The fruits of a shrub named Lantana strigocamara have a distinct blue colour with a metallic sheen.  Scientists at University of Colorado, Boulder, have studied these to find out where the blue colour comes from and found it is not from any blue pigment.  The berry-like fruits have a complex structure of lipid droplets in their skin that reflects blue light, making them a rare example of structural colour in plants. 

According to University of Colorado press release explaining how plants developed structural colour to make blue, rather than using blue pigment, one theory is “perhaps plants stumbled across structural colour as a way to make blue because it’s not as easy to create in other ways”. 

The article goes on to state that scientists “are now trying to make coloured paints, fabrics and more out of structural colour, by better understanding the assembly of cellulose nanocrystals in coloured fruits.”

References: ScienceDaily 11 June 2022; University of Colorado 13 June 2022; New Phytologist, 10 June 2022; doi:10.1111/nph.18262.

Editorial Comment: The idea of plants stumbling across structural colour because it is an easier way to make blue colour is ludicrous.

Structural colour is well known in butterfly wings and blue bird feathers. It has proved to be the result of complex microscopic structures in a surface reflecting specific wavelengths of light.  Our efforts to copy such colours tell us the significant property of structural colour is that it comes from the organisation of the substances in a surface, not from any blue properties of the substances themselves i.e. these blue colours come from either organised lipid droplets in fruit or keratin layers in bird feathers.  But such organisation is the result of planned and purposeful design and creative manipulation of substances. 

If these scientists succeed in making coloured paints and fabrics that have similar blue structural colour, it will be because they used their God-given minds to first find how it works in fruits or feathers, then copy the same structures using other substances.  Therefore, they are without excuse for failing to give the Creator of structural colour the honour due to Him when they find new examples of it in the world around them.

Creation Research News 28 June 2022

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