The Secret Beyond Matter

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Living Things in Competition with Chemical Engineers

When you want information about medicines, you go to a pharmacist who has been trained in that field. He will have considerable professional experience, know all about what various medicines contain, their purposes and side effects. Yet not even an expert on chemical compounds can tell what beneficial substances a plant may contain, by simply looking at it. How, for example, can anyone look at a foxglove and say "There is a substance in this, digitalis, that can be used as an antidote to the heart problems"? One must either ask others who possess the requisite knowledge and experience, or else one must carry out research and experiments by oneself.

Mere guessing could be exceedingly dangerous. For example, anyone bitten by a poisonous snake needs to be treated at once. In such serious situations, when a moment's delay may result in death, one clearly, cannot resort to guesswork or trial and error.

Humans cannot carry out this difficult procedure without conducting experiments, but a great many living things have been doing this "naturally" for millions of years. For example, the Bezoar goats—which we'll examine in greater detail later on—can neutralize snake venom. For a creature devoid of reason to know instantly what substance a plant contains, to correctly decide what purpose it serves, to know under what circumstances it should be used —and, furthermore, for all members of the species to share that knowledge— proves one single truth:

There is a power which governs that creature, inspires the necessary knowledge in it, and rules its behavior. This power belongs to Almighty God.

The Chemical Knowledge of Bezoar Goats

The Bezoar goat can climb up sheer rock faces. The bottoms of its hooves are rough, and the soft pads under its feet let it move with great agility. The name Bezoar actually stems from a Farsi word meaning medicine, and these goats are experts at treating themselves— thanks to this species' astonishing knowledge of chemistry.

When a Bezoar goat is bitten by a snake, immediately it begins eating one of the species of Euphorbia which grow around.

This is a most astonishing behavior, because these plants contain euphorbon, a substance that neutralizes the venom in the goat's blood system.3

What allows these goats, who do not even touch Euphorbia in their day-to-day grazing, to use these plants as a medicinal treatment? How do they know that they need this plant because the chemicals in the plant are an effective antidote against snake venom?

It's impossible for them to find the one plant effective against snake venom by trial and error. A goat starting to test all the hundreds of kinds of plants growing around will have no time to try more than a few. Even if it is successful once, the goat will still have to make the same correct decision in the future, every time it is bitten. For the moment, let's assume that a single goat does manage to do this. Yet all its members need to display this behavior in order for the entire species not to become extinct.

Therefore, the first successful goat has to pass on its experience to others. But it is not possible for a living thing to pass on the acquired traits to succeeding generations. To use an analogy; imagine someone who graduates from university with honors. None of the knowledge he's gained or efforts he's put in will be of any use to his children or grandchildren. Any knowledge or behavior that the individual acquires will die with that individual. It's not possible for "know-how" to be injected into the genes of a living thing so that it may pass on its experience to subsequent generations. Every generation has to re-acquire the same information, directly right from scratch.

Deep consideration of examples like these is enough to show that living things' behavior cannot come about by chance. Through being inspired and taught by God, living things acquire all the knowledge they need. God leaves no living thing unguided and at the mercy of so-called chance. In one verse of the Qur'an, God reveals that He has complete control of and dominion over living things:

I have put my trust in God, my Lord and your Lord. There is no creature He does not hold by the forelock. My Lord is on a straight path. (Surah Hud: 56)

"Among His signs is the creation of the heavens
and Earth and all the creatures He has spread about in them.
And He has the power to gather them together whenever He wills."
(Surat ash-Shura: 29)

Can Ants Build an Acid Factory?

(FA). Formic Acid

Glands in ants' bodies produce formic acid (H2CO2) 4 Ants regularly spread this chemical substance, with its antibiotic properties, over their bodies, thus preventing bacteria and fungi from growing on themselves and in their nest.

That ants secrete this "disinfectant" acid in their own bodies and know how to use it is astonishing. Even more amazing, however, is that other creatures are also aware of their ability.

Some species of bird also use this acid in ants. Though unable to secrete chemical substances themselves, they frequently visit anthills and let the ants crawl among their feathers, leaving behind the formic acid they produce—and thus ridding themselves of all their parasites.

