Photosynthesis is a biochemical process that plants, algae, and some bacteria use to create food and release oxygen into Earth’s atmosphere.
Chlorophyll is the molecule that drives the process. There are two chemical reactions–one dependent on light and one independent of light. In the light-dependent reaction, sunlight enters the plant and energizes the chlorophyll. The chlorophyll splits water into hydrogen and oxygen and feeds electrons into nearby molecules. The oxygen escapes and the hydrogen is used later. The freed electrons make a molecule called ATP which fuels cellular functions. With more sunlight, a molecule called NADP is produced.
In the light-independent reaction, NADP combines with the freed hydrogen to make a larger molecule called NADPH. These components, NADPH, ATP, and an enzyme called RuBisCo, create sugars and other carbohydrates using carbon dioxide and water in a complex chemical process called the Calvin-Benson cycle.
Chlorophyll uses light in the blue and red part of the spectrum, reflecting green light (which is why trees and grass are green). Photosynthesis takes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and forms the foundation of all food chains on Earth.
This is a greatly over-simplified explanation of an extremely complex process. To believe that it could have happened by chance requires a profound faith in chance. Photosynthesis is a reflection of the wisdom of the Creator, who used some incredibly complex processes to establish life on this planet.
© Roland Earnst