What comes to your mind at the mention of this word? Decadent desserts, foods that make you gain weight, potatoes or bread could be common responses. Today I would like to look at carbohydrates from a very different perspective.

While it is not common knowledge, carbs are a critical component for every living cell to thrive.

Lately, I have been interested in the work of Dr. James Tour of Rice University, concentrating on Nanotechnology. He describes that there are 4 necessary components that are required for cells to survive. The four groups are lipids, amino acids, nucleic acids and carbohydrates. The complexity involved to bring these four building blocks together seamlessly is far beyond any amount of random chance or natural selection to account as the cause.

We have already talked about how nucleic acids specifically DNA and RNA are information based to create a vast array of blueprint like instructions for how to make proteins. Amino acids are the building blocks that link up and fold into a three dimensional chain to build these critically needed proteins.

Lipids are necessary for building semipermeable membranes in cell walls. Again, the complexity factors in the various layers and the amount of permeability in these structures are so complex that we do not even fully understand how they are made and how they work together.

And now for the final component, it is carbohydrates. Dr. Tour describes the construction of carbs is so sophisticated that the other needed ingredients (in cell construction) pale in comparison to the improbability of making a specific type of carbohydrate. He describes that there are billions and billions of potential choices that have be made just exactly right to construct a particular carbohydrate.

 pumpkin pie 3

So the next time you look at that piece of pumpkin pie, you can think about how improbable it would be to exist, without a designer who created the pumpkin in the first place. Of course, you can also think about how wonderful it tastes. (if you like pumpkin pie)