Hummingbirds are extraordinary creatures. I never paid much attention to them—except that I thought it was cool they could hover like a helicopter—but when I relocated to San Diego, a city abundant with these adorable little birds, they captured my attention.
One of my neighbors—a real nature guy—has two hummingbird feeders just outside his apartment. On any given day, I happen upon a number of birds stopping by for a snack. Their favorite fare is nectar, but they have no complaints drinking sugar water provided by a bird lover.
The courtyard just outside my apartment is lush with Southern California greenery. There is everything from jade plants to wildflowers to six-foot-tall palm trees. About a week ago, my wife discovered a hummingbird nest, sitting on the upper branch of a five-foot palm tree just outside our back door. The diameter is no more than two inches. At first, she wasn’t sure what it was, but when she took a closer look, she noticed two recently-hatched hummingbirds lying side by side in the nest. Their tiny bodies—about a third the size of my pinky—were pulsating so she knew they were alive.
Over the next few days, my wife and I watched in awe as the tiny birds’ mother would come and go, feeding her kids and tending to their needs. But as soon as the sun set and the San Diego temperature fell to a chilly level, the mother bird would plant herself on top of the nest to keep her babies warm during the chilly evening hours and throughout the night. This got me to thinking.
I’m a Christian, and my faith is based on a number of things. Although much of scripture makes me scratch the back of my head, I accept the fact that the Bible is the word of God. Now I’m not writing this post to Bible-thump or convert anyone to Christianity. However, I would like to make a point.
As I study the behaviors and instincts of the baby hummingbirds’ mother—her protectiveness, the wisdom to provide periodic feeding, the comfort she selflessly offers her babies during the cold evening hours, the architectural genius of that well designed nest—I can’t help but wonder how anyone could possibly be an atheist. I’m not writing this post to debate theology, although I truly enjoy sparring with a non-believer. What I cannot understand is how anyone can observe the brilliant design and instincts of these tiny birds and conclude that they are merely a result of random creation, that their desire to thrive and survive is merely an accident, that they were not “designed” by a being far more intelligent than humans. These little hummingbirds are merely the tip of the iceberg. Look at other wonders of nature and atheism is even more mindboggling.
Again, I’m not preaching or trying to convert anyone to Christianity. My only point is to question how an intelligent person can rationally dismiss the premise (which is scientific by the way), that intelligent design suggests an intelligent designer. Can it be that all the wonders of nature, the phenomenal design of the human body, reproduction, and the vastness of a universe populated by billions and billions of galaxies is merely coincidental? I don’t care what you call this being—God, Supreme Being, Creator, or Uncle Harry. Our existence simply cannot be the result of a Big Bang that came from nothingness.
Time for me to check my new feathery friends.