And a Plant is Born
Plants, which have a most important role in the world's
ecological balance and, indeed, in the continuation of life, possess
a relatively more effective reproductive system than other living
creatures. Thanks to this, they multiply without any difficulty.
Sometimes it will be enough for a plant stalk to be cut and placed
in the ground for the plant to multiply, at others for an insect
to land on a flower.
The internally quite complex reproduction system of plants,
although seemingly a very simple process, leaves scientists astounded.
A New Life Begins with the Leaving of the Parent
Some plants do not have separate genders, but continue
the reproduction of the species as one gender by special means.
The new generation which emerges as a result of reproduction in
this manner is an exact copy of the generation which brought it
into being. The best known asexual reproduction method of plants
is the modifying of stems and separating into different parts.
This way of reproducing (modified stems or division),
realised with the assistance of some special enzymes, is typical
of a large number of plants. For example, grasses and strawberries
multiply by using horizontal stems known as "stolons." The potato,
a plant which grows underground, multiplies by forming rhizomes
(horizontal stems), which enlarge at the ends into tubes.
For some species of plants it is enough if a part of
their leaves falls to the ground for another plant to grow. For
example, the Bryophyllum daigremontianum produces young plantlets
spontaneously on the margins of its leaves. Eventually these drop
to the ground and begin an independent life.1
In some plants, such as the begonia, when the leaves
which fall from it are placed on wet sand, young plantlets soon
grow around the leaf base. And again in a short time, these plantlets
begin to form a new plant resembling the parent plant. 2
Bearing these examples in mind, what is fundamentally
necessary for a plant to reproduce by putting out a part of itself?
Let us think! It is easy to answer this question when the genetic
make-up of plants is examined.
Like other living creatures, plants' structural characteristics
are encoded in the DNA in their cells. In other words, how a plant
will reproduce, how it will breathe, how it will come by its nutrients,
its colour, smell, taste, the amount of sugar in it, and other such
information, is without exception to be found in all of that plant's
cells. The cells in the roots of the plant possess the knowledge
of how the leaves will carry out photosynthesis, and the cells in
the leaves possess the knowledge of how the roots will take water
from the soil. In short, there exist a code and a blueprint for
the formation of a complete new plant in every extension that leaves
a plant. All the features of the mother plant, based on its in-built
genetic information, are to be found, complete, down to the last
detail in every cell of every little part that splits off from it.
So, in that case, how and by whom was the information
that can form a complete new plant installed in every part of the
The probability of all the information being totally
complete and the same inside every cell of a plant cannot be attributed
to chance. Nor can it be attributed to the plant itself, or the
minerals in the soil that carry out this process. These are all
parts of the system which make up the plant. Just as it takes a
factory engineer to program production line robots, since the robots
cannot come by the instructions themselves, so there must be some
being which gives to plants the necessary formula for growth and
reproduction, since the plants, like the robots, cannot acquire
these by themselves.
It is, of course God who implanted the necessary information
in the plants' cells, as in all other living things in the world.
It is He who without any doubt created everything in complete form,
and who is aware of all creation. God draws attention to this truth
in several holy verses:
He created the seven heavens one above the other.
You will find no flaw in the creation of the All-Merciful. Look
again-do you see any gaps? Then look again and again. Your eyes
will become dazzled and exhausted. (Surat al-Mulk: 3-4)
Do you not see that God sends down water from the
sky and then in the morning the earth is covered in green? God is
All-Subtle, All-Aware. (Surat al-Hajj: 63)
Sexually Reproducing Plants
Reproduction carried out by means of the male and female
reproductive organs in the flowers of plants is called sexual reproduction.
Flowers show differences in features, such as shape, colour, the
casing of reproductive cells, and petals. But despite this variety
in structure, all flowers serve the same basic functions. These
are to produce reproductive cells, prepare them for dispersal, and
to fertilise other reproductive cells which reach them.
Pollens, which emerge at the time flowers start to open,
are plants' male reproductive cells. Their functions are to reach
the female organs in flowers of the same species and to ensure the
continuation of their species of plant.
Every plant has its own method, or mechanism, which it
uses to send its pollen out. Some plants make use of insects, others
of the force of the wind. The most important point in the fertilisation
of plants is without doubt the fact that each plant can only fertilise
another plant of the same species. For this reason it is most important
that the right pollen should go to the right plant.
So, how is it that there is no confusion during fertilisation,
especially in the months of spring when there are so many varieties
of pollen in the air? How does pollen stand up to its long journeys
and changing conditions?
The answer to all these questions will be given when
we examine the structure of pollen and the dispersal systems.
Pollens: Perfectly Packaged Genes
Although there is a lot of pollen in the air, plants begin
the fertilization process only when pollen from their own
species reaches them.
Pollen, a fine powdery substance, is first produced in
flowers' male reproductive organs, and then moves to the outer part
of the flower. Having reached there it begins to mature and becomes
ready to fertilise the next generation. This is the first stage
in the life of pollen.
Let us first cast a glance at the structure of pollen.
Pollen is made up of micro-organisms invisible to the naked eye
(each beech tree pollen grain is 2 microns in size, and each pumpkin
pollen grain is 200 microns in size) (1 micron = 1/1,000 mm). A
pollen grain consists of two sperm cells (generative cells) contained
within a larger cell(tube cell).
