Tag Archives: God’s stuff

How Smart is an Octopus?

Hi, Mr. Nature here–along with a very clever octopus.

The octopus is resting inside a jar at the bottom of the aquarium, and a human comes along and screws the top onto the jar. You’d think that’d be pretty much escape-proof. But almost instantly, the octopus figures out that what he has to do is twist off the lid in the opposite direction; and in less than a minute, he gets it done. Off goes the top.

He then elects to stay in the jar a little longer. Maybe octopi have more in common with cats than we thought.

This is God’s stuff, the wonderful works of His hands. We don’t know why He made the octopus so intelligent, but you can be sure He knows. And maybe the octopus knows, too!


Bonus Video: Baby Iguanas

Aren’t they cute? Bright green baby iguanas, small enough to perch on your finger.

I had my iguana for 17 years, and this was what he was like when I got him. If you’re thinking of adopting a baby iguana–the adults tend to be set in their ways–make sure you take the time and trouble to raise it up to be a good iguana and a good pet. They’re social animals, and they will learn if someone teaches them.

Handle your baby a lot, albeit gently, let him ride on your shoulder while you’re doing something else, feed him by hand every day, and you’ll be rewarded with an adult iguana that’s calm, peaceful, friendly, and self-assured. Mine always tried to make friends with dogs: shows you where his head was at. Throughout his life, various good women (my mother, my sister, a neighbor, and my wife) somehow wound up making nice salads for him. I was able to bring him in to school when I had an art class, so the kids could draw him and give him snacks, and he was always perfectly well behaved.

It’s true for most animals: they will respond to love and care. And they will love us back, which is one of the coolest things that God has done.


‘Another Thing God Thought Of, but We Wouldn’t Have’ (2015)

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Remember Mr. Nature discoursing on the chuckwalla? Some of you may not know what a chuckwalla is; but Mr. Nature grew up on Mark Trail in the Sunday color comics, so he knows. To see the lizard in action, click the link.

https://leeduigon.com/2015/07/19/another-thing-god-thought-of-but-we-wouldnt-have/

How is it that you can actually make friends with some being as different as a lizard? Well, maybe we’re not as different as we thought: the same God made us all.


How Did Civilization Start?

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Gobekli Tepe, “Potbelly Hill”

We’ve been talking a lot, lately, about how our civilization might suddenly and shockingly collapse–like, if the people don’t obey all the commands of the government–but I think a more interesting question is how civilization ever came to be.

Supposedly we were mere hunter-gatherers for untold thousands of years. Okay. Then how did we come to invent civilization? If it’s “wired in,” why did it take so long? And if it’s not, why did it ever get started at all?

“Potbelly Hill,” in Turkey, shocked scientists with its great age, apparently some ten thousand years old, if not more. Monumental sculpture, well-constructed stone walls–all before the appropriate tools, supposedly, were invented. And then the people who used it… buried it, which preserved it from the elements and allowed us to dig it up again. We don’t know who they were, why they built it, how they built it, or why they buried it.

There are other sites almost as old–Jericho, Catal Huyuk, just to name two–where it seems civilization was well on its way to emerging from a primitive culture. We are badly hampered by a lack of inscriptions at those sites. Not that we could read them, if we had them.

The Bible teaches us that God twice overthrew civilization in our world: once by Noah’s Flood, and again by confounding their language when men tried to build a great tower reaching up to heaven. Reputable Bible Scholars Inc. tell us these are only fables, none of it ever really happened. Like they know.

But what if sites like Potbelly Hill, Jericho, and Catal Huyuk, and baffling remnants like the Dispilio Tablet and the Vinca Alphabet–both of them way too old to be writing, but there they are–what if these are not evidence of civilization emerging, but of civilization re-emerging from first destruction, then confusion? What if these are evidence of people trying to claw their way back to a way of life known to their ancestors but imperfectly remembered?

If our own civilization were utterly destroyed, how long would it take the survivors and their descendants to rebuild? How much knowledge and know-how, in the meantime, would be lost to them? And very much would depend on who survived: it isn’t everybody who knows how things work, or can explain it to others. And as the centuries roll on, so much of what people used to know gets lost. How much got lost without leaving a trace of it for us to study?

The earth is the Lord’s, and we are made in His image. We have the capacity to create a civilization. Scripture tells us we abused it and were punished for that.

As we discover older and older evidence of nameless, forgotten, extinct civilizations, is it wise to write off the Bible? Because it stores information that we, with our limited knowledge of the past, refuse to recognize as information?

Someday God will say to us, “I told you, but you wouldn’t listen.”


