"The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever."
The venus flytrap senses a fly and, in less than a second, its trap springs shut. It will eat today. A new area of science is plant behavior. Plant behaviorists point out that plants, like the venus flytrap that interact with animals, have to move on an animal scale. We have traditionally thought of plants as inactive living things that just sit there.
"Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh ... that they may breed abundantly in the earth…"
A surprising number of living things mimic other living things. We have done a number of programs on these wonders of God's creativity. However, evolutionary biologists discount such mimicry as any sort of wonder because in many cases the mimicry is imperfect. The biological term is "flawed mimicry."
"And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin..."
The peace and serenity of North America's spruce forests is occasionally broken by little other than the rustle of a deer passing by. At least that's what most people think. In truth, there are things going on which would cause us profound wonder.
"And he made the holy anointing oil, and the pure incense of sweet spices, according to the work of the apothecary."
Plant seeds are distributed by a number of ingenious methods, including wind, water, mammals and birds. Plants that rely upon these creatures to distribute their seeds often attract them with tasty fruit surrounding the seed. However, tasty fruit contains sugar and other substances that many other creatures also find inviting. Yes, the problem is, everybody likes sugar and that includes insects, molds and fungi, all of which are useless as seed distributors. Some plants make up for this problem by producing large amounts of fruit, just to ensure that some are reproduced.
"Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour."
We all know that there is strength in numbers. Many animals have even discovered this and, for example, migrate in large herds. However, one would never expect bacteria to have discovered this or know enough to organize themselves collectively.
"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."
Bacteria and fungi form biofilms on just about every wet surface, like that bowl of water you left out last night! In this biofilm state, bacteria cause 70 percent of all human bacterial infections. On underwater pipelines, biofilms cause corrosion. Such biofilms even form on seaweed. That is, except for the seaweed called Delicate Beauty.
"To bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to shew the people and the princes her beauty: for she was fair to look on."
In Italian, its name means beautiful woman. The belladonna plant first received this name because it was used to make eye-drops for women in ancient Rome. Belladonna made the women appear more seductive by dilating the pupils of their eyes.
"And the stork, the heron after her kind, and the lapwing, and the bat."
Imagine this – you're a carnivorous pitcher plant with no scent to attract insects. Even worse, though most pitcher plants are designed to kill insects in their pool of digestive fluids, you don't have enough fluid to do the job. What's a poor pitcher plant to do?
"I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine."
There are 13 species of a brightly plumed little songbird known as the fairy wren. The birds are found in Australia and New Guinea. So colorful are their feathers that the various species go by names like "superb," "splendid" and "lovely." However, even more noteworthy is the birds' unusual behavior.
"Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours."
The rainbow eucalyptus tree is undoubtedly the most beautiful tree ever. Its bark looks like it was painted by an artist using a palette full of pastel pigments. Surprisingly, this tree's coat of many colors actually comes from the way its bark peels off the tree.
"And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:"
If you have never opened a bottle of wine, let me give you a little instruction on how to use a corkscrew. First, you puncture the cork with the corkscrew's tip. Then you turn the handle, forcing the metal screw deeper and deeper into the cork. Finally, when it is deep inside the cork, you pull on the handle of the corkscrew, removing the cork from the bottle and spilling wine all over your white shirt!
"For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes."
If you want to snack on fruit from a 10-story-high Grandidier's baobab tree, you'd better bring a very tall ladder. That's because there are no branches to climb until you get to near the very top of the tree. And you can forget about wrapping your arms and legs around the trunk. The baobab's massive cylindrical trunks measure up to 10 feet across, and are quite smooth.
"And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain."
It's a sunny, sweltering summer day, and you're looking for a place to park your car. Since you know you'll be gone for several hours, you look for a nice shaded spot so your car will be more comfortable when you return. Or it's a blustery winter day with sub-zero temperatures. This time you park your car where there's as much sunlight as possible so that the sunlight streaming through your windows will heat your car's interior while you're gone.
"Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows."
"That's evolution for you!" That's what Dr. Rick Fairhurst, malaria researcher at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said when talking about malaria parasites that are becoming resistant to drugs that had been effective at fighting the deadly disease.
Observe the wondrous diversity of life, including birds, reptiles, and plants Learn how Darwin's worldview and the biblical worldview differ and the importance of this in studying the Galápagos With poignant chapters from Ken...