PLANTS AND THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION:
WHERE DID THE FLOWERING PLANTS COME FROM?
We have seen that evolution has no explanation to offer for the absolutely gigantic phenomenon of instinct’s origin.
The migrating birds are only the tip of a gigantic iceberg: because as I have said before, EVERY function which supports life is instinctive: from breathing, eating, reproducing, moving etc – instinct is universal in the living world.
However, it is the Plant Kingdom which presents, in my opinion, the most ENORMOUS difficulties for evolution theory. The picture in the animal kingdom is messy – but the plant kingdom leaves us in no doubt at all that evolution is a complete non-starter.
Let’s begin with the two most difficult problems of all, leaving aside the question of the origin of life itself.
As we all know, life is impossible without proteins. Enzymes which make the reactions which support life possible at manageable temperatures, are proteins.
DNA, the carrier of the genetic code of life, contains nitrogen, and without nitrogen it would be useless.
The Problems Regarding Nitrogen
There are 2 such problems.
1 Life cannot function without proteins – and proteins cannot be made without proteins to make them! A truly vicious cycle.
But it’s No.2 I want to focus on in this article.
2 Nitrogen absolutely MUST get into the cells for life to go on. But nitrogen is one of the most unreactive gases on the planet. It combines with nothing at normal temperatures.
In nature, at the temperature of lightning flashes, (about 30000 -50000 C) it is forced to combine with oxygen in the air. That process produces gases containing nitrogen, which then dissolve in rainwater and form nitric and nitrous acids.
Those acids fall on the earth and combine with other substances there, forming nitrates and nitrites which are then available to plants. The plants use them to manufacture their own tissues, animals eat the plants, and so nitrogen enters the living world.
That however, is not the main entry point.
There are microorganisms (called cyanobacteria) which fix nitrogen, taking it directly from the air. There is a very small group of other bacteria in the root nodules of leguminous plants, which do the same – hence farmers like to plant clover and other such plants, because they introduce nitrogen into the soil and the crops benefit.
So far so good.
The cyanobacteria, as we mentioned above, ‘fix’ nitrogen, and are the entry point of the largest amounts of nitrogen into the living world. They soak up the nitrogen, incorporate it in their tissues, and then die, liberating nitrogen compounds for use by other life forms.
This is not an easy process. Lightning flashes do it. Haber and Bosch invented the process called by their names, which is currently used today. They got Nobel prizes for their invention.
In essence, they use a temperature of >400C, catalysts of one sort or another, high gas pressures and so forth. It is a complex process requiring high degrees of technical knowledge to create and operate, and it works, producing ammonia which is used as the basis of fertilisers and explosives..
The cyanobacteria are among the oldest, if not the oldest fossils ever found. They date back to the pre-Cambrian era, upwards of three billion years ago http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/bacteria/cyanofr.html.
So we have the completely extraordinary picture, of this lowly group of bacteria, right from the dawn of life, FIXING NITROGEN, no less. At normal, average temperatures. Unlike Haber and Bosch, they don’t need 400C, high pressures, metallic catalysts and so forth.
This reaction is performed exclusively by these bacteria, using an enzyme complex termed nitrogenase. This enzyme consists of two proteins - an iron protein and a molybdenum-iron protein.
We are immediately in the realms of miracle.
First, this lowly bacterium is able to perform, in a far superior and safer manner to the Haber- Bosch process, the difficult feat of fixing nitrogen.
Second, they’ve been quietly doing this for more than 3 billion years, having invented the process with no kind of brain.
Third, they invented the enzyme complex and use it, unchanged to this day.
But I said ‘miracle’ a moment ago.
It’s this. That enzyme complex consists of two PROTEINS. Proteins, remember, NEED NITROGEN in their molecular structure. So if nitrogen WASN’T available to enter their tissues, the proteins could never have formed.
But nitrogen COULDN’T enter their structure UNTIL IT WAS FIXED and available. So what fixed it? Why, the cyanobacteria of course. But…..!!!
Another point of immense interest is that the cyanobacteria have remained unchanged from the very beginning. Here are some ancient ones, and some modern ones. They haven’t changed at all.
Which is very revealing. The design cannot be bettered, has not been bettered in 3.5 billion years.
Another Amazing Fact
And there is another amazing fact. The cyanobacteria are ALSO able to photosynthesise. They have chlorophyll – and that is the second most important compound in nature, without which, life as we know it would perish.
But photosynthesis produces oxygen, and that oxygen interferes with the nitrogen fixing process. So how to avoid this conflict in cells which can do both? The Designer solved it at a stroke.
