Intelligent Design

Intelligent Engineering OR Natural Selection?

Spread the love

In reading the following excerpt from a Cal Berkeley newsletter, ask yourself what contribution, if any, conventional evolutionary theory is making to the study of these biochemical systems. As an acceptable answer, try NIL.

In recent years Oster and his colleagues created a groundbreaking model of ATP synthase, an enzyme that synthesizes ATP, the universal fuel molecule that powers all cells. ATP synthase is essentially a factory built around two rotary motors. One of the motors forces the other to rotate as a generator that cranks out ATP. Oster’s contribution was in showing how the two motors generate their torque from very different fuel sources.

The first motor is essentially electric. It’s powered, Oster explains, by a transmembrane electro-chemical potential that drives the flow of ions across the cellular membrane. The other motor is powered by ATP, the same substance that the enzyme produces.

Of course, ATP synthase is only one of nature’s many protein motor systems. Working with UC Berkeley professor Carlos Bustamante, researchers have also studied the motor that packs a virus’s DNA so tightly that it can be injected into a hijacked cell at ten times the pressure of a cork shooting out of a champagne bottle. And they’ve modeled the donut-shaped molecular motors that move along DNA strands during replication.

The biomolecular portal motor of bacteriophage PHI-29 (yellow) compresses the coiled DNA into the viral capsid at 6,000 times its normal pressure. “The cylinders all operate in sequence like an old-fashioned airplane motor,” Oster says.

As the researchers better understand how, say, bacteria propel themselves, they’re also investigating where the organisms’ motility takes them. When hundreds of thousands gather together, Oster says, they can signal each other to “self-organize into elaborate structures that are symmetrical and beautiful,” while also serving a biological purpose. But what are those rules of higher-level organization? And what might they tell us about higher-level organisms that coordinate their own collective activities?

It’s these kinds of nested puzzles that keep Oster fascinated, he says.

MORE

24 Replies to “Intelligent Engineering OR Natural Selection?

  1. 1
    mattison0922 says:

    Ahhhh yes… this hits close to home… I did my Ph.D. work on the ATP Synthase. Oster and Wang did an exceptional analysis of the enzyme mechanism a few years ago, and it was an important paper. However, as WmAD pointed out, there was no contribution from modern evolutionary theory. I’ve met Bustamante on a couple of occasions… he’s a smart guy. For a while he was observing the rotary mechanism of this enzyme by attaching little propellors to the gamma subunit. Really cool stuff… with of course no contribution from MET.

    The ATP synthase in particular is a HUGE reason that I’m a proponent of ID. The protein itself meets the definition of IC, but appears to be part of a larger also IC system… specifically those pathways that use chemiosmosis to power ATP synthesis.

    The protein is essentially comprised of two separate motors. Without Fo, F1 has no mechanism to induce the ‘binding change’ that results in ATP synthesis from ADP and Pi, without F1, there is essentially a large hole in the membrane, permitting the proton gradient to dissipate, producing no ATP in the process.

    The really interesting thing about this enzyme is that is present in just about every form of life, implying that this was one of the first systems to ‘evolve.’ So even the earliest and most primitive life forms, including the recent ‘hopeful’ methanogen possess this enzyme, and the associated apparatus for proton gradient generation.

  2. 2
    bFast says:

    Mattison0922, thanks for the insight into your own experience. Let me ask, do you have, have you always had, a religious position? (Feel free to ignore the question.)

    Also, you said, “just about every form of life”. I understood that ATP synthase was in every independant lifeform (viruses, not truly alive, don’t have it.) What causes you to say, “just about”?

  3. 3
    mattison0922 says:

    “Mattison0922, thanks for the insight into your own experience. Let me ask, do you have, have you always had, a religious position? (Feel free to ignore the question.)”

    I DO currently have a religious position that isn’t sorted out in my own head… I DO believe in a ‘designer,’ whom I cannot, at present identify. Have I always had a religious position? Sure… I was a die hard atheist until I went to grad school. That is I am no longer an atheist BECAUSE of science, NOT IN SPITE OF IT.

