Note this is a unique post. Read to the end to see why.
With the theme of this post being Christmas in July, I could not think of a more appropriate creature to feature than the Christmas Tree Worm. The Christmas Tree Worm is a unique creature that is somewhat well known in aquarist circles. However, it is not well understood in light of origins. This article will attempt to explain where this unique worm fits in the origins debate.
The Christmas tree worm is a form of bristle worm that builds specialized tubes to hide its body from predators. The tubes are made of calcium carbonate. The worm obtains this calcium carbonate from sand and other particles it takes in. It then excretes the calcium carbonate to build its tube. Most of the worm remains hidden inside the tube at all times. Only the colorful crowns remain exposed for any length of time. The crowns are composed of specialized structures called radioles. Radioles are composed of smaller structures called cilia. The radioles are highly colorful and easily visible. Each worm has two crowns. If threatened, the worm can quickly retract both crowns into its tube and close a specialized shute cover called an operculum. The operculum protects the delicate radioles from predation. The radioles also function as a sophisticated gill system.
Christmas Tree Worms are found growing on live corals. They burrow their tubes down into the corals themselves, getting longer as the corals expand. However, despite burrowing through the corals, they do not harm them. In fact, there is evidence that Christmas Tree Worms actually are beneficial to corals. Some of the corals they live in are preyed upon by crown of thorns starfish. The Christmas Tree Worm has been observed to use its radioles to push the crown of thorns starfish off the coral and protect it. This has no obvious benefit to the Christmas Tree Worm, making it puzzling for biologists.
Christmas Tree Worms are filter feeders by nature. Their specialized cilia serve as tentacles to filter phytoplankton out of the water and provide food for the worm. Once the cilia capture the plankton, they pass it to a specialized food groove in the stalk that takes it into the worm for digestion.
Christmas Tree Worms reproduce through sexual reproduction, which has potential to be difficult since they don’t move. However, they are fortunate that they are designed to open water spawn. This involves releasing eggs and sperm simultaneously and letting the two meet in the water column. Once the egg is fertilized, the young will go through a planktonic stage for less than two weeks before setting down on a coral or rock. They will then burrow in and build a burrow, then form their tube inside that burrow. Once they have established themselves, Christmas Tree Worms can live for up to forty years.
Evolutionists have problems with the Christmas Tree Worm, though not as many as they have with other creatures I’ve previously covered. They must explain how the ornate, yet functional Christmas Tree evolved atop a burrowing worm. This, however, is less of an issue than it protecting corals. Why, from an evolutionary perspective, should a burrowing worm care if the rock it has burrowed into is attacked by a starfish? There is no evolutionary explanation for this. Further, the Christmas Tree Worm brings the open water spawning issue back into play. How do worms know exactly when to release their gametes so that they will find a gamete of the opposite gender? What built-in mechanism tells them this? And how did they develop it? Evolutionists cannot answer this question, yet it is fundamental to how Christmas Tree Worms reproduce.
Creationists, of course, have no problem with the Christmas Tree Worm. It is merely another of God’s wondrous designs for His creation. It was designed as it is from the beginning.
Christmas in July
Now for the Christmas part. 🙂 As of mid-July 2018, I passed 200 followers on Facebook. Combined with my youtube, twitter, and wordpress followers, I’m almost at 250 total. I am humbled that so many people are interested in what I have to say from God’s Word and about science. I wanted to thank you all for giving me this opportunity to be a blessing to you. You’ve been a great blessing to me as well so I wanted to do something for you. Thus for my “Christmas in July” I am giving away a copy of Dr. Ken Ham’s book “The Lie”. It’s one of the best explanations of why evolution is wrong and unbiblical I’ve ever read. There are some conditions to you getting it, however. They are below.
- In order to qualify, you must follow me on at least one of my three social media sites. Youtube does not count for this because I can’t view my subscribers.
- You must submit a minimum 700 word essay on something related to creation/evolution. If your first language isn’t English, submit it in your first language and I’ll pull out my reliable friend google translate. 🙂 The person with the best submission, of which I will be the judge, will get the book.
- The article must be submitted by midnight ET on August 31 3018.
- If you live outside the continental US, it might be easier for me to simply buy you the internet download of the book and give it to you that way. I reserve the right to do that if I judge that someone outside the continental US wins.
- If you win, you have the option of me running your submission in the blog. Not required, but still a potentially cool perk. 🙂
- I reserve the right to alter these rules as I find it necessary.
- To submit items for the contest, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and title the email “Contest”.