Evolution Encyclopedia Vol. 1 

Chapter 11 Appendix

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Chapter Appendix

Supplementary Material


The wonders of the cell are, frankly, too astounding for anyone with good sense to properly ignore, although some try to do so. Open-minded scientists recognize that it would simply be too incredible for plant or animal cells to have a chance origin.

Experts in the field generally avoid discussion of how the first cell could have evolved. Yet they are well aware that an apparently insurmountable problem exists there. On July 27, 1979, Luther D. Sunderland, New York State paleontologist, conducted a taped interview of *Dr. David Raup, director of the Paleontology Department of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. It houses one of the largest fossil collections in the world. This interview was later transcribed and authenticated by both parties. During the interview, Sunderland said, "Neither *Dr. Patterson [chief paleontologist at the British Museum of Natural History], nor *Dr. Eldredge [head of the fossil collection at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City] could give me any explanation of the origination of the first cell." * Dr. Raup replied, "Neither can L"

How could the cell ever have been produced by chance? It consists of an utter complexity packed inside a microscopically small box, All of its parts had to suddenly be there together when it first began functioning.

"The most difficult aspect of the origin of life problem lies not in the origin of the [primitive environment] soup, but in the stages leading from the soup to the cell."—*Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (1985), p. 263. (Australian molecular biologist.)

The possibility of random production of a cell is "fantastic."

"There is one step [in evolution] that far outweighs the others in enormity: the step from macro-molecules to cells . . .

"The molecule-to-cell transition is a jump of fantastic dimension, which lies beyond the range of testable hypothesis. In this area all is conjecture. The available facts do not provide a basis for postulating that cells arose on this planet."—*D. E. Green and *R. F. Goldberger, Molecular Insights into the Living Process (1967), p.407.

Evolutionary theory falls to the floor when it faces the living cell.

"The cell is really such an astoundingly clever unit that when we think of it from the point of view of evolution it seems easier to imagine a single cell evolving into complex animals and plants than it does to imagine a group of chemical substances evolving into a cell. It is very likely that the first step was more difficult . . The study of early evolution really amounts to educated guesswork." —*John Tyler Bonner, The Ideas of Biology (1962), p. 18.

It is simply beyond our ken to conceive all that is included in a cell, much less how it could have made itself by chance:

"To grasp in detail the physiochemical organization of the simplest cell is far beyond our capacity."—*Loran Eiseley, The Immense Journey (1957), p. 206 [Quoting German biologist *Von Bertalanfly].

The cell and the DNA within it cannot do their work without complex enzymes, yet the enzymes require a fully functioning cell to make them.

"Now we know that the cell itself is far more complex than we had imagined. It includes thousands of functioning enzymes, each one of them a complex machine itself. Furthermore, each enzyme comes into being in response to a gene, a strand of DNA. The information content of the gene—its complexity—must be as great as that of the enzyme it controls." —*Frank B. Salisbury, "Doubts About the Modern Synthetic Theory of Evolution," in American Biology Teacher, September 1971, pp. 336-338.

Not only does the cell have complicated chemical formulas, genetic, protein, and enzyme codes,—but it also has complex equipment, such as channels, pumps, and messenger systems.

"Modern cell membranes include channels and pumps which specifically control the influx and efflux of nutrients, waste products, metal ions and so on. These specialized channels involve highly specific proteins, molecules that could not have been present at the very beginning of the evolution of life."—*Leslie Orgel, "Darwinism at the Very Beginning of Life," New Scientist, April 15, 1982, p. 151.

Even the simplest of living cells are immensely more complicated than the theoretical "protocell."

"A very large gap separates the most complex model systems from the simplest contemporary living cells," —*Kenyon and *Nissenbaum, "Melanoidin and Aldocynanin Microspheres: Implications for Chemical Evolution and Early Precambrian Micropaleontology," in Molecular Evolution, 7 (1976), p. 245-246.

"Above the molecular level, the simplest fully living unit is almost incredibly complex. It has become commonplace to speak of evolution from amoeba to man, as if the amoeba were the simple beginning of the process. On the contrary, if, as must almost necessarily be true, life arose as a simple molecular system, the progression from this state to that of the amoeba is at least as great as from amoeba to man. All the essential problems of a living organism are already solved in the one-celled protozoan, and these are only elaborated in man or the other multi-cellular animals." —*George Gaylord Simpson, The Meaning of Evolution (1967), p. 17.