    I said “just about every form of life,” because if there is one thing I’ve learned, there are not usually absolutes in biology. In fact, I was once told there are couple of organisms that have a phase of their life cycle where no ATP synthase is present… like a trypanosome or something… at least that’s what one colleague told me a number of years ago. I think the critters still have ’em, they just don’t express ’em all the time. However… I just feel like if I said “ATP synthase is present in every life form…” there’s a chance I could get stung. Just trying to CMA. 😛

  4. 4
    robc says:

    Just to ask for a little clarification of the ID research process : Exactly what contribution would ID theory have made to the study of these systems?
    – Would they have created different models?
    – Would they have been able to model and understand these systems better and quicker?
    – Would they explain the systems differently?

    Mattison0922, perhaps since you have had a concrete background in this exact area of research, could you shed some light on how ID could have been used to improve the methods, findings, and results? What specific part of ID methodology would have been useful to you in your studies?

    Basically, it seems to me in a nutshell that if the gentlemen in question were ‘using’ ID, this research would have proceeded exactly the same way, they would have created the same models, and come to the same conclusion as to how the system is functioning. The only difference being that at the end, they would all stand around saying ‘Wow, that is soooo neat! Good job Mr. Designer!’. Am I wrong here?

    Seriously, though, if this comment is not actually ‘moderated’ out, this would be a great opportunity for someone to actually give a concrete example of what ID can offer the scientific method. I see that dissenting viewpoints are not allowed here, (or at least they are ‘uncommon’), but this topic would be a great place to stand up and explain what ID is really going to offer!

    Thanks!
    RobC

  5. 5
    bFast says:

    Thanks Mattison0922 for your candor. I suspect you have many friends, especially amongst the physiscists. My understanding is that a significant number of physisists have been moved from an athiestic to an Einstinian theistic perspective.

    Alas, you are the all time classic proof that ID is not “Biblical creationism” in disguise as the courts have suggested.

    I am quite intrigued that the bacterial flagellum has become the hobby horse of the ID community. From what I see ATP synthase is far more irreduceably complex than the flagellum, and its path of possible evolution a lot less conceivable.

  6. 6
    mattison0922 says:

    “I suspect you have many friends, especially amongst the physiscists. ”

    Definitely not among biologists… lol. Actually, I am somewhat closeted. My boss doesn’t know my position re: ID. Pretty much the only person I discuss this with in person is my wife. I post anonymously on some internet forums, but outside of that, I don’t discuss ID.

    “you are the all time classic proof that ID is not “Biblical creationism” in disguise as the courts have suggested.” Maybe so… but they can always fall back on Mattison0922 is a misled, gullible, and ignorant fool. It’s worked thus far… no reason to think it won’t continue to work.

    “From what I see ATP synthase is far more irreduceably complex than the flagellum, and its path of possible evolution a lot less conceivable.”
    I’ve always felt this way too, but I just thought it was my own personal bias 😀

    Some have speculated that the F1 sector could have arisen via a certain helicase; they do share some homology, and a similar ‘rotary mechanism, with the DNA chain being analogous to the gamma subunit of the ATP synthase. The problem with this idea is that the helicase is ATP dependent, implying a pre-existing source of this universal biological energy currency. Of course the DNA chains are partially composed of ATP also, further constraining this idea.

  7. 7
    Mung says:

    ask yourself what contribution, if any, conventional evolutionary theory is making to the study of these biochemical systems.

    I am going to take a wild guess and say nil.

  8. 8
    Mung says:

    The really interesting thing about this enzyme is that is present in just about every form of life, implying that this was one of the first systems to ‘evolve.’

    What about ADP and ATP? Ubiquitous? Is it true that ATP is not how energy is stored but rather how energy is transferred? It’s more the means by which stored energy is made avaiable for use. I think I read somethign to that effect somewhere.

    And if this was one of the first systems to evolve, why did it evolve? And where does this system get it’s energy, and wouldn’t that system have needed to evolve first?

