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New study: Oxygenic photosynthesis goes back three billion years


An international team of scientists has published an article in Nature magazine, suggesting that oxygen began accumulating in the atmosphere at least three billion years ago. The team’s findings raise a troubling question for Darwinian evolutionists: how did the exquisitely complex metabolism of oxygenic photosynthesis arise so soon after the dawn of life?

The team arrived at its conclusions by studying the ratios of two isotopes of chromium – chromium-52 and chromium-53 – in the world’s oldest soils: former soils preserved by burial under rocks in Kwazulu-Natal Province, South Africa, dating back to 2.95 billion years before the present. Because chromium-53 is slightly more soluble when oxidized than chromium-52, the team was able to infer the composition of oxygen in the Earth’s early atmosphere, by measuring the relative abundances of the two isotopes. A BBC report by Jonathan Amos explains how the team arrived at its conclusion:

…[O]ver time, soils that have been oxidised should become depleted in chromium-53 as rain water washes away these atoms; and, conversely, sea sediments, where the products of weathering eventually end up, should become enriched in chromium-53.

The team made precisely this observation in Kwazulu-Natal, in rocks that represented both ends of the process – the soils and the sea sediments.

The conclusion is that the ancient soils would have been exposed to an atmosphere that contained 0.03% of the oxygen it does now; about one-10,000th of the present level.

An oxygen concentration of 0.03% might not sound like much, but it’s at least 10 times higher than most scientists had previously expected. As the Nature article explains, the new finding radically revises the old picture:

It is widely assumed that atmospheric oxygen concentrations remained persistently low (less than 10^−5 [0.00001] times present levels) for about the first 2 billion years of Earth’s history. The first long-term oxygenation of the atmosphere is thought to have taken place around 2.3 billion years ago, during the Great Oxidation Event. Geochemical indications of transient atmospheric oxygenation, however, date back to 2.6–2.7 billion years ago… Overall, our findings suggest that there were appreciable levels of atmospheric oxygen about 3 billion years ago, more than 600 million years before the Great Oxidation Event and some 300–400 million years earlier than previous indications for Earth surface oxygenation. (Square brackets mine – VJT.)

Evolution of the gaps

The BBC report carried the following comment from the lead author of the Nature article, which is remarkable for its Darwinian doublespeak:

Oxygenic photosynthesis is a very complicated metabolism and it makes sense that the evolution of such a metabolism would take perhaps two billion years – that we might not see its manifestation until the Great Oxidation Event. But now that we see oxygen much earlier in the atmosphere, it tells us that even really complex metabolisms can evolve very fast,” said team-member Dr Sean Crowe from the University of British Columbia, Canada. (Emphases mine – VJT.)

Let’s see. Oxygenic photosynthesis appeared much sooner than scientists thought, so evolution must be capable of creating complex mechanisms very quickly. How very convenient. The term “evolution of the gaps” was aptly coined for this kind of reasoning.

And before anyone tells me that life had already existed for some 800 million years before the first appearance of oxygenic photosynthesis 3 billion years ago, they might like to have a look at an article by Roger Buick, entitled, When did oxygenic photosynthesis evolve? (Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 27 August 2008, vol. 363, no. 1504, pp. 2731-2743), which tentatively concludes that 3.8 billion-year-old U–Th–Pb isotopes found in metasomatized and metamorphosed turbidites (a type of layered sedimentary rock) in Isua, Greenland, “perhaps represent the earliest evidence of oxygenic photosynthesis.” If Buick is correct here, then oxygenic photosynthesis goes right back to the very dawn of life. How would Dr. Crowe explain that, I wonder? (To be fair, I should mention that Dr. Steve Drury, of the Open University, reaches a somewhat different conclusion. In a 2013 post, he argues that the 3.8 billion-year-old rocks found at Isua, Greenland, do indeed indicate the presence of bacteria on the primordial Earth at that time. However, in his view, “the most likely bacterial type involved at Isua may have been a photosynthesiser, but not of the kind that releases elemental oxygen instead transferring it from water to combine directly with the ions of iron that its photosynthesis had oxidised.” Dr. Drury may well be right here, although I should point out that the occurrence of even this simpler kind of photosynthesis at 3.8 billion years ago is surprising enough: photosynthesis of any sort requires the co-operation of several proteins, as we’ll see below.)

Oxygenic photosynthesis: what’s all the fuss about?

“What is oxygenic photosynthesis, anyway?” I hear you ask. Good question. When I studied photosynthesis in junior high school, it was presented as a simple chemical equation:

6 CO2 + 6 H2O -> C6H12O6 + 6 O2
(Carbon dioxide and water produce glucose and oxygen, in the presence of light.)

It never occurred to me to wonder exactly how this process of molecular rearrangement took place, and I certainly never imagined that it had anything to do with proteins.

Let’s go back to basics. As I’m not a chemist, I intend to keep this exposition as light and non-technical as possible, and let the pictures do the talking.

Photosynthesis in plants. The carbohydrates produced are either stored in the plant, or used by it. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

The term photosynthesis refers to a living organism’s ability to make food directly from carbon dioxide and water, using energy from light. In most bacteria, light energy is captured and stored as chemical energy in the form of a molecule known as ATP, without the production of oxygen. This process is known as anoxygenic photosynthesis. But in cyanobacteria (or blue-green bacteria), plants and algae, photosynthesis releases oxygen. This process is called oxygenic photosynthesis, and it’s a more complex process.

The Wikipedia article on photosynthesis provides a handy overview:

Photosynthesis occurs in two stages. In the first stage, light-dependent reactions or light reactions capture the energy of light and use it to make the energy-storage molecules ATP and NADPH. During the second stage, the light-independent reactions use these products to capture and reduce carbon dioxide…

Although photosynthesis is performed differently by different species, the process always begins when energy from light is absorbed by proteins called reaction centres that contain green chlorophyll pigments. In plants, these proteins are held inside organelles called chloroplasts, which are most abundant in leaf cells, while in bacteria they are embedded in the plasma membrane. In these light-dependent reactions, some energy is used to strip electrons from suitable substances such as water, producing oxygen gas. Furthermore, two further compounds are generated: reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) and adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the “energy currency” of cells.

In plants, algae and cyanobacteria, sugars are produced by a subsequent sequence of light-independent reactions called the Calvin cycle… (Emphases mine – VJT.)

Even the simpler version of photosynthesis is impressive enough

Even the simpler version of photosynthesis (anoxygenic photosynthesis) presupposes the existence of a suite of proteins. Here, for instance, is how Wikipedia describes photosynthesis in green-sulfur bacteria:

Photosynthesis is achieved using bacteriochlorophyll (BChl) c, d, or e, in addition to BChl a and chlorophyll a, in chlorosomes attached to the membrane. They use sulfide ions, hydrogen or ferrous iron as an electron donor and the process is mediated by the type I reaction centre and Fenna-Matthews-Olson complex.

