Wednesday, November 7, 2012

#24 Pacific Golden Plover

Take a look at the globe sometime and notice the distance from Alaska to Hawaii. Also note that Hawaii is out in the middle of nowhere and it would be pretty hard to find in the Pacific unless you knew exactly where you were going.

How easy would it be for a bird to hatch from its egg, have its parents leave after just a few days, fend for itself for a couple months, plump up in weight, and then take off flying to Hawaii non-stop for longer than 70 hours [1] with no guides, and not miss?

The birds that do exactly this are called Pacific Golden Plovers (Pluvialis fulva), known by natives of Hawaii as Kolea. They are small and weigh only about 8 ounces. Every year they migrate between Alaska and Hawaii or other similar routes making nearly a 2,000 mile journey without stopping or resting because they can't swim. It takes them about 70 hours each way and they lose 50% of their body weight. They are known to return to Hawaii to the exact same patch of grass year after year for up to 20 years [2]. Some return to the same backyard and are welcomed by the natives. They like front lawns, parks, ball fields, sometimes even in parking lots.

The parent Plovers live in Alaska from May to August, forage for food, mate, nest, and wait for the young to hatch. In August while the chicks are days old, the parents leave their young behind in Alaska and fly to Hawaii without them. The young have to grow and bulk up on food and water much longer. About October they leave for Hawaii. During the trip they will use up half of their body weight in energy to make the trip.

By the end of April or early May, all the Plovers will have left Hawaii and journeyed the 2,000 miles back to Alaska. For Hawaiians  the coming and going of the Plovers mark the changing of the seasons.

The Theory of Evolution is based on a process described as slow and incremental changes over long periods of time. There are no partial incremental trips from Alaska to Hawaii for a bird that can't swim. The Plover has to have eaten enough to make the trip and fly exactly to a very small target in the Pacific Ocean the very first time or else die. If it dies along the way, there is no reproduction and hence no evolution.

Darwin himself recognized the limitation of his theory and what scientific facts would invalidate it. He is quoted as saying:

"If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. But I can find out no such case." [3]

It would take a very, very intelligent designer to build a machine capable of flying from Alaska to Hawaii non-stop the very first time. To believe the Pacific Golden Plover happened accidentally is fantasy.

There must be a God.



[3] Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species: A Facsimile of the First Edition, Harvard University Press, 1964, p. 189.


  1. Nice one... Same with Monarch Butterflies.. Hibernate in central America, fly north 3000 miles to Canada, 3 generations later come back to same forest where their great grandparents hibernated. Lots of same things with bugs whose parents die when giving birth. I like some of the spiders. Parents die, and then the babies make these incredibly complex webs with no model to follow at all. One of my favourites .. they hang upside down, drop a line with a ball of web silk on the end of it. The ball smells like the pheromones of a female moth. Guy moth comes calling, spider swings the ball like a sling and catches the moth. One can't evolve into that. A spider can't say, "let's take a few generations to get this sling method down to an art form." The first generation would die from hunger :O).

    Then there's the butterfly that can lay eggs that give off the same chemical smell as any ant's nest that it is nearby. Now ants know when another ant is not from their colony, and they murder it. But the ants in the colony near where the butterfly lays her egg think it's one of their eggs, and take it home to feed and raise. All is well, except that a wasp knows what's going on. It goes to each ant nest and smells if there is an adopted butterfly somewhere in the nest. It can tell the difference but the ants can't. Once it finds a butterfly egg in a nest, it walks in to the nest, spraying all the ants with chemicals to confuse them, then lays its egg inside the butterfly egg and walks out. How many skills have all these different animals got to learn to get this right. It's not like the butterfly has had millions of chances to get the ant smell right. Get it wrong first time and the butterfly is extinct. No room for error. Same with the wasp. If it doesn't get its chemical attack right first time, its dead meat. And more. How did the butterfly learn to create an egg that grows through being feed by ants? Normally they just grow in the egg and hatch. There is "no lets try and get this right" over several generations.

    Awesome, that's all one can say. It's all awesome.


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