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"What Will the Next Biological Breakthrough Be?" (article)
Institute for Creation Research ^ | 6-25-12 | Brian Thomas

Posted on 06/25/2012 7:59:16 AM PDT by fishtank

What Will the Next Biological Breakthrough Be? by Brian Thomas, M.S. | Jun. 25, 2012

Animal and human life depends, either directly or indirectly, on plant life. And all plant life depends on extraordinarily precise biochemical machines that capture and convert light energy into energy that living cells can use. Researchers at the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois have been using ultrafast spectroscopy to discover just how these systems work. Their most recent discovery has them baffled over the newfound complexity of photosynthesis in purple bacteria. It turns out that photosynthetic machinery is such advanced technology that it takes advantage of the quantum nature of light.

Researchers first cooled the photosynthetic bacteria to less than 150 degrees below freezing so that the superfast photon and electron interactions within bacteria's light-harvesting protein complex would occur slow enough to investigate in more detail.

They shined one wavelength of light onto specific pigment molecules inside the biochemical light harvesting protein complexes. Each complex contains multiple pigments in precise arrangements. "Argonne scientists saw something no one had observed before: a single photon appeared to excite different chromophores [pigments] simultaneously," according to an Argonne Labs feature story.1

This matches strange observations of light's "quantum coherence," whereby a single fast-moving particle appears in two places at the same time.2 Bacterial biochemistry exploits this property of light when harvesting it, but how? The researchers wrote in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that capturing light in its quantum coherence was "most likely due to electronic coupling between the cofactor [pigment]," and precisely positioned proteins specify the coupling.3

Like those of low-light algae,4 the bacterial light-harvesting complexes are arranged to exploit light quanta to maximize energy transfer over large distances. This dramatically increases their efficiency of harvest.5, 6

In other words, bacteria are equipped with machinery that could only have been built by someone—or by other machinery that ultimately was built by someone—who had intricate understanding of the quantum nature of light.7 This so astounded coauthor Gary Wiederrecht that he asked, "How did Mother Nature create this incredibly elegant solution?"1 Of course, "she" didn't. If she could have, then he would never have thought to ask that question.

Similarly, Argonne biochemist and senior author David Tiede said, "It makes us wonder if they are really just there by accident, or if they are telling us something subtle and unique about these materials."1

Mother Nature and her magic wand of accidents could not have created such advanced technology. It is beyond the cutting edge of current human technology and even current human comprehension of quantum coherence. And if bacterial photosynthetic machinery rules out Mother Nature, then its origin can only be explained in the same way that other machines find their origins—in someone outside of nature.

References

Sagoff, J. Scientists uncover a photosynthetic puzzle. Argonne National Laboratory. Posted on anl.gov May 21, 2012.

DeYoung, D. 1998. Creation and Quantum Mechanics. Acts & Facts. 27 (11).

Huang, L. et al. 2012. Cofactor-specific photochemical function resolved by ultrafast spectroscopy in photosynthetic reaction center crystals. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Published online before print, March 12, 2012.

Thomas, B. Algae Molecule Masters Quantum Mechanics. ICR News. Posted on icr.org February 17, 2010.

Lee, H., Y-C Cheng, and G. Fleming. Coherence Dynamics in Photosynthesis: Protein Protection of Excitonic Coherence. Science. 316 (5830): 1462-1465.

Strumpfer, J. et al. 2012. How Quantum Coherence Assists Photosynthetic Light-Harvesting. Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. 3 (4): 536-542.

Birds also use quantum mechanics to navigate. See: Sherwin, F. Bird Brains and Quantum Mechanics. ICR News. Posted on icr.org May 4, 2012, accessed June 7, 2012.

* Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on June 25, 2012.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: biology; science

1 posted on 06/25/2012 7:59:29 AM PDT by fishtank
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To: fishtank

I predict the next breakthrough will be something that allows me to drink really good beer without producing farts that are considered a weapon of mass destruction.


2 posted on 06/25/2012 8:04:01 AM PDT by TheRhinelander
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To: fishtank

Anybody still actually buy the idea that all of that stuff just sort of happened by stupid chance (evolved)???


3 posted on 06/25/2012 8:04:42 AM PDT by varmintman
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To: fishtank

I would like to see plants than can absorb and use Radio Frequencies, there is a ton of radio waves bouncing around and such. Plants would grow like crazy.


