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Complexity of Living Things
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Author: Paul S. Taylor of Films for Christ

These references are for use in conjunction with the main text, see ChristianAnswers.Net/q-eden/life-complexity.html.


The Incredible Complexity of Living Things

152

  • Phillip E. Johnson, Darwin on Trial (Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1991), p. 103.

  • Some scientists now view bacteria as highly complex multicellular organisms:

  • Although bacteria are tiny, they display biochemical, structural and behavioral complexities that outstrip scientific description. In keeping with the current microelectronics revolution, it may make more sense to equate their size with sophistication rather than with simplicity Without bacteria, life on earth could not exist in its present form.

    [James A. Shapiro, Bacteria as Multicellular Organisms, Scientific American, Vol. 258, No. 6 (June 1988), p. 82 (emphasis added).]

  • A one-celled animal may be made up of millions of molecular parts.

  • Concerning the great complexity of one-celled creatures, Dr. Ilya Prigogine, Professor and Director of the Physics Department of the Universite Libre de Bruxelles, confirms:

    But let us have no illusions our research would still leave us quite unable to grasp the extreme complexity of the simplest of organisms.

    [Ilya Prigogine, Can Thermodynamics Explain Biological Order?, Impact of Science on Society, Vol. 23, No. 3 (1973), p. 178.]

  • It is also interesting to note that there is a large gap between the many single-celled animals and the multi-celled animals. There is no known animal with 2 cells, for instance or with 3, 4 even 20 cells.

    [Lynn Margulis and Karlene V. Schwartz, Five Kingdoms: An Illustrated Guide to the Phyla of Life on Earth (San Francisco: W.H. Freeman and Company, 1982), pp. 178-179; E. Lendell Cockrum and William J. McCauley, Zoology (Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company, 1965), p. 163.]

  • The least complex multicellular animals are the sponges (which Evolutionists don't think evolved into any other type of animal) and the mesozoa (a parasite to a more complex creature).


Complexity of the Human Brain

153

  • Concerning the human brains' complexity, Judson Herrick, Professor of Neurology at the University of Chicago, states that:

    “If a million cortical nerve cells were connected one with another in groups of only two neurons each in all possible combinations, the number of different patterns of interneur-onic connection thus provided would be expressed by 10 to the 2,783,000th. This, of course, is not the actual structure, as we shall see; but the illustration may serve to impress upon us the inconceivable complexity of the interconnections of the ninety-two hundred million [9,200,000,000] nerve cells known to exist in the cerebral cortex.” (p. 5)

    “On the basis of the known structure of the cortex, the following computation may be regarded as a conservative statement of the number of intercellular connections that are anatomically present and available for use in a short series of cortical associational processes. Starting again with a million (106) cortical neurons of the visual area simultaneously excited by some retinal image, each of these certainly activates at least ten others (107), and each of these in turn ten others (108) If for simplicity of computation we limit ourselves to one million of the 108 neurons already activated in the process, and if we assume that these may be recombined among themselves in all theoretically possible patterns, the total number of such connections would far exceed the 102,783,000 already mentioned as the theoretically possible combinations in groups of two only.” (pp. 7-8)

    [C. Judson Herrick, Brains of Rats and Man: A Survey of the Origin and Biological Significance of the Cerebral Cortex (New York: Hafner Publishing Co., 1963), 382 pp. (emphasis added), and see Paul G. Roofe, p. x of the introduction to the same edition.]

  • Thus, there are an astonishingly large number of interconnections possible within the brain, far exceeding the estimate of the total number of atoms in whole visible universe

    There are only 10 to the 70th atoms in the entire observable universe.

    [Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (Bethesda, Maryland: Adler and Adler Publishers, 1986), p. 310.]

  • In crude terms, the human brain is a natural computer composed of 10 to 100 billion neurons, each of which connects to about 10,000 others, and all of which function in parallel. Neuronal systems take about 100 processing steps to perform a complex task of vision or speech which would take an electronic computer billions of processing steps.

    [Michael Recce and Philip Treleavan, Computing from the Brain, New Scientist, Vol. 118, No. 1614 (May 26, 1988), p. 61 (emphasis added).]

