In the evolutionary story, plants arrived relatively late in earth history. The first fossils of plants are supposed to be 475 million years old. Evolutionists generally agree that plants evolved from algae that slowly began to colonize the land. This could not have occurred until after there was an intact ozone layer to protect the plants from some of the atmosphere’s harmful UV rays. Since this was an alien land, plants had to adapt to the new landscape. Several key systems had to be developed to prevent drying out (desiccation) in the air, to absorb nutrients from the soil, to grow upright without the support of water, and to reproduce on land.
All of these new features required new information to code for their production. As stated previously, no mechanism can consistently provide new information from random mutations in the genomes of individuals. While plants do have many adaptations that allow them to be successful on land, these features could not have developed through evolution. The many features that allow plants to thrive in diverse environments were programmed into the different plant kinds when they were created by God. This view of adaptation is a key difference in the evolution and creation models. Setting aside evolutionary bias and focusing on operational science, we can define adaptation as:
Adaptation: a physical trait or behavior due to inherited characteristics that gives an organism the ability to survive in a given environment.
In evolutionary biology, adaptations are often acquired by modifying existing structures to accomplish new tasks. In the case of algae turning into plants, the preexisting structures are mostly absent. Few algae have differentiated tissues that could be adapted to a new use. To get around this, some suggest that fungi invaded the land with the plants to help in absorbing nutrients from the soil. There is much evidence of plants and fungi living in symbiotic relationships today, but nothing to suggest that they evolved to help one another.
The first plants to evolve were the small mosses and liverworts (bryophytes), but these evolutionary dead ends did not lead to the vas cular plants that are common today. The three groups of bryophytes are found in an unexpected sequence in the fossil record, so evolutionists must accept that they evolved separately from one another. The most likely ancestor is a mobile alga known as a “chlorophyte.”
The vascular plants are supposed to have evolved separately from other algae. The ferns, club mosses, and horsetails (pteridophytes) are the suggested common ancestors to the vascular plants that are present in large quantities today. The Carboniferous era is described as having giant ferns and club moss trees, none of which survives today. The vast forests of the Carboniferous are the source of many coal and oil reserves in the evolutionary model.
The next step in the evolutionary story is the development of seed plants. The first to evolve were the gymnosperms, cone-bearing plants like conifers, ginkgo, and cycads. These plants had an adaptive advantage over the pteridophytes and dominated the forests of the late Paleozoic era.
The evolution of flowers and seed protected in a fruit led to the next branch, the angiosperms. The production of flowers and fruits has a cost, but this cost is outweighed by the benefits. And many adaptations have led to diverse types of flowering plants. Along with these new information-gaining changes, many intricate symbiotic relationships supposedly developed. Many exclusive symbiotic relationships exist between fungi, bacteria, and insects. If these relationships are disturbed, the plants either do not survive or are less able to compete. The scenario that explains how a complex symbiotic relationship evolves seems to be a Catch-22 in evolutionary scenarios. If the bee doesn’t have a certain shape, it can’t get to the nectar, but it is the only bee with the right body shape to distribute the pollen for the flower. If either is not in place, the other does not survive, or it is not as fit as its competitors.