Tag Archives: Nature

Fruit Ripening

He is the Vine. I am the branch. A branch doesn’t do anything. It just sits there, attached to the vine, a conduit for nutrients and moisture, a support for the leaves and the fruit.

The fruit of the spiritual life is not the fruit of the branch but of the Vine, of the Spirit. Not of me. Considering our lemon tree and how the lemons grow is instructive. Water and nutrients come up the trunk along the branch and at certain points, cell by cell a stem begins to develop. At some point, known only to the stem, the cells begin to change and now it’s no longer a stem but a fruit. First no more than a swelling, then a small green nubbin, then larger and, ever so slowly, larger still. Gradually it takes on its distinctive lemon shape though it is still as green as the leaves around it and hard to spot when you just glance at the tree. As the months pass, it grows larger still, and during all that time if you were to pick it, it would be no good. It would be hard and dry and more bitter than sour, I think.

Finally, though, again with no visible sign or trigger, the ripening process occurs. The fruit goes from green to yellow and suddenly you have the lemon. Compared to the rest of it, the time of ripening is short. And after the fruit has ripened, it is only a month before it begins to fall from the tree and by then if the weather is right, the new blossoms have already come, starting the next batch of fruit.

That’s how it is with writing and I think that’s how it is with the spiritual life, as well. There is a long time of growth when the fruit is barely visible or isn’t ripe yet, isn’t useful. It just sits there on the tree, growing. The brnch just sits there, attached the trunk, delivering the nutrients, keeping the fruit off the ground. Most of all, fruit-bearing isn’t something the branch controls. Nor do we. Our job is to stay connected to the Vine and receiving the nutrients it provides (Filled with the Spirit and taking in doctrine). Those things plus the innate nature of the branch produces the fruit.

The Strange Case of the Tuatara

Does this make any sense:

Scientists have “recovered DNA sequences from the bones of ancient tuatara, which are up to 8000 years old. They found that, although tuatara have remained largely physically unchanged over very long periods of evolution, they are evolving – at a DNA level – faster than any other animal yet examined.”

So reports the Science Daily in an article called New Zealand’s Living Dinosaur — the  Tuatara — is Surprisingly the Fastest Evolving Animal. The creature, a type of lizard that lives only in New Zealand, hasn’t changed physically in 8000 years, but its DNA is evolving rapidly. “Of course,” says the discoverer, Professor Lambert, “we would have expected that the tuatara, which does everything slowly — they grow slowly, reproduce slowly and have a very slow metabolism — would have evolved slowly. In fact, at the DNA level, they evolve extremely quickly, which supports a hypothesis proposed by the evolutionary biologist Allan Wilson, who suggested that the rate of molecular evolution was uncoupled from the rate of morphological evolution.”

Say what? Molecular evolution has “uncoupled from morphological evolution?” Then wouldn’t that mean the first has no connection with the second? And wouldn’t that sorta make molecular evolution a bit… irrelevant? Is the data here being pushed into a mold to fit the conclusion the researcher desires? The whole thing raises numerous questions for me, being neither a paleontologist nor a geneticist. How exactly does DNA evolve? What are the signs? And if DNA is “evolving” with no discernible change in phenotype… what’s the point? How does that prove anything?

The conclusions in this article presented as from the “experts” requires not only the use of faith, but the dispensing of logic to be accepted: We know this creature is evolving rapidly, even though it hasn’t changed in 8000 years. Talk about non-intuitive! Tell me again — why is it we’re supposed to put our faith in stuff like this instead of the Bible?

Photo: Tuatara in New Zealand. (Credit: iStockphoto/Robyn Grant)

Ant Mega Colony

antsNot only are people working toward a one world government and social system, but apparently ants are too. At least one species has. It  started out in Argentina where billions of ants lived in vast colonies on its plains.

Now, according to an article  in BBC’s Earth News, a colony of those same Argentine ants has been found in California, extending some 560 miles along the Pacific coast. Another spans several European countries, running  3,700 miles along the Mediterranean Sea. A third mega colony been found in Japan.

Usually ants of separate colonies are quite aggressive toward one another but when ants from each of these three mega colonies were brought together in an experiment to test aggression,

“they acted as if they were old friends. These ants rubbed antennae with one another and never became aggressive or tried to avoid one another. In short, they acted as if they all belonged to the same colony, despite living on different continents separated by vast oceans.”

Researchers believe it’s because the billions of ants in each of the three colonies are genetically related to one another, for they have the same chemicals in their cuticles by which ants apparently “recognize” one another as friend or foe.

“The enormous extent of this population is paralleled only by human society,” the researchers write in the journal Insect Sociaux, in which they report their findings. And, indeed, it is precisely because of humans’ increasingly global interactions through travel and trade that the ants have spread.

Which brings to mind this verse in Daniel 12:4

 “But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth (to travel by sea; rove about, go to and fro) and knowledge will increase.”