As should be clear, the leaps required to sustain a plausible, naturalistic origin for life are too ridiculous to seriously and objectively entertain, be they the improbability of viable amino acid formation in the early Earth environments, to the staggering difficulty facing the consolidation of those amino acids into the range of proteins necessary for life. Even beyond that, we delved into the problems associated with explaining away the vast amounts of information locked within the genes of life’s nucleic acids, the decoding and synthesizing molecules required to translate that information, and the undeniable truth that, in accordance with the laws of information transmission and probability, the data within those genes could not have been functionally constructed purely by chance.
There of course is also the question of what came first, the information of how to build the processing equipment to translate that information or alternatively the material to build with using that translated information. In this we can obviously see a paradoxical trifecta of necessity, whereby no portion can function – indeed exist -¬ without the other two in place. As if that scenario wasn’t enough, we examined how even the simplest of cells is staggeringly more complex than any metropolis constructed by man, whereby every molecular machine and every function is necessary for the cell to exist, providing a refuge for the genes and proteins to further life’s quest. That quest, of course, is reproduction.
On the cellular level, reproduction is a dramatic performance of careful duplication set to a frightfully fast tempo. In eukaryotic cells, the process of cellular reproduction is covered in a process known as the cell cycle. During this, the cellular body grows in size and resources, increasing its protein content and various organelles, all the while duplicating its DNA. It is in the duplication of the DNA that we can see some of the most staggering acts of molecular coordination imaginable.
We have already discussed the multibillion base pair length of a typical DNA strain, and examined the fragile complexity found within its macromolecular structure. In point of fact, each strand of DNA found within a human cell is approximately six feet in length! One of the best illustrations used to demonstrate the huge feats involved with the replication of the DNA comes from the author and lecturer, Dr. Chuck Missler.
In his analogy, Missler equates the first part of the task to taking two 125-mile strands of monofilament fishing line, intertwining them into a double helix and packing the bundle neatly into a basketball. The second part of his analogy involves unpacking the woven lines without tangling or damaging them, separating the two lines, duplicating them without error or damage, and finally repacking the lines neatly within the basketball, all at speeds estimated to be equivalent to 8,000 RPM.(1)
In reality, the process is as elegant as it is necessary. To begin, an initiator protein searches the DNA strain for the correct place to begin, and once found, the initiator then guides a helicase protein along its length, “unzipping” the macromolecule. It is here, at this stage of the process, that the helicase protein unravels the DNA with amazing efficiency at speeds equivalent to the estimated 8,000 RPM described above. As the strain continues to be unwound, it invariably builds pressure within, threatening to kink back upon itself and damage the fragile structure. To avoid this, an enzyme known as topoisomerase relieves the building tension by separating and repairing the DNA systematically. Simultaneously in another section of the strain, the two complementary, unraveled sections of DNA are duplicated by enzymatic reactions, and this in turn is followed by a ligase enzyme, which “zips” the fresh nucleotide compliments to the old, forming two separate and complete DNA strains in the process.
Beyond the replication of the genes, having now been packaged neatly within the nucleus of the cell in the form of paired chromosomes, a network of fibers are moved into place surrounding them, and with amazing coordination, they are divided near their midpoint, each half being pulled to opposite sides of the nucleus. With two complete sets of chromosomes in place, the rest of the cell follows suit. Internal protein systems begin to crease the nucleus and cell membranes as the organelles begin drifting to either side of the crease. Ultimately, the result is two complete daughter cells where there was before just one parent cell, each with a full complement of identical DNA, organelles, and all other cellular systems. This process of course is far more complex than it may appear from the description here, involving dramatic enzyme cascades and the like, yet by this stage I’m certain that you get the point.
For most cells, the process of reproduction essentially ends here, with each daughter cell beginning its own cycle, producing its own pair of daughter cells, which in turn produce their own pairs of daughter cells, and so on. The process invariably leads to geometric propagation, a result which most clearly and dramatically can seen through the observation of such things as bacterial colonization and the rapid development of a child in the womb. Although less visible, but no less important, the act of cellular reproduction is essential in nearly all cells, and indeed occurs throughout our bodies constantly, from general growth and development to the repair of injuries.
