“Watch-a-me-leon bamboozle Evolution!”

18/04/2009

by Ken E Murray 

Beauty is God’s trademark in creation. Intricacy of His Design and creative Engineering, show God’s phenomenal intelligence. God’s genius.

Praying preying chameleon

Praying preying chameleon

The functions and activities of His creation display His wonderful humour, love, and character.

To illustrate this  …Let’s play “Anything you can do I can do better”, ok?

Are you ready for your first set of challenges??

Ok. Can you?:

1.      Lift up a 10 kilogram steak with only your tongue and put it in your mouth?

2.      Now step back twice your body length from the 10kg steak, then shoot your tongue out …suction on to the steak …reel it back instantly and pop it into your mouth?

3.      Turn your left eye so that you can see a 180 degree arc in front of you and at the same time turn your right eye so you can see a 180 degree arc behind you?

4.      Move only your eyes, again, left separate from your right eye …so that you can see a full 360 degrees …front, back, sides, up, down, all around?  Feel dizzy yet?

5.      Quickly change the colours of your skin to blend in with the colours and textures of your immediate surroundings, so that you are camouflaged so well that you are nearly impossible to distinguish?

6.      Now change your surroundings to bright colours to attract someone you like?

7.      Change colours now to dark and sombre or bright yellow to show someone you don’t like them?

How did you go? Were you able to do any of those things?

Jeremiah 13:23: “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?”

How long do you think it would take you to evolve those capabilities? According to the Bible …never.

Did I hear you say: “Forget it! There’s no creature on earth that could do those 7 impossible feats!”

Oh yes there is.  Its name lies camouflaged in my Title.

Wat ch-a-me-leon bamboozle evolution

Wat ch-a-me-leon bamboozle evolution

Let me give you a hint:

I can be yellow, pink or green.

I am well camouflaged, 

and often not seen.

What am I?

Answer: A Chameleon.

The name “Chameleon” originated from Greek words “chami”(on the earth) and “leon”(lion)

Hence my camouflaged Title with the name Chameleon embedded.  How many of you noticed? Heh heh!

Yes, God in His great intelligence has created the humble Chameleon lizard, to do the equivalent of the above 7 impossible feats, and much, much, more.

Now, just how do you think Chameleons evolved those amazing capabilities?  Evolutionists have no idea.

Evolution is just like trying to erase the Author’s signature from the corner of a great master work of art.

More than 160 species of Chameleons are known, arranged in 9 genera. The main distribution of Chameleons is in Africa and over 60 species in Madagascar alone. There are others found in parts of southern Europe, southern India and Sri Lanka.

Chameleons vary greatly in size and body structure, with total length from approximately 1 centimetre (thumbnail) for the tiny Pigmy Chameleon of Malawi to the 68 centimetre (armlength) Chameleon Furcifer Oustaleti, from Madagascar.

1.   A Chameleon’s tongue can easily zap prey the weight equivalent to us of a 10kg steak! In fact David Attenborough says they can do it up to half their own body weight!    Can you imagine that?  The engineering involved is mind boggling.

How does it work?  Their tongue has a sticky tip on the end making it impossible for the prey to escape. As it shoots its tongue it also forms a suction cap which partly wraps around its prey. Once the tongue sticks to the prey, it is pulled back to the mouth where the chameleon’s strong jaw crushes it and consumes.

After a century of debate, biologists have figured out how a Chameleon shoots its tongue out at lightning speed to snare its prey. The secret is a spring-loading mechanism that stores up energy like the elastic of a catapult prior to release.

This makes the whole tongue shoot out like an orange pip seed squeezed between your fingers.

“Energy for the speedy lick comes from parts of the tongue called the intralingual sheathes, which wrap around bones running along the core of the tongue and are in turn sheathed by the accelerator muscle. 200 milliseconds before its tongue strikes, a chameleon uses the accelerator muscle to spring-load energy into the intralingual sheathes, packing them into one another like sections of a telescope. When the chameleon strikes, the pent-up energy can be released in just 20 milliseconds, accelerating the tongue pad forward at up to 50g.” (Proceedings of the Royal Society B, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2003.2637. From issue 2438 of New Scientist magazine, page 16)

2.    Its tongue is twice the length of its body.  The resting tongue is folded like an accordion around a bone called Processus entoglossus.

