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Revenge of the Plants
Plants seem to defy the evolutionary model. Recent discoveries of plant "self-defense" complicate matters even more.


Plants are nerveless and are often regarded only as "fodder" for animals. Evolutionists have even less regard for them. Animals can be arranged artfully from the simple to the complex, in support of Darwinism. But when did you ever see a chart detailing the "evolution" of plants?

Bracken Fern: How they "know" they are being attacked remains a mystery even today.

There is no such chart in existence. Biologists cannot figure out how to conveniently and convincingly arrange an "evolutionary tree" for the plant kingdom. On the other hand, there is plenty of room to argue that plants are a result of the work of an intelligent Creator.

First, some simple biological facts: yes, plants have no nerves, but that does not make them "dumb." If you chop off half a tree, it can still survive very well. (Try it on animals; it doesn't work too well.) So in terms of survival, they are, using the ideology of Darwin, quite "fit." They simply do not need nerves to stay alive. Also, you are aware of carnivorous plants like the Venus Flytrap. If a plant can eat flies, how "dumb" can it be?

Recent discoveries of plant "self-defense" make life even more difficult for evolutionists, so they generally won't talk about it. And lucky for them, most Christians are either ignorant or have no forum to talk about it either.

Bracken ferns, for example, can secrete toxins when chewed on by insects (see A Natural History of Ferns by Robbin C. Moran, Timer Press, 2004.) Interestingly, this fern produces hydrogen cyanide immediately after an insect bites into it. So you may say these ferns practice "just-in-time" targeted fire-power delivery. They are also loaded with ecdysones, hormones that promote molting. One meal and the insect will soon shed its exoskeleton and die, no questions asked.

In the past, before the days of molecular biology, evolutionists would argue that ferns originally had no defense. Then by random chance, according to their theory, one fern "adapted" to the fact that insects love to eat them and "evolved" the toxins. Now remember, plants have no nerves. They feel no pain. How they "know" they are being attacked remains a mystery even today. But since ferns now have self-defense, they must have, according to Darwinism, "evolved."

Now the plot thickens: at least 15 plants, such as corn, are now known to "call for help." When attacked by a caterpillar, these plants release a chemical to attract wasps which will come and paralyze, but not kill, the diner. The wasp will then deposit eggs inside the caterpillar which will be eaten from inside out when the eggs hatch. Not only that, scientists in Japan have now confirmed that these plants release more wasp-attracting chemicals during daytime, when wasps are active, than at night.

Corn

So remember the corn has never come into contact with the wasp, yet it has a gene (reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, January 2006) to produce the chemical to signal to the wasp, which somehow already had developed the poison to paralyze the caterpillar to serve as food for its own offspring. How did the corn "know," without any brain or nerves to see or interact with its environment, that there are wasps in this world?

The answer has to be: plants have no nerves; therefore, they cannot "know." Someone who knows has put the system together. One day, maybe evolutionists will put two and two together.

God, in His own humour, allows people to deny Him. Since He is God, He is not obligated to speak from the heavens in a ray of light to defend Himself. The truth is that even the most silent members of creation aren't defenseless. Even plants can in their own way proclaim the intelligence of their Creator.

From Body to Soul by Dr. Richard Yen

Dr. Richard Yen is a cell biologist, founder of a biotech company and advisor to the West Coast Chinese Christian Conference. His website is www.drrichardyen.org.

The book, From Body to Soul, is organized like a series of lectures, each answering a challenging question Dr. Yens students have posed. It addresses topics such as: Body - Mind - Soul - Spirit - When does life begin? Is religion a product of evolution? Cloning - Genes - Eternity - Fossils - Design - Randomness - Earth - Extraterrestrials - Purpose Survival of the fittest - Human brain - Death - Time - DNA record - Existence - Glory.

Originally published in Challenger, October/December 2006.

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