Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | February 1, 2010

10. Navigating Monarchs 

Monarch head with tiny brain and complex eye with 6,000 lenses

In two months monarchs migrate from the northern US and Canada back to the same small region in Mexico where their ancestors wintered. Some researchers say they return to the same tree in which their ancestors roosted.

Despite being often blown off course, monarchs make the required navigational course corrections to reach their destination. They travel on average about 50 miles per day.

One experiment moved south-bound migrating monarchs from Kansas to Washington, D.C. When released they started flying directly south as if they were still in Kansas. Within days they corrected course and flew southwest to Mexico.

How do monarchs perform such wonders of navigational accuracy? Nobody knows. Some think monarchs use the earth’s magnetic field because their head and thorax contain magnetite.

Monarch’s complex 6,000-lens-eyes can detect different light polarizations. Thus even on cloudy days they may be able to measure sun angles from the horizon to determine position.

How do monarchs know whether to migrate north toward Canada or south to Mexico? Can they tell the time of year? How is the navigational database transferred to offspring several generations removed?

All this navigational equipment and calculating apparatus is packed into the pinhead-sized monarch brain. In terms of accuracy and miniaturization, the monarch brain demonstrates a level of design engineering that far surpasses any of man’s navigational equipment.

Could evolutionists be correct that it developed by accident? No way! The Creator built monarchs to perform this navigational marvel.

The monarch displays the glory of its Creator.

Read the prequels in this series on Monarch Butterflies and their significance for the creation/evolution controversy:
1. Insect GPS
2. Monarch Butterflies
3. Caterpillar or Butterfly—Which Was First?
4. Monarch Caterpillars
5. Morphing Monarchs
6. Changing Chrysalis
7. Emerging Monarchs
8. Butterfly vs. Caterpillar
9. Migrating Monarchs
Read the sequel:
11. Monarchs on Noah’s Ark?

Soli Deo Gloria.

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Monday February 1, 2010 A.D.

And Yahweh made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and Yahweh saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:25)


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