Life on Earth - Two Faiths - 5
Last time we looked at the complexity of the cell with the rapid and continuous activity inside it. One writer observed, “A bacterial cell may mature and divide in twenty minutes. The imagination seems to border on the fantastic in trying to comprehend the rapidity with which thousands of chemical reactions must tick off in their precisely ordered sequence to bring about these results.”
- We have seen that two important features of life need to be taken into account when considering its origin: first, life exists only inside the tiny units called cells. Science knows of absolutely no exception to this; second, cells are complicated things. Although some cells differ slightly in structure and function, the basic components are common to them all. It is the complete interdependence of these complex mechanisms that is so important to remember.
Without one part the other cannot function, so whatever their origin they must have come into being at the same time. This point is clearly admitted even by evolutionists, but nowhere do we find a real attempt to explain its implications for their cherished theory. Here is an example of their writings, which in effect states the immensity of the problem—and then proceeds without offering any answer to the problem -
- “Bearing in mind the vast numbers of compounds in the cell, the complexities of the enzyme system,* and the meticulously accurate organization of the cell, it is possible to visualize it as an intermeshed series of machines. From the original intake of raw materials from the environment to the duplication of the last molecule in the mature cell, these tiny machines must lead from one to the other, the last dependent on the first and the first on the last. A failure of even one could conceivably bring the whole chain to a halt, resulting in the death of the organism. For one of the essential facts about life is that it must keep going to stay alive” (H. H. Ross, Understanding Evolution p. 32).
*The ongoing life processes happening in all living organisms are chemical reactions, and most of them are regulated by enzymes. Without the approximately seventy enzymes in the cell, many of these reactions would happen at a snail’s pace or barely at all. Enzymes enable all aspects of the chemical processes in the living cell. This includes digestion, in which large food molecules (such as proteins, carbohydrates, and fats) are broken down into smaller molecules. Enzymes are also involved in the conservation and transformation of chemical energy; and the construction of cellular macromolecules from simpler chemical compounds.
- A protein enzyme is large and complex, composed of one or more amino acid chains called polypeptide chains. Their complexity can leave them sensitive to fluctuations in temperature or acid/basic environment. An additional chemical component called a cofactor is bound to some enzymes. A cofactor may be either an organic molecule or an inorganic metal ion; or both.
The biological cell is composed not only of the structural components of cell membrane enclosing various organelles, including the nucleus and chromosomes. The cell also contains numerous and complex biochemicals. How were they all generated at the same time and the same place - and then organized into a living entity?