Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer, Plain and Simple

Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2009 Deserves Praise… To God!

The 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry goes to two Americans and an Israeli for explaining how the DNA code is translated into life. The work of Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Thomas A. Steitz, and Ada E. Yonath, explored ribosomes which produce proteins that control the chemistry in all living organisms. They created three-dimensional models that depict how antibiotics bind to the ribosome, research that has already been significant in developing new anti-infective medicines. The groundwork they have laid has become the basis of much additional research now underway.


Every year the Nobel Assembly in Stockholm awards human achievements in science and the arts. It’s a time to honor great human efforts in discovering secrets of the natural world and in expressing unique visions of the human condition. A Nobel Prize is a way to praise an extraordinary human being.

What strikes me today, however is that scientists who receive these honors win such praise for what they discover, not what they create. Through their cleverness, hard work, and remarkable brilliance, they have asked new questions and devised creative methods to unwrap hidden mysteries in the universe. But their success is detective work, not invention. This year’s award for the explanation of how ribosomes work is notable and certainly deserved. But these scientists discovered wonder that was already there – put there by the Creator!


Our deeper delight today is the surprising and vivid new window this work has created for those of us who want to give honor and glory to God, our Maker. The work of these Nobel laureates is a profound act of worship to the One who thought up the very possibility of “LIFE” and is slowly but eagerly giving us the right and capacity to uncover His secrets. As we honor those who discovered and explained ribosomes, we also pause to praise and honor God the Creator of ribosomes!



“God, our creator. Thank you for giving Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Thomas Steitz and Ada Yonath the capacity and opportunity to discover more secrets in your mysteries of life. With the rest of the world we bless them for the contribution their work will make in our lives. But more than this, we praise and honor you, our Creator for making life itself, for laying down the fabric of Creation is such a way! We are blessed to be part of that Creation, and a special part that reflects your very image. Part of that image means the capacity to seek and ask and knock to discover the order in the world and through that, a bit of your own genius! God we worship you for your wonderful works. With the ancient Psalmist, we say it again, “We worship you and praise you God for your wonderful works.” Yes, we are wonderfully made, and you are wonderful for making us so, and for giving us the privilege to discover it, and you! In the name of Jesus, our Lord and Maker!”

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    very well put…

  • Sairis

    I agree with this. The Glory is to GOD and may God bless this people for their work. Very nice prayer!!!!

  • Tim Dekker

    I can’t believe how much good money is still being sunk into these ‘scientific’ projects. We already know the answers! God our glorious Maker has made our world perfect. We shouldn’t be wasting all these money and resources trying to uncover His works; we should be using the money to spread His WORD instead!!!

  • trendsett1r
  • Curt Cameron

    Tim Dekker, tell that to a person whose child has cancer. But be sure to say it when you’re standing more than an arm’s length away.

  • Berny

    Your obvious error is in assuming the existence of a god or gods. Science makes no such assumption. The credit belongs to those scientists, not to some nebulous, non-existent entity no one has ever proven conclusively exists.

  • Unwashed

    Praise be to Odin! Or Horus! or Vishnuu!
    Good luck proving which one designed the ribosome though….
    When will you guys realize that God isn’t an answer for anything?

  • B166ER

    KOOK ALERT!!! KOOK ALERT!!! Without a drop of understanding of the science in the least bit, you just said the answers to everything can be summed up in three words: GOD DID IT. Why do you use computers that were made by evil atheistic science, or use medicine’s developed because of the evil atheistic reality of evolution. Please, if you abhor the science that much, STOP REAPING THE REWARDS THAT THE EVIL ATHEISTIC SCIENCE HAS GIVEN YOU! Either live by your word and get rid of everything in your life that science has given you, i.e. EVERYTHING, or you are all hypocrites.Just pray and see how fast your imaginary friend answers you. Still waiting? I though so.