Now, imagine a grasshopper landing on a branch away from the hungry chameleon thinking he is way out of range. Ooops! Little does he know he’s in the crosshair sights of the Chameleon’s Smart Missile tongue. ZAP!  One grasshopper shot and sucked up by the hungry lizard sitting far away from his unsuspecting dinner.

Yes, a chameleon’s tongue extends faster than the human eye can follow, at around 26 body lengths per second. Usually it hits the prey in about 30 thousandths of a second.  Chameleons hunt mainly insects (including bees and wasps that do not have time to employ their defensive stings because of the velocity of the tongue), spiders and even small birds and rodents.

Faster than a speeding bullet …almost as fast as Lightning.

You will be gob-smacked, yourself, when you click onto the stunning videos at the end of this blog.

God's signature on His works of Art

God's signature on His works of Art

3.    While humans have 3D vision and need both eyes to determine depth and distance, the chameleon can move each eye independently so they don’t miss any prey and also makes it much harder for a predator to sneak up on him. They can also focus on one object which gives them precisely sharp stereoscopic vision and depth perception better than an Abrams battle tank.

The ability to switch between synchronous and uncoupled saccadic eye movements has not been described for any other vertebrate. 

An astonishing ability of chameleons is that of moving the eyes independently, with an angle of 180o horizontally and 90o vertically.

This way they can scan larger portions of their environment. Still, when an eye spots a prey, the eyes are moved to look in the same direction forward, for creating the binocular vision necessary for assessing the distance where the prey is. Each eye can form 3-D images, the eyes functioning alternatively and independently one from the other. This way, the chameleon can explore in 3-D its environment without moving its head, so that it does not attract the attention of the targeted prey.

A very stealthy and deadly accurate hunter.  Imagine having those eye talents in an Olympic clay shooting competition. There would be no contest! …Just give him the gold medal.

  4.    Chameleons have 360o vision. Its 2 eyes move separately to each other in different directions at the same time!  It is an engineering, technologically inexplicable marvel.

Their eyes are the most distinctive among the reptiles. The upper and lower eyelids are joined, with only a pinhole large enough for the pupil to see through, for protection. The eyes can rotate and focus separately to observe two different objects simultaneously, giving them a full 360-degree arc of vision around their body.   Extremely effective for spotting predators and checking out, where the next meal is coming from, while being perfectly camouflaged.  It’d make a top line SAS soldier jealous. 

     5.    Chameleons are naturally coloured for their surroundings as a camouflage. Chameleons use their camouflage defensively, to hide from predators; offensively, to hide themselves while they stalk prey. They can also change colour to indicate health or feelings such as aggression; fear or anxiety; and in mating and courtship rituals.  Let me ask you this question:  What colour is a chameleon on a mirror?  (Answer at bottom of this blog  :)) ).

      6.    A chameleon’s colourful beauty is truly skin deep. All chameleon species are able to change their skin colour. Different chameleon species are able to change into different colours which can include pink, blue, red, orange, green, black, brown and yellow.

The colour change is under the control of spine nerves and hormones (adrenaline secreted by the adrenal gland and hormones of the hypophysis).

Under the transparent outer skin are two cell layers that contain red and yellow pigments, or chromatophores. Below the chromatophores are cell layers that reflect blue and white light. Even deeper down is a layer of brown melanin (which gives human skin its various shades). Levels of external light and heat, and internal chemical reactions cause these cells to expand or contract. A calm chameleon, for example, may exhibit green, because the somewhat contracted yellow cells allow blue-reflected light to pass through. An angry chameleon may exhibit yellow, because the yellow cells have fully expanded, and block off all blue-reflected light from below.

Do you know …What’s the definition of a nervous breakdown?

A chameleon on a tartan rug!  :))

Tartan coloured Chameleon

Tartan coloured Chameleon

7.    Chameleons change their colour in response to light exposure and ambient temperature, as well as to express their mood not only for camouflage. Emotions and attraction of a mate can induce the colour changes seen in a chameleon. The colour changes also play a part in communication. If a leaf is put on the back of a chameleon and removed after a period, it will leave a colour mark on its back, following its shape, due to the shifts in light and temperature. 

