Jul 16, 2005
Oh, Beauty !!
Flowers.. beautiful.. in different colors.. in different combo of colors.. Why? How?
It is a truly intriguing question.. well.. the world is full of lot of mysteries when you look deep and deep at the molecular level.. But, the color and beauty of flowers always amaze me.. For the sake of argument, let us not say “God made.. blah blah..” This is post is for those who think otherwise…
Color.. an easy concept but quite complicated fundamentally.. The flowers get the color due to some ‘pigments’ or, in simple terms, ‘dyes’ which absorb certain portion of sunlight so the remaining color is what we get to see. Now, the question is, how the plants, which are way low the food chain and supposedly less intelligent, create those astonishing colors..
Suppose I am a plant.. I want to spread out, so I want bees, insects, etc. to come and take the pollens from my reproductive organ, i.e. flower, and take it to some other flower.. How do I make them come to me? Fragrance is one way (which is another complicated matter, so let us leave it aside or for some other discussion), and the color is the other.. How do I know what the insects like? By accident, I saw a nearby plant producing a colorful flower (trying something new, according to Darwin’s theory), to which insects went in bunch so I got sad and decided to make them myself? Or, do I have to die a slow death and the ‘accidentally clever’ nearby plant would survive as the smartest? Is it the only plant from its family which made the beautiful flowers or did all of them who are in ‘hearing distance’ decided in a conference and implemented it? Oh man, I donno the answer so I deserve to die..!!
Ok.. so the nearby plant had some intelligence, and used its scientists in the chemical factory to come to board, draw a few structures, discussed which one will absorb in which region of the light and hence which color it would look, did a few trial-and error experiments inside to create some dyes and then waited for the bees? How did they know what the bees like? Any color, that’s why different plans have different colors in the world? Then how come different combo of color? Who taught to mix different dyes in different amounts at different parts of the flower? Most of all, can the plants ‘see’ what beautiful flowers they have made? Or, am I missing something?