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22
Aug

Creation Devotional August 19 - Botany

Daily Devotional – August 19

Botany

 

Have you considered how seeds get moved around the Earth? Land plants are stuck in one spot by their roots. They can’t move, so God designed their seeds to be moved around. God’s creativity and imagination in this area is astounding. Seeds are dispersed by wind, water, ingestion, hitchhiking, and exploding into the air. They are designed with parachutes, barbs, airfoils, draglines, airbags, wings, hooks, and rocket shapes. If wind is being used to disperse the seed, how would that seed be designed? Lightweight and maybe with a wing or parachute to give it more lift to float it afar. If water is being used to disperse a seed, the seed is designed waterproof and floatable. If animals are used to disperse seeds, they need to eat the fruit first.

 

The seeds within the fruit must remain undigested as they pass through digestive systems before being deposited in another place. If hitchhiking, then the seed needs hooks and barbs to attach itself to the animals’ skin, feathers, or fur. If the seed is thrown from the plant, it would involve lots of physics. For instance, once the seeds are ripe, a squirting cucumber literally shoots its seeds as much as 40 feet away!

 

When you go for a walk in the meadows or woods, look to see God’s creativity in how He designed a stationary plant to move around the world.

 

Then the earth shall yield her increase.

~ Psalm 67:6

31
Jul

Creation Devotional July 20 - Botany

Daily Devotional – July 20

Botany

 

Water does not flow uphill. So, how does water get to the leaves high up in a tree? Coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) trees tower some 35 stories or 379 feet above the ground.1 Some of these redwoods move as much as 160 gallons of water a day up out of the ground. As you stand near the base of these trees, listen closely for the sound of their mechanical machinery pumping the water to the top. You won’t hear a sound. So, how do they move all that water?

 

God has set up a wonderful design in trees – osmosis, capillary action and transpiration. Even though wood seems to be solid, it has thousands of microscopic interior tubes stretching from the roots to the top of the tree. Water enters the roots because of osmosis; higher pressure moves water molecules into the lower pressure area in the roots. Then, capillary action takes place, moving the water upwards. Dip a corner of a paper towel in water and notice the water creeping up the fibers. Working with osmosis and capillary action is transpiration. As sunlight strikes the leaves, the water molecules evaporate, transforming liquid water to a gas. This vapor “flies” into the air while the next water molecule in line starts heating up. The long chain of water molecules is pulled to the very top of the tree as each one at the top evaporates. On a hot summer day, water molecules can travel up the tree at 25 mph. All this goes on silently, year after year. There are no mechanical parts, and when something breaks down, the tree has mechanisms to repair itself. We cannot say the same when we pipe water to the top of a tall building. When we see such an advanced plumbing system, we know there must be a plumbing engineer!

 

As poet Joyce Kilmer famously stated, “… only God can make a tree.”

 

...stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God.

~ Job 37:14b

8
Jul

Creation Devotional June 24 - Botany

Daily Devotional – June 24

Botany

 

How can a major oil spill on the ocean be cleaned up? We use floating booms to contain the spill and absorbants/pumps to remove the oil from the surface, but what about the submerged oil droplets?

 

Believe it or not, technology that copies cactus spines will clean this submerged mess. The tapered spines of the cactus Opuntia microdasys efficiently collect water droplets from fog in the harsh ecosystems of central and northern Mexico. When micron-sized, spherically-shaped fog droplets land on the cactus spines, the spine’s shape distorts the water droplet into a clam-like shape. The water droplet wants to stay spherical, so a battle between these two forces pushes the droplet to the base of the spine. The base of the spine is larger than the water droplet, and so the water droplet is immediately absorbed. Copying the cactus spine, researchers made a copper-silicon array with a cactus spine shape and submerged it into a mixture of oil and water. They blasted the mixture with ultrasonic sound waves to create micron-sized oil droplets. The underwater oil droplets collected on the man-made cactus spines in the same way fog droplets collected on real cactus spines. God has designed everything in nature for our wonder and benefit. It is our privilege to search out the Creator’s secrets and apply them to our daily lives. In Scripture, God calls us to “have dominion” over creation; searching out the Creator‘s secrets and applying them to our daily life.

 

O God, thou hast taught me from my youth:  and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works.

~ Psalm 7 1:17

8
Jul

Creation Devotional June 19 - Botany

Daily Devotional – June 19

Botany

 

Why are trees round and not square? If we had a square tree, think of all the time and effort we would save when sawing them into lumber! Let’s pause and think, why our Creator made trees round and not square?

