Dr. Davey Loos is a biochemist in Belgium. At one time, he doubted the existence of a Creator, believing instead in evolution. Later, he changed his mind. What caused a researcher to reconsider his beliefs about the origin of life? Awake! asked Dr. Loos about his science and his faith.
How did you become involved in scientific research?
When I attended university, I chose to study chemistry. I was particularly fascinated by proteins and nucleic acids, which are by far the most complex molecules on our planet. In time, I became intrigued by the way certain molecules respond to sunlight.
Did you believe in God?
I did when I was a little boy. But later, while I was studying at the Catholic University of Leuven, I was taught that living things owe their designs to natural processes. The professors made some of these processes sound quite complicated. They were experienced scientists, so I believed what they said. Eventually, I found it difficult to accept the existence of God.
What made you reconsider the origin of life?
In 1999, I met a friend from my school days who had become one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and I attended one of their meetings. Also about that time, one of Jehovah’s Witnesses visited our house and left a copy of the book Is There a Creator Who Cares About You? *
What did you think about the book?
I was impressed by the quality of the research that it presented. I began to wonder if evolution really did explain the designs seen in nature.
What designs in nature impressed you?
My work as a biochemist involved studying the design of certain molecules found in ocean-dwelling cyanobacteria, which are microorganisms that don’t depend on other living things for food. Some researchers think that these organisms were the first living things on our planet. Using energy from sunlight, the microbes use an extremely complex chemical process, which is still not fully understood, to convert water and carbon dioxide into food. I was also amazed at how cyanobacteria can harvest light with incredible efficiency.
Leaves also use sunlight to make food. So, what is remarkable about those bacteria?
The deeper you go in the sea, the less light you find. So the cyanobacteria that live there must capture every scrap of light energy that comes their way, and they do this by means of highly sophisticated antennae. The collected energy is transmitted to food-producing centers with nearly 100 percent efficiency. The design of this light-harvesting machinery has even attracted the interest of solar-panel manufacturers. Of course, manufactured solar cells are nowhere near as efficient as the systems found in bacteria.
What did that cause you to conclude?
I thought about engineers trying to imitate the marvelous mechanisms found in living things, and I came to the conclusion that life must have been designed by God
I thought about engineers trying to imitate the marvelous mechanisms found in living things, and I came to the conclusion that life must have been designed by God. But my faith was not based solely on what I studied in science. It was also based on a careful study of the Bible.
What convinced you that the Bible is from God?
One of the many things that convinced me was the detailed fulfillment of Bible prophecies. For example, centuries in advance Isaiah described in abundant detail the death and burial of Jesus. We know this prophecy was written before Jesus’ death because the Isaiah Scroll, found at Qumran, was copied about a hundred years before Jesus was born.
That prophecy says: “He will make his burial place even with the wicked ones, and with the rich class in his death.” (Isaiah 53:9, 12) Remarkably, Jesus was executed with criminals but was buried in the tomb of a wealthy family. This is just one example of the many fulfilled prophecies that convinced me that the Bible is inspired of God. (2 Timothy 3:16) In time, I became one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Why do you enjoy being one of Jehovah’s Witnesses?
Our faith is not blind faith that ignores the facts of science
Our faith is not blind faith that ignores the facts of science. Also, the principles that guide us are firmly based on the Bible. As one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, I enjoy sharing the Bible’s comforting message with others and helping them to find answers to their questions.
^ par. 9 Published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.