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But what we do have knowledge of is staggering. There are more
than 4500 species of mammals. There are about 9,700 species of birds.
There are more than a million species of insects that we know about.
This is amazing. And they all interact with one another in such
intricate and perfect ways. “Proofs for the believers.”
If we simply looked at animals of the desert we would be amazed
at their variety. There are bright and colorful birds such as the
hooded oriole with a vivid yellow body and a sharp black mask on
its face. There are dull colored birds, such as the curved bill
thrasher that blend into their surroundings. And all kinds of birds
in between—the roadrunner who races along the desert floor,
using its long tail as a rudder for maneuvering, only flying when
absolutely necessary, and the Gambels quail, who stay together as
a family unit all summer long, crossing the road with mama in front,
all the little chicks scurrying behind, and papa bringing up the
rear. And birds that soar in the summer sky. Not just one kind of
soaring bird but five or six different species of hawks, two kinds
of vultures, eagles and at least four different species of owl.
They are beautiful to watch as they catch a thermal and soar with
almost no movement of their wings. What beauty! What variety!
And that’s just the birds. Rodents of all sizes and shapes
burrow in the ground and build elaborate nests of twigs among the
cactus. Mammals, such as coyotes and mountain lions, deer and javelina
wander the desert, following the design of their Lord. Lizards,
ranging in size from the tiny gecko to the
large and venomous Gila Monster, and
snakes—huge and dangerous like the diamondback rattlesnake
and small and delicate like the banded sand snake, all move along
the desert floor, soaking in the warmth of the sun. And strange
and wondrous insects and spiders, like the tarantula, the black
widow spider, several varieties of scorpions, centipedes and millipedes.
The ground is alive with these creatures, but you have to really
look for them. And God fully controls each and every one of them.
Among His proofs is the creation of the heavens
and the earth, and the creatures He spreads in them. He is able
to summon them when He wills. (42:29)
Infinite variety doesn’t just apply to animals. How many
species of plants are there in the world? Just in the desert, the
variety is amazing—special plants adapted to live with limited
water and great heat. It’s not one kind of cactus; it’s
dozens. And in a lush rain forest, plants are so abundant and varied
they live on top of each other. You cannot imagine the number of
shades of green till you’ve looked at a hillside covered with
trees. And then, by God’s wonderful grace, many of those greens
change to yellow and orange and vivid red.
He is the One who sends down from the sky water,
whereby we produce all kinds of plants. We produce from the green
material multitudes of complex grains, palm trees with hanging clusters,
and gardens of grapes, olives and pomegranate; fruits that are similar,
yet dissimilar. Note their fruits as they grow and ripen. These
are signs for people who believe. (6:99)
How many kinds of fruit are there in the world? I wonder if anyone
has tried them all. Such variety in
appearance, texture and taste.
What about the sky? We know it is a perfect structure that protects
and provides for us. Have they not looked at
the sky above them and how we constructed it and adorned it, without
a flaw? (50:6) And the clouds in the sky—why are there
so many varieties of cloud—powerful storm clouds and gentle
drifting lines and shapes? They are part of the “adornment”
of the sky, providing beauty and enjoyment as you watch them drifting
by. And, of course, they bring the blessing of rain.
God is the One who sends the winds, to stir up clouds,
to be spread throughout the sky in accordance with His will. He
then piles the clouds up, then you see the rain coming down therefrom.
When it falls on whomever He chooses from among His servants, they
There is certainly infinite variety in people. Why? We could all
be one color, one size, one shape. We could all look exactly the
same. Sometimes it seems as if science would like to create that
sameness. God made each of us unique.
O people, we created you from the same male and female,
and rendered you distinct peoples and tribes, that you may recognize
one another. The best among you in the sight of God is the most
righteous. God is Omniscient, Cognizant. (49:13)
Among His proofs are the creation of the heavens
and the earth, and the variations in your languages and your colors.
In these, there are signs for the knowledgeable. (30:22)
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