Photosynthesis – Not so Simple

Posted by on Jan 27, 2012 in Johnsons from the Front | 2 comments


(Adapted from Considering God’s Creation, pg. 39)

Inside the cells of most plants are structures called chloroplasts, which are a type of organelle [a specialized subunit within a cell that has a specific function – organelles are to the cells what an organ is to the body].

Inside the chloroplasts is a green pigment called chlorophyll, which has the ability to absorb sunlight. The energy from the trapped sunlight is then used in a very complex chemical process called photosynthesis.

When sunlight falls on the green cells in the leaf, it causes chemical changes to take place within the chloroplasts. The water that is in a plant cell is split into hydrogen and oxygen, with some electrons left over. The oxygen is then released into the air (to be inhaled by animals and humans).

The hydrogen, electrons, and other ingredients are then combined with the carbon dioxide the plant has absorbed from the air (carbon dioxide that animals and humans exhale). This combination forms a sugar called glucose. Glucose is a very important source of energy (food) for animals, humans, and many other plants.

The above is a very simplistic explanation of photosynthesis. In reality, scientists have identified over 70 complex chemical reactions that take place during the process. It is so complicated that scientists have been unable to bring about the entire sequence of reactions in the lab.

It takes tremendous amounts of energy to split the very stable water molecule. Scientists are continually searching for an efficient, economical, and productive way to split the hydrogen off of a water molecule … yet, the brainless plant does it automatically!

Consider this: How did the plants survive while they tried to figure out how to harness the sun’s energy (energy that normally destroys biological processes)? At what point did a plant realize it needed a special green pigment to absorb that sunlight? How long could a plant survive as it tinkered in the chemistry lab trying to figure out a very complex 70 step process (that intelligent man has yet to duplicate) to produce sugar for food? This list of “how” could go on and on … I’ll let you ponder some of the many other problems the plant would have experienced waiting on evolution to “do its thing”.

Photosynthesis had to be working right from the beginning or the plant could never survive. That points to a master engineering designer, not the mindless chance and accident of evolution.


Lanny Johnson

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  1. It would be interesting to see how much energy it takes a plant to do this process, vs our scientific/chemical/mechanical means. Or, in other words, how many square feet of photovoltaic cells would it take to collect enough electricity to produce glucose in the lab from water, light, and carbon dioxide. I think we’d learn – again – that we really don’t know much about how anything works.

  2. I am so glad that FINALLY someone has come up with a good reason on why evolution cannot be adequate for an organisms survival. Thank you…

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