A new amazing strategy has been discovered to add to the list of defenses plants use against herbivores. It has long been known, for instance, that plants detect the secretions from caterpillars and respond with toxins and chemicals that slow the caterpillars' digestion. Now a new defensive strategy has been discovered: the altering of the flowering time. This has been observed in a tobacco plant which produces new morning-opening flowers when attacked by larvae of the hawkmoth pollinator.
Normally the plant releases benzyl acetone to attract the hawkmoth pollinators and produces flowers that open at night when the hawkmoth is active. But the morning flowers, produced in response to hawkmoth larvae attack, produce less benzyl acetone and are pollinated by hummingbirds which are active during the day.
With evolution we must believe that this dramatic change in flower phenology, as well as the other plant defenses, just happened to arise so they later could be selected. A mutation occurred that just happened to activate a benzyl acetone release mechanism, which just happened to attract the hawkmoth pollinator. And another mutation just happened to design a system that detects caterpillar secretions. Then another mutation just happened to couple with the detection system to produce and release chemicals, to slow the caterpillar digestion, as well as toxins. Then another mutation just happened to create the system to switch the flower design so it opens in the morning.
And of course these designs are observed by us only because they were the evolutionary winners. They are the proverbial tip of the iceberg. For every winner there are untold myriad losers. The designs that produced some other chemical rather than benzyl acetone. The designs that detected chemicals that the caterpillars don't secret. The designs that didn't couple with the detection system. The designs that produced secretions that had no effect on the caterpillars. The designs that wreaked havoc on the flowering process rather than merely altering the flowering time. And so on, and so forth. The plant must have been a veritable idea factory, churning out all manner of mostly useless Rube Goldberg devices.
This, for what it's worth, is evolutionary theory. A game of fact-free story telling all funded by the taxpayer. Religion drives science, and it matters.