Chicken, Magpie, and Easter Greetings

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“Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!” For centuries, Christians have used this greeting to celebrate Resurrection Day, better known as Easter.1 Ironically, there are two birds that can remind us of the historicity and importance of Christ’s rising from the dead, three days after His death and burial.

CHICKENS

Amazingly, the Lord Jesus once compared His own willingness and ability to care and protect humans to that of a chicken—specifically, a mother hen—who uses her own body to protectively care for her own hatchling baby chicks.2 How good it is to belong to the Lord Jesus Christ forever! When He offers to take us in and protect us, we should be eager and grateful to accept His care and security.

But we more closely associate a male chicken (rooster) with the arrest, trials, torture, and sacrificial death of Jesus Christ.

Readers might have already guessed that male chickens are associated with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection because of the rooster who crowed after Peter ignominiously denied the Lord Jesus, thrice, in fulfillment of Christ’s prophecy.3 In fact, this incident is so important that it is reported by all four gospel writers.3

For example, Mark reports this disappointing failure of Peter, involving the tattletale fowl, a sad chapter in the life of the usually bold apostle: Peter’s triple failure to stand up for Christ, as predicted by Christ Himself. This display of Peter’s imperfect courage and loyalty (even though his inward belief never failed) is linked to the twice-crowing of a rooster.

A second time the rooster crowed. Then Peter called to mind the word that Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” And when he thought about it, he wept.4

What a sad note to end with! Except, as proven three days later, that wasn’t really the end.5

MAGPIES

Most people are unlikely to guess that magpies—such as the Australian magpie (Cracticus tibicen6)—can be associated with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. How so?

The most famous variety of this “butcherbird,” formerly called the “piping shrike” or “white-backed crow shrike,” is now called the white-backed magpie (Cracticus tibicen telonocua). But many call it the Australian magpie because it appears on the official state flag of South Australia.

Whatever you want to call it, it is famous for its flute-like call, entertaining with a complex repertoire of vocalizations. The black-and-white opportunist has habituated to human-dominated habitats, such as the agricultural fields of farms, gardens, and even wooded parklands.6

The Australian magpie is not timid. It will defend its territory against raptors trespassing therein, such as brown goshawks. The Australian magpie is not a picky eater. Its diet includes both plants and animals. Its preferred diet, however, is dominated by a variety of larval and adult invertebrates, such as insects (like ants, moths, beetles, bees, wasps, cockroaches) and arachnids (like spiders and stinger-wielding scorpions!), as well as earthworms and millipedes. The Australian magpie is also known to eat some small vertebrates, such as mice, skinks, frogs, and toads.6

Some compare the problem-solving resourcefulness and the brash cockiness of this bird to the national reputation displayed by many Aussie ex-patriots.

The Australian magpie is quite a clever problem-solver. It has been observed breaking off the stingers of bees and wasps before swallowing such dangerous bugs!7

By now you’ve likely guessed why this bird reminds us of Resurrection Day—the Australian magpie’s power to neutralize a dangerous stinger.

But insect or arachnid stingers are nothing compared to the powerful sting of death. Yet, Christ’s bodily resurrection on the third day defeated death’s “stinger.”

For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.8

Hallelujah! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

References
1. Morris, H. M. 2006. Christ Is RisenDays of Praise. Posted on ICR.org April 16, 2006, accessed April 7, 2020.
2. Matthew 23:37; Luke 13:34. Cansdale, G. S. 1976. All the Animals of the Bible Lands. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 163-165.
3. Matthew 26:34, 26:74-75; Mark 14:30, 14:68-72; Luke 22:34, 22:60-61; John 13:38, 18:27.
4. Mark 14:72.
5. Matthew 12:39-40; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4Romans 10:9Psalm 16:9-10.
6. Taxonomists have also labeled the Australian Magpie as the Australian Magpie Gymnorhina tibicen (meaning “trumpeting bare-nose”). Regarding the physical and behavioral traits of the Australian Magpie, see Veltman, C. J., and R. E. Hickson. 1989. Predation by Australian Magpies (Gymnorhina tibicen) on Pasture Invertebrates: Are Non-territorial Birds Less Successful? Australian Journal of Ecology. 14(3): 319-326; Cake, M., A. Black, L. Joseph. 2018. The Generic Taxonomy of the Australian Magpie and Australo-Papuan Butcherbirds Is Not All Black and White. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists’ Club. 138(4): 346-359; Brown, E. D., and C. J. Veltman. 1987. Ethnogram of the Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen) in Comparison to Other Cracticidae and Corvus Species. Ethology (International Journal of Behavioural Biology). 76(4): 309-333. This author also appreciatively thanks Fiona Smith, M.C.Ed.—ICR SOBA graduate and Australian creation science educator/author—for her help with research and perspectives on Australian magpies.
7. Dr. Amy L. Adams notes: “Magpies will walk along the ground searching for food by overturning debris or probing their bills into the dirt. They eat insects, larvae and other invertebrates. Magpies are known to remove the stingers of wasps and bees before eating them.” Adams, A. 2016. Gymnorhina tibicen Australian MagpieMuseums Victoria Collections. Posted on collections.museumvictoria.com, accessed April 7, 2020.
8. 1 Corinthians 15:53-57, quoting Messianic prophecy in Hosea 13:14.

