The Biological Clock in Plants
Many plants have a biological clock containing details of their own structure and other life forms that assist them with pollination and that bears a literal resemblance to a computer. The existence of this biological clocks points to a single reality, the fact of Creation.
The ability to measure time is an ability that one does not usually expect to see in other living things other than man. It may be thought that this is limited to man, but both plants and animals possess a time-measuring mechanism, or “biological clock.”
In the 1920s, when two scientists in Germany, Erwin Buenning and Kurt Stem, were studying the movement of bean plant leaves, they saw that the plants were moving their leaves towards the sun throughout the day, and that at night they were gathering their leaves vertically upwards and assuming a sleeping position.
Some 200 years before these two scientists published their findings, the French astronomer Jacques d’Ortuous de Marian had also observed that plants possessed such a regular sleep rhythm. Experiments in a dark environment where temperature and moisture were controlled showed that this situation did not change, and that plants possessed systems inside themselves which measure time.
Under natural conditions, plants select certain times for certain activities. They do this in line with certain changes in the sunlight. Because their internal clocks are tuned to sunlight, they complete their rhythmic activities in 24 hours. In other cases, there are some rhythms which are much longer than 24 hours.
No matter how long the rhythmic motions last, there is one point that does not change. These motions happen to ensure the life of the plant and the survival of the generations, and always take place at the most appropriate time. And in order for them to be successful, several complicated processes have to be completed in a flawless manner.
For example, in most plants flowers open at a particular time of year, i.e. at the best possible time. Plants’ clocks, which regulate this time, also calculate the duration of sunlight falling on the leaves. Every plant’s biological clock calculates this period in accordance with the plant’s particular features. No matter what the calculation, the flowers open at the most appropriate time. As a result of research into the regulation of time in the soya bean, it was seen that, at whatever time these plants are sown, they open their flowers at the same time of year.
Plants use this perfect sense of timing in many of their functions, not just opening flowers. For example, it causes the time the poppy flower disperses its pollen to coincide with the days and hours when pollinators are most prevalent. And these days and hours vary from plant to plant. But at the end of the day, with this time regulation, every plant disperses its pollen in a manner guaranteed to give the best results. Poppy flowers disperse their pollen in July and August between 05:30 and 10:00 in the morning. That is the time is that bees and other insects emerge to look for food. At this point the flower has to include in its calculation not just its own characteristics, but also those of other living things, down to the finest detail. The plant must have accurate knowledge of the time when the creatures which will fertilize it emerge, the length of the journey they will undertake, and the times they feed. In such a situation the following question comes to mind: Where in the plant is this clock, which possesses all this “information,” which does all the necessary calculations, analyses the features of other creatures, and works in a way reminiscent of a computer centre? Scientists believe that biological clocks in living things other than plants generally come into existence as an effect of the pituitary gland. But where the perfect time measuring system is in plants is still a mystery to them.
This clearly indicates a superior intelligence and power which establishes and controls the timing of all plants’ different activities.
The biological clock in plants is just one of the countless miracles of Creation. The theory of evolution on the other hand, which irrationally maintains that life emerged by chance, conflicts with scientific truths and tries to find support for its claims by building various fantasies. This is a reality that evolutionists admit from time to time.The famous, Nobel prize-winning evolutionist Dr. Robert Milikan admits the evolutionists’s predicament;
“The pathetic thing is that we have scientists who are trying to prove evolution, which no scientist can ever prove. (SBS Vital topics, David B. Loughran, April 1996, Stewarton, Scotland, URL:http://www.rmplc.co.uk/eduweb/sites/sbs777/vital/evolutio.html)
God shows us proofs of His creation with His superior power and infinite knowledge everywhere, and expects us to reflect and draw conclusions from them. As stated in the Qur’an, only people capable of using their intellects can think and learn and thus know and appreciate our Lord in the best possible way.
“It is He Who sends down water from the sky. From it you drink and from it come the shrubs among which you graze your herds. And by it He makes crops grow for you and olives and dates and grapes and fruit of every kind. There is certainly a Sign in that for people who reflect.” (Sura An-Nahl, 10-11)
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