  • Allison Poe


  • alopiasmag

    Tim Dekker….. Thanks to SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH, and not “god” (lower case on purpose), thanks to MEDICAL DOCTORS and not “god” is that we have:
    Artificial Heart Transplants
    Organ Transplants
    Blood Transfusion
    Skin Grafts
    Bone Grafts
    Eye Surgery
    The list goes on indefinitely… all advancements in our society are thanks to scientists, inventors and people who put faith aside to question how things work.
    Understanding Biochemistry, Organic Chemistry and Physics, among other sciences is what moves society forward.
    Irrational belief in an invisible being holds us back… at most. If you want to put your health in god’s hand… so be it. You’ll suffer the same consequence an innocent girl suffered a while back because her parents decided to “pray” instead of looking for medical attention.

  • Anna Banana

    The amount of stupid espoused in this post is breathtaking.
    Return to your dark and mysterious caves, beat on your ceremonial drums and howl your magic incantations to the skies, O Christians.
    The rest of the world will work toward a better humanity.

  • Derek Colanduno

    I guess then your wonderful, amazing, loving, God is also responsible for my stroke and all of the side effects I will be faced with for the rest of my life.
    Your sky buddy is a hateful bastard and gets no award from me.

  • Gobsmacked

    So you clearly have absolutely no idea at all about how evolution works. Ribosomes have their evolutionary history written all over them: the are not created, they evolved. There is reams of incontrovertible evidence out there to this effect. And I mean proper scientific evidence, based on proper research on a huge sample base, with all the proper checks, balances and counter checks and balances, and not some loony theory based on a book made up of (at best) third hand accounts about primitive tribes-people who’s promised land is the only place in the middle east without oil reserves, and whose path from Egypt to their land of milk and honey lies strewn with multiple acts of genocide.
    What is it going to take to get your myopic eyes opened to all the science fact out there which completely and repeatedly demolishes your biblical mumbo-jumbo time and time again? There are none so blind as those that *will* not see.

  • Jimbo

    As we honor those who discovered and explained ribosomes, we also pause to praise and honor God the Creator of ribosomes!
    Pharyngula response plus comments worth repeating here:
    “No, we don’t. Your god did not create ribosomes — they evolved. Not only did your god not have anything to do with it, his priests and unthinking followers, like the wanking cheerleader at beliefnet who wrote that piece, made no contribution to our understanding of how life works, and in some cases either discouraged knowledge-seeking or drew away resources for their pan-handling churches that could have been used, for instance, to educate the poor and bring up a generation of smarter, more productive citizenry who might have helped broaden and deepen our understanding.” []
    “If God gets credit for the ribosome, he gets credit for [Harlequin type ichthyosis,”

  • Daveness

    Cdesign proponentsists?

  • Per

    I’m getting worse and worse at figuring out if posts like these are a hoax to make actual christians look bad.

  • Bill

    THIS IS REAL! Pay attention atheists!! Satan sent a demon to my house. The demon wanted to buy my soul and offered me riches. I was weak and I sold him my soul and the demon gave me riches,more than enough. I felt horrible and asked for Jesus to save me, and Jesus did save me. I ask Jesus to destroy the demon and Jesus did just that!! I asked Jesus if I could keep the riches and Jesus said yes. I love my lord Jesus, thanks for the money.
    I guess god created anthrax, cancer, brain tumors, starvation, and bullshit.

  • Believer

    Oh silly atheists, you just don’t get it! You see, all the bad stuff was created by Satan, not our all-powerful God. In fact the reason you think as you do is that you have been won over by the wiles of Satan. No matter that you are smart, caring people who use logic and reason. God gave us intelligence and free will so we can make choices. Being seduced by the Satan, you have chosen the dark side, so you are obviously bad people and will not enjoy the Rapture. Anyone who reads the negative comments to this blog post will say, “Ah ha, told you so, there’s Satan at work.”
    As for those pesky scientists, when they find something that doesn’t conflict with our Belief, then obviously they are uncovering the Work of the Lord. But if they find something that conflicts with our belief, say the “Theory” of Evolution (only a Theory!) then they are obviously tools of Satan.
    Atheists, get with the program! Believe and you will be saved!

