Koala Chemistry and Creation | The Institute for Creation Research
 
Koala Chemistry and Creation

We're all familiar with the cuddly 20-pound koala bear (Phascolarctos cinereus) of eastern Australia.

For Darwinists, the origin of the koala "is far from solved."1

According to evolutionism, it's supposedly related to the kangaroo and wombat, but the creation model states koalas have always been koalas — they didn't evolve from a different animal. Darwinists describe marsupials — such as the koala — as more "primitive" than placental mammals. This is what some call "Eurocentric bias," seeing biological differences to be perceived inferiorities. Creation scientists maintain neither reproductive method (marsupial vs. placental) is consistently superior to the other, they're just different.

An evidence for koala evolution is the "vestigial" tail (a structure that serves no function but resembles the structure of presumed evolutionary ancestors). But how does the evolutionist know it's vestigial? Creationists suspect that the thickly-padded tail is designed by the Creator to aid in koalas sitting in trees — which they do their entire life.

The challenges to evolution are many according to editor and evolutionist Garret Hardin ("39 Steps to Biology," Scientific American books). The challenge in this particular case is the chemistry (physiology) of the koala. The Creator has designed this creature to live almost entirely on the leaves of 35 of the 600 species of Eucalyptus trees growing in Australia. Water should be a problem for the koala; she drinks none — or hardly any. Instead, she obtains moisture from the leaves.The volatile oils of this tree are toxic to other animals, but the amazing liver chemistry of the koala detoxifies her yummy eucalyptus meals.

"The koala's thermoregulatory pattern is attuned to [water from the eucalyptus leaves], and so . . . the animal is potentially able to thrive in most of the forests of Australia."2

Obviously the koala, like all animals, is composed mostly of protein (e.g., flesh, organs, muscle), but her diet is composed of just eucalyptus oils and cellulose which are virtually protein-free. How then does the koala get the critical protein for normal functioning (skin and gastrointestinal tract replacement, liver proteins, and critical blood proteins, etc.)? The answer is the eucalyptus leaves contain digestible nitrogen, a critical element in protein. But the koala's GI tract also contains a number of wonderful microorganisms in its long cecum. It is these tiny, single-celled creatures (made up of protein) that break down the eucalyptus leaves as they are eaten. During normal intestinal movements a constant stream of these microorganisms are digested by the koala, contributing additional daily protein the creature needs to make muscle and other protein-based structures. Amazing! The fingerprint of the Creator!

_____________________________
1. Stahl, Barbara, Vertebrate History, Dover Publications, Inc. 1985, p. 441.
2. Degabriele, Robert, "The Physiology of the Koala," Life at the Edge, Gould & Gould, W.H. Freeman & Co. 1989, p. 91.

Cite this article: Frank Sherwin, M.A. 2003. Koala Chemistry and Creation. Acts & Facts. 32 (2).

The Latest
NEWS
Inside March 2021 Acts & Facts
Why does ICR uphold the clarity of Scripture? How do we know that canyons were formed by the Genesis Flood? How do fossilized fish confirm biblical...

DAYS OF PRAISE DEVOTIONALS
Spring 2021
...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Human Hands
You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation with ICR’s special Creation Kids learning...

ACTS & FACTS
Dross and Dilution
The first of seven great signs of Jesus’ deity recorded in John’s gospel is the wedding in Cana of Galilee (John 2:1-11). By the time Jesus...

APOLOGETICS
Do the Unpersuaded Have Enough Proof?
At a local Bible conference, a respected seminary professor unintentionally contradicted the apostle Paul. During the Q&A session, he opined that...

ACTS & FACTS
Gunnison's Black Canyon: The Flood Solves Mysterious Missing...
Brian Thomas, Ph.D., and Tim Clarey, Ph.D. The Gunnison River winds westward from the Colorado Rocky Mountains through dry and dramatic landscapes....

ACTS & FACTS
Do We See Complex Design in Mosquito Eggs?
Mosquitoes hatch from tiny eggs and spend a few days filter-feeding on things like bacteria, pollen, and algae. They molt three times as they grow,...

ACTS & FACTS
A Texas-Size Spider Mystery
The delightfully creepy spider belongs to a class called Arachnida—which is distinct from the “bug” class Insecta. Not surprisingly,...

ACTS & FACTS
The Fossils Still Say No: The Fins-to-Feet Transition
One of the alleged greatest transformations in vertebrate evolution is said to be the emergence of creatures that traded fins for feet and transitioned...

RESEARCH
Largest Canyons Were Formed by the Receding Flood
Two newly discovered canyons in Greenland and Antarctica have a lot in common with Grand Canyon. Both canyons are as deep as or deeper than Grand Canyon...