How does the ant know that formic acid is effective against fungi—let alone the chemical formula for that acid? How is it that the ant comes to no harm, while producing such a dangerous acid in its body? Moreover, how do birds know that they can use ants' formic acid to get rid of parasites?

First, we need to question how this chemical substance came into being. It is totally impossible for any chemical substance that serves a specific purpose to arise by chance. Any error in the synthesis of formic acid will mean that it loses its antibiotic properties, and run the risk of harmful, poisonous substances being created.

That being so, it's most illogical to maintain that the ant synthesized this substance on its own, or that the ant's body produces it by chance. Leaving that aside, let's assume that formic acid's formula emerged fully and complete. But this still changes nothing, because there must be not only a system to produce the acid in the ant's body, but also some system to protect the ant and keep the acid from doing it any harm. This clearly reveals that, contrary to what evolutionists would have us believe, the ant's glands could not have developed in stages.

None of these creatures can carry out these procedures on their own. The fact is that ants emerged suddenly, together with all their characteristics. God, the Omniscient, created formic acid, the glands to produce it, at the same time He created ants themselves.

It is also God Who inspires birds to visit ants' nests to make use of their formic acid. God knows the needs of all living things and creates the means with which they can be met. In one verse, it is revealed that God surrounds and pervades all:

It is God Who created the seven heavens and of the Earth the same number, the Command descending down through all of them, so that you might know that God has power over all things and that God encompasses all things in His knowledge. (Surat at-Talaq: 12)

1. A bird making use of the formic acid in ants.
2. Below, a plant that manufactures chemical substances.
3. Some ants use formic acid as a weapon against their enemies. The inset picture shows two ants spraying formic acid at each other.

Chemical Communication Among Insects: Pheromones

Even if they travel great distances away, ants never fail to find their way back to their nests, nor bees the way to their hives. When danger threatens some insect larvae, they immediately come together for protection. At mating time, male and female insects of all species can easily find each other, even at considerable distances. These forms of behavior all take place thanks to communication between individuals.

To communicate, many creatures use signals of one kind or another. The ones used by insects are known as pheromones¸ chemical substances used among members of the same species. They are generally produced in special glands and emitted into the surrounding area, causing changes in insect behavior.

The word itself means "hormone bearers." Indeed, pheromones were once regarded as the equivalent of hormones. Like hormones, they are emitted in small quantities (albeit outside the body) and are responsible for performing a vital function. Pheromones are generally unique to a particular species. There are also some that perform very different functions and in different combinations. Pheromones have a high level of dispersal, and can have an effect from a distance as much as 7-8 km (4-5 miles), with such factors as distance, heat, wind and humidity reducing or increasing their effects.

Pheromones are used for such purposes as sign-leaving, sounding an alarm, gathering members together, for the raising of queens among communal insects, or to control the development of sexual maturity. There are also sex pheromones that work by means of scent.

When reading about animals that communicate through pheromones, one very important point needs to be kept in mind: Every species has its own individual formula, and the chemical substances each contains are all different. The creature that emits the "communicating" substance and the one that receives the "message" are both aware of this formula. Moreover, as you'll see in the following pages, some creatures also decipher and imitate the formulas belonging to other species.

Left: Smell whatever perfume you use, then deduce what substances it contains. Then try and produce every one of these substances and make a perfume with the exact same smell, of the exact same quality. Unless you have special training in this area, or receive help from experts in the field, you'll of course be unable to do so. The insects that use pheromones to communicate may manufacture them, because God inspires them to do so.

Right: Rhagoletis cerasi

Communication by Pheromones

Pheromone communication is most generally found among animals that live communally, such as bees, ants and termites. The chemical traces may be left wherever the insects move— on trees, branches, leaves and fruit. Flying insects deposit traces in the air that need to be constantly renewed. Sex pheromones that work by means of scent form part of this group.

Thanks to insects' small sizes and their ability to fly and move quickly, they are able to move over wide areas—-which at first sight might pose an obstacle to mating. This is resolved, however, by pheromones.

Left: Ants use pheromones for communication. The first individual to leave the nest deposits the scent at specific intervals. Later ants that follow are easily able to follow that trail. The detection of the chemical trail left by one member happens by means of the sense of taste or smell.

