Why we are here:

Our signature Bible passage, the prologue to John's Gospel, tells us that Jesus (the Logos) is God and Creator and that He came in the flesh (sarx) to redeem His fallen, sin-cursed creation—and especially those He chose to believe in Him.

Here in Bios & Logos we have some fun examining small corners of the creation to show how great a Creator Jesus is—and our need for Him as Redeemer. Soli Deo Gloria.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

A Fascinating Shrub

I don’t know what it is about the Highbush Cranberry (Viburnum trilobum) that captures my attention in a special way. Probably it has to do with the maple-like leaf form. It looks like a maple, yet it’s not a maple—what maple would produce flowers like these? And it is the floral inflorescences that are the most fascinating feature of this shrub. A crown of large florets surrounds a disk of much smaller ones (shown here before the buds have opened), producing a unique doily-like effect. (Click on the picture to enlarge it.)

What kind of DNA programming or developmental hormone distribution must be involved to produce two differently sized flowers in the same arrangement? Plant development is a mind-boggling concept to begin with, and this example has me once again praising the Creator and His seemingly infinite bag of design tricks.
By the way, the Highbush Cranberry is not a cranberry--Ocean Spray would not give it a second look. It does produce red berries, which I suppose reminded someone of the boggy plant. Such is the confusion caused by common names. That's why the contribution of the man whose 3ooth birthday we celebrate tomorrow is so important. That's right, it's the birthday of Carolus Linnaeus, the father of our system of classification and binomial nomenclature--who was a fine Christian and creationist.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


Ecology is a fascinating area of biology, especially in the sin-cursed biosphere (the only one we have ever known). Plants and animals--as well as members of the other kingdoms--get adapted to a particular environment and establish relationships with all the species with which they live, for better or worse. Then someone imports a species from another region, or even another continent, and lets it escape--and a whole ecosystem gets thrown out of whack.

Such is the case with the pictured species, Alliaria petiolata, the infamous Garlic Mustard. Imported from Europe in the 19th century as a culinary and medicinal herb, it escaped (as most imported species seem to do) and has spread across at least two-thirds of the US. It looks harmless enough, but its secret weapons are deadly, not to humans, but to the plant life around it. It crowds out native species, especially the spring woodland wildflowers--and that is only the visible effect of this very prolific invader. Its more insidious attack takes place underground, where its roots exude chemicals that have a deadly effect on a group of organisms we seldom hear of but which are vital to a host of forest tree species. The victims are the mycorrhizal fungi, which form symbiotic relationships with the roots of trees and are essential for their nutrition. So it's not just the pretty spring flowers that suffer, but grown forest trees like oaks and maples.

In other words, Garlic Mustard, once it gets established, can seriously alter and damage an entire forest ecosystem. And once it is established, it is nearly impossible to eradicate. It grows fast, flowers fast, produces seeds fast--and those seeds can remain viable in the ground for up to five years.

Of course, there has to be a theological lesson in there somewhere--Bioman seldom let's you get by without connecting biology with more important things. In this case, I can easily make an analogy of our invasive alien plant to the insidiousness of sin. Unless it is stamped out early and completely, it can infect every area of our lives, both visible and secret. And the result can be disastrous.

Thank God every day that He has provided a way of escape--a wonderful Savior, who came to save His people from their sins (Matt. 1:21).

Friday, May 18, 2007

Genesis 3 in Action--Even in Swans

As I glanced over last year's posts (when I was a much more active blogger) I reflected on the last item and its prophetic nature. The Genesis 3 predictions unfortunately were fulfilled. By early July, when this picture was taken, only three of the original cygnets remained. This guy seems to be asking why life is so tough. And it got tougher. A few weeks later, the swan family wandered across the street and got trapped in a concrete pool and had to be rescued. The male flew off to a neghboring town, leaving the female to care for her diminishing brood. By the end of the summer, only one cygnet was left. All others had been victims of snapping turtles or disease.

So you see, it is a rough world out there, all the result of sin and the Curse. Indeed, the tragic experience of the swan family was merely a small example of the effects of sin in God's created world. Even His innocent wild creatures suffer because of Man's sin.

"For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now." (Romans 8:22 NASB)

By the way, no swans nested at the Celery Farm this year. A pair visited early in the season but (wisely) decided not to stay. This was fortunate, because the "flood of the century" would surely have overwhelmed even the most secure nest they could have built.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Bloggeration CPR

Almost a year…

Let’s face it, when I go into a blogging slump, I really go all the way. Just a week shy of a year of blog passivity is next thing to a near death experience. So let’s make an attempt at CPR.

Looking back at the past two years of posts, I see that the subject matter has ranged from New Jersey bears to Intelligent Design debates to musings about PETA to thoughts about Darwinism and Darwin the man—some serious stuff, some just fun.

Now I can’t promise that this entry will be a sign of revival—it may be a last gasp. Time will tell.