Article - Bugged By A
to bug Jobe Martin, until a bug helped make Jobe Martin a creationist.
Only half an inch long, the Bombardier Beetle may not be very big, but
it helped chew great big holes in his long-held views on evolution.
Or, more accurately, burn them.
For on closer inspection the modest beetle is a marvel of nature, a
sort of six-legged tiny tank. It defends itself by mixing chemicals
that explode; firing through twin tail tubes that can swivel like gun
turrets. The bubbling liquid that shoots out at 212 degrees Fahrenheit
is enough to deter most predators.
The force of the
"round" fired should be enough to blast the little beetle
into orbit, if not pieces, and it would be if it was discharged at one
time. But slow motion photography has revealed that the crafty beetle
actually lets go with a stream of up to 1,000 little explosions. Together
they are enough to put off would-be attackers while leaving the small
defender with its feet still on the ground.
As Martin marveled at the intricate design, he realized that there was
simply no way the Bombardier Beetle could have evolved its sophisticated
defense system over time, adding swiveling "gun barrels" or
its "repeater" firing mechanism at different stages. It needed
them all in one package, at the same time. A beetle that blew itself
up would not be around to develop a more refined firing system. A beetle
that could not keep the enemy in firing range would not survive to work
on more maneuverable firepower. "There's simply no way a slow,
gradual process will produce this beetle," says the former science
major who, over a five-year, period made a complete about-face in his
beliefs about the origins of the earth. Now in an entertaining and enlightening
new video, he shows how the Bombardier Beetle and a host of other remarkable
members of the animal kingdom undermine Darwin's widely accepted theory.
The Bombardier Beetle is one of the unlikely stars of "Incredible
Creatures that Defy Evolution," a 50-minute Discovery Channel-style
documentary that encapsulates Martin's years of research for church,
school and family viewing. Host David Hames, who experienced firsthand
the firepower of the Bombardier Beetle ("It felt like someone put
a cigarette out on my leg!"), guides the film crew as they capture
animals on film and as Martin explains their various intricacies.
There is the giraffe, whose long neck necessitates a powerful heart
to pump blood all the way to the brain. By rights the blood flow should
blow its brains out when it bends to drink water, but the lofty animal
has a delicate series of spigots and a sponge that dissipate and absorb
the rush of blood. "How could that evolve?" muses Martin.
"He needs all these parts there all the time, or he is dead..."
Then there's the
woodpecker, whose rat-a-tat hunt for tree grubs should send it home
each night with a mighty migraine. Instead it is studied by surgeons
who want to learn more about head trauma in humans. The bird has a piece
of cartilage that acts as a shock absorber and an extra-long tongue
that can reach into the tree to pluck out its meal. It also has a glue
factory that makes the bug stick until it is in the woodpecker's throat
and produces another secretion to dissolve the glue on swallowing.
A college professor, Martin had been a Christian for several years when
two students challenged him to examine the validity of evolutionary
theory. His gradual complete switch of views eventually led him out
of dentistry and into ministry. For more than a decade he has shared
some of his discoveries at churches and conferences through his Rockwall,
Texas-based Biblical Discipleship Ministries.
Through his studies
he has developed cogent biblical answers to the typical questions thrown
out against creation-about the age of the earth, the flood, fossils,
dinosaurs and the missing link. But he points to the world around him
to challenge the central claim of evolution.
incubator bird, the beaver and the gecko lizard are among the other
subjects of Martin's video, produced by Monument, Colorado-based Reel
Productions, who specialize in on-location documentaries. Although it
is well filmed and paced, Martin maintains "Incredible Creatures
That Defy Evolution" is far more than just an entertaining diversion.
It actually providing clear examples of what creationists call the "irreducible
complexity" of life that challenges the idea of slow development.
He believes it is part of a crucial battle not just for Christians'
minds, but their hearts, too. "It comes down to a matter of how
you decide you are going to interpret the Scriptures," he says.
"Will you take it in its literal, historical form or are you going
to say these early chapters are probably poetry, probably written from
the perspective of some guys who lived between the Tigris and the Euphrates
rivers? How will you take Scripture? If you can't take these early chapters
literally, for just what they mean, well then, how do you know what
to do with the rest? When it comes right down to it, it interferes with
our view of doctrine. The foundational doctrines are all there in the
early chapters of Genesis: man, sin, the family, and all that."
Martin says that the academic world knows the big and difficult questions
the likes of the Bombardier Beetle ask of evolution, but conveniently
ignores them. In the rarefied scientific circles most lay people don't
follow or understand, he says, more and more people are admitting that,
like an attractive jar with a hole in the bottom, Darwin's theory just
doesn't hold water.
"There are changes going on in the evolutionary community because
of the growing evidence for design and it is beginning to realize there's
no way mindless chance processes could create an ordered, artistic,
complex universe like we have; explosions don't create order. The problem
is, once people start to talk about a designer, are they willing to
name him?" And it is the name Jesus and Martinís love for
his Savior, not some dry scientific debate, that motivates him. Martin
presents his evidence not with the pinched determination of a fussy
academic, but with the delight and wonder of someone who sees the marvelous
hand of a brilliant creator in the world around him. His appreciation
makes his video defense of the trustworthiness of creation not just
a considered explanation, but a considerable celebration.