Right: Bagworm moth and its bag

Sex pheromones allow male and female insects to find one another by means of scent. For example, in one butterfly species of the Lymantriidae family, the male's powerful antennae detect the attractive scent given off by the rearmost part of the female's body. The male can detect this scent from as far away as 8 km (5 miles), and any other smell cannot mask or suppress it. Attracted by the female's scent alone, the male finds her, and mating then takes place.5

Another striking example of communication through pheromones is found among cherry fruit flies (Rhagoletis cerasi). After laying its eggs on the fruit of the cherry tree, the female fly protects them by depositing on the fruit a pheromone secreted by its body. Other female flies detect the pheromone, receive the message, and immediately fly off in search of another cherry tree in which to lay their eggs.6

Left: Barred Sulphur butterfly

Without pheromones, it would be impossible for bagworm moths to survive. The larval stage of this species makes a kind of camouflage bag to protect itself from predators. In making its sac, the larva uses such materials as leaves and twigs from whatever plant it lives on. Bagworm moths never leave their sacs, not even when feeding. When the females pupate and reach adulthood, they still cannot leave, since they have neither wings nor legs.

Lo moth

Mating also takes place inside this cocoon, thanks to a special pheromone the female gives off. When ready to mate, she emits a chemical substance that softens and loosens her cocoon, to facilitate the male moth' s entry. Detecting the pheromone given off by the female, he opens a small hole in the softened cocoon and mates with the female he has never seen. The female then lays her eggs inside the cocoon. To close up the opening made by the male, she produces another substance in her body, and dies shortly thereafter. When her caterpillars hatch, they tear apart the sac and continue their development by spinning new ones. 7

These creatures enjoy complete success in what they do. They can detect and immediately recognize the scent of their own species, even from several kilometers away. Even with modern technology, it is impossible for any human being or machine to detect a scent from that distance. Nevertheless, insects only 1 to 2 cm (0.4 to 0.8 inch) long can use special receptors in their bodies to detect smells. God has created these animals with their perfect systems. God, Who creates incomparably, is all-powerful.

The Barred Sulphur butterfly, with striking patterns on its wings, is one of the most common species in Florida. Through the edges of the top part of the males' front wings passes a black line that is absent in females. The male has scent scales in this black line, which exude a special perfume to attract the females to where he is.8

On the head of the male lo moth are hair-like sensors, the source of the moth's perfect scent recognition ability that lets it locate a mate from up to 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) away.9

The General Characteristics of Pheromones

In some insect species, sex hormones are released at specific times of day. For instance, Sporganothis pilleriana butterflies always release their sex pheromones between 11:00 AM and 4:00 PM. The female honeybee, Apis mellifera, releases her sex pheromone throughout the course of her life. After she mates, this pheromone prevents the bees from raising a new queen, which would otherwise lead to chaos in the hive.

Among insects that live communally, pheromones also assist with food distribution and also the defense of the colony. These pheromones let colony members recognize each other and refuse admittance to strangers who lack that distinctive scent.

For example, sweet bees of the species Halictidae maintain the cohesion of the colony thanks to their own unique pheromone. The bees cover the earthern part of the entrance to their nest and the main nest's upper sections with a special secretion. This consists of a chemical compound known as macrocyclic lactone. Every member of the colony has its own lactone mixture, giving it a kind of chemical fingerprint.

The colony's worker bees leave their own secretions at the entrance to the nest and in the upper tunnel regions. The lactone mixtures of all the colony members mingle together, thus giving the entrance a unique smell. This is important because in regions where these bees live, hundreds of nests are found very close to one another. This scent at the nest's entrance lets returning workers recognize their own abode out of hundreds. Moreover, this scent allows sentry bees guarding the hive's entrance to recognize their fellows. As we have seen, these tiny bees have a capacity for scent recognition and distinction far beyond that of any human nose.10

Imitation Pheromones

Startlingly, some living things are able to imitate the pheromones used by others! For instance, some plants make use of insects' sensitivity to pheromones and produce similar substances to deceive them.

