Dr. Fazale Rana: "Bacteria are God's gift to us"
- My fifth question is, to what extent do we know about the biochemical activities in the world of bacteria? They are basically everywhere, from human digestive system to underground. One cannot imagine a world without them. What are your thoughts on this topic?
- Yes, it is astounding to me how prevalent bacteria are on our planet. They are everywhere and they play a vital role in ecosystems. For example, they play a critical role in generating the oxygen that we breathe, photosynthetic bacteria, they play a critical role in nutrient cycling on the planet, they play a role as nucleation centers to help with precipitation, so they are vitally critical to ecosystems. Even bacteria that are disease-causing help to control the numbers of animals in ecosystems maintaining ecosystem's stability. One of the things that I think is interesting now is that we are learning that bacteria are a critical part of a healthy human being, that they cover the surface of our skin, they line our digestive tract and they are playing a number of vital roles in terms of helping us to digest important foodstuffs, keeping us healthy. So a healthy person has the appropriate balance of bacteria. So I think this is very interesting, because so often you hear people who are atheists, who are evolutionary biologists, argue, "if a Creator is responsible for life, why would He have created bacteria?" Well, the fact that bacteria are playing such an important role answers that question. I see bacteria is part of a Creator’s elegant design, and in fact, some of the most astounding examples of design that we see in biology, or in bacterial systems. And what is interesting too, is that we now are learning that we can use bacteria to help develop new technologies. So we can take the bacteria that exist in nature and use them as inspiration for new designs or we can reengineer them and use them as these little biochemical manufacturing facilities that can produce incredibly expensive compounds that are medicines or have other uses, that we couldn't make through chemical synthesis. So I see bacteria as not only reflecting a Creator, but I see them as God’s gift to us, as human beings.