From grade school to college, people are exposed to biology. The average student learns the basics of biology including the so-called simple cell. Upon completion of their basic biology course, they generally move on to other subjects. The only knowledge they carry with them is that cells are simple structures that contain all of these tiny parts that just float around inside them. This simplistic model of the cell makes it easy for them to accept the belief in evolution and the idea of a cell forming in a prebiotic soup billions of years ago.
But is the cell really simple? Do all of those little things just float around inside? Is the cell so simple that it could have just formed as evolution would have us believe?
With all of the discussion of evolution and the wonderful design of such structures as eyes, hands, woodpecker tongues, giraffe necks and bombardier beetles ballistic bottoms, it all has to boil down to the cell. Somewhere, somehow, some three to four billion years ago; there had to be that very first cell that formed in the primordial ooze that started the evolutionary process.
This series of articles is going to examine the cell and try to determine if it is a simple structure as we are often taught or is there more to it than meets the eye. Hopefully, it will become apparent to all that the so-called ‘simple’ cell is so detailed and complex down to the molecular level that there is absolutely no way for it to have randomly evolved in the first place. And if you can’t get the first cell to form and reproduce itself, the rest of evolution collapses.
To start with, there had to be several hundred million years of cooking the prebiotic soup to create all of the important molecules necessary to help form the first cell. This had to include the formation of amino acids, sugars, purines and pyrimidines to form the peptides and nucleotides that are necessary to form amino acids, enzymes and proteins. Then they had to keep building until they were forming more complex molecules including self-replicating RNA.
At this juncture I could go into the probability (or more properly the improbability) of the formation of these different molecules, which combined altogether is less than zero, however I will defer to the following articles to do that for me:
But given that these organic molecules could somehow randomly evolved against all odds, and if they were allowed to float freely about in the prebiotic soup, some of the RNA molecules would code for enzymes that would destroy proteins synthesized by other RNA chains. So the need for some kind of collective grouping of these molecules into one location soon became necessary to protect them from being simultaneously destroyed. What they needed was a containment barrier of some kind that would protect them.
According to the evolutionary model that barrier soon formed in the ooze and muck. We know it better as the cell or plasma membrane. Somehow it spontaneously assembled itself into a two layered structure of phospholipids that enclosed around the self-replicating RNA and other necessary molecules. The phospholipid molecules have a unique property where one end is hydrophilic or water soluble and the other end is hydrophobic or water insoluble. The hydrophilic ends of each layer bond to each other, leaving the hydrophobic ends or heads exposed.
There have been numerous lab experiments that demonstrate just how easily this bi-layer membrane can form, so its formation is not an issue. However, its properties present huge issues that we will discuss further.
Once the membranes encased the RNA and company, evolutionists believed that they then started to evolve as carriers of genetic information. Each individual encasement carried different properties inside and eventually they were selected, (by what or whom remains a mystery), to join with other encasements eventually forming the first complete self reproducing living cell. From the first living cell, evolution just kept occurring and growing, producing every other living thing in the history of the planet earth.
As a famous radio announcer used to say during all of his programs, “And now for the rest of the story.”
The hydrophobic properties of the outer and inner surface of the membrane forms a barrier that repels almost everything including water molecules. Consequently one has to ask the question as to how the contained RNA obtained the necessary components needed to replicate themselves. The amino acids, sugars, purines and pyrimidines were all too large to pass through the impermeable membrane that now surrounded them. Without the influx of these molecules, there is no way these RNA capsules could possibly replicate themselves. Hence, in reality, they would just float along in the primordial soup until they started to break down.
Again we will give them a miraculous benefit of the doubt and say that they were able to somehow obtain the necessary ingredients to replicate and then to combine to form the first cell. Yet the impermeability of the cell membrane becomes an insurmountable hurdle that the first cell could never overcome.
The membrane allows no food, water or necessary elements or molecules to freely pass through it. Just like any other living thing, there is no way it survived for very long without nutrients. The result could only be certain death and evolution dies with it.
Part two of this series will examine the cell membrane in more detail and some of the wondrous mechanisms contained within the membrane that allows the cell to survive. So please stay tuned as we start to reveal the wondrous hand of our Creator God as we look into the ever so complex structure of the ‘simple’ cell.