4 posted on 06/25/2012 8:07:52 AM PDT by GraceG
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To: varmintman

I really have never had an evolution believer answer the question “what’s next” with regard to humanity.

Obviously, if the trend, according to their religion, is toward higher and higher complexity, then the “trans-human” should be something to discuss.

And, conversely, our present “stage” is just a waypoint, and not worth all that much. We already see this in humanist worldviews.


5 posted on 06/25/2012 8:12:07 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: GraceG

> I would like to see plants than can absorb and use Radio Frequencies, there is a ton of radio waves bouncing around and such. Plants would grow like crazy.

Light is electromagnetic radiation. The reason things do stuff when you shine light on them is that the distance between carbon atoms in the molecular makeup of the organism is the same length as the wavelength of the light.
This sets up a resonance condition and some of the molecular bonds break. When they break they are active and available to combine with other active molecular bonds. If you could make the distance between carbon atoms the same as the wavelength of the RF that you use, it would happen with RF too.


6 posted on 06/25/2012 8:17:33 AM PDT by BuffaloJack (End the racist, anti-capitalist Obama War On Freedom.)
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To: fishtank

Either God needs to constantly intervene in the universe he created OR God is a lot smarter than creationists can imagine and in control of events we perceive as random.


7 posted on 06/25/2012 8:24:38 AM PDT by allmendream (Tea Party did not send GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism)
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To: allmendream
Either God needs to constantly intervene in the universe he created OR God is a lot smarter than creationists can imagine and in control of events we perceive as random.

Haven't studied much theology, have you?
8 posted on 06/25/2012 8:27:44 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: aruanan

“The dice are cast into the lap but every result is from the Lord”

Maybe you should brush up on your theology.


9 posted on 06/25/2012 8:33:01 AM PDT by allmendream (Tea Party did not send GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism)
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To: fishtank

Had to be Ancient Aliens . . . Where’s the pic of the Ancient Alien guy whose “do” looks alien.


10 posted on 06/25/2012 8:40:58 AM PDT by RatRipper (I'll ride a turtle to work every day before I buy anything from Government Motors.)
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To: varmintman
>"Anybody still actually buy the idea that all of that stuff just sort of happened by stupid chance (evolved)???"

Do you have more faith to believe in The Creator, or Nothing?

Undeniable overwhelming evidence clearly indicates a creation. A creation needs a Creator.

A nothing believes in anti reality reverse entropy.


Since the separation of Church and State is law. Shouldn't the atheistic faith be banned from education also?

11 posted on 06/25/2012 8:43:02 AM PDT by rawcatslyentist ("Behold, I am against you, O arrogant one," Jeremiah 50:31)
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To: fishtank

Evolutionary theory is full of specious “post hoc ergo propter hoc” thinking.

Just because several events follow each other in sequence does not prove causality.
This would be like saying- I played a game of golf and shot 150. If I hadn’t bought those new clubs, I would have shot 160. Or, I ate noodles last night and today I got acne. Noodles must cause acne.

This is how superstitions get started, and evolution is partly a superstition and partly a religion. In the case of evolution, sometimes its adherents must move heaven and earth in terms of how they twist logic, but they will always find a way to explain an evolutionary transition from something that worked long ago to something substantially different that works today.

My favorite phrase in evolutionary journalism is “but they found a better way”. To which I would ask, but it was working then, why change?

While I don’t deny that natural selection is a factor in closed populations over time (like the changes found in birds that inhabit Pacific islands), they are still birds. It is not small changes that happen due to genetic noise and drift over thousands of years that bother me, it is the insistence that evolution is the way in which all species sprung from previous species in an orderly way.

And above all, it is the very strained way that Evolutionists dodge the issue of the origin of life. At some point, logic demands what was not alive became alive. Life itself is the ultimate in the “irreducibly complex”, and evolution cannot explain any irreducible complexity except by leaping through faith, whereupon it becomes a religion.


12 posted on 06/25/2012 8:54:54 AM PDT by theBuckwheat
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To: rawcatslyentist

On the one hand, the issue of “separation of church and state” has been misused and convoluted, but to get to your core point, you’re right—atheism is simply a form of faith.


