KREW. Goblin Jury, the day will dawn when all learned men shall think like Doctor Bucket, and believe that the first cell was not the product of the First Cause. Whereupon, creation will be little more than an accident and God will cease to exist in the little minds of men. But we know that the eternal God has left Mankind to the disposure of his own free will, and the many appetites of his knowledge cannot help be wicked, since Man lacks divine grace, and his hands are never guided by wisdom. During my long sojourns into the New World, I have seen and heard these men, prattling from their lecterns, on the accidental origins of life…
According to faithlessness, it so happened that when Gaea came forth from Chaos, the Earth was a cauldron of primordial soup, foul, black, and bubbling; and for much of eternity, as the scholars specify (according to their intellects), this cauldron was employed with the simple act of seething, popping, squelching and bum-trumpeting. This primordial soup was uncreated – an accidental slime, on an accidental rock, brought forth from an accidental void – as the scholars specify (according to their intellects). And yet, it so happened, that after many epochs, from out of this primordial soup, as the scholars specify (according to their intellects), there arose a group of complex atoms which clumped together to form cells.(ii) Let me explain the folly of this statement. For even if atoms where to form a spiral braid, the equilibrium of the surrounding soup is always toward chaos and dissolution. And yet, according to faithlessness, it so happened, that from out of the primordial soup, foul, black and bubbling, this spiral braid was simultaneously enclosed within a protective membrane, that kept chaos out and maintained the braid within. This was the first cell, its spiral braid accidentally enclosed in a lipid wall which tends toward the spherical.
Yet within the resilient cell wall, was a semi-fluid substance called protoplasm – a highly complex colloidal material, composed of water, proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and inorganic and organic salts, that appeared by total accident, as the scholars specify, according to their faithlessness. Yet I must by pleadings from the lawyers, give a brief description of the protoplasm alone. ’Tis viscid and elastic, liquefies on agitation, and readily undergoes sol-gel transformation; two phases which may yet coexist in the same cell. And yet, before you visit the shops of herbalists and apothecaries to try and manufacture it, please diligently consider the many chemical reactions which provide the energy for all activities of the cell. For the cell must be continually supplied by a complex range of substrate materials, which contain a cunning supply of various enzymes to catalyse its reactions.
Yet still, according to faithlessness, these highly complex chains of atoms, must initiate a sequence of events that proceed in an ordered manner, from the very first moment the cell accidentally created itself. And further, all this internal organisation must be manifest, by accident, inside the protoplasm, the moment the spiral braid enclosed itself! Yet, for why did the spiral braid enclose itself at all? And how did such a complex cell, miraculously provide all the required metabolic stasis to permit the execution of organic movement, processes and reproduction, and oppose all tendency to dissolution and chaos?
Even the simplest cell is so complex that ’twould take many moons to explain, and much is still a mystery, unfathomable by man. The cytoplasm varies in different amounts in different cells, and this granular foamy mass is diffused with the endoplasmic reticulum, a structure of very varied morphology, full of inter-communicating vesicles, cisterns and tubules, all arranged around the nucleus.
And dare I forget the complex mitochondria which exist in all living cells? They consist of minute granules and filaments, and are bounded by a membrane, just like the plasma. On closer inspection, they consist of two dense osmiophilic layers, and possess an internal system of regularly spaced ridges, lamellae or occasionally villous processes, formed by a folded inner layer, termed the cristae mitochondriales. And between the lamellae is an accidental homogeneous substance, slightly denser than the cytoplasm – the mitochondrial matrix. Yet these metabolic structures must also multiply with the spiral braid when the cell cleaves and divides.
But according to jugglers, tumblers, and quacksalver scholars, this was all a simultaneous accidental design, that occurred when the very first cell unwittingly created itself. And they postpone the question of the first cell, by insisting that this mitochondrial matrix came from another organism! (iii) Oh! What obfuscation! What diabolic disorientation! And I must also tell of the lysosomes, the structures of cell digestion, which are miniature vesicles, capable of breaking down endogenous cell constituents and phagocytosed exogenous material. Accidents they say! That came together all at once! After aeons of limbo!
