Evidences of God’s creative power: ‘Cells Work Just Like Computers’

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New research indicates that our cells may operate in the same way that computers do when they send signals to various parts of the cell with instructions on how to function.

Cells Behave Like Biological Computers

Inside every cell, organelles that carry out the various life processes sit in an enclosed sea of material called cytoplasm. It was thought that waves in this cytoplasm were the mechanism used to send and receive signals throughout the cell, with the frequency of the wave representing the signal itself. Now, scientists at the University of Edinburgh (UE) have found evidence that animal and plant cells move information and instructions throughout its internal structure similar to the way a computer operates when it routes these kinds of signals through various circuits.

“We found that cell function is coordinated by a network of nanotubes, similar to the carbon nanotubes you find in a computer microprocessor,” said Professor Mark Evans of the UE Center for Discovery Brain Sciences and co-author of the paper describing the researchers’ finding, published last week in the journal NatureCommunications.

The research indicates that information within the cell is encoded in the form of charged molecules which are passed down the various paths of a cell-wide web of nanotubes, similar to the way an electric current is routed through circuits on the motherboard of a computer to its various component parts. These signals completely regulate the activities within the cell and are even responsible for cell wide behavior, like when a muscle cell relaxes or contracts.

This network within the cell is can also be completely rewired as needed. For instance, when this network relays instructions to the nucleus of the cell, which houses its genetic material, these instructions can make tiny alterations in the genetic structure that releases certain genes, enabling them to be expressed. When a cell switches from a normal, steady state to a growth state, this network will completely rewire itself in order to express the genes in the nucleus’ genetic code that enables the cell’s growth.

Evans and his colleagues discovered this cell-wide network while observing charged calcium molecules as they moved around inside of various cells, using high-powered microscopes and computer algorithms similar to those that enabled scientists to capture the first image of the shadow of a black hole’s event horizon.

“The most striking thing is that this circuit is highly flexible, as this cell-wide web can rapidly reconfigure to deliver different outputs in a manner determined by the information received by and relayed from the nucleus,” Evans said. “This is something no man-made microprocessors or circuit boards are yet capable of achieving.”


Verily in the heavens and the earth, are Signs for those who believe – Qur’an 45:3

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43 replies

  1. Reblogged this on | truthaholics and commented:
    ““The most striking thing is that this circuit is highly flexible, as this cell-wide web can rapidly reconfigure to deliver different outputs in a manner determined by the information received by and relayed from the nucleus,” Evans said. “This is something no man-made microprocessors or circuit boards are yet capable of achieving.”

    ‘Verily in the heavens and the earth, are Signs for those who believe’ – Qur’an 45:3

  2. Just more evidence of what scientific inquiry has always told us (but many people refuse to acknowledge): life couldn’t have begun by accident or come from nothing.

  3. Non sequitur

  4. Actually, I suppose non-sequitur is not the appropriate term. It’s more a… questioning, I suppose, of the assumption that the sophistication of cells and our inability to duplicate that sophistication (yet) equates to proof of God. 500 years ago we would have abscribed many of our current technologies to God, as people did with many things they didn’t understand. The presumption of God’s existence is just that – a presumption. Of course, if that’s what you prefer to believe, that’s up to you.

    • When we keep seeing evidence of design in nature, eventually you have to step back and admit that this cannot all be just coincidence or a “cosmic accident”. Just as you would not claim that a computer could not self-assemble, I see no reason to assume that these complex cells also somehow self-assembled. What this study shows is that design is detectable in nature but it does not tell us who or what the designer is of course.

      I would be interested to see if similar results would be seen in prokaryotic cells like cyanobacteria. These were the first living organisms on earth, so if this complex circuitry is also present in the “simplest” cells, it would further strengthen the design argument.

      Even more so, they should study mitochondria and chloroplasts as well. The endosymbiont theory states that these organelles were actually free-living prokaryotic cells billions of years ago and were eventually incorporated into eukaryotic cells as organelles. But they also have their own DNA, so it would be interesting to see of the results of this study could be duplicated in mitochondria and chloroplasts as well.

      • I’m not sure I can agree with the notion of intelligent design, so, we’d have to agree to disagree for now on that one.

      • It doesn’t matter if you don’t agree with the notion of intelligent design or not. What you can agree on is that we see evidence of design in nature. Case in point: this study shows that animal and plant cells have “circuit boards” that are very similar to computers.

      • Then it must also be said that intelligent design, if it can considered intelligent, is riddled with flaws. This casts doubt on the skill of our creators, if we were indeed designed, and these flaws are not merely evidence of mutation and evolution.

      • You are assuming, wrongly I might add, that intelligent design means the design has to be at a certain standard or that it must be “flawless”. In actual fact, for a theist, any perceived “flaws”, if there are any, can be easily explained as part of God’s divine plan to create finite life. Life has an expiration date.

