Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Mighty Mitochondria


[a mitochondrion]

The mitochondrion is an organelle, or in other words a tiny machine, found in every one of our cells. They range from 0.5 to 10 micrometers (μm) in diameter. Mitochondria are sometimes described as "cellular power plants" because they generate most of the cell's supply of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), used as a source of chemical energy.

The method used by the mitochondria to produce energy from oxygen, carbohydrates, fats and protein is called the citric acid cycle. This was discovered primarily by Hans Krebs in 1937.

Below is a diagram describing the cycle.



It's mind-boggling to consider that hundreds of trillions of these incredibly complex, incredibly tiny machines are working in our bodies each moment of our lives, making all other functioning possible. Thanks to modern science, we are able to appreciate even more deeply the infinite wisdom of our Creator. Our hearts should burst with love for Him.

60 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Krebs cycle is acually only the first half of the process. There is also the electron transport chain, that uses electron to pump protons through a membrane, so a positive charge builds up. The protons then pass through the adinophase, that uses the energy of the protons to attach an phosphate group to adenosine diphosphate, making adenosine triphosphate, which is the ideal chemical for tranporting energy to where it is needed in the cell. So many levels of complexity are needed for this perfect nano-factory to work.

NC said...

Indeed amazing.

Its also tedious to memorize:)

jewish philosopher said...

We take so much for granted however. We just eat and go, however the processes going on under the hood are incomprehensibly complex.

NC said...

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.” — Marcus Aurelius

jewish philosopher said...

“Live a good life."

As defined by who?Marcus Aurelius? How do we even know what he said? One manuscript which has been long lost?

NC said...

"As defined by who?"

It doesn't matter. By yourself.

It doesn't matter if Aurelius really said it. Its just logical, kind of an improvement on Pascal's wager.

jewish philosopher said...

Then it's meaningless. Serial killers generally feel no guilty.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_killer#Characteristics

I have no doubt that Hitler, Stalin and Mao considered themselves to have been good men.

NC said...

There you go, ad Hitlerum argument.

Then I'll use ad Osama Ibn Ladenum argument. Or ad Inquisitorum argument.

Serial killers would kill, bible or no bible.

I believe that we have already agreed the point on another post that it is possible for man to come up with morality without a real god. That is what I am referring to.

The Leader, Garnel Ironheart said...

You had to go and ruin a good thread, did you?

At any rate, mitochondria do provide evidence for the truth of Torah. Since only women provide mitochondria to their progeny, all current mitochondria in humans today can be traced back to a single female ancestor, just like Y chromosomes in cohanim can be traced back to a single ancestor in Aharon.

jewish philosopher said...

"it is possible for man to come up with morality without a real god"

Which might include massive human sacrifice, or vegetarianism, or both for that matter or anything else.

Anonymous said...

"massive human sacrifice"

...which never happens in theistic morality.

Garnel Ironheart said...

Yes, but there are also competing systems of morality that all claim to be in the name of the same diety which having widely varying values.

jewish philosopher said...

"...which never happens in theistic morality."

I think the Aztecs were big believers in it.

Anonymous said...

Jews too.

NC said...

So if you have two competing moralities that claim to be "objective", or "divine", what tells you which one is better? Maybe human sacrifice or vegetarianism are good? Why do you think that Islamic jihad morality is wrong? Maybe they're right?

2 possible answers:
1. tribalism
2. human reason

jewish philosopher said...

"Maybe human sacrifice or vegetarianism are good?"

Absolutely. Hitler built Auschwitz while practicing vegetarianism. People don't know how big the Fuhrer was on animal rights.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_welfare_in_Nazi_Germany

"2 possible answers:"

No, divine revelation. Without God everything is permitted.

Surely atheism, which promotes the idea that men are merely tiny soulless bags of chemicals created by no one for no reason, encourages anti-human behavior.

NC said...

Repeating your mantras about Hitler and bags of chemicals doesn't answer the question.

You demonstrate the unique morality of the Torah as showing Hitler and Stalin were immoral, but in the same breath you assume that we would agree that they were immoral as well. Why? Only because of the Torah? Or is there some other reason? If halacha was silent about mass murder, would you be OK with it?

JP, is the best you can do to promote the unique Torah morality is bragging that it is anti-holocaust and anti-Stalin? I don't think most people will see that as an eye-opening discovery.

NC said...