    So. Where did the earliest organisms obtain their energy? How did they store energy? Why did they evolve systems with different sources of energy and different means of storage, but retain in common their use of ATP?

  9. 9
    crandaddy says:

    “I suspect you have many friends, especially amongst the physiscists. ”

    Definitely not among biologists… lol. Actually, I am somewhat closeted. My boss doesn’t know my position re: ID. Pretty much the only person I discuss this with in person is my wife. I post anonymously on some internet forums, but outside of that, I don’t discuss ID.

    I lament that this must be so, mattison0922, but hopefully it won’t be necessary for very much longer.

  10. 10
    Bison says:

    It sure looks lke Darwinism has nothing to offer this line of researach, but is that cause for such celebration? Seriously, if we have to get this excited over finding one paper that doesn’t rely on evolution, it implies that the rest of biology requires evolution every bit as much as the Darwinists claim. Do we really want to suggest that here?

  11. 11
    mattison0922 says:

    “What about ADP and ATP? Ubiquitous?”
    To my knowledge, yes… hence the term ‘universal biological energy currency.’

    “Is it true that ATP is not how energy is stored but rather how energy is transferred? It’s more the means by which stored energy is made avaiable for use. I think I read somethign to that effect somewhere.”

    I’m having sort of a hard time visualizing the difference here. I guess you could say that fat, starch, etc. Are energy storage, and ATP is energy transfer. I suppose that distinction could be made, but it’s not one I’ve thought about. I sort of feel like the difference is maybe analogous to cash vs. CD’s. One is liquid and can be immediately used, while the other is merely for storage, and thus must be converted. I think your statement makes sense, Mung.

    “And if this was one of the first systems to evolve, why did it evolve? And where does this system get it’s energy, and wouldn’t that system have needed to evolve first?”
    Yeah… there are ummm… difficulties with the evolution of this particular system.

    “So. Where did the earliest organisms obtain their energy? How did they store energy? Why did they evolve systems with different sources of energy and different means of storage, but retain in common their use of ATP?”

    Great questions… There is some speculation that the earliest organisms obtained energy from pyrophosphate… I think this is based on the fact that some enzyme… can’t remember off the top of my head which, is actually powered by pyrophosphate, and not ATP. How that energy was ‘harvested,’ how adequate PP was synthesized, why PP was abandoned are all questions I can’t answer.

    “I lament that this must be so, mattison0922, but hopefully it won’t be necessary for very much longer.”
    Several years ago, I had faith that it wouldn’t always be this way… from my own perspective, the opposition to ID within the science community, which is where I think it most relevant, seems to be increasing and getting more venomous. Nevermind that 98% of biologists I talk to have never read DBB, or even a web article by WmAD, most are convinced that ID is pseudoscience, not falsifiable, blah blah blah. Perhaps they’re all in the closet like me… wouldn’t that be something.

  12. 12
    mattison0922 says:

    RobC, I missed your comment earlier… not sure how that happened. Perhaps it was moderated in after I responded to some others.

    In any case… don’t feel ignored, I just saw your questions. I will respond a little bit later, right now, I am headed out the door, and I want to get out before my boss finds me still here, and makes me set up another PCR.

    Will respond from my home PC later.

  13. 13
    apollo230 says:

    Re: #4:

    Hello, RobC!

    My humble opinion:
    When a biochemist (or close cousin) tackles the mystery of a metabolic component’s structure/function, they approach the task assuming that there is chemistry-based rhyme & reason behind it’s construction (or role in a cellular process). Therefore, they (rightly) conclude that the principles of reverse-engineering can be used to solve the research problem.

    Assuming that a metabolic entity has embedded rhyme/reason in its construction is close to assuming that it’s designed. The confident adoption of reverse-engineering protocol is an act that comes close to affirming that the target is engineered to begin with.

    Therefore, when a life-scientist conducts cellular research, they affirm beliefs that are central to Intelligent Design (ID) theory: that metabolic structures have all the rule-based characteristics of designed structures, and should be understood in engineering terms. Hence, most life-scientists are already “de-facto” believers in ID-if not literal, conscious adherents. The operating assumptions driving the inquiries of Darwinist biochemists and ID-loyalists into FUNCTIONS are really identical. The only difference would be in the explanations surrounding the ORIGINS of metabolic components.

