Tuesday, October 18, 2005

You need the whole lot!

Bill Dembski happened to blog on this subject today with some more interesting background to this subject and how it should make Emperor Darwin blush here.

The most striking example of irreducible complexity is life itself. A multitude of overlapping webs of intricate complexity yet showing an abundance of interdependent systems all of which are essential before even the simplest cell can be said to be truly alive. What a wonderful thing life is!

I used to possess a wall chart of the basic biochemical pathways in cells. In the good old days it used to be sent free by a pharmaceutical company... Boehringer Mannheim.
Now it has been put up on the web. It is not as good as having a copy of it on the wall however!
Here is a tiny piece of the poster:

The web version is

You can click on any of the squares on the web version to see a larger version of that part of the whole picture.

The whole diagram represents the biochemical reactions that happen inside each living cell (some reactions only happen in plants [coloured green], some only in bacteria etc- but the majority is common to all living cells)
Each of the arrows represents a specific enzyme catalysed reaction. Each of the enzymes is a complex molecule made up of hundreds of amino acids put together according to a specific blueprint coded by DNA.

A model of a single enzyme:

In many of these pathways each of the enzymes is essential for the cell to remain alive.

The whole pathway cannot be replaced by a single big super-enzyme, the pathway is needed or you are dead and each of the enzymes in the pathway are complex structures all of which are needed in many cases to provide a useful function.

What further complicates the situation is that the whole complex web is full of elaborate control systems as well... but that is another story!

It literally shouts brilliant design all over. You have to be very deaf indeed not to hear it. A child can hear it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can goto the site referenced by Dembski and email them for a free copy of the wall poster. I did, and was impressed by the response.

7:08 pm  

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