      • *shrug* my equation for this is simple. We have arbitrary flaws that can cause great pain, early death (including the deaths of millions of children every year), deformities and imbalances, that limit quality of life and length of life – as part of a ‘plan’. You’ll forgive me if I find this to be indicative of cruelty.

        Whereas in the system of evolution, it just is. It’s hardly pleasant, and we are developing the tools to fight disease and other concerns all the time, as we learn more.

      • So your entire argument is theological? I.E. a loving God wouldn’t cause pain and early death?

        How does that change the fact that there is still design in the universe? If a computer did not work to your specifications or expectations, would you conclude that it must not have been designed? That’s exactly what you are doing with regards to universal design. Since it doesn’t meet your standards, therefore it must not be designed but rather it must all be a cosmic accident.

      • Who says there is definitely design? The article we’re discussing doesn’t draw that conclusion and I entertain the notion as a what-if, rather than as a definite fact. There are plenty of examples of random mutations leading to evolutionary dead ends, that would seem to support, at the very least, a directionless approach to design, or simply no design at all.

      • You’re the one who claimed that there are “flaws”. I was responding to that.

        The authors compared the cellular circuitry to that of computers. That’s a prettt bold statement.

        And of course they can’t just say “there is design”. That’s a sin for which they would be excommunicated by the atheists and censured.

      • There *are* flaws, if viewed from the perspective of a designer. If viewed as natural, they make perfect sense, in light of what we know about evolution. Comparisons between computers and cellular ‘circuitry’ are only as bold as you want to be.

      • Wow. So comparing natural phenomena to complex and designed machines is not bold? Especially since we are forced fed the nonsense that such complexities are “cosmic accidents”.

        I noticed you didn’t have anything to say about scientists getting excommunicated or censured. You have to watch what you say lest the inquisition gets you.

      • I didn’t say anything about your last remark because frankly, I felt you’d made it in a bizarre tongue in cheek way. I’m sure many scientists do believe in God, which is fine. On a verifiable, provable level that deals with observational facts, declaring that similarities between nature and machines must point to divine intervention is to move beyond what can be verified. It is worth noting that the article itself stressed we cannot *yet* duplicate what these cells can do, it doesn’t rule out our being able to do so in future. Indeed, we are already making inroads into fields of genetics and cellular regeneration. These fields are no so far advanced that they represent the hand of a remarkable creator or creators. They don’t prove intelligent design, not given the numerous flaws inherent within these systems that can cause cells to fail, or produce the wrong enzyme/protein, or to replicate uncontrollably.

      • The so called “flaws” could very much the result of optimization in light of some constraints that any designer must work with, it does not disprove divine intelligence behind it, that is the point. Some of “design flaws” or I’d rather call it “limitation” in nature is the consequence the compromises required by practical considerations but such compromises in no way impugn the intelligence of the designer on the contrary, it could be just brilliant engineering that solves overwhelming challenges we can not understand.

        We cannot duplicate what cells can do, and perhaps we will never do given the complexity we find in the molecular machines of the cells, and this rather prove the intelligence of the designer not the otherwise.

      • Thank you for your reply Eric.

        I can see where the argument comes from in terms of, as you say, limitations and considerations, though I would find it hard to believe a divine, omnipotent and omnipresent being, as God is, described, would feel the need to operate within the constraints and constructs that we work in. We are, after all, reminded frequently that God works in ways we cannot understand.

        So design? Not necessarily, given that we have frequently stared at problems we thought would be beyond our abilities to solve or understand, and then learned how to resolve them. Nature is marvellous, but the inherent problems we face that are more or less built into us are either the result of random evolution, or if design, not proof of an omnipotent, omnipresent deity – unless that divine being is deliberately building in these issues.

      • Hi Darth,

        //Though I would find it hard to believe a divine, omnipotent and omnipresent being, as God is, described, would feel the need to operate within the constraints and constructs that we work in.//

        In the Qur’an God said: wa khuliqol insānu ḍaʿīfan وَخُلِقَ الْإِنْسَانُ ضَعِيفًا, mandkind were created weak/faulty/delicate. So one of God design objective when he created human is thinking object with free will but a faulty and short lasting. What looks like a flaw is the result of practical limitations caused by this design objective in the realm of finite universe.

        Should God operates within human universe, all His creations are deliberately designed as compromises between ‘conflicting’ design objectives which work in finie and faulty human realm. This is how we design our products too For example, modern handset will be heavily damaged by falling from 2m height so why aren’t its body designed to be strong enough to absorb any impact without damage? Design flaw? No, there are practical limitations to the material of handset, and tougher materials can not be installed electronic components and it also too heavy to be handled. In reality, almost every feature in a designed object in human realm is a compromise between competing objectives: practicallity , aesthetics, cost, ease of manufacturing, ease of repair not every desirable objective can be met. Angels on the other hand are different God creations, unlike human they can not break down, they serve different objective. In the angelic realm they function in an impeccable standard.

