God’s Wisdom Evident in Nature
“He is the One teaching us more than the beasts of the earth, and he makes us wiser than even the flying creatures of the heavens.”—JOB 35:11.
BIRDS possess amazing abilities. They perform aerial maneuvers that are the envy of aircraft designers. Some species navigate thousands of miles of featureless ocean and arrive unerringly at their destination.
Another outstanding talent of birds—one that further reveals the wisdom of their Maker—is the ability to communicate by means of calls and songs. Consider some examples.
Some species of birds start to communicate even before they are hatched. A female quail, for instance, lays up to eight eggs, at the rate of one egg a day. If all the eggs developed at a uniform rate, they would hatch over an eight-day period. The mother would then face the difficult task of keeping track of active, week-old chicks while still incubating an unhatched egg. Instead, a clutch of eight quail chicks will all break out of their shells within a six-hour period. How is that possible? A key reason, researchers have suggested, is that quail embryos communicate with one another from inside the eggs and somehow orchestrate the almost simultaneous hatch.
When birds mature, it is usually the male of the species that sings. He does so particularly during mating season to mark his territory or to attract a mate. Each of the thousands of species of birds has its own language, so to speak, and this helps the females identify mates of their own species.
Birds sing mainly in the early morning and at sunset, and for good reason. There is less wind and background noise at those times. Researchers have discovered that the songs of birds carry up to 20 times better in the morning and in the evening than they do in the middle of the day.
While males are most often the singers, both males and females utter a variety of calls, or short bursts of sound, that have distinct meanings. Chaffinches, for instance, have a vocabulary of nine different calls. They utter one type of call to warn of a threat from the air—such as a patrolling bird of prey—but emit a different call to warn of a threat approaching from the ground.
A Superior Gift
The instinctive wisdom of birds is certainly impressive. But when it comes to communication skills, humans are much more impressive. God has made humans “wiser than even the flying creatures of the heavens,” says Job 35:11. Unique to humans is the ability to convey abstract, complex thoughts and ideas through sounds produced by the vocal cords or by gestures.
Unlike any other creatures, human babies seem to be programmed to learn complex languages. The online journal American Scientist says: “Toddlers manage to acquire language even when their parents don’t talk to them directly; deaf children will go so far as to invent their own sign languages if they are not exposed to sign at home.”
How Are You Affected?
How are you affected when you listen to the beautiful singing of a bird or to a child learning to utter his first words? Do you perceive God’s wisdom in the things he has made?
After meditating on the way he was made, the psalmist David was moved to say to God: “I shall laud you because in a fear-inspiring way I am wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, as my soul is very well aware.” (Psalm 139:14) As you appreciatively examine the wisdom of God evident in creation, your faith in his ability to provide you with sound guidance will surely grow.
God’s Power Revealed in the Stars
“Raise your eyes high up and see. Who has created these things? It is the One who is bringing forth the army of them even by number, all of whom he calls even by name. Due to the abundance of dynamic energy, he also being vigorous in power, not one of them is missing.”—ISAIAH 40:26.
OUR sun is only an average-size star. Even so, its mass is 330,000 times greater than the mass of the earth. The majority of nearby stars are smaller than the sun. Other stars, though, such as the one named V382 Cygni, have a mass at least 27 times greater than our sun.
How much energy does our sun radiate? Imagine how fierce a fire would have to be if you were ten miles [15 km] from it and could still feel the heat. The sun is, on average, about 93 million miles [150 million km] from the earth. Yet, on a sunny day, its heat can blister the skin! Remarkably, only about one billionth of the sun’s energy strikes the earth. Still, this fraction of the sun’s power is enough to sustain life on the planet.
In fact, scientists have calculated that the total energy output from just our sun is enough to sustain some 31 trillion planets like the earth. Or to measure this enormous output another way: If all the sun’s power could be harnessed for just one second, it would provide the United States “with enough energy, at its current usage rate, for the next 9,000,000 years,” says the Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) Web site.
The sun’s energy emanates from its core—a nuclear reactor that smashes atoms together and spews out power. The sun is so big and its core so dense that it takes millions of years for the energy produced within the core to well up to the surface. “If the Sun were to stop producing energy today,” says the SWPC Web site, “it would take 50,000,000 years for significant effects to be felt at Earth!”
Now consider this fact: When you raise your eyes on a clear night, you are seeing thousands of stars, each disgorging vast amounts of energy, similar to our sun. And scientists calculate that there are billions upon billions of stars in the universe!
Where did all these stars come from? Most researchers now believe that for reasons they still do not fathom, the universe suddenly burst into existence some 14 billion years ago. The Bible simply states: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1) Without a doubt, the One who created the colossal energy machines we call stars can be described as “vigorous in power.”—Isaiah 40:26.