Reasons to Believe

Bacterial Design for Recycling Phosphorous

A microbiologist and a geologist in Germany have found some amazing design features in a large sulfur bacterial species that benefits all life. Thiomargarita namibiensis is a colossal bacterium (nearly 1 mm in diameter) that thrives in surface marine sediments under both oxic (containing oxygen) and anoxic conditions. It periodically contacts oxic bottom water to take up nitrate. Such internally stored nitrate allows it to survive for long periods under anoxic conditions. The bacterium’s prime energy source is sulfide oxidation. The sulfide accumulates in anoxic marine sediments when sulfate-reducing bacteria there degrade organic matter. The researchers discovered that aggressive sulfide oxidation by large populations of T. namibiensis is responsible for phosphorite deposits in marine sediments. Such deposits play a critical role in the life-essential phosphorous cycle. The amazing, unique designs and behaviors of T. namibiensis that allow it to take advantage of sulfide produced by sulfate-reducing bacteria so as to sustain Earth’s phosphorous cycle at an ideal rate for the benefit of all life testifies of a supernatural, super-intelligent Creator.

Heide N. Schulz and Horst D. Schulz, “Large Sulfur Bacteria and the Formation of Phosphorite,” Science 307 (2005): 416-18.

Related Resource

o Hugh Ross, “Anthropic Principle: A Precise Plan for Humanity”

Product Spotlight

o Journey Toward Creation, 2nd ed., by Hugh Ross


Subjects: Biodeposits, Geology and the Bible, Geophysical Design

Dr. Hugh Ross

Reasons to Believe emerged from my passion to research, develop, and proclaim the most powerful new reasons to believe in Christ as Creator, Lord, and Savior and to use those new reasons to reach people for Christ. Read more about Dr. Hugh Ross.