The male Polyphemus moth has wide, hairy antennae so sensitive that it can detect the scent of a female moth from several kilometers away. Indeed, even if the female only emits 1 millionth of a gram an hour, males still have no difficulty in detecting it. The moth's scent detection sense is so effective thanks to the presence of some 17,000 tiny hairs on each antenna. Each tiny hair, in turn, has thousands of scent-detecting pores, raising the moths' sensitivity to exceedingly high levels.

How did the moths come by this flawless scent-detecting ability?

How did this structure in the tiny moth's body, with its 17,000 hairs and the thousands of pores on each hair, come into being?

It is impossible for an insect to have produced such a highly developed system by chance. Anyone will immediately see the illogical nature of such a claim. God created the moths together with their matchless characteristics.

In addition, pheromones ensure the continuation of species. The wings of Central America's "Florida Queen" butterfly bear a close resemblance in color and design to those of another species. Sometimes these two species are deceived by each others' colors when looking for mates, but males recognize females of their own species by their scents. In order to make it easier for males to detect her pheromone, the female uses her wings like a fan, wafting her scent towards a likely mate. The survival of the species is thus guaranteed.11

When Gathering Time Comes

Insects give off "gathering" pheromones when they rest, and all the individual members of the species come together. These pheromones allow insects such as bees, ants and termites to live together.

Among shelled insects of species Ipidae and Scolytidae, individuals fortunate enough to find a tree trunk suited to feeding and egg-laying secrete off a pheromone, causing all the members of the colony to gather together.12

Fire ants drag their stings along behind them, leaving a scent trail for the members of the colony to follow. J. H. Tumlinson, at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Research Service Laboratories in Gainesville, Florida, estimated that 1 milligram of this substance could lead a column of ants around the world three times! 13

Left: Some pheromone formulas

Right: Many insects use chemical substances known as pheromones in order to communicate. Every insect recognizes the pheromone of its own species and acts on the message communicated by it. However, insects have no laboratory, and none receives training in chemical engineering. Yet still they know the meaning of these secretions, because Almighty God has created them together with the systems necessary for analyzing these pheromones.

Considering this precise effect that pheromones have, one can immediately see just how important they are for insects. Particularly in times of danger, the slightest defect in this communications system could have devastating consequences. The pheromones given off at such times sound the alarm through the entire colony.

Alarm pheromones, which evaporate and have short-lived effects, are the same in many species. When danger approaches, ants emit pheromones from glands in the hind parts of their bodies, bees from glands in their stings, and other insects from glands in their mouth parts. Ants emit the alarm pheromone in order to muster together for attack purposes. The pheromone's scent brings the members of the colony together and allows many individuals to take part in a united defense.

For example, when some species of leaf mite are attacked by larger insects, they give off an alarm pheromone that warns other individuals feeding nearby to move away. Leaf mites detect these chemical secretions through special sensors on their antennae.

When termites discover a split in the mound they've constructed, they emit a scent that sounds the alarm and calls other termites to repair the fissure and defend the nest against attack.

The striking common feature in all this is that these living things all recognize the chemical formulae of their species' own pheromones and act in accordance with the commands issued by them. How can an insect manage to distinguish between chemical substances and decode them? First, they need to know—or in other words, analyze—what the secretion contains. To perform that analysis, they need a well-equipped laboratory, as well as the requisite knowledge, of course. Insects have neither advanced laboratories nor any other technical equipment, yet still they carry out successful analyses and fully understand and adhere to the messages the pheromones convey.

A human being would need training and considerable experience as a chemical engineer in order to do this. Insects need neither training nor experience to understand what their secretions mean, since they possess this knowledge from birth. They never confuse their species' own secretions of with those of others (except from those taken in by imitations), because Almighty God has created them together with the system necessary to identify that certain pheromone.

In the Qur'an, God draws attention to what He has created in the heavens and on the Earth, and reveals:

How many signs there are in the heavens and Earth! Yet they pass them by, turning away from them. Most of them do not believe in God without associating others with Him. (Surah Yusuf: 105-106)

An Important Source: Diatoms

Diatoms are microscopic plant algae. Up to 10,000 of these living things, the largest of which is only 1 mm in diameter, can be found in 1 cubic centimeter of sea water. Not all diatoms live in water, however. Some live in soil, on the moss clinging to trees, and even on walls where there is sufficient moisture. These golden yellowy-brown algae can be found wherever there is light, heat, water, carbon dioxide and sufficient nutriments.

