Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Hidden Face of God

I recently finished reading The Hidden Face of God by Gerald Schroeder who received his Ph.D. from MIT. Reports are that Dr. Schroeder has even convinced the world-renowned atheist philosopher, Anthony Flew to change his mind about atheism. Even if you don’t understand the science below, you will understand the point at the end. Schroeder writes:
When a specific protein is needed by a cell, a chemical messenger is sent from the outer cell, through a pore in the nuclear membrane, into the nucleus. How the messenger knows to go to the nucleus remains a mystery. This messenger finds the needed chromosome (one of the twenty-three pairs), locks onto that chromosome, and moves along, nucleotide by nucleotide, until it comes to the
specific sequence of bases that marks the beginning of the gene that codes for
the desired protein.

At this stage, the signaling molecule changes shape, and in doing so allows—or causes—and enzyme called DNA-dependent RNA polymerase (I’ll call it RNA-P) to join the action.

The RNA-P opens the helix, reads each nucleotide base, selects the correct complementary base from among the four types floating in the intracellular slurry, concurrently selects…the molecules that make up the spine of the lengthening strand of mRNA being manufactured, trailing behind the RNA-P, joins the just-selected base to the spine, takes the portion of DNA that has just been read and reseals it to
the parallel DNA strand which it was separated, opens the portion of DNA to be
read next, reads it, and continues the juggling act til it reaches a coded stop
order…And RNA-P does this manufacturing at fifty bases a second…Keep in mind,
this entire sequence is performed by molecules reading molecules, molecules
selecting molecules, molecules walking along with other molecules. Don’t project
too much brain power or body power into this system. It’s not little people in
there. It’s simply molecules that somehow seem to act like little knowledgeable
people, as if they had a wisdom of their own. Which they do (192-199).

This is only one small part of a much more complicated process that
takes place in what was once called the “simple cell.” At one time scientists
used to imagine that, given enough time (billions of years) simple cells could
evolve by themselves purely by chance or natural selection. The kicker here is
that “it all developed so very rapidly, almost simultaneously with the
appearance of liquid water on earth. We have absolutely phenomenal complexity,
not after billions of years of evolution, but at the very beginning of the
entire process (193-194)!
Of course all of this doesn’t necessarily “prove” there is a God but it certainly takes an incredible amount of faith to believe that it all happened by chance, natural selection, or random mutations. Personally, I don’t have that much faith.