THE BUCKET ORCHID, A NAIL IN THE COFFIN OF EVOLUTION
The bucket orchid needs ALL of it's parts to survive or to have existed in the first place. It is pollinated by bees who are attracted to the flower by the scent of nectar that is an aphrodisiac to female bees. When the bee flys over to the flower to collect the nectar in it's collecting organs on it's modified hind legs, the bee slips down into a bucket due to the slippery substance on the flower and into the 'bucket' that contains a pool of water dripping from a gland above. A tunnel allows the bee to escape but first tightens when it feels the bee and the plant's mechanism glues 2 pollen sacks to the back of the bee. After some time of drying, the bee is released. When the bee enters the next bucket orchid over, the plant removes the pollen sacks by a hook in the same tunnel! All of these things HAD to be in place for the bucket orchid to reproduce in the first place. There is NO evolutionary explanation for this amazing design sequence.
the bucket orchid of Central America, is equipped with a small bucket structure behind the flower. The flower produces an oil which drips into the "bucket" and attracts bees with its unique odor. Each bucket orchid species has its own scent, thus each attracts its own species of bee. When the male bee smells the perfume, it goes to the orchid to collect an oily substance which he will use to attract females (he is only attracted to one orchid species scent since he wants to attract only females of the same species). However, often as he is collecting his oil, the bee falls into the bucket. The only way out is through a tube. The bee moves through the tube, getting "tagged" with orchid pollen, so when he visits the next flower he will pollinate it as he passes through its tunnel.
The Bucket Orchid comes in two species, Coryanthes speciosa and Stanhopea grandiflora. These orchids have an intricate mechanism by which bees are attracted, trapped, and then released. Bucket orchids are pollinated by the males of two species of bee—Euglossa meriana and Euglossa cordata—which themselves are specially designed for the task.
Attracted in the first instance by the smell of nectar emanating from the orchid, the bee gathers from the surface of the flower a liquid which will make him attractive to female bees. These bees have collecting organs on their modified forelegs which pass the odour to pockets in the hind legs, from which it can be released to attract females for mating.
The surface of the orchid is slimy, which causes the bee to slip and fall into the 'bucket' that contains a pool of liquid dripping from a gland above. The only way the bee can escape is through a tunnel, and there is a convenient step leading from the pool of liquid to the tunnel entrance.
As the bee is about to escape from the tunnel, the walls of the tunnel contract, gripping the bee. The plant's mechanism then glues two pollen sacs to the bee's back, and after allowing time for the glue to dry, releases it. If the bee then flies to another bucket orchid, the same process will take place, except that this time, when the bee attempts to leave the tunnel, a hook in the roof of the tunnel removes the pollen sacs, and the fertilization process is completed!
Now, if you subscribe to the theory of evolution, you have to accept that:
a plant somehow evolved a scent that attracted an insect
this plant evolved a "slimy" substance that would cause an insect to slip into a bucket of fluid secreted to drip into this bucket
this plant also evolved an oil that would trap an insect, yet not drown it
this plant evolve a tube for the insect to escape from the oil bucket
this plant also evolved a tube that will contract just enough to trap this insect but not kill it
this plant developed a glue that would be strong enough to "tag" this insect but not completely gunk it up
this plant developed a system to deliver two pollen sacks to the area of the insect that had received the glue
this plant evolved a hook mechanism to remove the pollen sacs if they were already there
You also have to accept that:
an insect evolved that was attracted to the scent put out by this plant
this insect is just the right weight to slip on the slimy substance
this insect was big enough to fall into the bucket and not drown, but small enough not to be able to tear through the plant
this insect is small enough to fit through a tube but not so small that it can get through the tube when it contracts
this insect was strong enough to carry two pollen sacs
Please explain how this process occurred through a process that is completely random, cannot take into account the evolutionary process of another organism, and had to occur simultaneously.
