Hazardous materials are not just man-made phenomenon, but also a natural part of creation. For example, uranium and other radioactive elements occur naturally in the environment and can be dissolved in ground water. Chlorofluorocarbons are spewed from volcanoes. Dioxins occur naturally with every forest fire. One might expect a well-designed creation to have the ability to process hazardous materials into harmless substances. Scientists are learning that this is exactly the case with several types of bacteria which decontaminate water containing dissolved uranium. One species of bacteria makes uranium phosphate crystals by combining the phosphate in the water with the uranium. The crystals are stored harmlessly within the bacteria. Another species uses enzymes to make a uranium ore, which settles harmlessly out of the water. Scientists have also discovered a type of bacteria that breaks down chlorofluorcarbons.

The hazardous chemicals in the environment are a reminder that we no longer live in a perfect environment, but that our world has been affected by the curse of the Fall. Yet the earth is still full of abundant evidence that it is a well-designed system. By studying nature, scientists are learning how to clean up mankind's messes.

From A Closer Look at the Evidence by Kleiss, July 2.

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