2 Peter 3:4 . . . and saying, 'Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.' Many people know that, despite its appearance, coral is actually a tiny animal. Even a small coral growth may be made up of billions of tiny animals, each living inside its limestone skeleton. What many people don't know is that coral cannot live without the help of algae-a plant. Thousands of one-celled algae live in the tiny stomach of each coral polyp. The polyp requires the waste products of the algae to complete its nutrition requirements and to get the calcium with which it builds reefs. In return, the polyp's stomach provides an ideal protected living place for the algae. Incidentally, the wonderful colors in living coral come from the algae in each polyp's stomach. Evolutionists have said that it must take millions of years for the tiny polyps to build large coral reefs, like the 2,000-kilometer-long Great Barrier Reef in Australia. The Great Barrier Reef, incidentally, is considered the largest structure ever built by living organisms. However, it has now been shown that coral polyps can double their own weight in just over 10 days! As a result, the claim of millions of years for the age of the Great Barrier Reef has been reduced by a factor of 40! Many of the long age figures claimed by evolutionists have had to be drastically revised downward as we have learned more about the creation. The resulting figures fit the Bible's account of history much more closely. The diagram above shows the anatomy of a nematocyst cell and its firing sequence, from left to right. On the far left is a nematocyst inside its cellular capsule. The cells thread is coiled under pressure and wrapped around a stinging barb. When potential prey makes contact with the tentacles of a polyp, the nematocyst cell is stimulated. This causes a flap of tissue covering the nematocyst—the operculum—to fly open. The middle image shows the open operculum, the rapidly uncoiling thread and the emerging barb. On the far right is the fully extended cell. The barbs at the end of the nematocyst are designed to stick into the polyps victim and inject a poisonous liquid. When subdued, the polyps tentacles move the prey toward its mouth and the nematocysts recoil back into their capsules. Synchronous spawning is very typical on a coral reef and often, even when multiple species are present, all the corals on the reef release gametes the same night. This synchrony is essential so that male and female gametes can meet and form planula. The cues that guide the release are complex, but over the short term involve lunar changes, sunset time, and possibly chemical signalling. Synchronous spawning may have the result of forming coral hybrids and is perhaps involved in coral speciation. In some places the coral spawn can be dramatic, usually occurring at night, where the usually clear water becomes cloudy with gametes.
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