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Richard Dawkins What if you are Wrong?

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A Built on Rock Website Molecular Motors

ATP synthesis has two rotary motors, each one powered by a different fuel. Why have two motors connected together? The purpose is that one of these motors forces the other to revolve, and this motion changes the motor into a generator. This is what happens in our cells: the one motor uses the power from a proton gradient to force the other motor to generate ATP.


In our cells food is broken down and used to pump hydrogen ions across the mitochondrial membrane. The process produces the energy which enables all life to interact with their varied environments: from plants to bacteria from butterflies to us humans.


Below are two examples of molecular motors. On the left is the bacterial flagellum, which is like an outboard motor, and on the right is ATP synthase. This astonishing motor come generator had to be in existence, even before the first proto-cell or bacterial cell arose on earth


The synthesis of ATP is carried out by a highly complex molecular machine known as ATP synthase…It sits in the inner membranes of the organelle, where it uses the transmembrane proton motive force (pmf) generated by the oxidation of nutrients as a source of energy for making ATP. The pmf across the inner membrane of the organelle is coupled to the chemical synthesis of ATP from ADP and phosphate by a rotary mechanism…During ATP synthesis, the central rotor turns 150 times every second. In order to provide energy to sustain our lives, every day, each one us produces a quantity of ATP by this mechanism that is approximately equal to our body weights.’


From the website: ATP synthase / Mitochondrial Biology Unit www.mrc-mbu.cam.ac.uk / Faculty and Topics


The following is from the Daily Telegraph: Science / The Big Idea by Roger Highfield


‘Researchers ‘are experimenting on making nano-machines…’ They ‘unveiled the first device about 2 nanometres (2 billionths of a metre) long and 1 nanometre tall…They have fabricated nano-genes and have experimented with single molecule genes mounted on a single atom…They hope to create more complex devices…another issue is how to power nano-machines. Professor Hla’s team has constructed a motor cooled to near absolute zero which is driven by electrons squirted from the tip of a microscope. Yet intriguingly, your body is full of similar machines…’


Those machines are the one described above: ATP Synthase. The motor the scientists are attempting to build is an example of applied intelligent design. And they are doing this with the purposeful object of attempting to imitate one of nature’s tiniest constructs. The molecular motors that power our bodies operate with near optimum efficiency, using clean, cold energy are far in advance of anything produced by mankind. Cutting edge science is now just beginning the journey towards the edges of the kinds of extreme technology that are present throughout nature, and which have been there since the beginning of life on earth. Dawkins will admit that these motors have the appearance of design; he just cannot accept that they are the product of design. And yet for elegance, complexity and efficiency they easily surpass anything the most intelligent designers on earth can accomplish.


ATP synthase is situated at rock bottom in the origin of life stakes. Nothing organic can operate without this process. But by any definition, it is not a simple unit. And Yet Richard Dawkins states the following in his book: The Greatest Show on Earth.


‘The opposite of simple is statistically improbable. Statistically improbable things don’t spontaneously spring into existence…The beginning had to be simple, and evolution by natural selection is still the only process whereby simple beginnings can give rise to complex results.’


I challenge Richard Dawkins to state that this amazing molecular motor is anything less than statistically improbable in terms of coming into existence spontaneously; and I would just love to see him suggest to a molecular biologist that ATP synthase, which must have preceded any Darwinian process, is in any sense simple. Here is a simple question. If ATP is not simple and if it existed before evolution via natural selection could even begin its operations, then how did it come into existence?


Image reproduced with permission from Clifford Anthony Paiva BSM Research Associates