A photosynthetic reaction center, for those who are wondering, is “a complex of several proteins, pigments and other co-factors assembled together to execute the primary energy conversion reactions of photosynthesis” [emphasis mine – VJT]. (Co-factors are light-absorbing molecules.) Here’s what one looks like, in a humble bacterium:

A photosynthetic reaction centre inside a bacterium. Courtesy of the Protein Data Bank (authors Roszak, A.W., Howard, T.D., Southall, J., Gardiner, A.T., Law, C.J., Isaacs, N.W., Cogdell, R.J.) and Wikipedia.

And what about that Fenna-Matthews-Olson complex? It’s a pigment-protein complex (PPC) found in green sulfur bacteria, and it looks like this:

The Fenna-Matthews-Olson complex, found in green sulfur bacteria, is composed of three identical parts, called monomers. Each monomer contains several bacteriochlorophyll A molecules (depicted in green), a central magnesium atom (depicted in red), and a protein scaffolding (depicted in gray). The three monomers look rather like taco burgers, except that they’re filled with bacteriochlorophylls. Courtesy of the Protein Data Bank (www.pdb.org), Julian Adolphs and Wikipedia.

By the way, did I mention that the Fenna-Matthews-Olson complex is the simplest protein pigment complex appearing in nature?

I’ve said enough about the simpler version of photosynthesis. Now let’s talk about oxygenic photosynthesis.

Oxygenic photosynthesis: a staggeringly complex process

Photomicrograph of cyanobacteria, Cylindrospermum sp. Courtesy of Matthew Parker and Wikipedia.

Cyanobacteria (pictured above), also known as blue-green bacteria, are believed to have been the earliest organisms to engage in oxygenic photosynthesis, as plants and algae do. Under aerobic conditions, cyanobacteria are capable of performing the process of water-oxidizing photosynthesis by coupling the activity of two protein complexes, known as photosystem (PS) II and I, in a chain of events known as the Z-scheme. These protein complexes are located in the thylakoid (“pouch-like”) membrane of plants, algae, and cyanobacteria. The diagrams below illustrate what’s going on. First, here’s a schematic diagram, showing what a humble cyanobacterium looks like on the inside. The thykaloid membrane is shown in the diagram:

Diagram of a cyanobacterium. Courtesy of Kelvinsong and Wikipedia.

As we noted earlier, photosynthesis occurs in two stages: first, a light-dependent stage and then, a light-independent stage. Here’s what the first stage looks like:

Light-dependent reactions of photosynthesis at the thylakoid membrane. Courtesy of Tameeria and Wikipedia.

A photosystem begins photosynthesis by receiving light energy and then converting it to chemical energy. Perhaps you’re wondering what the molecules labeled Photosystem (PS) II and Photosystem (PS) I, actually look like. Here’s a diagram of a monomer of Photosystem (PS) II, as it occurs in cyanobacteria:

Photosystem II, as found in in cyanobacteria. Monomer, PDB 2AXT. Courtesy of Curtis Neveu and Wikipedia.

I wrote above that I was going to let the pictures do the talking. What hypothesis regarding origins does the picture above suggest to you? Be honest!

Here’s a brief description from Wikipedia of the role played by Photosystem II:

Photosystem II … is the first protein complex in the light-dependent reactions… The enzyme captures photons of light to energize electrons that are then transferred through a variety of coenzymes and cofactors to reduce plastoquinone to plastoquinol. The energized electrons are replaced by oxidizing water to form hydrogen ions and molecular oxygen. By obtaining these electrons from water, photosystem II provides the electrons for all of photosynthesis to occur.

And what does science have to say regarding the origin of Photosystem II? Here’s an excerpt from an Origins blog post titled, Seeking Microbial Missing Links by Mitch Leslie in Science magazine (April 1, 2009):

Bacteria are the Thomas Edisons of metabolism. They have “invented” myriad biochemical pathways that enable them to eke out a living from substrates as diverse as the oils on your skin, the tiny amounts of carbon monoxide in the atmosphere, and the hydrogen sulfide spewed by deep-sea volcanic vents. That metabolic diversity might include photosynthetic intermediates, scientists argue.

Researchers hope that such microbes will help them determine how early cells assembled the photosynthetic machinery, which involves more than 100 proteins working in concert to absorb light and make sugars. One of the most contentious questions in the field, as discussed in a recent Origins essay, is the origin of the photosystems, the molecular clusters that contain chlorophyll and other light-capturing proteins. Photosystems come in two flavors, I and II. Plants, algae, and primitive cyanobacteria all have both photosystems — and need both to exploit light energy. But other bacteria have only one molecular cluster — what scientists think are the ancestors of photosystem I or photosystem II. Microbial missing links might shed light on how the ancestors of today’s cyanobacteria ended up with two photosystems.

So far, researchers haven’t pinned down any of these missing links. But they take heart from a 2007 paper by microbial physiologist Donald Bryant of Pennsylvania State University, University Park, and colleagues that identified a new solar-powered bacterium… The bacterium isn’t photosynthetic. It has the “photo” part down, absorbing light energy with chlorophyll to make the ATP necessary for living. But it hasn’t mastered “synthesis.” Instead of using carbon dioxide to manufacture sugars, it depends on other bacteria for its carbon needs.

Doesn’t sound very promising, does it? Especially when you have to account for the origin of more than 100 proteins, and explain how they came to work together in concert!

A more recent paper by James P. Allen et al., titled, Light-driven oxygen production from superoxide by Mn-binding bacterial reaction centers (PNAS February 14, 2012 vol. 109 no. 7 2314-2318) argues that the complex manganese-calcium cluster needed to perform the reactions that oxidize water could have been built up gradually:

These results provide insight into the evolution from anaerobic to oxygenic photosynthesis. The core cofactors and subunits of photosystem II and the bacterial reaction center have similar three-dimensional structures (4, 23), with the D1 and D2 subunits of photosystem II and the L and M subunits of bacterial reaction centers being derived from a common ancestor. The evolutionary transition from primitive anaerobic phototrophs to organisms capable of oxygenic photosynthesis is thought to have triggered the great oxidation event approximately 2.4 Gyr [2400 million years – VJT] ago, in which molecular oxygen emerged as a significant constituent of Earth’s atmosphere (24–29). This transition would have required the development of a highly oxidizing complex with a Mn [manganese – VJT] cluster capable of water oxidation. Creation of a highly oxidizing protein complex could have been achieved through a combination of altered interactions between the bacteriochlorophyll dimer and the surrounding protein as well as the incorporation of more highly oxidizing tetrapyrroles, such as chlorophyll d (29–31)…

Leaving aside the fact that the appearance of oxygenic photosynthesis is now believed to have taken place at least three billion years ago, and not 2.4 billion years ago as the authors suggest, it seems to me that the authors have ignored the main problem: where did the various proteins that make up Photosystem II come from in the first place?