Now That’s Scary!

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Jambo, Mr. Nature here; and today’s safari takes us back in time and under the water for an encounter with the biggest, scariest shark that ever lived: Carcharodon megalodon–“Megalodon” for short.

The only fossils we have of this creature are its teeth. In the picture above, the white tooth is from a modern great white shark, a la Jaws. The black tooth belonged to a Megalodon. Except for the size, they’re virtually identical. Both are classified as belonging to the genus Carcharodon. So we can imagine Megalodon as a prehistoric great white shark two or three times the size of today’s 16 to 20-foot monsters.

I didn’t opt for a Youtube video because there’s so much sensationalism loaded onto Megalodon, it’s hard to get any videos that haven’t succumbed to the temptation to exaggerate. Why you would need to exaggerate the lethal potential of a 40 or 50-foot white shark is a mystery to me.

Megalodon is extinct, which is good news for anyone who wants to go to sea. Oh, there are always rumors that maybe it is not extinct, maybe a few of them survive in the deepest waters of the ocean where we can’t see them. Down there in the dark, eating whales and giant squid–anything else would probably be just a snack.

We may wonder why God ever created such a fish. Well, He had His reasons: we just don’t know them. Whatever those reasons, these gigantic teeth that still remain can leave us in awe of their Creator.

And remind us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.


‘Drinking from the Springs’ (2014)

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This really ought to be a “Memory Lane” piece, but it was written before Memory Lane came into being. The springs are still paved over, though.

https://leeduigon.com/2014/04/30/drinking-from-the-springs/

Think about it. The Lord gives us fresh, clean, cold, beautiful drinking water at no cost to us at all, gushing up out of the ground all day and night, every day and night–and what do we do with it? We pave it over!

I sometimes wonder how He can live with our ingratitude.


Small Gifts of God

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God has given us great gifts that can hardly be imagined–His only begotten Son, for starters–but He has also given us small gifts that get us through the day. I was thinking of a few of them, and being thankful for them, as I took my shower this morning.

A nice meal.

A good laugh.

The antics of a kitten or a puppy.

Remembering the taste of the black raspberries my grandpa used to grow in his back yard.

The way you feel after successfully completing a hard job of work, and knowing that you’ve done it well.

But of course we could do this all day. And that’s a gift, too. Thank you, Lord.


Mr. Nature: The Unicorn of the Sea

Jambo! Mr. Nature here, with a visit to the Arctic seas–’cause that’s where you have to go if you want to see a narwhal. They don’t survive in captivity and nobody knows what they eat in the wild.

This is a unique animal. The “horn” is really a tusk–the left front tooth, in fact. It grows straight out in a spiral, and the nerves of the tooth are… on the outside. How the whale uses the tusk is unknown. They’ve never been seen using it to fight or to capture food.

When Norse voyagers in the Middle Ages began to bring these tusks home as souvenirs, they weren’t just exotic conversation pieces. Kings and queens bought them, and paid very high prices. Magical powers were attributed to the tusks. And even today, they’re cloaked in mystery.

God’s stuff–infinite variety, endless fascination.


Mr. Nature: the World’s Largest Insect

https://sciencebob.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/titanus1.jpg

Jambo, Mr. Nature here. And today it’s bitter cold outside, so let’s mosey on down to South America and check out big bugs.

What’s the world’s largest insect? There are many contenders for that title; but I give the overall crown to the Titan Beetle, also known as the South American Longhorn Beetle, which can grow to almost seven inches long and, with its powerful jaws, bite a pencil in half. How many chances it gets to bite pencils in half, I don’t know. Just don’t offer it one of your fingers.

There are some insects that are a little longer, and a few a little heavier, but the longer ones are lighter and the heavier ones are shorter.

We have oversized beetles in the summer that bumble around in the air and repeatedly bump into the wall of our apartment building, which doesn’t seem to slow them down a bit. I wonder what it would sound like if a Titan Beetle flew full-tilt into our screen. Our cats like to chase beetles, but this one might well give them pause. I think they might wind up under the bed if they saw one.

God’s stuff–to paraphrase Shakespeare, nothing can stale its infinite variety. He was talking about Cleopatra, but we’re talking bugs.


By Request, ‘How Great Thou Art’

Erlene requested How Great Thou Art–and who doesn’t love this hymn? I chose this rendition by Burl Ives: not the greatest sound reproduction, but I couldn’t resist the video. Beautiful flowing streams like that whisper to us, “God is nigh, God created me, He created you… God is nigh.” So you may have to turn up the volume a bit.


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