Quantum Mechanics Meet Outdated Biological Models

  • “Biology today is at a crossroads. The molecular paradigm, which so successfully guided the discipline throughout most of the 20th century, is no longer a reliable guide. Its vision of biology now realized, the molecular paradigm has run its course.”….

The cells we know are not just loosely coupled arrangements of quasi-independent modules. They are highly, intricately, and precisely integrated networks of entities and interactions. … To think that a new cell design can be created more or less haphazardly from chunks of other modern cell designs is just another fallacy born of a mechanistic, reductionist view of the organism.

Carl Woese – A New Biology for a New Century – Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews – 2004

(See more at Common Descent)

The neo-Darwinian view of biology is being undermined by the emerging evidence in quantum mechanics (QM). Now, I do not accept the QM as many atheists do… however, the deterministic view of QM is giving theism a boost in an area atheists once thought they had a new foothold. One of my favorite critics of Darwin notes as much in his referencing a 2004 article and commenting on it:

As Carl Woese explained in 2004:

  • The cells we know are not just loosely coupled arrangements of quasi-independent modules. They are highly, intricately, and precisely integrated networks of entities and interactions. … To think that a new cell design can be created more or less haphazardly from chunks of other modern cell designs is just another fallacy born of a mechanistic, reductionist view of the organism.

In a previous uploaded audio and commentary of the many QM models to choose from and the one’s theist see as beneficial to scientific discovery delineates the chasm between fruitful views of science and unhealthy views in scientific modeling and their subsequent impact on scientific apologetics. The first paragraph below notes the philosophical naturalist default (so-to-speak), followed by two points related to this discussion:

These oddities prompt some observers to conclude that QM overturns natural law and rationality, leaving us with an incomprehensible, uncreated universe. Standard physics says matter can be neither created nor destroyed by natural means, but some scientists (falsely) claim that quantum particles naturally pop in and out of existence. From this, leading atheists claim the whole universe “sprang” into existence naturally. No Creator necessary. Furthermore, they say that even if God exists and created the universe, QM shows He made a world He cannot control. Once He uncorked this world, not even God knows what will come of it. Theologians who favor science fads over Scripture conclude the same thing: QM implies God cannot govern creation or know the future….

[….]

I suggest the following starting points for the Christian response: First, for all the wild attributes that may hold true in QM, we note that macroscopic reality behaves in a predictable, law-like fashion and everywhere presents us with evidence of its fundamentally rational construction and operation. So even if quantum particles could do lawless things like pop in and out of existence naturally, no such thing happens in the realm of everyday objects. Quantum oddities, whatever you make of them, are detained at the door to the larger realities we experience.

Second, many of the astounding behaviors attributed to QM occur only in highly artificial laboratory settings. There is no certainty that these things can actually happen in real-world settings. Thus, we are justified in casting an indifferent eye on many of the zany headlines coming from physics laboratories….

The very non-deterministic models are the ones liked by atheists and they support the idea of randomness. The other “orderly” — if you will — models show an order on the quantum level that is “supra-ordered,” and thus, the theistic view of QM is emboldened by the evidence.

In other words… order and function in the DNA is guided also by laws being discovered on the quantum level… that without these strict mechanical rules life would be impossible… something “randomness” cannot account for. In other words there seems to be more going on here that the simplified “DAN to RNA to Protein” quip. And this increasing complexity equals hard-times for atheism.

While Philip Cunningham may be hard to listen to at times… I love his slow, methodical contributions to this field of learning/debate:

Again, to note the idea here:

  • The other model that show rules and order on the quantum level is being supported by these discoveries, and thus, the theistic view of QM is emboldened by the evidence. In other words… order and function in the DNA is guided also by laws being discovered on the quantum level… that without these strict mechanical rules life would be impossible… something “randomness” cannot account for.

Here is the posted text under Phillip’s video on his Facebook:

Physicists Discover Quantum Law of Protein Folding: Quantum mechanics finally explains why protein folding depends on temperature in such a strange way.

First, a little background on protein folding. Proteins are long chains of amino acids that become biologically active only when they fold into specific, highly complex shapes. The puzzle is how proteins do this so quickly when they have so many possible configurations to choose from.

To put this in perspective, a relatively small protein of only 100 amino acids can take some 10^100 different configurations. If it tried these shapes at the rate of 100 billion a second, it would take longer than the age of the universe to find the correct one. Just how these molecules do the job in nanoseconds, nobody knows.

[….]

Today, Luo and Lo say these curves can be easily explained if the process of folding is a quantum affair. By conventional thinking, a chain of amino acids can only change from one shape to another by mechanically passing though various shapes in between.

But Luo and Lo say that if this process were a quantum one, the shape could change by quantum transition, meaning that the protein could ‘jump’ from one shape to another without necessarily forming the shapes in between.

[….]

Their astonishing result is that this quantum transition model fits the folding curves of 15 different proteins and even explains the difference in folding and unfolding rates of the same proteins. That’s a significant breakthrough. Luo and Lo’s equations amount to the first universal laws of protein folding. That’s the equivalent in biology to something like the thermodynamic laws in physics

Bottom line! What has been a buttressed hideout/club of evolutionary thought — biology in general — is now in it’s early throes of bowing it’s knee to intelligent design, i.e., it’s Creator!

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