What I Wish My Pastor Knew About: Stem Cells and Biological Development - from Ministry Theorem

Seeds, Eggs, Spores, and Stem Cells: Explore the wonder of biological development.

Steve Matheson

I'm not a farmer, nor have I ever been much of a gardener. But recently, while on a service-based retreat with a bunch of middle schoolers, I had the privilege of planting some kale seeds in a community garden. It was pretty simple: after sieving the soil and creating furrows with a stick, I dropped the seeds into the earth at fairly precise intervals, then brushed some dirt over them. The seeds were tiny, about the size of a period on a printed page, but the seed packet promised a crop of large plants, big enough that the seeds had to be quite some distance apart. Looking at my trivial handiwork, I struggled to believe that those miniscule grains would yield something completely new and different, with no more further input than water. (The soil, derived from compost, was quite rich and required no further fertilizer.) I even asked the expert gardener who was overseeing my work: "Will these seeds really produce kale?" She assured me that they would. After all, the day before, a group of middle schoolers had pulled 30 pounds of beets out of the same spot. The beets had come from seeds.

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