Each grain of pollen may be likened to a sort of box.
Inside are the plant's reproductive cells. It is essential for these
cells to be well concealed to protect their life and keep them safe
from external dangers. For this reason the structure of the box
is very strong. The box is surrounded by a wall called the "sporoderm."
The outermost layer of this wall, called exine, is the most resistant
material known in the organic world, and its chemical make-up has
not yet been fully analysed. This material is generally very resistant
to damage from acids or enzymes. It is furthermore unaffected by
high temperature and pressure. As we have seen, very detailed precautions
have been taken to protect the pollen, which is essential for the
continued existence of plants. The grains have been very specially
wrapped up. Thanks to this, whatever method the pollen is dispersed
by, it can remain alive even miles away from the parent plant. Besides
the fact that pollen grains are coated with a very resistant material,
they are also dispersed in very large numbers, which guarantees
the multiplication of that plant.
As we have seen from the detailed structure of pollen,
God reveals to us His incomparable art in all the things He creates
and wishes us to think about them. Attention is drawn to this is
many verses in the Qur'an. The following verse is particularly illuminating:
On the earth there are diverse regions side by
side and gardens of grapes and cultivated fields, and palm-trees
sharing one root and others with individual roots, all watered with
the same water. And We make some things better to eat than others.
There are Signs in that for people who use their reason. (Surat
Plants give off billions
of pollen grains in every reproduction phase. The reason for
pollen count being so high is to safeguard the reproduction
of the plant against any danger.
Generally speaking, there are two different ways that
pollen reaches the flowers to fertilise it. In the process of dispersal,
the first stage in the fertilisation process, the pollen may stick
to the body of a bee, butterfly, or other insect, and have itself
carried that way, or may be borne along by air currents.
Pollens Which Open Their Sails to the Wind
Many plants in the world make use of the wind to disperse
their pollen, for the continuation of the species. Plants such as
oak, willow, poplar, pines, grasses, wheat, etc. are wind pollinated.
The wind takes the minute particles from the plants, carries them
to other plants of the same species, and thus ensures fertilisation.
Palm trees, which look so splendid, are
among those plants which fertilize through the wind.
There are still many points which scientists are at a
loss to explain, and many questions still awaiting answers regarding
wind pollination. For example, how does each of the thousands of
varieties of pollen borne by the wind recognise plants of its own
species? How is it that the pollen given off by the plant manage
to reach the plant's female organs without getting stuck anywhere?
Although the probabilities of fertilisation are quite low, how is
it that thousands of plants are fertilised in this way, and furthermore
have been for millions of years?
To provide the answers to these questions, Cornell University's
Karl J. Niklas and his team set out to study plants which pollinate
by the wind. The results they produced were exceedingly surprising.
Niklas and his team discovered that wind pollinated plants have
aerodynamic flower structures to enable them to attract large quantities
of pollen from the air.
And what is this aerodynamic structure in plants? What
effect does it have? To provide the answers to these questions,
we shall first have to explain what is meant by "aerodynamic structure."
Forces originating in air currents operate on bodies moving in the
air. Thanks to these forces, known as aerodynamic forces, bodies
which manage to move in the air are known as "aerodynamically structured
bodies." Some plants which employ wind pollination use this aerodynamic
structure in a most effective manner. The best example of this is
to be seen in pine cones.
Perhaps the most important question which led Karl Niklas
and his team to make a study of wind pollination was "How is it
that with this great number of pollens in the air the pollen from
one plant is not caught by another species of plant and reaches
other plants only of its own species?" This was the question which
led scientists to study plants which fertilise by the wind, in particular
In trees with cones, known for their long lives and height,
the cones form male and female structures. Male and female cones
can be on different trees as well as on the same tree. There are
specially designed channels on the cones to draw to themselves the
currents which carry the pollen. The pollen can easily reach the
reproductive areas, thanks to these channels.
Female cones are larger than male cones and grow singly.
The female cones consist of a central axis having arranged around
it numerous sporophylls - leaf-like structures. These are structures
in the form of casings resembling fish scales. It is at the base
of these scales that two ovules (parts where eggs are formed) develop.
When the cones are ready to pollinate, these cases open up into
two sides. In this way they enable pollen from male cones to enter.
The air current created around a female
pine cone is very important in pollination. First the wind
is turned to the middle of the cone a)After blowing around
the centre it passes over the surface of the scales b) The
air suddenly and irregularly starts to circulate by the opening
to the egg on each scale and pollen gathers in that region
c) The pollens are then sent downwards and towards the scales
parallel to the wind.
In addition, there are special assisting structures which
enable pollen to enter the cone with ease. For example, the scales
of the female cone are covered with sticky hairs. Thanks to these
hairs, the pollen can easily be taken inside for fertilisation.
After fertilisation, the female cones turn into wooden structures
containing a seed. Later on, the seeds bring forth new plants under
suitable conditions. Female cones also possess another striking
property. The area where the egg forms (ovule) is very close to
the centre of the cone. It would apparently be difficult for the
pollen to reach this area. Because, in order to reach the inner
part of the cone, it has to enter a special path which leads to
the centre. Although at first sight this looks as if it might be
a disadvantage to the fertilisation of cones, studies revealed that
this was not the case.
