Implications of God and the Energy Creation for All Cellular Life

The place emergent complexity started isn’t in Krebs, subject to the other main fallacy, that of incredulity; Krebs didn’t emerge fully elaborated like Athena from the head of Zeus. Nick Lane has made a superb start on demonstrating, on the shoulders of giants, the way nature continuously arrived in the same way. As you know.

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Except that it isn’t.

There are two possible antecedents for your “it” – please articulate.

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Thanks Dale. In fact, the ability to produce energy must occur “pre-evolution” in order for evolution to occur. So by definition abiogenesis is exactly as you say it is. We cannot yet determine the exact “cycle” then, but it appears that the molecular necessities were very similar to what is now the ETC and ATP synthase.

Who would not believe that something must occur at the very beginning? Life forms then evolves. The point to be made was apparently missed by her. It is that there was much complexity happening during ‘origins’ that preceded evolution, thus very possibly was designed and/or created by God. Many scientists are moving in that direction. Who knows, maybe they might even adopt some of our more conventional thoughts later on.

Which? Why? What, when was the very beginning?

It might help to study chemistry first.

I did a lot of chemistry before taking biology. And the Krebs cycle made sense to me the first time I read it. though perhaps it was simpler then… As I remember it from 35 years ago, it started with glucose and showed how energy was extracted from this.


The belief is more about other aspects of life… such as whether you see life as a gift… and whether you can find a role for God to play in how we live our lives.

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The krebs cycle isn’t even necessary for life.

And visa versa…

life isn’t necessary for the krebs cycle.

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And plants usually get energy from sunlight, via photosynthesis, which doesn’t use the krebs cycle.

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Well apparently you don’t know biology. . There are plenty of free resources around, if you are interested.

There are excellent reasons to believe in God. But they don’t include the stuff you mention. .

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Yeah that’s what I thought at first, but it turns out that many plants (especially multicellular plants) do use the krebs cycle. The hunt for an organism which doesn’t use the krebs cycle is a bit more difficult than that. Cyanobacteria is a good guess. They are said to have an incomplete TCA cycle.

These fallacies are all part of apologetic: God’s existence can be rationally proposed therefore don’t try and explain complexity.

ATP synthase evolution over a hundred million years is no gap. There is no gap in it, nothing at the beginning in the temperate iron - you know, the stuff at the heart of ATP synthase - bearing olivine alkaline thermal vents doing (electro-)chemistry.

It does not matter that in just 70 years we haven’t formulated what nature did over seven million times longer in labs the length of oceans. It doesn’t matter that we never do. Nature did. Nature does complexity from the get go. Always has. How does God explain that? Make that ‘simpler’? Explain anything? Nature has always existed, God or no. Nature got as far as RNA world but that ‘cannot adequately account for the emergence of an efficient RNA replicase or the translation system’. So God-did-it. Uh huh. When I see Nick Lane say that, that will give me pause for thought.

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Ditto with the bacterial flagellum and the blood clotting cascade (the examples put forth by the ID community as irreducibly complex)


Thanks Mitchell. What you say is true of course. I note that the mistaken statement by someone (quoted below) misunderstands the relationship of the Calvin cycle and photosynthesis in plants with the need for cellular respiration and production of energy also in plants.

That statement is of course categorically false. Plants use the TCA (aka Krebs cycle) just as every other living cell. Photosynthesis is the plants method of creating glucose. Plants carry out both photosynthesis and cellular respiration. They make their own food (glucose), then break those molecules later generating ATP to power their cellular processes.

Yep. What bits did God need to do?

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Actually it’s not.

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My goodness! I thought that referring to interlocutors in the third person wasn’t allowed.

It’s better than pretending they don’t exist and going la-la-la with their fingers in their eyes.

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Hi Klax,
We are both great fans of Nick Lane. I’m including a quote below. Everyone should read at least his “The Vital Question”. Even Nick Lane admits to the marvelous nanoengineering of the “highest order” involved, and that many see that as God’s hand. He of course does not see that, having already dismissed that possibility. I wonder at what point scientific thought/method began to eliminate one obvious possibility (intelligent design) of an hypothesis at the outset? I’m certain that you would agree that all possibilities should be on the table, even as we also both agree that an operating hypothesis could assert a “no God, only science” in order to at least give proof a chance.

I’ll quote from 'Vital Question", emphasis is mine:
“We still don’t know exactly how it works – how each proton binds on to the C-ring within the membrane, how electrostatic interactions spin this ring in one direction only, how the spinning ring twists the crank shaft, forcing conformational changes in the catalytic head, how the clefts that open and close in this head clasp ADP and Pi and force them together in mechanical union, to press a new ATP. This is precision nanoengineering of the highest order, a magical device, and the more we learn about it the more marvelous it becomes. Some see in it proof for the existence of God. I don’t. I see the wonder of natural selection. But it is undoubtedly a wondrous machine.”

Many have missed my point about Krebs. It is NOT the chemical cycle of oxaloacetate/pyruvate that is amazing at all. I’m referencing the profoundly mystifying electron transport system embedded in the membrane to shuttle them from molecule to molecule (Complexes I-IV) before reaching the ATP synthase (Complex V). And V is actually made up of (by memory here) 3 units of one protein, surrounded by 4 of another, all stabilizing a spinning additional protein. And all of this seems to have been present so early in the Origins that the mechanisms of evolution we take for granted might not yet have evolved…so it was in place WAY EARLY. So that is why, to me, God’s hand seems to be (perhaps) present.

BTW, I have pre-ordered his next book, Transformer: The Deep Chemistry of Life and Death. It should be out soon (I hope). I’ll quote from what is to be addressed in it:

"In Transformer, Nick Lane captures a scientific renaissance that is hiding in plain sight. At its core is a cycle of reactions that transforms inorganic molecules into the building blocks of life, and the reverse - the iconic Krebs cycle that sits at the heart of metabolism. This conflicted merry-go-round of energy and matter has long taunted true understanding. Nick Lane is in the vanguard of scientists now tracing its ramifications across the tree of life.

To grasp the Krebs cycle is to fathom the deep coherence of biology. It connects the first photosynthetic bacteria with our own peculiar cells. It links the emergence of consciousness with the inevitability of death. And it puts the subtle differences between individuals in the same grand story as the rise of the living world itself."

Yo Bucky. Your paraphrase uses many for Nick’s some. Which many? No biologist this side of the pond does. That’s rhetorical of course. So, at what point did God have to show His hand? Where does abiogenesis end and biogenesis begin? ATP synthase is in LUCA’s biogenic lineage obviously. More rhetoric if you like. Like almost everyone over here he doesn’t dismiss the possibility of God’s hand. It never, ever arises. ID began to collapse with Galileo. It wasn’t a possibility before him. It was a pre-modern given. I certainly agree that all possibilities for explaining ATP synthase and the rest of eternal nature should be on the table. I’m not aware of any that aren’t apart from matters, gaps, of detail. ID is not a possibility, it is rightly excluded from the table. As we have no where near eliminated, exhausted, natural explanations for any aspect of eternal nature whatsoever, why would we want to include unnatural ones?

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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