Adding to their natural colours their ability to stay still for minutes and their wagging and extremely slow movements (unusual for a lizard) that makes their laterally flattened bodies, adorned by spikes, horns and protuberances, to look like a leaf or twig shaken by wind. No wonder they appear inconspicuous to their predators and prey. 

Do you know, what is a chameleon’s motto?

“A change is as good as a rest!”   :)) 

Any intelligent observer of life cannot help but be continually amazed and astonished at the wonderful and mysterious variety of incredible life forms that abound …like the Chameleon.

To fail to give the Creator God  praise and thanks for the marvellous beauty we see the intricate and delicate life forms around us, the incredible habits of creatures we take for granted is to miss out on some of the truly savoury experiences of life.

Chameleons have a unique anatomy that distinguishes them separately from their lizard cousins.  So how did that evolve? 

They are the only lizard with zygodactyls feet which allows them to climb trees. Their feet are split into two main fingers with a soft pad in between. An interesting fact about chameleon’s feet is that they have two claws on the outside of their front foot and three on the inside, yet the situation is reversed in their back feet.  The back foot is not only a pattern, but it also reveals the sex of the chameleon. On the outer part of the foot, there will be three toes if male, four toes if female.  Evolutionists, go figure that one out?

The chameleon has five toes on each foot; the back feet have three toes outside and two inside. The front feet are the opposite way around. This provides the chameleon with the same number of toes on each side of the twig and allows for a firm and balanced grip.

Evolutionists claim that the Chameleon’s closest relatives are …the Iguanas and dragon lizards (Agamidae). They claim there are Iguanas living in the Americas, that were the ancient ancestors of the Chameleon.

Now, I know I don’t have to tell you that the Americas is a long, long way from Madagascar, where 60 amazingly different species of Chameleon live. Also the Iguana is an incredibly complicated amazingly engineered creation in its own right, perfectly made for the lifestyle it lives.

  Today, the over 160 species of chameleon species are concentrated in Africa, Madagascar and neighbouring areas. Just one species reaches southern Europe and another one India.

Most chameleons have a prehensile (grabbing) tail, and can stay on a branch securing with just two feet and the tail.

  Chameleons look out for other chameleons only during the late summer which is the breeding season. Females lay eggs after 3-6 week gestation. She finds a warm spot at the base of tree when she is ready to lay her eggs. Then she digs down 10-30 centimetres depending on the species. Commonly they lay up to 30 eggs, but some extraordinary chameleon species such as Veiled Chameleons (Chamaeleo calyptratus) have been known to lay clutches of 80-100 eggs. Small Brookesia species only lay 2-4 eggs. So, the size of clutch vary greatly even among the same species. Eggs generally hatch after 4-12 months after they are laid, but some unusual species such as Parsons Chameleon (Calumma parsonii) are known to hatch out 2 years after they are laid!

Oh yes …and the young hatch, dig their way out and instantly do what Chameleons do.

No parental training or guidance needed.

Now really!   Tell me how they evolved?

Just to give us a smile, God has designed some Chameleons that don’t lay eggs but give live birth.

Chameleons are mostly oviparous (lay eggs), and some are ovoviviparous (born alive without placenta), such as the Jackson’s Chameleon (Chamaeleo jacksonii) which has a 5-6 month gestation period. The newborn are in a transparent, very sticky membrane and they are still sleeping.  Once they touch the ground or branch, they will wake up and crawl out of the membrane, instantly ready to catch their own food.  The female can have 8-30 live young at once.   Think about the headaches for Evolutionists about that amazing feat.  See this most miraculous birth sequence in the David Attenborough video clip below.

Chameleons drink dew and rain water, but they can also absorb water through their skin, like some desert dragon lizards do.

But how did Chameleons develop those unique swivelling eyes able to see 360o?

How did they develop the incredibly intricate colour changing chemistry …and a tongue twice its body length?

What hypotheses must Evolutionists use to explain these amazing varied and unique lizards?