  • Shuuda

    If God wants that prize so bad, he’ll just have to come down and claim it.
    By the way, demons came by my house once. We partied and feasted on babies and booze. Then we had a fun time with some virgins.

  • Joe Agnost

    Believer wrote: “Atheists, get with the program! Believe and you will be saved!”
    The problem is that ~belief~ is not something you can simply turn on. It’s not a ‘choice’, it just is. I can no more decide to “believe” in god than I can “believe” in the tooth fairy.
    Wouldn’t your god notice if I faked “belief” in him? I cerntainly cannot “believe” earnestly…

  • Michael

    Lets praise his Noodleness for all his wondrous works………scientists…….bah, who needs ’em.

  • Amanda

    To Believer:
    I am not sure what kind of Christian you are, but God is the ONLY Creator. Satan “creates” nothing. He is the master manipulator and adversary. Re-read your Bible. Yes, God creates what you may also consider “bad,” but God has his reasons that we, as mere stupid humans may not understand at present. The universe is about balance, a balance that God designs, and without “all that bad stuff” there would be no reason, no logic, no light to chase the shadow, no good to triumph over the evil, and no free will. Keep that in mind next time you attribute the Godly power of Creation to the devil.
    As for this article, I agree with the “atheists”: it is banal and trite. Sure the work done for the Nobel was just “discovery” of pre-existing genetic code, but that discovery took years of training, education, intelligence and hard work that the average layman has no chance of understanding. Most science is “just discovery” considering that the universe is already out there just waiting for us to figure it out and understand its truth, but that doesn’t make the human work done any less credible or impressive. Attributing to God all of the recognition earned by these scientists is like saying: “I turned the light off so I could go to bed, but only because God put the light switch on the wall.” It’s just stupid.
    PS: Why are people so dang conflicted about Creationism/Evolution? I just don’t get it. They are perfectly compatible if you actually READ Genesis.

  • Suraj

    It never fails to amuse me when religious people don’t get sarcasm… as in the case of Amanda here. Guess that’s why they are religious, not realizing that the bible is just god playing pranks with humans.

  • truebutnotuseful

    Maybe it was God, Mark. But why are you so certain that it was *your* God?

  • Adrienne

    …years of training, diligence and hard work. By giving ‘God’ credit for this discovery, the author completely erases the *work* these scientists did. If “God” deserves credit for this, why not just plant the knowledge *directly* into their brains? Or, better yet, into the brains of some 8 year old?
    It’s also patently *dishonest* because if, for instance, these people had started a major war no such credit would be going to ‘God’. Then ALL of the blame would be on the *human beings* who had committed the act of war. So, what we have here is patently dishonest. Those actions of humans that are praiseworthy the credit *actually* goes to God, the humans being mere ciphers through which God acted. While any actions of humans that are worthy of condemnation are *wholly* the responsibility of the humans who acted. That’s very convenient for ‘God’ and his cheerleading squad.
    Science is not, largely, about *invention*. Science is *always* about discovery. Einstein didn’t ‘invent’ Special or General Relativity, he *discovxered* that this was the way the universe works.
    If you find what these researchers did praiseworthy, give them their well-earned props. Don’t try to rope them into your sectarian cheerleading. It demeans the real accomplishments of real people for no good reason other than an inability to appreciate scientific achievement on its own terms.

  • Mikko

    Glöm det!
    Forget it!

  • Amanda

    You see Suraj, that is the exact kind of bitter hate-filled spew that makes atheists/skeptics in general regarded with the same kind of laughing disdain as right wing religious fundamentalists. Reason does not come into play with anything you just said – it is simple hate. Whether you, or I, believe, or do not believe, in a theistic universe or intelligent design should be a subject of reasonable discussion, not hate-filled sarcasm. As I said in my previous post, I agree that the above article is banal, but your hate toward me is confusing. I don’t understand why you would pick the one theist post in the bunch that actually agrees with some of what the atheists/skeptics have to say about the above article and then pull my pigtails and throw sand in my face. It is counterproductive and only serves to show your own ignorance and unhappiness.

