Venturesome Reptiles, by Cled E. Wallace

The Austin American has a regular feature known as “The Answer Box” conducted by Frederic J. Haskin. Strange questions and sometimes stranger answers find their way into his column. Here is an instance that caught my eye:

“Q. If birds are descended from reptiles, how did they learn to fly?”

“A. Ages ago some of the more venturesome reptiles would climb trees but when they tried to come down again they sometimes fell and were killed. Soon others discovered that if they spread out their appendages they could volplane down with safety. So their appendages developed into wings.”

It is as simple as that! Since science deals in facts and not fancy, it would be out of place to ask the gentleman to supply any of the details accompanying this marvelous transmutation of reptiles into birds. We are not supposed to question the fact that a lizard can become a bird by jumping out of trees with his tail and legs spread out, if he has “ages” enough to practice in. All you have to do is to look at a lizard, gaze at a bird, jump out of a tree at a conclusion and if you escape a mental concussion you have arrived at an assured result. You must not exercise any faith for that would be unscientific! Nothing counts but facts. This is possibly the best that men can do who start out by rejecting revelation. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” is a very satisfactory place to begin. He “made the world and all things therein, he, being Lord of heaven and earth” explains more things to the man of faith than venturesome reptiles falling out of trees.

Speaking of facts, here is one it will do well to ponder. It is the business of science to discover and deal with realities and study their relations. He should stick to the facts in his field of study and research. When a scientist turns from his facts and begins to theorize about origins and guess about beginnings, he spreads out his appendages and changes into a philosopher a lot quicker than a reptile can change into a bird by jumping out of trees. Philosophy has never been able to discover God because its limitations are too great. “The world through its wisdom knew not God.” “The Lord knoweth the reasonings of the wise, that they are vain.”

The world is greatly indebted to men of science for their study and application of the facts and laws of nature for human betterment. The cause of true religion has suffered great harm when they turned from their facts and soared into the field of vain speculation.

Bible Banner, Vol. 4, No. 11, p. 1b, June 1942

Back to Bulletin Fodder