In a sense, land-dwelling creatures, including humans, owe their lives to diatoms. A large percentage of the oxygen we breathe is produced by diatoms, via photosynthesis. On diatoms, a large number of pores allow nutriments to enter and also allow exchange of gases. Diatoms work like micro-factories to produce oxygen. At the end of these gas exchanges, trillions of diatoms produce more oxygen than they need and make a vital contribution to the levels of oxygen in the atmosphere.

They also play a most important role in the marine food chain, since diatoms are the basic food source for the tiny creatures that constitute animal plankton. These, in turn, serve as food for larger animals, such as herring. Such enormous creatures as the humpbacked whale feed on nothing but diatoms. It takes a meal of hundreds of billions of diatoms to satisfy a humpbacked whale for only a few hours.

Diatoms' most impressive characteristic is the shells they build for themselves. Flawless architects, they make themselves homes out of opal (organic glass) in the sea. Some of these structures resemble a shining pine cone or a spiral, or a glittering chandelier. Interestingly, although there are more than 25,000 different species of diatom, their shells are all different. Just as with snowflakes, every single diatom species has a different appearance.

Diatoms produce their shells by converting the silicon dissolved in water into silica, which resembles the precious stone opal. The glass-like shells that emerge as a result of this transformation display unimaginable variety and perfect architecture. The pores that let nutriments to enter and gasses to be exchanged make this structure even more fragile. Now, imagine an architect with very superior design abilities, but with either insufficient knowledge of materials, or else a lack of the necessary materials to create an architectural design. Clearly, design ability on its own can serve no purpose. Yet diatoms behave like architects with an incomparable design ability and also carry out, within their tiny bodies, a number of chemical adjustments to produce perfect structures.

Diatoms are microscopically small, the size of a pinhead and have no brain or nervous system. They produce beautiful shells, as if they had been trained in chemistry or architecture, which cannot be the work of chance. Moreover, all diatoms use the same materials to produce shells of completely different appearance, but all equally perfect. Their perfect architecture and infinite variety are of course manifestations of God's incomparable creative artistry.

Diatoms perform a great many vital functions, from the production of oxygen to providing the basic food for many living things. These microscopic living things, created by God to be indispensable for life, in their deaths help form petrol, a most important source of energy for human beings.

Delicate Planning

The most impressive moments that scientists studying diatoms can witness are those involving reproduction. First, the diatom's medicine phial-like shell divides in two. The diatom's nucleus then splits in two, with each half entering a half shell. The demi- diatoms then set about completing their missing halves. The next-generation diatoms consisting of half cells are slightly smaller, and as they divide more times, these decrease in size still further.

Diatoms multiply very rapidly, some in just eight or even four hours. That means that in 10 days, just one diatom can form up to 1 billion offspring. Since diatoms are one of the world's most important sources of oxygen, there is no doubt that this is most essential planning. If they did not multiply so rapidly, the total quantity of oxygen produced would remain limited, and this ability of diatoms would be relatively meaningless.

In even the smallest factory, planning is necessary to regulate the speed and level of production. Otherwise the factory will either produce too much or too little, and will eventually be unable to create new sources for production. For that reason, universities give courses in production organization and planning.

But how do diatoms carry out planning? Can they possibly know how many they need to be in order to meet the world's oxygen needs, and how fast they need to multiply? Diatoms themselves cannot attain the knowledge that human beings can manage only after long, specialized training.

There is One possessed of will Who inspires in diatoms the necessary speed of reproduction and method to meet the oxygen needs of other living things. The possessor of that will is our Lord, the Lord of all, the omnipotent, Who guides all living things and inspires their actions in them.

The Ideal Raw Material Created for Human Use

Diatomite results from the fossilization of diatoms, which—with its light and porous structure—is ideal for filtering. This structure permits diatoms to be used for very different ends in the space industry, and in the manufacture of insecticides and paint filler.

