A flower with forethought? Or rational reasoning? Well, I suppose there are some exceptional “green thumbs” who would agree that flowers have responsive personalities. And there are a few theorists around today who insist that plants are even psychic. But beyond that, we usually think of flowers being beautiful but dumb.
Yet in the desert, where the faculties for survival must be honed to a vital keenness, we find this little primrose. It seems absurd to expect sweetness in the harsh environment of the desert; yet the aroma of this flower permeates the barren wilderness with the redolent bouquet of its delicate fragrance. In fact its name Oenothera caespitosa says that it is a tufted plant with a wine-like odor.
But to return to its resources of reason. While it may be rather tenuous to attribute its powers of perception to intelligence, yet this amazing plant has the astonishing ability to measure rainfall to one tenth of an inch before its seeds will germinate. Then that moisture must come from above, not below, for it can even tell the direction from which that water must come!
While the secret of this insight may not lie in reflective thought, the real factors that influence its behavior are just as intriguing. Each seed is covered with a hard coating that inhibits germination, thus insuring that it will not sprout until the conditions favor its survival. As the rainfall slowly percolates through the soil, it leaches out the necessary chemicals that will dissolve the inhibitor coating. Obviously the water must come from above, and its cumulative effect may take several years before there is enough moisture to assure sustenance. No, we cannot attribute soul or spirit to this bonny blossom, despite its powers of deduction; yet behind every living thing there has to be a Mind. For life could not arise of its own volition. Thus every organism must be traced back to a Prime Intellect.
Were this not true, our only alternative would be to assign mental powers to the plant kingdom. We would be forced to assume this flower had a knowledge of chemistry; for even the much touted factors of selection and survival could have spelled disaster if the wrong formula were chosen for that seed coat. It could have been too soft, too hard or too toxic for survival. It had to be exact in formulary and formulation.
So far no one has produced any conclusive evidence that a vegetative seed has any powers of wit or wisdom. That platitude of prudence is glibly credited to some dubious “Mother Nature.” And delegating to her that omniscience of God is surely pressing women’s lib too far. Absurd? No more than limiting the creative Mind of God to the hypothetical and the hypocritical.