To find out how this particular fertilisation system
in the cones works, an experiment was carried out by preparing a
model cone. The motion of small balloons filled with helium and
left in currents of air was observed. It was found that these small
balloons easily followed the air currents and possessed the property
of being able to easily enter the narrow corridors in the cone.
Subsequently, the movements of the balloons in this experimental
model were filmed using a special photographic technique. These
images were then analysed with the help of a computer and the direction
and speed of the wind were established.
According to the results from the computer, it was discovered
that cones altered the movement of the wind in three ways. First,
the direction of the wind is turned towards the centre by means
of the leaves. Then later, the wind in this region is twisted and
pulled into the area where the eggs are formed. In the second movement,
the wind, which spins like a whirlpool and touches all the little
casings, is then directed towards the region which opens to the
centre of the cone. Thirdly, thanks to its protuberances which give
rise to small currents, the cone turns the wind downwards and directs
it towards the casings.
Cones have different thicknesses and shapes depending on their
Thanks to these movements most of the pollen in the air
reaches the desired destination. And here there is no doubt that
the point most worthy of note is that these three operations, which
complement each other, must necessarily be coterminous. The perfect
planning of the cones emerges at this point.
The theory of evolution claims that, as with all living
things, there was a phased development over time in plants, too.
According to evolutionists, the reason for the flawless structure
of plants is coincidence. To appreciate the invalidity of this claim
it will suffice to examine the faultless structure of the cones'
It is not possible for any living species to perpetuate
itself without a reproductive system. This inevitable truth also
applies to pine trees and their cones, of course. In other words,
the reproductive system in the cones must have existed together
with pine trees when they first emerged. It is not possible for
the cones' perfect structure to have come into existence of its
own accord over a period of time in different stages. Because it
is necessary for the structure which leads the wind to the cones,
for another structure which later directs the wind into the channels,
and for the channels which lead to the area where the eggs are,
to have come into existence at the same time with no detail missing.
If one of these structures were missing, it would not be possible
for this reproductive system to work. It only remains to say that
the impossibility of the egg cell in the cone and the sperm cells
which will fertilise it having come into existence by themselves
by chance is another cul-de-sac from the point of view of the theory
For all the parts of such a system to have emerged at
the same time by coincidence, when it is impossible for even one
part to have done so, is quite inconceivable. Scientific findings
invalidate the theory of evolution's claims of emergence by chance
from every point of view. For this reason, it is quite evident that
if from the moment cones first appeared, they were in perfect form
and possessed a flawless system, it was because they had been created
Pine trees have other features which speed up the trapping
of pollens. For example, female cones are generally formed at the
tips of branches. This reduces the loss of pollen to a minimum.
Moreover, the leaves around the cones help more pollen
to fall on the cones by reducing the speed of the air currents.
The symmetrical arrangement of the leaves around the cones assists
in the trapping of pollens coming from all directions.
Like all pollens, pine pollens have different shapes,
sizes, and densities according to their species. For example, the
pollen of one species are of a density that prevents them from following
the air currents set up by cones of another species. For this reason
they leave the current set up by the cone and fall to the ground.
All varieties of cone set up air currents most suited to their own
species of pollen. This feature of cones does not just serve to
trap pollens. Plants use this filtration of the air currents for
very different functions. For example, by this method female cones
are able to change the direction of fungus pollens which could damage
their egg cells.
The leaves of the American hybrid pine
are situated where they cannot obstruct the passage of the pollen,
so that fertilization is made easier.
The precautions taken by plants so that their pollen,
thrown into the air at random, can reach their own species, are
not limited to these. A plant's producing a great deal more pollen
than is required to some extent guarantees the pollination process.
Thanks to this the plant is not affected by pollen losses which
could come about for various reasons. For example, every male cone
on a pine tree produces more than 5 million grains of pollen a year,
and one pine tree on its own produces in the region of 12.5 billion
grains of pollen a year, which is an extraordinary number when compared
to other living things.3
Even so, pollens borne by the wind still face a number
of obstacles. One of these is leaves. Therefore when pollens are
discharged into the air, some plants (hazelnut, walnut, etc.) open
their flowers before their leaves, so that pollination may take
place while their leaves are still undeveloped. Flowers are found
on three parts of cereals and pines to facilitate pollination. In
this case, the leaves are so organised as not to be an obstacle
to the movement of the pollen.
By means of these pre-arrangements, pollens can go some
considerable distances. The distance varies with the species. For
example, pollens with air sacs can travel much greater distances
than other species. It has been established that pine pollens with
two such air sacs can be carried up to 300 kilometres on high air
currents.4 Equally important
is the fact that thousands of varieties of pollen travel such distances
in the air, carried on the same wind, but without any confusion
Pollens Aimed at their Target
To have a better understanding of the amazing features
of plants which are fertilised by means of the wind, let us take
Rockets have to follow a pre-determined trajectory to
reach their targets. For this reason, very careful calculations
have to go into the planning of the rocket if it is to reach its
target. For instance, the rocket's features, its motor capacity
and flight speed, along with particulars of weather conditions,
such as air density, must be programmed in detail. Furthermore,
there has to be exact knowledge of the structure of the target area
and the prevailing conditions there. And these factors have to be
arrived at by making the most minute measurements. Otherwise the
rocket will go off course and fail to reach its target. For a rocket
to successfully hit its target, many engineers have to work together
and think everything out in great detail. It is clear that success
in aiming at and hitting the target is the product of teamwork,
fine calculation, and superior technology.