13 posted on 06/25/2012 8:58:15 AM PDT by reasonisfaith (Why do you seek the living among the dead? (Luke 24:5))
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To: MrB
I always ask: does evolution have a memory ?

why doesn't re-evolving occur ? Why don't we see humans continue to evolve from “slime” or “apes” or “fish” or whatever is the flavor of the day. etc...

Of course I’m given a blank look and a head-shake...but no answer.

14 posted on 06/25/2012 9:08:10 AM PDT by stylin19a (Obama - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance)
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To: theBuckwheat
Just because several events follow each other in sequence does not prove causality.

And even "follows" is an assumption. Of course, one layer on top of another was later, but there is an assumption of uniformity of layer formation that results in the assumption of vast expanses of times between what is found.

Sea life forms found in lower layers does not mean they lived millions/billions of years ealier than those things buried in the upper layers. It just means they were the first buried in the cataclysm.

15 posted on 06/25/2012 9:21:11 AM PDT by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter knows whom he's working for)
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To: MrB

>>
And even “follows” is an assumption. Of course, one layer on top of another was later, ...
<<

Yes, I recall this was shown in the massive flooding of snow and ice melted off of Mount. St. Helens. The “geologic column” was entirely inverted in some cases. Also the massive water flow caused erosion that was entirely out of the model assumed by people who study strata and rates of accretion.


16 posted on 06/25/2012 9:30:53 AM PDT by theBuckwheat
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To: allmendream
“The dice are cast into the lap but every result is from the Lord”

Maybe you should brush up on your theology.


A single verse from the Book of Proverbs does not a theology make.

Bsides, you're missing the point here: Either God needs to constantly intervene in the universe he created OR God is a lot smarter than creationists can imagine and in control of events we perceive as random.


17 posted on 06/25/2012 11:28:38 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: aruanan

Yes, but that single passage casts into ruins the elaborate theology creationists have built up about randomness being the opposite of under the direction of God.

God is in control of random processes.

Currently stars are being created via nuclear fusion and gravity - are those stars not created by God?

The Bible tells me I was created “from dust” and “to dust” I will return. But I was also created through cellular processes involving DNA. Was my creation “from dust” less literal than the creation of Adam “from dust”?


18 posted on 06/25/2012 9:27:14 PM PDT by allmendream (Tea Party did not send GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism)
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To: allmendream
Yes, but that single passage casts into ruins the elaborate theology creationists have built up about randomness being the opposite of under the direction of God.

God is in control of random processes.


First, it appears that you're assuming the passage in question means that what is apparently "luck" to the one casting the dice is not really luck because God has determined the outcome. The verse doesn't necessarily mean that at all, which is why I pointed out that in your original formulation you were missing the point. Such a reading comes from a preexisting assumption of theological determinism. The verse is more likely a contrast between the finite knowledge of man and the comprehensive knowledge of God because a single action, the toss of the dice, not two different actions that only appear to be the same, is being contrasted by two different viewpoints, those of man and of God. Man casts the dice into his lap and takes the result as luck or as something relatively unpredictable by him because of his limited knowledge of the mechanics governing the outcome of the toss. To God, knowing all, there is no result of the toss of the dice (or anything else, for that matter) that comes as a surprise. That doesn't, however, mean that God is fixing the outcome of any particular toss. He just knows the outcome of every toss. "Knowledge of" does not mean "causation of."

Second, the creationists don't have a theology of randomness. That's just a misuse of the word "theology." At least some of those creationists are Calvinists who believe that every motion of every atom throughout every moment of time has been ordained by God before anything was created. Whether they realize it or not, because of their theology, they are, inherently, more thoroughgoing determinists than the most hard-case atheist materialist out there. And even sadder, too, because whereas the materialist would posit an inexplicable human consciousness alone in the universe and possessing an appearance of a moral nature that has no natural antecedent, the Calvinist has to posit an inexplicable experience of free will and a knowledge of good and evil in the context of a universe that allows neither because he and it were created by a god who had determined, before anything came into existence, the exact nature of their being, their limits, and their salvation from or suffering for sins they were predestined to commit and powerless to avoid. The former has a moral nature that doesn't seem to have any real origin even though it feels as though it is free. The latter has a moral nature that comes from God but which is completely determined and, feelings to the contrary, is utterly inflexible. The former at times may feel himself a victim of circumstances, but the latter knows, though he can do nothing about it, that he is a victim by design.

