Douwe Osinga's Blog: Penguins and children

Sunday, January 8, 2006

Penguins and children

Long time no blogging. I switched servers - which was more painful than I thought, because basically everything stopped working. Plus I had a mild attack of blog spam - I put back an old version of this site to make it go away, so if your comments got lost that way too, I am sorry, but it seemed the easy way out. I've also installed a little thing that makes it impossible to post [/url] in comments, which is something these blog spammers tend to do. Heck, and I always thought that writing your own blog software would isolate you from these guys. Oh well.

So I saw this movie today about penguins on the South Pole. Now, I've known that penguins live there for a long time, but this movie showed me how bad they really have it there. Like my wife said, no wonder they look so happy in the zoo [ducking for animal right people throwing things].

See the problem that penguins have is that if they would lay their eggs in or near the water than the sea lions would eat their young in a big penguin meat fiesta. So what the penguins do instead is march off into the inland of Antarctica. There they mate in the autumn - they live in strict pairs at least for a year. When the eggs are laid (one per pair) the female carries them around for a bit on her feet (the ice that is everywhere would soon freeze the embryo inside) and then transfers the egg to the feet of the father. She then marches back all the way to the ocean and lives a life of leisure in the warm water (slightly above freezing) with lots of food (and the random sea lion of course).

Meanwhile the guys are left standing there, in the polar winter storms, with an egg on their feet for three months. It is dark, this being the arctic and they have no food, again this being the arctic. They can't move much, since they have to balance the egg on their feet to keep it warm. At some point it becomes spring, the chick comes out of the egg and the mother comes back to feed it, after which mother and father take turns marching back to the ocean to catch more fish.

Now my wife and I don't want children - we like children, but just don't need any of our own. What if you are a penguin? You probably don't have a choice, but these guys to get punished a lot for being a father, standing around in the arctic winter for three months instead of swimming around and eating fish all the time - especially if they would realize that instead they could swim to Argentina, where they have penguins too and where it is so much warmer.

Anybody who still believes in intelligent design should take notice - this can all be explained from a evolutionary perspective reasonably well, but the design just isn't intelligent.