Throughout Europe and the US, there are holocaust memorial museums. The are holocaust education programs in both Jewish and non-Jewish schools and universities. In some countries it is illegal to deny the holocaust.

Now go ask these countries why they do it. I think they would be very surprised to hear about your assertion that they consider the holocaust a crime against humanity only because the Hebrew Bible prohibits holocausts.

jewish philosopher said...

Without God and the Torah, anything might be ok. It could well be that in places like Iran or Gaza school children are being taught how to create the next Holocaust.

NC said...

The Koran prohibits murder like the Torah, and proscribes death to blasphemers, like the Torah.

What human beings do with those proscriptions is up to their societies.

jewish philosopher said...

The low murder rate among orthodox Jews, many of whom are poor, urban, young males, is thanks to God's wisdom in the Torah.

whoa! said...

"Without God and the Torah, anything might be ok. It could well be that in places like Iran or Gaza school children are being taught how to create the next Holocaust."

Excellent example. In these places, they believe in G-d and the Torah.

jewish philosopher said...

Iran and Gaza have converted to Judaism. Very exciting. Have you called the UN?

whoa! said...

Last I checked, Iran was a Shiite theocracy and Gaza was run by an Islamic theocratic group. Also, last I checked, Islam requires belief in the same G-d as Judaism does, even using similar terms (Eloha in Judaism, and Allah in Islam). Also, last I checked, Islam considered the Torah to be a holy book, written by G-d, much as you do.

jewish philosopher said...

There is a little misunderstanding here.

There are similarities between Judaism and Islam.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_and_Judaism

However Muslims believe in the Koran and the Sunna, while Jews believe in the Torah and the Talmud.

Muslims believe that the Torah accepted by Jews today has been heavily edited and falsified, perhaps beginning with Moses.

http://defendingislam.com/domuslims.htm

whoa! said...

Your philosophy that only "we" build civilized societies, while "they" are mass murderers applies to all non-Jews and non-religious Jews or just to atheists? You originally said the latter, but now you have gravitated to the former.

I also think you misunderstand the Muslim position on the Torah, but at very least, it is a belief in the fundamental underpinnings of the Torah, and cannot be equated with atheism. It seems to me that you are trying to escape the dilemma using the "No True Scotsman Fallacy", by defining whomever you want outside the generality in order to satisfy your need to fit the generality to your prejudice.

In short, to clarify your thesis, you need to decide if atheists are the natural mass murderers or is it all non-Jews and non-religious Jews.

jewish philosopher said...

I think humans have a tendency to live in groups, while attacking other members of their own species, especially those outside the group. This is a trait which, like many others, we share with perhaps most other mammals. See this book for details.

http://www.amazon.com/Most-Dangerous-Animal-Nature-Origins/dp/031234189X

Orthodox Judaism does an admirable job of stifling this tendancy, except in cases of clear and present danger when self defense is permitted.

jewish philosopher said...

It's a little something called morals.

whoa! said...

So, if I understand you correctly, the latter assertion is correct in your estimation, that all non-Orthodox Jews are naturally mass murderers, and Orthodox Judaism is the only real philosophy that can prevent mass murder.

Does this obtain as well for "Jewish skeptics, i.e. Jews who are do not believe every facet of Orthodox Judaism but who live Orthodox lives?

Does this apply to "modern orthodox", i.e. Jews who follow orthodox teachings but have more liberal interpretations in some areas?

In your new professional pursuits, will you try to prevent mass murders to the extent possible?

whoa! said...

Why do you think that people share traits with mammals? Why did G-d use the mammal blue print and give us so many traits similar to that particular group of animals?

jewish philosopher said...

Through my blogging I am hoping to inspire world peace.

Animals, humans, plants, minerals, etc all to varying degrees share common characteristics, teaching us that one God created us all.

whoa! said...

By saying "other mammals", I thought that you were conceding that humans were, in fact, mammals, i.e. members of a zoological class of animals. If we are uniquely created, then we would share nothing appreciable with other mammals.

jewish philosopher said...

Sure we would. The iPod, iPhone and iPad were uniquely created and share many similarities.

whoa! said...

They have similarity to each other but not to the tree house that the engineers made for their children, nor the device they devised to make the water drain out of their driveway so the garage wouldn't flood.

Similarly, why are humans simialr to mammals and not so much to jellyfish?

Anonymous said...