He separated the two parts of the organism that perform the two separate processes.
Please understand that this is one of the most fundamental processes of life on this planet. Unfixed nitrogen is useless to life, though it does play a part in maintaining the proper balance of gases in respiration.
Without nitrogen fixation, there could be no proteins.
Without proteins, life itself would be impossible.
Without proteins, nitrogen fixation itself is impossible.
The vicious cycle will certainly strangle the theory sooner or later in the open-minded.
THE ORIGIN OF THE ANGIOSPERMS
About half of the plants on the planet are ‘angiosperms’.
That term means : ‘plants which have their seeds in a closed ovary.’ What does that mean?
Think of an apple or a plum fruit. The edible fruit, as a whole, is the vastly enlarged ovary of the plant. The seed (in the case of the plum) and the pips (seeds in the case of the apple) are ‘enclosed in the ovary’. The ovary has become filled with good things which animals can eat, and in the process, the seeds are dispersed elsewhere to produce new plants.
Here is a helpful diagram to show what I mean:
Notice, the ovule, which will become the seed, is INSIDE THE OVARY. This is the distinguishing characteristic of the angiosperms.
The more ‘primitive’ plants, the ‘gymnosperms’ have ‘naked seeds’ which are NOT ENCLOSED in an ovary.
The impossibility which faces the evolutionist is: if the gymnosperms are the predecessors of the angiosperms, then how did the seed become ENCLOSED in the ovary, while in the gymnosperms it is NOT ENCLOSED? There is absolutely no explanation of this phenomenon extant.
Such is the force of this fact, that Darwin had this to say:
"The rapid development as far as we can judge of all the higher plants within recent geological times is an abominable mystery."
—Charles Darwin in a letter to Sir Joseph Hooker, 1879.
Nothing has changed.
The botanist Chester A. Arnold, who studies fossil plants at the University of Michigan, makes the following comment:
It has long been hoped that extinct plants will ultimately reveal some of the stages through which existing groups have passed during the course of their development, but it must be freely admitted that this aspiration has been fulfilled to a very slight extent, even though paleobotanical research has been in progress for more than one hundred years.
Arnold accepts that paleobotany (the science of plant fossils) has produced no results in support of evolution: "[W]e have not been able to track the phylogenetic history of a single group of modern plants from its beginning to the present."
“More than one-hundred years ago, Darwin called the origin of angiosperms an "abominable mystery". Angiosperms appear rather suddenly in the fossil record, with no obvious ancestors for a period of about 80 to 90 million years prior to their appearance. Not even fossil leaves or pollen are known from this earlier time.”
It doesn’t seem likely that they will either. As I said before, moving the seed from OUTSIDE the ovary to a position INSIDE an ovary, permits no intermediate conditions.
As we might expect, there are guesses galore, but Arnold (above) has stated the matter very clearly and correctly.
This is a magnificent disproof of common descent.
The angiosperms, as said before, constitute about half the plants on the face of the planet.
So this is not a minor objection, it is one of unimaginable magnitude. Animal life depends in the main, for example, on the grasses for food . Grasses are angiosperms – so the theory cannot account for the existence of this most vital single group of plants.
As we will show later, it cannot account for the existence of the gymnosperms either – so that is well over 75% of the plant kingdom.
What opinion must one hold of a theory of origins that fails so dismally to account for such major groups of organisms? A pretty low one, I suggest.
For such an important group of plants to emerge out of nowhere in the Cretaceous as they do, is positive proof of Creation. It is exactly what we would predict based on a creation model. No ancestors, common or otherwise. Just BANG! Here we all are, chaps.
Here’s Berkeley again:
The rapid diversification of angiosperm taxa began in the Albian,
[incidentally, just notice the question begging! It did evolve; they did diversify; but we haven’t a clue where they came from! Reminds me of Arnold Lunn’s comment: “Now faith is the substance of fossils hoped for, the evidence of links unseen”]
in the mid-Cretaceous, and has continued to this day. At that time, there is an almost exponential increase in angiosperm diversity, and there does not appear to have been any major extinctions of groups in between. Despite the large numbers of taxa that are known from rather early in this diversification, there is no indication of where the taxa are coming from. http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/anthoph...hophytafr.html
To help you orientate yourself as to what ‘Cretaceous’ means, here is a geological chart.
Notice how late it really is. That means they have had a lot of history to examine in order to find the ancestors they need. They haven’t found any.
Common ancestors anybody?
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Evolution's Soft Underbelly
The Argument Darwin Dreaded…
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