Diatoms' own nutriments are also important to human beings. These living things conceal within their cells nutriments in the form of tiny globules of fat produced thanks to photosynthesis. After diatoms die and sink to the bottom of the sea, these tiny particles gradually combine and, under the influence of geological and biological forces, give rise to the formation of oil deposits. Most of the petrol we use today was formed by diatoms that died in prehistoric seas.14

The bottom of a 30 million square kilometer area of the North Pacific and Antarctic Sea is covered with layers of dead diatoms that slowly fossilize and form diatomites, which are used for industrial purposes. With their light weight and pores, diatomites possess an ideal filtering structure. Due to that feature, in the same way that they can be employed in the space industry they can also be used for other different purposes, from the production of insecticides to paint filler.

Though most people are unaware of the existence of diatoms and the purposes for which they can be used, that doesn't diminish their vital importance. Diatoms are living things specially created to play a major role in the maintenance of a number of balances on Earth.

The way these living things employ special chemical processes to produce shells of perfect beauty and architecture is one of the blessings created by God for mankind. Characteristics of living things such as these, familiar and unfamiliar alike, let us better comprehend the infinite might of God. In one verse, He reveals:

It is He Who created everything on the Earth for you … (Surat al-Baqara: 29)

Multi-Disicplinary Experts: Koala Bears

The Australian koalas, among the best known marsupials, spend a great deal of their lives in the branches of eucalyptus trees.

The koala's physical design possesses all the features to let it live comfortably in the trees. For example, its arms and claws allow it to climb broad eucalyptus trees with ease, and on its hands, the first two fingers are separated from the other three. If we compare them to our own hands, we can say that in effect koalas have two thumbs. The large toes on their hind legs are also separate from the others, but like them, possess sharp claws. These large toes, different from the others, allow the marsupial to climb along smaller branches.

Like hooks, the koala's claws sink into the soft, smooth eucalyptus trunk, allowing the animal to climb. Its four feet cling onto the branches, in the same way that we would hold a broom handle, and again allow it to climb upwards.

Another feature that allows koalas to live comfortably in eucalyptus trees is the special design of their stomachs. Eucalyptus leaves are poisonous, though the koala bear's special stomach lets it feed on them. The tree also provides the koala's needs for water. In doing all this, the koala makes use of medical science on the one hand and the biochemical factory in its body on the other.

Let us consider the koala's attributes in order:

1. Small intestine,

2. colon
3. Esophagus

4. Stomach
5. Duodenum

6. Cecum
7. Rectum

The Koala's Medical Knowledge

There are more than 600 species of eucalyptus in Australia, but koalas make use of only 35 of these. For the koala bear, the eucalyptus is not just a shelter, but an important food source. It's no exaggeration to say that the eucalyptus is actually its sole food, which also serve the koala as medicine.

Eucalyptus leaves possess a number of medicinal properties. They contain enteric oil, a chemical that is deadly to a great many animals. Yet the koala's liver is capable of neutralizing this oil, which is also the source of the koala's characteristic smell.

Some of the oil, which spreads over the whole body mixes with the air, and some enters into the body, causing parasitic insects to drop out of the animal's fur.

The harmony between the koala and the eucalyptus does not end there, since thanks to the eucalyptus leaves, the koala also regulates its body temperature.

The chemical substances in eucalyptus leaves vary from tree to tree. Indeed, two different types of leaf can be found on just one tree. Yet just as if it had received medical training, the koala selects those leaves it needs from among the hundreds on the branches. If its body temperature is low, and the animal feels cold, then it chews leaves containing the oil phellandrene. Similarly, if the koala is running a temperature, it chews leaves which contain a high level of cineol and thus cools its body down. Other oils in eucalyptus leaves reduce the koala's blood pressure and allow its muscles to recuperate.15

All these forms of behavior require expert knowledge. How does the koala know which species of eucalyptus contain the substances it needs?

No human being can know what substances a leaf contains simply by looking at it. But the koala does not only recognize different eucalyptus leaves, but also knows how to use them.

Even assuming that we can somehow know what substances the leaves contain, we cannot know what they can be used for without undergoing training or reading a treatise on the subject. Trial and error will be a rather dangerous procedure, since the leaves contain poisonous substances.

