Millions of people around the world get a kick out of watching a soccer player stop on a dime and turn in the other direction with the ball. We love to watch a basketball or football player make a cut so quickly that it leaves the defender falling to the ground. An acro-bat who can twirl one way and then another in a fraction of a second leaves us spellbound.
Speaking of “bats,” these animals’ airborne maneuvers make the greatest athletes in the world look average at best. As the only flying mammals on Earth, bats are quite unique. Depending on the species (there are about 1,300), many bats look like rodents with wings—really cool wings. A bat’s arms and long, bony fingers are covered with a thin membrane made of muscles. Whereas the wings of birds are quite stiff, bats can easily and quickly change the shape of their wings simply by moving their flexible fingers. (Remember, their hands are built into their wings. How cool is that?!) Bats’ bendable wings are remarkably designed, allowing for (what two evolutionists admit are) “complex movements of each wing stroke” in “overall flight speed, body position and angle of attack.”1
According to these two evolutionary scientists from Brown University (who have carefully studied bat flight),
“Bat wings are highly articulated, with more than two dozen independent joints and a thin flexible membrane covering them…. Birds and insects can fold and rotate their wings during flight, but bats have many more options. Their flexible skin can catch the air and generate lift or reduce drag in many different ways…. The wing’s extraordinary flexibility also allows the animals to make 180-degree turns in a distance of less than half a wingspan.”2
Bats need to be highly agile in the air since most of them (about 70%) eat flying insects, including pesky mosquitoes. (Aren’t you thankful for bats that eat irritating insects?!) For bats to pluck tiny mosquitoes from thin air, they need to be able to dash one way and then another in the blink of an eye.
What’s more, as you probably know, bats sleep upside down, often hanging from the high ceilings in caves. How does a bat go from flying right side up to an upside-down stationary position in only a fraction of a second? They “simply” flip themselves in midflight (like a talented acrobat) and quickly attach their bottom claws to the rocky cave ceiling. One bat enthusiast described the “flight-to-perch position” as performing “a high dive backwards”—as in reversing the whole process!
Speaking of “high dives,” have you ever played the game Marco Polo in a swimming pool? It’s a game of tag that is played in the water. In this game, the person who is “it” must keep his eyes closed (which makes for a very challenging game). The only way that he can detect where the other players are is by listening to what sounds he hears, including the one word that the other players are allowed to say—“Polo.” Whenever the person who is “it” says “Marco,” all other players (who are above the water) must say, “Polo.” This one word (and whatever noises are made splashing in the water) are the main clues that the “tagger” has to find the others. He can locate others only by the sounds they make.
Did you know that bats (especially the category of bats that scientists call “microbats”) navigate through the air and hunt their prey at night using similar locating methods? But they don’t merely listen for their prey—they use an extraordinary built-in guidance system called biosonar, or more popularly, echolocation (EH-koh-low-KAY-shun).
Microbats are nocturnal (meaning they sleep during the day and hunt at night). Though bats have good eyesight, seeing in complete darkness (such as in the caves where they often live) is quite difficult or just plain impossible. Thus, microbats rely heavily on their amazing built-in echolocation abilities, which allow them to map out their surroundings (in their brains) by the echoes they hear.
These bats navigate through the darkness and locate things (even moving objects, such as insects) by making high-pitched sound waves (beyond human ability to hear) that travel away from the bat, which then hit something (whether a wall, an insect, or a piece of fruit), and then bounce back to the bat. The bat then uses its perfectly designed ears (often big ears) to hear even the faintest of echoes. [NOTE: Bats do make various sounds that people can hear (such as when they are frustrated or excited), but the ultrasonic sounds bats make to echolocate things are too high of a pitch or frequency for humans to hear.]
Depending on the echo, a bat can determine all sorts of things in only a fraction of a second. It can accurately detect the size, shape, and even texture of objects. A bat’s ears, the ultrasonic sounds it makes, and its echo-sensing abilities are so well designed and effective that a bat can determine how far away something is, if that something is moving, and, if so, what direction it is going. Microbats can use echolocation to detect and eat insects as small and light as gnats—plucking them right out of the air. They can detect, seize, and eat literally thousands of tiny insects every night.
So who should we thank for these high-flying acrobats with built-in biosonar capabilities? Who gets the credit for designing an animal that helps humans greatly with pest control, as well as pollinating hundreds of different species of plants (many of which produce the fruit we eat, including bananas, avocados, and mangos)? In short, where did bats come from?
Interestingly, though atheistic evolutionists argue that bats evolved from flightless mammals tens of millions of years ago, they admit that the fossil record has no record of bat evolution. In fact, bats “just appear” in the fossil record…as bats! One evolutionist wrote several years ago,
“For use in understanding the evolution of vertebrate flight, the early record of…bats is disappointing: Their most primitive [earliest] representatives are fully transformed as capable fliers.”3 More recently, another
evolutionist wrote: “The evolution of bats is a mystery because [at one time] there are no bats and then all of [a] sudden bat fossils can be discovered all over the world.”4 He went on to say: “No transitional protobat that was halfway between a land creature and flying creature has been discovered.”5
Not only is there no trace of bat evolution in the fossil record (which further supports the biblical account of Creation), the complex, functional design of the bat demands an intelligent Designer. How could an animal as remarkable as the bat come into being without a brilliant Engineer? If there was no intelligent Designer to give the first bat its (1) jaw-dropping, fully functional flying skills, (2) its ultrasonic sound-making abilities, (3) its ultra-sensitive hearing (auditory) system, and (4) its overall navigating abilities, then how did the first bat ever get all of these complex, functional skills? Did they “just evolve” these brilliant abilities? How? The fact is, there is no reasonable answer to that question—only evolutionary fairytales. In truth, bats are a wonder of God’s creation that drive evolutionary theory “batty.”
1. “Bats in Flight Reveal Unexpected Aerodynamics” (2007), Brown University, https://www.brown.edu/Administration/News_Bureau/2006-07/06-082.html, January 18.
2. Same as above.
3. C. Sereno (1999), “The Evolution of Dinosaurs,” Science, 284:2143, June 25, emp. added. *NOTE: The word “transformed” assumes the evolution of the bat when there is actually no evidence for such “evolution” or “transformation” (from a non-flying animal to a flying one).
4. “The Evolution of Bats” (2000), Moth Light Media, June 25, in description of video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tK7g-8B-b1k.
5. Same as above, 1:03-39.
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