Photosynthesis Continues to Amaze

Green plant leaves

The ability plants possess

By Frank Sherwin

One of the most complex biochemical processes in God’s creation is the ability plants possess to take in carbon dioxide and water and, with the aid of sunlight, turn it into energy-rich sugars. Most of us learned about this amazing process called photosynthesis in school. It’s designed to be the route by which virtually all energy enters Earth’s ecosystems. If you have studied photosynthesis, you can appreciate just how formidable this procedure is! So formidable that it still mystifies scientists.

It’s perhaps the most important biochemical process on Earth and scientists don’t yet fully understand how it works.

The site of photosynthesis in plant cells are organ-like structures (organelles) called chloroplasts. These structures contain a chemical called chlorophyll—a major light-trapping pigment. God designed the photosynthetic process to operate in two phases.

1. The light-trapping stage (the light phase) that produces ATP (energy) and NADP (an electron carrier).
2. The light-independent stage (the dark phase) that produces the sugars. Interestingly, one of the waste products of photosynthesis is oxygen.

The problem is most evolutionists see photosynthetic organisms as possibly one of the first life forms on this planet billions of years ago. They cannot say for sure, of course, because all the supposed evidence of Darwin’s “warm little pond” containing the first photosynthetic life has been shown to be nonexistent. Evolutionists are left with hypothesis and conjecture in suggesting that this complex process may have spontaneously begun 3.4 billion years ago.

A discovery has recently been made at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory regarding a large protein enzyme complex crucial to photosynthesis. Energy-rich electrons, via energy from sunlight, are shuttled between various protein complexes in something called the electron transport chain or system—containing cytochromes, iron-sulphur proteins, quinones, and other compounds. Scientists are now using one of the most advanced microscopes in the world to determine how this complex functions. It’s just as amazing as it is sophisticated. The complex is called NADH and has been known for decades, but scientists never had a molecular blueprint that showed how the atoms were arranged (connectivity) for the important photosynthetic functions. Biophysicist Karen Davies stated…


image credit: Lawrence Kayku