Simple Biological Rules Affirm Creation
by Fazale Rana
“Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.” –Richard Dawkins
To say that biological systems are complicated is an understatement.
When I was in college, I had some friends who avoided taking courses in the life sciences because of the complexity of biological systems. On the other hand, I found the complexity alluring. It’s what drew me to biochemistry. I love to immerse myself in the seemingly never-ending intricacies of biomolecular systems and try to make sense of them.
Perhaps nothing exemplifies the daunting complexity of biochemistry more than intermediary metabolism.
Order in the Midst of Biochemical Complexity
I remember a conversation I had years ago with a first-year graduate student who worked in the same lab as me when I was a postdoc at the University of Virginia. He was complaining about all the memorization he had to do for the course he was taking on intermediary metabolism. How else was he going to become conversant with all the different metabolic routes in the cell?
I told him that he was approaching his classwork in the wrong way. Despite the complexity and chemical diversity of the metabolic pathways in the cell, a set of principles exists that…