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Letter: The remarkable design of our lives

By Phil Drietz, Delhi

The author of the Feb. 19 letter to the editor wrote “Evolution is a scientific theory” and that “scientific principles are used to create theories.” So the question is, what principle creates “evolution theory’? If something evolved, it had to have had a starting point; right?

As a subscriber to fanatically pro-evolution magazines (Scientific American, Science News and Science), I always find it amazing there is still is no plausible explanation on how simple dead chemicals combined and formed the simple one-cell bacteria. One explanation in the September 2012 Scientific American stated that if a man had 10,000 years to run an experiment he would have computer chips made to monitor hundreds of little wells attached to them, looking at different chemical combinations in each well to see if there is a runaway self-replication going on. Isn’t that kind of like Charlie Brown sitting in the patch, waiting for the Great Pumpkin?

What’s the problem? It’s just a dumb little bacteria like the ones residing in our gut. Is there a problem with that library of instructions residing in its DNA (instructions approaching the same complexity level as on how to build a space shuttle)? It’s a factory that makes another factory, like itself, in less than 30 minutes. Machines throughout the cell are performing a thousand operations at any one time. Some are extremely complicated. For instance, ATP synthase, which produces the chemical energy packets for other machines in the cell, has 40,000 parts (atoms), all of which have to be in the right place for proper operation.

This bustling city, with its central library of construction and maintenance information, is supposed to arise by itself from dead chemicals? Some high school textbooks like Holt Biology (2004) are telling kids it does.

Then there is the most complex machine in the universe — the human brain, with its 85 to 100 trillion connections producing a mass of communications that exceeds the Internet. Scientists involved in the “Human Brain Project” to simulate the human brain say they need a computer that runs at 10 to the 18th FLOPS per second and will consume 20 megawatts of power.

Was it intelligence that put instructions into the DNA blueprint on how to build a brain that doesn’t consume 20 megawatts of power, rivals the Internet and can be built in nine months? Or, did it come about by random mixing of molecules in some big cosmic “bingo tumbler” without intellectual input? It seems to me that all living things were designed, and then given a toolbox with just the right amount of hardware and software to make adjustments to structure in response to pressures from their surrounding environment.

Ryan McGaughey

I first joined the Daily Globe in April 2001 as sports editor. I later became the news editor in November 2002, and the managing editor in August 2006. I'm originally from New York State, and am married with two children.

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