Hover over Romans 1:20-22 for proof of God's existence, and over Matthew 5:27-28 for Judgment Day’s perfect standard. Then hover over John 3:16-18 for what God did, and over Acts 17:30-31 for what to do.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Amazing Filthy Fly

I hate flies. They are annoying, and so hard to hit unless you have a good fly-swat and a very fast hand. But as much as I hate the fly, I marvel at how incredibly well it is made, from its amazing compound eyes that can see the slightest movement, to its tiny brain that is connected to the eyes and tells the fly to move because it is in danger.

The common housefly is more complex than our most sophisticated air plane. It has a heart that pumps blood through its tiny veins*, feet that have the ability to suction its body upside-down on a roof, and an agility that makes our most maneuverable aircraft look like a fat and slow-moving dinosaur. It has instincts to mate, to eat, to sleep, and to reproduce with its own kind. It is fearfully and wonderfully made.

To the untrained eye, flies are extremely clean little creatures. They land on the side of your dinner plate and immediately begin to cleanse themselves. With their front legs they clean their eyes, then with their back legs they carefully clean their wings and abdomen. Yes, very clean is the fly. But follow the little beast and you will find out what his appetites are really for.

To the untrained eye, mankind is extremely clean. He’s always washing himself, with his baths and showers, his many soaps and shampoos; and his deodorants to make him smell nice and clean. Yes, very clean is man. But follow the little beast and you will find what his appetites are really for. The Bible likens him to the dirty little fly by calling his spiritual father, Beelzebub -- "Lord of the Flies."

The Scriptures say that even the heavens aren't clean in God's sight, but "How much more abominable and filthy is man, who drinks iniquity like water?" (Job 15:16). The Bible adds, "The fool has said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that does good. God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that does good, no, not one" (Psalm 53:1-3).

Yet, despite our moral filthiness, God is rich in mercy and willing to cleanse us, change our appetites, and grant us everlasting life. But before that can happen, we must acknowledge our sins, repent and trust the Savior, and that rarely happens until we have taken an honest look at ourselves in the light of the Ten Commandments.

* Experts on flies kindly informed me that they don't have a heart or veins. They also have a collection of nerves called the Cerebral Ganglion instead of a brain, as some humans have. Instead of lungs, they have an open circulatory system--tiny holes in their exoskeleton called "spiracles" that allows air to pass though the body. How incredible God is...

STOP PRESS! Flies do have hearts. Dale Jackson sent this: Yes, "flies have hearts, at least nine of them; one principal heart and eight accessory hearts. In some ways they are similar to your heart - a muscular pump that moves blood around the body. But in most ways, the hearts and open circulatory system of insects are bizarre and very different from ours. The principal heart is a muscular tube running down the middle of the fly under the skin on top of the abdomen. The tube is closed at the back end and extends forward through the thorax to open behind the head. The tube has six slits in the abdominal portion. When the muscle relaxes, blood flows through the slits into the tube. When the muscle contracts, flaps inside the tube close over each slit and blood is forced out the front end of the tube into the head. The heart then relaxes and the tube fills with blood again. It beats like this about 370 times per minute, which is much faster than the 60 or so beats per minute of your heart. (CCMR Ask a Scientist) "The fly's heart is a 1 mm long muscular tube that runs along the dorsal side of the abdomen, and contains a number of intake valves. At the anterior end of the abdomen, nearest the fly's waist, the heart narrows and becomes the aorta, which travels through the fly's thorax and opens up in the head. Haemolymph is pumped out of this opening into the body cavity, where it travels backwards through the fly's body and is taken up into the heart again via the intake valves." (Journal of experimental biology HOW FLY HEARTS BEAT BOTH WAYS by Laura Blackburn) You are correct, flies do not have veins or arteries as humans do. Though the term "vein" is used by scientists to describe the cell border patterns on the wings.