by Mark H. Armitage and George F. Howe
CRS Quarterly, Volume 44 Number 1, Summer 2007, pp. 40-53.
Lichens are a life-form composed of a fungus called the “mycobiont,” growing in close union with some alga or blue-green bacterium known as the “phycobiont” (Howe and Armitage, 2002). Some workers consider this to be a symbiotic union, while others see it as a mild form of parasitism. Lichen pigments probably play many important physiological roles, while their brilliant colors provide considerable aesthetic enjoyment (Howe and Armitage, 2003). The versatile array of lichen asexual reproductive bodies and other features of the lichen upper surface have been illustrated by using scanning electron photomicrography (Armitage and Howe, 2004). Lichen algae and fungi are woven together forming “tissues” that resemble the tissues of unrelated “higher plants” in a generalized fashion (Armitage and Howe, 2006). In this two-part article (our fifth lichen paper) we show that the cellular ultrastructure of lichen provides evidence favoring design and direct creation. Our hope here, as with the other lichen papers, is that the readers’ knowledge of the Creator and their esteem for His handiwork will be enhanced by the study of lichens.