Perhaps you have noticed the addition of Food and Drug Administration warnings to packages of dietary supplements sold in drug and health food stores. If not, please do. These warning labels subtly announce dramatic new evidence for the divine design of life—and of the earth for sustaining life.
Research has identified many dietary essentials, in addition to the familiar one, iron, to be harmful, if not deadly, in certain amounts. Such elements as chromium, molybdenum, selenium, and vanadium, for example, are essential for building proteins, and proteins serve as life’s molecular “factories.” Yet each of these elements is toxic in any but the “just right” amount.
A finely-tuned balance of such elements in organisms’ external environment also proves necessary but risky. Molybdenum, for instance, though it can be harmful plays a crucial and unique role in “nitrogen fixation,” the process by which nitrogen from the atmosphere attaches to chemicals that can be assimilated by plants. This particular process, without which land life cannot exist, is impossible unless a certain “right amount” of molybdenum resides in the soil.
For many years, we have recognized the devastating effects of iron deficiency or iron overabundance in the diet of humans and advanced animals. Year by year, however, the list of lethal yet essential substances grows. Currently that list includes arsenic, boron, chlorine, cobalt, copper, fluorine, iodine, manganese, nickel, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, tin, and zinc, in addition to the four mentioned above.1
At the same time, our astronomy research reveals that the earth’s crust differs significantly from the crusts of other solar system bodies. One difference lies in the relative abundance of various life-essential elements. Earth’s crust contains “just right” quantities of all the elements necessary for the existence and sustenance of advanced land life. This finding can be viewed as a remarkable (more accurately, an impossible) coincidence or as a wondrous indicator of design. To reach for a sound bite, I would say that the gastronomical and astronomical evidences favor purposeful planning and preparation.
- John Emsley, The Elements , third edition (Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press, 1998), pp. 24, 40, 56, 58, 60, 62, 78, 102, 106, 122, 130, 138, 152, 160, 188, 198, 214, 222, 230.