Marvel Of God’s Creation #5: The Giraffe
Let us look at another of the marvels of God’s creation— the giraffe. The giraffe had to be created as a fully functional and unique animal.83 A mature bull giraffe stands at about 18 feet tall. In order to pump blood up his long, skinny neck to his brain, the giraffe needs a powerful pump. His heart (pump) can be up to 2½ feet long. It is so powerful that, as the animal bends its head down to satisfy its thirst, the blood pressure is more than enough to burst the blood vessels of its brain.
If evolution is true, then the giraffe is back to mindless, totally random accidental chance processes, occurring over long periods of time, to save its life and prevent it from blowing its brains out every time it bends its head down to get a drink of water. This evolution idea comes up short! Is evolution a progressive and miraculously intelligent process that, without a shred of intelligence, somehow realizes that an improvement or adaptation is needed and then sets out to design and manufacture the incredibly complex organic structure? And if the complex improvement does not show up in time, the animal is dead and extinct.
Even the extinct fossil animals have all the necessary parts to exist; they do not display a partially formed skeleton or fin or beak, etc. All fossil and living forms are fully functional and perfectly suited for their niche.
When might the giraffe know it needed to protect its brain from the devastation of excessive blood pressure? It seems to me that it would not know until it had died of a brain hemorrhage while taking a cool drink. How can it “evolve” a protective mechanism, if it is no longer alive to do it?
The giraffe has a protective mechanism that was designed by our Creator. As the bull bends his head down for a drink, valves in the arteries in its neck begin to close. Blood beyond the last valve continues moving toward the brain. But instead of passing at high speed and pressing into the brain and damaging or destroying it, that last pump is shunted under the brain into a group of vessels similar to a sponge. This cluster of blood vessels is called the “rete mirabile.” The brain is preserved as the powerful surge of oxygenated blood gently expands this “sponge” beneath it.
However, from this mechanism another problem arises. A lion creeps up and prepares to kill its spotted prey. The giraffe quickly raises its head and, without something to compensate for the reduced blood flow, passes out. It got up too fast, generating low blood pressure and diminished oxygen content in the brain. The lion eats a hearty meal, and the giraffe, were it alive, would realize that it had better evolve some mechanism to re-oxygenate its oxygen-deprived brain! We all know that animals that have been eaten by a lion don’t evolve anything, even though evolutionists would have us believe that creatures evolve the necessary-for-life improvements, as they are needed for survival.
But the giraffe survives! The Creator designed it in such a way that as he begins to raise his head, the arterial valves open. The “sponge” squeezes its oxygenated blood into the brain; the veins going down the neck contain some valves, which close to help level out the blood pressure, and the giraffe can quickly be erect and running without passing out and becoming lion lunch. God made the giraffe just like it is with all systems complete and ready for any emergency. There is no way the giraffe could have evolved its special features slowly and gradually over long periods of time as evolution demands. The functional mechanisms of the giraffe demand God to be their Creator. Why not God as the Creator of everything?
Everyone agrees, creationists and evolutionists—a giraffe is a giraffe. It is a distinct species, a discrete entity. No one would say a giraffe is a “missing link” or a “transitional form.” A giraffe is not some creature emerging from some other creature or changing into a “higher” or more complex animal—a giraffe is a giraffe! It can be scientifically examined with results that display the necessity of a single creative act. This long-necked creature had to have been originally formed with all of its complex features fully functional.
Every living organism must be fully functional and perfectly designed for its place in nature or it ceases to exist. Hearts, lungs, intestines, kidneys, brains, blood vessels, nerve pathways, eyes, skin, hair, feathers, scales, teeth, tongues, antlers, horns, reproduction abilities, etc., etc., etc., must all be in place and functioning in harmony or the life form dies! The same is true of cars. They must be designed and produced in such a way that the water pump, carburetor, fuel lines, battery, transmission, ignition switch, etc., are each working properly and in harmony with everything else or the car does not run. Everything must be there and be working from the beginning!
Someone might interject that the giraffe is a product of “survival of the fittest.” Let’s think about this survival of the fittest idea. Does it support evolution or does it fit creation? Suppose there were two bull giraffes and one female giraffe. The first bull giraffe is a happy, healthy, 100% bull giraffe. The second bull is evolving out of giraffe-hood so he is not quite fully and completely a giraffe anymore. These two bulls are going to fight, as animals do, to see which one gets the female giraffe. Which bull do you think is the fittest and will win the fight? Obviously the most giraffe-ish giraffe will proudly win the battle and the affection of the female. Survival of the fittest means that the fittest survive. This idea better fits the Biblical teaching that each life form is created according to its kind. The strongest of its kind survives.
The giraffe is a giraffe and it testifies to the existence of its Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ! Have you thought much about the sheer genius of our Creator Lord Jesus? He started with nothing—no patterns or examples—and just thought everything up and everything works! Think of the amazing diversity of plants and animals, not to mention insects that look like nothing else. There is no conceivable possibility for intermediate or transitional forms. He has set apart so many different forms of living things with unbridgeable gaps and a total impossibility of interrelatedness. From snakes, birds, bugs and orchids in all colors, shapes and sizes to fish, cats and giraffes, the unmatchable creative power of the Lord Jesus Christ completely overwhelms the idea of mindless, purposeless, accidental, non-directed chance evolution!
83 Bob Devine, God in Creation (Chicago: Moody Press, 1982), pp. 35-37. This booklet shows how ten different animals (including the giraffe) and plants demand a Creator by their special features.