“The beast of the field shall honor me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen.”
It’s a dark, moonless night. A barn owl perches, silently as a shadow, in a tree. A hundred feet away, a deer mouse scampers over a dry leaf, producing a slight rustling sound. Within seconds, the owl’s talons grab the mouse.
We all know that owls have excellent vision in the darkness. Researchers at Cal Tech in Pasadena have learned that there is much more to the barn owl’s abilities than vision. To get their data, they wired up 14 barn owls with headphones and then studied their responses to pairs of sounds. Their results convincingly show that barn owls construct a detailed map of their surroundings inside their brains. To locate the source of a sound, owls don’t simply add together the incoming sound signals, as would be expected. Rather, the owl’s auditory nerve cells calculate the distance of incoming sounds, then apply this information to its mental map in a process researchers could only describe as “multiplication.” Up until this time, humans were thought to be the only living beings whose thought processes used such “multiplication.” Researchers said that this “multiplication” is a much more powerful way for the brain to process information.
God knew that owls would need this ability to successfully make their living, so God – as the source of all intelligence – gave it to them. Evolution cannot design intelligence.
Dear Father, I rejoice that Your creation glorifies You. Help my life to do the same. Amen.
Science, Vol. 292, 13/4/01, Laura Helmuth, “Location Neurons Do Advanced Math.”