Regarding proteins, all we are told is that two proteins at the core of photosystem II, called D1 and D2, are homologous, and that they’re similar to “the L and M subunits of bacterial reaction centers,” suggesting a common ancestry. I have grown very wary of claims like these, so I decided to do a little fishing. I came across a paper by Jyoti Sharma et al. Primary Structure Characterization of the Photosystem II D1 and D2 Subunits (Journal of Biological Chemistry, 1997, 272:33158-33166, doi: 10.1074/jbc.272.52.33158). On page 33161, Figure 3 shows the protein sequence of the D1 subunit in photosystem II. On page 33164, Figure 6 shows the protein sequence of the D2 subunit in photosystem II. I would invite the reader to flip backwards and forwards between the two pages, examining the two proteins carefully. Despite the existence of broad similarities between the two proteins, there are also a large number of differences. That’s important, because recent research by Douglas and Ann Gauger (see this video) suggests that there’s a limit to how many mutations a protein can undergo, even to achieve a slight functional modification. David Klinghoffer summarizes their findings:

To get one protein (A) to do the job of another (B), not a completely novel protein just a slight but functional modification, Axe working together with Ann Gauger found that it would take at the very least seven or more mutations. That doesn’t sound so bad, but what would it mean in the real world of a bacterial population? Axe gives the bottom line, a distressing one for Darwinian theorists:

It turns out once you get above the number six [changes] — and even at lower numbers actually — but once you get above the number six you can pretty decisively rule out an evolutionary transition because it would take far more time than there is on planet Earth and larger populations than there are on planet Earth.

So let’s say you’re looking at a transition between two proteins that needs eight or nine steps. You’re out of luck, buddy, because six is the most that unguided evolution can do. This by itself would seem to present a devastating rebuke to any Darwinian account of how proteins, the fundamental structures of all cellular life, came to be as they are.

So much for Photosystem II. What about Photosystem I? Photosystem I is believed to have appeared earlier in the history of life on Earth than Photosystem II, since a photosystem very similar to it is present in purple and green bacteria, while Photosystem II is unique to cyanobacteria, plants and algae. So you might be thinking that Photosystem I is nice and simple, right? Wrong! This is what Photosystem I looks like in plants:

Photosystem I, as found in plants. Structure of Photosystem I created with Pymol from PDB 2o01. Courtesy of Curtis Neveu and Wikipedia.

And here’s what it looks like in cyanobacteria:

Crystal structure of Photosystem I in cyanobacteria: a photosynthetic reaction center and core antenna system. Courtesy of Jawahar Swaminathan and MSD staff at the European Bioinformatics Institute, and Wikipedia.

According to Wikipedia, most scientists believe that Photosystem I found in plants, algae and cyanobacteria is derived from an analogous photosystem found in green-sulfur bacteria. But even if they were right, the photosystem found in green-sulfur bacteria is formidably complex, as we saw above, and we still have to account for where it comes from.

Earlier, we discussed the Z-scheme, a chain of events coupling the activity of two protein complexes, known as photosystem (PS) II and I. For those readers who have sharp eyes, here’s what it looks like (and for those who haven’t, here’s a better picture):

The Z-scheme. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

Finally, it was pointed out above that in plants, algae and cyanobacteria, the second, light-independent stage of photosynthesis produces sugars by a process known as the Calvin cycle. Here’s what it looks like:

Overview of the Calvin Cycle pathway. Courtesy of Mike Jones and Wikipedia.

Now I hope readers can see why many scientists were inclined to believe (until recently) that the dazzlingly complex process we call oxygenic photosynthesis (which occurs in plants, algae and cyanobacteria) may have taken two billion years to evolve (see for instance this paper). The work of Dr. Sean Crowe and his team strongly suggests that this complex form of photosynthesis may have appeared very early in the history of life on Earth. And as we’ve seen, even the simpler versions of photosynthesis require complexes of several kinds of proteins to work properly – proteins whose evolution cannot be accounted for by natural selection, as the pioneering work of Dr. Douglas Axe has shown. I’ll just quote one paragraph from his paper, The Case Against a Darwinian Origin of Protein Folds, in BioComplexity 2010(1):1-12. doi:10.5048/BIO-C.2010.1:

Based on analysis of the genomes of 447 bacterial species, the projected number of different domain structures per species averages 991. Comparing this to the number of pathways by which metabolic processes are carried out, which is around 263 for E. coli, provides a rough figure of three or four new domain folds being needed, on average, for every new metabolic pathway. In order to accomplish this successfully, an evolutionary search would need to be capable of locating sequences that amount to anything from one in 10^159 to one in 10^308 possibilities, something the neo-Darwinian model falls short of by a very wide margin. (p. 11)

As scientists digest the new findings of Dr. Crowe’s team, are they going to follow the evidence where it leads, towards Intelligent Design? Or are they going to resort to “evolution of the gaps” once more?

I’d like to conclude by recalling what Nobel Laureate physicist Robert Laughlin had to say about this kind of sloppy thinking:

Much of present-day biological knowledge is ideological. A key symptom of ideological thinking is the explanation that has no implications and cannot be tested. I call such logical dead ends antitheories because they have exactly the opposite effect of real theories: they stop thinking rather than stimulate it. Evolution by natural selection, for instance, which Charles Darwin originally conceived as a great theory, has lately come to function more as an antitheory, called upon to cover up embarrassing experimental shortcomings and legitimize findings that are at best questionable and at worst not even wrong. Your protein defies the laws of mass action? Evolution did it! Your complicated mess of chemical reactions turns into a chicken? Evolution! The human brain works on logical principles no computer can emulate? Evolution is the cause!

–Robert B. Laughlin, A Different Universe: Reinventing Physics from the Bottom Down (New York: Basic Books, 2005), pp. 168-169.

Professor Laughlin is not an Intelligent Design theorist: he subscribes to an interesting theory called Cell Intelligence. Personally, I can’t see how this theory could shed light on the origin of photosynthesis. However, Professor Laughlin is to be commended for having the courage to think “out of the box” and defy the scientific mainstream. Let’s hope that other scientists continue to break ranks from the Darwinist consensus, in the future.

