AND A PLANT IS BORN
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 Plant
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
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
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
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 plant?
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 ar-Ra'd: 4)
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
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
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 pine cones.
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 species.
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' reproductive system.
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 of evolution.
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 by God.
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 another example:
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
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 chance?
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: 22)
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: 12)
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 skill
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 His control:
Everything in the heavens and on the earth belongs to
Him. God is Rich Beyond Need and Praiseworthy. (Surat al-Hajj: 64)
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 pollen.
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
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
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 chemical).
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
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
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
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
Shrubs and trees both bow down in prostration (to Him).
(Surat ar-Rahman: 6)
The Pollination and Reproduction of Underwater Plants
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
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 forms
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
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
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.