  • Neurologist, brain surgeon, and Evolutionist Dr. Wilder Penfield concluded there must be more to man's brain than just the physical, there must be another element what some people call a mind or a soul. He believes this 2nd element is what programs and reads the cerebral computer:

    After years of striving to explain the mind on the basis of brain-action alone, I have come to the conclusion that it is simpler (and far easier to be logical) if one adopts the hypothesis that our being does consist of two fundamental elements. [brain and mind (or soul)] (p. 80 emphasis added)

    Because it seems to be certain that it will always be quite impossible to explain the mind on the basis of neuronal action within the brain, and because it seems to me that the mind develops and matures independently throughout an individual's life as though it were a continuing element, and because a computer (which the brain is) must be programmed and operated by an agency capable of independent understanding, I am forced to choose the proposition that our being is to be explained on the basis of two fundamental elements. [brain and mind, or body and soul] (p. 80 emphasis added)

    I conclude that there is no good evidence that the brain alone can carry out the work that the mind does (p. xxi)

    To expect the highest brain-mechanism or any set of reflexes, however complicated, to carry out what the mind does, and thus perform all the functions of the mind, is quite absurd. (p. 79, emphasis added)

    The mind seems to act independently of the brain in the same sense that a programmer acts independently of his computer, however he may depend upon the action of that computer for certain purposes. (pp. 79-80)

    In order to survive after death, the mind must establish a connection with a source of energy other than that of the brain (p. 88 emphasis is Penfield's)

    [Wilder Penfield, The Mystery of the Mind: A Critical Study of Consciousness and the Human Brain (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1975), 123 pp.]

    teleonomy: Information stored within a living thing. Teleonomy involves the concept of something having a design and purpose. Non-teleonomy is “directionlessness,” having no project. The teleonomy of a living thing is somehow stored within its genes. Teleonomy can use energy and matter to produce order and complexity.

  • Concerning the human brain, Arthur E. Wilder-Smith, Ph.D., D.Sc., Dr.es.Sc., states:

    Any scientist who holds the view that the teleonomy and information required to build an organ such as the human cortex developed by chance with the aid of the laws of nature is either not familiar with the second law of thermodynamics or he is superstitious, for as a scientist he should know that teleonomy and intelligence are required to build an intelligent electronic computer, because the computer matter does not possess the required teleonomy, and neither do the laws of nature governing the behavior of atoms and inorganic molecules when a biological organism is synthesized.

    [Arthur E. Wilder-Smith, The Natural Sciences Know Nothing of Evolution (Santee, California: Master Books, 1981), p. 154 (emphasis added).]


154

  • Quote from the late biochemist and atheist author Dr. Isaac Asimov:

    In man is a three-pound brain which, as far as we know, is the most complex and orderly arrangement of matter in the universe.

    [Isaac Asimov, In the Game of Energy and Thermodynamics You Can't Even Break Even, Smithsonian (June 1970), p. 10.]

  • Dr. Michael Denton has made a similar comment regarding the marvelous protein synthesis apparatus found within every living thing:

    It is astonishing to think that this remarkable piece of machinery, which possesses the ultimate capacity to construct every living thing that ever existed on Earth, from a giant redwood to the human brain, can construct all of its own components in a matter of minutes and weigh less than 10-16 grams. It is of the order of several thousand million million times smaller than the smallest piece of functional machinery constructed by man.

    [Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (Bethesda, Maryland: Adler and Adler Publishers, 1986), p. 338 (emphasis added).]


155

  • Dr. Michael Denton (biological research scientist and M.D.):

    It is the sheer universality of perfection, the fact that everywhere we look, to whatever depth we look, we find an elegance and ingenuity of an absolute transcending quality, which so mitigates against the idea of chance.

    [Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (Bethesda, Maryland: Adler and Adler Publishers, 1986), p. 342 (emphasis added).]


156

  • Dr. Michael Denton:

    The almost irresistible force of the analogy has completely undermined the complacent assumption, prevalent in biological circles over most of the past century, that the design hypothesis can be excluded on the grounds that the notion is fundamentally a metaphysical a priori concept and therefore scientifically unsound. On the contrary, the inference to design is a purely posteriori induction based on a ruthlessly consistent application of the logic of analogy. The conclusion may have religious implications, but it does not depend on religious presuppositions.