The flawless reproduction system in cones resembles rockets'
being aimed at a target, in that everything is very accurately pre-planned
with very sensitive adjustments. Many details, such as the direction
of the air current, the different thicknesses of cones, the shape
of the leaves, etc., have been specially taken into account and
reproduction plans built on the basis of this information.
The existence of such complex structures in plants raises
the question of how these mechanisms came about. Let us answer that
question with another. Can this structure in cones be the work of
The system in-built in the rockets is the result of long
years of study and hard work by highly intelligent and knowledgeable
engineers who are experts in their field. The complex structures
in the cones, which have nearly the same working system as rockets,
have been especially planned in the same way. To claim that a rocket
could have come about by chance and say that it could hit a target
by following a random trajectory is just as illogical as claiming
that the extraordinary movements of pollen, aimed at the target
in much the same way, and the detailed structure in the cones, could
have come about as the result of coincidences.
And, of course, it is impossible that pollens could have
the ability and knowledge to find their different ways on this journey.
At the end of the day, pollen is a collection of cells. Going even
deeper, it is something made up of unconscious atoms. There is no
doubt that a cone's possession of a system so replete with detailed
information about fertilisation is the result of its perfect creation
by God, the Almighty and All-Knowing.
Another important point in the fertilisation of pine
trees is the wind's being kept under control. The winds' performing
their transport duties in such a flawless way is without doubt due
to God, the Lord of all the worlds who directs the whole affair
from heavens to earth. God refers to this in a verse:
And We send the fecundating winds. (Surat al-Hijr:
All the plants in the world, without exception, perform
such operations. Each and every species has known what it has to
do since it first appeared. This event, which happens with the assistance
of wind currents, has been going on for millions of years with no
difficulty, despite being based on unlikely probabilities. As we
have seen, everything happens in its due place and with perfect
timing, because each one of these mechanisms is obliged to work
in unison with all of the others and at the same point in time.
If one of them were absent, that would mean the end of that species
It is clear that these systems, which have no intelligence,
will, or consciousness of their own, neither in part nor as a whole,
play their role in these unbelievable events by the order and through
the creation of God, Possessor of infinite power and knowledge,
who controls everything every second and has planned everything
down to the tiniest detail. The coming into existence of every living
and non-living thing, and every event, result from God's creation.
God reveals this secret in a holy verse:
It is God Who created the seven heavens and of
the earth the same number, the Command descending down through all
of them, so that you might know that God has power over all things
and that God encompasses all things in His knowledge. (Surat at-Talaq:
To illustrate this point, let us imagine that we see
a faultless technological implement, factory, or building, every
detail of which has been planned with forethought: we feel no doubt
that each one of these has a planner. We know, of course, that they
were made by knowledgeable people and that there was control over
every stage. Nobody can then stand up and claim that these things
came about by themselves over time. We appreciate, respect, and
praise the intelligence of those who planned them and what their
And all living things were created together with systems
planned down to the finest detail and dependent on the most sensitive
balances. We see this wherever we look, without exception. There
is no doubt that it is God who is worthy of praise here, who created
all living creatures with all the abilities they possess. Like everything
in the world, plants too maintain their existence thanks to the
systems especially created by God, in other words they are under
Everything in the heavens and on the earth belongs
to Him. God is Rich Beyond Need and Praiseworthy. (Surat al-Hajj:
The keys of the Unseen are in His possession. No
one knows them but Him. He knows everything in the land and on the
sea. No leaf falls without His knowing it. There is no seed in the
darkness of the earth, and nothing moist or dry which is not recorded
in a Clear Book. (Surat al-An'am: 59)
Pollinators On Duty
As we have already mentioned, some plant species reproduce
by having their pollen carried by animals such as insects, birds,
bees, and butterflies.
The relationship between plants, which allow animals
to disperse their pollen, and the animals which perform this duty
amazes observers. Because in order to set up and perpetuate this
system of mutual give and take, these living creatures attract and
influence each other in quite expert ways. Generally speaking, it
was at first thought that in their relationship with animals, plants
played a very small role. Whereas researchers have put forward results
completely at odds with this opinion. Plants, playing a very active
role, directly influence animals' behaviour patterns.They have perfected
strategies by which they direct the animals which will carry their
For example, plants' colour signals indicate to birds
and other animals which fruits are ripe and ready for dispersal.
The amount of nectar present, linked to the colour of flowers, increases
the chances of fertilisation by encouraging the pollinator to stay
on the plant longer. And specific floral odors attract the right
pollinators at exactly the right time.5
The insects of different species in the
pictures function as pollinators. God has created insects in
complete harmony with plants. For example, the bee on the left
has a basket made of special hairs on its leg, created to carry
Plants also sometimes use methods of deception to initiate
the pollen-carrying process. The animal which is to carry out the
particle spreading, generally falls into a trap laid by the plant,
and in this way the plant achieves it aim.
Methods used by Plants: Colour, Shape, and Scent
As well as informing pollinators the presence of flowers,
colour also helps to advertise their nectar reward status. When
a pollinator approaches, the flower gives off stimulatory signals,
such as scent, to show the insect the way to the nectar site.