Here's another failed evolutionary prediction.


http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v466/n7308/full/nature09267.html


This is getting monotonous.

jewish philosopher said...

"why are humans simialr to mammals and not so much to jellyfish?"

Why not?

Anonymous said...

I find your implicit trust of science in this post very interesting, particularly juxtaposed with your outright rejection of science as it relates to G-d's creation of the universe.

jewish philosopher said...

Darwin's monkey myth is hardly science, any more the resurrection is history.

whoa! said...

Are you under the delusion that Darwin invented the theory of evolution or the idea that men and apes had common ancestors?

I am interested in how your kleinikeit works. What would make evolutionary biology more of science? Evidence? It exists in reams. It exists in engineering, i.e. it works in reality. Traditional mythological support? Scientific consensus? It has that too. Physical observation? It has been shown and engineered. Intuitiveness? To one who understands genetics, and I mean at a detailed level, not in 101, it is clearly and obviously intuitive.
What exactly would make it scientific.

And I find it odd that you use the resurrection as exemplary of false history. It is unverified, to be sure. But it has the same basis in an academic historical context as many ideas that you believe in. So what makes the resurrection a false history, but the global flood a true one?

jewish philosopher said...

Darwin established evolution as a scientific theory by proposing the mechanism of natural selection.

Judaism, as well as the flood story, is clearly true, as I have explained.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2006/12/truth-of-judaism.html
http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/10/biblical-deluge.html

Evolution on the other hand is clearly false.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/03/evolution-science-hijacked-by-atheism.html

I would be convinced of evolution if I would see credible evidence strong enough to support such an incredible idea: for example, millions of intermediary steps showing the development by trial and error variation from a worm to a fish. Considering the fact that marine animals are often preserved in sediment and for 200 years scientists have collected billions of fossils, the fact that we cannot find even one such example of evolution is the clearest proof Darwin was wrong.

whoa! said...

" would be convinced of evolution if I would see credible evidence strong enough to support such an incredible idea: for example, millions of intermediary steps showing the development by trial and error variation from a worm to a fish. "

There are not only lots of samples, but in many cases, we know the exact genes that turn on and off various traits, and we can see the snowballing of viruses in the DNA. True, Darwin did not have this information.

I'd be interested in your proof of why the flood happened (you prove it!) but the resurrection did not. Their historical creds are identical. Your final answer in your previous post seems to be that god did it. OK. But that is not a proof of any sort. Another piece of "evidence" is that flood stories are common in the ancient world. But so are ghost stories and black magic stories and any amount of nonsense. So the question remains. Why is the resurrection false, but the flood true?

jewish philosopher said...

"There are not only lots of samples"

There is nothing like the kind of fossils I described.

"Why is the resurrection false, but the flood true?"

Gospels - 4 witnesses.

Torah - 600,000 witnesses.

whoa! said...

"Gospels - 4 witnesses.
Torah - 600,000 witnesses"

None of the evangelists claim to be witnesses. They claim that many others witnessed it.

Only Torah itself claims that their were 600,000 witnesses (men between 20 and 60). There is no evidence outside the Torah that had 600,000 contemporary witnesses.

Both are simply traditional claims. the Torah claims that a flood happened and the Torah claims that 600000 saw the Torah given ~1300 BCE. For that matter, the Torah claims that it was given in 1300 BCE, but there is nothing to corroborate that other than the Torah saying so. (You can ASSERT that all you want and say it is good enough for you, but you claimed to have PROOF, and entirely different matter.) And another book claims that people witnessed the resurrection. There is no difference in the quantity or quality of the evidence.

whoa! said...

"There is nothing like the kind of fossils I described."

Archeopteryx? Modern amphibians? Ancient whales? And that is without even invoking DNA evidence which, you will find, is overwhelming.

jewish philosopher said...

"Both are simply traditional claims."

Not exactly.

The origin of Christianity can easily be explained by a few people making up a story, which was believed by almost no one in Palestine when and where Jesus lived but which was eventually believed by many gullible Greek gentiles living decades later hundreds of miles away.

Secularists explain Judaism by claiming that about 2,500 years ago, a charismatic scammer named Ezra the Scribe ruled the Jewish community in Jerusalem. Using some earlier legends and myths as sources, he composed the Pentateuch and presented it to the Jewish people as being the authentic record of their origins. (In reality the Pentateuch is entirely fictional.) The Jews, not only in Jerusalem but throughout the Middle East, as well as the Samaritans who were enemies of the Jews, for some reason unanimously accepted it as being authentic and completely discarded any earlier historical records they may have had. If find this scenario to be completely implausible.

