Wonderful Creatures

 




BLIND TERMITES BUILDING SKYSCRAPERS

Termites are as small insects as ants, and they are very skilful. The nests in these pictures that look like tall towers are built by these little creatures. But make no mistake: these are not simple nests; termites build them according to a plan. Special chambers for the young, fungus production fields and the queen's chamber are only a few of the sections in a termite nest. More importantly, there is a special ventilation system. Termites, whose skins are very thin, need humid air. For that reason they need to keep the temperature and humidity of the nest at a certain level. Otherwise termites would die. They make the air circulate through the nest by means of special channels and use the water that comes from underground tunnels they have dug, and thus regulate the temperature and humidity.

Have you realised how hard this process is, and that termites have to act in a way marked by careful consideration of many things together? Besides that, what we have mentioned so far is merely a brief summary of the numerous things that termites do.

Another characteristic of termites is their defence of the nest, which may be up to seven metres. Termites are alarmed whenever there is a hole in the walls of their nest. Hitting their heads against the walls, termites on watch give warning to all members of the colony. Upon this warning, larvae are moved to securer places. The entrances of the chamber where the king and the queen live are blocked by quickly built walls. The damaged section is surrounded by soldier termites, which are followed by workers who carry the material to restore the wall. In a few hours, the destroyed area is covered with a heap. Then the inner compartments are constructed. Termites act following a prescribed plan and each member of the colony carries out its task without causing any disorder.

That they can do all these things in quite a short time is evidence of perfect communication between termites. Yet there is something even more amazing about the termites that establish such order, build colonies like skyscrapers and take security precautions to protect their colonies: they are BLIND.

They see nothing while carrying out all these tasks. How can these creatures be so skilful and make such plans?

The answer that evolutionists provide to such questions is that they happen "by chance". However this answer is not correct. That is because even a single part of the order in a termite colony, say the ventilation channels, is sufficient to prove that such a system cannot come into existence by chance. No doubt blind termites cannot ensure this perfect order and cannot have all the work performed so faultlessly. Obviously they are taught what to do.

Allah has mentioned some animals in the Qur'an and urged us to reflect on these examples. For instance, the honeybee is given as an example in Surat an-Nahl. We are informed in the verse that bees that produce honey for us are taught what to do by our Lord. The verses are:

Your Lord revealed to the bees: "Build dwellings in the mountains and the trees, and also in the structures which men erect. Then eat from every kind of fruit and travel the paths of your Lord, which have been made easy for you to follow." From inside them comes a drink of varying colours, containing healing for mankind. There is certainly a Sign in that for people who reflect. (Surat an-Nahl: 68-69)

Just like the bees referred to in the above verses, termites live in the way Allah teaches them and reveals to them. It is our Lord Who creates perfect communication between these sightless creatures, teaches them what to do and makes each one of the millions of termites in a colony perform its task.

Mankind! remember Allah's blessing to you. Is
there any creator other than Allah providing
for you from heaven and earth? There is no
god but Him. So how have you been perverted?
(Surah Fatir: 3)

SECURITY MEASURES OF ANIMALS


The birds in the pictures build nests so as to prevent their enemies from entering. Termite nests, such as the tower-like one to the side and the mushroom-like one above, are as strong as castles.

It is among the miracles in nature that living creatures take precautions to protect themselves. Many creatures have the capability to estimate potential hazards and to invent various security methods. For instance, the termites that we mentioned build the walls of their colonies so thick and hard that they can hardly be destroyed even with a pickaxe. Weaverbirds build the entrance of their nests in such a way as to prevent snakes, their main enemies, from entering. Some spiders have special chambers in their nests in which other animals that have somehow entered the nest are confined.

Beehives also operate special protective measures. The bees that are employed to stand guard over the hive do not let anyone in other than members of the colony. When a guardian is away, another worker bee comes to the entrance of the hive and takes over the watch. Moreover these guardian bees carry out this task at the risk of their own lives.


Building their dams in streams, beavers stop the flow of water and construct wonderful lodges for themselves.

Beavers build their lodges underwater. In order to enter, one has to pass through a secret tunnel known only by the beaver that built that lodge. At the end of the tunnel, there is a chamber where beavers live together with their offspring.

Even these examples are sufficient for us to understand that there is intelligence in the way living creatures act and that they employ very effective methods to protect themselves. Besides, you may have noted that the enemy of a species may be another species. However, all creatures know their enemies very well and take elaborate precautions against them. It is quite surprising that a termite or a bird, despite the fact that it lacks advanced intellectual functions, can know the features of another creature.

