Creation Moments’ – Designed For Flight

Peregrine Falcon Flying Over Niagara Falls

Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom, [and] stretch her wings toward the south? Job 39:26

Many textbooks tell young people today that birds are modified reptiles. Suppose, they say, that millions of years ago the scales on some reptiles began to fray along the edges. In time, they say, the frayed scales turned into feathers and birds were born.

Designed for Flight The elegance and beauty of the feather make this story hard to believe. Can sticking a feather on a lizard produce a peacock? The bird’s feather is only a small part of the complete flying system of the bird. Even with very careful planning and redesigning, a reptile doesn’t have what it takes.

A bird needs massive breast muscles for flight. In some birds, 30 percent of the body weight of the bird is breast muscle. By comparison, in humans, breast muscles are only about 1 percent of body weight. A bird also needs an extremely high metabolism and blood pressure to deliver the energy those muscles need for flight. Birds have a higher metabolism than any other creature; they also have the necessary high blood pressure. Finally, as is well known, birds need light skeletons. The man-o’-war has a wingspan of seven feet. But its entire skeleton weighs only a few ounces – less than its feathers!

Even the most clever rebuilding of a reptile cannot produce a bird. In fact, birds have very little in common with reptiles. The entire being of the bird, from body to brain, has been specially designed for flight by a Creator who clearly knows everything there is to know about flight.

Father in heaven, the beauty, grace and huge variety of birds You have created are some of the most beautiful creatures on earth. As I thank You for them, fill me with new wonder over the wonderful work of Your hands. Amen.

Vandeman, George. 1991. “The miracle of flight.” Signs of the Times, May. p. 25.

Designed For Flight ©Creation Moments 2014

Interesting Things


One thought on “Creation Moments’ – Designed For Flight

  1. I’m Catholic so for me there is no conflict between evolution and God’s creation – I’m not a scientist either, just a bird lover and amateur naturalist! If you believe in evolution the first feathers may not have been for flight, they may have been for temperature regulation or courtship display, some things that birds use their feathers for now other than flight. You’re 100% right that the birds’ whole body is designed for flight (some of the adaptations are not in flightless birds), you can’t just stick wings on it and make it fly. For example as someone who lives with two starlings I’m very familiar with the adaptation to evacuate the bowels frequently to stay light for flight! There is no doubt that however it came about, that God’s creation is wonderful and birds are some of the most amazing things in it! As for the conflict between evolution and Creationism being taught in schools, I don’t see why teachers teaching evolution can’t just say “You don’t have to believe it – you just have to understand it.” I always thought the idea behind science was to keep searching, yes you have to understand the current thought but you can go beyond it if you make new discoveries. I don’t think humans are capable of knowing everything that God knows and I think humans will know a lot more in the future about some things than they know now – and maybe less about others. I think throughout history some knowledge has been lost. People once thought that everything that could be invented had been already and the US Patent Office should perhaps be shut down! That was over 100 years ago! So many good science articles get into dumb repetitive comment wars over evolution and I guess if didn’t want that I should not have written this! I value your perspective on birds and how they relate to the scriptures.

    I raised one my starlings from the age of five days old and I did contemplate the similarities between birds and reptiles during that time. Similarities – some reptiles have beaks, scales (birds have them on the legs), claws, most come from an egg. Differences – warm-blooded vs. cold blooded, some reptiles have teeth instead of beaks and I can’t think of any birds that do, some reptiles are live born, birds need a lot more care from the parents after hatching – don’t most reptiles not need any? Interesting topic, thank you!


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