The colour patterning of flowers directs the pollinator to the
centre where the nectar is located, and thus enables fertilisation.6
Some flowers, like the Lantana, let insects know of their
pollen reward by changing colour.
Plants too know about the guiding function of the colours
they possess. In fact, they deceive animals by employing this feature
in a most conscious manner. Some plants which have no nectar use
the colour features of nectar-producing flowers to attract insects
to them. One very good example of this is the red cephelanthera,
a species of orchid, and blue bellflowers which grow in forest regions
in Mediterranean climates. While the the bellflowers give off a
nectar which is most attractive to bees, the red cephelanthera does
not possess the characteristics to do this. But it is the same wild
bee, known locally as the "leafcutter," which carries out the fertilisation
of both these totally different plants. While the leafcutter bees
are fertilising the blue bellflowers, they feel the need to fertilise
the red cephelanthera too. Bees fertilising a plant with no nectar
attracted scientists' interest and they researched the reason for
the bee's behaviour.
The answer to this question came as the result of research
carried out with a device called a "spectrophotometer." From this
it was realised that the leafcutter bees are unable to distinguish
between the respective wavelengths of the light given off by the
two different flowers. In other words, although human beings can
distinguish between the light wavelengths given off by the blue
bellflower and the red cephelanthera, since they can see the difference
in colour between the flowers, wild bees cannot see the difference.
Colour is an important factor for pollinators, and the bee, which
goes to the blue bellflower, which gives off pollen, also visits
and enables the fertilisation of the red cephelanthera which grows
beside it, and which it sees as being the same colour. As we see,
this orchid continues down the generations thanks to its "hidden
resemblance" to blue bellflower.7
Some species of plant actually announce their pollen
reward to insects by changing the colour of their blossoms. The
following is an example:
| Water lilies use Coleoptera
(an insect order), sensitive to the colour white, to carry the
pollen in their flowers which open on the water. The interesting
thing in water lily pollination is that straight after fertilization
this white turns to pink. For the Coleoptera, the change in
colour of the flower means that the flower has been fertilized
by another insect and that the pollen has been used up.
In a letter, naturalist Fritz Muller discussed a plant
called Lantana, which grows in the Brazilian forests:
We have here a Lantana the flowers of which last three
days, being yellow on the first, orange on the second, purple on
the third. This plant is visited by various butterflies. As far
as I have seen the purple flowers are never touched. Some species
inserted their proboscis (mouth parts) both into yellow and orange
flowers, others… exclusively into the yellow flowers of the first
day. This is, I think, an interesting case. Of the flowers fell
off at the end of the first day the inflorescence (flower) would
be much less conspicuous, if they did not change their color much
time would be much less conspicuous, if they did not change their
color much time would be lost by the butterflies inserting their
proboscis in already fertilized flowers.8
As Muller observed, the flower's changing colour is in
the interests of both the plant and the pollinator. Plants whose
flowers change colour offer the fertilising agents a lot of nectar
when the flowers are young. As the flowers grow older, not only
does their colour change, but they also contain less nectar. By
correctly interpreting the color changes the pollinators save energy
by not fruitlessly visiting plants which have little or no nectar.
Another of the methods which plants use to attract birds
or insects is the scent given off by their flowers. Scents, which
are just pleasant to us, actually serve to attract insects. The
scent given off by flowers has the property of showing the way to
the insects around it. When an insect smells the scent it realises
that there is delicious nectar stored up for it nearly. It then
heads straight for the source of the smell. When it reaches the
flower, it will try to get the nectar and pollen will stick to it.
The same insect will also leave behind pollen which stuck to it
from another flower it visited, and will thus bring about fertilisation.
It is not even aware of the important job it does. Its only aim
is to reach the nectar it smells.
Plants' Deception Methods
We said that some plants use methods of deception. These
plants do not have nectar with which to attract insects. These kinds
of plants are fertilised by their making use of their similarities
to insects. One species of orchid, the mirror orchid, possesses
the shape and colour of a female bee in order to attract bees. This
species of orchid is even able to give off a suitable chemical signal
to attract male bees, and produces an effective pheromone (a special
The Cyprus bee orchid is another of the plants which
imitate insects to ensure their fertilisation. The number of orchids
employing this technique is quite large, and the methods used
differ from one to the other. Some imitate a female bee with its
head pointing upwards, others have the head pointing downwards.
For example, the yellow bee orchid uses the second method. For
this reason their modes of fertilisation differ.9
In the left picture is
the Cyprus bee orchid, on the right is a male bee trying to fertilize
the orchid because it thinks it is a female bee. The male bee
tries to fertilize the orchid for a time. During this time, the
pollen in the orchid's reproductive organ sticks to the bee's
head. The bee will later go and pass this pollen on to other orchids
in the same way. There is a harmony whose every detail has been
very carefully planned between the orchids and the insects, and
this cannot be explained by evolution. This harmony shows us that
bees and orchids were created by God, in the same way as all other
forms of life in the world.
Another species of orchid which imitates female bees
is the dragon orchid. The lip of the dragon orchid's flower mimics
the wingless female wasp so competently that only male wasps show
any interest in them. Some members of the orchid family manage
to attract insects to them, even if they have no nectar to offer.
