How Vanilla Proclaims the Glory of God

 It has probably been 30 years ago that we invited a couple, Dave and Mary Jo Nutting of the Alpha Omega Institute to come to Troy, Montana to conduct a creation seminar. It was held in the auditorium at Troy High School. We had protestors (evolution advocates) who stood outside to discourage people from attending.  God prevailed and the seminar was well attended. Each who came saw the amazing evidence for a recent creation. Ever since that time we have received their little periodical entitled Think and Believe which contains information about creation versus evolution and especially recent discoveries and how they fit the creation model. The recent issue of Think and Believe (Sept/Oct 2014, vol. 22, No. 5) had a fascinating article about “Vanilla Ice Cream and Evolution” written by Dave Nutting. 

     It seems that the Totanaco Indians in southeast Mexico were first to produce vanilla and when they were conquered by the Aztecs they were forced to pay tribute to them in vanilla. “The Aztec emperor, Montezuma, used it to help flavor his chocolate drink, consuming supposedly some 50 “pitchers” of it per day!  In the 1520’s, Hernan Cortes, while on a military campaign to conquer the Aztecs, also developed a taste for vanilla and brought some it, along with cocoa, back to Europe” where it became a favorite drink, but the Europeans were unsuccessful in producing their own vanilla beans. “They could grow the vine which produced the beautiful orchid flower, but they could only produce beans in Mexico.” 
    The problem was they didn’t know how to pollinate the orchid, whose bloom opens on only one morning of its cycle and if it isn’t pollinated within 12-24 hours, it withers. Adding to the problem is a hood-like membrane that covers  the part of the orchid which produces pollen. It wasn’t until 1836 that the secret of the pollination of the vanilla orchid was discovered by Charles Francois Antoine Morren when he traveled to Mexico to research the mystery. “He discovered that a little Mexican Melipona Bee landed on the orchid, lifted up the little hood-like membrane, collected the pollen, and then flew off to the next flower. This completed the pollination of the orchids, which later produced a vanilla bean.”  The Mexican Belipona Bee is apparently the only insect that knows how to pollinate the vanilla orchid. Here’s where the wisdom of our Creator God comes into play and evolutionists have a great dilemma, for they believe there were millions of years between the appearance of the vanilla orchid and the arrival of the Melipona Bee.  How could the vanilla orchid have survived?  And then, “how did that little bee learn the trick of lifting the hood on the flower to get at the pollen?  Did both co-evolve or co-adapt as some evolutionists propose? If so, it would take unguided, random development in two unrelated organisms which miraculously come together at just the right time in a symbiotic relationship. However, trial-and-error processes fail to reasonably explain this development. All the parts need to be working and in place in both the bee and the orchid to produce a bean.”  A much more reasonable, believable explanation is that the vanilla orchid and the Melipona Bee were both purposefully created by our all-wide, all-powerful God to give the world that great tasting vanilla! 
     “Today, vanilla is being produced in many other countries. Most of the production comes from Madagascar and Indonesia.  This was made possible in 1841 by a 12-year old slave, Edmond Albius, who discovered and developed an efficient hand-pollination method which is still used today.”  
     So, think about it. “EVEN VANILLA PROCLAIMS THE GLORY OF GOD!”     In the Genesis account of creation, we read that on day three: “And the earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit, with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good” (Gen. 1:12,13).  On the fourth day, God put the sun and moon into operation “to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness” (1:18).  Then, on the fifth day of creation, God created the sea creatures and birds. On the sixth, and final day of creation, “God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things (worms, insects, etc.) and beasts of the earth after their kind’; and it was so” (1:24).  The sixth day, of course, was climaxed by God making man in His own image and likeness to “rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” (1:26). All the language of the Genesis account indicates that these days of creation were literal, 24-hour days, not ages of time. Think about it—if they were ages of time, the vegetation didn’t have light to survive nor insects to pollinate. God created the vanilla orchid and provided the Melipona Bee to pollinate it and gave it the know-how to do it.  Aren’t you glad!  I think we should all celebrate today by having a bowl of vanilla ice cream with some chocolate syrup, as we contemplate the amazing ingenuity of our Creator God who made all of this possible for us to enjoy! 
                              Forever His,
                                    Pastor Dave
(Thanks Dave Nutting for such a stimulating article in your Think and Believe. To receive the publication,  write to Alpha Omega Institute, PO Box 4343, Grand Junction, CO 81502 or call 1-800-377-1923 or check out their website:

About Pastor Dave

Until my retirement 2 years ago, I pastored an independent Bible church in Northwest Montana for nearly 38 years. During that time I also helped establish a Christian school, and a Bible Camp. I am married and have children and grandchildren. The Wisdom of the Week devotional is an outgrowth of my desire to share what God is doing in my life and in our world, and to challenge you to be a part.
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