wind eases to less than 16 knots (30 km per hour)the albatross cannot soar.  And while its long and narrow 12-foot overall wing span is fantastically suited to gliding and soaring, it’s a different story when it comes to flapping.  This means that when the wind abates, the albatross is forced down and must rest on the ocean surface until the wind picks up again.  (And such coming downs can be problematic which is why albatrosses have been dubbed “gooney birds” because of their awkward-looking landings.) It’s no coincidence then, that albatrosses tend to be found in exceptionally windy latitudes (north and south) and not so in still ones (the equator). But give an albatross more than an average sea breeze, and it’s supreme in its mastery of the air above the waves (practicing what is known as dynamic soaring, this remarkable bird uses different wind speeds near the surface of the ocean to extract energy from the moving air).

All of which begs the question – if the albatross can spend long periods (even years) at sea without needing to visit land, why would albatrosses have needed to have been on the Ark at all?  The Bible says in Genesis  7:14 that, …every bird according to its kind  entered the vessel, thus including the albatross.  A possible clue is found in Genesis 8:1 where after 150 days of flooding we read, …and God made a wind to pass over the earth…  If this can be taken to imply that before this, i.e. for the first five months of the Flood, there was little or no wind, dynamic soaring would have been impossible.  But in any case, albatrosses today survive those long stretches at sea by feeding on fish which they search for in clear blue oceanic waters; not the doubtlessly muddy, debris-strewn and often violent Flood-waters.  And Genesis 7:23 makes it clear concerning all animals taken on the Ark (Genesis 7:14) that not one of their kind survived outside the boat.