Fish, swim! Birds, fly!—Day 5
Published in Creation 28(4):44–47, 2006‘Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.” And God created the great sea monsters, and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its 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 birds multiply on the earth.” And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day’ Genesis 1:20–23.
On the fifth day of Creation Week, the earth was ready to support animal life. God had made water, soil, air, and plants and fruits for food. He had also created the sun to give light and warmth. Now God created Earth’s first inhabitants—the animals that live in the sea and those that fly in the air. Once again He simply commanded them all to come into being, and they did!
All the sea creatures
When God spoke, the sea was suddenly teeming with every kind of creature that lives there—tiny ones called krill, small fish like sardines, medium-sized fish like salmon, bigger fish such as marlin and swordfish, and much larger creatures like whales and plesiosaurs. God also made jellyfish and eels, corals and crabs, octopuses and porpoises, and all the others too.
Some people say that whales evolved from an animal like a cow or from some other land animal that decided it wanted to start living in the sea and eating seaweed or other sea creatures instead of grass. But why would it do that? There is no convincing evidence to support this idea. And God tells us that He did not make the land animals until Day 6.
Did you know that the vast majority of fish don’t eat each other, but eat underwater plant material like seaweed, algae (like green rock slime), and drifting tiny plants called plankton (really phytoplankton).
All the flying creatures
Suddenly, too, at God’s command, there were all sorts of flying creatures—birds like parrots, pigeons and poultry; flying insects like butterflies, bees and bugs; as well as bats (which are mammals); and the flying reptiles we call pterosaurs. What a marvellous sight it must have been! What a marvellous sound there must have been when the birds began to sing!
God made these creatures with four different types of wings. Birds’ wings are made of feathers; insects’ wings are made of membranes or thin scales; bats’ wings are made of skin stretched over long arm and hand bones; while for pterosaurs’ wings the skin was stretched over a long fourth finger bone.
Flight feathers are remarkable features. When a bird raises its wing, the feathers move apart to let the air through and reduce resistance. But on the downstroke the feathers close completely, thus greatly improving lift. Also, a bird can vary the shape of its wings for more efficient take-off, flapping, gliding and landing.
People who don’t believe in a Creator have no explanation for the remarkable design features of feathers. Most of them claim that a reptile’s scales changed into feathers. But no fossil showing a transition from scale to feather has ever been found.
God cares for all
God was pleased when he looked at what He had made on Day 5. Not only did He say it was good, He also blessed the fish and the birds, and commanded them to reproduce—each to make baby animals just like itself. Although God does not love animals in the same way that He loves people, He still notices when a sparrow falls to the ground (Matthew 10:29), and He cares for them. How much more God cares for you and me!
‘After its kind’
The Bible tells us that God made each one of these animals ‘after its kind’. Those people who do not believe that God created say instead that one kind of animal evolved into another kind all by itself.
But there is no evidence that one kind of animal ever changed into a different kind. In the beginning, there was no evolutionary struggle for existence, with death and disease over millions of years.
Fish did not arise or come into being from a worm in an ancient pond, and birds did not come from dinosaurs. The Bible says God created all of the birds before He created any of the land animals. If animals made themselves from other animals over long periods of time, we should find millions and millions of fossils of ‘half-way’ animals, but we don’t!
The theory of evolution says that sea life came first, then land plants, then land animals, then birds. But God says that He made plants first, then sea life and birds together. God did not use evolution to create over millions of years.
God’s unlimited knowledge, wisdom and power are seen much more clearly in His creating everything in a short time than if He had used a long-drawn-out, cruel, evolutionary process. Until Adam sinned by disobeying God, no animal died and no human died.
On Day 5, God simply gave the order that there should be living creatures in the sea and in the air, and they came into being. God’s powerful Word was fulfilled exactly the way He said.
Why can birds fly and we can’t?
God designed birds to fly, but He designed us differently. Birds have light bones which are mostly hollow, with cross-members to give strength. Our bones are heavy and solid because they have to support us when we walk, run and jump. Even a bird’s beak is designed to save weight. It is made of lightweight material called keratin (which is in our hair and in a rhino’s horn); our jaws are made of heavy bone.
Birds have strong chest muscles to flap their wings; we don’t. Birds have special lungs with tiny one-way tubes; our lungs don’t. Our lungs get all the oxygen we need for us to run around on the ground, while birds’ lungs are designed to get the extra oxygen that birds use for flight. In the air, birds’ bodies are streamlined to cut wind resistance; our bodies are not shaped for flight. This hasn’t stopped men from trying to fly by jumping off bridges and flapping boards attached to their arms. But it was only last century that men learned how to make and fly airplanes, by observing the birds that God made.
Light and heavy bones; flight or flop
Which animals in the above picture would have light bones?
Why are these animals bones light?
People’s bodies have heavy bones and were designed to live on land, not in the air. Return to text.