To comprehend it better, think about yourself. Can you understand at first sight the characteristics of an animal that you do not know and have not seen before? Can you know what it feeds on, how it hunts and what it fears? Of course you cannot. You need a book to read and to get information about that creature or someone to tell you about its attributes. But how can animals have information about other creatures? Might they have found out who their enemies are and then conducted a study of their behaviour and hunting methods, upon the basis of which they have developed suitable precautions? Certainly not. No animal has the intellectual capabilities and talent to do research. Besides, it would also be unreasonable and nonsensical to think that animals gathered information about their enemies by chance, because failing in the first attempt would mean death.

Undoubtedly it is Allah Who determines the security measures that animals use and makes them act as necessary. The fact that not only the animals we see around us, but all living creatures in the world behave in the same intelligent way points to the infinite wisdom and power of our Lord.

COMPASS IN THE ANT'S EYE

We need guides to show us the direction when we travel to another country or another city. In particular, when we do not know the place we are going to, we definitely must have a compass and a map. Map shows us where we are and the compass shows us which way to go. We find the way by using these tools and consulting other people so we do not get lost. Have you ever wondered how other creatures find their way? Have you ever thought how an ant seeking food in the desert returns to its nest?

Black desert ants inhabiting the Mediterranean coasts of Tunisia are among those creatures who build their nests in the desert. These ants are very good at finding their way in the vast desert and getting back to their nests without the help of a compass or a map.

As the sun rises, temperatures in the desert reach up to 70oC (158oF). The ant leaves its nest to find food in the heat of the day. Frequently halting and turning around itself, it follows a devious route within an area that may be 200 metres (655 feet) away from the nest. You may see this route on the map. But do not think that the ant will get lost because of these zigzags. Once it finds a source of food, the ant follows a straight course and returns to the nest. With respect to their sizes, this journey of the ant may be compared to a man's returning to his starting point taking a straight course after wandering 35-40 kilometres (22-25 miles) away from that point in the desert. How is it that an ant successfully does a task that is virtually impossible for a human?

It cannot be that the ant finds its direction by looking at objects. Signs and way-marks such as trees, rocks, rivers or lakes which help one find the way are quite rare in the desert. There is only sand all around. Even if there were such signs, it would not make any difference since it is not possible for an ant to keep these signs in mind, to memorise where they are and to use them while finding its way. Thinking about it this way, one can better understand the significance of the task that the ant performs. The ant can perform this difficult task thanks to the special body structure it has been given.

There is a special direction-determination system in the ant's eyes. This system that Allah placed in the ant's eyes is more advanced than mechanical devices that determine direction. Being able to perceive some rays that we cannot, the ant can determine directions and know where north and south are. Thanks to this ability, it is not difficult at all for the ant to estimate where its nest is and to return to it.

(Do they) worship, instead of Allah, things that
have no control over their provision from the
heavens or earth in any way, and are themselves
completely impotent? Do not try to make
metaphors for Allah. Allah knows and you
do not know.
(Surat An-Nahl: 73-74)

Human beings have lately become aware of the characteristics of light. However the ant has known and used a characteristic of light, which was unknown to human beings, since it was born. Certainly such a perfect structure as the eye of this ant cannot be attributed to random coincidences. The eyes of the ant must have been so since it came into existence. Otherwise the ant could not return to the nest in the desert heat and could not survive. Indeed, eyes of all desert ants have been equipped with this system since the first day they came into existence. Allah, the All-Knowing, created these eyes for them.

THE MARVELLOUS CO-OPERATION OF THE ANT AND THE BIRD

There are microbes everywhere that threaten our health and cause diseases. These microbes are a danger to other living creatures as well as human beings. Therefore these creatures, too, need to protect themselves just as we do. When living creatures are observed, we see that they use some methods to protect themselves against microbes. For instance, ants produce a kind of acidic substance that incapacitates microbes. They apply this acidic substance to their bodies and to the walls of their nest. In other words, they know that not only they themselves but also the nest they live in should be purified of microbes.


Ants, which are very tiny creatures, are aware that microbes are harmful to them and take the appropriate precautions. They produce a kind of acid that deactivates microbes. Allah inspires ants to do this.

How is it that a little ant can know to act so intelligently? No doubt the ant's intellectual power is not enough for that. An ant can know neither what a microbe is nor that it should protect itself from it. The ant should have first analysed the microbe and t+hen found the substance to render it harmless. But how could it have determined this substance?

Let's think together.

People are inoculated against specific microbes, but these vaccines are prepared in laboratories as a result of much research and experiment. Moreover, experts perform this research, for otherwise the vaccine would not be of any use, and could even be harmful. Ants, on the other hand, do not have such knowledge and have not been trained. They cannot possibly go to a laboratory and do research. It is unreasonable even to think such a thing. Obviously ants are born into the world knowing all these things that they do.

This knowledge is taught to the ant by a superior Being: Allah, the Lord of all the worlds and the Creator of everything, reveals to the ant how to protect itself from microbes.

