Intelligent design Not chance > Flight of birds – Feathers

Wing feathers and bones

Wing feathers and bones (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

-Feathers: As well as the general streamlining and aerodynamic qualities of birds and aerofoil wing design, the feathers of birds are all important for effi­ciency in flight and accuracy of navigational movement through the air. Every movement of a feather when a bird is in flight is designed to extract energy from the air and utilise it effectively for control of the aerial medium through which it passes, as well as providing insulation, acting as fans, and contributing to the aerodynamic streamlining of the wonderful creature.

For their weight feathers are stronger than any man made substitute. A bird individually has literally thousands of feathers of different types, generally fluffy underneath (for warmth) and more sail-like above. For example a hen may have more than 8,300, a swan over 25,000 feathers! Eider ducks produce thousands of feathers, which are so soft and fluffy that they are used for eider downs and stuffing pillars.

The construction of feathers is a marvel of design. A single wing feather of a pigeon has more than a million individual parts, which testifies to its phenomenal micro engineering design. There is a central rachis or hollow, foam filled, spine or quill, from which arise barbs and from these barbules which zip together with minute hooks (hamuli). These feathers are kept in perfect order by the bird constantly preening its feathers. The feathers respond to air pressure and change shape constantly in relation to the changing pressure and air flow.

Flight feathers at the wing tip are flexible and mobile like a propellor and respond to flight patterns in movements, speed, landing and braking speed, gliding (called slotting). Other feathers function like like ailerons and flaps in an aircraft.

How could all this marvellous engineering design happen by chance? This is the absurd fantasy of so-called scientists who professing themselves wise are fools (pslm.I4.l, Rom. 1. 19,20).

At the base of each feather are nerve sensors, enabling the bird to exercise perfect control of every feather ,through the operation of up to 12,000 tiny muscles. The birds semicircular canals in its inner ear record the bird’s flight position and detect any change in conditions; this is communicated to the birds brain or cerebellum, very highly developed with an extraordinary number of sensory fibres (neurones), receiving a multitude of messages from transmissions of muscle tensions, and instantaneously reverse transmit, giving the bird split second co-ordination.

Four modes of flight are recognised power flying, gliding, soaring, and specialised flight. An Albatross, which has a 12 ft wing span, can glide round the Southern Ocean for literally thousands of miles above the surface of the sea without once flapping its wings. This is phenomenal. A guillemot dives into the ocean to catch a fish, travelling at 60 miles per hour when it enters the water! A Manx Shearwater traverses thousands of miles of (Atlantic) ocean extracting energy from the waves, which it skims! Hawks and eagles use thermal up-currents to soar in great circles, ascending and ascending into the heavens.

Blue jay flight

Blue jay flight (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Solomon noted the marvellous flight of the eagle “The way of an eagle in the air, it is too wonderful for me.” (Pv, 30.19). David notes the extraordinary power of a dove’s flight “Oh that I had wings like a dove.” (Pslm. 55.6). The owl has perfectly silent, noiseless flight (stealth technology), as a result of an extraordinary array of soft downy flight feathers. Water fowl like ducks, oil their feathers making them waterproof, another miracle of design. For a feather to function, all its parts must be integrated together as a design to work.

It is impossible for a supposed long series of chance mutations over millions of years since it is an irreducible mechanism. Requiring, as in any complex advanced engineering project precision planning. A feather is a system of advanced biotechnology, a miracle.

By brother Richard Lister –
from The Apocalyptic Messenger, May 2003

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