This means that the koala must not only identify the contents of the leaves, but also has to design a mechanism to neutralize their harmful effects. It must then somehow produce that mechanism in its own body, or it will die. That totally eliminates the irrational possibility that it does this by means of trial and error.

For any koala bear to survive, it must have come into being with its existing bodily structure; otherwise it will die. These conclusions are clear proofs that koalas came into existence with all these features already functional. There is clearly no room for evolutionary scenarios that have nothing to do with the scientific facts or with reason and logic. As will be considered in more detail later on, these creatures' body structure is the product of a perfect creation.

God has created the koala with features that let it use eucalyptus leaves in various ways. God possesses all forms of knowledge. Our Lord has ordained where the animal would be brought into being, along with its abilities, its appearance, and a great many other details.

God's creative artistry is flawless and matchless. In the Qur'an it is revealed:

That is the Knower of the unseen and the visible, the Almighty, the Most Merciful. He Who has created all things in the best possible way. He commenced the creation of man from clay. (Surat as-Sajda: 6-7)

The two inner toes on the koala bear's front paws and the two inner toes on its back paws form a specific angle with its remaining other toes, just like our own thumbs do with our fingers. This perfectly designed structure makes the koala such a good tree climber. It's of course no coincidence that these attributes should be found in the koala, since they're the result of God's perfect creation.

Only doctors who are expert in this particular field can decide on the kind of treatment methods employed by koalas. No-one without special knowledge on the subject can even have any idea about it, let alone tell what subtances are present in a tree nor which sicknesses they can be used to treat, just by looking. Koalas have the ability to take such decisions, totally impossible for us, from the moment they are born. God, the Lord of All, teaches koalas this.

A Miniature Biochemical Factory

Eucalyptus leaves contain high levels of fiber, low levels of protein, and strong-smelling oils, phenolic compounds, and cyanide, which is inedible and even lethal to many mammals. These substances lose their poisonous effects in the koala's body, because it possesses a digestive system with a very special anatomy and physiology.

Like other herbivorous mammals, the koala is unable to digest cellulose—the main component of eucalyptus leaves—on its own. That process is carried out for it by micro-organisms that can digest cellulose and live in the animal's cecum.

The koala's cecum opens onto the large intestine and is so large that it represents 20% of the total length of the intestines. Between 1.8 and 2.5 meters (6-8 feet) long, the cecum is the most interesting part of the koala's digestive system. There, the leaves' passage through the digestive system is delayed, and micro-organisms in the cecum go into action and make the cellulose usable by the koala. In that sense, the koala's cecum can be likened to a biochemical factory. As that factory processes the cellulose, oils and harmful substances (phenol compounds) are filtered and rendered harmless in yet another factory—the liver.

Since eucalyptus leaves are koalas' only food, all of the animal's carbohydrate needs are met by the digestion of cellulose by micro-organisms. Clearly, the koala could not live without them. Therefore, these two life forms must have come into being at the same time. This is proof that a single Creator created both koala bears and micro-organisms; that God created them both in mutual harmony.

God knows all the needs of all the entities He creates, and creates them complete. Examples like these show us the infinite might of God. One verse reports that people using their reason will be able to grasp this truth:

The Lord of the East and the West and everything between them if you used your intellect. (Surat ash-Shu'ara': 28)

The Koala and its Water Balance

In the language of the Australian natives, the word koala means non-water drinking, since koala bears do not drink water. The reason is that koalas derive all their water from eucalyptus leaves they eat.

The free water content of eucalyptus leaves varies between 40% and 60%, but never drops below 40%, allowing the koalas with sufficient quantities of water.

But it's not enough for the eucalyptus leaves to contain large amounts of water. It's also vital that the koala's bodily system be able to make use of them. The koala possesses an utterly flawlessly created water-loss control system.

Water loss in koalas is regulated by the kidneys, but of greater importance is the water-retaining features of the koala's digestive system, which ensures that the koala's body expels only a small portion of the water it takes in.16

Thanks to its digestive system's water-retentive ability, the koala can easily assimilate eucalyptus leaves that, individually, contain low levels of water, but are present in large numbers. If the koala's digestive system did not possess this feature, the animal would have to descend to the ground regularly to look for water—very dangerous for a creature ill-adapted to living on the ground. Yet thanks to this special feature of its body, it never has to face that danger.

