Vol. 3, No. 10
"And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth, and it was so" (Genesis1:11).
With these words, God brought into existence the plants upon the earth. These organisms are critical for the existence of life on this planet. They capture sunlight in a process called photosynthesis and convert it to sugar for animals' use. They also, as a byproduct of this marvelous process, make oxygen, also necessary for our existence. These processes occur on trees in structures called leaves. Besides these, plants do so much for us, providing shade that we can rest under, cleaning our air and absorbing sounds in our busy cities. But upon closer examination of these marvelous designs of creation that we call leaves, we can see so much more of the wisdom of God than is noticed at first glance.
With the spring and summer come storms that blow and tear homes and vegetation alike. How do trees covered with leaves withstand these storms that would seek to tear and uproot? Scientists have discovered that in the very aerodynamics of leaves the evidence of the Creator, who knew exactly what would be necessary to protect the trees during a storm.
The trees must have a good covering of leaves in order to take best advantage of the sunlight hitting them, but this works against the tree in a storm providing resistance that could break the tree. Of course, in the most violent of storms there is no protection for trees. But normal winds of 30-50 mph can be harmful for trees, except that the leaves are engineered to minimize the wind's affects.
Leaves of trees when tested in a wind tunnel show how God designed them to avoid some of these affects. Any object that is to experience high wind forces is better off if designed with a very streamlined shape. Airplanes, cars, bullet trains and other manmade objects show this design. When God created leaves, he also knew plants would need this ability. When leaves from several trees were tested, they each showed the ability to become more streamlined as wind speeds increased. When wind speed increases, single leaves begin to form cones that reduce the drag that the tree is exposed to. This is caused by the architecture of the cells of the leaf and petiole. The tulip, oak and apple leaves, each having a long stem, roll up very nicely as wind speeds are increased. The tests done on these leaves as they rolled into a streamlined cone shape showed that the drag was reduced by as much as two thirds over the unrolled leaf.
The compound leaves on trees like black locust and black walnut also show this rolling affect as the leaves form cones to protect the tree from the increasing winds. Leaves such as holly trees with very hard and brittle leaves which are not able to roll into a cone, show a protective affect as they lay flat against one another in increasing winds.
It has also been noted that when a leaf does not perform well in the wind tunnel tests, it is because of some type of damage or flaw in the leaf. If an insect has eaten out areas of a leaf as they do many times, this prevents the leaf from reducing its surface area, and could cause the leaf to be torn from the tree.
God in his infinite wisdom and perfection left nothing to chance with the creation of leaves so that trees can survive the storms of life. The author of Genesis noted by inspiration in chapter 1:31, "And God saw every thing that he had made, and behold, it was very good.” We should be humbled that in the “invisible things of him from the creation of the world” we can know that God IS!
As we read the account of creation in Genesis chapter 1, there is one unusual command that God gives to Adam and Eve that is hard for us to understand. Let's read what the inspired writer says.
"And God said, Behold I have given you every herb bearing seed; which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so" (Genesis 1:29-30).
God here appears to limit the first people to a vegetarian diet. He also limits all beasts, fowls and creeping things to eating nothing but plants. The Scripture here is very clear as to exactly what was being commanded. Man and animals are to eat as food nothing but plants.
The word "meat" in the original Greek is 'oklah,' it is used 18 times and is defined as 'food, eating, devour and consume'! It would appear that God wants only fruits and green herbs eaten as the source of nutrition. The very next time that this word is used is also very important to this original command. Let's read that use also.
"And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things" (Genesis 9:1-3).
Now, after the flood that destroys everything outside the ark, God commands that all animals are approved for man's food needs. It also indicates that there would be a change between man and animals; they would now dread and fear man. It would appear that prior to the flood, the world was a very peaceful place. The animals did not fear man, and had no reason to, as man did not hunt and eat them for food.
How is this possible that all animals ate nothing but plants -- lions, tigers and bears -- all plant eaters? What about Tyrannosaurus rex and the other carnivorous dinosaurs? It stretches our imagination to envision how that could be possible. But God said it, and that settles it, whether we can believe it or not.
If we accept this, then it helps to answer some objections raised to the biblical account. How could Noah keep all of the animals on the ark without eating each other? The dinosaurs would have done just fine on the ark, because even a baby T rex was a plant eater and did not fear or dread man. How did Noah gather up all of these mortal enemies? They were the best of friends before the flood so they would have been happy together.
The world that God created was indeed a paradise, until sin entered in. Indeed, today some of the world's greatest carnivores are perfectly content with a diet of plants for a short period of time. Let's take God at his Word and believe what he has told us. Indeed, with God nothing is impossible. Let's not try to seek an explanation that we can understand, because WE CAN'T understand everything God has done!
[Editors Note: Every external evidence to the Bible that calls for a Divine Designer as opposed to happenchance confirms the biblical account of origins and strongly denies atheistic evolutionary theory. Brother David P. Everson's ongoing series on external evidences continue to promote faith in God and in his Holy Word, the Bible. I hope that you are enjoying these articles as much as I am.]