Some cells however are not content to simply reproduce through binary fission, as described above. These are the sex cells – or the gametes – and while their reproduction begins like any other cell, the difference comes where the process ends in typical body cells, with the two daughter cells undergoing yet another division, reducing their own stock of chromosomes by half. Human body – or somatic – cells contain 46 diploid (or paired) chromosomes, while the gametes possess only 23 haploid chromosomes. This fact is one of the foundational elements of heredity, with the haploid gametes – 23 from the mother and 23 from the father – merging into the requisite 46 chromosomes during sexual reproduction. The result is new life, a fresh new cell stocked with all its necessary resources and organelles, and complete with a new strain of DNA, the product of half of the mother’s genes and half of the father’s. The payoff is a broadening of the gene pool, assisting the life form in possible adaptive responses to the environment, disease, or other such pressures.
Here again, the brief description above does no justice to the frightful complexity at the heart of the process. Not only does sexual reproduction – at the cellular level or otherwise – require that all of the same elements involved in typical somatic reproduction be in place, but also several other critical elements as well. Among these is a requirement that the haploid chromosomes in the gametes be compatible in number, genetic structure, etc. Without these specific measures in place, the cell moves to cease development of the new life, terminating its growth in a process known as apoptosis. As such, though the genetic rewards are obvious, sexual reproduction is vastly more risky than binary fission.
That risk brings up quite a few considerations. At what point did nature decide that binary fission – asexual reproduction – just wasn’t enough? What steps could have led, quite accidentally of course, to the naturalistic origin of sex? Furthermore, with what did the first sexually-capable cell reproduce? What would have been the naturalistic advantage for cells – each a haploid variation of some prior diploid parent cell – if, in their merging, the resultant genome consisted of only the same genes as the parent cell from which they came? Finally, all other considerations aside, how can we reasonably accept that these first sexually-capable cells were perfect enough in their structure and function to successfully reproduce? After all, the process is no simple task of swapping genetic information. No, the task is biologically monumental, requiring many specific and unique conditions to be perfect, involving vast quantities of structural proteins and enzymes and a fair amount of luck. For me, a naturalistic origin for sexual reproduction requires much more than random chance. It requires planning and intelligence. It requires design.
Life is complicated. To believe in a totally naturalistic origin, to ascribe its vast and fearful complexity to nothing more than random chemical processes in spite of reason and evidence, is tantamount to willful ignorance. I myself was guilty of such for many years, blinded by the arguments of naturalism and its undeniable proof. Perhaps if I had been more observant then of the very complexity I now describe, I would have seen the ultimate truth, and would have known how wrong I was. It has long been said, even amongst mainstreamist’s, that the chances of life arising naturalistically on the early Earth are 1 in 10^50, or odds of one-to-100,000 billion, billion, billion, billion, billion.(2) In more accessible terms, it has been described as equivalent to the chance that a tornado could sweep through a junkyard and assemble a complete and fully-functioning 747 jet.
The careful observer would do well to consider how the mainstream heralds the advent of life in spite of such hurdles as a triumph of biology, sidestepping the vast improbability of it all, seemingly overlooking how such a miracle could have randomly and perfectly willed itself into being. Such an event has never been actually observed in nature. Furthermore, let’s face the fact that – even now – with all our technological advancement and innovation, we have yet to replicate the process within our labs. To date, no experiment has given rise to life, or even most of the very components that are necessary for it. If mainstream science cannot design the perfect conditions for such to occur within our bright, efficient cleanrooms, how then can they expect the masses to believe that it occurred in nature? Even so, many buy into that story wholeheartedly.
My own inability to see the inherent complexity of life led me to believe that my work with International Biological Services would be relatively straightforward, requiring only effort and financing to accomplish. How wrong I was! I have no doubt now that our goals were far beyond what was capable, far beyond what we could ever hope to achieve, or even adequately understand. Life – in its natural state – is far more sophisticated in its function, form, and efficiency than anything we could ever hope to duplicate artificially. If I had only seen that truth sooner…
Notes & References
- Bergman, Jerry, “Unraveling DNA’s Design,” Koinonia House, http://www.khouse.org/articles/1997/143/, retrieved June 15th, 2015
- Hoyle, Fred, “The Big Bang in Astronomy,” New Scientist, vol. 92, no.1280, November 19th, 1981, pg. 527
– This was an excerpt from “Remnants of Eden: Evolution, Deep-Time, & the Antediluvian World.” Get your copy here today. God bless! –
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