Even the smallest of the bacteria is composed of large numbers of cells.

"The improbability involved in generating even one bacterium is so large that it reduces all considerations of time and space to nothingness. Given such odds, the time until the black holes evaporate and the space to the ends of the universe would makes no difference at all. If we were to wait, we would truly be waiting for a miracle." —*R. Shapiro, Origins: A Skeptic's Guide to the Creation of Life on Earth (1986), p. 128.

The complexity of the simplest amoeba reveals that evolution is merely a carefully devised myth:

"Intensified effort revealed that even the supposedly simple amoeba was a complex, self-operating chemical factory. The notion that he was a simple blob, the discovery of whose chemical composition would enable us instantly to set the life process in operation, turned out to be, at best, a monstrous caricature of the truth.

"With the failure of these many efforts science was left in the somewhat embarrassing position of having to postulate theories of living origins which it could not demonstrate. After having chided the theologian for his reliance on myth and miracle, science found itself in the unenviable position of having to create a mythology of its own: namely, the assumption that what, after long effort, could not be proved to take place today had, in truth, taken place in the primeval past." — *Loran Eiseley, The Immense Journey (1957), p. 199.

There is simply no way in which any so-called "primitive environment" could have produced a living cell.

"One does occasionally observe, however, a tendency for the beginning zoological textbook to take the unwary reader by a hop, skip, and jump from the little steaming pond or the beneficent chemical crucible of the sea, into the lower world of life with such sureness and rapidity that it is easy to assume that there is no mystery about this matter at all, or, if there is, that it is a very little one.

"This attitude has indeed been sharply criticized by the distinguished British biologist Woodger, who remarked some years ago: `Unstable organic compounds and chlorophyll corpuscles do not persist or come into existence in nature on their own account at the present day, and consequently it is necessary to postulate that conditions were once such that this did happen although and in spite of the fact that our knowledge of nature does not give us any warrant for making such a supposition . . It is simple dogmatism—asserting that what you want to believe did in fact happen.' " —*Loran Eiseley, The Immense Journey (1957), pp. 199-200.

The translation equipment package included in the cell is another marvelous wonder. It is not enough for DNA, proteins, and enzymes to be composed of complicated codes,—there must be means by which the codes can be translated into action. To add to the problem, the code cannot be translated without using certain products of the translation!

"What makes the origin of life and of the genetic code a disturbing riddle is this: the genetic code is without any biological function unless it is translated; that is, unless it leads to the synthesis of the proteins whose structure is laid down by the code. But as Mood points out, the machinery by which the cell [at least the non-primitive cell which is the only one we know] translates the code "consists of at least fifty macromolecular components which are themselves coded in DNA". Thus the code cannot be translated except by using certain products of its translation. This constitutes a really baffling circle: a vicious circle, it seems, for any attempt to form a model, or theory, of the genesis of the genetic code. " —*J. Monod, Chance and Necessity (1971), p. 143.

Yet all of this had to come into existence suddenly—with all of it there to begin with:

"It is as though everything must happen at once: the entire system must come into being as one unit, or it is worthless."—*F. Salisbury, "Doubts About the Modern Synthetic Theory of Evolution," in American Biology Teacher (1971), Vol. 33, p. 335-336.

The living cell is too complicated to be altered! It has not changed any of its parts since the day it was first suddenly, completely brought into existence!

"So perfect is the original one-cell form of life, and so potent both for body building, for activating nerves and muscles, and for procreation, that the cell has never altered its basic size or nature from the beginning of life even to this day." —*Rutherford Plait, The River of Life (1956), p. 100. The living cell not only has a factory, it has an army as well!

"Each of those 100 trillion cells functions like a walled city. Power plants generate the cell's energy. Factories produce proteins, vital units of chemical commerce. Complex transportation systems guide specific chemicals from point to point within the cell and beyond. Sentries at the barricades control the export and import markets, and monitor the outside world for signs of danger. Disciplined biological armies stand ready to grapple with invaders. A centralized genetic government maintains order." —*Peter Gwynne, *Sharon Begley, and *Mary Hager, "The Secrets of the Human Cell," in Newsweek, August 20, 1979, p. 48.

Not only did the cell have to arise all at once with all its parts originally there and properly functioning,—but the cell had to be able to immediately and fully replicate its parts and reproduce entirely new cells!

