Fazale Rana (Ph.D. in chemistry), vice president of research and apologetics at Reasons To Believe, has written a new book, The Cell's Design: How Chemistry Reveals the Creator's Artistry, that attempts to show that cellular biochemistry points to the existence of the Creator who designed it. Whereas most intelligent design books attempt to show the existence of design by demonstrating the existence of irreducible complexity, Dr. Rana examines the cell's biochemistry with broad strokes of how everything works together with such marvelous fidelity. So, even if a single piece or line of evidence might be dismissed as a statistical outlier, the weight of evidence makes a powerful case for design by a Creator. Each chapter begins with an analogy from the art world that relates to the topic at hand. Apparently, Dr. Rana is quite an art enthusiast.
One of my favorite sections was the discussion of how proteins are made within a cell. A large amount of the cell's molecular systems are involved in the process by which DNA is transcribed into RNA then translated into proteins. The process is like a beautifully choreographed symphony in which all the instruments come together to produce a sound that seems to be more than just the addition of the individual pieces. The protein manufacturing process is amazing in its own right. However, the quality control systems that operate at each step of the process ensure that the fidelity of the copies remain high without slowing down the process. However, just manufacturing proteins is not the end of the process. Many of these proteins undergo post-translational modifications, such as formation of disulfide bonds (one aspect of the protein folding process), folding of proteins into specific three-dimensional structures, addition of carbohydrate moieties, cleavage of the protein chain, and assembly into protein complexes. For most proteins, the linear structure of the protein does not define its three dimensional structure sufficiently so that it will fold properly on its own. Accessory molecules are required to ensure that the protein folds properly so that it will function as designed. How these systems co-evolved along with the proteins themselves is quite a mystery for evolutionists.
Although The Cell's Design does not emphasize irreducible complexity as evidence for biological design, Dr. Rana does not shy away from criticisms that have been leveled at some of Michael Behe's original claims. For example, evolutionists have speculated that the complex molecular machinery of the flagellum were conscripted from previously existing biochemical systems that were originally evolved for other processes. However, these explanations are highly speculative and provide no evidence that the proposed agents evolved before the appearance of the flagellum (or afterward, which would completely destroy the argument). In addition, such explanations do not take into account how flagella in bacteria and archaea appear to have emerged independently.
The Cell's Design is a comprehensive examination of the biochemistry of the cell from a layman's perspective. Even so, the text does not gloss over the significant details of how the cell works. I recommend that readers have a least some college or at least are well read, since the text is detail-rich by necessity. Scientists will enjoy and understand the book best, so you might consider giving the book to some of your scientist friends. As a scientist myself, I see the design within the cell as much more beautiful than even the most wonderful sunset. The cell's design certainly does reveal the artistry of the Creator.
- The Cell's Design Website
- The Cell's Design Chapter 10 - Total Quality
- Book Review: Creating Life in the Lab: How New discoveries in Synthetic Biology Make a Case for the Creator
- Design in DNA: Dual Coding Found in Nearly All Genes
Creating Life in the Lab
Welcome to the "Creating Life in the Lab" virtual book tour. Keep up with the news on my latest book via radio interviews, informative book reviews, speaking tour updates, and more.
- 05/03/2011 04:36 PM
Recap of Virginia and DC trip
The beginning of April found me traveling for more of the Creating Life in the Lab book tour. Some highlights include: Speaking at Georgetown School of Medicine, John Hopkins University, and University of Maryland about Creating Life in the Lab An afternoon spent at the Christian Broadcasting Network headquarters in Virginia Beach to video tape […]
- 04/27/2011 06:38 PM
Three Days Left!
It’s important that I remind you that there’s only three days left to guarantee your cabin on RTB’s Alaska Cruise Conference this summer, July 30–August 6. The theme of our cruise is Future Faith Challenges. I’ll be speaking about Common Descent or Common Design? and, in a breakout session, on Creating Life in the Lab. […]
- 03/30/2011 04:25 PM
The Blueprint for an Artificial Cell
It isn’t such a good idea to try to build a house without a set of blueprints to guide the construction. The same goes for building cells. That’s why a team of synthetic biologists from Rockefeller University recently published the blueprint for the artificial cell project, a research program aiming to design a synthetic cell […]
- 03/23/2011 12:57 PM
Speaking Tour Recap
March 15: Had a great time in Winnipeg taping programs for It’s a New Day. They will air, I am told, in the fall (I’ll keep you posted on that). We taped four programs, two on The Cell’s Design and two on Creating Life in the Lab. Here are some shots of me on the […]
- 03/14/2011 11:37 AM
Review by Dr. Jay L. Wile
Nuclear chemist Dr. Jay L. Wile posted a thorough review of Creating Life in the Lab on his blog, Proslogion (named for a work by Anselm of Canterbury; its English title is Discourse on the Existence of God).
- 03/10/2011 05:16 PM
Headed to Winnipeg
Headed to Winnipeg, Manitoba, to tape television interviews with It’s A New Day. We’ll be discussing Creating Life in the Lab and The Cell’s Design. (I’ll post the air dates later this spring.) And then it’s off to Illinois for a speaking tour.
- 03/09/2011 11:20 AM
Interview on The Line of Fire
Yesterday I talked about Creating Life in the Lab with Dr. Michael Brown on The Line of Fire. Listen to the interview at lineoffireradio.com.
- 03/07/2011 06:26 PM
Two-Hour Interview with Greg Koukl
Had a great time discussing Creating Life in the Lab with apologist Greg Koukl during the last two hours on the Stand to Reason podcast. Listen to the interview here.
audio/mpeg (39.5 MBytes)
- 03/02/2011 12:37 PM
Automated Synthesis of Sugars Sweetens the Case for Intelligent Design
When it comes to sugars, most people want to find ways to break them down. But there are a few scientists who want to figure out ways to put these compounds together. Recently, researchers took this desire to the extreme by devising machines that synthesize sugars.1 The work represents an important milestone for scientists studying […]
- 02/25/2011 01:45 PM
Upcoming Speaking Tour in Illinois
I’ll be speaking on Creating Life in the Lab at these events in March. March 16: Deerfield, IL, Trinity International University* March 17: Wheaton, IL, Wheaton College* March 18: South Barrington, IL, Willow Creek Community Church For event details, visit reasons.org/events. *These events are not sponsored by Trinity International University or Wheaton College.
Last Modified May 28, 2008