They secure the landing of male wasps on an area in the lower
part of the flower by imitating the female wasp and giving off
an attractive scent. The wasp which lands on the flower attempts
to mate, and as a result, the orchid's pollinea are fixed on his
body. Thanks to this deception, it deposits the pollen stuck on
its body on another flower on which it lands with the same aim.10
A few examples of orchids which imitate
bees, although there are many more of them. The interesting
thing is that each of these flowers looks like a different
type of bee. It would be ridiculous to claim that such perfect
resemblances could have come about by chance. Orchids were
created by God in possession of this feature.
Another plant which imitates the features of female animals
is the hammer orchid. The reproductive mechanism of this orchid,
which grows in dry grasslands of South Australia, is quite amazing.
The hammer orchid has just one leaf, in the shape of a heart, and
shows a total resemblance to the female wasp. While the male wasps
fly, the females have no wings, and spend most of their time in
the soil. When the time comes for the females to mate, they come
out from under the ground so that the males can find them, and climb
to the top of a tall plant stem. Once atop, they give off their
mating smell and await the arrival of a male.
A special feature of the male wasps is that they reach
the orchids two weeks before the females. This is a most interesting
situation, because there are no female wasps around, only orchids
which look just like female wasps and which are waiting for fertilisation.
And when the male wasps come to the orchids, they smell an odour
similar to that given off by female wasps. This is emitted by the
orchid. Under the influence of this smell, the male wasps land on
the orchid leaves. This triggers the plant's spring-loaded 'elbow'
joint causing the wasp to fall on its reproductive organ. While
the wasp attempts to escape from the flower, two pollen-laden sacs
stick to the back of its head or to its back. In this way, when
the wasp goes to other orchids, the pollen stuck to its back serves
to fertilise them.11 As we have
seen, there is a most harmonious relationship between the hammer
orchid and the wasp. This symbiosis is most important for the reproduction
of the plant. Because if successful pollination did not take place,
in other words, if the pollen were not to be transported from the
insect to another plant of the same species, then fertilisation
would not take place.
A male wasp tries to mate with a flower
which it has mistaken for a female wasp. This deception is
completely natural because some orchids do not just imitate
female wasps' colour, shape, and fur-covered lower regions,
they also imitate the scent given off by female wasps.
There are many examples in nature of such accord as exists
between the hammer orchid and the wild bees. Sometimes differences
between flowers can be the reason for such a relationship. For example,
it is very easy for some insects to enter some flowers, because
that part of the flower where the pollen lies is open, and insects
and bees can easily enter these regions and reach the pollen. Some
plants have a nectar entrance of such a size as can be entered only
by certain animals. For instance, in some situations bees push themselves
through these gaps so as to reach the nectar in the flower. It is
very difficult, even impossible, for other living things to do what
the bee does so very easily.
Bees and other insects, on the other hand, are unable
to fertilise flowers with long corolla (petals) tubes. Only long-tongued
insects, such as butterflies and moths can fertilise these flowers.12
As we have seen from all these examples, there is a totally
flawless harmony between insects, whose bodily structure is entirely
suited to that of the plants, and the plants themselves.
It is impossible for the reciprocity in such a "lock
and key" relationship to have come about by chance, as the evolutionists
claim. Which means that to expect this to come about by chance contradicts
the logic of the theory of evolution as maintained by evolutionists.
According to the evolutionists' claims about natural selection,
a life form which is not adapted to its environment either has to
develop new mechanisms within itself or must slowly disappear. In
this situation, according to the mechanism of natural selection,
these plants, not being fertilizable by insects by reason of their
particular flower structure, would either have disappeared or have
had to change the form of their flowers. And in the same way, insects
which can fertilise only these flowers because of the structure
of their mouths, would either have disappeared for lack of food
or have changed the structure of the organs they use to gather food.
But when we look at plants with long corolla tubes, or
other plants, we see that they have developed no adaptation, in
other words, a change or other supplementary mechanism. Again, no
adaptation of any sort is to be seen in living creatures such as
butterflies and moths.
These flowers, benefiting from a symbiotic relationship
with the pollinators which fertilise them, have carried on living
for many years, right up to the present.
What has been explained so far is just a short summary
of methods employed by some different species of plant to survive
down the generations. You will find all these details in any biology
book, but those same sources are unable to provide a satisfactory
explanation of the reasons for plants employing this pollen dispersal
process. Because in every process carried out, features such as
thought, reasoning, decision-making, and calculation-that we cannot
ascribe to plants-are in evidence: we all know that a plant does
not have the consciousness to perform such activities. Imagine the
scenario we should be faced with if we said that a plant carried
out all these processes of its own volition:
The plant "calculates" that its aerodynamic structure
is suited to pollen dispersal by wind, and every subsequent generation
employs the same method. Others "understand" that they will not
be able to make sufficient use of the wind and, for this reason,
make use of insects to carry their pollen. They "know" that they
have to attract insects to themselves in order to be able to multiply,
and try various methods to bring this about. They particularly identify
what insects like. After finding which nectar and scents are effective
for which insects, they produce scents by a variety of chemical
processes and give them off when they have established the exact
time to do so. They identify the taste in the nectar that insects
will find pleasant and the totality of the substances in it, and
produce these themselves. If the scent and nectar are not enough
to draw insects to them, they decide to try another method, and,
to suit this situation, make "deceptive imitations". Furthermore,
they "calculate" the volume of pollen which will reach another plant
of the same species and also the distance it has to travel, and
on the basis of this, begin to produce it in the most suitable quantities
and at the most appropriate time. They "think" of the possibilities
that might prevent the pollen from reaching its destination and
"take precautions" against them.
