The Human Cell
The inside of a human cell was also described as being stranger than any Sci-Fi movie. Hang on; a movie needs a writer does it not? The first fact that we are told is that there are 1 billion microscopic machines working in concert within each cell and each machine contains instructions which differ depending on cell type. Bear in mind the word ‘machine' is quoted directly from the programme. The Chambers English Dictionary has the following meaning for the word ‘machine': ‘Any artificial means or contrivance' where it also describes ‘artificial' as ‘the opposite of spontaneous' and ‘made by man'. So this ‘evolutionary' programme starts out describing the human cell in terms that could only be considered to define ‘INTELLIGENT DESIGN' (my capitals for effect; as if I need it!). Also, in considering the individual cell's development into the human multicellular organism I described above, the 60K cells that need to be aggregated together per annum would equate to 60 trillion ‘machines' per year. These also will need to be of various specifications to co-operate in different cell types to ensure the viability of each intermediate multicellular organism as it develops through that 2 billion year period. This sounds even less random, or indeed possible, than it did before!
The programme then goes on to describe proteins as workers which (or who?) build machines or structures. Again the Chambers English Dictionary has the following meaning for the word ‘worker': ‘Someone who works'. So the programme believes there is intelligence at work inside our cells but will not recognise any intelligence required for the creation of such an unbelievably complex structure. As an example of just one type of machine, the programme described motor proteins which provide a transport system. Scientists do not yet know how the protein delivery vehicles know where they are supposed to go. Apparently they do bump into each other (the motor proteins that is not the scientists I think!) although this does not stop them eventually getting to their intended destination. I wonder if Eddie Stobart Transport and Distribution know the proteins' secret to running a guaranteed delivery service? More intracellular intelligence at work!
Each cell has its own power stations called mitochondria. These are turbines that spin at 1Krpm to recharge chemical batteries which power all our movements and thoughts. Yeah that is really random!!! Hey this is beginning to sound like a city with a transport and road infrastructure on a micro-miniature scale. It has machines being operated in factories with roads and hauliers moving raw materials into the factories from outside the city and finished products being moved to locations they are required within the city limits. The hauliers always get to their correct destinations without fail so they must have some form of GPS system. If nature could build this structure why did our cities have to wait to be built by mankind? Why did they not evolve randomly over aeons so that mankind could just simply move in once he had evolved? After all if man can build a city over say 100 years, surely dumb old nature could do the same in 2 billion or even 4 billion years since it would not have to wait for unitary cell creation first? Are you beginning to sense just how stupid evolution really sounds???
Inside each mitochondrion, the food we eat and the air we breathe drives thousands of turbines that continually recharge billions of tiny batteries throughout each cell. ‘Scientists' believe that mitochondria were simple cells themselves then one was swallowed by another cell firing the greatest leap in evolution that lead to complex life. One ‘scientist's' quote from the programme: ‘To be complex you must have all this machinery and all these proteins encoded by genes and to support all of that requires a tremendous amount of energy. All complex life shares a common ancestor and that common ancestor arose just once in four billion years of life on Earth. For two to three billion years it was just bacteria and nothing else and then this complex cell arose. One simple cell got inside another simple cell, a very rare event in itself, and once it appears it transforms the energetic possibilities of life.' Yeah, why did I not think of that! More of the same follows: ‘Without that energy, evolution could not have produced that astounding diversity of life that we see around us. Without that cellular energy the world would be an almost sterile desert. Throughout each cell, hundreds of mitochondria feed energy to power the network of proteins that make us the complex creatures that we are.' It seems to me that microbiologists mention the ‘E' word every time they clearly do not understand something. I wonder if there are any Christian microbiologists around and what they make of all this unscientific nonsense!
