In 1986, I received my older cousin’s microscope set and slide collection. Ever since then, I have been fascinated with the molecular level. I remember spending hours on Saturday afternoon’s examining each of them and noting the differences and similarities. Even though it had not dawned on me until now, that first microscope set probably contributed more to my interest in Science than I realized.
Evolution Theory teaches that all living organisms evolved from a primitive unicellular organism. Aside from the misconception that all plants and animals evolved from a common ancestor which I will address in a separate article, I want to challenge the notion that there are or ever were simple life forms.
Does smaller mean simpler like the textbooks teach?
Above we see a paramecium. They may be single celled, yet they are far from simple! You can fit thousands of those into one drop of water and yet every paramecium is more complex than the space shuttle–the most complex machine ever built by man.
Somewhere along the line, people accepted the notion that smaller must mean simpler.
An example I love which demonstrates the point is to compare honeybees to NASA’s Cray Y-MPC90 Super Computer.
The Cray is larger, slower, costlier, burdensome, and heavier than the honeybee. If I told you that it came into existence from an explosion in an electronics factory, you would think I was nuts!
But the honeybee, which is smaller, faster, lighter, better, maintenance-free and self-healing, we assume evolved from a matter-less explosion in space!
There are no simple life forms and smaller means more complex, not less.
“Generation after generation, through countless cell divisions, the genetic heritage of living things is scrupulously preserved in DNA … All of life depends on the accurate transmission of information. As genetic messages are passed through generations of dividing cells, even small mistakes can be life-threatening … if mistakes were as rare as one in a million, 3000 mistakes would be made during each duplication of the human genome. Since the genome replicates about a million billion times in the course of building a human being from a single fertilised egg, it is unlikely that the human organism could tolerate such a high rate of error. In fact, the actual rate of mistakes is more like one in 10 billion.”
(Miroslav Radman and Robert Wagner, The High Fidelity of DNA Duplication… Scientific America. Vol. 299, No 2 (August 1988, pp 40-44. Quote is from page 24)