*Dr. Johnson is Associate Professor of Apologetics and Chief Academic Officer at the Institute for Creation Research.


James J. S. Johnson Articles Here

Article at I.C.R. https://www.icr.org/article/chicken-magpie-and-easter-greetings/

Birds Are Wonderful: A, B, and C !

BIRDS  ARE  WONDERFUL  . . .  A, B, and C !

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

Jesus said: “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink . . . Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, . . . your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”   (Matthew 6:25-26)

For ushering in the new year  —  the year of our Lord 2020  —  below follows the first installment of alphabet-illustrating birds of the world, as part of this new series (“Birds Are Wonderful  —  and Some Are a Little Weird*).  The letter A is illustrated by Anhinga, Andean Condor, and Arctic Tern.  The letter B  illustrated by Bald Eagle, Baltimore Oriole, and Bewick’s Wren.  The letter C illustrated by Cardinal, Chicken, and Cowbirds.

“A” BIRDS:   Anhinga, Andean Condor, and Arctic Tern.

BAW-Anhinga-AndeanCondor

BAW-ArcticTern

“B” BIRDS:  Bald Eagle, Baltimore Oriole, and Bewick’s Wren.

BAW-BaldEagle-BaltimoreOriole

BAW-BewicksWren

“C” BIRDS:  Cardinal, Chicken, and Cowbirds. 

BAW-CowbirdsBAW-Cardinal-Chicken

Birds are truly wonderful — and some, like cowbirds, are a little bit weird!  (Stay tuned for more, D.v.)


* Quoting from “Birds Are Wonderful, and Some Are a Little Weird”, (c) AD2019 James J. S. Johnson   [used here by permission].

Rooster-RaisinghappyChickens.com-photo

Fowl Are Fair on Day 5

Fowl Are Fair on Day Five, with Special Attention to Galliforms

Dr. James J. S. Johnson

RedJunglefowl.Gallus-gallus-FredericPelsey

Red Junglefowl (wild equivalent of domestic chicken) Frederic Pelsey photo

And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl [‘ôph] that may fly [ye‘ôphēph] above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.  And God created great whales [tannînim ha-gadolîm], and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl [‘ôph kanaph] after his kind: and God saw that it was good.  And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl [‘ôph] multiply in the earth. (Genesis 1:20-22)

In the Holy Bible, King James Version, the term “fowl” is repeatedly used to denote birds in general – animals who fly with wings and feathers. Nowadays, however, we usually limit the term “fowl” to refer to “waterfowl” (like ducks) or landfowl, like chickens.  The latter category – landfowl – are, generally speaking, birds that stay close to the ground because their body plan is fairly heavy (which is not good for intense or prolonged flying), like chickens or turkeys.  The fancy term for these landfowl is GALLIFORM, meaning shaped like a chicken.

Accordingly, God is glorified by His creation of poultry (domesticated chicken-like birds) and similar landfowl (a/k/a “gamefowl”), both being taxonomically categorized as Galliforms (i.e., birds whose physical forms that resemble big or small chickens).

Galliforms, as large ground-dwelling birds, are well-known for eating seeds and insects (both of which are often found on or near the ground). As noted above, their body weight encumbers them from flying very much or very far, although they can and do fly short distances when needed.  When chased, by predators, they often run and hide (as is indicated in 1st Samuel 26:18 & 26:20).  These often-domesticated birds include chicken, quails, pheasants, tragopans, argus, grouse, guineafowl, incubator birds, craciforms (such as guan, chachalaca and curassow), ptarmigan, turkey, and peafowl.  1st-Samuel26.20-partridge-slide

The typical icon of the galliform group (according to taxonomist Carl Linnaeus, in A.D. 1758) is Gallus gallus, a label assigned to both Asia’s wild Junglefowl and the domestic Chicken.  Many of these birds, especially chickens and turkeys, are raised by humans, for their eggs or to be eaten (as meat).  CodfishLays1000000Eggs-poem

As we know from Scripture (Luke 11:12-13), poultry eggs are a truly good source of nutrition for humans, and the whites (albumen) of eggs taste better when seasoned with salt (Job 6:6).

Galliform birds mostly live mostly sedentary lives (although some seasonally migrate) in moderate climate zones of Europe, Asia, North and South America, Africa, Australia, and many islands. (Don’t expect to find them in the super-dry Sahara Desert or in super-cold Antarctica.)

