Animal Protein Appears in Plant
Science Daily reported a “a first-of-its-kind discovery that overturns conventional wisdom” – an animal substance produced by a plant. The white bird of paradise tree, a large plant that resembles a palm or banana plant (see picture), has bright orange flowers with a substance previously known only in animals.
Animals produce bilirubin from the breakdown of blood cells. Bilirubin also puts the yellow in jaundice, bruises and urine. This is the first instance of this substance in a plant. Science News said this is a “wonderful new discovery” about a plant that is not rare. Bilirubin is similar in some respects to phycobilin, a pigment used by bacteria in photosynthesis, and phytochrome, a pigment used by plants to sense light.
Science Daily said this discovery “may change scientific understanding of how the ability to make bilirubin evolved.” Researchers found the substance in two closely related plant species. “The discovery may stir evolutionary research to understand why and how plants make what everyone regarded as an animals-only pigment,” the article ended. Science News did not speculate on the evolution of this ability, but quoted a researcher saying, “Researchers have found that plant enzymes open the chlorophyll molecule to form a substance that could turn into bilirubin with just one more step…. The most interesting thing is that this suggests the first couple of steps of degradation are identical in plants and animals.”
One cannot have “understanding” about how the ability to make bilirubin evolved. Jumping into storytelling mode is the first refuge of Darwinist scoundrels. It gives them an excuse to look busy by saying this will “stir evolutionary research.”
Since bilirubin is a breakdown product of heme in animals, it may well be within the reaction pathways of phycobilin or phytochrome – similar molecules – in plants. It would be like altering the path of a ball rolling downhill. A variation in the reactions could have led to a buildup of bilirubin in the flowers of the white bird of paradise tree without adding any new genetic information. If the change in coloration attracted pollinators, the change could become established in the species, within the “edge of evolution” described by Michael Behe in his second book.
For Darwinists to believe “ability to make bilirubin evolved,” they would have to explain why a single-celled common ancestor needed the substance, only to have the ability to make it show up hundreds of millions of years later in a flowering plant needing bright orange flowers and in animals with blood circulatory systems and livers. That is not understanding; that is oversleeping.