"First, the primary requirement of life is self-replication." —*T. Dobzansky, "Synthesis of Nucleosidase and Polynucleotide with Metaphosphate Esters," in The Origins of Prebiological Systems, (1965), pp. 299-300.

*Kaplan expands on the difficulty of that problem.

"The most difficult problem is certainly the origin of the apparatus of reproduction. Reproduction in present living cells is based on 2 groups of functions of macromolecules. Since no macromolecule seems to exist which can perform both functions at the same time, both are allotted separately to 2 substances, proteins and nucleic acids, in contemporary organisms. As a consequence, the synthesis of both polymers must be coupled mutually, proteins being formed due to information from nucleic acids (translation), and nucleic acids are replicated by catalysis due to proteins (replication and transcription) . . The number of components making up the reproduction apparatus of present life is large, at least about 80 special proteins and 100 genes coding for them as well as for tRNA's and rRNA's are necessary." —*M. Kaplan, "The Problem of Chance in Formation of Protobionts by Random Aggregation of Macromolecules, " in Chemical Evolution and the Origin of Life, (1971), Vol. 1, p. 319.

This reproductive ability had to be able to make a perfect duplicate of the original, with only a slight variation possible in features! Scientists call this "heredity."

"Biological evolution, on the other hand, is special, as discussed in the opening pages of this book. Above all, what makes it special is heredity. This is the great divide: either there is a long-term hereditary mechanism working or there is not.. It would not have mattered how ingenious or life-like some early system was; if it lacked the ability to pass on to offspring the secret of its success then it might as well never have existed. " —*A. Urns-Smith, Genetic Takeover and the Mineral Origins of Life (1986), pp. 69-70.

It would not be possible for living cell parts to first come into being by themselves, later to be followed by a complete cell. Those parts would not be able to reproduce themselves until the total cell itself came into existence.

[The concept of pre-cellular reproduction] ". . is flawed in principle; cellular organization, far from an after thought, must have been from the beginning part and parcel of the origin of life. The vital force, that [principle of] vis vitae ["life only from life"] which will not be exorcised without proper explanation, has its roots in the astonishing degree of organization that pervades the living world from the molecular level to the organismic and societal." —*F.M. Harold, The Vital Force: A Study of Bioenergetics (1986), p. 171.

There is another reason why cell parts could not be formed prior to the structuring of the complete living cell: nutrition. The cell parts require the cell to continually nourish them. Outside of the cell, the cell parts would quickly die of starvation.

"According to the [theoretical] doctrine of chemical evolution these organisms were heterotrophes [dependent on food outside their bodies], that is to say they depended on organic foods. There are problems of assimilation. To be a heterotroph implies an ability to recognize molecules, or at the very least to distinguish between classes of them. For the eventual evolution of metabolic pathways, specific recognition devices would be required. So that is the problem: how to evolve accurate recognizing structures from a molecular technology that probably could not tell glycine from alanine, let alone D from L [right from left-handed amino acids]." —*A. Cairns-Smith, Genetic Takeover and the Mineral Origins of Life (1986), pp.59-60.

The living cell with its 100,000,000,000 (100 trillion) atoms is too incredibly inter-related to have the randomness of evolution as its source.

" 'We do not believe in the theory of special creation because it is incredible.' In this way Sir Arthur Keith, a distinguished anatomist of the 1930s [and co-perpetrator of the Piltdown hoax], echoed the rationalist feeling. But life itself is incredible, starting with every cell of every organ of every organism that Sir Arthur has investigated. 'Every organism', wrote nineteenth-century German philosopher, Schoepenhauer, using words with which modern biologists will concur, 'is organic through and through in all its parts, and nowhere are these, not even in their smallest particles, mere aggregates of inorganic matter.' A cell may contain 100,000 million atoms, and they are atoms in specific order." —*Michael Pitman, Adam and Evolution (1984), p. 26-27.

But far more incredible than Creation, is the mathematical possibility of a living cell forming itself by random action. *Gordon R. Taylor, a confirmed evolutionist, explains the problem:

"That such an event [the chance formation of the first living cell] should occur, however, is in the highest degree improbable. The late H. Quastler, a prominent biochemist, calculated the odds against it as 10-301, that is, ten followed by 301 zeros to one, i.e. virtually impossible. Another biologist attempted a similar calculation for the whole universe, on the assumption that there were 1020 planets on which life might appear. He came up with the even more discouraging figure of 10-415, rising to 10-600 if a longer DNA molecule was required. In short, the mechanism falls short of plausibility by hundreds of orders of magnitude. Perhaps some fallacy in the concept of natural selection will give us the way out,' as Frank Salisbury of Utah State University wistfully adds.

