Rational Faith
Bat Flight -
Evidence of Design Surprises Researchers

Bat flight -a sophisticated flip to landing made possible by a neronal compass and sophisticated geometry
Evidence of a sophisticated navigation system in bats is evidence of Intelligent Design
A bat performing a complex flip to land maneuver navigates with a system based on a sophisticated geometric shape.  

The website of the prestigious science magazine Nature recently published an article titled:

'Bat-nav' system enables three-dimensional manoeuvres 1
Study reveals surprising neural code based on bagel-shaped coordinate system.

The article states that bats are able to navigate because their brains function as a sophisticated compass, programmed with a complex geometrical shape (a torus - a figure similar in shape to a bagel).  In their words:

"The brains of bats have a neuronal 'compass' that enables them to navigate in three dimensions.

The discovery, published in Nature2 on 3 December, explains the long-standing mystery of how bats — and perhaps other mammals such as monkeys, which do not fly but swing between branches — manage to orient themselves in the air as well as on the ground.

The ‘bat-nav’ system is “surprising — but also surprising in its beauty”, says May-Britt Moser, a neuroscientist at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim ...

Computational neuroscientist Andreas Herz, from the University of Munich in Germany, adds that the simple elegance of the neural coding that makes up the compass has wider implications for how the brain computes."

This article was based on a paper which talks about the requirements for such a sophisticated system:

Navigation requires the knowledge of one's location ('map') and direction in space ('compas'). The neural representation of spatial location in mammals includes place-cells which compute position, together with grid cells that encode distance.3

Here is a video of a bat performing a complex landing maneuver which includes a flip to the inverted position that such a system allows:

During flips, bats are able to keep track of their orientation in space thanks to a surprisingly complex 'head-direction' system.
Video - MP4)

Notice researchers are surprised not only by the sophistication of the system, but also it's elegant beauty. These are unmistakable signs of intelligent design, but when you subscribe to a worldview that says there is no design, then yes, such sophistication is quite surprising - especially when the design is complex yet elegantly beautiful. Still, researchers do not want to stray beyond the bounds of orthodox evolution. Here are those bounds, in the words of William Provine, professor of the history of science at Cornell University:

Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us, loud and clear, and I must say that these are basically Darwin’s views: there are no gods, no purposive forces of any kind.4 [emphasis mine]

If there are no purposive forces and particularly in their view, no gods, you cannot have design. Which is why this whole thing is so surprising to them. While creationists and Intelligent Design advocates might find it amazing and a marvel, they wouldn't be surprised at the intelligence shown in such a complex yet elegant system.

Notice the parts required for such a system:

- Knowledge of location
    ('map' which is based on sophisticated geometry-a torus shape)
- Knowledge of direction in space ('compass')
- A computer built into the neural system that computes:
       a) Position in 3D space
       b) Distance in 3D space
       c) Measures rates of 'firing' of the neurons,  so this information is used
           overtime - adding another element of complexity
- All of this information is encoded

This system fits the definition of what Michael Behe, author of Darwin's Black Box would call an irreducibly complex system, meaning that the entire system must exist together as a whole before any of it will work.  If you don't have the ability to map your location in 3d space, and map that space onto a torus (bagel shaped object), and determine body direction like a compass, and have the neurons that fire based on the location and direction of the head or body, and have a computer that manages all this information, and does it over time - then none of it will work. 

This is to say nothing of that fact that all this information is coded information, which of course implies a coding system (which much also exist so it must also be created (or somehow evolve if you you're an evolutionist)), and a coder  - which evolutionists have no explanation for. Code is information, and evolution has no explanation for the origin of information.

Each one of the above systems cannot evolve individually without a design, much less the entire system evolving together and working together without a design. Yet this system exists altogether at once, and works perfectly. This leaves the evolutionists to explain how such a complex system - and its component parts all evolved, simultaneously, without a plan or direction, purely by chance so that it all works together perfectly.

Evolutionists have no plausible explanation for how his very sophisticated navigation system came about, nor the origin of the information needed for it. Yet they want you to believe it just happened, by chance of accident (actually thousands perhaps millions of fortuitous lucky accidents), over millions of years.  Clearly that is not evidence based science. If we're going by evidence, the evidence unmistakably points to design. To believe evolution produced this system is clearly due to a faith based religion masquerading as science. Followers of this religion of evolution fit the description scripture gives them:

"Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools."
Romans 1.22

especially since

"since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them." 
Romans 1.19

Duane Caldwell | posted 12/11/2014



1 Nature International weekly journal of science, http://www.nature.com/news/bat-nav-system-enables-three-dimensional-manoeuvres-1.16475
Alison Abbot 12/4/2014

2 Finkelstein, A. et al. Nature http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature14031 (2014)

3 Finkelstein, A. et al. Three-dimensional head-directional-coding in the bat brain

4 William Provine, referenced from Atheism by Mariano