In my last post, I pointed out that the fine-tuning of the universe and our planet for life is best explained by intelligent design, specifically by God’s self-revelation. In this blog, I want to investigate life itself as a display of God’s handiwork. This past week I was showing some amazing videos for a class I teach showing computer animation of cellular activity. I cannot imagine the faith involved to imagine that random natural processes could produce the amazing activity of life. I could never cover all the activity, but I want to point out some amazing things that occur in all living cells.
I will work from the outside in beginning with the cell membrane. The cell membrane is selectively permeable allowing only certain molecules to enter. The cell membrane can even expend energy to bring in molecules against the concentration gradient (active transport). The cell membrane also brings in cellular food particles forming a food vacuole. Lysosomes, formed by the Golgi bodies then move to the vacuole and join with the vacuole membrane releasing lyzosyme, a protein-dismantling enzyme breaking the chemicals down to smaller molecules that can be used by the cell. The particles which are not usable are then transported to the cell membrane where the vacuole membrane rejoins the cell membrane releasing the unusable particles into the cell’s environment.
Inside the cell, many irreducibly complex proton motors made of micro-tubules are running moving other molecules throughout the cell and performing all kinds of functions within the cell. The cytoplasm itself, a complex colloid, is continually changing between its sol and gel phases in just the right way and in the right places to stream material throughout the cell to keep the cell functioning. The cytoplasm contains a wide variety of organelles carrying on the functions of life producing and packaging materials and responding to the surrounding environment. The cell also manufactures a wide variety of proteins for various functions and structure. Information from the DNA is transcribed by a complicated process involving enzymes unzipping and zipping the proper sections of DNA to code for the exact protein that the cell needs. Then the cell makes a negative of the base sequences on a strand of messenger RNA which then “knows” to travel to ribosomes and fits into the shape of the ribosome. There transfer RNA “knows” to travel to the strand of messenger RNA and line up in the right order by “reading” the code of the messenger RNA carrying their amino acids. Enzymes, then, work to put the amino acids together using dehydration bonds to produce a protein. Chaperone enzymes then “know” to attach to the protein and accompany it to a special machine that perfectly bends the protein into its proper shape.
All of these activities, of course, require energy which is made by a controlled burning of sugar, usually glucose, through the process of cellular respiration regulated by many enzymes. This is a complex process beginning in the cytoplasm with glycolysis, which starts to break down the sugar, is then completed in the mitochondria through other processes such as the Krebs cycle and the hydrogen transport system resulting in carbon dioxide and water releasing energy. The released energy is then stored in the bonds of ATP which then “knows” to go where the energy is needed in the cell where the bond is broken releasing the energy and forming ADP which then returns to where the process is occurring completing the cycle.
We need to remember that all of these processes and more are continually operating in every one of your trillions of cells, and I have not even mentioned the processes involved in cell division. By both common sense and irreducible complexity, the many processes required for life (and this post has only scratched the surface), life exhibits design. Once again, the question can be raised as to which scientific model can best explain this design, random processes or God’s revelation in His handiwork. We have never observed random processes produce anything close to this kind of complex machinery whereas we have observed much less sophisticated machinery and admired the intelligence displayed. Atheists may devise stories explaining how such machinery might have developed, but their stories usually only explain a few simple steps and fail to explain the mechanisms needed to make them work. Furthermore, there is no observational support for their stories. No one has actually observed the formation of these machines or the processes used in the cell. It only seems reasonable to infer that the amazingly sophisticated life processes seen in a cell, which are far more advanced than anything we have produced with our intelligent engineering, displays the far greater intelligent engineering of God.