Bats: The Fingerprints of Creation

In these few words we see the beginning of a boundless universe. It is He "that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in" Isaiah 40:22. We live in a wonderful day and age where we can look into the far reaches of space. With the advent of the computer age and orbiting telescopes we can travel light years from home. Modern technology allows us to make this voyage without leaving our living rooms. These celestial images are brought to us via cable and satellite TV. We have been enabled to view the beauty and majesty of the heavens in comfort.

These first words of the Bible offer hope in knowing that there is a purpose and reason for being. The first verse in Genesis tells us that we are not on an aimless journey through time and space- for it was God who created all things, not an explosion. As we gaze in wonderment at the universe one may ask; is there a God? And if so, "What is man, that thou art mindful him?" Psalm 8:4. The Holy Scriptures tell us that, "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His Eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse" Romans 1:20. God has revealed Himself to us through His creation and His written word. The fact that He revealed Himselfto us tells us that He is mindful of us, and that He cares.

The psalmist writes "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handywork" Psalm 19:1. As our eyes are drawn to the night skies in wonder and amazement not only do we see the celestial bodies but also, in our own sphere of dwelling, His handiwork. When we look into the firmament we see evidence of intelligent design in the mysterious winged creatures known as the bats. And on these bats we see the fingerprints of the One who created them "In the beginning".

"And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of the heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, with which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day." Genesis 1:20-21,23

It is my intention to look at the bats from the biblical creation point of view. It is clear that bats confirm the literal interpretation of the creation account in Genesis. On the fifth day of creation we are told that the fish and the birds were created. Although the bible doesn't mention other flying creatures on the fifth day, it is my view that all flying creatures were created on this day. Many creation scientists share this view. On this day would occur the creation of flying insects such as moths, gnats and butterflies. We would see creation of songbirds and the birds of prey. Included on this day would be the creation of flying dinosaurs such as pterodactyls. And we would see the creation of the one true flying mammal, the bat.

Today there are nearly one thousand species of bats around the world belonging to the order of Chiroptera. Chiroptera means, "hand-winged". There are two suborders or two main classes of bats, Megachiroptera (frugivorous) and Microchiroptera (insectivorous). These make up one quarter of all mammals on earth, second only to Rodentia.

Approximately eighty percent of bats worldwide are insectivorous while nearly twenty percent are frugivorous but only one percent is carnivorous. The suborder Megachiroptera consists of one family, Pteropodidae, these are all fruit and nectar eaters. Two species within the Megachiroptera, belonging to Pteropodidae Rousettus,has the ability to echolocate. These are the only species of Old World fruit bats that can echolocate.

Among the suborder Microchiroptera arethe insectivorous bats, which make up most of the bat populations worldwide. Within this suborder are carnivorous bats that eat fish, lizards, birds and other bats. Also found among the suborder Microchiroptera are fruit and nectar eaters.

The question is, can we account for all of the varieties of bat species on day five of creation week? I would doubt very much that all of the sub species of bats were present in the beginning. But certainly, it is reasonable to speculate that more than one parent species were created.

Today we see a very wide variety of bats from frugivorous to insectivorous and carnivorous bats. One species, Antrozous pallidus, will prey on scorpions. And bats range in size from that of a bumblebee up to the great flying fox which has a wing- span of six feet.

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