“My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: For they [shall be] an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.”
Isn’t it true that when we are very young we think our parents know everything? Then, when we become teenagers, we decide that our parents know virtually nothing. Finally, when we become parents ourselves, we discover how wise our parents really were! Learning and wisdom are supposed to be products of human evolution and for this reason textbooks usually speak of instinct when referring to animals. But do animal parents teach their children, and do they learn?
Biologist Robert R. Warner of the University of California showed that even adult fish teach their offspring the facts of life. Warner’s study involved moving fish called wrasses around to various reefs where they prefer to mate. He discovered that if there were no other wrasses at the reef, the young wrasses would establish their own mating sites. But if there were already adult wrasses at the reef, the young wrasses would share the mating sites that were taught to them by the established adults. In other words, the adults taught their traditional mating sites to the next generation!
The Creation teaches us that the intelligence of a creature has nothing to do with its supposed place in the evolutionary ladder. Even fish teach their young. This teaches us that it is a natural part of God’s plan that we learn from the experience of those who are older than ourselves.
Heavenly Father, I have so much to learn, not only from those around me, but also from You. Help me to desire what You have to teach me in Your Word and to be an eager student. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Photo: Wrasse. Courtesy of National Marine Sanctuaries. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.