March 30, 2013 | David F. Coppedge

Before the Cock Crows, the Biological Clock Strikes

At Easter time, people recall the story of Peter denying Jesus three times before the rooster crowed. Some scientists tried to figure out what clicks the rooster’s clock alarm.

A trio of Japanese scientists wanted to know if rooster crowing is triggered by external cues (such as brightening before daybreak) or an internal clock. Describing their findings in Current Biology, they found that roosters kept in steady dim light continued to crow before the dawn hours, but over days, the timing tended to scatter. This suggests that crowing is primarily triggered by an internal clock – but that its accuracy wavers without external cues.

Those who live around chickens know that roosters will crow in response to external cues, too, such as car headlights, and often crow throughout the day. That reliable morning call, though, provides a natural alarm clock for country folk (but one without a snooze button).  Science Now and PhysOrg reported on the findings.

We still do not know why a dog says ‘bow-wow’ and a cat says ‘meow,'” one of the authors said. “We are interested in the mechanism of this genetically controlled behavior and believe that chickens provide an excellent model.”

So here is an everyday phenomenon, observed anecdotally for thousands of years, that scientists still don’t understand. But you can be sure they understand completely how hydrogen evolved into people.  Would that scientists focus on experiments like this that rest on observation, testing, and repeatability instead of imagination.

Jesus’ foreknowledge of Peter’s denials provides evidence for His deity. He could foretell the final denial just seconds before the natural rooster alarm went off.  That by itself would be remarkable, but so much more evidence makes the conclusion unavoidable: Christ was the Son of God.  Consider the prophecies written centuries before He came, as in Isaiah 53.  Then there is the resurrection evidence: the empty tomb, 500 eyewitnesses of His resurrection at one time, the dramatic turnaround of the fearful disciples into faithful witnesses unto martyrdom, and more.  For Easter, treat yourself to two excellent documentary films, The Case for Christ and Prophecies of the Passion.

 

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