Validating the Truth of Creation
Genesis 1:1 – “In the Beginning God Created the Heavens and the Earth”
Series 2 – Creation’s Design
Part 1 – The Principle of Design Triangulation
Should verifiable evidence be your guide to the existence of God?
In this article, we will review reasons that give weight to the conclusion that the existence of verifiable evidence for complex processes does indeed prove the existence of God. So, please take a few moments to take a brief look at an aspect we can easily take for granted but constitutes evidence that God must exist. The aspect to be discussed in this instance is the existence of the logic from the design to be found everywhere in Creation.
The particular area we will examine in this article can be best described as “Design Triangulation”.
The Starting Rule or Principle
For every process, we have a starting point and an end point. We can also deduce the missing item of any of these three, if we know any two of them.
The starting point A, has process B applied to it, giving end result C.
The Rule or Principle is that: A + B => C.
The logic of this flow cannot be questioned as we use this principle in our lives every day to make decisions, usually without even thinking about it.
For example: Cooking a meal.
We may take raw potatoes or raw rice grains. We add water and salt. We then apply heat to it for a period, first boiling then simmering. The result is that we end up with cooked and edible potatoes or cooked and edible rice! We know instantly that if we see a raw potato and cooked potatoes together that someone applied a process to transform the raw potato into something edible, even if we did not know how it was done.
Why do we call it Design Triangulation?
For those interested in seeing how this concept works on a mathematics level, you may wish to try this link https://www.calculator.net/right-triangle-calculator.html. In this right-angle triangle, you can always work out alpha and beta angles because they add up to the 90-degree right angle. In addition, while not adding up, as the two angles do, if you have the length of any two sides you can work out the length of the third side.
Therefore, if you know any two of the three,
- whether A and B in which case you can ascertain C as A + B => C
- or A and C in which case you can work out B as C – A => B
- or B and C in which case you can work out A as C – B => A
If you have an unknown complicated process (B) which goes takes some object from one place (A) to another place changing it in the meantime (C) it must have a designed carrier mechanism.
Other Common Examples
At a simple level, you may have seen a pair of Blackbirds or Parrots flying into a nest box in spring (your starting point A). Then a few weeks later you see say 4 or 5 tiny fledgling Blackbirds or Parrots coming out of the box (your end point C). You therefore rightly conclude that some process (B) took place to cause that. It just does not happen spontaneously!
You may not know what the exact process is, but you know there has to be a process.
(The process at a simple level is: parent birds mate, eggs formed and laid, baby birds grow and hatch, parents feed hatchlings until they grow into fully formed miniature birds which can fly from the nest.)
Similarly, you may see a butterfly lay an egg on a particular plant, (your starting point A). Then some weeks or months later, you see the same type of butterfly hatching and flying away (your end point C). You therefore are certain there was a process (B), in reality an amazing one, which transformed the butterfly egg into a butterfly. Again, initially, you may not know what the exact process is, but you know there has to be a process.
Now in this latter example of the butterfly we know there was a starting point A: the egg
It underwent process B1 to turn into a caterpillar. The caterpillar underwent process B2 to transform into a pupa. Finally, the pupa transformed by process B3 into a beautiful butterfly C.
Application of the principle
Let us take a brief look at one example of the application of this principle.
Evolution teaches that function arises by random chance, and that chaos or ‘luck’ is the mechanism of change. For example, that a fish’s fin becomes a hand or foot as the result of a random change.
By contrast accepting there is a Creator would mean that any change we observe was designed by a mind (that of the Creator). As a result, even if we cannot observe the function of change, just the starting point, and the end point, we logically conclude that such a function is likely to exist. The principle of cause and effect.
Accepting that there is a Creator then means that when one discovers a complex system with specialized functions, then one accepts there must be a rational logic for its existence. One also concludes that there are well-matched parts for it to work in such a specialized way. This will always be the case, even if you cannot see those parts or understand how or why it does function.
Why can we say that?
Is it not because that through all of our personal experience in life, we have come to realize that anything with a specialized function requires the original concept, careful design and then production, for it to work and be of any use. We therefore have a reasonable expectation that when we see such functions, that it has specialized parts assembled in a specific way to provide the specific results.
A common example most of us may own is something such as a TV remote. We may not know how it works, but we know that when we press a particular button something specific happens, such as the TV channel changes, or the sound level and it always happens, provided we have batteries in it! Simply put, the result is not a result of magic or chance or chaos.
So, in Human Biology, how can this simple rule be applied?
An Example: Copper
Our starting point A = Free copper is highly toxic to cells.
Our end point C = All air breathing organisms (which include humans) must have Copper.
Our question is therefore, how can we get the copper we need without being killed by its toxicity? Reasoning logically we would realize the following:
- We all have a need to take in copper otherwise we will die.
- As copper is toxic to our cells, it needs to be in neutralized immediately.
- Furthermore, that neutralized copper needs to be transported internally to where it is needed.
- On arrival to where the copper is needed it, it is required to be released to do its required job.
In summary, we must have a cellular system to bind (neutralize), transport and unbind copper where it is needed. This is our process B.
We also need to remember there is no ‘magic’ to do the job. Would you want to leave such a vital process to chaos and random chance? If you did, you likely would be dead of copper toxicity before one molecule of copper reached its required place.
So does this process B exist?
Yes, it was finally observed only as recently as in 1997. (Please see the following diagram)
Diagram acknowledged as from Valentine and Gralla, Science 278 (1997) p817[i]
This mechanism works as follows for those with an interest in detail:
R.A. Pufahl et al., “Metal Ion Chaperone Function of the Soluable Cu(I) Receptor Atx1,“ Science 278 (1997): 853-856.