Some flowers open at night and
so are fertilized by nocturnal creatures. One of the creatures
which fertilize flowers at night are bats, which feed on the
nectar in plants. The white, greenish, and purple flowers fertilized
by bats at night have such a strong smell that bats, which are
blind and fly in the dark, can easily find them. These flowers
also produce great quantities of nectar. We see there is a perfect
harmony between the two. There is no doubt that the creator
of this harmony is God, the Compassionate and Merciful.13
yucca has a rosette of spear-shaped leaves from the centre of
which rises a mast bearing cream-coloured flowers. The special
feature of the yucca is that its pollen is in a curved region.
For this reason only this moth with a specially curved proboscis
can gather the pollen from the plant's male reproductive organs.
The moth moulds the pollen into a ball and takes this to another
yucca flower. First it goes to the bottom of the flower and
lays its own eggs. Then it climbs back up to the top of the
stigma and rams the pollen ball into the top. The plant has
not been fertilised. The yuccas could never set seed if there
were no moths.14
Of course, such a scenario could not ever be a reality:
in fact, this scenario breaks all the rules of logic. None of the
above-mentioned strategies could be devised by an ordinary plant,
because a plant cannot reason, cannot calculate time, cannot determine
size and shape, cannot calculate the strength and direction of the
wind, cannot determine for itself what kind of techniques it will
need for fertilisation, cannot think that it will have to attract
an insect it has never seen, and furthermore, cannot decide what
methods it will need to be able to do any or all of these things.
No matter how much the details multiply, from what direction
the subject is approached, and what logic is employed, the conclusion
that there is something extraordinary in the relationship between
plants and animals will not change.
In some flowers the nectar is hidden
deep. This looks like a handicap to insects and birds gathering
the nectar, in other words to the fertilization of the flower.
Whereas it is not so for the flowers. Because God has made
these plants' fertilization possible by creating creatures
with features suitable for obtaining the deep-hidden pollen.
These living things were created in harmony with one
another. This flawless system of mutual benefit shows us that the
force which created both flowers and insects knows both kinds of
living things very well, is aware of all their needs, and created
them to be complementary to one another. Both living things are
the work of the Lord of all the worlds, God, who knows them very
well, who indeed knows everything. They are charged with presenting
God's greatness, His supreme power, and His flawless art to men.
A plant has no knowledge of its own existence, nor of
the miraculous functions it performs, because it is under the control
of God, who planned its every feature, who created everything in
the universe, and who continues to create at every moment. This
truth is announced to us by God in the Qur'an:
Shrubs and trees both bow down in prostration (to
Him). (Surat ar-Rahman: 6)
The Pollination and Reproduction of Underwater
Contrary to popular belief, reproduction by means of
pollen is not limited to land plants. There are sea plants, too,
which reproduce by this method. The first plant living in the open
sea and reproducing by the pollination method, called "Zostera,"
was discovered in 1787 by the Italian botanist Filippo Cavolini.15
The reason for the belief that pollination is restricted
to land plants was that the grains of land plant pollens that made
contact with water split and ceased to function.
Studies carried out on plants which reproduce by pollination
in water, show that this is another subject on which the theory
of evolution finds itself in a quandary.
Plants which disperse their pollen by water are found
in 31 genera in 11 different families, and in very different places,
from northern Sweden to southern Argentina, from 40 metres below
sea level to 4,800 metres high in Lake Titicaca in the Andes Mountains.
From the ecological point of view, they live under very different
conditions, from tropical rain forests to seasonal desert pools.16
The evolutionists' difficulties on this subject stem
from the theory of evolution itself. Because, according to this
theory, pollination was a method of reproduction which began to
be used by plants after they started to live on land. Yet, it is
known that there are some sea plants which use this method. For
this reason evolutionists have named these plants "flowering plants
which have gone back to the water." And yet the evolutionists have
been unable to give any logical and scientific explanation of either
when the plants went back to the water, the reasons which made them
do so, how they went back to the water, or what shape the intermediate
Another problem for evolutionists arises from certain
properties of water. As we revealed earlier, water is not at all
a suitable environment for pollen to spread in, and generally leads
to splitting in individual seeds. It is also difficult to make predictions
about the movement of the water. There may be quite irregular currents
in water, tides may suddenly sink plants, or carry them considerable
distances on the surface. Notwithstanding these factors, aquatic
plants use the water they grow in as a pollinator with great success,
having been created in such a way as to be able to operate from
below the surface. Here are some examples of these plants:
Vallisneria plants make use of water to transport their pollen.
The plants' flowers' knowing when and where to open, and such
details as the pollen being composed of water resistant structures,
show that the plants and these processes were specially created.
Male Vallisneria flowers develop in that part of the
plant which remains under water. Then, in order to reach plants
with female characteristics, they leave the main body and float
free. The flower is created to rise easily to the surface once it
is free. At this point the flower looks like a globular bud. Its
leaves have closed over it and wrapped up the flower like the peel
of an orange. This particular structural form provides protection
from the negative effects of the water for that part which carries
the pollen. When the flowers rise to the surface, the petals, which
were formerly closed, separate from one another and curl back, spreading
over the surface of the water. The organs which carry the pollen
emerge above the leaves. These function like miniature sails, able
to move in even the slightest breeze. They also keep the Vallisneria's
pollen above the surface of the water.
