How, exactly, do turtles navigate?

Much research has been conducted on how migrating turtles return to their birthplace after decades of oceanic wandering, but results are inconclusive. However, not only do these  turtles return to their birthplace, but can also find their way home after being in the feeding grounds. All that is known is that in finding their way every time, these creatures show great intelligence.

Many ideas have been advanced on this subject, but none of them provides adequate explanation. It is thought that some species reach their destination by following the coast, other species that cross oceanic waters follow scent trails carried by the currents, and others react to changes in the magnetic field in different parts of the world.

To understand the degree of difficulty in what the turtle accomplishes, suppose that for the first time in your life, you are going someplace with the right conditions for you to be able to live. You manage to find this place without going wrong, and then also for the first time in your life—set off for another spot that is also right place for you. Assuming beforehand that you will have to return, you try to keep in mind every characteristic of this place, taking note of its smells, the environment’s natural features, even the magnetic field of the region. When you return to this place, you bring all this recorded information into play. In doing so, of course, your physiological system cannot only determine the magnetic field of the place, but you can also work out what your right environment should be by identifying these characteristics.

Of course it is impossible to do all this without the help of technological devices. It is equally unreasonable to imagine that turtles can do the same on their own.

In spite of more than thirty years of research, turtles’ navigational mechanisms are still not clearly understood. Even if we knew how they manage to do this, obviously their system could not have developed of its own accord. Allah creates everything in the universe and manifests His eternal intelligence in every corner of the universe. Allah gives whomever He desires of His eternal knowledge to the extent that He wills. Those who deny Allah can find no other explanation, even if they research for their entire lifetime. It is revealed in the Qur’an that there is no other deity:

Your deity is Allah alone, there is no deity but Him. He encompasses all things in His knowledge. (Surah Ta Ha, 98)


2010-05-09 15:47:41

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