The Koala's Protective Fur

The main element that determines the koala's body temperature is its fur, which can attain a density of up to around 55 hairs per cubic millimeter and has been created with perfect heat-retention properties.

The animal's back hair covers some 77% of the surface of its body, and has the highest insulation properties.

The stomach fur, covering 13% of the body surface, is only half as dense.

The length of the koala's fur varies according to the seasons. In summer, there is a greater difference between the long and short hairs.

The back fur being thicker than that on the stomach means that the koala can collect the heat from the sun and insulate itself. Although the stomach hairs are sparse, the animal can regulate the decree of insulation by causing these hairs to stand on end.

On windy days, the koalas in the trees simply turn their backs to the wind as it gains in intensity. More and more, they transform into something resembling a soft, furry ball. As the wind blows harder they also turn their ears forward, so that no open areas are exposed. The wind has little effect on this thick, mattress-like back fur, so that when the wind blows hard, the body can maintain its temperature unchanged. Even on cold days and in strong winds, the reduction in the fur's heat retention capacity is less than 14%. Even in the strongest winds, fur provides perfect heat retention for a tree-dwelling animal.

The koala also regulates the speed of its metabolism to compliment the heat regulation its fur performs. The koala's metabolism is rather slow—only 74% of that of other placental animals, and one of the reasons why the animal experiences a low level of water loss.17

To recapitulate the features possessed by koalas:

  • Their body structure lets them climb trees and live there comfortably.
  • The special structure of their digestive systems let them obtain sufficient food and water from the plentiful eucalyptus leaves on the trees where they live.
  • Their physiological system eliminates the poisonous effects of the oils in the leaves.
  • They use certain eucalyptus leaves as drugs to rectify various imbalances in their bodies.
  • Their physiologies let them make maximum use of the the leaves' water content.

All of these properties are essential for the animal to be able to live in the trees. Could these properties have come into existence by chance, and one by one? Of course not! It is Almighty God Who created the koala with all its flawless characteristics. To all the creatures He has created, God gives features such as these to demonstrate His infinite mercy and compassion.



3. "Iste Doga" (This is Nature), Bilim ve Teknik (Science and Technology Magazine), TUBITAK, January 1992, no. 25, vol.290, p. 49.

4. "Fighting an enemy until the enemy dies;"


5. "Feromonlar" (Pheromones), Bilim ve Teknik (Science and Technology Magazine), Zuhal Ozer, TUBITAK, August 1996, p. 45.

6. "Feromonlar" (Pheromones), Bilim ve Teknik, p.45.

7. "Bagworms on Landscape Plants", M.F. Potter and L.H. Townsend,

8. Thomas C. Emmel, Brian Ph. Kenney (Editor), Florida's Fabulous Butterflies & Moths (Florida's Fabulous Series vol. 2), p. 9.

9. Ibid.,p. 76.

10 Christopher O'Toole, Anthony Raw, Bees of The World, ISBN 0-8160-1992-4, 1992, 101

11. "Feromonlar" (Pheromones), Bilim ve Teknik, p. 47.

12. Ibid.

13. "Alphabet of the Ants", James W Keefer;

jlkeefer/ants.htm; Tumlinson, J. H., R. M. Silverstein, J. C. Moser, R. G. Brownlee, and J. M. Ruth. 1971. Identification of the trail pheromone of a leaf-cutting ant, Atta texana. Nature, 234:pp. 348-349.

14. Katie Aust, "Non-renewable energy sources and their effect on the environment;"


15. "Hasta hayvanlar nasıl sifa bulur?" (How do sick animals find remedies?), Sinan Erten, Bilim ve Teknik, TUBITAK, January 1996, p.99.

16. I. D. Hume (1999), Marsupial nutrition, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press;


17. James L. Gould & Carol Grant Gould, Olagan Dısı Yasamlar, TUBITAK, 2.nd edition, Ankara: February 1997, p.140.

18. "Pacific Salmon", Denis Dreves, Creation, June-August 1996, 18:3, pp. 26-28;


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