Monday, October 25, 2010

Book Review: If Animals Could Talk

book cover

If Animals Could Talk
by Dr. Werner Gitt

ISBN: 0-89051-460-7
Trade Paperback: 115 pages
Publisher: Master Books
Released: 2005

Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Book Description from Back Cover:
"If animals could tell us about themselves, using our scientific knowledge, if they could tell us about the way they live, the special way they are made and many details about their individual design – what they would say would be unique praise to the Creator."

  • Did you know that while in flight, the sparrow’s heart can beat up to 760 times per minute?

  • Or that a baby blue whale grows at a rate of 7.28 pounds an hour while it’s nursing, a grand total of 17 tons by the end of the nursing stage?

  • How about that glow worms have a light output efficiency of 100% as compared to only 4% for our incandescent bulbs?

Dr. Werner Gitt uses his scientific expertise in this book to show the unique design features of some of God’s most captivating creations. All people, young and old, layperson or expert, will be able to understand and enjoy this straightforward book. Told from the perspective of the animals being described, If Animals Could Talk shows the impossibility of life without design.

My Review:
If Animals Could Talk describes unique and technically refined design features found in field sparrows, various types of whales, the platypus, swallow, glowworm, dragonfly, human eye, earthworm, E. coli, and golden plover. Several of these features were clearly irreducibly complex (all the parts of the unique ability had to be in place at once for it to work, and if it had developed in steps, the animal wouldn't have survived).

However, this book probably won't convince evolutionists that these various animals didn't evolve. Most of the features brought up sound amazing, but it's like the author didn't finish the argument--like he thought the point was so self-obvious he didn't need to. I can see an evolutionist reading it and thinking, "Well, yeah, they're amazing features, but that just shows how well evolution works." So it's a fun and fascinating book for creationists and those who aren't sure what they think, but it'd probably just frustrate most evolutionists.

There were some black and white illustrations. Most of the information was written in common language that even children could understand. However, sometimes he used technical language. It wasn't difficult to understand, but I don't think I'd hand this book to anyone under about 9 years of age. I think tweens and teens who love animals will probably enjoy this book.

Overall, this was a fun book that I'd recommend to Christians (especially creationists) who enjoy reading fascinating facts about animals.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt from pages 98-99
[In the chapter about the golden plover...]
Did you know that I'm a great fan of the Hawaiian Islands? You're right, that's quite a long way from Alaska! How do I get there? It's quite simple really: I fly. My Creator didn't make me a fast sprinter or swimmer, but He did create an ace flyer! I'd like to show you just what I'm made of.

My brothers and sisters and I were just a few months old. We had hardly learned to fly when our parents left us. They had flown on to Hawaii. We weren't aware of that at the time. To tell you the truth, we didn't really care where they were. In fact, all we could think about was our appetite, and we ate ourselves silly. In a short time I put on 2.5 ounces (70 g)--that's more than half my own body weight. That's something you should try to imagine! Have you any idea what you'd look like if after three months instead of weighing your usual 165 pounds (75 kg) you weighed 254 pounds (115 kg)?

Now I'm sure you want to know just why I ate so much. Quite simply, my Creator programmed me to. I needed this extra body weight as fuel for the trip from Alaska to Hawaii. That's about 2,796 miles (4,500 km). Yes, that's right, you heard me, 2,796 miles! Not only that, but I can't stop once during the whole trip. Unfortunately, there aren't any islands, rocks, or dry patches on the way and, as you know, I'm a pathetic swimmer.

My friends and I fly for 88 hours--that's three days and four nights--over open water, without a break. Scientists have worked out that we flap our wings about 250,000 times. Imagine doing 250,000 pushups--that would be a reasonable comparison.

Here's another question for you: How did I know that I had to put on that extra weight to get to Hawaii? Who told me to go there anyway and in which direction should I fly? I'd never flown that route before! There aren't any orientation points along the way. How were we supposed to find those tiny islands in the Pacific? If we hadn't found them we would surely have met our end after our food reserves were used up. In that sector, for hundreds of miles, there's nothing but water.

Your scientists are still scratching their heads trying to figure out how we get our course and can correct it, even after an inflight storm takes its toll. We fly through fog and rain, whether sunshine, starlight, or overcast skies, and still get there.

Read an excerpt (preface and chapter one) using Google Preview.

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