Thursday, October 27, 2011

Theological Notes on Elephant Ears


Walt Disney greatly wondered the meaning of elephant ears that first caused such laughing among those ravens. He suggested a very useful function for them in the lovely animated movie Jumbo.

Thinking man
My point in these blogs is that the process of creating a hypothesis or theory to explain the evolution of elephant ears requires a lot of hard facts and also some very serious critical and creative scientific thinking.

But we know that Nature does not think. It just follows those laws of nature someone has set for it. We try to figure out in our scientific ways and by using our methods what those laws are and what environmental conditions were required for them to work and what special - perhaps punctuated - events have guided the evolution of elephant ears.

Thinking God of Israel

Nature is anonymous even if some evolutionary biologists give it divine impersonal abilities.

But the personal God of Israel claims that He is the Who, the I AM.

In His own word written by people inspired by the Holy Ghost that a personal I has made everything.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Gen 1:1

This implies that behind and in everything that exists there is a thinking person - a very creative one, whose closest image is the human being, thinking and creative man and woman.

This is not science, this is religion, and knowing the Who does not explain the How.

Let us rejoice and praise Him
When wondering elephants and mammoths let us rejoice and praise Him who has made them.

Let us not be like those idol worshippers Apostle Paul is writing about in his letter to the Romans

"For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.  For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened."
Romans 1:20-21

Instead, let us, evolutionary scientists and laymen alike, glorify God in our writing and walking and talking and give thanks to him.

For without faith in God we do not really comprehend what is going on.

By faith we understand.

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. Hebrews 11:3

By faith we also rejoice - at least some of us - when science explains how God created that amazing elephant ear using the toolbox of environment, genetics and evolutionary principles. And how he gave us the ability to figure it out.

By faith we know personally the Who because He has made it possible. And He is the source of our eternal rejoicing and worthy of praise!

Amazing elephant ear facts quoted from Wikipedia 
The large flapping ears of an elephant are also very important for temperature regulation. Elephant ears are made of a very thin layer of skin stretched over cartilage and a rich network of blood vessels. On hot days, elephants will flap their ears constantly, creating a slight breeze. This breeze cools the surface blood vessels, and then the cooler blood gets circulated to the rest of the animal's body. The hot blood entering the ears can be cooled as much as 10 °F (6 °C) before returning to the body. Differences in the ear sizes of African and Asian elephants can be explained, in part, by their geographical distribution. Africans originated and stayed near the equator, where it is warmer. Therefore, they have bigger ears. Asians live farther north, in slightly cooler climates, and thus have smaller ears.

The ears are also used in certain displays of aggression and during the males' mating period. If an elephant wants to intimidate a predator or rival, it will spread its ears out wide to make itself look more massive and imposing. During the breeding season, males give off an odor from the musth gland located behind their eyes. Joyce Poole, a well-known elephant researcher, has theorized that the males will fan their ears in an effort to help propel this "elephant cologne" great distances.[

Do you not agree that these facts learned by scientists do not reduce anything from our praise of the wisdom of God who has created this wonderful animal!

Message from Manny

Manny the Mammoth in Ice Age has a serious grudge against us humans

Let us pay attention to what Manny has experienced. For recent evidence again indicates that our ancestors possibly hunted to extinction in their fight for survival those marvellous majestic woolly mammoths of the Ice Age. (The dispute about the cause of their disappearance still continues.)

As responsible to God of Israel, our Creator, regardless of our greed for ivory let us not allow the hunt of modern-day elephants to extinction.

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