Today’s Scripture: And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:21

Have you ever been walking through the woods and heard a woodpecker beating it’s head against a dead tree? It’s quiet one second and, suddenly, sound echoes around the woods like a machine gunner is emptying 500 rounds. Have you ever seen the size of the holes they bore into dead trees? Have you ever wondered how the impact of drilling into a dead tree with their beak affects their brain? Why don’t they get a concussion, become unconscious and fall off the tree?

A Forbes article points out that woodpeckers hit their beaks against trees at 15 miles an hour, 20 times per second about 12,000 times a day. Physicists say that, for the bird, that’s the same as going from 26,000 miles per hour to a complete stop every second. The bird’s head withstands 1,200 times the force of earth’s gravity!

The upper and lower beaks on woodpeckers differ slightly in length and density. The upper, longer beak changes shape on impact just before the lower, stronger beak hits. This re-directs 99% of the impact away from the brain and into the body. The woodpecker has a small brain cavity that’s broader in the front, spreading out the force of the impact into the greatest possible area. Also, the woodpecker’s tongue splits into two and wraps around its skull. One writer says, “Every time the beak strikes a tree, the tongue tightens against the jugular vein, restricting how much blood can flow out of the brain. This mechanism momentarily increases the cushion of blood stored between the brain and skull.”

So, the question becomes, “How did woodpeckers eat while they were evolving these amazing characteristics?”

The answer is simple: God created them on the fifth day of creation. As always, God’s Word contains the answers.

Despite man’s sin and the resulting fall that damaged much of creation, abundant evidence of God’s handiwork still surrounds us. Evolution provides wholly inadequate explanations for marvels we take for granted every day. God has a great imagination. Let’s remain aware of the miracles that surround us every day and keep a thankful attitude for our Creator’s goodness and power.

Devotional by Pastor Neal Dearyan