Metabolic Pathways to God | The Institute for Creation Research

Metabolic Pathways to God

We read in Genesis 1 how God created the universe and everything in it—from people, animals, and plants to planets and stars. Life is incredibly complex, having been created that way “in the beginning.” Indeed, there is no such thing as “simple” life.1

Metabolic Pathways

God created the majority of life forms as cellular organisms—from single-cell protozoa to huge multicellular creatures such as blue whales. Even bacteria and plants are cellular in nature, despite the unique construction of their cell walls.

In biochemistry, a metabolic pathway is a linked series of chemical reactions occurring within a cell that leads to the formation of one or more functional products. Metabolic pathways are the means living entities use to convert, via enzymes (proteins), one compound into another. Such pathways are found in all living creatures.

A molecule that starts a chemical pathway inside a cell is called a substrate, a substance on which an enzyme acts. Enzymes are also called biological catalysts and are designed to make biochemical reactions proceed with incredible speed. When an enzyme connects with a substrate (reactant molecule), the substrate breaks into two product molecules (products) while the enzyme remains unchanged and immediately connects with another substrate. These reactions occur in a fraction of a second.

In each moment of cell life billions of substrates are transformed into billions of products by billions of enzyme molecules. These reactions are extremely fast, and we can imagine the cell as a viscous environment where these reactions occur in an ordered (and only apparently chaotic) fashion. The whole body of these reactions is called metabolism.2

Cellular pathways begin outside the cell when a ligand (or first messenger) encounters a specific protein detector (or receptor) that is suspended in the plasma (or cell) membrane. A large family of these detectors is called G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs).3 These GPCRs are designed to detect specific biomolecules (ligands) outside the cell and initiate internal signal pathways inside the cell and, ultimately, create cellular responses such as the production of proteins.

Did These Pathways Evolve?

One must ask if these complex and ordered pathways are the result of time, chance, and random processes or the result of plan and purpose. In Lehninger’s Principles of Biochemistry, the authors state all the GPCR signaling mechanisms “must have arisen early in evolution.”4 But the phrase “must have” is hardly a scientific explanation and fails to describe any form of step-by-step Darwinian origin for this elaborate mechanism. For example, the sense of smell (olfaction) in people and other mammals is due to GPCRs, but “little is known about how olfactory receptors function in mammals, or how this large gene family has evolved in response to different evolutionary challenges.”5

Four years after that statement, the supposed evolution of these fascinating pathways remained unknown. As reported in the Annual Review of Biochemistry, “The emergence of the pathways that now comprise core and central metabolism, or even intermediate metabolism, is particularly enigmatic.”6

Indeed, other evolutionists see the obvious design in these living pathways (albeit without acknowledging the designing Creator) and rightfully compare them to human technology. A parasitology textbook commented on internal cellular reactions in protozoa and “the multitude of other metabolic events that make biochemical pathways look like printed circuits of high-tech electronic equipment.”7

Only God can create life. At the subcellular level, we see the enormous complexity that is the work of His hands, and these pathways lead us to Him.

References

  1. Sherwin, F. Not-So-Simple Plankton. Creation Science Update. Posted on ICR.org December 13, 2018, accessed January 3, 2020.
  2. Fani, R. 2012. The Origin and Evolution of Metabolic Pathways: Why and How did Primordial Cells Construct Metabolic Routes? Evolution: Education and Outreach. 5 (3): 367-381. Emphasis in original.
  3. Sherwin, F. 2006. Those Amazing G Protein Receptors. Acts & Facts. 35 (12).
  4. Nelson, D. and M. Cox. 2017. Principles of Biochemistry, 7th ed. New York: W. H. Freeman, 459.
  5. Dybas, C. By dark of night, how do bats smell their way to fruit? National Science Foundation Research News. Posted on nsf.org March 3, 2014 accessed January 3, 2020.
  6. Noda-Garcia, L., W. Liebermeister, and D. S. Tawfik. 2018. Metabolite-enzyme coevolution. Annual Review of Biochemistry. 87 (1): 189.
  7. Roberts, L. et al. 2012. Foundations of Parasitology, 9th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 51.

* Frank Sherwin is Research Associate at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his M.A. from the University of Northern Colorado.

Cite this article: Frank Sherwin, D.Sc. (Hon.). 2020. Metabolic Pathways to God. Acts & Facts. 49 (3).

The Latest
CREATION.LIVE PODCAST
Forged in Faith: The Hard Work of Making Disciples | Creation.Live...
Jesus commanded that we make disciples, but what does that mean in this modern world? Has the church gone soft?   Hosts Trey and...

NEWS
Algal Microfossils Show No Evolution
Creation scientists maintain that if something is living, then it’s automatically complex. This applies to organisms ranging from a single bacterium...

CREATION PODCAST
Rapid Erosion Devastates Deep Time! | The Creation Podcast: Episode...
Erosion takes place slowly, over millions of years, right? That's what mainstream science tells us anyway. Or, does erosion happen far more...

NEWS
Flood Solves Land and Marine Mixing Near the Andes
A recent article published by Hakai Magazine claims to reveal secrets of an ancient inland sea that existed east of the Andes Mountains,1...

NEWS
T. rex Out of Nowhere
As one of the largest predators ever at 45 feet long, it’s no wonder school children are enthralled with Tyrannosaurus rex. But where did the...

NEWS
February 2024 ICR Wallpaper
"Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." (1 John 4:11 NKJV) ICR February 2024 wallpaper is now available...

NEWS
Evolutionist and ICR Research Both Attempting to Explain Fossil...
Recent evolutionary research is attempting to provide an explanation for why some animals became smaller over time. Or equivalently, it is attempting...

NEWS
Animal Features Did Not Evolve
There’s no doubt that animals in God’s creation have iconic features. The question is, did these features evolve or were they created that...

CREATION PODCAST
Taking a Closer Look at Uniquely Human Eyes | The Creation Podcast:...
While we might take them for granted, our eyes are incredibly complex organs. How do they work? Is it possible for eyes to have evolved over long...

NEWS
The Conserved Complexity of Eye Cell Types
The late leading evolutionary biologist, Ernst Mayr, said the eye appeared at least 40 times “during the evolution of animal diversity.”1...