Water Lillies and Intelligent Design

Excerpt from Grant R. Jeffrey’s book, Creation: Remarkable Evidence of God’s Design. (Ch. 2)

The flowers we encounter everyday when we walk in the city or the country are taken for granted, despite the incredible perfection of their design. Unfortunately, most people fail to recognize the miraculous nature of these flowers because they are so common. If we examine an uncommon and unfamiliar flower from a distant part of the world—the Amazon water lily from the jungles of Brazil—we may awaken to see the evidence and wonder of God’s design. 

Amazon water lilies first start to grow in the thick mud at the bottom of the Amazon River. However, since these plants require sunlight to live, they quickly begin to grow up to thirty feet toward the surface of the river. When the water lilies finally reach the water’s surface, they cease their upward growth and begin to grow round buds with thorns. The buds of the lilies grow into massive leaves on the water’s surface, reaching a diameter of up to six feet in as little as a few hours. As the lilies grow to cover the water’s surface with very large leaves, they use the sunlight during daylight hours to perform the essential chemical process known as photosynthesis. If the lilies failed to reach the river surface, they would die due to the lack of sunlight and oxygen. Thus, it is vital for the plant’s survival that the water float these leaves from these stems that can grow up to thirty-five feet tall and carry the oxygen between the leaves and the roots below. The water lilies curl the brims of their huge leaves upward to prevent them from sinking below the water’s surface. 

In order to successfully reproduce, the water lilies need the cooperation of another living creature that will carry their pollen from their leaves to another water lily. This reproduction system depends on the actions of a water beetle, which was created by God with a powerful attraction to the color white. Despite an abundance of beautifully multi-colored flowers that are found throughout the Amazon River, these white water lilies exert a compelling attraction to the water beetle that causes these beetles to ignore all other flowers except the white water lily. 

When this water beetle lands on the leaf surface, the water lily immediately closes its leaves to imprison the creature for one night, forcing it to become exposed to its pollen. In the morning, the water lily opens its leaves to allow the water beetle to escape to go visit other water lilies and pollinate them. However, the original water lily, having succeeded in transferring its pollen to the beetle, now quickly changes its color to a beautiful pink to prevent that beetle from bringing its own pollen back to it. This remarkable cooperative symbiotic reproductive system involving two species provides compelling evidence of God’s intelligent design.

[Only for educational purposes]

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