    (Your questions reiterated:)
    –Just to ask for a little clarification of the ID research process : Exactly what contribution would ID theory have made to the study of these systems?

    I feel that scientists routinely (albeit unconsciously ) use all the tenets of ID theory to reach their conclusions.

    – -Would they have created different models?
    I suspect they would create the same ones if the explanation centered solely around how something worked.

    – -Would they have been able to model and understand these systems better and quicker?
    No, because unconscious and conscious assumptions of design should yield the same result.

    – -Would they explain the systems differently?
    The mechanistic or chemical explanation would be the same. The explanation for where the complex specified information inherent in these molecules arose from would be different (some using Darwinian explanations, some using ID-based answers).

    Best regards,
    apollo230

  14. 14
    apollo230 says:

    Hello, Mattison0922!

    Just a word of friendly advice: DO NOT publicly declare your support for intelligent design.

    I read somewhere that William Dembski has a friend who was dismissed from a biological research lab after 10 years of service because they expressed pro-ID sympathies.

    Best regards,
    apollo230

  15. 15
    mattison0922 says:

    RobC,

    “Just to ask for a little clarification of the ID research process : Exactly what contribution would ID theory have made to the study of these systems?
    – Would they have created different models?
    – Would they have been able to model and understand these systems better and quicker?
    – Would they explain the systems differently?”
    With respect to the first, broadly stated question: A researcher working from an ID perspective would likely be capable of making an equivalent contribution. And to a certain extent, I think this might be Dr. Dembski’s point in posting this piece (I don’t presume to know this, just speculation). IOW, I think the point is that the materialist perspective is irrelevant here.

    Would they have created different models? Who knows. Perhaps. Hindsight is always 20/20, but perhaps the ‘rotary motor mechanism’ would not have been elusive had researchers assumed a design perspective… not very likely, but who knows. Incidentally, for those who aren’t familiar with this enzyme mechanism… it’s really cool… in a geeky science nerd kind of way, Check out this vid: http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/Ar.....thase.html

    Sorry about the long link… not sure if bbcode works here or not. 😛

    With respect to whether or not these systems could be modeled quicker/better: I would say that this is a limitation of technology, not imagination. One thing that really increased researchers ability to understand and study proteins in general are the availability of crystal structures, and the proliferation of cheap, and in fact free software to model these types of enzymes. You can download SwissViewer and look at any crystal structure in the PDB for free. Also, molecular biological techniques such as site-directed mutagenesis, labeling proteins with affinity tags, etc. These are the types of things that really advanced the knowledge with respect to this enzyme mechanism, and many others.

    With respect to whether or not they would explain the systems differently, I would say no. The system functions as it does, irrespective of the assumptions of the researcher. The binding change mechanism is a function of the proteins structure and conformational changes… pretty much pure biochem and molecular bio. No assumption re: origins necessary.

    With respect to the directed questions:
    “how ID could have been used to improve the methods, findings, and results? What specific part of ID methodology would have been useful to you in your studies?”
    My personal research would not, and in fact was not altered by my ID based perspective. As my thoughts on the topic of origins changed, I still got up and did the same experiments everyday. It didn’t affect my research in the slightest way, and again, perhaps this is the larger point.

    My personal research was on the thermodynamic components of the enzyme mechanism… pretty much pure biochem, with a sprinkling of biophysics. There was a lot of molecular bio to get to the biochem and biophysics, but again, no assumption re: origins.

    “this would be a great opportunity for someone to actually give a concrete example of what ID can offer the scientific method.”
    It seems to me you understand precisely what it can offer. It can offer the same thing as any materialist based assumption, as you more or less freely admit. I don’t really understand this sentiment though… the way your questions are worded it sounds like for ID to be legit, you believe it must offer something additional, or perhaps better than the materialist assumption. Perhaps it can… while well read on the subject of ID, I don’t pretend to be an expert. IMO, the researcher who maintains ID based assumptions is capable of, at the very least, an equivalent contribution to science.

