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Qur'an: Genetic Code of Plants - Seeds


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All the information about plants is hidden in their seeds which, by size, can be defined with milli-meters or centimeters, and which, in appearance, look like wood. Seed is like a miniature library full of information about the plant.

Seeds, which are formed by the union of male and female reproductive cells of a plant, have one plant embryo and one food reserve. This is a very important detail about the development of the seed, because in the first stages of its life under the ground, the seed has no roots to absorb food from the soil, nor any leaves to produce its own food. Until it develops enough to meet its own needs, the food reserve is sufficient for the plant.

The formation of a meters-long plant from a tiny particle begins with the germination of the seed. During the slow growth of the plant, all the systems within it (such as its reproductive organs, photosynthesis process, inner tubes etc.) develop at the same time with its roots elongating towards the ground and its branches towards the sky. All the details in the plant have to exist simultaneously. For example, inner tubes and wood tubes in a plant have no meaning unless it has its reproduction mechanism developed. Since the plant will not be able to carry on with its generation, nor will it be able to carry food or water. Simply put, the additional mechanisms will be of no importance.

Every seed - regardless of its type - has an outer shell or a protective outer layer. Imagine we scatter the seeds in the soil randomly. After a while, when all conditions (heat, light, food for its growth) are fulfilled, this shell is split and the seed begins to sprout. As we stated at the beginning, the thing we call seed resembles a piece of wood, and the soil on it is a very thick and heavy substance. When it is time for the seed to sprout, it overcomes all obstacles - no matter what they are - and makes it way to the daylight. Let us think of the slender body of the bud and the thickness of the soil. Only then can it be possible for us to understand the greatness of the job done by the seed.

Innumerable plant types come out of the seeds casted into the same soil. Strawberry, apricot, water-melon, lime, bean, aubergine, poplar tree, lemon tree It is obvious that we are not even able to count these one by one.When we think of roses, carnations, magnolias and many other flowers with magnificent odours that come out of the very same soil, we can liken the seed to a factory that produces numerous trees and plants with a large variety of fruits, leaves, odours and colours. The seeds are only one of the perfect examples of Allah's art of creation. In the Qur'an, we are called to attention to this perfect creation as below:

"It is He Who sends down water from the sky, and with it We bring forth vegetation of all kinds, and out of it We bring forth green stalks, from which We bring forth thick clustered grain and out of the date-palm and its spathe come forth clusters of dates hanging low and near, and gardens of grapes, olives and pomegranates, each similar and yet different. Look at their fruits when they begin to bear, and the ripeness thereof. Verily in these things there are signs for people who believe." (Surat al An'am, 99)

Also the ways the plants reproduce show variety among themselves. Some plants reproduce by releasing their pollens whereas some reproduce by spreading their seeds in various ways.

The seeds of the plants that multiply through their seeds definitely have to reach the soil. The way this is done differs according to every plant type. Some plants have animals (bees, insects, birds, ants, etc.) to carry their seeds or pollens, some have the ability to mimic the insects that will carry them (as orchids mimic bees), and some have systems to throw their pollens into the air by winds (as the system in cones).

Some plants do not have a perfume or look to attract animals. How will these plants reproduce? If we think from the standpoint of the theory of evolution, their waiting for a coincidental structure to form would mean the end of their generation, which is, therefore, impossible. Every plant has a unique way of multiplying. For instance, some, like Mediterranean cucumbers, use their power to spread their seeds. As they ripen, they begin to be filled with a sticky liquid. After a while, the pressure of this liquid increases so much that the seeds in the cucumber cannot stand it any longer and they burst. As the seeds burst, they spurt out the liquid inside them. With this liquid, the seeds of the cucumber are scattered to the ground.

This mechanism is very sensitive, the filling of the liquid in the capsule takes place exactly when the cucumber begins to ripen. If this system were activated earlier, the capsule would explode before the seeds ripened and it would not be of any use. Mediterranean cucumber would be a plant that kept on exploding by itself.
One of the most successful of the plants which spread their seeds by exploding them, is a tree named Hura which is a plant peculiar to Brasil. When the tree dries and the time to spread its seeds comes, it can throw its seeds as far as 12 m.

There are also some plants found by the sea or river side that can only have their seeds carried away by water and whose seeds can stay in water for a very long time without rottening or germinating. The most familiar of this type of plants is the coconut palm tree whose seed is placed in a hard shell. The outside of the seed is covered with a hard shell so that it is not harmed by the water. Inside this hard shell, there is everything (such as water and food) that can be needed during a long journey.

Sea bean is also one of the plants that spread their seeds through water and use rivers for transportation. The most important characteristic of the plants using water transportation for carrying their seeds, is the blooming of their seeds as soon as they reach the land.

Plant seeds usually start germinating as soon as they contact water. Is the answers to questions such as; why these plants do not start to ripen as soon as they fall in the water but wait to reach the land, and how come they know they are not in water but on the land; is that "they knew that their seeds would rotten and die away, and that they would be extinct if they bloomed before it was time or if they stayed in water longer than the time needed for their germination"?

This, surely, is not the answer. It is impossible for the seed to display that timing and to give a decision like this. Some plant seeds are covered with an oily, edible tissue. Reproduction of these type of plants is performed by the ants, because the oily tissue of these plant seeds is a very appealing food for the carrier ants. Ants collect and carry these to their homes with a great zeal. Thus, in the first stage, they unintentionally bury the seed under the soil. The ant who puts itself to so much trouble to carry this seed which is much more bigger than itself in size, does something very interesting and leaves the inside, fleshy part of the seed untouched, and eats only the shell. By doing this, it ensures the continuity of this plant kind.

There are millions of questions to be asked about the living beings on this earth and millions of detailed answers to be given these questions. All these answers converge on these common points; perfection, excellent designs, complete systems operating within a certain plan. And again, all these details lead us to only one conclusion: To the existence of the one Creator Who has an all-embracing knowledge beyond the limits of the human mind, and Who is exalted in wisdom...

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