By Rabbi Avigdor Miller Z”TL,
The glider-wing of the maple seed is a demonstration that the maple tree is “aware” of the wind. Science books call the wing a modified leaf, which is the same as calling a glider a modified board, or calling an electric bulb a modified candle.
The wing is indeed a paragon of purposeful technology and is no more accidental than the wing of an airplane. It is made of lightweight material which when it dries becomes thin and taut. A thin frame of tough material runs around the wing to give it firmness and to prevent it from crumbling apart.
The seed wing is a paragon of purposeful technology
That shows awareness par excellence:
- of the necessity for lightweight material
- of the necessity for a taut wing to offer resistance to the wind
- of the need for a frame to reinforce the thin material, and
- of the mechanics of equilibrium and wind action.
And it demonstrates that the tree is aware that seeds dropped in its own shade would not succeed in growing; it therefore equips the seeds with wings to enable them to fly abroad.
Photo: Peter van der Sluijs, Wikimedia Commons