Now let's take birds as another example of living creatures that should be protected against microbes. Microbes disturb birds too, but birds do not have a system in their bodies to produce protective substances as ants do. Consequently birds have found a different but equally practical solution to this problem. They go to and lie upon an ant's nest, and wait for the ants to wander through their feathers. Ants that search for food stroll among the bird's feathers and the substance that kills the microbes is smeared on the bird's feathers as they do so. Thus, the bird is purified of microbes. How do birds know that ants produce such a substance and that this substance will remove microbes from their bodies?

People have discovered that ants have such a protective system only after much research. Many people other than those who have expert knowledge about animals are still not aware of it. Probably you too, have just learnt about it here. Birds, however, have known this feature of ants from the moment they were born. Moreover, although there is nobody to teach them how to do it, they can use ants to be cleansed of microbes.

The fact that birds can know about a substance produced in an ant's body and can know how to make use of it leads us to a single fact: Allah teaches this information to both creatures. Allah has revealed that every being is under His command :

… No, everything in the heavens and earth belongs to Him. Everything is obedient to Him. (Surat al-Baqara: 116)

And in your creation and all the creatures He
has spread about there are Signs for people
with certainty.
(Surat al-Jathiyya: 4)

LITTLE ENGINEERING BIRDS

You certainly must have seen birds' nests built on trees or on tops of buildings, and sometimes on a corner of a balcony. These are merely the nests of the few bird species that you know. But so many bird species live in the world and they build so many different types of nests that one should really reflect on this.


Birds build their nests in safe places especially chosen by them.

Before all other considerations, birds build their nests so that they blend in with their natural environments. Let us consider birds of the shoreline. These birds build their nests on the surface of the water and the nest does not sink. The materials used and the shape of the nest are all particularly designed. So, even if the water level rises, neither the nest nor the offspring are damaged. These animals have innate capabilities to build their nests and have no need of training. They could not have possibly learnt such a task over time; if they had tried to do it by trial and error, the nest would have sunk as the water rose. However such a thing never happens because all shoreline birds have built their nests in the same way since the first day they appeared.

Some birds living in swamps build the walls of their nests high so that the eggs do not fall out because of the wind. How is it that this bird, which carefully protects its egg, knows about the risk of eggs falling out and being broken? We see here that the bird takes a wise precaution.

Another bird species living in arid areas builds its nest among the bushes and not on the ground. The reason why it does so is the difference in temperature: the temperature among the bushes is ten degrees less than on the ground. Most of us do not know about the temperature difference between the ground and bushes, and that there is a difference between them. These birds, however, know it and protect themselves and their young from intense heat by building their nest in the coolest place.

Have you ever wondered how birds, which lack consciousness and intellect as we understand them, can consider such delicate details?

These behaviours of birds could be compared to those of engineers who have gone through years of education and training in their fields. While building a house, engineers consider details such as the strength of the building, materials to be used and location; only then can construction begin. As you have seen in the above examples, birds also build their nests according to a plan. But they do not need any tools or education. They act by the inspiration of Allah and carry out their tasks easily. These birds and what they perform are evidence of Allah's perfect creation. It is surely the All-Knowing Allah Who inspires them to do everything they do.

Everything in the heavens and everything in
the earth belongs to Him. Allah is the Rich
Beyond Need, the Praiseworthy.
(Surat al-Hajj: 64)

THE HEATING SYSTEM OF THE WINTER MOTH

When winter comes, many insect species inhabiting cold regions of the world die from cold or lack of food. That is because insects are delicate creatures, but there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, owl moths look like butterflies and at first sight seem very delicate. In reality, however, they are strong enough to survive tough winter conditions. Therefore these moths are also called "winter moths".

Like butterflies, a winter moth has two wings and a trunk to which these wings are joined. In order for this moth to fly, the temperature of its thorax to which its wings are affixed should be 30oC (86oF). But the temperature where they live is usually 0oC (32oF) and even drops below minus degrees from time to time. How could winter moths survive such cold? What prevents them from freezing when they are motionless and what enables them to fly in cold weather?

This moth species is created together with a special heating system that enables it to live under winter conditions. This system consists of several complementary features.

Before flight winter moths continuously tense the main muscles that are connected to the wings and make their wings quiver. The rapid quivering of the wings leads to an increase in the temperature of the insect's thorax. Thanks to this increase, the temperature of the thorax may rise from 0oC (32oF) to 30oC (86oF) or even more. However, this is only one of the features that the moth needs to survive. In order to fly it is not sufficient for the winter moth merely to increase its body temperature. That is because the difference between the temperatures of the insect's body and of the atmosphere will result in loss of heat. In the same way as a glass of hot tea cools after a while, the moth's body will also cool. Therefore it will not help even if the moth keeps its wings quivering. In order for the winter moth to fly and thus to live, another method is required to maintain the heat it has produced. This need is also met by a special structure that Allah created in the moth's body. Moths are covered with dense scales that reduce heat loss. Scientists have determined after research that a moth without scales cools twice as fast as those with scales.