When the creationists critique randomness, they are criticizing the concept of chance and randomness that has been (incorrectly) promoted by some materialists as being the source of variations in chemical processes by which some sort of self-perpetuating order could arise that eventually could result in what we call life and in the many variations of form and function within that life both as it interacts with other life and with a non-living environment.

But the sort of randomness proposed by materialists is incapable of producing such results if for no other reason than that it does not exist--in a material universe where every effect is the product of a preexisting cause and itself is the cause of subsequent effects, there is nothing that is, at least in principle, given sufficient knowledge, unpredictable, contingent, or a matter of luck. "Chance" or "luck" are simply descriptions of human ignorance of cause and effect in matter, but not a real property of matter.

There have been several attempts to get around determinism and all the problems it brings for such things as reason, truth, choice, and moral freedom. One is indeterminacy appealed to through quantum mechanics--everything that we need for randomness to occur and for human reason to have a basis for freedom and true knowledge is happening somewhere way down there at that quantum level of existence, though we can't say exactly how, and we can't determine exactly why forms of matter assembled in some way from quantum particles flicking into and out of existence in an indeterminate fashion should manifest indeterminacy any more than all things made of wood should resemble trees, but it's at least a place that is free from determinism and we need something like that to be able to reason, so it's possible that there is something there that makes it so. It's whistling in the dark.

Another is to say, along with B.F. Skinner, the secular psychological behaviorist version of John Calvin, "Hey, there really is no basis for freedom and human dignity. We're just part of a machine that is inexorably grinding on throughout eternity. Our thoughts, our will, our institutions, are all a product, not of human will, but of preexisting biological effects of preexisting chemical, hormonal, and energy fluxes, causes that are no more or less than the sum of their constituent influences, any "appearance" to the contrary nothing but some kind of inexplicable illusion, like that of consciousness. This is as bleak and as meaningless as Calvin's theological determinism. Its proponents just go ahead and ask for the salt regardless, just as Calvin's proponents go ahead and act as though there is choice and repentance and unconditioned response to God, even though all of that is ruled out ab initio. Both of them live in systems that make everything that is experientially the most important aspects of human existence into meaningless absurdity but go ahead and act as though they do not.

A third way involves saying, "Okay, everything's random but God controls it all." In other words, we have A, complete randomness, and we have B, divine control, either of which should rule out the other, and we'll simply posit that B is in charge of A, even though that means A is not really random. Or we'll posit that A only has the appearance of randomness because of our limited point of view and that B is really working it all behind the scenes, meaning that A is not really random. This is a form of attempting to square the circle or trying to have one's cake and eat it, too or a God of the gaps or the ploy used by theological evolutionists who try to have what they think is the best of both worlds by saying that, yeah, all life evolved through random natural processes but this is just the way God chose to do it, thus pissing off the theological determinists who say there is no such thing as randomness or indeterminacy and pissing off the naturalists who, having finally come up with some way of eliminating the idea of a controlling God toward whom they may have some sort of moral responsibility, are scornful of those who would dilute their materialist determinism with a theological one. They would claim such an idea is only an example of some sort of intellectual one-upsmanship to rescue a failed theological hypothesis by attempting to piggy-back it on a successful naturalist one because, hey, we have nuclear power, iPhones, and can determine the chemical composition of a star on the other side of the universe without ever having to reference, much less acknowledge, the existence of some sort of God.

It could even be manifested by someone like Teilhard de Chardin who claimed that man's spiritual development is controlled by the same natural laws as those controlling the development of natural complexity and the evolution of life and that all of that is proceeding toward a point in the future, is being pulled along and directed by that point in the future, the Omega Point, which is God. So, this avoids the supposed problems of a divine being, separate from the material universe, who created it and either left it alone to function on its own or is constantly interfering with it and messing with natural law--presumably the ongoing left-alone state. It claims that there is a spiritual side of man and that there is mind, but that they are both natural emergent properties of that on-its-own developing reality that will inevitably lead to the emergence of that consciousness which is God who is drawing the development of the material universe from the most basic primordial particles through "natural law" to the point where the entire universe becomes "a living host."

