Thursday, November 02, 2006

Why do leaves have color?

As I understand the argument by those who oppose intelligent design, all the different qualities of plants and animals are due to evolution.

The leaves on the trees are green due to chlorophyll. When the cold weather hits and the leaves die, the chlorophyll is no longer there to turn the leaf green and we see the spectacular yellows, oranges and reds of autumn. While we love the beauty, our appreciation does not qualify as a sufficient reason for the evolution of the trees.

How are these different colors supposed to benefit the trees?


Blogger coldkale said...

The leaves change color, if my memory of 7th grade science serves, because the trees are pulling nutrients into the trunk to survive the winter. The leaves are essentially dying as they change color and are blown from the tree's branches by the wind, hence our weekly rituals with rakes in November. Did you not study this in school?

I'm a computer programmer, not a biologist. As for the evolutionary purpose of the coloration of leaves in the fall, in addition to the aforementioned purpose of the tree's survival, I'd speculate that the leaves serve possibly as food for animals in the ecosystem and then fertilizer for the ground around the tree. Maybe protection too, for the tree's roots or for smaller plants and animals during harsh weather.

10:04 PM, November 07, 2006  

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