    [Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (Bethesda, Maryland: Adler and Adler Publishers, 1986), p. 341 (emphasis added).]

  • I never operate without having a subconscious feeling that there's no way this extraordinarily complicated mechanism known as the human body just happened to come up from slime and ooze someplace. When I make an incision with my scalpel, I see organs of such intricacy that there simply hasn't been enough time for natural evolutionary processes to have developed them.

    [C. Everett Koop, in Eric C. Barrett and David Fisher, editors, Scientists Who Believe (Chicago: Moody Press, 1984), p. 163 (emphasis added).]

    Dr. C. Everett Koop: Former Surgeon General of the United States of America / Former editor of The Journal of Pediatric Surgery / Recipient of at least 8 honorary degrees stemming from his surgical expertise / Member of more than a dozen medical societies worldwide / Former president of the Surgical section of the American Academy of Pediatric Surgery / Former Professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.


157

  • Dr. Wilder-Smith's personal conclusion:

    I, as a scientist, must postulate a source of information to supply the teleonomy or know-how. I don't find it in this universe, and, therefore, I assume that it is transcendent to this universe. I believe, myself, in a living God who did it. I believe that this God, who supplied the information, revealed Himself in the form of a man so that man could understand Him. We are made to understand. If God made us to understand, I want to understand. I want to understand God. But I can only do it if He comes down to my wavelength, the wavelength of man. I believe that God revealed Himself in the form of Christ, and that we can serve Him and know Him in our hearts as the source of the Logos all information necessary to make the universe and to make life itself.

    [Arthur E. Wilder-Smith in Willem J.J. Glashouwer and Paul S. Taylor, The Origin of the Universe (PO Box 1167, Marysville WA 98270-1167, USA: Films for Christ and Standard Media, 1983) (Creationist motion picture).]

    teleonomy: Information stored within a living thing. Teleonomy involves the concept of something having a design and purpose. Non-teleonomy is “directionlessness,” having no project. The teleonomy of a living thing is somehow stored within its genes. Teleonomy can use energy and matter to produce order and complexity.

    Look at the beauty of nature around us. When you consider that it all grew out of matter injected with information of the type I have been describing, you can only be filled with wonder at the wisdom of a Creator, who, first of all, had the sense of beauty to do it, and then the technical ability. I am filled with wonder as I look at nature, to see how God technically did it and realized the beauty of His own soul in doing it.

    The Scripture teaches perfectly plainly, and it fits in with my science perfectly well, that the one who did that called Himself THE LOGOS. That Logos was Jesus. Jesus called Himself the Creator who made everything 'for Him and by Him'. Now, if that is the case, then I am very happy and filled with joy that He made the Creation so beautiful and that He also valued me enough to die for me, to become my redeemer, as well.

    [Arthur E. Wilder-Smith in Willem J.J. Glashouwer and Paul S. Taylor, The Origin of Life (PO Box 1167, Marysville WA 98270-1167, USA: Eden Films and Standard Media, 1983) (Creationist motion picture).]

  • Similar expressions of acceptance of the Genesis origins account have been made by thousands of scientists.

  • logos: the ultimate source of all teleonomy in the cosmos; mind; creative, revelatory thought; alogos (non-logos) = chance, randomness, non-thought, no concept; the Word (Logos) a term often used to refer to the second person of the Trinity. Christians believe that Christ is the source of all teleonomy The Logos.

  • The Bible claims that when one looks upon nature, one's mind by that simple act alone can come to the conclusion that there is a Creator. Since life can only come from pre-existing life. Could it be that In the beginning God created is the most tenable statement that can be made concerning the origin of life?

For further information on Wilder-smith's views on teleonomy, see:

  • Arthur E. Wilder-Smith, The Scientific Alternative to Neo-Darwinian Evolutionary Theory: Information Sources & Structures (P.O. Box 8000, Costa Mesa, California 92628: TWFT Publishers, 1987), 176 pp., and God: To Be or Not to Be: A Critical Analysis of Monod's Scientific Materialism (Neuhausen-Stuttgart, West Germany: Telos International, 1975), 117 pp.


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Author: Paul S. Taylor, Films for Christ.

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