Answer by Ed Neeland

You’re out for a walk. Hey, a new house on your block! Very pretty. A man taps you on the shoulder and says “That house happened by itself.” You consider the bricks, windows, doors, ductwork, carpets, electrical/telephone wiring, plumbing, wallpaper, TV, and all the appliances. Is the man mad? Houses are designed by architects, and built by skilled trades workers!

I face a similar situation. I am a PhD synthetic chemist. My scientific colleagues tap me on the shoulder and say that a much more complex house happened by itself – the “simple” cell. How complex is the cell? Science has shown that the cell is a factory which is filled with complex molecules, complex structures, an incredible computer programming code AND there are the machines. We have discovered molecular machines (flagella) which propel some cells, other machines (motor proteins) transport chemicals (using legs to move!) while still other machines search out and repair mistakes in the DNA strands. Imagine billions of little robots on your car. They repair rust spots, take away waste, maintain air pressure in the tires, and they even make and deliver fuel to the tank. That’s a rough idea of how machines work in a cell. And there is so much more to learn! Check out for a great video on the inner working of a cell.

I became a scientist because I need to know the truth about things. I’m curious. I have spent the better part of my life learning how to put molecules together to make new chemical medicines. It’s a challenging and rewarding career. It generally takes two years or more of thoughtful, carefully designed research to make one new small medicinal chemical. Temperature, concentration, time and purification must all be delicately controlled. Since I can make small chemicals; it must follow that I should be able to make a cell. No. Not even close.

As we have seen, the cell is full of much larger and much more complicated chemicals which are arranged into elaborate structures and machines. No one on earth has the knowledge to make even one cell from simple chemicals. Yet here’s the strange part. We are asked to believe this wonderful cell was generated using nothing but luck and natural laws. No design, no guidance and no carefully controlled conditions. This all-by-itself story is impossible. I do not believe it. The cell and its contents DEMAND purposeful intelligent design (I should know!).

But the popular media trumpet that scientists have made life in a test tube. Let me clear that up. Our efforts to replicate the building blocks of the cell have been a dismal failure. It takes smart scientists, million dollar equipment and controlled conditions to produce a few simple chemicals found in the cell. What do you think happens to simple chemicals when you remove the design and controlled conditions? Just what you expect. They don’t self-assemble into a cell but make but a tarry mess.

So draw the logical conclusion. The level of complexity in a cell needs masterful intelligence and planning. I say let’s give credit to where credit is due. God has said that it was his intelligence, design and construction that made the cell. To say otherwise is insulting to the Creator and goes against a wealth of experimental evidence which demands God’s creative power in making a cell.

For an intriguing example of design in the way living things work together see the slide show Flowers are Hot

Browse through evidence for design in the Evidence Web Fact File.

For a course on the evidence that life had to be created see The Search for the Origin of Life by John Mackay and Diane Eager. This course is suitable for high school, college and adult students. click here

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About The Contributor

Ed Neeland