Earthworms are highly specialized creatures. They seem obviously designed for their important task of burrowing through soil. They burrow into the ground in nearly all parts of the world, and make an important contribution to the fertilization, aeration and drainage of the soil.
Earthworms drag organic material from the surface into the ground. They also swallow huge amounts of earth, digest the nutritive matter it contains, then cast up the remains on to the surface of the ground or in their burrows. In this way they work at a constant and effective system of ploughing, which enriches and oxygenates the soil. An average acre (0.4 hectare) may house three million earthworms, which can move about 18 tonnes of soil per year.
Most are found in the top 12 centimetres (five inches) of soil. Their work is so thorough that in the areas in which they live almost all the soil to a depth of many centimetres has passed through the alimentary tract (gut) of an earthworm at some time.
Can evolution explain the earthworm’s activities of loosening, stirring up and aerating the soil to make it more fertile? Could its valuable work come about through mutations and natural selection (the supposed methods of evolution)? Did the earthworm choose to dig everlastingly, to pass countless tons of earth through its body over the centuries to help cultivate the soil for plant life?
A better explanation is that the Creator designed and planned the earthworm in the beginning, to be a willing, if humble, servant of the plant world. By which means, therefore, it helps to sustain the balance of all other life on this earth.
1. C. Darwin, The formation of vegetable mould through the action of worms with observations on their habits, D. Appleton and Company, New York, 1896.
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