Refuting a Blasphemer who Didn’t Know Beans
Dr. James J. S. Johnson
Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentiles, and millet, and fitches, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof . . . . (Ezekiel 4:9a)
Green Beans Bioengineered for Waste Management
When evolutionists accuse God of creating “wastefully”, they prove that they don’t know beans. Because even after the Fall, God’s efficiency and carefulness is showcased in green beans.(1) In particular, God providentially bioengineered green beans for “waste management”.
This controversy was debated at a college campus, years ago, when an unbeliever argued that the world’s waste displayed God’s disorderliness, calling God a “prodigal” creator—an irreverent insult adopted from a popular evolutionist.(2)
While God’s creation does now contain waste—such as metabolic entropy in food chains, disease, and even death—that waste does not demonstrate that God Himself is wastefully reckless or sloppy. Rather, waste in our world reminds us that Adam sinned—triggering death, dying, and deterioration—fulfillments of God’s original warning to Adam.(3)
Meanwhile, we also observe proofs—throughout God’s fallen creation—that God is efficient and careful. But God Himself is never wasteful—common green beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) prove it!
Green beans can actually teach us a “waste management” lesson.
What if, when bean plants are seriously bruised, or bitten off by a caterpillar, the valuable sap in the plant’s vascular tubing kept flowing into the injury site, leading to unrestrained waste of sap? That is comparable to an injured human (or animal) wasting blood. However, in humans and animals, injuries are often mitigated by blood clots (coagulation) and/or scab formation.
But what about bean plants? Is there no hope against wasting sap, when bean internodes or tendrils are broken off (or otherwise damaged)?
Bean plants detect when they are repeatedly bumped.(1),(4)
This can be measured, by bumping bean plant stem internodes or tendrils (the “experimental” plants), repeatedly, yet not similarly bumping other bean plants (the “controls”)—followed by microscopically comparing sap in both.(1) They you will notice that more callose is microscopically observable in the super-stressed phloem tissue.(1)
Why? Callose forms semisolid “plugs” within phloem sieve plate pores, when dissolved glucose material is converted into precipitated callose, which clumps like parts of a temporary cell wall. By such clumping (at the sieve plates), the callose “plugs” can function like the plant equivalent of blood clots, restricting sap flow into plant parts that are physical damaged. Otherwise, if callose plugs were not produced, in repeatedly injured bean stems (or tendrils), the vascular plant equivalent of hemophiliac bleeding would threaten the plant’s survivability.
The fancy term for this injury-mitigation mechanism, of producing structural change after detecting external perturbations, is “thigmomorphogenesis”.(1)
This biochemical-physiological process (i.e., thigmomorphogenesis) illustrates environmental tracking, followed by beneficial responses to physical injuries (that match physical conditions detected by bean plant sensors).(1),(4)
This is clever, but beans have no brains!—they don’t even know beans!(5) Obviously, God designed how this works.
So, next time you eat green beans, think about how carefully and efficiently God designed and bioengineered them. Even plant injuries receive God’s sub-microscopic care, as thigmomorphogenesis demonstrates.
Even with beans, God is not wasteful or callous; callose proves it.
- After chemical staining, squashed bean phloem tissue (both “experimental” and “control”) can be examined under ultraviolet microscope (as I often did during the early AD1980s, while at Wake Forest University’s biology department), using a fluorochromatic technique, revealing the presence of an important polysaccharide (i.e., large polymeric carbohydrate), callose. See Mordecai J. Jaffe, Moshe Huberman, James J. S. Johnson & Frank W. Telewski, “Thigmomorphogenesis: The induction of callose formation and ethylene [production] by mechanical perturbation in bean stems”, Physiologia Plantarum. 64 (2): 271-279 (1985), cited in Frank W. Telewski, “A Unified Hypothesis of Mechanoperception in Plants”, American Journal of Botany, 93(10):1466-1476 (2006).
- The scoffer (described above) proudly accredited his blasphemous notion of God’s supposedly reckless wastefulness (in creation) to Tim Keller, The Prodigal God: Recovering the Heart of the Christian Faith (Penguin, 2011). Elsewhere the blasphemous clergyman Tim Keller promotes blending “evolutionary biological processes” (which he calls EBP, imagining ages of death and disease before Adam’s sin) with Scripture, transmogrifying Genesis’s doctrine of special creation into a hodgepodge of contra-Biblical theistic evolution. (Tim Keller, “Creation, Evolution, and Christian Laypeople”, BioLogos Foundation, https://wp.biologos.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Keller_white_paper-compressed.pdf .)
- see Genesis chapter 3, in light of Romans chapters 5 & 8. Some scoffers recklessly allege that Earth’s entropy shows God’s inefficient “wastefulness”, but Scripture clarifies how God balances the consequential curse of Adam’s choice with God’s providential care for the world, pending Christ’s promised return and restoration of His now-fallen creation. See my article “Misreading Earth’s Groanings: Why Evolutionists and Intelligent Design Proponents Fail Ecology 101”, Acts & Facts, 39(8):8-9 (August 2010), posted at https://www.icr.org/article/misreading-earths-groanings-why-evolutionists/ .
- This illustrates Dr. Randy Guliuzza’s concept of “continuous environmental tracking” (CET) in green beans: the providentially preprogrammed bean plant promptly self-adjusts, physiologically, by switching “on” a preprogrammed biochemical response to fit the environmental challenge. For beans to be fruitful, multiply, and fill earthly habitats, they needed for God to give them the appropriate genetic “software” and the physiological “hardware” CET systems to “fit” the habitats that God designed them to “fill”. See Randy J. Guliuzza, “Engineered Adaptability: Continuous Environmental Tracking Wrap-Up”, Acts & Facts, 48(8):17-19 (August 2019), posted at https://www.icr.org/article/continuous-environmental-tracking-wrap-up/ — and see, also, James J. S. Johnson, “Survival of the Fitted: God’s Providential Programming”, Acts & Facts, 39(10):17-18 (October 2010), posted at https://www.icr.org/article/survival-fitted-gods-providential-programming/ .
- Beans never self-invented systems for restricting their sap, converting dissolved glucose into precipitated callose deposits, for “plugging” pores of their sieve plates, to prevent the plant version of hemophiliac bleeding.