These are some of the mechanisms in a winter moth that protect it from cold. The features mentioned above must have existed since this moth species came into being. Otherwise, the moth would die of cold and this species would be extinct. One does not need to reflect at great length to understand that it is not a coincidence that only those species inhabiting cold regions possess these features that make them different from all other moths. Taking all kinds of measures to enable these creatures to survive in cold, Allah introduces Himself to us. It is related in a verse that Allah knows where all creatures live:

There is no creature on the earth which is not dependent upon Allah for its provision. He knows where it lives and where it dies. They are all in a Clear Book. (Surah Hud: 6)

Such features in living creatures enable us to grasp Allah's power and artistry, and increase our faith in and love for our Lord. Communicating the amazing information you read to others, you may also be the means to increase other people's faith in Allah.

HOW DO SALMON FIND THEIR WAY?

You are mistaken if you think that migration is peculiar to birds. In fact, there are many migratory species on land and in sea. In this section, the adventure of salmon, a migratory fish species, will be examined.

Salmon are born into the world as they hatch from eggs the females of the species lay in the river. They grow and hunt in this place for several weeks after which they start to advance down the river. During this journey towards the sea, they encounter dams and polluted water, and try to avoid dangers such as bigger hunting fishes. Having overcome all these and reached the sea, they spend several years there. Once they mature enough to spawn, they swim back to the fresh water.

The point at which salmon aim to arrive is the place they were born. But make no mistake: it's not a short distance. The distance that the fish needs to cover to get to the destination may sometimes be 1,500 km (930 miles), which means a demanding journey of months. There are many obstacles that the fish has to overcome during this journey.

The first, and maybe the most important problem that needs to be solved is to find where the river down which the fish swam during its first journey empties into the sea. Based on this, the fish will determine the return route to follow. Amazingly, none of the salmon makes a mistake and they all find the river right first time.

Entering the stream, the salmon starts to steadfastly swim against the current. This time its task is harder because, whereas it could easily pass down waterfalls with the assistance of the current the first time, it has to climb up over them this time. What the salmon in this picture intends by leaping upriver is to reach the place where it was spawned. During this journey the salmon may need to swim through shallow waters that leave its upper fin above water. These shallow waters are full of birds, bears and many wild predators.

The difficulties that the salmon has to overcome are not limited to these. Recall that it hatched from the egg in a branch of a river, in a quite inner part of the land. In order to reach that point, it has to go the correct way when the river forks into branches. Salmon do not make any mistake in these choices and they always follow the correct stream.

Now suppose that you were born and had grown up in a house in a city. Then one day you left your house, travelled for days and came to a place 1,500 km (930 miles) away from home. Years passed and you desired to return to your place of birth. Do you think that you could possibly remember streets that you passed only once? While no human being could, salmon can and they always find their way faultlessly.

There have been various studies to understand how salmon make this exceptional journey. It has been concluded that salmon find their way by use of "smell".

Thanks to its ingeniously structured nose, a salmon can pursue a scent in the water to its source just as a hound does. In fact, every current has a distinctive smell. The young salmon records all the smells during its journey and returns home by recalling these smells.

How does this extraordinary thing happen? How could every salmon find its way correctly? Why do all salmon try to return to their place of birth, risking their lives, leaping waterfalls and confronting wild animals? What is more, they do not do all these things for themselves but simply in order to deposit their eggs in these waters.

There is only one answer to these questions: Allah, the All-Knowing, created the salmon and the systems that enable them to find their way. Like all creatures, salmon act by the inspiration they receive from Allah and they manifest the Lord's excellent creation.

Among the evidence that refutes the theory of evolution is that salmon cover thousands of kilometres and risk their own lives to spawn.

Evolutionists claim that all creatures are always in a struggle with each other and that only the strong survive at the end of this struggle. However, there is a co-operation among living creatures contrary to evolutionists' assertions. Animals risk their own lives for their offspring. Besides, as you will see in the examples given in the following pages, there are different species that associate with and benefit each other. The salmon is merely one of the creatures that display self-sacrificing behaviour for their offspring. Salmon that migrate and manage to reach the place to spawn, which are very small in number, will die soon after they produce their spawn. Yet they never give up their journey. Such self-sacrificing behavioural patterns cannot by any means be explained by the theory of evolution. The fact is evident. Allah created salmon and these creatures behave in the way that Allah inspires in them. People who use their intellect take lessons from such behaviour of animals. Allah reminds us to do so in a verse :

There is no creature He does not hold by the forelock... (Surah Hud: 56)