Skip to main content

Designed for Discovery

The capacity of the universe to surprise appears to be infinite. UK scientists have recently discovered that plants have a built-in capacity to do maths, which helps them regulate food reserves at night. A fact which has allegedly "amazed" because they did not them.

Mathematical models show that the amount of starch consumed overnight is calculated by division in a process involving leaf chemicals. Overnight, when the plant Arabidopsis cannot use energy from sunlight to convert carbon dioxide into sugars and starch, it must regulate its starch reserves to ensure they last until dawn.

Experiments by scientists show that to adjust its starch consumption so precisely, the plant must be performing a mathematical calculation - arithmetic division. The scientists told BBC News, “They’re actually doing maths in a simple, chemical way - that’s amazing, it astonished us as scientists to see that. This is pre-GCSE maths they’re doing, but they’re doing maths.....This is the first concrete example in biology of such a sophisticated arithmetic calculation".

The scientists think similar mechanisms may operate in animals such as birds to control fat reserves during migration over long distances, or when they are deprived of food when incubating eggs. Even more amazing is the statement from Dr Richard Buggs of Queen Mary, University of London,: “This is not evidence for plant intelligence. It simply suggests that plants have a mechanism designed to automatically regulate how fast they burn carbohydrates at night. Plants don’t do maths voluntarily and with a purpose in mind like we do.”

I think the Dr Richard Buggs has hit the nail on the head. The plants are designed! And where there's a design there must be a Designer! But more important these designs are left by the Designer as a sort of his signature. As King David declared many millennia ago :
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun. (Psalm 19:1-4)
David had much less data than we do today. These discoveries would have totally blown his mind away. Or more accurately, they would have sent him to eternal kneeling before the Creator. We should too. God is very big indeed! How manifold are his works! The earth is truly full of His creation!

Copyright © Chola Mukanga 2013

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Christian and Technology, A Review

The central argument of John Fresko’s  The Christian  and Technology  is that technology is a double-edged sword that requires cautious and intentional use. Continuous uncritical use of technology erodes hunger for the Word of God, makes us self-centred and turns our useful devices into idols. The book intends to promote proper use of technology by encouraging us to dig into our hearts to see whether Christ so fills us that nothing can drag us away from him. Fresko believes there is no need for us to flee from technology or become Luddites because technology is value neutral. It is not in of itself good or bad. Instead, we must focus on carefully evaluating how we think about and use technology. This necessarily requires us  not only to understand the relevant technology, but also understand ourselves. A key part of this is recognising that we struggle with technology because we lack contentment in Christ. The book explores explores six different technologies. I think the most fascina

I am what I am by Gloria Gaynor

Beverly Knight closed the opening ceremony of the Paralympics with what has been dubbed the signature tune of the Paralympics. I had no idea Ms Knight is still in the singing business. And clearly going by the raving reviews she will continue to be around. One media source says her performance was so electric that "there wasn’t a dry eye to be seen as she sang the lyrics to the song and people even watching at home felt the passion in her words" . The song was Gloria Gaynor's I am what I am . Clearly not written by Gloria Gaynor but certainly musically owned and popularized by her. It opens triumphantly: I am what I am / I am my own special creation / So come take a look / Give me the hook or the ovation / It's my world that I want to have a little pride in / My world and it's not a place I have to hide in / Life's not worth a damn till you can say I am what I am The words “I am what I am” echo over ten times in the song. A bold declaration that she

Today I Learned

The puritan John Miles (1621-1683)   founded the first Baptist Church in Wales. He then emigrated to America shortly after the Act of Uniformity (1662) when 2,000 ministers were ejected from the Established Church. With a large proportion of his church, Miles settled at a new Swansea, about ten miles from Providence in Rhode Island. The church grew in face of persistent opposition.   Once, when Miles was brought before the  magistrates on some charge, he asked for a Bible. He then quoted Job 19:28 - Ye should say, Why persecute we him, seeing the root of the matter is found in me ? (KJV). He stopped there and sat down. The court was so convicted by the content and context of the passage that their cruelty gave way to kindness. ( Source : An Introduction to the Baptists, Erroll Hulse)