Figs, Fig Wasps and Figments
The symbiotic relationship between the fig wasp and certain varieties of figs is amazing. A symbiotic relationship is one in which both participants benefit from, or are even dependent on, each other for survival.
Figs are actually like an inverted flower. All the reproductive parts (stamen, pistil, pollen) are inside the growing fig. A female fig wasp that hatches inside a fig emerges carrying pollen and seeks a different fig, likely on a different tree, where she can lay her eggs. The fig (syconium) has a narrow opening at the tip (ostiole) through which she enters the fig, usually losing her wings and antenna as she squeezes through. Doesn’t matter – she won’t need them anymore because she will die after laying eggs. If she is fortunate enough to have chosen a male fig (caprifig) she’ll find just the right setup for laying her eggs, which will hatch into larvae and grow into male and female wasps. Males are blind and wingless. They will mate with the females, bore holes in the fig’s skin for the females to escape and serve no other purpose. (Guys, they are not our male role models for Father’s Day!!) They’ll die inside the fig, be digested by fig enzymes and never leave the fig or see the light of day. Most commercial varieties of figs for human consumption are self-pollinating – no digested wasps in them.
If the female wasp happens to enter a female fig it will pollinate the fig to produce seeds but its own eggs and the female wasp will starve to death and be digested by the fig. It has no escape available.
Isn’t it amazing that such a complex relationship exists? Some people believe that it took millions of years for this relationship to develop by evolution. Think of all the pieces that would have to fall into place, by accident, for this to be true.
- It would require accidently developing male and female figs to be in place, complete with pollen, stamens, pistils, ostiole openings, genetic instructions in the DNA and a myriad of support mechanisms, to produce the seeds to grow the tree before it can produce any figs. How do you do that?
- At the same time we would need accidently developed male and female wasps complete with all the abilities to produce eggs, to mate, to be programmed to find the other fig if the wasp is a female, programmed to bore holes if a male, be genetically equipped to grow from egg to larvae to adult and to reproduce. A tough sell!
- Time is not the friend of evolution. It is the enemy. Everything has to come together in exactly the right condition and in the same place and at the same time fully formed. You can’t have some parts wait millions of years for the other parts to show up.
- One evolutionist stated that both the fig wasp and the fig have the same goal, so it all comes together. Neither one has the ability to plan progress toward a goal. The theory of atheistic evolution does not allow for any goals, purpose or design features. It is all by random mutations and chance. Natural selection requires the presence of something to select from and the intelligence to select what fits, which it doesn’t have. Would I be resorting to a FIGment of the imagination to accept that?
- Last, this same challenge of having every ‘piece’ in place exists for every one of the millions of plant and animal species. The cumulative probability factor is astronomically exponential – infinitely great. Totally impossible.
The process and design was the work of the Creator, and it is amazing.