January 4

Botany

January 23

Botany

February 29

Botany

Scientists have discovered that red algae plants grow almost 1,000 feet below the surface of the ocean, where it is pitch black.  Scientists estimate that the light intensity at this depth is reduced by 99.95%.  How can red algae, which requires light for photosynthesis to make food for survival, live at such depths?

The unique structure of these deep-water plants allow them to be 100 times more efficient at catching and using light than shallow-water plants.  Plants, including most types of red algae, line their cell walls with calcium for structural strength.  This prevents some light from getting into the cell.

The red algae plant, however, only lines the vertical walls of its cells with calcium so that more light can enter.  Because of this, the cells are much more transparent to available light.  In addition to this marvelous engineering design, the red algae's cells are internally arranged in such a way that the light that does make it through the cell membrane can penetrate deep into each cell.

Good engineering, not chance mistakes, created the red algae plants.

Letting God Create Your Day,  Vol. 3, p.176

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. -Hebrews 4:13

March 14

Botany

Mistletoe is a common plant parasite found in various places throughout the world.  While it uses its green leaves to make its own food, it gets its water and minerals through roots attached to a host.  Many species of the Australian mistletoe are unique in that they mimic the host on which they grow.  The drooping mistletoe is so named because its leaves look like its host, the eucalyptus tree.  The box mistletoe and the pendulous mistletoe both have hard, sickle-shaped leaves that look like the trees on which they grow.  The buloke mistletoe has long, thin, grayish-green leaves that are similar to the pencil pine on which it grows.  How can we explain this mimicry?

God states in His Word that He created everything and that He loves and cares for His creation.  Mistletoe cannot see its host nor can it change form like an amoeba, yet it manages to survive by exactly duplicating another organism.  The mistletoe was designed to adapt to the appearance of its host.

Only a creative and intelligent Designer could accomplish such a task.

Letting God Create Your Day. Vol. 3, p.121

For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible....  -Colossians 1:16

June 17

Botany

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland have shown that plants can react to their environment as quickly as animals. It is known that plants respond to movement by adding calcium. Whenever stressed by high winds, plants add calcium to their cell walls. The calcium acts as an internal skeleton, giving strength to the plant. However, until recently it was not known how quickly this increase in calcium occurred. Botanists used a novel method to study the speed at which calcium is added to cells; they added jellyfish genes to the plants. These genes bind to the calcium in the plants and emit a blue glow as the calcium level increases. What the researchers found absolutely astounded them.

When they squirted these genetically modified plants with puffs of air, the plants increased their bluish glow. There was an almost instantaneous reaction to air movement as the plants added calcium to their cells. When God created plants, He gave them abilities that defy the evolutionary idea that they are simple forms of life.

Letting God Create Your Day, Vol. 3, p. 187

Then God said, "Let the land produce vegetation.... And God saw that it was good."  - Genesis 1: 11, 12

Botany

June 26

It has been known for many years that tea can help fight cavities. A chemical in the tea helps keep the bacteria that cause cavities from attaching onto the surface of our teeth.

Scientists have found, however, there is more to the tea than just this. Isao Kubo, a chemist from the University of California, discovered that certain molecules found in abundance in green tea actually kill bacteria that cause cavities. His tests have shown that natural chemicals in tea are also able to kill at least two different kinds of molds, three classes of yeasts, and eight kinds of bacteria. In addition, green tea is effective against some bacteria responsible for gastrointestinal disease and acne. These chemicals are also found in coriander, sage, and thyme.

Just as the Bible says, god gave us plants to study, tend, use, and eat. One wonders how much more is yet to be discovered in plants!

Letting God Create Your Day, Vol. 3, p. 153

The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.  -Genesis 2:15

Botany

July 4

The more scientists study plants, the more evident the complexity of their design becomes. Plants control their rates of photosynthesis with pores called stomata. Stomata allow carbon dioxide to enter the plant and oxygen to exit as the process of photosynthesis takes place. However, water can also exit when the stomata are open, to the stomata stay closed when there is little light or when water needs to be conserved.

