During the cold winter months, when the ground is frozen and snow often covers the soil, I spend many hours studying various plant species in preparation for the spring season. Recently, while studying the details of an old “friend,” Dodecatheon pulchellum, commonly known as the shooting star, I came across a fascinating statement in a book titled, Sagebrush Country: A Wildflower Sanctuary, by Ronald J. Taylor. It said: “The unusual shape of the shooting star flower reveals biological significance. The flower has adapted to be ‘buzz’ pollinated by bumblebees.”
The flowers of the shooting star hang downward, and the petals are bent backward, with the stamens (the male portion) and the style and stigma (the female portion) extending outward. Thus the flower superficially resembles a dart or shooting star.
The pollen is not easily extracted from the pollen tubes, because it is fine-grained and firmly attached. However, bumblebees, especially those of the species Bombus terrestris, are ideally designed to do the job. They grasp the base of the stamens while hanging upside down and vibrate their flight muscles rapidly, thus “buzzing” the flower. This dislodges the pollen, much like we dislodge salt form a saltshaker by shaking it up and down.
The vibrations shake the pollen off the flower’s anthers and onto the bee’s body. The bumblebee grooms most of the pollen from her body onto special pollen-carrying structures located on the hind legs, and then takes it back to the nest to feed the larva. However, some of the pollen remains on the bumblebee’s body and is deposited on the next flower the bee visits.
This design of pollination flies in the face of the theory of evolution. Oh, evolutionists will claim that buzz pollination is the result of simultaneous evolution. They will no doubt say that the plant evolved over time to withhold its pollen in this fashion, and that the bumblebee “learned” to extract it by “buzzing” the flower. However, they fail to provide any evidence of this and they also fail to explain how the shooting star was pollinated while it was evolving. Thus, I believe it takes far less faith to accept the creation of plants on day three, as recorded in Genesis 1:11-13, with all their unique features, than to grasp for the flimsy straws of evolution. I firmly accept as truth the passage in John 1:3, which says; “All things were made by him (Jesus Christ); and without him was not anything made that was made.” This includes the flower known as shooting star and its unique pollination system.
Originally published in the May/June 2008 Think and Believe newsletter.