The bucket orchid's mechanism involves at least five separate functions, which must work in the correct sequence—attracting the bee, causing it to fall into the bucket, the provision of the gland to keep the bucket 'topped up' with liquid, provision of a tunnel exit, and the devices for attachment and removal of the pollen sacs. If any part of the mechanism were missing, or incomplete, the plant could not be fertilized. The origin of the bucket orchid's wonderful and ingenious machinery is surely fatal to the theory of gradual evolution.
These flowers must have been created and designed to operate this way from the very beginning, and bear abundant witness to the design and power of God, the Creator.
Darwin in his book 'On the pollination and fertilisation of Orchids' included a description of the pollination of the Bucket Orchid, Coryanthes speciosa.
He was so surprised on receiving the description that until he checked and found that it was a respectable botanist who had made the report, he would not credit it.
The BBC have filmed it happening, and the film is probably available from them.
The orchid's labellum is shaped as a bucket, and above the bucket, on another petal, is a gland which secretes a liquid, probably water, which drips into the bucket and accumulates in it.
The bucket possesses three remarkable features.
1 Cut into the outer side of the bucket, away from the main flower structure, is a slit, which functions as an overflow: so when the liquid reaches a level about half a centimetre BELOW the upper edge of the bucket, it overflows, so at no time is it ever full to the brim.
2 On the opposite side, inside the bucket, and below the level of the liquid, is what looks for all the world like a little step.
3 The outer lip of the bucket is made of some material which is intensely attractive to the blue euglossine male bee.
The bees come and struggle to get at the lip of the bucket, and of course, in the struggles one falls in sooner or later.
Because the walls of the bucket are smooth, he cannot get a grip EXCEPT at the point where there is the aforementioned step. Wet and bedraggled, he climbs on to the step and out, right into the heart of the flower.
As he enters the tube formed by the other petals, he is suddenly clamped and held for a few moments, unable to move or escape, and on to his back, the anthers are pressed.
On the anthers, there is a glue, which takes exactly the same amount of time to dry, as he is held motionless. It dries, he buzzes off, and goes to another flower where the process is repeated - and so the pollen from the anthers reaches the stigma, thus fertilising the orchid.
Darwin also noted that a phenomenon known as pollinarium bending occurred. The term refers to the manner in which orchid pollinaria start to bend after an 18- to 20-second interval after attaching to a visiting insect. The bending mechanism prevents self-pollination of the orchid.
It so happens that only one species of bee comes to a particular species of Coryanthes.
The probability of these features coming together by chance is astronomically small.
1 The structure of the labellum as a bucket is remarkable in itself
2 The gland above is obviously placed there to produce the liquid for the bucket. Imagine it producing liquid with no bucket there, or a bucket there with no liquid coming!
3 The overflow is there for the designed purpose of preventing the liquid from flowing out, over the top of the bucket. If it could flow over the top, the bee, when he fell in, could simply float out over the edge, and thus defeat the purpose of the exercise.
4 The little step, contrived and placed there for the express purpose of preventing the bee drowning, also forces him to enter the heart of the flower.
5 The flower has a designed clamping action, with a timer built in, exactly matched to the drying time of the glue on the anthers.
6 The anthers stick to his back, and do not impede his flight to another plant after he has dried off.
7 The stigma of the flower is positioned on the top petal of the flower, to make sure that it is in the correct position to receive the pollen when the bee arrives. If it was on the underside of the flower, then it would never receive any pollen.
We won't go into the complexities of anther construction until the post on mitosis and meiosis are completed.
8 The glue on the anthers is exactly right for the purpose, and its chemical composition known, and the manufaturing technique as well.
Having read all that, it is no wonder that Darwin staggered at the description. He said that the orchids employed a 'beautiful contrivance' to avoid self pollination.
The question of how all this evolved clearly didn't arise in his mind, or else he pushed it to the back of it. But who contrived the contrivance?
Last edited by Admin on Sun Jun 22, 2014 4:15 am; edited 5 times in total