The wider the stomata open, the faster photosynthesis takes place and the faster the plant grows. Thus, plants must balance the need to grow with the need to conserve water. While blue and red light can both be useful for photosynthesis, scientists have found that the plant's mechanism which opens and closes the stomata only responds to blue light. This blue wavelength of light causes certain cells within a plant to swell and open the stomata. Since red wavelengths heat the plants and tend to dry them out, designing plant stomata to open primarily for blue wavelengths is pure genius.

Using this information, scientists tried an experiment using orchids. By providing extra blue light to open the stomata, they more than doubled the growth rate without drying out the orchids. Even plants have complex mechanisms that point to their Designer.

Letting God Create Your Day, Vol. 3, p. 246

The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. -Psalm 145:9

August 16 

Botany

The skunk cabbage is a uniquely designed plant. It generates enough heat to melt the snow around itself so that it can begin to grow and flower. Even if the air temperature drops as low as 10 degrees F, the skunk cabbage produces the heat it needs to maintain a temperature of between 70 degrees F and 74 degrees F. However, if the temperature stays extremely low for more than 24 hours, the hooded flower exhausts its heating ability and the flower dies. The skunk cabbage then prepares more flowers and repeats the process.

This amazing plant also has a built-in thermostat. If the flower becomes too cold, more heat is summoned. If the flower becomes too warm, the heat is withdrawn. Because of its amazing abilities, the skunk cabbage is one of the first plants to break through the snow in early spring.

Normally honeybees are unable to fly in temperatures below 65 degrees F. However, when the skunk cabbages are in bloom, honeybees can fly when temperatures drop as low as 45 degrees F. Inside the flower's hood, the bees warm up enough to travel to the next cabbage flower. In cold weather the bees fly from one skunk cabbage to another, warming themselves as they travel back to their hive. Could this intricately designed flower be the result of random chance mutational changes?

Character Sketches, Vol. III, p. 209-212

I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds. Your ways, O God, are Holy. What god is so great as our God? -Psalm 77:12-13

September 5  

Botany

Gypsy moth caterpillars can rapidly strip every leaf from a large number of trees. Since trees are rooted to the ground and cannot escape, it would appear that trees are helpless against such hungry insects. Yet seldom is an entire grove of trees destroyed. Scientists have wondered why individual trees, rather than whole groves, are usually affected. Perhaps the trees are not as defenseless as we thought.

Botanists have discovered that when facing a threat, even trees can begin to defend themselves. A variety of trees, including beech, poplar, sugar maple, and red oak, communicate with each other by releasing chemicals called pheromones into the air. Before insects attacking one tree move on, the second tree has already begun to defend itself. When notified by other trees of the attack, many trees begin to manufacture an array of poisons. Some trees can make as many as eight poisons at once, and many can change the types of poison that are made from year to year.

It is difficult to believe that all of these defense mechanisms could have simply evolved. Isn't it far more logical to attribute such design to an intelligent Designer who created specific defense systems so that organisms could survive in our fallen world?

Letting god Create Your Day, Vol. 2, p. 39

Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice.  -Psalm 96:12

September 25 

Botany

Imagine a factory capable of converting nothing but dirt, air, water, and sunshine into millions of different useful and/or edible products! The inventor would become a billionaire.

As it turns out, the invention has already happened. These factories not only produce edible goods, but textile fibers, lumber, rubber, oils, and innumerable derivative products from the basic raw materials of dirt, air, water, and sunshine. It all happens continuously in the most efficient manufacturing system imaginable: plants. In addition to providing almost every imaginable necessity for life, plants also allow us to breathe. If it weren't for plants, we would suffocate, because plants produce the oxygen we need while using up the carbon dioxide which we exhale.

Take time to ponder and wonder at the incredible balance of this system which has been so skillfully conceived by our Creator.

Unlocking The Mysteries of Creation, ed., p. 44-45

He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for man to cultivate, bringing forth food from the earth. -Psalm 104:14

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