“Brainless Fungi” Extraordinarily Complex

“Brainless Fungi” Extraordinarily Complex

When you think of fungi, you probably don’t automatically think “smart”—especially considering they don’t have brains! But these incredible organisms are indeed “smart,” in the sense that they are designed to do what they do, and what they do, they do well. (Some of you may have heard me give a fun saying like this to kids in one of my live presentations!) The more we look at what God has made, the more obvious it is that we are without excuse if we refuse to acknowledge the Creator (Romans 1:20). And fungi are just one more example.

Plants and fungi trade resources in a mutually beneficial relationship. This is known as symbiosis. And it’s a complicated exchange, as this summary of a new study explains in New Scientist:

But it turns out the fungi are savvy traders, taking advantage of their partners by shuttling goods to nutrient-starved areas where plants are willing to pay more than usual.

The discovery is the latest demonstration that even simple, brainless organisms are capable of sophisticated trading strategies.

Hmm—“sophisticated” strategies. Does that sound like the result of chance? The study found that when phosphorus—a necessary nutrient which the plants receive from the fungi in exchange for carbon—is in limited supply, the fungi will grab the phosphorus from an area of high concentration and send it across the network to an area of low concentration. The researchers suspect that the fungi may be diverting the phosphorus to the depleted area in return for more of the resources it needs, like carbon, from the plant. The researchers hope to confirm this in a follow-up experiment.

The final paragraph of the article states, “the big mystery is how fungi coordinate trading strategies in the absence of cognition.” Without a brain—how do they do all of this? Well, further study is sure to give us clues, but they won’t find an evolutionary origin for such an ability. These fungi were created by God and clearly show his handiwork to all who will take the time to look and consider. No wonder God’s Word says that it’s evident to all that God is Creator, and for those who don’t believe, they are “without excuse” (Romans 1:20).

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