A Complex Molecular Machine

Biologist Michael Behe wrote a pretty cool essay in World Magazine, titled, “Fearfully and wonderfully made”. Behe has written a number of books I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, the most notable being Darwin’s Black Box, in which he provides evidence that living organisms are intelligently designed, as opposed to evolving by blind, naturalistic processes.

In this essay, Behe focuses on a complicated molecule called ATP synthase, which is used in all cells as energy, and without it, life could not exist. During a conference he attended, British scientist Dr. John Walker, one of the leading experts on ATP, presented a computer simulation for this “elegant machinery”. Walker, an evolutionist, was expected to answer an important question at the conference… “Did Darwinian evolution have any limitations”?

The problem, though, is that ATP synthase is really, really complicated. So, to deny that evolution has any limits, one must demonstrate how naturalistic processes could plausibly overcome insurmountable hurdles in order to explain the molecule’s existence.

Behe goes on to present a fascinating timeline of history and discovery, starting with King David, the Psalmist who wrote, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139). That is a beautiful passage about life. David understood that it was God who designed every part of him: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”

Throughout history, many have sought to understand life, and Behe discusses the work of some familiar historical figures, such as Hippocrates and Aristotle, as well as less familiar names, like William Harvey and Marcello Malpighi, the roles they played, and the technology available to them. But it was the advancement of the electron microscope and super computers that allowed scientists to finally peer into the tiniest parts of cells and explore a new, fascinating world of miniature factories and automation. Behe describes this as “biological architecture” that is “precision-engineered”.

Briefly, ATP synthase is made up of thousands of amino acid building blocks combined in a number of protein chains and made into “intricate structures” that allow them to work like a “cascade of water over a hydroelectric dam that turns a turbine”. Other parts function like a camshaft found in engines. In the end, ATP recharges every cell in our body “like a reusable battery”.

Most interesting, Behe says Dr. Walker never explained how all this came about naturally, but only described how it worked. And when asked how Darwinian processes could do this, he said it happened slowly, through some sort of intermediate or other (paraphrased).

Sadly, evolutionists cling to vague, meaningless statements like this because they have no plausible explanation. They’re convinced that, someday, science will ‘magically’ solve the problem. That’s what their worldview demands, so it seems reasonable to them that complicated structures that appear to be designed are not designed because they don’t believe in any kind of designer, and, therefore, it must have happened naturally because it had to. In other words, blind faith has come to the rescue.

However, a much more elegant and rational explanation exists, and, as Behe points out, King David understood it thousands of years before Darwin and evolutionary ideas- there is a God who designed life, purposely, and his design is fearful and wonderful. Amen! God’s design is evident, and ATP synthase is but one microscopic example.

Check out the full article for yourself.


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