“So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”
According to evolution, biological history is one of “red in tooth and claw.” In this view, living things compete with one another. The fittest survive at the expense of the less fit. In a forest, this means that trees compete with one another for light, water and nutrients. Taller trees benefit from the light they prevent shorter trees from receiving. But as it turns out, the true law of the jungle is cooperation.
What goes on beneath the forest floor is essential to the forest itself. Tree roots gather water and nutrients from the soil. In addition, fungi live among the roots, feeding off the sap and other carbon compounds produced by the tree. In return, the fungi help make nutrients in the soil available to the tree. The picture of cooperation goes even further than this. Researchers have learned that the trees themselves cooperate with one another. This cooperation even exists between species. Researchers shaded some trees, leaving others in the sun. Tagging trees with different isotopes of carbon, scientists were surprised to find carbon compounds made by the sunbathed trees present in the shaded tree! The trees that were doing well were helping the trees that were not able to photosynthesize, even if they were a different species.
The true law of the jungle turns out to be cooperation. Rather than survival of the fittest, this cooperation between living things reveals a carefully designed creation made by a loving Creator.
You, Lord, are my helper. Help me to love others and help them as You have loved and helped me. Amen.
“Sylvan Symphony,” Creation, p. 56. Photo: Lion and cub feasting on a cape buffalo. Courtesy of Luca Galuzzi. (CC-BY-SA 2.5)