Hi bornagain77, Thank you very much for the links, especially the ones on bacteria, photosynthesis and the origin of minerals. Much appreciated. vjtorley
Sorry for taking up so many posts on your thread Dr. Torley. I had far more to say on photosynthesis, and light in general, than I thought I would. I hope I did not upset you too much, nor stray too far off topic of the OP. bornagain77
Physics reveals that such a 'body of light' is not ruled out as being possible:
Beautiful physics: Tying knots in light - October 29, 2012 Excerpt: New research published today seeks to push the discovery that light can be tied in knots to the next level.,,, Scientists have found that inducing knots to form in laser beams by introducing perturbations in the form of laser speckle only very rarely induces knots. "Our models suggest that you have to get the key parameters of the light in a certain range before you can easily tie the light in knots but once you do, the knots are virtually guaranteed," he said.,,, http://phys.org/news/2012-10-beautiful-physics-tying.html
Of related note at the 3:22 minute mark of the following video, the 3-Dimensional world ‘folds and collapses’ into a tunnel shape around the direction of travel as a 'hypothetical' observer moves towards the ‘higher dimension’ of the speed of light,
Approaching The Speed Of Light - Optical Effects - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5733303/
(Of note: This preceding video was made by two Australian University Physics Professors with a supercomputer.)
The NDE and the Tunnel - Kevin Williams' research conclusions Excerpt: I started to move toward the light. The way I moved, the physics, was completely different than it is here on Earth. It was something I had never felt before and never felt since. It was a whole different sensation of motion. I obviously wasn't walking or skipping or crawling. I was not floating. I was flowing. I was flowing toward the light. I was accelerating and I knew I was accelerating, but then again, I didn't really feel the acceleration. I just knew I was accelerating toward the light. Again, the physics was different - the physics of motion of time, space, travel. It was completely different in that tunnel, than it is here on Earth. I came out into the light and when I came out into the light, I realized that I was in heaven. Barbara Springer
Also of note:
Strange! Humans Glow in Visible Light - Charles Q. Choi - July 22, 2009 Schematic illustration of experimental setup that found the human body, especially the face, emits visible light in small quantities that vary during the day. B is one fo the test subjects. The other images show the weak emissions of visible light during totally dark conditions. The chart corresponds to the images and shows how the emissions varied during the day. The last image (I) is an infrared image of the subject showing heat emissions. http://i.livescience.com/images/i/000/006/481/original/090722-body-glow-02.jpg?1296086873 http://www.livescience.com/7799-strange-humans-glow-visible-light.html Exodus 34:29-30: "Moses didn't realize as he came back down the mountain with the tablets that his face glowed from being in the presence of God. Because of this radiance upon his face, Aaron and the people of Israel were afraid to come near him." Shroud of Turin - The Historical Trail 2004: Another result of the restoration was the discovery of the Shroud's double face image. Italian scientists, Giulio Fanti and Roberto Maggiolio of Padova University were able to analyze scans of the backside of the Shroud after it was removed from the backing cloth. This had never been done before. The previous backing cloth had been attached since 1534 as part of the restoration following the fire of 1532. Examining the scans revealed faint superficial images of the face and hands. The image occurs only on the top surface of the fibers, similar to the front side of the Shroud but there is no coloring of the threads in between. http://shroud2000.com/FastFacts.html ’2nd face’ on Shroud points to supernatural origin – April 2010 Excerpt: The researchers, in other words, found a “doubly superficial” face image on both the front and back sides such that “if a cross-section of the fabric is made, one extremely superficial image appears above and one below, but there is nothing in the middle.” The shroud, therefore, they concluded, was not created by paint soaking through the linen or by a photographic image printing through to the reverse side, because the front and back facial images are not identical and the center fibers show no image creation whatsoever. Fanti and Maggiolo concluded the shroud image was created by a “corona discharge,” understood as a radiant burst of light and energy that scorched the body image of the crucified man on the topmost fibers of the shroud’s front and back sides, without producing any image on the centermost of its linen fibers. “Imagine slicing a human hair lengthwise, from end to end, into 100 long thin slices; each slice one-tenth the width of a single red blood cell,” writes Daniel Porter, editor of ShroudStory.com. “The images on the Shroud of Turin, at their thickest, are this thin.” Fanti and Maggiolo found the faint image of the face on the reverse side of the shroud contained the same 3-D information contained in the face and body image of the crucified man seen on the shroud’s front side. http://www.wnd.com/2010/04/146689/ Matthew 17:1-2 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.
Verse and Music:
Psalm 80:7 Restore us, O God Almighty; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved. Kari Jobe - Revelation Song – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FObjd5wrgZ8
Also of interest to photosynthesis, is the fine-tuning of light itself for life: Visible light is also incredibly fine-tuned for life to exist. Though visible light is only a tiny fraction of the total electromagnetic spectrum coming from the sun, it happens to be the "most permitted" portion of the sun's spectrum allowed to filter through the our atmosphere. All the other bands of electromagnetic radiation, directly surrounding visible light, happen to be harmful to organic molecules, and are almost completely absorbed by the atmosphere. The tiny amount of harmful UV radiation, which is not visible light, allowed to filter through the atmosphere is needed to keep various populations of single cell bacteria from over-populating the world (Ross; reasons.org). The size of light's wavelengths and the constraints on the size allowable for the protein molecules of organic life, also seem to be tailor-made for each other. This "tailor-made fit" allows photosynthesis, the miracle of sight, and many other things that are necessary for human life. These specific frequencies of light (that enable plants to manufacture food and astronomers to observe the cosmos) represent less than 1 trillionth of a trillionth (10^-24) of the universe's entire range of electromagnetic emissions. Like water, visible light also appears to be of optimal biological utility (Denton; Nature's Destiny).
Extreme Fine Tuning of Light for Life and Scientific Discovery - video http://www.metacafe.com/w/7715887 Fine Tuning Of Universal Constants, Particularly Light - Walter Bradley - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4491552 Fine Tuning Of Light to the Atmosphere, to Biological Life, and to Water - graphs http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AYmaSrBPNEmGZGM4ejY3d3pfMTljaGh4MmdnOQ Michael Denton: Remarkable Coincidences in Photosynthesis - podcast http://www.idthefuture.com/2012/09/michael_denton_remarkable_coin.html
Which should be needless to say, finding that light has to be extremely finely-tuned by the atmosphere and water, (within 1 in 10^24 of total electromagnetic spectrum) before the energy can even be used in the photosynthetic process to generate ATP (the energy currency of life), is extremely antagonistic to the 'compensation' argument used by atheists against Dr. Sewell to try to circumvent the second law.
