A Simple Enzyme

4 06 2009

flagellum I was halfway through my second semester in college, heading to an advanced cell biology class, thinking about the F-class ion pump when I suddenly lost my faith in evolution.  All at once, I realized that no argument in favor of blind unintelligent design could ever amount to anything better than a clever twist of reasoning.  My professors had, by their very authority, convinced me that evolution must be true.  Making that mesh with my faith in God was an act of mental acrobatics.  I am convinced that Christians are the best at seeing through the brainwashing because they have the most reason to be suspicious of the world’s ideology.

I remember the exact spot on the walkway where I stopped, had my eureka moment and thought, “It’s just like a three-phase electric motor.”  In retrospect, it’s really like a generator, but as electric generators and electric motors are both essentially the same thing, just that one works in reverse, the same is true for the ion pumps embedded within the membrane of every living cell.  On the one hand, they can burn the chemical energy of ATP to pump ions across the membrane against a gradient, causing a particular ion to have a higher concentration on one side.  On the other hand, they can use a hydrogen ion gradient to make ATP.  They can act as both generator and motor.  Specifically, they act something like a three-phase electric motor, having three sections on the outside that take turns attracting the three segments on the inside, rotating the inner core one-third rotation per step.  The electrical aspect of it is similar, too, except that instead of running on electrons, they can run on protons.  The cell, itself, acts like a battery, storing charge relative to its environment, so that the leakage of protons is used to physically turn the motor.  The motor-like aspect of the ion pump design is even harnessed in bacteria to spin a flagella, making it the propeller that drives the organism through its liquid environment.  It even has some comparable bearing surfaces.  The winding of the peptide chains into the various subunits resembles the winding of the wire in an electric motor.  The coils don’t function in the same way, though.  The peptides are more complex than the wires.

So, what we have here is a machine that looks and acts like an electric motor that was made by intelligent design, except that the biological version is more sophisticated.  And that’s just one enzyme.  It’s not even the most complex enzyme by any means.  Yet, I challenge any fool to look at an electric motor and tell me that it came about by chance.  A person cannot identify a continuum of evolution from rock to motor in which every little perceptible change makes it functionally better, because, until that thing is complex enough to work at all, it is not complex enough to be better off than a rock.

That’s just one enzyme in the simplest of all living things.  One enzyme was enough to convince me that life had intelligent design, and I knew that it was just the tip of the iceberg.  We have enzymes that can cut DNA, unravel it and then reattach it.  Enzymes can cut it, allow another strand to pass through the cut and then reattach it.  Enzymes can copy DNA, use it to make RNA and use the RNA to make protein.  They can compare two sister strands of DNA, looking for disagreement, then determine which of the two was the older strand (and probably the right one), then change the other to match.  They can examine the DNA for errors, decide if it’s too damaged to risk allowing the cell to live (and possibly hurt the rest of the body), start a timer which they must race to fix the DNA, and if they fail at that, they begin a self-destruct sequence to destroy the cell, thereby preventing it from becoming cancerous.  Enzymes do all kinds of amazing things, and they do it at a speed that approaches the theoretical speed limit, according to physical chemistry.  They perform risky delicate procedures with a certain expert deliberateness.

And the teachers feed us this trash that it all came about as a matter of chance, like a landslide that just happens to form a fully-equipped state-of-the-art house…that can reproduce.  I am convinced that no one who has studied the intricacies of cell biology has any excuse for believing in Darwinist origins.

It reminds me of a time in second grade, when I happened to come to class a little late.  It just happened that the teacher had chosen that day to do a little psychology experiment involving long and short lines.  We were to identify the shortest line by a raise of the hand.  While the whole rest of the class was scripted to raise their hands for the second-shortest line, two or three of us were left to choose between the truth and consensus.  I remember when the class picked the wrong line.  I was thrilled to think that I might be the only person in the class who would get it right.  I proudly raised my lone hand.  The other kids that didn’t know about the scheme failed the test.

While it’s easy to say that truth does not depend on consensus, all of those poor saps you meet on the street have largely swallowed everything they were taught in school, and everything that the news media told them that everyone else believes.  It’s a game of follow the leader, without a leader.  Everyone is following everyone else in a circle.  The whole thing is a sham.  Evolution is taught as the scientific truth.  Never mind the obvious design of life.  It’s what every sensible person believes, blah, blah, scientific, blah, blah.

What if everyone who shared your views on God and life started to turn away from them to accept something that you knew was false?  Would it seem like the end of the world?  What if you were the only one left who believed?  The truth is the truth no matter who believes it, even if no one believes it.  The day may come when you are the only one you know who believes.  The truth is worth fighting for at all costs.  Live tenaciously.  Better to be the only soul who follows the truth, than to follow a lie and live comfortably for a time.

Truth is sweet in your mouth, but it sours your stomach.  Better to eat it anyway.

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