"Archeopteryx? Modern amphibians? Ancient whales?"

The fossil record doesn't provide any evidence in support of Darwinian theory except in the weak sense that the fossil record is compatible with it, just as it is compatible with other evolutionary theories, and revolutionary theories, and special creationist theories.

whoa! said...

"Secularists explain Judaism by claiming that ..."

Everything following was a simple strawman argument, a common fallacy. Even before the time of Ezra, even the traditional accounts (i.e. the Tanach itself) state that there were three different versions of the Torah (and who knows how many pieces they were derived from and who certified these three in particular and why.) Why would secularists say that there was only one, and that he originated it?

Regarding the fossils, you asked for examples and I gave them. Ignoring them doesn't invalidate them. But I am sure you will learn that in your new field.

jewish philosopher said...

"Everything following was a simple strawman argument"

It's called the Documentary Hypothesis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Documentary_hypothesis

"you asked for examples and I gave them"

Archeopteryx was no different than the modern duck billed platypus. It's just another creation of God, no evolution needed.

whoa! said...

"Archeopteryx was no different than the modern duck billed platypus. It's just another creation of God, no evolution needed."

It was you who claimed that no such fossils were found, implying that such fossils would be valid evidence, and I gave you both fossil and living examples. Then you want to discount the evidence and say that it is not evidence. Once again, as before, you need to decide what your real position is on these things before you argue them. Otherwise you are drawing the bullseye around the arrow.

jewish philosopher said...

The fossils demonstrate that life in the past was different than today, as I have explained here.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2008/09/how-i-understand-genesis.html

But of course nothing evolved. If evolution would work, why would we worry about global warming? We could just evolve out of it.

http://jewishphilosopher.blogspot.com/2009/03/climate-change-and-evolution.html

whoa! said...

"But of course nothing evolved. If evolution would work, why would we worry about global warming? We could just evolve out of it."

Or for that matter, why should man have worried about a global flood, if evolution were real? Wouldn't they have just grown gills overnight?

Brilliant refutation.

jewish philosopher said...

An ark might work.

Anonymous said...

The status of the archeaopteryx as an ancestor of birds is questionable due to the details of its anatomy, and growth patterns. No one considers modern amphibians to be transitional.

Anonymous said...

And to the best of my knowledge, the fossil whales are not considered the actual ancestors of modenr whales. They are though to have the ancestral condition, but the actual ancestors are still missing.

Same thing wiht tiktaalik, and the species involved in the transition form synapsid to mammal.

whoa! said...

"An ark might work."

LOL

whoa! said...

Anon

They do not to be directly transitional. If I see many versions of an engineered device that are similar, I can speculate on what the common prototype looked like, based on the similarities. (Not that engineered devices are like biological ones, but evolutionary influences are the same in either case.)

Anonymous said...

But if evoltuin really happened, which means that species actually change from one to the other, I would expect that to be recorded in the fossil record. Transitions between groups or side branches that have the ancestral condition but aren't really ancestors are circumstantial evidence at best, hardly proof.

whoa! said...

Sure. Or you can just take all evidence of common descent and say it is not evidence. You take all vestigial organs and DNA and say it is not vestigial. You can even stamp and cry and scream if you like. Each similar species might have been specifically created. For that matter, if you were to admit that a specific specimen was transitional, you could also say it was specifically created, and therefore not proof. One will have a hard time in the medical field with so strong a sense of confirmation bias. That is if he is not killing his patients since all people who are not in the correct subgroups are presumed to be mass murderers.

jewish philosopher said...

And all the overwhelming evidence of intelligent design isn't real either, according to you.

Anonymous said...

The problems with evolution are huge, and the evidence is spotty. If evolution can turn a bacteria into a blue whale and produced the millions of species that exist now, and the millions of species that are now extinct, I for one, would expect than the circumstantial, highly questionable, evidence that we see.

Anonymous said...

sorry to be johnny raincloud, but as someone who has a scientific backing I can only say the cycle is actually quite simple. Our bodies use the same basic chemicals over and over again, and almost all of the frequently used ones are used in the krebs cycle.