    What’s the reason for expecting more? In my mind this isn’t about what’s the ‘better’ assumption, it’s simply a matter of scientific freedom. Scientists should be able to state how they feel about an issue without fear of reprisal. They should be able to pursue their own research programs and let the data lead them where it may. I shouldn’t be concerned about the security of my reputation as a scientist for maintaining the perspective I do. Don’t you agree? Why or Why not?

  16. 16
    jerry says:

    ATP is a relatively simple molecule and ADP is even simpler. ATP is recycled from ADP and AMP in more thån one way. ATP synthase is used in oxidative phospphorylation which supplies most of the energy for aerobic metabolism but ATP can be recycled through glycolysis and the Krebs cycle which does not use ATP synthase. So these are three ways of creating/recycling ATP for energy. I am sure there are others.

  17. 17
    mattison0922 says:

    “ATP is a relatively simple molecule and ADP is even simpler. ATP is recycled from ADP and AMP in more thÃ¥n one way. ATP synthase is used in oxidative phospphorylation which supplies most of the energy for aerobic metabolism but ATP can be recycled through glycolysis and the Krebs cycle which does not use ATP synthase. So these are three ways of creating/recycling ATP for energy. I am sure there are others.”

    Yes given a single molecule of glucose exactly 4 net ATP molecules are produced, without oxphos… oxphos produces 36-40 ATP’s/glucose, or roughly 90% of a cellular ATP is produced by oxphos.

    And your point was….

  18. 18
    jerry says:

    My point was and still is that ATP can be recycled by processes that do not include ATP synthase. All I am doing is clarifying something. Oxidative phosphorylation only takes place in the mitochondria and certain cells do not have mitochondria and thus can/must exist without ATP synthase. There are also some very complex enzymes required in glycolysis too, for example G3PD.

    If I am wrong on this, I will stand corrected. I am not a biologist or chemist but have an interest in cellular energy metabolism. While glycolysis only produces 2 or 3 ATP for each glucose molecule the speed at which it recycles each ATP exceeds that produced by oxidative phosphorylation. Thus, more ATP per second is recycled via glycolysis despite the small amount for each glucose molecule. That is why when you want to run fast you will need glycolysis as well as creatine phosphate. Oxidative phosphorylation just can’t do it. But glycolysis causes problems so it is limited in how much it can be utilized.

    Some are suggesting that the way life got started was through something like the Krebs cycle and they are trying to show that such a thing could exist naturally in the pre-biotic soup. I guess the intent is to show that ATP could be recycled with relatively simple molecules compared to ATP synthase and the enzymes in the glycolytic process. It is one of the things that Robert Hazen and his colleagues are working on.

    I do not know how ATP is recycled in prokaryote cells but assumed it was glycolysis. It that is not right, I would be interested in how it is done.

  19. 19
    bFast says:

    Bison,

    Seriously, if we have to get this excited over finding one paper that doesn’t rely on evolution, it implies that the rest of biology requires evolution every bit as much as the Darwinists claim.”

    This is a giant leap. the vast majority of papers in the field of biology, especially if you include medical science as part of biology, do not rely on evolution. The evolutionists whould have us believe that all of biology, and all of engineering owes its soul to Darwin, this is the only reason we cheer when another study is shown to be in conflict with NDE. Further, these days there seems to be a hobby amongst researchers to give lipservice to Darwin, or to lambaste ID if for no other reason than to make it easier to get published. We bow at the feet of Darwin, our gracious god.

  20. 20
    mattison0922 says:

    “My point was and still is that ATP can be recycled by processes that do not include ATP synthase. All I am doing is clarifying something. Oxidative phosphorylation only takes place in the mitochondria and certain cells do not have mitochondria and thus can/must exist without ATP synthase. There are also some very complex enzymes required in glycolysis too, for example G3PD.”

