Cont’d from page 1
Clams and other mollusca 50,000 species
Seastars and relatives 6,100 species
Insects 751,000 species
Spiders and other non-insect anthropods 123,400 species
Fishes 18,800 species
Amphibians 4,200 species
Reptiles 6,300 species
Birds 9,000 species
Mammals 4,000 species
A total of 1,402,900 species! And if you think you are beginning
to see zeroes instead of stars, how about this? How many viruses
do you think will fit into a teaspoonful of unpolluted water? Scientists
in Norway have estimated that the number could exceed ONE BILLION.
That is a teaspoonful of 1,000,000,000 viruses!!!
Scientists estimate that the deep ocean floor could be home to
10 million undiscovered species. The tremendous diversity of life
is not limited to those habitats that seem to obviously offer the
basics of food, shelter and space. Scientists have found life in
regions which would be considered uninhabitable. It is the inhabitants
that have developed special features to survive in the harshest
Would the unbelievers not realize that there is a SUPREME POWER
that has created and controls this method of adaptation and everyone
and everything else? In the bays of Antarctica, the coldest marine
habitats on earth, where the water is cold enough to turn normal
blood into ice,
fishes live and thrive. These fishes
generate an anti freeze element in their own bodies. Around the
fishes are host of other marine creatures - each with their own
protective devices to survive the freezing waters.
In the burning heat of the deserts live unique collection of plants,
insects and reptiles adapted to survive the harshest of conditions.
In the perpetual darkness of the world’s deepest and dampest
caves live numerous insects, feeding on the fungi and bacteria that
grow there, and in turn being eaten by larger—all of them
blind—specialized for a life in the dark.
And even in the boiling water of hot springs, deep down at the
bottom of the seas, scientists have discovered unique one-celled
microorganisms that thrive in waters up to 110 degrees centigrade.
Thanks to God, diversity and adaptability have made life possible
in the most remote regions of our planet.
Imagine that you are on a journey upward from the center or core
of the earth. You are walking at a leisurely pace. For the first
twelve weeks you would travel through burning rocks and molten lava
where no life exists. Three minutes before you reach the surface,
you would encounter the first organisms in the form of bacteria
feeding on nutrients that have filtered deep underwater. As you
reach the surface of the earth, you would be dazzled by the millions
of life forms that you see—micro organisms, plants and animals—spread
right across the earth’s surface. Still walking upwards at
the same pace, you would find that only half a minute later, almost
all life has disappeared. Upwards still, two hours
later on your walk, you would only find
traces of life very faint—consisting mainly of people in airplanes
etc. The region with all this multitudes of life makes up only 1
part in 10 billion of the Earth’s mass. This layer of earth
that consists of living organisms and their environment is called
the “biosphere”. This is the only region of earth where
life can exist naturally and it extends only from the bottom of
the sea to the highest point of the atmosphere.
Finally, let us imagine that all the tremendous variety of living
things on earth are finally discovered and then described. Let us
imagine that we had to put together a compilation of all this information.
We then decided to devote one page per species. The description
would contain the scientific name, a photograph or drawing and a
brief description and information on where the species is found.
If all this were to be compiled in order to be published as a book,
it would be bound in volumes of 1,000 pages making each volume about
17 cm wide. By the time the information about all the species were
to be compiled, the volumes covering a million species would occupy
60 meters of space in a library. If we assumed that there were 100
million species of organisms on earth, the volumes would extend
through 6 km of space in a library.
Such is the greatness of God who made these millions of species
by merely saying to it “Be and it is;” (2:117, 3:47,
6:73, 16:40, 19:35, 36:82, 40:68) “without the least effort”
(46:33) and “no fatigue touched us.” (50:38 )