Basic Chemistry A Testament of Creation - Boudreaux

Basic Chemistry A Testament of Creation - Boudreaux -...

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* Edward A. Boudreaux, Ph.D., is Adjunct Professor of Chemistry at ICR and Professor of Physical Chemistry, University of New Orleans, retired. Impact #324 Basic Chemistry: A Testament of Creation by Edward A. Boudreaux, Ph.D .* June 1999 “VITAL ARTICLES ON SCIENCE/CREATION” Most of the chemical arguments in support of creation over evolution have stressed the biochemical perspective as it relates to the origin of life. While it is not suggested that these biochemical arguments should be minimized in any way, basic inorganic chemical roles of specific elements have been somewhat over- looked as worthy providing equally strong testaments of creation. Key Elements in the Periodic Table Main Groups I II H Na Mg K Ca Consider the element carbon (C)—the most unique element of all the chemical elements in the Periodic Table. It is a nonmetal having unlimited capacity to participate in every known type of covalent chemical bonding (i.e., pairs of electrons shared between atoms) which unite atoms of the same kind to each other and to other kinds of atoms as well. This feature, called catenation, is virtually unlimited only for the element carbon, making possible the wide diversity of organic molecules needed for life. Other elements, such as silicon (Si), nitrogen (N), sulfur (S), phosphorus (P), etc., display some very limited capacities for catenation, but do not even come close to rivaling the catenation ability of C. Without this unique feature, the formation of such essential biomolecules as proteins, DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), RNA (ribonucleic acid), cellulose, etc., would be impossible. Ironically, in spite of its crucial importance, carbon comprises only 9 to 10 percent by weight Transition Metals Cr Mn Fe Co Ni Cu Zn Main Groups III IV V VI VII VIII C N O F Si P S Cl As Br
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ii of the composition of all living things and only 0.017 percent of the earth’s composi- tion. Nonetheless, there is no other element that can replace even one or two C atoms in biomolecules, without destroying the biological integrity of these systems. Elements such as carbon (C), nitrogen (O), sulfur (S), phosphorus (P), and other nonmetals are called Representative or Main Group Elements. With the exception of oxygen, atoms of these elements are stable only when even numbers of their electrons unite in pairs; otherwise the presence of “unpaired” electrons impart chemical instability. On the other hand, metallic elements such as chromium (Cr), iron (Fe), nickel (Ni), etc., called Transition Metals, are among the Sub-Group Elements and do contain unpaired electrons, but surprisingly are chemically very stable.
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