Turkeys-in-wild.SchuylkillCenter-EnvlEducn

AMERICAN TURKEYS Schuylkill Center for Envir’l Educ’n photo

Some of these poultry birds are usually found only live in certain parts of the world (such as wild turkeys, which are biogeographically native only to North and South America), yet they can be introduced (as immigrants) to other places that have similar climates.  Because landfowl usually nest on or near the ground they are often victims to predators, including humans; accordingly it is important to avoid over-hunting them (and over-harvesting their eggs); this conservation-relevant reality (and concern) is acknowledged by Moses in Deuteronomy 22:6-7.

Amazingly, the Lord Jesus once compared His own willingness and ability, to care and protect humans, to that of a galliform – specifically, a mother hen — who uses her own body to protectively care for her own hatchling baby chicks (Matthew 23:37; Luke 13:34).    How good it is to belong to Him forever!

Luke13.34-KnowingJesus.com-pic

LUKE 13:34 (Knowing-Jesus.com image)

Solved! – Chicken or Egg – Which Came First?

Chicken Hatching © WikiC

Chicken Hatching © WikiC

Creation Moments Had This To Say About The Age Old Question?

CHICKEN OR EGG – WHICH CAME FIRST?

“And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.” (Genesis 1:22)

Interesting Things from Smiley CentralWhich came first – the chicken or the egg? Well, I’m happy to report that this age-old dilemma has finally been solved. It was the chicken that came first – something that creationists have known all along. After all, the Bible tells us that God created every winged fowl and gave them the ability to reproduce after their kind.

Though atheistic evolutionists don’t look for answers in the Bible, they have now come to the same conclusion as those of us who do take the Bible seriously. According to a news item in the U.K.’s DailyMail, “Researchers found that the formation of egg shells relies on a protein found only in a chicken’s ovaries. Therefore, an egg can exist only if it has been inside a chicken.”

The article adds that the OC-17 protein acts as a catalyst to speed up the development of the shell. This hard shell is essential to house the yolk and its protective fluids while the chick develops inside.

Professor John Harding, an evolutionist from Sheffield University’s Department of Engineering Materials, predictably left God out of the picture when he said, “Nature has found innovative solutions that work for all kinds of problems in materials science and technology – we can learn a lot from them.”

Professor Harding, the only reason why we find innovative solutions in nature for all kinds of problems is because nature itself reflects the creative genius of its Creator!

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, I pray that You will remind me of today’s Creation Moment whenever the conversation I’m having turns to the question of which came first – the chicken or the egg? In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Notes:
They’ve cracked it at last! The chicken DID come before the egg,” DailyMail, 7/14/10.

Creation Moments ©2014 (Used With Permission)


Lee’s Addition:

Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) Chick and Egg ©USFWS

Sandhill Crane (Grus canadensis) Chick and Egg ©USFWS

This was today’s Creation Moment article. Oh, my! Took the scientist long enough to figure out the truth.

Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, (Romans 1:19-22 KJV)

Interesting Things

The Chicken From Hell – (Re-post)

THE CHICKEN FROM HELL

“All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.” 1 Corinthians 15:39

Evolutionists tell us a 66-million-year-old feathered dinosaur resembling a giant demonic bird was discovered in the fossil-rich Hell Creek formation of South and North Dakota. Not surprisingly, this newly discovered dinosaur species was dubbed the “chicken from hell”.

Chicken From Hell - Illustration: Anzu wyeliei

Chicken From Hell – Illustration: Anzu wyeliei

 

It was “as close as you can get to a bird without being a bird,” said vertebrate paleontologist Matt Lamanna. In addition to its long limbs, the research team found that the 11-foot-long, 500-pound dinosaur sported a stubby tail, likely framed by a fan of tail feathers.”What’s this? A tail likely framed by a fan of tail feathers? Not even National Geographic could stop themselves from telling the truth when they admitted: “Though the team didn’t find direct evidence of feathers, the species was so closely related to birds that it was very likely covered in feathers that looked identical to those of modern birds.”

The illustration accompanying the article shows the dinosaur’s forelimbs and tail covered with large feathers. Indeed, National Geographic and others have been doing this for years as they attempt to show that modern-day birds are the evolutionary descendents of dinosaurs. No real evidence required!

The Bible, on the other hand, is supported by a large amount of evidence, including archaeological discoveries, the fulfillment of Bible prophecies and much more. Christians also have the internal witness of the Holy Spirit that convinces us that God’s Word is true and that His Son is the Truth who alone provides salvation from sin.

Prayer:
Father, I thank You that Your Word doesn’t need to be supported by the imaginative speculations of fallible men. I know that the Bible is true from the first word to the last! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

>Notes:
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/03/140319-dinosaurs-feathers-animals-science-new-species/#close-modal3/19/14. National Geographic Daily News, 3/19/14. Illustration: Anzu wyeliei. Courtesy of Mark Klingler, Carnegie Museum of Natural History.<

©Creation Moments 2015

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O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: (1 Timothy 6:20 KJV)

Evolutionists just refuse to even consider creation, so they make up more concoctions of feather-brained ideas.

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