Electrical Perception in Sharks

Sharks can locate their prey by following the minute electrical voltage that their prey generates. This ability to locate electrical charges in the water empowers the shark to hunt at night or in cloudy water or to find fish buried in sand. It also enables the shark to perceive the position of its prey so that it can orient its jaws.

The shark's electricity sensing organs are groups of small black "wiskers" located primarily on the lower portion of its face and beside its jaws. These sense organs react when they absorb positive calcium ions in the presence of an electrical field. The cells then release neurotransmitters that cause nerves to fire and transmit coded signals (data) to the shark's brain. The shark's brain is programmed to read the code and to create an awareness of an otherwise invisible fish. It is in this way that the shark can locate its prey in total darkness. Did all of this really happen as a result of environmental pressures and dying animals?

What is most remarkable about this is that the sense is incomprehensibly sensitive. The shark's electrical sensing mechanism is so well designed that it can sense the presence of 1/1,000,000 of a volt of electricity in a centimeter of water. Sensing 1/1,000,000 of a volt in a centimeter of water is equivalent to sensing the presence of an electrical field produced by 1.5 volt AA battery with the poles 1342 km or 834 miles apart.



"One millionth of a volt across a centimeter of water can be distinguished by a shark. This is equivalent to a voltage gradient created by a 1.5-volt AA battery with one pole dipped in the Long Island Sound and the other pole in waters of Jacksonville, Fla."

Fields, Douglas, The Shark's Electric Sense (Scientific American, August 2007, Vol 297, Number 2), page 76.

That is similar to one pole on the coast of Jacksonville, Florida and the other in New York City, or one pole in Southern Ireland and the other on the coast of Northern Spain, or one pole off the Philippine Islands and the other in Saigon.

What can possibly explain this incredible ability?

Evolution has an explanation. Evolution explains that sharks accidentally developed the electric sense organs over a long period of time. A series of very fortunate accidental changes that were shaped by the survival of the fittest slowly changed the nerve endings in the shark's face and, by a series of other fortunate mutations, the nerve fibers installed themselves in the correct portion of the shark's brain. Ultimately all of the sense organs connected themselves to the right place in the shark's brain and fortunately the receptors in the brain were programmed to perceive the position of each one (there are hundreds of them). At the same time, other accidental mutations conceived and implemented a code that has no physical existence of its own but conveys in an electrical "language" that describes what a particular sensor is sensing. Then more fortunate accidental mutations in the brain created not only neuro-receptors that could receive the discrete signals from each of hundreds of sensors, but to take the information from all of them and instantly analyze it.

Somehow (no one knows how) these mutations created a neuro-net that can take the encoded messages from the sense organs and apply it to consciousness and reason. The neuronet computes at billions of cycles per second and comes to instantaneous conclusions relating to the position of the prey in relation to the shark at any given moment. These same random mutations also devised a way to transmit billions of bits of data in code to another part of the brain for the purpose of creating awareness, thought patterns and conclusions.

Then, over the years random mutations and dying sharks perfected the ability to sense minute electrical charges until finally sharks could detect the presence of a pole of a 1.5 volt AA battery that is 834 miles away. Basically, evolution explains this by stating that all the sharks that could not detect the presence of 1/1,000,000 of a volt died out because the sharks who could detect 1/1,000,000 of a volt ate all the food. Generally, that is how evolution explains how the sharks of today can sense the presence of one pole of a 1.5 volt battery 1342 km or 834 miles away. Unfortunately, this process has never been observed and cannot be repeated.

That explanation is ludicrous and it can convey no credibility to an intelligent mind unless the person who considers it has decided not to look beyond the scope of evolution for any reason and has firmly closed his mind to the existence of a Creator. Both of which conclusions are hardly in concert with the scientific method.

The shark is not the product of an unobserved series of extremely fortunate mutations. The shark is the product of a superior intellect. The shark is a created being that was created by a superior intelligence and designed to be a shark from the ground up.