  • Jason

    If you took the time to understand what science really is, you’d know these scientists were able to make their discoveries based ONLY due to assumptions that exclude the possibility of intervention by a magical being. Modern biology is fundamentally based on the reality that the diversity of life evolved *unaided* from any designer or supernatural intervention. This Nobel prize is another triumph of the beauty and predictive power of natural selection. Did you know that natural selection has more scientific verification than even gravity itself? Don’t ask a Christian, ask a scientist. We don’t even know the mechanism that gravity works by… but we do with evolution. Each new theory in biology is another beating of a long ago dead horse that you call creationism. It’s a laughingstock to think that this award somehow gives praise and glory to an imaginary being that has no basis in reality. You honestly might as well be arguing that the earth is flat. It’s simply that absurd to educated humans. Scientists know this as they go about their daily lives working to improve the lot of humans by curing disease, creating new technologies, increasing safety, preserving food supplies, and developing better travel and communication methods. Science has done what all the praying in the world could not do. Next time you or your loved ones get sick, try praying instead of going to the hospital. If there is a god, he should be able to save you right? Where is your faith? When it comes down to it, you have faith in science, not a make belief sky daddy. So don’t try to leech on scientific progress when it suits you.
    You are just lucky that the United States is so scientifically illiterate or else your charlatanism would have already been exposed by the main stream. Count your time… it’s ending soon.
    Oh wait, you’ll get your reward in the next life right? While we’re at it, why don’t you sell me your house. I’ll pay you 1,000 times it’s current value. But I’ll pay you back when you die in the next life. Ha! The wool has been pulled over your eyes long enough. Grow up.

  • Nameless Cynic

    Dear Mr Herringshaw,
    We on the Nobel Committee understand your concerns, and I think we can come to an accomodation.
    You claim that God should get the credit for this discovery. Strangely, He hasn’t complained about it. And and equally strong case has been made by Krishna, stating that it was he who inspired Dr Ramakrishan to make the initial discoveries leading to this award. So I am sure that you understand that we cannot accept unsupported allegations in such a case as this.
    However, if God will present Himself before the committee, in person, to make His case, we will be pleased to give Him a fair hearing. Until such a time, however, our judgement stands, and the Prize will be awarded to Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Thomas A. Steitz and Ada E. Yonath.
    Thank you for your thoughtful letter. We will be sure to get back to you if there is a change in our final decision.
    The Nobel Committee

  • steve

    Creation/evolution is a contentious point because a number of very vocal christians take the words of the Bible as literal truth. They think every word in the Bible is as true as the statement that the sky is blue. And to take it one step further, the creationists want their literal biblical views imposed on the world as scientific fact, and do so without subjecting their notions to the system of conjectures and refutations to which scientists put their hypotheses through before they become accepted theories and facts.
    Now I’m going to talk chemistry for a bit because it’s my field. Chemists propose new theories all the time in the form of reaction mechanisms. When we see a reaction, our challenge is to explain what happened? We then propose a reaction mechanism and present evidence to back it up, things like color changes, pH changes, shifts in the NMR or UV-Visible spectrum, gas evolution, formation of a solid precipitate. Reaction mechanisms, once they’re published, can (and often are) refuted by other chemists, and the chemist disputing a mechanism will propose another set of evidence, and on and on it goes.
    Now what scientists object to is that creationists want to impose their views without subjecting their views to the scientific forum. And even worse, they’re challenging a fact (evolution) with a great multitude of evidence supporting it, without a scrap of evidence at all on their side. These creationists, I’d say, are not just doing science and the advancement of knowledge no good, but I think they’re also detracting from the religious belief they espouse. Ignoring facts like evolution and the fact that the age of the Earth is over 4.5 billion years old makes you seem, well to be perfectly frank, ignorant. Why not accept the facts and find ways in which you can associate them with your faith?

