Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain

A Lesson from Penguins

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I’m in England, right?  So what did I do last night?  I watched the film March of the Penguins.  What an awesome film!

I watched in awe as the penguins made their miles long march to the place where for thousands of years penguins before them have gone for the winter.  Then they perform their annual ritual of finding a mate. Being somewhat monogamous they only have one mate per season. After they’ve found their mate for the season the female produces a single egg.  Then the female balances this one single egg on top of her feet and underneath a flap of skin on her belly to protect it from the elements.  Only a few seconds of exposure in the harsh winter conditions of the Antartic and the egg freezes.

After a couple of months of this careful balance and no food the female very carefully transfers the egg to the male.  Some of them don’t make it.  Then the female heads back for a seventy plus mile journey to the sea for food.  The male protects the egg through the harshest part of the winter.  Through the winter storms, the -80 degree temperatures, and winds of over 100 miles an hour.  For three months of this, with no food, loosing over half of their body wieght and nearing starvation.  Finally if the male penguin makes it through all of that and the chick actually hatches he has to give up some of the food he has in his reserve for this little, tiny chick to survive until the mother returns to feed it and protect it.  Then they switch places and the father goes on that long journey back to the sea for food.  Some of them make it, some don’t. As the harsh winter continues some of the chicks are lost.  The mothers grieve.  They cry and moan over the loss.  It almost seems human.  Some of the mothers try to steal a chick from another. 

Spring comes and the ice begins to melt so the journey to the edge of the sea gets shorter.  Slowly it gets shorter and the mother and father take turns making the journey to feed so they have enough food for the chick  they’ve produced.  They do this until the chicks are strong enough and then they all make the journey back to the sea.  After they’ve suffered the harsh winter the threat of scavengers takes some of the chicks.

Every year they repeat this journey.  The march is amazing.  In single file thousands and thousands of penguins making their way to the same spot year after year.  All of this to find a mate. All of this for the chance to have one little baby chick, they only get one shot at it. The penguins are so sweet together.  They are affectionate and loving.  It was enlightening to watch the little penguin family together.  As the chicks become stronger the mothers and fathers go back to the sea and leave the chicks behind to find their own way to the sea when they are ready.

Is this what intelligent design is?  Surely if there were an intelligent designer He could have come up with a better plan than this.  A better plan than for sweet, loving penguins to travel many miles over frozen, barren land to battle the elements and the scavengers for the chance at love for a season and one offspring.  A better plan than multiple trips over that barren land to keep themselves and that one thing, that one little baby chick, that is the purpose of their journey alive. This designer who is supposed to be concerned when one sparrow falls from the sky made it so that these lovely creatures would have to work so hard to mate and procreate?  Somehow this doesn’t seem very intelligent.  In fact it seems downright unintelligent and evolutionary.

These animals know nothing of a God or a Creator or a Cross.  They just know what they are supposed to do and when they are supposed to do it. They have a natural instinct for it.

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7 thoughts on “A Lesson from Penguins

  1. So true! Have you seen any of non stamp collector's youtube cartoons? In one of them he asks god why there are such horrible designs and offers better suggestions.Enjoy England!

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  2. That is a great film. One other sad thing is, some of the mother's don't come back because they've fallen prey to a predator before they can come back to their chick. So, because the dad is all out of food, that chick starves to death waiting for food. I suspect but can't remember, that the male likely dies too, either that or it has to abandon the chick as the males start their march back to the water. :-(Of course, think of the number of chicks that become a meal as soon as they hit the water. Hope you are having fun in England.

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  3. I know what you mean. I heard one defense once of these kinds of issues in the animal kingdom:This was not how they were designed. Through man's sin, the entire world has been corrupted.They suggest this based on the fact that Genesis teaches that man and animal were all vegetarians up until after the flood. Then creatures, and man, started eating meat. Plus, the world got divided up and animals got scattered during the Tower of Babel event (citing Genesis 10:25's comment about Peleg).Of course, what apologists do not realize is that even if they were not designed that way, instead they got to how they are now because of God. Sure, man sinned, but God chose the reaction and punishment for that sin.Yeah, it's much less complicated to just let evolution and plate tectonics explain everything. :-)Enjoy the limeys!

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  4. I watched the movie years ago, and you're reminding me of the confusing logic of the Penguins journey.It really blows my mind and truly can't understand it. It's one of those things that I would love to attribute to god. So, where did the penguins learn the journey and the rituals, like egg hatching? God taught them. That would make it so easy, eh?

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  5. I don't know how I missed out on this film! It's fantastic. prairienymph,No I haven't seen the non stamp collector cartoons, I'll have to check those out.Zoe,Yes, the part where the sea lions are chasing the mama penguins when their trying to feed really got to me. I was shouting, "run little penguin, run". My friend looks at me and says, "the sea lion's gotta eat too, it's the circle of life". The whole film was inspiring and troubling at the same time. Those mother penguins that didn't make it back left the father penguin with the choice to either stay and die with their chick or to walk away and leave the chick there to starve on it's own. What kind of creator creates like this?The Wise Fool,That whole thing is the very reasoning I would have used six months ago. In fact, I did use it many times. Looking back I'm sure there are many unbelievers who just thought I was just plain nutters or either felt sorry for me because of how ignorant I was. The more I learn the more I realize how much I don't know. Lorena,Yep, God taught them the whole confusing journey. He designed it that way on purpose. You know, He values life so much and all.

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  6. Oh, and by the way, I did have a fabulous time in England! Thanks for the well wishes everyone.

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  7. I don't know how I missed out on this film! It's fantastic. prairienymph,No I haven't seen the non stamp collector cartoons, I'll have to check those out.Zoe,Yes, the part where the sea lions are chasing the mama penguins when their trying to feed really got to me. I was shouting, "run little penguin, run". My friend looks at me and says, "the sea lion's gotta eat too, it's the circle of life". The whole film was inspiring and troubling at the same time. Those mother penguins that didn't make it back left the father penguin with the choice to either stay and die with their chick or to walk away and leave the chick there to starve on it's own. What kind of creator creates like this?The Wise Fool,That whole thing is the very reasoning I would have used six months ago. In fact, I did use it many times. Looking back I'm sure there are many unbelievers who just thought I was just plain nutters or either felt sorry for me because of how ignorant I was. The more I learn the more I realize how much I don't know. Lorena,Yep, God taught them the whole confusing journey. He designed it that way on purpose. You know, He values life so much and all.

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