Polar Bears, Fitted to Fill and Flourish
by James J. S. Johnson, J.D., Th.D. *
Polar bears are really cool. These furry frost-giants are fitted to fill frigid habitats in Arctic Ocean waters, ice floes, and shore lands.1
Polar bears also provide four living lessons in apologetics: 1) their lifestyles corroborate biblical information; 2) their lives refute evolutionist speculations; 3) they help to clarify historical truth about global climate change; and 4) they glorify their Creator—simply by living their lives.2
When Mama Bear Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy
Female bears, as described in Scripture, are serious threats to anyone who angers them, especially anyone threatening their cubs (2 Samuel 17:8; 2 Kings 2:24; Proverbs 17:12; Hosea 13:8). It’s a risky adventure to fight a mama bear (1 Samuel 17:34-37)!
Bears are omnivorous predators.3 Bears growl (Isaiah 59:11), lie in wait for edible prey (Lamentations 3:10), and showcase fierceness (Daniel 7:5; Revelation 13:2). Hungry bears should be avoided until the time when God transforms them into strict vegetarians (Isaiah 11:7).
Scripture portrays bear behavior that matches what we observe in today’s bears, including polar bears.
Polar Bears Can Hybridize, Yet “Missing Links” Are Still Missing
Consistent with how Genesis reports biodiversity, creationists recognize an ursine “bear kind.”3 Unsurprisingly, polar bears can mate with other bears (e.g., polar bears breeding with grizzly/brown bears), yet this reality disproves earlier evolutionist notions of ursine speciation and genetic incompatibility.4
Meanwhile, imaginary phylogenetic lineages—of bears with non-bears such as canines—are still missing the predicted transitional forms despite 150-plus years of extensive searching for them in the fossil record.5
Polar Bears Aren’t Threatened by Global Warming
Polar bears aren’t going extinct even if Earth warms up a few degrees, notwithstanding alarmist pseudoscience. Polar bears can safely survive vacillations of global climate change without any help from politicians.
During the Medieval Warm Period lasting from about 950 to 1250 A.D., polar bears (also called white bears or snow bears) survived. Vikings captured and marketed them as exotic animals.6 After those “global warming” centuries, the cooler Little Ice Age followed from approximately 1350 to 1850. Polar bears survived again—evidence that global warming-based “save the polar bears” doomsaying is just histrionic hype.3,6
Polar Bears Exhibit God’s Providence
Like other wild beasts in God’s created world (Revelation 4:11), polar bears daily demonstrate God’s caring providence just by being themselves. For example, although baby polar bears are conceived during the spring, uterine implantation of embryos (as with other bears as well as mustelids and seals) is delayed by design until autumn. That’s when mama bear enters her maternity-ward den, ensuring that births occur in winter during hibernation. The family’s den exodus is timed for spring, when food availability is optimal and infant cubs are physically developed enough to travel on sea ice.3
Also, consider the energizing nutrition that God installed in polar bear mothers. Polar bear babies are born small, about 1.5 pounds—one-fifth the size of human babies. Before leaving the den in spring, each cub needs to weigh around 25 to 30 pounds! Following the initial protein-loaded, antibody-rich colostrum, milk for newborns can be 46% fat, facilitating a get-big-and-fat-quick growth pattern. Yet, fat content declines over time to about 5% (like in human milk) at weaning, having fueled a 1,500 to 2,000% weight gain during three to four months.3 God’s design delivers precisely what’s needed.
Polar bears are cool exhibits of God’s creatorship!
- Polar bears spend more time in arctic waters than on land, so they are classified as marine mammals.
- These same four apologetics priorities—corroborating Scripture, impeaching evolutionist science fiction, clarifying confusion, and glorifying God as Creator—are priorities for the exhibits in ICR’s anticipated Discovery Center for Science and Earth History, now under construction.
- Cansdale, G. S. 1976. All the Animals of the Bible Lands. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 17-18, 27, 109-110, 116-119; Derocher, A. E. 2012. Polar Bears: A Complete Guide to Their Biology and Behavior. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University, 155, 172-180. Creation evidences defend the faith by corroborating Bible-reported information.
- Roach, J. Grizzly-Polar Bear Hybrid Found—But What Does It Mean? National Geographic News. Posted on nationalgeographic.com May 16, 2006, accessed June 5, 2017. Creation evidences routinely impeach and refute evolutionist errors such as materialism and animism in natural selection mythology.
- Morris, J. D. 2006. What’s a Missing Link? Acts & Facts. 35 (4).
- Logan, F. D. 2005. The Vikings in History, 3rd ed. London: Routledge, 58-61. Correcting confusions caused by uniformitarianism is yet another priority for biblical creation apologetics.
* Dr. Johnson is Associate Professor of Apologetics and Chief Academic Officer at the Institute for Creation Research.
Cite this article: James J. S. Johnson, J.D., Th.D. 2017. Polar Bears, Fitted to Fill and Flourish. Acts & Facts. 46 (8).