"FAITH and Unfinished Business"

Comments about God, faith, joy, sorrow and growth

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Man, Woman, Pollen and Hummingbirds

National Geographic December 2009 features the wonder of how seeds of many shapes and sizes pollinate. Writer Rob Dunn first makes the illustration “As humans we take many things for granted. One is surely the ability to walk, crawl, or even, after a little too much to drink, drag ourselves over to a lovely member of the opposite sex.”

His purpose was to point out that “plants have no such luxury.” They need to be very near each other, or have very specific paths in order to reproduce.

Human beings can find each other over millions of miles, through many pathways, and have no particular physical, mental, or emotional requirements in order to connect. (including through the internet)

Yet, the message I gathered from this article and what anyone can glean from it is that “wow, what a plan.”
You may consider the event of plant propagation to be a mundane chance event, as this author did. Moss needed water to reproduce. “Most of the earth was brown” said the author. After that, moss hit a dry patch, a dry spell, and wham! Plants evolved to take on the many thousands of shapes, sizes, properties and purposes. They became. They “began” to produce billions of individual grains.

Human beings came along, (out of the water) and developed a purpose; reproduction. Man “became” a host of different colors, with different features, different hair types and skin types, with different languages and cultures. (evolution). They formed a need to reproduce their own kind.

Fat chance? Coincidence? Or Intelligent design?

The human being can crawl, scoot, drag, walk, run, skip, jump or lunge itself towards its desired target. His eyes can make out the objective as something reasonably capable of connecting with him/herself. He/she can make an informed decision to travel hundreds of miles, or two blocks, or across his/her office to connect with that individual. He/she can make a deliberate, knowledgeable determination about the person (though that may be questionable in the average teenager), based on appearance, sexual appeal, attitude, manner and body language. He/she can then further make decisions about approaching the individual, progressing a relationship, or sealing it. The object of their desire may be tall, short, thin, squat, dark, light-colored, with round eyes or narrow, with thin hair or thick, etc. The result of the combination of the two will be a combination of the two.
However, he or she, cannot combine with another species; such as with a monkey or a bird.
God’s plan.

The lowly seed, in remarkable sizes and shapes, must connect with its mate through specific means: wind, water or carrier. Yet, they are connected from the beginning, from their creation, and cannot connect with any other kind; size or shape, and cannot combine with any other type to get a desirable result. There is the exception, however, through man’s meddling to create a hybrid. Hybrid’s are found to be weaker.

Take a look through the eyes and magnification of photographer Martin Oeggerti in this Nat’l Geo. edition. The hues, forms, sizes and designs of pollen grains anywhere from the minute forget-me-not flower, up to the size of a pumpkin seed-. Pollen grains are diverse as the stars in the sky, as the hairs on our heads. Their forms and function range from the protein rich clover pollen that feeds bees (a crucial connection to fruit and other food production), the spines on common yellow mallow that help it cling to bird feathers, to bromeliad grains that allow the shrinkage and swelling of its ridges to hold water and dry without breaking. One species of flower is exactly matched to a specific hummingbird. One cannot exist without the other. The flower produces larger than usual amounts of nectar, and its pollen is distributed by the hummingbird. “Evolved to fit its environment” , says Darwin, “adapted to its needs.” This remarkable diversification is just more testament in my mind, to a thoughtful creator.

Take a look at your average neighbor, or even a family member. How long are his/her fingers? How varied are the colors or his/her hair strands? How narrow or wide is his/her nose? How even is his/her skin tone? What shape is his/her ankle? How do these features differ from other members of your family, or of your neighbor’s family? I’ll bet that some are able to cling or stick, some are able to fly and release, some are able to shrink or swell, or do or don’t break easily - traits that were born in them. What is he/she able to do, that no-one else is able to do? What decisions does he/she make that no plant or animal is able to make?

I believe intelligent design begat intelligent design- as evidence of a creator. The random splitting of a cell, and its subsequently random multiplication has no power to choose, to direct or manage.

My intelligent designer has all these abilities, and continues to manage all of life.

April Boyer © 2010

*How Plants Mate Dec. 2009 National Geographic.

(An unrelated marvel: the Black Chinned hummingbird chooses to nest in communities, in the close proximity to a Cooper’s Hawk nest. It is believed the tiny neighbors use the Hawk as their own personal alarm system and protection agent.)


