Friday, July 10, 2009

Divine Wisdom

You must have noticed that the earth furnishes us with everything we need, both to exist and to enjoy life. Scientists are hunting for cures for diseases in the world’s rainforests, because they have strong faith that whatever we need will be found on this planet. Somehow it became fashionable to doubt the existence of a Creator, but we are surrounded with evidence that there was a Master Designer of everything in our universe. This can be seen from the smallest to the largest scale, from the tiny atom to the vast heavenly bodies. And so it should not surprise us that even the humble hermit crab provides a glimpse into God’s divine wisdom.

Hermit crab survival depends on having and maintaining good armor. Half of their body is covered by a hard exoskeleton, which they produce miraculously, but their soft abdomen is left vulnerable. However, these crustaceans instinctively know to seek shelter in seashells discarded by their aquatic neighbors, the mollusks. Hermit crabs cannot survive for long without these abandoned houses. This sort of symbiotic relationship is commensalism, since only one benefits from the arrangement while the other is unharmed. Why would an organism evolve a dependence on a different organism for it’s very survival?

Interestingly, some marine hermit crabs also have a sort of symbiotic relationship called mutualism, wherein both parties benefit from the relationship. The hermit crabs partner up with an anemone. The anemone gets to transport to greener pastures by hitching a ride, fastened to the hermit crab’s seashell. The hermit crab is protected from predators by the anemone’s poisonous appendages.

Marine Hermit Crab w/ anemone

All life is interdependent. This is by design, not by chance. Instinct is programming; the programmer is God. He is well deserving of praise for his magnificent works. The manner in which we care for the earth--and the beings on it--is a reflection of our level of appreciation.

“For His invisible qualities are clearly seen from the world’s creation onward, because they are perceived by the things made, even his eternal power and Godship, so that they are inexcusable.” --Romans 1:20

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