Design Principles Confer Optimal Light Harvesting in Plants | The Institute for Creation Research
Design Principles Confer Optimal Light Harvesting in Plants
Photosynthesis in plants starts with the absorption of light energy from sunlight, but scientists have been baffled as to how plants utilize the noisy solar spectrum to power the photosynthetic process. By applying engineering principles used to construct wireless antennae reception and energy transfer in human-designed systems, scientists uncovered an ingenious system of design for light harvesting in plants.1

Photosynthesis is a highly complex process in plants that produces carbohydrates from water, carbon dioxide, and sunlight using a light-to-electron energy conversion process that operates at near-perfect levels of quantum efficiency. The light energy harvesting process to fuel this amazing system starts with the absorption of sunlight. In the machinery of the plant cell, the light-based energy is rapidly transferred from a specialized antenna network to a reaction center, where a charge transfer process converts photon-based light energy into electrochemical energy.

One of the primary engineering design challenges for such a system is that light occurs in a broad spectrum of wavelengths and must interact with rapidly fluctuating molecular structures in the plant cell along with highly intricate energy transfer pathways. This produces a delicate interplay of physics-based quantum effects with many complex design hurdles. In other words, sunlight would be considered an exceptionally noisy energy input that must be accurately and precisely filtered or system failure would be inevitable.

In this new study, scientists cast their unproductive evolutionary mindsets aside and borrowed ideas from human engineering of complex networks, a field of study that seeks to develop efficient operations in cellphone networks and the power grid.1 Their design-based model applied to photosynthesis revealed an efficient cellular system that is able to extract and input light of two different color spectra, yet output a consistently steady rate of solar power. This highly unusual (to human minds) choice of two distinct spectral inputs has remarkable consequences towards the efficiency of photosynthesis.

Nathaniel M. Gabor, a physicist from the University of California, Riverside, was the lead investigator on the project and said,

Our model shows that by absorbing only very specific colors of light, photosynthetic organisms may automatically protect themselves against sudden changes—or 'noise'—in solar energy, resulting in remarkably efficient power conversion.2

Noting the efficiency and elegance of the photosynthetic design plan, Gabor’s thoughts immediately turned to exploiting the discovery for man-made applications and said, "Our study shows how, by choosing where you absorb solar energy in relation to the incident solar spectrum, you can minimize the noise on the output—information that can be used to enhance the performance of solar cells."

This new study not only highlights the amazing engineering of God’s creative handiwork, but also shows how abandoning the failed assumptions of evolutionary myth where somehow complex systems evolve by random processes for a design-based approach to studying life is incredibly fruitful for research.

References
1. Arp, T. B. et al. 2020. Quieting a noisy antenna reproduces photosynthetic light-harvesting spectra. Science. 368 (6498).
2. Pittalwala, I. Why Are Plants Green? ScienceDaily. Posted on sciencedaily.com June 25, 2020, accessed June 30, 2020.

*Dr. Tomkins is Director of Research at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his doctorate in genetics from Clemson University.
The Latest
NEWS
Designed Deep-sea Vertebrates
Creationists marvel that God has designed creatures both small and big to inhabit a variety of punishing habitats. These examples include the bacteria...

CREATION.LIVE PODCAST
Beauty for Beauty's Sake! | Creation.Live Podcast: Episode 17
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right? Or is beauty an objective standard? Where do our ideas of beauty even come from?   Hosts...

NEWS
Fire Sensory Capabilities of the Venus Flytrap
Fascinating discoveries have been made regarding the amazing Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula).1 For example, all parts of this amazing plant...

CREATION PODCAST
What Really Swallowed Jonah? | The Creation Podcast: Episode...
The book of Jonah contains the historical account of the prophet Jonah. In verse 17 of chapter 1, the text states that the Lord prepared a great...

NEWS
More Flood Evidence
Paleontologists recently discovered the partial fossils of two new species of dinosaur just outside of Casablanca. As stated in a Science Direct article,...

NEWS
New York Times Editorial: Big Bang Unraveling?
Two physicists have suggested in a recent New York Times guest editorial that Big Bang cosmology ‘may be starting to unravel.’1...

NEWS
Your Functional ''Yolk Sac''
For decades, evolutionists pointed to dozens of ‘useless artifacts’ of the human body to make their questionable case for evolution. But...

NEWS
The Beauty of Creation: Created for God’s Own Glory
Have you ever wondered why a sunset on a beach is captivating, snowcapped mountains are breathtaking, and a valley filled with wildflowers is enchanting? Scripture,...

CREATION PODCAST
Devastating, Dangerous, and Deadly Bacteria? | The Creation Podcast:...
Bacteria are everywhere! While we can't see them with the naked eye, these little critters are everywhere, even in and on your body! Some of...

NEWS
Pre-Flood Reptile Fossil Discovered With Baleen
Baleen whales (suborder Mysticeti) are amazing filter-feeding mammals of the sea. They belong to a group called the Cetacea. Evolutionists suggest they...