“I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause: Which doeth great things and unsearchable; marvellous things without number: Who giveth rain upon the earth, and sendeth waters upon the fields.”
Parasites, especially fungi, are usually written off by evolutionary biologists as simple, primitive organisms. However, whether they choose to recognize the Creator or not, biologists are learning that nothing in God’s creation is simple or primitive. Parasites seem to display some of the most clever planning or scheming – depending on your point of view – in all creation.
A parasitic fungus that infects a roadside weed called catchfly seems to do nothing harmful to the plant. After infection, a profusion of white blossoms will open – even a few weeks earlier than normal. Bees and butterflies will arrive to collect the grains from the flowers. However, the grains they are spreading aren’t pollen but fungus spores. The fungus has not only turned female flowers into males, but has transformed the stamens into spore factories.
This is not the only trick played by the fungus. It also coaxes the catchfly into producing far more flowers than usual, making the plants it infects more attractive than surrounding catchflies. As a result, pollinators come first to the infected flowers before going to the uninfected plants.
This is but one example among many showing that nothing from God’s hand is carelessly done. The lesson for us is more than that living things don’t fit into the evolutionary simple-to-complex scheme. God also wants us to know that He cares about everything He has made, no matter how lowly.
Dear Father, if You have so provided for the lowliest in Your creation, I know that You have provided much more richly for me. Let me be reminded of this especially when I am tempted to worry and act as if I were in charge of taking care of myself. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Cowen, Ron. 1990. “Parasite power.” Science News, v. 138, October 6. p. 200.