  1. Wood layers grow outward from the center in all directions.
  2. Cylinders provide maximum strength against stresses in all directions.
  3. Round trees can bend more easily than square-sided trees when a wind is blowing.
  4. Round trees can bend in all directions; square trees would be more vulnerable to breaking at the corners.

 

The best design for trees is round; if that were not true, telephone poles and light posts would be square and not round. Sometimes, we overlook what is so common in nature, like why a tree is round. But when we stop and consider it, we see a wonderful design that gives glory to our Creator.

 

All the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord

~ Numbers 14:21

18
May

Creation Devotional May 17 - Botany

Daily Devotional – May 17

Botany

 

Did you know vanilla comes from an orchid, the vanilla planifolia plant? This orchid grows up trees as a vine. Unlike most orchids, this one blooms only one morning each year and only for a few hours and then it wilts. While it is blooming, it needs to be pollinated, otherwise no vanilla bean will develop. God has created this plant to be pollinated by a small flea-sized bee called the Mexican Melipona bee. It is the only insect capable of pollinating this orchid.

 

After landing on the flower, the bee lifts up the hood, collects the pollen and flies to another vanilla orchid. Once pollinated, a vanilla bean will be produced. Hernan Cortes, the Spanish conquistador who caused the fall of the Aztecs in Mexico, loved vanilla and brought back the vanilla orchid to Europe. For 300 years, Europeans grew the plant from cuttings, but no vanilla beans were produced! Then in 1836, a Frenchman went to Mexico and sat and watched the vanilla orchid. He heard the buzzing sound of the Mexican Melipona bee as it pollinated the orchid. The secret to vanilla beans was discovered! This bee knew how to lift the hood and go in; no other insect can do this! This bee is made for this orchid, and this orchid is made for this bee. They were made for each other. How do evolutionists explain this? If it did not work the first time, the first generation of the vanilla plants would have become extinct. So as you enjoy that delicious vanilla ice cream, thank God for a little bee and a vanilla orchid.

 

Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things:  this is known in all the earth.

~ Isaiah 12:5

20
Apr

Creation Devotional April 30 - Botany

Daily Devotional – April 30

Botany

 

In the jungles of Borneo, a bat looks for a daytime place to roost. He sends out his sonar throughout the crowded jungle and finds the perfect place echoing back, a pitcher plant. Amazingly, sonic reflectors grow right above the pitcher plants opening, bouncing back the bat’s own sonar. These sonic reflectors have tiny ridges, correctly spaced for just the right reflection. So the bat quickly finds a cool, parasite-free place in the hot rainforest to roost. But what benefit is there for the pitcher plant? It gets the bat’s droppings.

 

Bat droppings are extremely high in nitrogen, which the plant needs. As a matter of fact, dried bat guano (droppings) is collected from caves around the world for use as fertilizer. Many pitcher plants eat insects, but not this one; it dines on the nutrients in bat waste. This mutualistic, beneficial behavior is in the category of “wacky but wonderful.” Evolutionists believe that this pitcher plant (Nepenthes hemsleyana) was not good at attracting insects, so, it evolved a sonic reflector over millions of years in order to attract a different source of nitrogen (bat droppings). Does this make any sense at all? If a pitcher plant does not get enough nitrogen in the beginning, which is why it eats insects, wouldn’t it just die? How could it change its DNA to make the exact reflector it needed? How did a plant know that a bat sent out sonar? How did a plant know that bat droppings had the nitrogen it needed? This unusual partnership was set up by God; it did not happen by accident and chance.

the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it. Consider the work of God…

~ Ecclesiastes 7:12b, 13

 

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”

~ Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865), 16th President of the United States

 

“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow, they toil not, neither do they spin: and yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these… seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

~ Matthew 6:28-29, 33

20
Apr

Creation Devotional April 20 - Botany

Daily Devotional – April 20

Botany

 

Have you considered the sawfly larva’s ingenious defense system? This North American and European pest lives in conifers. Conifers aren’t bothered by too many insect pests. That’s because the oils that give pine trees that nice pine scent are poisonous to insects – including the sawfly. Yet, the sawfly larva eats these poisonous pine needles without dying. How does it survive?

 

As a sawfly larva munches on the poisonous pine needles, he does not digest them immediately. The sawfly larva separates the poisonous oils in the pine needles from the nutritious pulp. These poisonous oils are then stored in two special sacs in his mouth which are lined with a “poison-proof” material. These poisonous oils can then be used as the larva’s defense mechanism. When a bird or spider attacks, the foul-smelling oils are discharged - frightening the enemy away.