      • Hi again Eric, thank you for your reply.

        I guess I have trouble reconciling the idea that we have deliberately been designed in what could be considered a ‘faulty’ manner. Our susceptibility to disease, the ease at which we can injured, the limitations of temperature we can endure – if we were to redesign humans ourselves, we would no doubt seek to remove many of these issues. After all, we are frequently redesigning our technology – to use mobile phones as an example, we have made great strides in transforming them from the bricks that they used to be, into the advanced pocket computers they are now.

        Bottom line, we will end up disagreeing. To me, the evidence lends itself to unguided evolution – though if you have a different interpretation, more power to you.

      • You say we improve our technology but you forget that whatever the case about “flaws” in that technology that requires “improvement”, it was still designed and engineered. It didn’t just engineer itself.

        Your assumption that there should be no flaws in creation is a non sequitur. Susceptibility to disease is just part of the natural cycle. Life and death have to exist together in order for life to exist.

        You say we’re susceptible to temperature changes. Why wouldn’t we be? All organisms have their preferred temperatures for survivability. Extremophiles in the Archaea domain can survive in very hot temperatures because they have the proteins needed to resist such temperatures. We lack those proteins because we have no need for them. The temperatures on Earth are well suited for life including humans. It all points to a designer.

      • In the end, if you choose to believe that, that’s entirely up to you. I don’t interpret the available evidence that way, and there are plenty of people far more qualified than me who have reached the same conclusion.

      • I can also make an appeal to authority. There are many qualified scientists who believe the evidence points to intelligent design.

      • Tell you what, if Liverpool win the league next season, you’ll make a guaranteed believer out of me 😉

      • I have no idea what you’re talking about. How about if the Yankees win the World Series?

      • It has to be Liverpool winning the Premier League!

      • Okay, if you’re that desperate!

  5. @Agnostic @darthtimon
    If being obnoxious was a style you both win for being the biggest douchebags. More like douchebag trolls i can go on. I hope i don’t come off as aggressive, im just annoyed at the arrogance you both seem to revel in.

    • What arrogance exactly? I tend to treat people in the manner they treat me. Thus far, in this particular conversation with QuranandBibleBlog, I have found him respectful and at the very least civil, so I have responded in the same manner. On occasions where posters here have been aggressive, nasty, dishonest and trolling, I have pointed out their behaviour and treated them as they deserve.

  6. “How to reason from finite patterns in nature to an infinite God?

    There is no logical route that will take you there”.

    William Dembski, leading scholar on ID,
    PhD in mathematics from University of Chicago and in Philosophy from University of Illinois at Chicago, Master of Divinity in Theology at the Princeton Theological Seminary.

    Dembski is the author of a number of books about intelligent design, including The Design Inference (1998), Intelligent Design: The Bridge between Science and Theology (1999), The Design Revolution (2004), The End of Christianity (2009), and Intelligent Design Uncensored (2010).

    • Here is the full quote from Demski:

      “Design arguments can tell us that certain patterns exhibited in nature reliably point us to a designing intelligence. But there’s no inferential chain that leads from such finite design-conducing patterns in nature to the infinite personal transcendent creator God of
      Christianity. Nevertheless, a design argument can clear away materialistic stumbling blocks to belief in God (for example, it can refute the claim that science has shown that all the patterns in nature can be explained without recourse to intelligence). Clearing away such stumbling blocks has immense apologetic value, especially in the current cultural and intellectual climate.”

      This reflects what I already said to darthtimon. ID theory does not propose to identify the designer. It only argues that design can be detected in nature using the scientific method.

      You see uv? You’re just like most other uvs. You try to act like you’re intelligent but you’re actually as dumb as a doorknob.

      Now be a good boy and keep your nose out of places it doesn’t belong.

      • Squirming Pavlov. The title of this blog is a non sequitur and the usual fundamentalist propaganda found on this blog.

      • UV, you dumb doorknob, when will you learn to keep your nose out of places it doesn’t belong.

        Well, at least you were finally able to out together one coherent sentence. Good boy!

        As Demski explained, ID theory breaks down the materialist Monopoly and has huge ramifications for theistic belief in God. So while we cannot identify the Creator through ID theory, we can justify belief in Him, just as atheists justify their belief through evolution, even though such a belief is not warranted at all, as many evolutionist scientists who still believe in God have shown (e.g., Francis Collins).

      • UV the doorknob is getting mad because I keep exposing his ignorance. Why did you quote Demski out of context?

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