Can “ANYTHING” Happen in an Open System? - Granville Sewell PhD. Math Excerpt: If we found evidence that DNA, auto parts, computer chips, and books entered through the Earth’s atmosphere at some time in the past, then perhaps the appearance of humans, cars, computers, and encyclopedias on a previously barren planet could be explained without postulating a violation of the second law here (it would have been violated somewhere else!). http://www.math.utep.edu/Faculty/sewell/articles/appendixd.pdf
And please note, even this 1 in 10^24 tailoring of the energy entering the atmosphere that is useful for life, unless harnessed by the elaborate machinery of photosynthesis, would be, in the long term, destructive to life on earth:
Evolution Vs. Thermodynamics - Open System Refutation - Thomas Kindell - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4143014
And of even more interest about light, which is necessary for organic life, is some of the physical characteristics that are now known light. For instance, time, as we understand it temporally, would come to a complete stop at the speed of light. To grasp the whole 'time coming to a complete stop at the speed of light' concept a little more easily, imagine moving away from the face of a clock at the speed of light. Would not the hands on the clock stay stationary as you moved away from the face of the clock at the speed of light? Moving away from the face of a clock at the speed of light happens to be the same 'thought experiment' that gave Einstein his breakthrough insight into e=mc2.
Albert Einstein - Special Relativity - Insight Into Eternity - 'thought experiment' video http://www.metacafe.com/w/6545941/ "The laws of relativity have changed timeless existence from a theological claim to a physical reality. Light, you see, is outside of time, a fact of nature proven in thousands of experiments at hundreds of universities. I don’t pretend to know how tomorrow can exist simultaneously with today and yesterday. But at the speed of light they actually and rigorously do. Time does not pass." Richard Swenson - More Than Meets The Eye, Chpt. 12
And this 'timelessness' of light is picked up in Near Death Experiences:
'Earthly time has no meaning in the spirit realm. There is no concept of before or after. Everything - past, present, future - exists simultaneously.' - Kimberly Clark Sharp - NDE Experiencer 'In the 'spirit world,,, instantly, there was no sense of time. See, everything on earth is related to time. You got up this morning, you are going to go to bed tonight. Something is new, it will get old. Something is born, it's going to die. Everything on the physical plane is relative to time, but everything in the spiritual plane is relative to eternity. Instantly I was in total consciousness and awareness of eternity, and you and I as we live in this earth cannot even comprehend it, because everything that we have here is filled within the veil of the temporal life. In the spirit life that is more real than anything else and it is awesome. Eternity as a concept is awesome. There is no such thing as time. I knew that whatever happened was going to go on and on.' Mickey Robinson - Near Death Experience testimony - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4045544
Moreover, if that was not weird enough, many Near Death Experiencers speak of being 'made out of light':
“I was in a body, and the only way that I can describe it was a body of energy, or of light. And this body had a form. It had a head, it had arms and it had legs. And it was like it was made out of light. And it was everything that was me. All of my memories, my consciousness, everything.”,,, “And then this vehicle formed itself around me. Vehicle is the only thing, or tube, or something, but it was a mode of transportation that’s for sure! And it formed around me. And there was no one in it with me. I was in it alone. But I knew there were other people ahead of me and behind me. What they were doing I don’t know, but there were people ahead of me and people behind me, but I was alone in my particular conveyance. And I could see out of it. And it went at a tremendously, horrifically, rapid rate of speed. But it wasn’t unpleasant. It was beautiful in fact. I was reclining in this thing, I wasn’t sitting straight up, but I wasn’t lying down either. I was sitting back. And it was just so fast. I can’t even begin to tell you where it went or whatever it was just fast!" – Vicki Noratuk Coast to Coast - Vicki's Near Death Experience (Blind From Birth) part 1 of 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e65KhcCS5-Y
Moreover, there is actually a molecular machine, that far surpasses man made machines in engineering parameters, that is integral to the photosynthetic process:
Electron transport and ATP synthesis during photosynthesis - Illustration http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/bv.fcgi?rid=cooper.figgrp.1672 Thermodynamic efficiency and mechanochemical coupling of F1-ATPase - 2011 Excerpt:F1-ATPase is a nanosized biological energy transducer working as part of FoF1-ATP synthase. Its rotary machinery transduces energy between chemical free energy and mechanical work and plays a central role in the cellular energy transduction by synthesizing most ATP in virtually all organisms.,, Our results suggested a 100% free-energy transduction efficiency and a tight mechanochemical coupling of F1-ATPase. http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/10/12/1106787108.short?rss=1 Your Motor/Generators Are 100% Efficient – October 2011 Excerpt: ATP synthase astounds again. The molecular machine that generates almost all the ATP (molecular “energy pellets”) for all life was examined by Japanese scientists for its thermodynamic efficiency. By applying and measuring load on the top part that synthesizes ATP, they were able to determine that one cannot do better at getting work out of a motor,,, The article was edited by noted Harvard expert on the bacterial flagellum, Howard Berg. http://crev.info/content/111014-your_motor_generators ATP Synthase, an Energy-Generating Rotary Motor Engine - Jonathan M. May 15, 2013 Excerpt: ATP synthase has been described as "a splendid molecular machine," and "one of the most beautiful" of "all enzymes" .,, "bona fide rotary dynamo machine",,, If such a unique and brilliantly engineered nanomachine bears such a strong resemblance to the engineering of manmade hydroelectric generators, and yet so impressively outperforms the best human technology in terms of speed and efficiency, one is led unsurprisingly to the conclusion that such a machine itself is best explained by intelligent design. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/05/atp_synthase_an_1072101.html Miniature Molecular Power Plant: ATP Synthase - January 2013 - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XI8m6o0gXDY
Moreover, photosynthesis requires a 'non-local', beyond space-time, cause to explain how it can attain near 100% energy efficiency:
Uncovering Quantum Secret in Photosynthesis - June 20, 2013 Excerpt: Photosynthetic organisms, such as plants and some bacteria, have mastered this process: In less than a couple of trillionths of a second, 95 percent of the sunlight they absorb is whisked away to drive the metabolic reactions that provide them with energy. The efficiency of photovoltaic cells currently on the market is around 20 percent.,,, Van Hulst and his group have evaluated the energy transport pathways of separate individual but chemically identical, antenna proteins, and have shown that each protein uses a distinct pathway. The most surprising discovery was that the transport paths within single proteins can vary over time due to changes in the environmental conditions, apparently adapting for optimal efficiency. "These results show that coherence, a genuine quantum effect of superposition of states, is responsible for maintaining high levels of transport efficiency in biological systems, even while they adapt their energy transport pathways due to environmental influences" says van Hulst. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130620142932.htm Non-Local Quantum Coherence In Photosynthesis - video with notes in description http://vimeo.com/30235178