 

How could this complicated defense/storage system have developed gradually over time? How did the sawfly know to build two sacs and line them with a poison-proof coating so that he would not be killed by the poisons? How did the sawfly know this foul-smelling poisonous oil would repel birds and spiders? The sawfly did not know; God knew. God protects even the smallest of His creatures.

 

Deliver me from mine enemies….

~ Psalm 59:1

11
Apr

Creation Devotional March 22 - Botany

Daily Devotional – March 22

Botany

 

Mangrove trees live alongside the ocean where their roots are flooded by salty ocean water. You would not expect ants, which build their home underground, to build nests in such a wet location. Believe it or not, some ants (Polyrhachis sokolova) thrive within Australia’s mangrove swamps. They build their cities deep into the mud some 18 inches below a mangrove tree. Twice a day, at high tide, their city is flooded!

 

The ants have designed their mound with two entrances that collapse at high tide - plugging the entrances and ensuring the safety of the ants inside. When seawater does leak into the underground tunnels, the ants scurry around moving their eggs and brood to different galleries. The bell-shaped galleries ensure that air is trapped, saving the ants from drowning. When the water recedes at low tide, the ants repair their city and others hunt small crustaceans on the mud flats. Two times a day…seven days a week…365 days a year, the ants repair their entrances and go hunting! Why would ants choose to live in such a way? It would be much easier to build their city in a place not covered with seawater twice a day. They did not choose it. God designed them to survive and thrive in this location.

 

Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.

~ Proverbs 6:6-8

11
Apr

Creation Devotional March 6 - Botany

Daily Devotional – March 6

Botany

 

Botanists have long been fascinated by the design of the giant Amazon water lily (Victoria amazonica) with its raised rim that surrounds floating leaves reaching eight feet in diameter. In fact, the lily’s floating leaves can easily support a full-grown adult lying on the thin leaf structure! The secret to the strength of these leaves is the well-engineered supporting veins on the underside of these floating marvels.

 

Before the very first World’s Fair, being held in London, England in 1851, the organizing committee announced a contest for the best and most original design for the Great Exhibition Hall. Architects and engineers from around the world sent in their designs. Yet, it was not a trained architect, but a botanist named Joseph Paxton, who won the contest. His “Crystal Palace” was to be constructed with 200,000 panes of glass, weighing an estimated one million pounds, supported by a thin iron framework. The entire building was to stand 108 feet tall and cover 18 acres. Experts declared that the foolish structure would collapse before being finished.

 

Paxton based the design of his building on the same design used to support the heavy leaves of the giant water lily. Not only were the experts wrong, but the beautiful glass building stood as a testimony to the genius of God’s design ability for the next 80 years before being destroyed by fire. Paxton realized that the giant water lily was well engineered; he just copied the greatest Engineer, God Himself.

 

Through wisdom is a house built.

~ Proverbs 24:3a

20
Feb

Creation Devotional February 24 - Botany

Daily Devotional – February 24

 

Botany

 

Michael Faraday (1791-1867) is second only to Isaac Newton as the greatest physicist who ever walked the Earth. Faraday was credited with the invention of electromagnetic induction, the electric motor, the electric transformer, the electric generator and made major contributions to our understanding of magnetism, polarized light, the liquefaction of gases, the development of rubber, optical glass, alloys of steel, electroplating, and artificial rubies. In addition, his greatest contribution to science was the development of field theory in physics. He is ranked by science historians as the greatest of all experimental physicists – adding a whole new vocabulary to modern science – anode, cathode, ion, electricity, electrode, anion, cation, magnetic field, lines of force, and electrolysis.

 

Faraday’s work so changed modern science that two basic units of physics were named in his honor – the faraday (a unit of electrical quantity) and the farad (a unit of capacitance). Yet, as much as Faraday contributed to scientific advancement – he drew more from his deeply held Christian faith. His actions were strongly guided by Biblical truths, and his Bible contained nearly 3000 meticulously written notations in the margins. His good friend John Tyndall wrote of Faraday, “I think that a good deal of Faraday’s week-long strength and persistency might be due to his Sunday exercises. He drinks from a fount on Sunday that refreshes his soul for the week.”

 

Just like Newton before him, Faraday drew strength and meaning from the reality that the universe displays order and meaning as a direct result of being created by God. It is not a meaningless assembly of atoms which created itself, but an orderly arrangement – designed by an incredible intelligence outside of the physical universe. This acknowledgement did not hinder the incredible discoveries of these great scientists, but provided the foundation which motivated them.

 

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men

~ Colossians 3:23

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