    This isn’t true. Oxphos doesn’t only take place in the mitochondria. Of course it also happens in the chloroplast, and in addition it happens on the PM of prokaryotes… prokaryotes don’t contain organelles, but still carry out oxphos. As was described earlier in this thread, almost every known organism has an ATP synthase. I don’t know of any that don’t, thought I’ve heard there a couple of critters that don’t express it during every phase of their life cycle. If you can find one that doesn’t have it, I’d really like to hear about it. Glycolysis, as anyone who sprints can tell you isn’t adequate in the long term for enduring energy.

    “Some are suggesting that the way life got started was through something like the Krebs cycle and they are trying to show that such a thing could exist naturally in the pre-biotic soup. I guess the intent is to show that ATP could be recycled with relatively simple molecules compared to ATP synthase and the enzymes in the glycolytic process. It is one of the things that Robert Hazen and his colleagues are working on.”
    I’ve heard this before. I still think you have many of the same difficulties though… ATP isn’t the only issue here… there’s also the issues of NADH, FADH2, etc. These are also products of these metabolic pathways and have fates not related to Kreb’s directly. In my mind a big problem with the pre-biotic soup idea is the concept of maintaining non-equilibrium conditions. I’m probably treading on your territory a bit now, and please correct me if I am wrong, but a reaction like krebs occuring in the pre-biotic soup would continue, unregulated until equilibrium conditions were met. I didn’t think that the pre-biotic soup was thought to be a highly concentrated soup of organics. How long could such a reaction proceed under such conditions? Additionally, what’s the pre-biotic source of pyruvate that would constantly be feeding this reaction. Finally, I personally have a big problem the “glycolysis first,” or even Kreb’s cycle first; my reasoning is this: Biochemists will often argue among themselves which reaction is more important for life, reduction of carbon, or nitrogen fixation. Personally, I think they’re both critical… one isn’t necessarily more important for life as we understand it. If I were to subscribe to a fully naturalistic origin of life, in my mind the crucial reactions to take care of are nitrogen fixation and carbon reduction.

    Without a source of reduced carbon, you can forget about glycolysis, and without a source of fixed nitrogen, you can forget about amino acids, nucleotides, lots of coenzymes, prosthetic groups, etc. While the Haber process is likely exceeding biological nitrogen fixation in today’s world, it’s doubtful that it was the primary source of fixed nitrogen prior to the early 20th century

    I’m sure your point about G3PD is well noted here.

    “I am not a biologist or chemist but have an interest in cellular energy metabolism. While glycolysis only produces 2 or 3 ATP for each glucose molecule the speed at which it recycles each ATP exceeds that produced by oxidative phosphorylation. Thus, more ATP per second is recycled via glycolysis despite the small amount for each glucose molecule.”

    I haven’t heard this before re: the speed at which ATP is recycled. Got a ref? Also, I think perhaps the larger point is being missed. The energy payoff may be more immediate from glycolysis, but that could perhaps be due to the fact, that it’s the first step in breakdown of a sugar. The net yield of ATP/glucose remains unchanged. Furthermore, the pathway obviously doesn’t work in a vacuum. What I mean is, irrespective of the speeds at which glucose is recycled by any given pathway, you’re still producing lots of energy molecules NADH, FADH2, etc. that have an ultimate fate outside of glycolysis. The presence of the glycolytic pathway implies the presence of at least a fermentative pathway, and most probably a system to reduce NADP for anabolic reactions also.

    “I do not know how ATP is recycled in prokaryote cells but assumed it was glycolysis. It that is not right, I would be interested in how it is done.”
    Prokaryotes have an intact oxphos system that resides in the Plasma membrane. You’ll often here these ATP Synthases referred to as ‘P-Type’ though they’re in reality F-Type. The E. coli ATP synthase is one of simplest known is composed of 8 unique subunits.

  21. 21
    jerry says:

    Mattison0922,

    Couple points.

    Thank you for your clarification of oxidative phosphorylation. I thought it only took place in the mitochondria and did not know it was available in prokaryote cells. I thought the ability to use oxygen in conjunction with energy production only appeared later in the evolutionary process when the earth developed an oxygen atmosphere.