"More complicated patterns of interaction are also possible. Thus you could have two interlocking systems, each of which supplies raw materials needed by the other; or more than two. But this just increases the improbability of such a configuration appearing by chance." —*Gordon Rattray Taylor, Great Evolution Mystery (1983), p. 202.

The tiny living cell is such a weighty problem for evolutionary theory, that it crushes it.

"The basic problem with all the models [all the evolutionary explanations of the cell] thus far advanced looms so large that an enumeration of their other, more minor failures is made meaningless." —*L. Dillon, The Genetic Mechanism and the Origin of Life, (1978), pp.62-63.

A single cell is unthinkable for its packed complexity:

"Formerly, it was thought that a cell was composed of a nucleus and a few other parts in a 'sea' of cytoplasm, with large spaces in the cell unoccupied. Now it is known that a cell literally 'swarms,' that is, is packed full of important, functioning units necessary to the life of the cell and the body containing it. The theory of evolution assumes life developed from a ‘simple' cell—but science today demonstrates that there is no such thing as a simple cell." —Howard Peth, Blind Faith (1990), p. 77.

A cell is more complex than man's greatest mechanical or electronic invention:

"The most complex machine man has devised—say an electronic brain—is child's play compared with the simplest of living organisms. The especially trying thing is that complexity here involves such small dimensions. It is on the molecular level; it consists of a detailed fitting of molecule to molecule such as no chemist can attempt." —*George Wald, "The Origin of Life," in Scientific American, August 1954, p. 46.

The more we learn, the less we know, and the more humble we ought to be in the face of manifest complexity beyond all that we can imagine or grasp:

"In the past, evolutionists were confident that the problem of the origin of life would be solved by the new science of biochemistry. To their dismay, the converse has occurred. The more that is learned about the chemical structure and organization of living matter, the more difficult it becomes even to speculate on how it could have developed from lower forms by natural processes

"From the scientific point of view, evolution may have been a plausible hypothesis in Darwin's day, but it has now become untenable, as a result of fairly recent developments in molecular biology." —Garret Vanderkooi, "Evolution as a Scientific Theory," in Christianity Today, May 7, 1971, p. 13.

We are totally unable to understand even the simplest of living cells:

"To grasp in detail the physico-chemical organization of the simplest cell is far beyond our capacity." —*Von Bertalanffy, quoted in *Loran Eiseley, The Immense Journey (1957), p. 206.

Within each one are thousands of varied molecules:

"Within a single bacterial cell (Escherichia ooh) are an estimated 1,000,000 to 3,000,000 protein molecules, including 2,000 to 10,000 different kinds of enzymes—all in a space 1/25,000 of an inch in diameter and 3/25,000 of an inch long. A single liver cell contains an estimated 53,000,000 protein molecules, which would probably include tens of thousands of different kinds of enzymes, all organized into a smoothly-running cellular 'machine.' " —Howard Peth, Blind Faith (1990), p. 79-80.

They out-rival our best man-made systems or fully-equipped laboratories:

"A bacterium is far more complex than any inanimate system known to man. There is not a laboratory in the world which can compete with the biochemical activity of the smallest living organism." —*Sir James Gray, "The Science of Life," chapter in Science Today (1961), p. 21.

Living protein, even if it could make itself, could never form itself into the complexity of a complete, living cell.

"If, despite the virtually impossible odds, proteins arose by chance processes, there is not the remotest reason to believe that they could ever form a membrane-encased, self-reproducing, metabolizing, living cell. There is no evidence that there are any stable states between the assumed naturalistic formation of proteins and the formation of the first living cells. No scientist has ever advanced a testable procedure whereby this fantastic jump in complexity could have occurred—even if the entire universe had been filled with proteins." —Walter T. Brown, In the Beginning (1989), p. 7.

In considering the cell, I think we are talking about a miracle.

