LIFE IS THE EXCEPTION
Thus it can be seen that certainly in the solar system, possibly in the Universe, the Earth is unique and life is the exception. Why? Advocates of the theory of Evolution believe that because the Earth by chance, had the suitable conditions, life spontaneously developed and then diversified. They say that life was an almost expected result of those fortuitous and accidental conditions.
Others, including the publishers of this booklet, believe that the whole system is part of a plan. In the development of the Universe and the suitability of the Earth they see the guiding hand of a Creator who wanted intelligent life and therefore created first the materials and then the environment to achieve it.
WHAT IS LIFE?
|A diagram showing the structure of a cell. All of the labelled sub-components are vital for its function, and are themselves very complex.|
There is no gradual transition from non-living chemicals to living things. Even the simplest form of life contains very specialised chemicals that are never found free in nature. This is because living matter is invariably found inside a microscopic box called a cell. Some forms of life exist as a single cell, but the more familiar ones such as plants and animals are made up of vast numbers of cells joined together. When people rather glibly talk of life spontaneously appearing, they are taking a huge intellectual jump that has very little to justify it. As you read on you will see what we mean.
THE COMPLEXITY OF A LIVING CELL
A living cell is a miniature manufacturing unit, complete with its own power supply. The things it makes are the various complex chemicals needed for it to live, grow and reproduce.
One of the most important series of chemicals are special proteins, called enzymes. In a human manufacturing process a device called a ‘jig’ is often used to hold components in the right place whilst they are being joined together. An enzyme is a microscopic ‘jig’ that holds two or more chemicals together whilst they react and are welded into one – or sometimes they are split in two. Obviously, such a ‘jig’ has to be just the right shape so that it can hold the chemicals in the correct relationship.
|Two chemical molecules to be joined.||They are held in place by the enzyme.||The new molecule is then released.|
These chemicals are of all shapes and sizes, so this means
that there has to be a completely different ‘jig’ or enzyme for each chemical
reaction within the cell. Even the simplest cell could not function with fewer
than several hundred different enzymes. For example, the simplest known living
organisms are called Mycoplasma. One scientist says, ‘these represent almost the
smallest size compatible with life.’ He goes on to say that ‘this ‘simple’ cell
can produce seven hundred different proteins and that half of this number are
considered essential for the life of the cell.’ 3
3 Professor David Taylor-Robinson: Topley and Wilson’s principles of Bacteriology, Virology and Immunity, 8th edition 1990, Volume 2, page 672.