At the 21:00 minute mark of the following video, Dr Suarez explains exactly why photosynthesis needs a 'non-local', beyond space and time, cause to explain its effect:
Nonlocality of Photosynthesis - Antoine Suarez - video - 2012 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhMrrmlTXl4
Interestingly, while the photo-synthetic bacteria were reducing greenhouse gases and producing oxygen, and metal, and minerals, which would all be of benefit to modern man, other types of bacteria were also producing their own natural resources which would be very useful to modern man. Some types of bacteria helped prepare the earth for advanced life by detoxifying the primeval earth and oceans of poisonous levels of heavy metals while depositing them as relatively inert metal ores. Metal ores which are very useful for modern man, as well as fairly easy for man to extract today (mercury, cadmium, zinc, cobalt, arsenic, chromate, tellurium and copper to name a few). To this day, various types of bacteria maintain an essential minimal level of these heavy metals in the ecosystem which are high enough so as to be available to the biological systems of the higher life forms that need them yet low enough so as not to be poisonous to those very same higher life forms.
Bacterial Heavy Metal Detoxification and Resistance Systems: Excerpt: Bacterial plasmids contain genetic determinants for resistance systems for Hg2+ (and organomercurials), Cd2+, AsO2, AsO43-, CrO4 2-, TeO3 2-, Cu2+, Ag+, Co2+, Pb2+, and other metals of environmental concern.,, Recombinant DNA analysis has been applied to mercury, cadmium, zinc, cobalt, arsenic, chromate, tellurium and copper resistance systems. http://www.springerlink.com/content/u1t281704577v8t3/ The role of bacteria in hydrogeochemistry, metal cycling and ore deposit formation: Textures of sulfide minerals formed by SRB (sulfate-reducing bacteria) during bioremediation (most notably pyrite and sphalerite) have textures reminiscent of those in certain sediment-hosted ores, supporting the concept that SRB may have been directly involved in forming ore minerals. http://www.goldschmidt2009.org/abstracts/finalPDFs/A1161.pdf
As well, in conjunction with bacteria, geological processes helped detoxify the earth of dangerous levels of metal yet deposit them in the earth's crust in such a manner so that may be fairly easily accessible and of use to modern man:
The Concentration of Metals for Humanity's Benefit: Excerpt: They demonstrated that hydrothermal fluid flow could enrich the concentration of metals like zinc, lead, and copper by at least a factor of a thousand. They also showed that ore deposits formed by hydrothermal fluid flows at or above these concentration levels exist throughout Earth's crust. The necessary just-right precipitation conditions needed to yield such high concentrations demand extraordinary fine-tuning. That such ore deposits are common in Earth's crust strongly suggests supernatural design. http://www.reasons.org/TheConcentrationofMetalsforHumanitysBenefit
Dr. Ross also points out that the extremely long amount of time it took to prepare a suitable place for technologically advanced humans to exist in this universe, for the relatively short period of time that we can exist on this planet, is actually a point of evidence that argues strongly for Christian Theism:
Hugh Ross - The Anthropic Principle and (Brandon Carter's) Anthropic Inequality - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/8494065/
But to take a closer look at photosynthesis itself and add to the excellent overview Dr. Torley has given to us, as Dr. Torley pointed out photosynthesis is far more complex than was imagined even a few short decades ago:
The 10 Step Glycolysis Pathway In ATP Production: An Overview - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Kn6BVGqKd8
At the 6:00 minute mark of the following video, Chris Ashcraft, PhD – molecular biology, gives us an overview of the Citric Acid Cycle, which is, after the 10 step Glycolysis Pathway, also involved in ATP production:
Evolution vs ATP Synthase - Molecular Machine - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4012706 Glycolysis and the Citric Acid Cycle: The Control of Proteins and Pathways - Cornelius Hunter - July 2011 http://darwins-god.blogspot.com/2011/07/glycolysis-and-citric-acid-cycle.html
Moreover, evidence for 'sulfate reducing' bacteria has been discovered alongside the evidence for photosynthetic bacteria:
When Did Life First Appear on Earth? - Fazale Rana - December 2010 Excerpt: The primary evidence for 3.8 billion-year-old life consists of carbonaceous deposits, such as graphite, found in rock formations in western Greenland. These deposits display an enrichment of the carbon-12 isotope. Other chemical signatures from these formations that have been interpreted as biological remnants include uranium/thorium fractionation and banded iron formations. Recently, a team from Australia argued that the dolomite in these formations also reflects biological activity, specifically that of sulfate-reducing bacteria. http://www.reasons.org/when-did-life-first-appear-earth
Moreover, these different forms of bacterial life found in the oldest sedimentary rocks on earth are 'chemically interdependent'. These following sites have illustrations that shows some of the amazing 'interdependent biogeochemical complexity' of different types of bacterial life on Earth.,,,
Biologically mediated cycles for hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, sulfur, and iron – image of interdependent ‘biogeochemical’ web http://www.sciencemag.org/content/320/5879/1034/F2.large.jpg The Microbial Engines That Drive Earth’s Biogeochemical Cycles - Falkowski 2008 Excerpt: Microbial life can easily live without us; we, however, cannot survive without the global catalysis and environmental transformations it provides. - Paul G. Falkowski - Professor Geological Sciences - Rutgers http://www.genetics.iastate.edu/delong1.pdf Microbial Mat Ecology – Image on page 92 (third page down) http://www.dsls.usra.edu/biologycourse/workbook/Unit2.2.pdf
,,,Please note, that if even one type of bacteria group did not exist in this complex cycle of biogeochemical interdependence, that was illustrated on the third page of the preceding site, then all of the different bacteria would soon die out. This essential biogeochemical interdependence, of the most primitive different types of bacteria that we have evidence of on ancient earth, makes the origin of life ‘problem’ for neo-Darwinists that much worse. For now not only do neo-Darwinists have to explain how the ‘miracle of life’ happened once with the origin of photosynthetic bacteria, but they must now also explain how all these different types bacteria, that photosynthetic bacteria are dependent on, in this irreducibly complex biogeochemical web, miraculously arose just in time to supply the necessary nutrients, in their biogeochemical link in the chain, for photosynthetic bacteria to continue to survive. As well, though not clearly illustrated in the illustration on the preceding site, please note that a long term tectonic cycle, of the turnover the Earth’s crustal rocks, must also be fine-tuned to a certain degree with the bacteria and thus plays a important ‘foundational’ role in the overall ecology of the biogeochemical system that must be accounted for as well.