"The complexity of the simplest known type of cell is so great that it is impossible to accept that such an object could have been thrown together suddenly by some kind of freakish, vastly improbable, event. Such an occurrence would be indistinguishable from a miracle." —*Michael Denton, Evolution: Theory In Crisis (1985), p. 264.

The "prebiotic soup" theory doesn't hold water.

"We have seen that self-replicating systems capable of Darwinian evolution appear too complex to have arisen suddenly from a prebiotic soup. This conclusion applies both to nucleic acid systems and to hypothetical protein-based genetic systems." —*Robert Shapiro, Origins, (1986) p. 207.

Living organisms are composed of millions of individual cells, or of single cells, yet no living organism is just a few cells; but why not?.

"There are many single-cell forms of life, but there are no known forms of animal life with 2,3,4, . . , or even 20 cells. If organic evolution happened, one would expect to find these forms of life in great abundance as transitional forms between one-celled and many-celled organisms." —Walter T. Brown, In the Beginning (1989), p. 4.

The leap from organic molecule to a complete cell is totally beyond our conceptions or theories:

"The events that gave rise to that first primordial cell are totally unknown, matters for guesswork and a standing challenge to scientific imagination." —*Lewis Thomas, Forward, in *Robert M. Pool (Ed.), Incredible Machine (1986), p. 7.

Millions of dollars in research has not produced even the slightest clue.

"No experimental system yet devised has provided the slightest clue as to how biologically meaningful sequences of subunits might have originated in prebiotic polynucleotides or polypeptides." —*Dean H. Kenyon, Brief of Appealants, October 1985, p. A-20.

Analogous tips on how to make a living cell out of raw materials:

"The genetic information contained in each cell of the human body is roughly equivalent to a library of 4000 volumes. The probability that mutations and natural selection produced this vast amount of information, assuming that matter and life somehow arose, is essentially zero. It would be analogous to continuing the following procedure until 4000 volumes have been produced:

"a. Start with a meaningful phrase.

"b. Retype the phrase but make some errors and insert some additional letters.

"c. Examine the new phrase to see if it is meaningful.

"d. If it is, replace the original phrase with it.

"e. Return to step 'b'."

"To accumulate 4000 volumes of meaningful information, this procedure would have to produce the equivalent of far more than 104000 animal offspring. (Just to begin to understand how large 104000 is, realize that the visible universe has less than 1080 atoms in it.) —Walter T. Brown, In the Beginning (1989), p. 7.

Here is what the incredible cell does when invaders enter the body. Could all this be the result of chance? Can highly-intelligent action ever result from mindless accidents?

"The defense department of the body's immune system headquarters in bone marrow, which continuously produces cells that are processed into three specialized divisions. One division becomes promonocytes, then monocytes—the potential attack force. altered by the thymus gland, a second division becomes T cells, the signal corps. The third division becomes B cells, the supply corps. These three divisions make a highly mobile, coordinated brigade capable of detecting and destroying an invader.

"Bacteria invade, perhaps through a tiny scratch, and begin to multiply. Some become stuck to monocytes, activating [changing] them into more aggressive macrophages. Circulating randomly, T cells adhere to macrophages and to the bacteria. This linkage stimulates T cells to send three messages. One: Activate and summon more macrophages. Two: Produce more T cells. Three: Signal B cells to proliferate and become plasma cells that produce and release antibodies—Y-shaped molecules. Antibodies latch onto intruder molecules, or antigens, on bacteria and link the yoke of the Y to them. The shaft of the Y attaches to macrophages. They, in turn, envelop the bacteria, which are consumed by enzymes and become harmless debris." —*Rick Gore, "Awesome Worlds Within a Cell, "National Geographic Society, September 1976, pp. 378-379.

In solemn awe, *Denton summarizes the problem very well:

"Is it really credible that random processes could have constructed a reality, the smallest element of which—a functional protein or gene is complex beyond our own creative capacities, a reality which is the very antithesis of chance, which excels in every sense anything produced by the intelligence of man? Alongside the level of ingenuity and complexity exhibited by the molecular machinery of life, even our most advanced artifacts appear clumsy. We feel humbled, as neolithic man would in the presence of twentieth-century technology. It would be an illusion to think that what we are aware of at the present is any more than a fraction of the full extent of biological design. In practically every field of fundamental biological research ever-increasing levels of design and complexity are being revealed at an ever-accelerating rate." —*Michael Denton, Evolution: Theory In Crisis (1985), p. 342.

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