Power Beak

by BJ Rudge, Ph. D.

It seems a wonder that toucans don't fall on their faces, so enormous are the beaks of these South American birds. One large species, the toco toucan, has an orange-yellow bill six to nine inches long, about a third of the bird's length.

But the toucan's beak is ingeniously designed to be both strong and light. Marc André Meyers, a materials scientist at the University of California, San Diego, thinks its two-part construction could be adapted for use in the automotive and aviation industries to offer protection from crashes.

"Toucan beaks are beautiful structures," he says. "The surface is made of keratin, the same material in fingernails and hair. But the outer layer isn't a solid structure. It's actually many layers of tiny hexagonal plates, overlapping like shingles on a roof. The interior is different from the shell, made of bone. It consists of a light yet ridged foam made of little beams and membranes. And some areas of the beak are hollow." National Geographic (12/ 06)

Bill Foore, a high school biology and science teacher makes the following insightful comments concerning the preceding article: As a high school science teacher I am always reading articles like the one above, and it is always shocking to me how our society can be amazed by the "ingeniously designed" beak of the toucan and yet give credit to blind random chance for creating it. These are very intelligent scientists who look at the incredible complexity of the toucans beak and they are genuinely impressed, but they cannot give God the accolade He deserves because religion and science don't mix. So, they give no one credit by saying, "Isn't it amazing how evolution designed this?"

Can't they see that design needs a designer? The random chance of mutations cannot design anything. Second Peter 3:5 says that in the last times men will become "willingly ignorant" which means "stupid on purpose." So when you look at something from nature that is truly amazing, remember to give the Designer the credit.