Ancient Earth Crust Stored in Deep Mantle - Apr. 24, 2013 Excerpt: New research,, demonstrates that oceanic volcanic rocks contain samples of recycled crust dating back to the Archean era 2.5 billion years ago.,, This indicates that the sulfur comes from a deep mantle reservoir containing crustal material subducted before the Great Oxidation Event and preserved for over half the age of Earth. "These measurements place the first firm age estimates of recycled material in oceanic hotspots," Hauri said. "They confirm the cycling of sulfur from the atmosphere and oceans into mantle and ultimately back to the surface," Hauri said. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130424132705.htm
Since oxygen readily reacts and bonds with many of the solid elements making up the earth itself, and since the slow process of tectonic activity controls the turnover of the earth's crust, it took photosynthetic bacteria a few billion years before the earth’s crust was saturated with enough oxygen to allow a sufficient level of oxygen to be built up in the atmosphere as to allow higher life to be possible on earth. Here is a short reminder of Michael Denton's recent paper that shows that the chemistry necessary for life in the universe is 'fit specifically for warm-blooded, air-breathing organisms such as ourselves'
The Place of Life and Man in Nature: Defending the Anthropocentric Thesis – Michael J. Denton – February 25, 2013 Summary (page 11) Many of the properties of the key members of Henderson’s vital ensemble —water, oxygen, CO2, HCO3 —are in several instances fit specifically for warm-blooded, air-breathing organisms such as ourselves. http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/index.php/main/article/view/BIO-C.2013.1/BIO-C.2013.1
More interesting still, the byproducts of the complex biogeochemical processes involved in the oxygen production by these early bacteria are (red) banded iron formations, limestone, marble, gypsum, phosphates, sand, and to a lesser extent, coal, oil and natural gas (note; though some coal, oil and natural gas deposits are from this early era of bacterial life, most coal, oil and natural gas deposits originated on earth after the Cambrian explosion of higher life forms some 540 million years ago). The resources produced by these early photosynthetic bacteria are very useful, one could even very well say 'necessary', for the technologically advanced civilizations of humans to exist today.
Newly Discovered Bacterium Forms Intracellular Minerals - May 11, 2012 Excerpt: A new species of photosynthetic bacterium has come to light: it is able to control the formation of minerals (calcium, magnesium, barium and strontium carbonates) within its own organism. ,, carbonate rocks that date back some 3.5 billion years and are among the earliest traces of life on Earth. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120511101352.htm
Calcium carbonate, of which chalk, limestone and marble are made, also makes up corals, shells of snails and other animals, and stromatolites. Strontium Carbonate is used in Ceramics, Pyrotechnics, Electronics and metallurgy. Barium carbonate is widely used in the ceramics industry as an ingredient in glazes. It acts as a flux, a matting and crystallizing agent and combines with certain colouring oxides to produce unique colours not easily attainable by other means. In the brick, tile, earthenware and pottery industries barium carbonate is added to clays to precipitate soluble salts. Magnesium carbonate also has several important uses for man.
Rich Ore Deposits Linked to Ancient Atmosphere - Nov. 2009 Excerpt: Much of our planet's mineral wealth was deposited billions of years ago when Earth's chemical cycles were different from today's. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091119193640.htm "Today there are about 4,400 known minerals - more than two-thirds of which came into being only because of the way life changed the planet. Some of them were created exclusively by living organisms" - Bob Hazen - Smithsonian - Oct. 2010, pg. 54 The Creation of Minerals: Excerpt: Thanks to the way life was introduced on Earth, the early 250 mineral species have exploded to the present 4,300 known mineral species. And because of this abundance, humans possessed all the necessary mineral resources to easily launch and sustain global, high-technology civilization. http://www.reasons.org/The-Creation-of-Minerals
Nice article Dr. Torley, a keeper! :) a 'few' :) related notes:
Large Bacterial Population Colonized Land 2.75 Billion Years Ago (Sep. 24, 2012) Excerpt: new research,, suggests that early microbes might have been widespread on land, producing oxygen and weathering pyrite, an iron sulfide mineral, which released sulfur and molybdenum into the oceans.,, "This shows that life didn't just exist in a few little places on land. It was important on a global scale because it was enhancing the flow of sulfate from land into the ocean," "It supports the theory that oxygen was being produced for several hundred million years before the Great Oxidation Event. It just took time for it to reach higher concentrations in the atmosphere," Stüeken said. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120924101741.htm Breathing new life into Earth: New research shows evidence of early oxygen on our planet - August 2011 Excerpt: Waldbauer and Summons surmise that oxygen production and consumption may have occurred in the oceans for hundreds of millions of years before the atmosphere saw even a trace of the gas. They say that in all likelihood, cyanobacteria, blue-green algae living at the ocean surface, evolved the ability to produce O2 via sunlight in a process known as oxygenic photosynthesis. But instead of building up in the oceans and then seeping into the atmosphere, O2 may have been rapidly consumed by early aerobic organisms. Large oceanic and atmospheric sinks, such as iron and sulfide spewing out of subsea volcanoes, likely consumed whatever O2 was left over. http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-08-life-earth-evidence-early-oxygen.html
As well, we now have fairly compelling 'biogeochemical' evidence for photosynthetic life suddenly appearing on earth, as soon as water appeared on the earth, in the oldest sedimentary rocks ever found on earth.
The Sudden Appearance Of Photosynthetic Life On Earth? - video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4262918 U-rich Archaean sea-floor sediments from Greenland - indications of +3700 Ma oxygenic photosynthesis (2003) http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2004E&PSL.217..237R
Of related note, this 'miracle' of oxygenic photosynthesis in bacteria apparently happened at least 6 different times.
Early Evolution of Photosynthesis - Robert E. Blankenship - October 2010 Excerpt: A wealth of evidence indicates that photosynthesis is an ancient process that originated not long after the origin of life,,, The ability to do photosynthesis is widely distributed throughout the bacterial domain in six different phyla, with no apparent pattern of evolution. Photosynthetic phyla include the cyanobacteria, proteobacteria (purple bacteria), green sulfur bacteria (GSB), firmicutes (heliobacteria), filamentous anoxygenic phototrophs (FAPs, also often called the green nonsulfur bacteria), and acidobacteria (Raymond, 2008). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2949000/
Also of interest, some of the biochemical pathways for anoxygenic photosynthesis are more complex that oxygenic photosynthesis
"Remarkably, the biosynthetic routes needed to make the key molecular component of anoxygenic photosynthesis are more complex than the pathways that produce the corresponding component required for the oxygenic form."; Early Life Remains Complex By Fazale R. Rana PhD. Bio-Chemistry (FACTS for FAITH Issue 7, 2001)
Moreover, there are no prebiotic chemical signatures preceding the biotic chemical signatures for life on earth:
Dr. Hugh Ross - Origin Of Life Paradox (No prebiotic chemical signatures)- video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4012696 "We get that evidence from looking at carbon 12 to carbon 13 analysis. And it tells us that in Earth's oldest (sedimentary) rock, which dates at 3.80 billion years ago, we find an abundance for the carbon signature of living systems. Namely, that life prefers carbon 12. And so if you see a higher ratio of carbon 12 to carbon 13 that means that carbon has been processed by life. And it is that kind of evidence that tells us that life has been abundant on earth as far back as 3.80 billion years ago (when water was first present on earth).,,, And that same carbon 12 to carbon 13 analysis tells us that planet earth, over it entire 4.5662 billion year history has never had prebiotics. Prebiotics would have a higher ratio of carbon 13 to carbon 12. All the carbonaceous material, we see in the entire geological record of the earth, has the signature of being post-biotic not pre-biotic. Which means planet earth never had a primordial soup. And the origin of life on earth took place in a geological instant (as soon as it was possible for life to exist on earth). - Hugh Ross
The following video, at the 2:45 minute mark, is good for showing the history of (red) banded iron formations in the geologic record and shows that banded iron formations go back as far as 3.8 billion years ago in earth's history, although Dr. Newman, in the video, believes banded iron formations 'may' have been formed abiotically:
Exploring the deep connection between bacteria and rocks - Dianne Newman - MIT video http://video.mit.edu/watch/from-rocks-to-genes-and-back-stories-about-the-evolution-of-photosynthesis-9299/ Banded Rocks Reveal Early Earth Conditions, Changes - 2009 Excerpt: Called banded iron formations or BIFs, these ancient rocks formed between 3.8 and 1.7 billion years ago at what was then the bottom of the ocean. The stripes represent alternating layers of silica-rich chert and iron-rich minerals like hematite and magnetite. First mined as a major iron source for modern industrialization, BIFs are also a rich source of information about the geochemical conditions that existed on Earth when the rocks were made. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091011184428.htm
The following study shows that the oldest (red) banded iron formations, contrary to Dr. Newman's belief that they 'may' have been formed abiotically, were actually formed biotically:
Iron in Primeval Seas Rusted by Bacteria - Apr. 23, 2013 Excerpt: The oldest known iron ores were deposited in the Precambrian period and are up to four billion years old (the Earth itself is estimated to be about 4.6 billion years old). ,,, This research not only provides the first clear evidence that microorganisms were directly involved in the deposition of Earth's oldest iron formations; it also indicates that large populations of oxygen-producing cyanobacteria were at work in the shallow areas of the ancient oceans, while deeper water still reached by the light (the photic zone) tended to be populated by anoxyenic or micro-aerophilic iron-oxidizing bacteria which formed the iron deposits.,,, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130423110750.htm
Thanks BA, if you ever feel like helping us out over at Mike's blog, we'd love it > http://blogs.christianpost.com/science-and-faith/two-recent-popular-publications-about-intelligent-design-curriculum-best-selling-book-18034/ equate65
equate65, Crevo has a good summary of the recent papers that tried to address Meyer's book, 'Darwin's Doubt', including ‘When Prior Belief Trumps Scholarship’: Evolutionists Tap Dance Around Cambrian Explosion - September 25, 2013 Excerpt: Marshall’s 2006 Annual Review paper, “Explaining the Cambrian ‘Explosion’ of Animals,” was cited by several of the other papers, showing it is still considered authoritative. Yet in it, he also ignored the central problem of complex specified information. Here he is now, seven years later: does he have anything new to say from the evolution perspective? Not really, other than hope that “gene regulatory networks” (GRNs) might somehow complexify themselves without design or guidance. His wording is pregnant with possibility thinking: “today’s GRNs have been overlain with half a billion years of evolutionary innovation (which accounts for their resistance to modification), whereas GRNs at the time of the emergence of the phyla were not so encumbered.” Well, if they were not encumbered then, think of the possibilities! Just turn on the mutation and natural selection and let them work innovation magic! Marshall was not here now, though, to defend his proposal, but rather to critique Meyer’s. His review, titled, “When Prior Belief Trumps Scholarship” criticized Meyer for having a prior commitment to design, for not meeting his personal expectation of scholarship, and for not being a biologist (even though Meyer has 2 earned PhDs). His main contention was that ID is a “god-of-the-gaps” solution, offered with the ulterior motive of defending a belief system. Marshall wrote in a mild yet patronizing tone, ignoring the fact that some of the same criticisms could be leveled at himself. Science Magazine, of course, would never do Meyer the justice of publishing a defense in their Darwin-only journal. As Dr. Richard Sternberg found out when editing a Smithsonian journal, all hell breaks loose when a pro-ID paper passes peer review and gets published (see Evolution News & Views). - See more at: http://crev.info/2013/09/evolutionists-tap-dance-around-cambrian-explosion/#sthash.mc17d4XM.dpuf Comment after review of the articles: "The Darwinist answers to the Cambrian explosion are vacuous, vapid, vacant, void, and vagrant. They dodge the question, filling their time with question-begging circular irrelevancies. They fail to acknowledge the existence of their critics, except when necessary to vent their voluminous voracity for vituperation. Where did the information come from to build new body plans? That is the question! “Uh, duh, well, maybe evolution just ran faster, that’s all. Maybe there was more oxygen back then. Maybe that’s just how evolution works. Maybe a combination of the above.” Are you satisfied? Anyone giving answers like that to explain a major failure of their project should be fired on the spot." http://crev.info/2013/09/evolutionists-tap-dance-around-cambrian-explosion/ bornagain77
Off Topic, but is anyone over at ENV going to address Charles Marshall's review of Meyers book. > 'When Prior Belief Trumps Scholarship' (http://www.sciencemag.org/content/341/6152/1344.1.full) It would sure help if you guys got a strong response up, as he (Meyers) is getting a hiding all over the blog sphere... equate65
Look, this is what I tell people. Forget teaching kids "ID" in public schools. Just teach them what we are learning about the DNA replicator, the protein domains, and how they function, and let them draw their own conclusions. Culture war won. CentralScrutinizer
You've got to love the title of Chapter 1: Life Implies Work: A Holistic Account of Our Microbial Biosphere Focussing on the Bioenergetic Processes of Cyanobacteria, the Ecologically Most Successful Organisms on Our Earth Mung
But in cyanobacteria (or blue-green bacteria), plants and algae, photosynthesis releases oxygen. This process is called oxygenic photosynthesis, and it’s a more complex process.
That's a heck of an under-statement. :) Bioenergetic Processes of Cyanobacteria: From Evolutionary Singularity to Ecological Diversity approx 700 pages Mung
Apparently, the environment was inexplicably fit for life.
Darwinian fitness is compounded of a mutual relationship between the organism and the environment. Of this, fitness of environment is quite as essential a component as the fitness which arises in the process of organic evolution; and in fundamental characteristics the actual environment is the fittest possible abode of life. - Lawrence J. Henderson

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