Sunday, February 01, 2009

Thank God for Photosynthesis

[Blessed are You Who Takes Bread from the Earth]

The Torah commands us to love God and Maimonides wrote (Hilchos Yesodai HaTorah 2:2) that we attain a love of God by contemplating His amazing creations and witnessing in them His great wisdom.

One of those wonders is photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the process which plants use to convert water and air into starch and sugar. Part of the process involves transferring the energy of sunlight into those starches and sugars. This is how all life receives the energy it needs. This process is so complex that scientists can still not reproduce it artificially. One amazing aspect is that somehow energy is transferred with almost complete efficiency and no loss of energy to heat. Leaves are not warm, while if you touch an electrical device like a computer you’ll notice that it’s warm because part of the energy being transmitted by the wires is lost to heat.

Scientists have now discovered that the reason for this is the fact that plants are able to make use of quantum mechanics to transfer energy. In essence, individual electrons behave differently than larger objects and in certain circumstances they are able to transfer energy extremely rapidly and efficiently. One of the most complex and little understood areas of physics is involved in the life of every plant!

Thanks to this miracle of creation we have bread and all other foods. Let’s remember that the next time we make a blessing.


Anonymous said...

I know its off topic, but I think that this article is interesting.

Anonymous said...

your head may exoplode if you watch this,,,,but i think you should anyway,

jewish philosopher said...

I don't see any difference between National Geographic and any other creation myth. Finding one fossil 300 million years old and another 250 million years old does not prove that one is descended from the other. Finding thousands of intermediary forms, time and again, spanning the gaps would be impressive however that never happens. Never. Because nothing evolved.

Anonymous said...

I would beg to differ for that. There has been thousands of fossils found that do span gaps. Picking horses, for example, there is this web page (first one that Google gave me)

How much more detail records do you want? What is interesting is just how fast species can form.

jewish philosopher said...

"How much more detail records do you want?"

A lot more. The scanty evidence (the fossils) does not support the unbelievable claim (evolution) just like the proof texts from the Old Testament do not support the messianic claims of Jesus.

Anonymous said...

According to the site posted, the gradual changes tnede to invovle small changes in morphology. The major changes, like the loss of a toe tended to be sudden. This is the trend in most of the series of transitional fossils. And Stephen Jay Gould described the evolution of horses as jumpy. And if you look at family trees of evolution in textbooks, they often don't connect the branches. This is because they don't have the connecting fossils. And most of the transitional series listed involve change between major groups, not species to species. And there are millions of species that exist now, and millonsmore that are extinct. That means that there has been a lot of evolution happening, yet there are only a dozen or so of these transitional series. I would expect to see a lot more.