This Flower is a Real Stinker
"Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding."
Dung beetles may not be a very pleasant subject, but after all, someone has to do the housekeeping. So God created what man has classified into 30,000 species of dung beetle. Many will form their finds into a ball about the size of a croquet ball and roll it home for the wife and kids. Others tunnel beneath a find and set up housekeeping there.
Now there is a purple flower in Borneo that cuts into the productivity of one of the tunneling species without giving it anything in return. This flower smells, not like a rose, but like dung. It relies primarily on this dung beetle for pollination. Studies show that most other pollinators will examine the flower, but, perhaps put off by the smell, won't attempt to pollinate it. However, the dung beetle is a successful pollinator as it searches the flower for food. The flower's unpleasant odor seems designed to do nothing other than fool the beetle into pollinating it. It apparently offers the beetle nothing.
This is an example of a flower imitating the dung of an animal to fool a beetle into pollinating it. It would be nonsense to say that this flower designed this strategy to attract a beetle able to pollinate it. It would be just as silly to say that the impersonal forces of evolution designed this deceptive plant. Only an all powerful, all wise Creator could have designed this relationship which intricately weaves needs and abilities to make the whole creation work!
Notes: S. Milius, "Stinking beauty betrays dung beetles," Science News, January 23, 1999, v. 155, p. .55.
Photo: Courtesy of Rafael Brix. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
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