Urban Trees Point to Creation | The Institute for Creation Research

Urban Trees Point to Creation

A recent U.S. Forest Service study estimated that the trees planted along California streets provide a billion dollars’ worth of human benefit each year.1 And that benefit comes cheap. This analysis reveals five tree-related benefits that identify where trees fit in the origins controversy.

These trees do require upkeep, like limb trimming or repairing tree-related damage such as root-torn sidewalks. But the results appearing in the journal Urban Forestry and Urban Greening from three California forest researchers show that for every dollar spent on tree upkeep, tree benefits supply at least $5.82.1 The study authors concluded that each of the state’s 9.1 million street trees offers around $110.63 in total benefits per year.

How can these silent green giants generate so much good while making so little fuss?

The study converted five tree benefits into concrete dollar amounts. Roadside trees of California:

  • Increase property value, mostly through aesthetics2
  • Reduce air-conditioning costs by providing cooling shade
  • Store carbon—California’s street trees store some 7.78 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, helping balance atmospheric carbon-dioxide levels3
  • Improve air quality by absorbing pollutants
  • Intercept rainfall

However, this list excluded additional human health benefits. The study authors wrote,

Recent research in the Sacramento region found that residents in neighborhoods with more tree cover had lower body mass index, reduced likelihood of being obese or overweight, greater participation in vigorous activity, lower likelihood of asthma, higher levels of social cohesion, improvements in mental health, and better general health. The cost savings associated with these health benefits could be substantial.1

These health observations match a 2013 study showing lower death rates in well-treed neighborhoods.4

Did trees evolve or were they created? Tree cells use suites of enzymes to construct wood. Their extraordinary precision and ingenious design defy tree evolution.5 In other words, tree design could not arise by natural processes any more than a tornado could somehow construct an airplane from a pile of raw materials.

The beauty and variety in tree leaf shapes and textures also defies evolution. If all trees descended from a single tree ancestor, as evolutionary dogma asserts, then why did nature not select a plain leaf shape that merely executes photosynthesis most efficiently? Instead, tree leaves come in a delightful array of intriguing varieties, apparently intended to reveal the Creator’s appreciation for variety.6

And fossils show no evidence of evolutionary transition from non-wood plants to woody trees. Fully woody trees suddenly appear as fossils, just as they appear fully formed today.

Instead of natural processes slowly evolving trees, a supernatural process appears to have suddenly created them. The impressive list of California street tree benefits shows that trees meet human needs. And meeting our needs implies intentional kindness. Psalm 68:19-20 suggests a way to respond to the Lord’s kindness by saying,

Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation! Selah. Our God is the God of salvation; and to GOD the Lord belong escapes from death.

So according to this Psalm as well as other Scriptures, the same Lord and Creator who uses trees to load us with daily cost savings and health benefits also offers all people everywhere an escape from death through forgiveness of sin.

References

  1. McPherson, E. G., N. van Doorn, and J. de Goede. 2016. Structure, function and value of street trees in California, USA. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening. 17 (2016): 104-115. 
  2. Thomas, B. Trees Really Are Pleasant to the Sight. Creation Science Update. Posted on ICR.org November 17, 2014, accessed June 16, 2016. 
  3. Thomas, B. Global Warming? Trees to the Rescue! Creation Science Update. Posted on ICR.org July 22, 2013, accessed June 16, 2016. 
  4. Thomas, B. Do People Live Longer among Trees? Creation Science Update. Posted on ICR.org January 28, 2013, accessed June 16, 2016. 
  5. Thomas, B. 2011. Thank God for Wood. Acts & Facts. 40 (10): 17. 
  6. Thomas, B. 2016. Skateboarding and Darwinism. Acts & Facts. 45 (5). 

*Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on June 27, 2016.

The Latest
NEWS
Brainy Paper Wasps
Wasps (Family Vespidae) have a bad rap, but their benefits actually outweigh their painful sting—although many would disagree! What is the function...

CREATION PODCAST
The Secrets of the Cell | The Creation Podcast: Episode 29
Cells are the basic units of life, and in some forms they are actually organisms. What is a cell? What goes on inside of a cell? Did all life come from...

NEWS
Fossil Footprints Fit Flood Ice-Age Model
Anthropologists Thomas Urban (Cornell University) and Daron Duke (Far Western Anthropological Research Group) recently found preserved human footprints...

NEWS
Deep-Sea Lobster Microbiome
Research continues regarding complex and amazing microbiomes found on or within a variety of creatures.1 The microbiome is a microbial community...

NEWS
"Massively Exciting" Fossil Find
Now this is exciting: “Geologists have found the fossil of the earliest known animal predator. The 560-million-year-old specimen is the first of...

NEWS
Copulation Didn't Kill the Frogs, the Flood Did
Evolutionary scientists recently studied 168 frog fossils from central Germany, concluding that the frogs all drowned while aggressively mating. They claim...

CREATION PODCAST
What Can We Learn From Fossils? | The Creation Podcast: Episode...
Is evolution seen in the fossil record? Why are fossilized terrestrial animals found buried with marine creatures? What conditions were needed to form...

NEWS
Be Not Deceived: Spiritually Train to Overcome Secular Science...
Thorough instruction and discipline are the hallmark qualities of a strong military training program. Well-trained soldiers can think on their feet, adapt...

CREATION.LIVE PODCAST
Jurassic World: Dominion - Fun Movie, Bad Science | Creation.Live...
Covered in feathers, running faster than cars, and living in cold climates...these are just a few of the ideas introduced in Jurassic World: Dominion....

NEWS
CET Model in Plants Is Clearly Seen
Plant scientists have known for decades that plants aren’t just static entities. The half-million or more species of plants in the world display...