The materialist atheist will still say that such talk is a fantasy that refuses to face the stark reality of existence. They will say it's a happy face put on reality to make less unpalatable to some the fact that we are alone and that the only meaning we have in life is what we arbitrarily assign to it and cause, through our actions, to be manifested in it. They forget, of course, that given the nature of the system, they are just as absurd in claiming this as the Calvinist who said, "We see free will and we see predestination running along in this life parallel like train tracks, never to touch, until we look off into the distance and see them coming together in eternity."
19 posted on 06/26/2012 6:16:53 PM PDT by aruanan
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To: aruanan
God's power doesn't stop at the Casino door.

God in in control of what we perceive to be random events.

The passage doesn't say that every result will be known beforehand by God - it says every result is FROM the Lord. We can get into a fruitless debate about predestination and predetermination if you wish - but it detracts from the essential point that the dichotomy creationists attempt to put up - that if something is observed to be random that this is the opposite of under God's control - is based upon ignorance and, once again God being a lot smarter than creationists are capable of comprehending.

Are the stars currently forming through gravity and nuclear fusion not made by God? Are they less made by God than our own Sun?

The Bible tells me I was made “from dust” and “to dust” I will return. But I was also made through cellular processes involving DNA. Was my creation “from dust” less literal than the creation of Adam “from dust”?

20 posted on 06/27/2012 7:05:46 AM PDT by allmendream (Tea Party did not send GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism)
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To: allmendream
Are the stars currently forming through gravity and nuclear fusion not made by God? Are they less made by God than our own Sun?

Psalm 104 talks about God's relationship to the earth and to living creatures: "When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust. When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth." Sounds like an ongoing relationship. Remember Paul's assertion to the Corinthians about God, and using one of their own poets for corroboration: "In him we live and move and have our being; as also certain of your poets have said. For we are also his offspring." An ongoing relationship. And then there's Paul's letter to the Colossians in which he says, about the relationship of the Son of God to the universe: "He is before all things, and in him all things hold together." Certainly an ongoing thing. And Jesus said, "“My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working.” Another indication of a present tense, ongoing relationship with the world God created.

The Bible tells me I was made “from dust” and “to dust” I will return. But I was also made through cellular processes involving DNA. Was my creation “from dust” less literal than the creation of Adam “from dust”?

Probably. It's a mistake to confuse ongoing operations with those that initiated the operations.

And, again, you're missing the point. You cannot say that God is controlling things through randomness, well, you can say it, but you can't actually be saying anything by it. If God is controlling everything, then whatever else it is, it's no longer random. You could say that God is controlling everything that, to us, appears random. You could say that everything in creation is running on its own unless God somehow intervenes and call that running on its own randomness, though it actually isn't. You could say that if everything has a preexisting cause and has a subsequent effect, then there is no randomness and that God, being the initial cause, is also the cause of all subsequent effects. You could say that there is no God and everything that happens, happens without purpose (though not without cause), and having no purpose makes it random, at least from an emotional standpoint of the observer who thinks he sees that things should go one way but end up going another. But you cannot say, if words are to actually have any meaning, that randomness, as indeterminacy, is being controlled or determined by God.
21 posted on 06/28/2012 4:26:11 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: aruanan
Yes, and what and where and how does God do HIS daily work?

Through miraculous intervention in contradiction of the physical laws of the universe, or in the swaying of small things THROUGH the physical laws of the universe that lead inexorably to the fate God has foretold?

A ‘random’ mutation in a blood clotting gene of Queen Victoria changed history forever. Was God not in control of the ‘random’ events of her creation - when God created her “from dust”?

I think it a mistake to assume that there are, on the one hand, physical laws that God uses to create things, and a miraculous magical “special” creation. So the Bible is just being ‘poetic’ when it describes me as being created “from dust” but absolutely literal when it describes Adam as being created “from dust”; a rather interesting if dubious proposition.

I don't have to say it - the Bible says God is in control of random events. You can go down the theological rabbit hole of predestination vs free will all you want - the Bible clearly states that God is in control of random events - as he MUST be - if God is in control of history and able to know the future.

Random implies indeterminate to who? Certainly not to God.

What was God's role in the creation of my physical body “from dust”? Merely in setting up the initial conditions? My genes are a ‘random’ assortment of my grandparents genes - setting up the initial conditions doesn't really determine what DNA I will posses - God has to also be in control of what we perceive to be indeterminate and random.

“The dice are cast into the lap, but every result is from the Lord”

22 posted on 06/28/2012 6:22:51 AM PDT by allmendream (Tea Party did not send GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism)
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