As for the flowers of the female plant, they float on
the water, on the end of a long stalk rooted in the lake or pond
bed. The leaves of the female flower open on the surface, forming
a slight depression. This depression serves to create a gravitational
pull on the male plant when it approaches the female plant. In fact,
as the male flower passes by the female it is drawn towards it and
the two flowers meet. In this way the pollen reaches the female
flower's reproductive organ and pollination takes place.17
The male flower's protecting the pollen while it is closed
in the water, its rising up and opening on the surface, and its
adopting a form enabling it to move comfortably on the water are
details requiring especial consideration. These features of the
flower resemble those of the lifeboats used on seacraft, which open
automatically on being thrown into the sea. These boats emerged
as the result of long joint studies by the designers of many industrial
products. The planning faults which emerged when the boats were
first produced, and again the flaws which emerged when trials were
carried out on the boat, were taken in hand again, the faults were
put right, and as a result of repeated tests a properly functioning
system was arrived at.
Let us consider these studies in the context of the Vallisneria's
position: Unlike the designers of the lifeboat, the Vallisneria
did not have more than one chance. The first Vallisneria in the
world had only one chance. Only the use of a system which was completely
successful from the first test would ensure the chance of survival
for later generations. A faulty system would not pollinate the female
flower, and the plant would disappear from the world, as it would
never be able to multiply. As we have seen, it is impossible for
the Vallisneria's pollination strategy to have come about in stages.
Ab initio, this plant was created with a structure enabling it to
send out its pollen in water.
Using the tide of the waves, and thanks
to its long, noodlelike pollens, Halodule always succeeds
in sending its pollen to female plants.
Another water plant which possesses an effective pollination
strategy is the Halodule, which grows along sandy coasts in the
Fiji Islands. This plant's floating long, noodlelike pollens sway
from under the water to the surface.
This design enables the Halodule to hit even more marks
than the Vallisneria. Furthermore, the pollen noodles have coatings
of proteins and carbohydrates that make them sticky. They adhere
to one another on the surface of the water and form long rafts.
Millions of floral search vehicles of this type are carried along
as the tide returns to the shallow pools where the female plants
float. With the collision of these search vehicles with the female
plant's reproductive organs on the water's surface, pollination
takes place easily and successfully.18
So far we have discussed plants, whose pollen is transported
above or on the surface of the water. In this case the movement
of the pollen is two-dimensional. Some species have pollination
systems that operate in three dimensions - that is, below the surface.
Unlike other water plants, the Thalassia
spends all its life under water. Despite this, it manages to
send its pollen to the female plant through the water. As can
be seen above, Thalassia sends pollens under water embedded
in elongated strands. This special construction was designed
so that Thalassia could live under water.
Underwater pollination strategies are harder to implement
than above-surface ones. Because in three-dimensional pollination,
the results of even the slightest change in the movement of the
pollen will have far-reaching effects. For this reason, it is much
harder for the pollen to connect with the female organ under water
than it is on the surface.
Nevertheless, Thalassia, a Caribbean plant, always lives
under water, because it has been created with a pollination strategy
to make the seemingly difficult conditions for pollination easier.
Thalassia releases its round pollen under water, embedded in elongated
strands. They are carried along by the waves, then stick to female
flowers' reproductive organs and thus enable the plant to multiply.19
The pollen of the Thalassia and the Halodule being sent
out embedded in strands increases the distance the search vehicles
go. There is no doubt that this intelligent design is the work of
God, who created both water plants and their pollination strategies
in water, and who is aware of all creation.
1. Malcolm Wilkins, Plantwatching,
New York, Facts on File Publications, 1988, P. 164
Malcolm Wilkins, Plantwatching, New York, Facts on File Publications,
1988, p. 164
3. Bilim ve Teknik
Dergisi (Science and Technology Journal), May 1995, p.76
4. Bilim ve Teknik
Dergisi (Science and Technology Journal), May 1995, p.77
5. John King, Reaching
for The Sun, 1997, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, p.152
6. John King, Reaching
for The Sun, 1997, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, p.150
7. Bilim ve Teknik
Dergisi, (Science and Technology Journal), February 1988, p.22
8. John King, Reaching
for The Sun, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, p.148-149
9. David Attenborough, The Private Life of Plants,
Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, p.128
10. David Attenborough, The Private Life of Plants,
Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, p.130
11. Malcolm Wilkins, Plantwatching, New York, Facts
on File Publications, 1988, p.143
12. The Guinness Encyclopedia of the Living World,
Guinness Publishing, 1992, p.42-43
13. Robert, R.Halpern, Green Planet Rescue, A.B.D,
The Zoological Society of Cincinnati Inc., p.26
14. David Attenborough, Life on Earth, Collins British
Broadcasting Corporation, 1985, p.84
15. Scientific American, October 1993, p.68
16. Scientific American, October 1993, p.69
17. Scientific American, October 1993, p.70-71
18. Scientific American, October 1993, p.70
19. Scientific American, October 1993, p.71