Let’s go back in history — billions and billions of years, perhaps — since Evolutionists seem to assume that, given enough time, practically anything can happen. Here is our first little would-be Chameleon. Only he’s not a Chameleon, because he doesn’t have swivel independent eyes, tongue twice as long as his body and no curled up prehensile tail and no protective colour changing abilities.

Let’s say he’s surviving just fine — obtaining his food just like any other lizard.

But he can’t spot his insect prey fast enough with limited forward eyesight — he is easy prey for the whole host of predators because he can’t change his camouflaging colour. Even if he can spot a grasshopper or fly by the time he gets near enough to grab them, they have easily jumped or flown away.

No would-be Chameleon survives.

All are eaten.

Why reason this way?

Simple.

If the Chameleon needed to develop his extraordinary unique independent set of eyes, plus his incredible ‘top-gun’ tongue, plus his rapid colour changes for camouflage protection, mating and warding off predators …which would have taken, admittedly, an innumerable number of years in order to survive then he couldn’t have survived without them.

And if he DIDN’T survive until he developed them — then he doesn’t exist.

But let’s assume (being facetious, of course) that somehow, one little would-be Chameleon (who wasn’t really a completely developed Chameleon yet) sprouted a set of independent eyes.

Can you imagine it? His brain recoils in mute shock! Dizzily, he runs about in two directions at once. One eye communicates danger from above, while the other one tells him there is danger from behind Transfixed by the double vision messages of approaching horror, his mixed-up brain dizzily tries to leap out of the way …but which way?

This results in complete paralysis —and the very first successful Chameleon is eaten alive.

But others keep sprouting one wobbly left eye and a fixed confused right eye twitching and mixed up in a wild frenzy stumbling over this stupid sticky tongue, growing longer.

Confused, paralysed, none survive, so they don’t exist!

How many millions of years did it take their incredibly complex brilliantly engineered eyes, let alone their colour chemistry laboratory through various layers of their skin, which leaves Chemical Engineers perplexed with wonderment?

How many millions MORE years (while none survived!) did it take for their brains to sort out the double images?

Look up information about eyes. Study the fantastic complexity of the eyes of Chamelions, birds, lizards, fish, animals and humans.

Look at the numbers of cones and rods, complexity, engineered design, transmission and translation of information by brain cells, etc,.

Anything “simple” about an eye?

Independent Eyes of Chameleon

Independent Eyes of Chameleon

Modern man, with all his fantastic cameras, cannot begin to accomplish with a camera lens what is automatically accomplished in the eyes of thousands of creatures instantaneously, such as the Chameleon.

Its eyes are perfectly formed. They function perfectly for specific and set purposes, instantly upon birth!

No training required.

Is it a convenient accident that the Chameleon has such a complex and wonderfully intricate defence system? Or was it very intelligently designed, engineered, and created?

Either Chameleons began uniquely seeing, colour changing, tongue zapping the instant they were born or they didn’t survive.

And remember, Evolutionists don’t claim millions of Chameleons, suddenly appeared all at once!

No, the Chameleon is just one more of the amazing marvels of the creation around us, inspiring testimony to the love, warmth and humour of our Creator, who gives us every breath of air we breathe!

Meantime …keep pumpin’!

Ken E Murray

PS:  You can obtain FREE copies of this literature and the FREE Good News Magazine by contacting the United Church of God-Australia, Office on FREE CALL 1800 356202 or write to: PO Box 535, Brisbane, Qld 4001 OR as shown under Literature Request  on the Church webpage  …OR you can FREE download by clicking on to:  Bible Study Course AND Does God Exist? AND Creation or Evolution?

PPS: “Why not have Your say?”  Feel free to click onto these next 4 words and drop me an email.

PPPS:   Why not watch these short VIDEO CLIPS, of the wondrous and miraculous Chameleons, God has created for our pleasure and the things we can observe and learn. Just left click onto the blue words below.

Most amazing Chameleon; tongue shooting; colour changing; and live birth up in the tree branches: Sir David Attenborough

Also click onto this incredible Chameleon video clip below, by clicking onto the blue words:

Incredible video of tongue shooting – colour changing Chameleon

PPPPS:  The answer to the funny riddle: “What colour is a chameleon on a mirror?

Answer:  “The same colour as the chameleon on the other side of the mirror.”  :))  


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