If science can create an artificial leaf that can turn sunlight into Energy, what is the need of God or soul?

PTI news: Scientists have created the world’s first practical artificial leaf that can turn sunlight and water into energy, which they claim could pave the way for a cheaper source of power in developing countries like India.

A team at Massachusetts Institute of Technology says that the artificial leaf from silicon, electronics and various catalysts which spur chemical reactions within the device, can use sunlight to break water into hydrogen and oxygen which can then be used to create electricity in a separate fuel cell.

“A practical artificial leaf has been one of the Holy Grails of science for decades. We believe we have done it. And placed in a gallon of water and left in sun, these artificial leaves could provide a home in the developing world with basic electricity for a day,” Daniel Nocera, who led the team, said.

He added: “Our goal is to make each home its own power station. One can envision villages in India and Africa not long from now purchasing an affordable basic power system based on this technology.”

For their research, the scientists identified a set of inexpensive, common catalysts including nickel and cobalt that get the job done with far less expense. And, in the laboratory their playing-card-sized leaves have worked continuously for 45 straight hours without a drop in output.

Though in laboratory, an artificial leaf prototype could operate continuously for at least 45 hours without a drop in activity, the scientists say that they will next try to boost both efficiency and lifespan of their photosynthetic material.

The findings were presented at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.


To Madhukar Daftari: Your answer "Leaving aside the controversy of existence of some super human being called God, existence of soul as some form of potential difference in the body that does the job of growing the body and providing energy to its brain which is an electronic circuit for the living body to function cannot be denied."

My doubt is : that potential difference (soul as you say) is already inside our body when we born and so what is special and surprising in it?

"growing the body and providing Energy to its brain"...if this is the duty of the soul, whether a plant has a soul?

27 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favourite answer

    You have still failed to understand the difference between the artificial leaf and the living body containing soul. Their functions are different. A living body grows in size, whereas the artificial leaf will not grow. They are two absolutely different things and cannot be compared.

    Basic property of nature is that an activity of some form can be produced by potential difference. If an object is taken to a height, its gravitational potential increases and it starts moving downwards. Its activity stops when the energy given to it is dissipated in nature due to resistive forces. In the absenece of the resistive force, the activity will continue forever.

    If an electric potential is given to an electric cell, it amounts to having given enrgy to the charge in it and will work till that energy is consumed.

    If sound energy is created, it starts propagating in all directions and due to resistive forces in the collisions of air molecules will eventually die down.

    Thus, all processes occurring in nature need generation of some type of potential difference which need to be created.

    In the living body also, some form of potential difference is created which does the job of making the body grow by multiplication of the cells it is made of. So far scientists have not been successful in creating a living body. Recently, there was a news item that scientists were successful in creating life in a test tube using non-living chemicals. If this is true, eventually it will pave a way for understanding what is soul that produces living things.

    Leaving aside the controversy of existence of some super human being called God, existence of soul as some form of potential difference in the body that does the job of growing the body and providing energy to its brain which is an electronic circuit for the living body to function cannot be denied.

    Body does not keep on growing indefinitely. A person keeps growing upto some age and then lives much longer thereafter. I will try to explain this with the analogy of gravitational potential. If a ball is released from the height along the inclined plane, it keeps on going down. This can be compared to the growth of living things. But once it reaches the level ground, it continues to move forward with the velocity gained and finally stops when its energy is used up in overcoming resistance. In the same way, body grows upto a point and thereafater continues to live due to the gained momentum till its energy is used up in overcoming natural resistance.

    In Yogas, its is claimed that length of life is measured not in terms of years, but in terms of respirations. Their theory is that if you conserve respirations, you can live longer. This is something like a scientific hypothesis.

    All I have described above can be considered scientific hypothesis. There are many steps after the hypothesis to prove it as theory confirmed with experiments and finally a law. In science, there is no absolute truth. Scientists continuously strive to find truth and that is a never ending process.


    To answer your querry in additional details:

    Yes, the job of the soul is to give life to the body and brain and it is present in all living things like plants too. Soul is the biological potential difference like gravitational potential difference, electric potential difference, etc.

    Leaf which the scientists created will not grow as it does not have soul.

    I do not understand your querry "soul is already there in body". When I compared living body to a battery and soul to its voltage, one can say that voltage is already there in the battery. One can also say that battery was given the voltage by recharging. (True only for rechargeable battery). Human body is like a battery which is not rechargeable.

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  • 9 years ago

    What a funny question.. What is the artificial leaf...? What is science. How science can create anything. If at all, who is the science you mean...? Is it that the leaf has just appeared one day..?