Cu(I) = Copper Ion. Cu is the shortname used in chemical formulas such as CuSO4 (Copper Sulphate)
RNA to Proteins – tRNA Transfer RNA [ii]
In the 1950’s Francis Crick co-authored a paper proposing the (now accepted) double helix structure of the DNA molecule winning the 1962 Nobel Prize in Medicine with James Watson.
The concept of messenger RNA emerged during the late 1950s, and is associated with Crick‘s description of his “Central Dogma of Molecular Biology“,[iii] which asserted that DNA led to the formation of RNA, which in turn led to the synthesis of proteins.
The mechanism by which this occurred was not discovered until the middle of the 1960’s but was strongly asserted by Crick because of the truth of Design Triangulation.
This is what was known in the 1950’s:
In this picture, on the left is the DNA which makes the amino acids on the right which are the building blocks of proteins. Crick could not find any mechanism or structure on the DNA that could distinguish the various amino acids to manufacture them into proteins.
- A – DNA carries information, but is chemically non-specific, and he knew
- C – that amino acids have specific geometries,
- That this was a complex system performing specialized functions, therefore,
- B – there had to be a function or functions mediating or adaptor molecules existing that enabled specifying information to pass from DNA to amino acids.
However, he had not found actual evidence of the process B but deduced it must exist because of the principle of Design Triangulation and so went looking for it.
It was a puzzle for the DNA structure only showed a specific pattern of hydrogen bonds and little else, while there needed to be “knobbly hydrophobic [water hating] surfaces to distinguish valine from leucine and isoleucine”. Furthermore, he asked “Where are the charged groups, in specific positions, to go with the acidic and basic amino acids?”.
For all non-chemists among us, let us translate this statement into something simpler.
Think of each of the amino acids on the right as Lego building blocks assembled in different ways to create those shapes. Each amino acid block has connection points for other chemicals to attach themselves to, but on different surfaces in different combinations. Why the need for connection or attachment points? To allow for other chemicals to attach themselves to and chemically react between themselves and the amino acids so as to make chains of blocks and hence proteins.
Crick went further and described what that function or adaptor must do. He said “… each amino acid would combine chemically, at a special enzyme, with a small molecule which, having a specific hydrogen bonding surface,[to interact with the DNA and RNA] would combine specifically with the nucleic acid template … In its simplest form there would be 20 different kinds of adaptor molecules …”.
However, at that time these small adaptors could not be seen.
What was found eventually some years later?
Transfer RNA with exactly the features described by Crick.
At the bottom is the RNA binding surface, in the complete red circle, with the amino acid attaching area at the top right of the diagram. The code in the RNA in this case CCG mean the particular amino acid Alanine.
Even now the full mechanism is not fully understood, but more is being learnt every year.
Interestingly, until this mechanism was actually discovered and documented, James Watson, the co-author of the double helix DNA structure with Francis Crick, did not like the adaptor hypothesis of Francis Crick (who had based the hypothesis on the results from his design triangulation principle). In James Watson’s autobiography (2002, p139) he explained why he doubted the adaptor hypothesis: “I did not like the idea at all …. More to the point, the adaptor mechanism seemed to me too complicated to have ever evolved at the origin of life”. In that he was right! It is. The problem is that the Darwinian evolution that James Watson believed in required biological complexity building up over time. Here was a mechanism that had to have been there from the start for life to have ever existed.
His view was that to have:
- DNA (and RNA) as information carriers (which are complex in themselves)
- And Proteins (amino acids) as catalysts (which are also complex in themselves)
- To be bridged by Adaptors to mediate the information transfer from the DNA to the proteins, (exceedingly complex),
was a step too far.
Yet the evidence clearly shows that this bridge exists. As such it provides a great deal of evidence that an intelligent designer or God (creator) must exist, one that is not bound by time, whereas the theory of evolution is heavily bound by time.
If you always let the evidence be your guide, we can serve truth, we can uphold truth and let wisdom guide us. As Proverbs 4:5 encourages “Acquire wisdom, acquire understanding”.
Let us also help others to do the same, perhaps by explaining this principle of Design Triangulation!
With grateful thanks for the Inspiration given by YouTube video “Design Triangulation” from the Origins Series by Cornerstone Television
[i] Copyright acknowledged. Fair Use: Some of the pictures used may be copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of scientific and religious issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is made available without profit to those who express an interest in receiving and viewing the material for their own research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
[ii] RNA molecules synthesized in the nucleus are transported to their sites of function throughout the eukaryotic cell by specific transport pathways. This review focuses on transport of messenger RNA, small nuclear RNA, ribosomal RNA, and transfer RNA between the nucleus and the cytoplasm. The general molecular mechanisms involved in nucleocytoplasmic transport of RNA are only beginning to be understood. However, during the past few years, substantial progress has been made. A major theme that emerges from recent studies of RNA transport is that specific signals mediate the transport of each class of RNA, and these signals are provided largely by the specific proteins with which each RNA is associated. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/14154301_RNA_transport
Further recommended reading: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_RNA_biology
[iii] Crick was an important theoretical molecular biologist and played a crucial role in research related to revealing the helical structure of DNA. He is widely known for the use of the term “central dogma” to summarize the idea that once information is transferred from nucleic acids (DNA or RNA) to proteins, it cannot flow back to nucleic acids. In other words, the final step in the flow of information from nucleic acids to proteins is irreversible.