Tuesday, April 30, 2013

#34 The Giraffe

The giraffe is one of the world's most amazing creatures. Children and adults alike will stand mesmerized just looking at it for long periods of time.

The giraffe has many features that could not have evolved according to the theory of evolution, namely in small incremental steps over many generations. It must have been designed by a supernatural intelligence and come into existence with all of its parts functioning.

Male giraffes can stand up to 18' tall and their necks alone can be almost 8' long. [1] However, they have the same number of vertebrae in their necks as humans, seven. A large male averages 2,600 pounds but can weigh over 4,200 pounds, almost a small pickup truck. The head and neck on an adult giraffe will weigh over 550 pounds. [2]

Think of the engineering skills it takes to create a crane that can lift over 550 pounds and swing it around. You have to know what you are doing. Evolutionists make up a story, without any evidence to back it up, that somehow the long neck elongated by stretching for higher and higher food. Others think the long neck grew because of natural selection and survival of the fittest. The bones in its neck grew longer by mutations and the giraffes with the longer necks were able to survive better because they could reach more food, a competitive advantage. They seem to ignore other facts like it's harder to get a drink and get blood to the brain. It's also harder to breathe and swallow your food. It takes really long nerves to reach from the brain to all parts of the body. As the neck gets longer, all kinds of other mutations would have also had to be necessary simultaneously in order to support the head way up that high.

Evolutionary scientists are always disagreeing with each other. Some research even concluded that longer necks is a disadvantage because they die more in droughts and have a more difficult time getting enough nutrition. [3]

Being tall may help you get more food, especially with a 21 inch tongue [4], but it also reveals your location to any predators in the area.

One of the problems for the giraffe to "evolve" is how to get blood up to the brain 18' off the ground. It takes a lot of pressure to push a full neck's worth of blood up to the brain. You also have to be sure that it doesn't slide back down in between pumps of the heart. The giraffe's heart is 2 feet long and weighs 25 pounds. The giraffe has a relatively small heart and its power comes from a very strong beat as a result of the incredibly thick walls of the left ventricle. The left ventricle that pushes out the blood has a relatively small capacity, but it pumps 170 times a minute (humans are 80) and creates a blood pressure twice that of humans.[5][6] The heart pumps almost 16 gallons per minute. It takes special arteries to do this and withstand the pressure.

The giraffe also has to have unique veins so that load of blood in the brain and neck doesn't gush down the hill and into the body and heart.

Now think about when the giraffe bends down to take a drink of water. And it's a big drink of up to 12 gallons. [7] It's legs are six feet long and the mouth can't reach the water without first spreading his legs. But when his head is down, the giraffe has just the opposite problem with his blood. The blood is now rushing to his head really fast. If the heart keeps pushing with the same pressure, it will blow his brains out. Now his arteries have to slow the blood from going down to his brain too fast. But his veins also have to do the opposite from before and help the blood go uphill. So the blood has to flow downhill 8 to 10 feet and then back uphill another 8 to 10 feet back to his heart. That takes some really specialized systems.

Are you following so far? OK, the giraffe is bent over drinking with his front legs spread apart. Suddenly a lion shows up to eat him. He'll have to raise his head from the ground level up to 18 feet really, really fast and start running. If he's slow, he dies and doesn't reproduce. But what happens to his blood when he suddenly raises his head 18 feet in the air. It stays behind. Mostly likely he passes out and gets eaten by the lion. There is no second chance in nature. You get it right the first time or you don't survive.

Scientists don't really know how all this works. You can read about them putting giraffes to sleep with drugs and trying to simulate these situations and see what's going on. [8]

Here's another issue for the rest of his body since the giraffe has really high blood pressure. All of his arteries and veins need to be adapted for this, especially the arteries and veins in his legs which are 6 feet long. The blood vessels especially in his feet would be under a lot of fluid pressure to burst. Scientists say that the skin on his legs is really tight to prevent pressure building up in his feet. [9]

Baby giraffes take 14 months in the womb so it takes a long time between generations for any supposed mutation and natural selection to work out. Babies weigh up to 150 pounds and are 6 feet tall when they are born. Mothers give birth standing up, which means the baby falls 6 feet when it is born. That's another little ability that baby giraffes have to be born with the first time. Otherwise they would die and it would take at least 14 months before another baby would be born that might make it.

These are just a few of the special characteristics of the giraffe that all have to come together simultaneously for them to even exist. If only some but not all of the systems are in place, then the giraffe likely dies.

To say every living thing came about via mindless random processes requires a faith that far exceeds belief in a Supreme Creator. As the renown British physicist Lord Kelvin once wrote: "Overwhelming strong proofs of intelligent and benevolent design lie around us ... The atheistic idea is so nonsensical that I cannot put it into words." [10]

God made the giraffe. He made it for you and me and our children to stare at in wonder and amazement. He made it as a gift for us.

There is a God and He shows us His love for us in all the things around us.


[1] The Big Zoo (November, 2004) http://www.thebigzoo.com/Animals/Reticulated_Giraffe.asp

[2] http://www.buzzle.com/articles/giraffe-facts.html

[3] a 2010 study found that adult giraffes with longer necks actually suffered higher mortality rates under drought conditions than their shorter-necked counterparts. This study suggests that maintaining a longer neck requires more nutrients, which puts longer-necked giraffes at risk during a food shortage. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giraffe

[4] http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/giraffe/

[5] M Smerup, J Funder, E Sloth, S Buus, C AAlkjaer, T Wang, E Brondum, NH Secher, P Bie, M Damkjaer, H Nygaard, MF Bertelsen, C Grondahl, G Candy, JM Hasenkam. “How can a normal-sized heart generate high blood pressure in the giraffe?”

[6] They have the highest recorded blood pressure. 280/180mm Hg on average. http://www.buzzle.com/articles/giraffe-facts.html

[7] http://www.buzzle.com/articles/giraffe-facts.html

[8] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19657096

[9] http://www.giraffeconservation.org/giraffe_facts.php?pgid=2

[10] Lord Kelvin, Victoria Institute, Journal, No. 124, p. 267