Third Factor: Usable Energy
The cell needs usable energy to perform its
functions, such as manufacturing proteins, assembling organelles, and performing
cell division. Therefore, in order for the cell to have evolved by chance, the
process of making usable energy had to be present. But the conversion of raw
energy into usable energy is so complex that it is unfathomable that it
developed by chance.
Clearly the Sun, chemicals or thermal vents could
provide raw energy, but the energy would need to be stored and converted to a
usable form. Similarly, a calculator can run from the Sunís energy, but it has
to be captured by a specially designed solar cell and converted into a form of
energy the calculator can use.
Energy by itself is useless for running
machines, organic or inorganic.
One could pour gasoline on the calculator and set
it on fire--thereís plenty of energy--but itís not usable energy. So it is
with the living cell. It, too, needs energy that is specially converted so the
cell can use it. Could chance and time in early Earth have developed usable
energy spontaneously? As stated earlier, since life had not yet arisen and
reproduced, there would be no mutations or natural selection to help produce
Suppose the first bacteria was something like
cyanobacteria, which obtains its energy from photosynthesis. In the
Online Biology Book, M. J. Farabee describes photosynthesis:
"Living systems cannot directly utilize
light energy, but can, through a complicated series of reactions,
convert it into C-C bond energy that can be released by glycolysis and other
metabolic processes."11 [Emphasis added.]
Photosynthesis is a complicated series of
reactions that uses water and carbon dioxide to make sugars. This is followed by
glycolysis, which is another complicated series of reactions that takes that
sugar and converts it, through ten steps, to usable energy.
Fourth Factor: DNA, RNA and Proteins
DNA, RNA and proteins cannot do their jobs
without the help of at least one of the other two. DNA is a library of detailed
information for the various structures within the cell. It has the information
for the manufacture of each protein. RNA is a copy of instructions from the DNA
and is sent as a messenger to the ribosome for making proteins. There are two
types of proteins; functional proteins such, as enzymes, and structural
proteins, which compose the organelles. (See the diagram on the following page
for an explanation of how these three elements are interdependent.)
The Interdependent Nature of Proteins, DNA & RNA
DNA, RNA and proteins work this way:
1) Replication--DNA duplication requires enzymes
2) Transcription--RNA needs the DNA instructions
for assembling proteins.
3) Translation--the manufacture of proteins requires RNA for
instructions and a supply of amino acids; it requires the ribosome (structural
protein) to follow the instructions.
Living cells need all three molecules at
the same time. The chance, simultaneous appearance of the three
distinct, interdependent complex systems is just not possible. Therefore,
prokaryote cells, no matter how simple, are still far more complex than could
ever be accounted for from a materialistic view.
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