  • touched

    I agree with the original author. Praise deserves to go to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, who created the world and all things in it with His Noodly Appendage.
    If those scientists did invent anything, it was because the Flying Spaghetti Monster put the idea in their heads.

  • Joe Fogey

    No doubt Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, if he has religious beliefs, will have paused to consider the role that Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva have played in the process of creation, preservation and destruction that is the cycle of existence.
    Hare Ram.

  • Hittman

    Praise be to Odin! Or Horus! or Vishnuu!
    Heathen! Thor is the one true god! Let us praise him by getting hammered.
    You want God to get the Nobel prize? How about one of his minions getting it by proving he exists? Since no one has been able to do that for a hundred million years (or, if you’re a mouth breathing moron, 6,000 years) that would be worth all sorts of prizes.
    Praise be to Odin! Or Horus! or Vishnuu!
    Heathen! Thor is the one true god! Let us praise him by getting hammered.

  • silly silly silly

    “But these scientists discovered wonder that was already there – put there by the Creator!”
    Hilarious nonsense.

  • Roger Scott

    Yes, wonderfully made. How clever to give us a gene for vitamin C synthesis that doesn’t work. Dogs got a good copy, so clearly our Maker regards dogs more highly than us. On those long sea voyages of centuries ago, dogs did just fine while the sailors died agonising deaths from scurvy.
    Nautilus got a retina which is directly exposed to light. We humans have a tangle of nerves and blood vessels in front of the retina, making our vision poorer and retinas prone to detachment. Our Maker be praised!

  • Hardball Science

    Anti-science people seem to never truly appreciate the talent, hard work, and sacrifice it takes to understand our universe and life on its terms at the levels required to enrich even their lives. They are instead arm-chair critics who claim they’re pro-science while at the same time knowing virtually nothing about it nor caring too in spite of the criticism aimed at us.
    We feel the pot shots they hurl at the very community who are primary contributors to the well-being we enjoy today relative to the time when science was suppressed by the religions that dominated society. Back in those dark days it was “I don’t know, therefore God did it!”; a popular position even today with scientific illiteralists in spite of the fact those arguments that have a direct effect on our health have all been falsified by scientists doing the hard work of figuring stuff out; even taking on and slaying sacred cows rather than throwing their hands up and claiming that “God works in mysterious ways”.
    When science illiteralists own health is at stake and these people leverage the services of modern medicine, they give God the glory rather than the scientific community that provided the knowledge required for a medical practioner to treat them. And when a scientist is around, they proclaim their ‘heartfelt’ thanks but are compelled to add, “Our prayers were to guide your hands successfully”. My reply to that is, what guided my hands was 30 years of intense study and practice at a level of intensity you can’t even imagine, God had absolutely nothing to do with it.

  • John

    Isn’t Brahma the Creator great? Thanks, Mr. Herringshaw, for giving props to Brahma when all these silly scientists couldn’t.
    I also think that the Almighty God and our Maker, the One, Brahma, deserves to be praised they way you did, and more.

  • Flonkbob

    This is as silly as a football player pointing ‘up’ after a touchdown. God didn’t carry him over the goal line, he ran. Similarly, these brilliant men weren’t ‘allowed’ to discover anything. They uncovered knowledge by dint of hard work and logical thinking.
    If you can demonstrate…hell, even just describe, how your invisible friend influenced anything, ever, I’ll be in your debt. I’ve seen no proof thus far. And logic, knowledge, and creative thinking go much further in explaining how the universe works than does deity.

  • latichever

    “Oh silly atheists, you just don’t get it! You see, all the bad stuff was created by Satan, not our all-powerful God.”
    If God is all powerful, and all good, how come there is Satan?
    I’m prepared for your comments about how he gave a choice to believe in him. Is he a sadist? But then he’s not all good.

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