Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wormwood Forest: A Natural History of Chernobyl, is an interesting look at the Zone of Alienation surrounding the remnants of the 1986 nuclear accident. The author, Mary Mycio, examines at the response of nature to effects of radiation in the soil and water. It has been more than 20 years since the day that a cloud of radiation spilled out over Ukraine, Belarus, and parts of eastern and northern Europe. Many dire predictions were made concerning the health and life of the area, but our creator God made nature exceedingly resilient, and the Zone, which spans hundreds of square miles in Ukraine and Belarus is exhibit one. Essentially, the two nations immediately evacuated the humans in the area (save for a few hardy and stubborn souls) and let creation take hold. And it did. Despite lower birth rates among some species (and phenomenal ones in others, and the unanticipated adaptation of earlier fertility ages in still others), the area is an Eden for wildlife, big and small. Rodents, birds, and wild game, even endangered wild mammals like the European Bison and the Przewalksi horse, are thriving. Moose, roe and red deer, woolly boar, lynx, and wolf are also overrunning the preserve. At the conclusion of the book, the author inquires about the future of the region, and the resounding answer is a wonderful nature preserve.

A couple of ideas spring naturally to mind. First, regarding the resiliency and amazing adaptability of God's creation. In midst of what many anti-nuclear activists were calling the worst nightmare and greatest piece of evidence against nuclear power, creation prevailed. The anticipated black zone never happened, never even came close to happening. Second, the Zone of Alienation also exists as a powerful polemic against the Darwinian model of evolution. No examples of mutant animals are found in the Zone. Why? Because all the mutations inevitably resulted in the deaths of the animals. Sometimes by stillbirth, sometimes consumed by predators, sometimes unable to survive for long without care - it didn't matter. There isn't a single example of a beneficial mutation, or even a detrimental mutation that survived.

The book is sometimes too technical for guys like me who didn't get past basic level physics and chemistry. At other times it seems to narrate in a disconnected fashion... but, there are fascinating passages about the animals and people who remain there.

A brief article from Mycio.