    If at all an artificial leaf is created, it is not natural and it is artificial. How science can create something. It is man who creates something. Man cannot create something of his own. He has to depend on a variety of matters/things. All that matters are God's creation. The man who created the artificial leaf and assuming that it can turn sunlight into energy, what is surprising in it. It is just a discovery and nothing else. Discovery means, something was there already but it was covered with something. Man has just removed the cover. Dis - the cover. It has appeared. Now what is the wonder in it.

    Which science you are talking of. what the science has done so far except spoiling everything in the world. People claim that the world has advanced like anything. Science and technology has developed like anything. Could this science so far create a single milligram of oxygen from vacuum and give to the society...? It is helped only to pollute it so far. Could this science so far been able to create a drop of water of its own, from vacuum...? It has helped only to pollute the available water.

    May God show all the proper way to thing.

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  • Cindy
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    That's really exciting, and I hope it's true. However, a team of highly intelligent, dedicated scientists working hard using existing materials to replicate what they've seen in the natural world, and having some measure of success, is hardly a reason to believe that no intelligence was needed to create the world from scratch in the first place.

    And what does any of this have to do with the soul? The soul is the life -- whether of animal or human -- and comes from God. From the time I was just old enough to drive until now (long time) I've heart scientists claim to have "created" life in the laboratory. They were always exaggerating or just plain lying. So far no one has succeeded. And these guys are claiming only to have crafted basically a photovoltaic energy cell with superior abilities to existing photovoltaics. Cool, but hardly a reason to scrap the soul.

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  • There is an Excellent answer by Madhukar Daftari Ji.

    I think when Self multiplying living cells are created by Scientists, there ends the search for ultimate truth.

    Even with so much advancements in science, we need to depend only on natural blood from other persons of same blood group or universal group to treat a patient who requires blood. Scientists could not create a drop of blood. It will be a never ending search !

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    The word Soul is probably derived from European languages like latina or german which means binding (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soul). Soul is often reffered to as "Atman" in indian philosophy while treated as "bhoota or Bhoot" in indian theology.

    Though the meaning of Atman and soul differ in general usage we feel they are same.

    If we question the functionality of Atman or soul, according to Indian thinking Atman is believed to be a fragment of paramatmans(I am not sure this has any connectivity with GOD??? still doubt) supposed to be another form of energy.

    They say every human activity is due to Atman(or soul). If soul leaves human materialistic body, human dies.

    This is well known.

    I dont agree that we grow becoz of soul. soul is not responsible for human growth. Human body is nothing more than a complex chemical factory. other words a lump of protiens, vitamins, minerals, water.

    The chemical equilibrium in human body fails which leads human to death.

    back to point, God is no way needed indeed. Not because an artificial leaf can produce energy from sun rays and water.

    We dont even need god because, if he exists, he is sure to hate us because we are creating large imbalance(un stable equilibrium) in the universe by killing innocent animals, killing humans and plants.

    The functionality of leaf is different from artificial leaf. Leaf has chlorofil which is a chemical that acts as a catalyst during photosynthesis. So, leaf is not created by god as if he has to give energy he can just say a word. Give Energy1 leaf gets energy.

    But leaf cannot produce energy(glucose or carbohydrate) if there is no sunlight or water). So Where is the role of God. Truly No where.

    So we dont need him

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  • 9 years ago

    If so there is no need of plants. That's all. Nothing can be said about God.

    Leaves work on the basis of chemistry.Chlorofil makes starch fom the nutiants in the presence of sunlight and CO2.

    Stephen Hawking in his book A Breaf History of Time.A cup broken by chance will not become its original shape by chance. This is because a cup has an order. There are thousands of propbability to that cup. Attain this order is almost impossible.( Like Jigso pzzil it is easy to disorder it to get it in order is difficult.) Similerely the universe had much order than before it became disordered with time.

    Now the question is about evolution. Less complicated virus became most complicated man.According to the above theory virus may be distroied but there is no way to become more ordered.

    For an ordered event there must be a worker. Like maker of a cup.

    Evolutionists says that it took tens of thousands of years for evolution.It is a folly. If so I can say that a rock flew.How? It took thousands of years to evolve wings like a penguin. And took thousand of years for feather. And yesterday it flew!!!

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    The thing is, this leaf was CREATED. If an artificial leaf grew out of nothing, you'd have a point. The fact of the matter is, an intelligent force was needed to create this, and it's the same thing with the universe.

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    See, I'm a realist and I am agnostic. I think if we are able to produce such things then it is for our own benefit. Why do we even need to think about the need of God? Let's just make our world happier. Why think about something which has never been seen or proven. We should be happy about the tangible facts and not Speculate about things which we aren't even sure about.

    Source(s): My views
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  • 9 years ago

    Can science create a Sun?If there is no Sun, how can the scientist provide ,even artificially,sunlight to leaves?

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  • 9 years ago

    The capacity to invent,discover and apply will also need energy in the form of Shakti which is really from God,the Almighty.Anything whether it is artificial or natural,source is God.

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