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The Neck of a Giraffe

Few animals elicit wonder like that of the giraffe. They are the world’s tallest mammals. Their habitat ranges from a dense forest to the open plains. They are massive animals with the average male weighing 4,200 pounds and the typical female hitting the scales at 2,600 pounds. They are uniquely adapted to reach vegetation inaccessible to other herbivores. They feed between sixteen to twenty hours a day, eating perpetually. Ironically, they only consume about 30 pounds of foliage during that time. Giraffes are considered browsers with highly assorted diets. It is estimated they eat up to 93 different plant species, but acacia trees have been found to be their favorite food source. They use their twenty-inch-long prehensile tongues to snap off leaves.

Conventional thinking holds to the idea that the long neck of the giraffe enables it to reach the highest branches in the savannah, allowing it to forage for food other animals cannot reach. Giraffes clearly enjoy certain benefits from their lengthy necks. Not surprisingly, though, evolutionists hypothesize this anatomical feature is the product of natural selection and not the achievement of divine creation. Charles Darwin and Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, the two most famous evolutionary biologists, cited the giraffe neck as evidence to support their theories. These theories have been explored at great length with the most recent informative discovery coming in northwestern China’s Junggar Basin. For all the research and extrapolations, the best scientist can offer is adaptation when discussing giraffes– not the change of species. There is a world of difference between Macroevolution and Microevolution.

For the human being, hypertension is considered a life-threatening situation. Chronic high blood pressure creates a thickening of the heart muscles. The left ventricle of the heart becomes firmer and less able to fill again after each stroke, causing a disease known as diastolic heart failure. The ailment is characterized by exhaustion, shortness of breath and the reduced ability to exercise. This kind of heart failure is responsible for nearly half of the 6.2 million heart failure cases in America currently.

For the giraffe, however, high blood pressure is necessary for life. Because of the long neck, the heart of the giraffe must generate extremely high pressure in order to deliver blood to the brain. For this to happen, giraffes need a blood pressure at the heart of about 220/180. This necessitates the heart of the giraffe being unusually large, approximately two feet long, allowing it to pump blood at a pressure twice as high as most mammals. This high pressure would present a deadly outcome if it were not for ingenious engineering. When the giraffe lowers its head to drink, blood could enter the jugular vein from the inferior vena cava, or regurgitate from the jugular veins into the cranial veins. The neck of the giraffe is formed with valves that automatically restrict blood flow. Without these valves functioning properly the sudden increase in blood pressure, as the giraffe lowers it head, would rupture the arteries in the giraffe’s brain. This would cause the death of all giraffes and spell the end of this grand species existence.

Secular scientists contend this ingenious regulatory system is the product of numerous evolutionary transitions. But a serious thought must be entertained that just may oppose this conclusion. Consider this.The giraffe could never have evolved a long neck without the functioning valves, but would have had no need to evolve such valves unless it had a long neck.This is an intellectual and logical conundrum that leaves one scratching their heads. Is it possible the God hypothesis explains the elaborate circulatory system of the giraffe’s neck more reasonably than does evolution?

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