Science and the Eagle’s Wings

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As the citizens of ancient Judah languished in Babylonian captivity (prophetically described by Isaiah), they apparently complained that God was not actively watching over them. They appear to have suggested that the Lord had grown tired while on duty, so to speak.

In response to this foolish charge, the prophet Isaiah declared that Jehovah, being the all-powerful Sovereign (Genesis 17:1), does not grow weary nor does he faint. Moreover, he is watching over his people, and those who “wait for Jehovah” (i.e., surrender to his Word) will have their strength renewed.

In an absolutely beautiful description, the prophet declares that these obedient ones “shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (Isa. 40:28-31).

In addition to the obvious spiritual truth conveyed in this context, science has determined that this passage was rather ahead of its time in terms of aerodynamic information.

Dr. Edward F. Blick, who served as a professor in the School of Aerospace at the University of Oklahoma, did extensive wind-tunnel studies at the university with eagles. In doing research in 1971, Dr. Blick and his colleagues discovered that the eagle’s six-slotted feathers (at the end of each wing) curve upward in gliding flight.

Wind tunnel measurements demonstrated that this design reduced the size of the vortex (whirling current) that emanates from each wing tip. This, in turn, reduces drag on the wings and allows the eagle to soar great distances on the air currents—without even having to beat its wings.

Professor Blick, impressed with the accuracy of the Bible in this regard, stated:

“Thus 2,700 years after the scripture in Isaiah was written, science has stumbled onto the same truth.”

Sometimes “science” manifests a tendency to “catch up” with the Scriptures; most of the time, it lags behind!

Note: For further consideration of the scientific accuracy of the Bible, see our book, The Bible & Science.