  1. So according to you, everything was magically created, and there continues to be magic in the universe all the time.

    I'm betting you're probably not one of the molecular biologists who work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    Never mind. I just saw your profile. You're an airhead.

  2. "Your comment will be visible after approval."

    That's a good idea. Makes it easier to censor the truth. Also, somebody like you, with an extremely defective brain and no education, probably gets a lot of ridicule.

  3. Sorry to be delayed. I had issues with permalink.
    Dear Human Ape,
    I am sorry you feel a need to defend yourself by insulting others and calling them names. Your right to disagree is protected. If you wish to make constructive comments, you are welcome to do so.
    I chose to base my beliefs on faith. You choose to base what you know on other men's opinions and words.
    I believe that gaining knowledge through faith in one-unchanging book takes more courage, thoughtfulness and wisdom. You are free to think what you will.
    I will not continue to tolerate insults, however.

  4. A thoughtful and sensitve article. The comment from Human Ape is typical of post-modern approach. If one can't effectively or intelligently dis an idea, dis the person. Excellent debate is based on mutual respect.

  5. The fact remains--while small variations within a species are proven (microevolution), it can't be used to explain origins of any species. What "suddenly" caused non-life to become life? What gives our DNA its programming? How could a creature in the water "suddenly" produce enough variation in enough complex systems to develop into a land animal, especially when the developing lungs would confer no conceivable advantage to a marine animal...and that this same mutation would happen concurrently with enough of the same kind of creature for it to mate and produce more advanced versions on that theme (as part of an undirected process)?

    Regardless of whether or not someone believes in God, it strikes me as ridiculous and hypocritical to reject God on the basis of lack of evidence, while simultaneously championing macroevolution--itself a faith-based pseudoscience, quite impossible to provide evidence for since you can't reasonably point to a process as its own cause.

  6. One day I found a feather…
    It was so soft and small
    From underneath a baby bird
    It must have made its fall.

    I picked it up and smoothed it out
    As I held it against my hand.
    I closely studied its numerous barbs
    Only the Creator could understand.

    Each barb so tiny I could not count,
    Nor separate individual “hair,”
    Yet each one has a purpose ~
    A reason for being there.

    Some feathers are for warmth
    And some feathers are for flight;
    Some feathers provide cover
    For the baby birds at night.

    So who can make a feather?
    And who can plan the needs?
    It’s way beyond the human mind
    To comprehend these deeds.

    Is it so difficult to say that
    “God is The Creator!”
    And thus admit to self and more,
    That there truly is none greater?

    I’ve saved that tiny feather…
    It is so soft and small;
    I “see” God smile as from a baby bird
    That feather made its fall.

    And landed where I found it
    To collect it for my taking…
    For memories and reminders of
    My Father’s great creating.

    ©Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 1-15-2010

  7. I find Human Ape's approach reprehensible. He does not represent the general atheist population, though I know there are those that react as he does, surfing the internet to purposefully insult.

    Human Ape - if you do no like the website, seeing as how it is not a threat towards you, why do you seek it out?

    That aside, April, evolution is greatly misunderstood and clearly taken FAR out of context. Abiogenesis hypothesizes about how life began, not evolution; evolution explains how life continued AFTER the beginning.

    There is an astounding amount of evidence to support evidence, leaving those that take the time to thoroughly read the papers and field work that is done to study fossils, living species and other finds little or nothing to doubt.

    Evolution is not a religion nor a belief; it has absolutely nothing to do with either, and furthermore, a fair number (millions) of theists (believers in one or more gods) accept evolution as part of their creation belief.

    I hear many people stating that evolution is JUST a theory. Well, yes, it is! But one has to understand what a theory is. A theory - moreover, a scientific theory - is an statement or group of statements based on compelling evidence. Gravity is JUST a theory, but no one questions it when something falls on their head or they trip and slam into the ground. Why do we then question evolution, which has been proven, yet many of us still refuse to accept the evidence and put on our blinders? Because somewhere in our culture and society we have been taught that if it doesn't come directly from (insert your interpretation of here) the bible, it simply cannot be true and is a tool used by Satan.

    Ok, I understand that. I was there at one time, as well. I fully remember refuting all sides of the evolution "argument". I once thought scientists were trying to convince us that we evolved from monkeys . . . but, they haven't tried that. And they don't.

    My father taught me something that he himself didn't follow too well. However, it still sticks with me and I use it in my everyday life.

    "If you're going to doubt, refute and make claims, make sure you have evidence to back up those claims." ;)