But what of the spiral braid, which has now accidentally enclosed itself in a nucleus? A nucleus, I tell you! This braid is no accidental chain of atoms, but contains a very specific sequence. A code. What code, you may ask, is kept in the first cell? Why, the same code for another entire cell. Let us be perfectly clear about this contradiction. The accidental braid contains instructions that reproduce not only the braid, but the entire cell and the lipid wall that has accidentally enclosed it! What is the alchemy? What parts of the braid can be shuffled about to make new instructions? How is it built? For surely, only a very specific sequence will express the required code to make a new cell. A cathedral is not a pile of rubble; and a braid is not a pile of atoms. And the braid would be entirely useless without the life support mechanisms of the surrounding cytoplasm with all the aforementioned metabolic and respiratory apparatus. Yet these already exist in the first cell. So I will not insult your intellects with grievous wrongs and sad offences, by suggesting that all of this was the product of time and favourable circumstance, and came together, all at once, by total accident. For whilst time and favourable circumstance are the two principal means by which Nature gives existence to many of her creatures, this cannot have been so for the first cell. Why? Because even for the most simple cell to appear in a prebiotic soup, all of the afore mentioned conditions, structures and processes must have occurred at once, or not at all. The odds of a single celled organism spontaneously generating from a prebiotic soup are ten to the one hundred billionth power (iv). Indeed, there is more chance of Notre Dame being assembled by a whirlwind blowing through a quarry of rubble!(v) Once you eliminate the impossible, you are left with the improbable. So let me spell it out for Doctor Bucket: The first cell was designed and made by the hand of the living God.
Now, it so happens that mitotic division is my speciality. So before I describe the terrible flaws of the flesh, along with the divisions of deformity, let me present some mysteries of animal cell mitosis…
Copyright © Nicholas Shea 2007.
i. The argument that Krew presents for The First Cell was written by me in 2007, when it appeared on my tiscali web page for several months. Several years later it was stolen by “Focus” magazine – a BBC publication, and appeared in an article which was structurally and dialectically identical to this chapter, only with “experts” arguing for and against the contradictions I raise here. In other words “Focus” magazine stole the entire chapter, without my consent. Needless to say, “Focus” magazine ‘blurred’ my argument in a childish attempt to shore up the theory of evolution.
ii. David Attenborough. “Life on Earth” BBC Television.
iii. On Wednesday 29th January 2015, several years after this was written, The BBC aired a ‘science’ program on Radio 4 wherein was proposed ‘a bold new theory for the evolution of complex cells.’ The theory was thus: that the mitochondrial matrix existed in another bacterium, or of its own accord for millennia – which is a bone-headed contradiction for the argument of ‘The First Cell’. This mitochondrial matrix was then “swallowed” by a more ‘primitive’ cell and became instantaneously incorporated it into its cytoplasm. This ludicrous suggestion ignores the fact that in order for this to work, the DNA of the more ‘primitive’ cell must, at the same moment of “swallowing”, simultaneously undergo all the required modifications to reproduce these mitochondria at the very next cell division. (And this statement holds, whether mitochondria multiply by fission, or by the development of new elements in the endoplasmic reticulum at mitosis).
iv. These odds were calculated by the biophysicist Harold Morowitz. When I asked him about these odds, Morowitz stated: “the conclusion is not that life is improbable, but that life is a far from equilibrium phenomenon. This result has been widely misunderstood.”
v. Sir Fred Hoyle calculated that such odds were one chance in 1040,000 (“the same as the probability that a tornado sweeping through a junk yard could assemble a 747”). Evolution from Space (1981).
Rupert Sheldrake asks in ‘The Science Delusion’ if our science is a method of enquiry or a belief system. In light of the above, I would say it is a belief system – and a dishonest one at that. And I would go further to claim that the theory of evolution is about turning untested belief into unshakeable truth through the power of institutions and the passage of time – a claim Richard Dawkins once levelled at religion. No matter for those atheists who abhore the notion of teleology or ‘intelligent design’, for they may brush aside all contrary evidence with one facile excuse: ‘It was quantum mechanics what done it mi’ lord…’