    I am not defending anything that Robert Hazen or others have done, just reporting what their current interest are, even if I do not understand much of the chemistry involved. They seem interested in ATP recycling. Personally, I believe the OOL problem is so huge and current OOL work is only working on trivialities. They seem to be willfully hiding the immensity of the problem so that people will think a solution is right around the corner. But they must show some progress or potential regardless of how small the problems they are working on are or else their funding will dry up.

    My interest is exercise physiology and that is why I know a little about energy metabolism for the training of athletes. Pathways for recycling ATP in human muscle are essentially four, creatine phosphate for very fast ATP recycling, glucose for a slower but still fast ATP recycling in the glycolytic process (not as fast as creatine phosphate which runs out in a couple seconds but faster than the aerobic process), pyruvate for aerobic metabolism and then fats for aerobic metabolism. Proteins are also broken down and recycle some ATP so this is a 5th pathway. Within aerobic metabolism there are two pathways, the Krebs cycle and oxidative phosphorylation. If you know something different then I would be interested.

    The use of fats is about 60% as fast as pyruvate for recycling ATP in the aerobic system. For every muscle contraction the body uses all four pathways as sources for recycling ATP. As contraction speed increases the body chooses a different mixture depending upon availability and metabolic conditions and the nature of the muscle. At rest most ATP is recycled through fat consumption by the aerobic system. As contraction speed increases pyruvate replaces fat and is increasingly supplemented by creatine phosphate and glycolysis though in small amounts. There will be a point that is still sub-maximal where fat usage goes almost to zero and all the aerobic metabolism is fueled by pyruvate. The use of creatine phosphate and glycolysis at this point will depend upon the conditioning level of the muscle fiber. As contraction speed increases further, glycolysis increase geometrically and becomes the main source for the additional ATP recycling to enable the contraction speed to increase. This is mainly due to different types of fibers being recruited but also to a rapid increase of glycolysis in the cystol of every fiber. Eventually fatigue, which has several definitions, causes the contractions to slow down or stop. This simplistic overview is in every book on exercise physiology but the details of the mixture of the energy recycling systems are not agreed upon which makes the training of athletes sometimes more of an art than a science.

    I do not know the cite for the speeds of recycling ATP for each pathway. About once or twice a year I come across it but don’t have it any quick reference. I will look into it today and see if I can find it. I have an expert in Brussels who is my main guru on this and I will email him. None of this is relevant to evolution except the origin of the various pathways for recycling ATP and how complex each is.

  22. 22
    Mung says:

    My interest is exercise physiology and that is why I know a little about energy metabolism for the training of athletes.

    Look for the following article online:

    Lactic Acid Is Not Muscles’ Foe, It’s Fuel

  23. 23
    jerry says:

    Mung,

    We are publishing a book on the use of lactate testing in the training of athletes. While I use the term pyruvate above, lactate is really considered the fuel for aerobic metabolism because the molecule exists in the body more often as lactate. Lactic acid (C3H6O3), Lactate (C3H5O3), Pyruvate (C3H3O3) are all very similar and lactate and pyruvate turn back and forth into each other readily. The molecule is more likely to exist as lactate and then transported around the body and converted back to pyruvate for fuel for the aerobic system. Lactic acid (C3H6O3) is exactly one half of glucose Lactic acid (C6H12O6). One of the anaerobic energy systems is called glycolysis and starts with a glucose molecule and ends up with 2 pyruvates and some ATP and some other bi-products. People often confuse these terms and also associate terms like lactose with lactate and lactic acid.

    Pyruvate and pyruvic acid (C3H4O3) are the basis of some OOL theories. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyruvate. These and ATP are relatively simple molecules while the enzymes needed to recycle ATP are incredibly complex. The OOL researchers seem to forget the complexity of these enzymes.

  24. 24

    […] Synthase has been frequently discussed at Uncommon Descent including Intelligent Engineering or Natural Selection 15 July 2006 “Our job is to follow the money, track and document the flow of funds, and thereby help prove […]

Leave a Reply