God Is Right-Handed

11 12 2008

The arguments in favor of intelligent design are ubiquitous.  Every aspect of life seems to bear some manner of function and purpose, such that one need only describe some aspect of biology, cell biology or molecular biology to find function and purpose.  The strongest arguments, though, are the ones that have yet to be uncovered.  It’s like turning over a new rock and finding a whole new load of worms squirming about.  The opposition has yet to invent some manner of rationalization to kill it.  The new idea is fresh and appeals to the mind in all of its heuristic honesty, free from bias.  Even the Darwinist has to stop and think about it for what it really is, before closing his eyes and turning away.  I have been to that critical point on occasion, where the staunch evolutionist admits that I must be right, that there must be a God, that life has design.  I have waited with bated breath for the converted to thank me for convincing him of it, but the next day the Darwinist is always still a Darwinist.  Nothing changes.  No amount of reasoning can change the human heart.  I write, then, to those not already married to evolution, that they may be better equipped to withstand the mind-bending pressures of public education.


There is a certain aspect to stereochemistry that I would like to address.  In a nutshell, it is the simple fact that a living thing can do something that no test tube ever could, which is to produce a quantity of a certain molecule without producing its mirror image.  For the uninitiated, many molecules are complex enough that their mirror images are not identical.  All of the atoms may be arranged in the same order, but the over-all structures of the molecule and its mirror image simply are not interchangeable.  The classic analogy is the human hand.  The right and left hands are built exactly the same, in theory, with all of the fingers in the same order, from pinky to thumb.  Internally, even, the tendons and bones and everything else are arranged in the exact same order.  However, the right hand and the left hand are not a match.  If your right hand were on your left wrist, people might notice pretty quickly.  The same principle applies in chemistry.  You could draw a diagram showing which atom was connected to which in a large molecule, but if it were a simple two-dimensional drawing, then you would not know which mirror image the arrangement represented.  Put your hand on a piece of paper and trace the outline with a pencil.  Is it your left hand facing palm-downward, or is it your right hand facing palm-upward?  According to the trace, it could be either.


The importance of the exact shape of molecules is all-important in a living thing.  The mirror image of a chemical that causes the body to react one way does not have the same effect.  Sucralose (Splenda) is a perfect example.  This is a mirror image of common table sugar, also known as sucrose.  However, even though in a test tube the two behave identically, in the human body one is a source of energy and the other is nothing but filler for the toilet.  Natural sugar is made without its mirror image, within the cells of living things, but artificial sugar is made with equal amounts of its mirror image in a test tube.  There is no control over mirror images when simply adding two ingredients together and letting them react to become a final product.  Only the enzymes of living things can do that.  This is important to remember, because the naturalists would have us believe that life emerged from primordial ooze, which is essentially nothing better than tar in a test tube.


The next thing one might wonder is how manufacturers of Splenda ever manage to separate one mirror image from another, as it is their intent to sell only the unusable sugar and not its mirror image.  The answer is simply that they use other substances that are, themselves, already purified for one mirror image and not another.  These substances are readily found in living organisms, already pure.  Such molecules, being of only one type, will bind more strongly to one mirror image of the sugar and not the other.  If one allows a solution of both sugars to diffuse slowly through a tube packed with the already-pure substrate, then the first thing to emerge from the other end will be one sugar without its mirror image.  The one that takes the longest to get through the tube is the one that sticks to the substrate the best, because it happens to be shaped in such a way that it lines up favorably with the resident compound.  Let’s say that they spent some special moments spooning.  The one that went through faster just couldn’t get comfortable, couldn’t be convinced to face the right way, wouldn’t hold hands, so it couldn’t be bothered.  The important thing about it is this: it always, always, always takes a chemical that is pure for only one mirror image to make another chemical that is pure for only one mirror image.  There simply can be no other way.  This is such a strong principle that it would be inconceivable that anything that emerged on its own from a mixture of basic compounds could be stereochemically pure.  It’s a case of the chicken and the egg and which came first.  You can’t get a chicken without an egg, and you can’t get an egg without a chicken.  You can’t get one chemical purified of its mirror image without using another chemical that was already purified of its mirror image, and so on.  Consequently, in a world that began in chaos, there could be no mechanism for beginning the process.  There would be no first stereochemically pure compound.


The body can make compounds of only one mirror image because it is made entirely of compounds of only one mirror image.  Enzymes are sophisticated little machines and can direct reactions in very specific ways.  In theory, if life could come about on its own, then scientists should have no trouble constructing a novel human being using only compounds that were mirror images of those found in nature.  They could even cheat and copy the existing model.  Assuming they did, it would die of starvation unless they created something similar for it to eat.  The same has been said of matter.  In theory, an atom could be formed with a negative nucleus with a positron in orbit, rather than an electron.  It would be the exact opposite of real matter.  They have, in fact, tried to create one, and the results are somewhat uncertain.  Even so, it begs the question as to why the universe, if it formed from a Big Bang, would only have one type of matter and not its equal opposite.  In a system created by chaos, both versions should be equally prevalent, if they exist at all.


There’s a fascinating principle of stereochemistry, though, that polarized light, when it passes through a stereochemically pure compound will rotate to the right or left a few degrees.  Hence, we call these compounds right-handed or left-handed.  Table sugar is right-handed.  Splenda is left-handed.  It would be enough to say that in your body every molecule exists without any corresponding mirror image.  That, alone, would be a case against a naturalistic origin of life.  It doesn’t stop there, though.  The vast majority of them are right-handed.  One might argue that all amino acids are the same because they have a similar evolutionary origin (though it would be mental acrobatics trying to understand how early life could exist with only the “original” amino acid), but there is no rational explanation for why other compounds that have no similarity at all would also be right-handed.  In theory, if we found a way to have only stereochemically pure compounds using an unintelligent system, there would still be no reason for having only right-handed ones.  There should be equal amounts of both.  There isn’t even any apparent functional reason for there to be primarily right-handed ones, because a right-handed sugar molecule has nothing in common with a right-handed amino acid, apart from the fact that they both rotate polarized light in the same way.  While it is true that there are some exceptions to the rule, arising, probably, from the need for function over form, the over-all affect is similar to what it might be if we had found out that the continents of the earth were shaped like human faces.  There’s more order than necessary.  I have argued in a previous post that the Big Bang theory requires perfectly-matched evidence for it to be true, but that the universe provides anything but a perfect match.  In this case, naturalistic origin for life requires everything to be as disorderly as possible for it to not have an intelligent origin, but here we see order, even when it does not need to exist.  It’s as though God left a signature on his artwork.  He made life, and then he decided to do it with primarily right-handed molecules, just to prove that it was his work.


If he signed his art, then we might say that he signed it with his right hand.  Don’t tell the Darwinists.  They wouldn’t understand.





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