Scientific Mystery Monday - How Did God Provide Protection For Nature?

In nature, there are many amazing ways the Creator has provided protection for plants so that they don’t all get eaten up all at once. On interesting case was discovered by scientists in the 1990s who were studying plants in Africa.

**photo by Steve Garvie shared under creative commons licensing

They reported the observation that giraffe, roaming freely, browsed only on one acacia tree in ten.  It was subsequently discovered that acacias, when nibbled by animals, begin to produce a poisonous tannin and at the same time begin to emit emit ethylene gas into the air which can travel up to 50 meters. 

The ethylene gas in effect warns other trees of the impending danger, which step up their production of leaf tannin to lethal quantities within just five to ten minutes. In other words, when one tree starts to be eaten, it warns all the other trees nearby that there is a predator in the area and they turn on their defense system.  Thus the random browsing of herds of animals is regulated so that the bush is not systematically eaten out or destroyed. (Hughes, S.  1990, `Antelope Activate the Acacia's Alarm System', New Scientist, 29 September, p9.).

The in the Bible ( particularly the book of Leviticus) God gave laws that were to help prevent the over use or over destruction of the environment. Isn't it interesting that It seems that God has the same types of laws for nature, as well?


Dr. John Ashton is Adjunct Professor of Biomedical Sciences at Victoria University, Melbourne, and Adjunct Professor of Applied Sciences at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University. He served as editor of some of the most compelling books compiled on faith, origins issues, and science essays released in the past several years which include In Six Days and On the Seventh Day. Dr. Ashton lives with his wife, Colleen, and their four children in Sydney, Australia.

The wonders of creation are all around. Want to discuss these mysteries? Want more FREE giraffe and acacia information for kids and adults? Join the Scientific Mystery Monday group here at Creation Conversations.

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