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Stars, Cells, and God | Biochemical Maxwell Demons and First Australians

Join Fazale “Fuz” Rana and Hugh Ross as they discuss new discoveries taking place at the frontiers of science that have theological and philosophical implications, including the reality of God’s existence. Biochemical Maxwell Demons Maxwell’s demon is a thought experiment designed to illustrate the second law of thermodynamics. In this imaginary scenario, a demon operates a massless door separating two boxes filled with gas molecules. The demon opens and shuts the door to allow certain gas molecules to pass from one box to the other. Eventually one box contains high temperature molecules and the other, low temperature molecules—violating the second law of thermodynamics. Physicists have discovered why Maxwell’s demon doesn’t violate the second law by describing the demon’s activity with information theory. Recently, a team of biophysicists from Switzerland demonstrated that a special class of transport proteins found in cell membranes behave as literal Maxwell’s demons, making these proteins sophisticated computational devices. In this episode, biochemist Fuz Rana discusses this work and demonstrates why this discovery evinces a Creator’s role in the origin and design of life. References: ABC Transporters Are Billion-Year-Old Maxwell Demons Additional Resources: The Cell’s Design Biochemical Finite-State Machines Point to an Infinite Creator First Australians Some scientists have long held that thermoluminescence dating of circular engravings in the Jinmium rock shelter proved that modern humans had colonized Australia 75,000–58,000 years ago. Carbon-14 measurements of charcoal samples found in the same layer as the engravings showed that this date was too old by a factor of 20 times. Other carbon-14 measurements on modern human remains and artifacts found in 26 other archaeological sites in Australia and New Guinea establish that anatomically modern humans first colonized Sahul (an ice age continent consisting of Australia, New Guinea, and Tasmania) 47,000–40,000 years ago and that evidence for an earlier arrival by modern humans is very weak. This newly established date for the first colonization of Sahul is consistent with the date of 44,000–40,000 years ago for the arrival of the first humans in Europe. These dates provide support for the biblical claim that there was a rapid, near simultaneous, widespread dispersal of humans from one region some time after Noah’s Flood. References: Early Human Occupation of Northern Australia: Archaeology and Thermoluminescence Dating of Jinmium Rock-Shelter, Northern Territory Optical and Radiocarbon Dating at Jinmium Rock Shelter in Northern Australia The Process, Biotic Impact, and Global Implications of the Human Colonization of Sahul about 47,000 Years Ago A Genomic History of Aboriginal Australia The Earliest Evidence for Anatomically Modern Humans in Northwestern Europe A 41,500 Year-Old Decorated Ivory Pendant from Stajnia Cave (Poland)