I admit that I’m a soft touch for the Argument from Design. For me, the world of nature bears spectacular witness to the imaginative genius of our Creator. Consider these examples which I encountered on a recent trip to Alaska.

• A nearly invisible ice fish swims among the icebergs of Arctic waters, its survival made possible by the unique properties of its blood. A special protein acts as an antifreeze to keep ice crystals from forming, and its blood has no hemoglobin. As a result, the fish is virtually transparent.

• The instinctive navigational ability of common ducks, geese, and swans makes them the envy of the aircraft industry. On their trips South, some of the geese maintain a speed of 50 mph, and fly 1,000 miles before making their first rest stop.

• When it comes to navigation, polar bears are no slouches, either. A polar bear that is tranquilized, trapped, and released 300 miles away can usually find its way home, even across drift ice that changes constantly and holds no landmarks and few odors. But bears and birds are rank amateurs compared to lowly salmon, who cruise the Pacific Ocean for several years before returning (by scent? magnetic field?) to the streams of their birth.

• Baby musk oxen are born in March and April, when temperatures still languish around 30 below zero. Thus, as the tiny musk ox drops two feet to the ground, its surrounding temperature drops 130 degrees. The mother must hasten to lick blood and fluid from the coat of the steaming calf lest it freeze. Within a few minutes, the calf staggers to its feet and begins to nurse. Comparatively, grizzlies and polar bears have it easy. The mothers feel no pain when giving birth for the simple reason that birthing takes place in the dead of winter, hibernation ...

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Philip Yancey
Philip Yancey is editor at large of Christianity Today and cochair of the editorial board for Books and Culture. Yancey's most recent book is What Good Is God?: In Search of a Faith That Matters. His other books include Prayer (2006), Rumors of Another World (2003), Reaching for the Invisible God (2000), The Bible Jesus Read (1999), What's So Amazing About Grace? (1998), The Jesus I Never Knew (1995), Where is God When It Hurts (1990), and many others. His Christianity Today column ran from 1985 to 2009.
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