Now the LW Church President Gordon, after reading the above paragraphs, could not believe the concept that each mitochondrion contains turbines generating energy. He asked me to provide evidence for this over and above the information provided by the TV programme. So here goes: Each of the turbines is a complex enzyme molecule, yes you heard me right 'a molecule', called ATP Synthase. Here are some links to several erudite biochemical web sites to demonstrate these facts beyond all reasonable doubt. This first link graphically demonstrates the turbine motor function: ATP synthase: Structure and Function. The second link provides a detailed treatise, should you care to read it, on the turbine motor function: ATP-driven stepwise rotation of FoF1-ATP synthase. The third link provides a further detailed treatise, again should you care to read it, on the speed of rotation of the turbine motor. You will see that 1Krpm stated in the programme is only a slight exageration on the experimental evidence of >400rpm: The mechanism of rotating proton pumping ATPases. The only more amazing fact of these wonders of God's creation, is that most of the scientists involved in this work seem to see it as the product of a random process rather than the obvious creation of an intelligent designer. It frankly beggars belief!
The programme stated that all these activities are working to a master plan with that plan being kept protected in a vault, aka the cell nucleus, which contains the instructions for life in the DNA. The human double helix contains 20 thousand instructions. So we have a master plan with 20 thousand line items without a master planner or a master builder for that city. Oh yes and a bank vault in the city to protect its crown jewels. More randomness apparently!!!
But we are not finished even now. Repair machines fix damaged proteins. Transcribing machines interpret the DNA instructions. Mobile ‘factories' read instructions from the DNA and are capable of creating 2 million different types of protein building blocks each of which is designed for a specific purpose. So we have repair shops as well as factories producing 2 million different products against the specific designs for each of those products? Actually I doubt whether there is a single city on Earth that has the capability or capacity to produce 2 million different products. Are these further examples of more randomness?
The human cell appears to have few problems with waste. Used or faulty proteins are tagged for recycling. They are chewed up by shredders (proteasomes) reducing them to tiny building blocks which are used to form new proteins. Well no city would be complete without its refuse collection service comprising waste and recycling plant, all of which randomness appears to be rather more effective than mankind's ‘intelligent' approach to waste management!
I think that is quite enough on the complexities of the human cell. Let us move on now and look at how the virus has randomly prepared its battle strategy.
It is probably worth spending a little time initially examining some general statements from the programme's content. It starts out by telling us that it takes 120 trillion cells to make up a human body. Now that is some random event! Let us assume, for one moment, that evolution were ‘clever' enough to build a human body over, let us say, a period of 2 billion years. The ‘experts' tell us that this was the start point after the formation of cells containing a nucleus. On this basis we are looking at the accumulation, on average, of some 60 thousand cells every single year to build a complete human being. This, presumably, would be based on multicellular organisms constantly evolving over that time period without any massive leaps of cell aggregation in any one year. To further confound the evolutionary proposition there are also over three hundred different human cell types that would also have to be developed over time to manufacture those organisms year on year. Yeah that sounds really random!! I wonder what a statistician would make of such a proposition; always assuming he was not an atheist of course?
Again, early on in the programme one of the microbiologists, comparing the state of the science of human biology with that of cosmology, stated that the more we find out about the universe the simpler it gets. Does this guy not realise that cosmologists only claim to know what 4% of the universe is made of? Oh yes and we won't bother to mention the prospective existence of universes other than our own about which we know even less will we? See what I mean about a lack of wisdom, not to mention knowledge? Where do they get these people from? I wonder if this guy could help me improve on my earlier papers on dark matter, dark energy and the problems with the big bang theory? I think you can understand how my rage was sparked at a very early stage of this programme which, I am certain, the vast proportion of unknowing viewers would have accepted as gospel (pun totally intended).
Another early statement was that cells have been in the front line of the longest war in history. The war was referred to as the 4 billion year old struggle that has changed the course of our evolution. Ah so wars are caused by random chance and are not deliberate events enacted by one intelligent power seeking some territorial advantage over another? This will become the essential topic of this paper as it represents the main introduction to the programme's content. This war apparently dates back to when the world was dominated only by single cells and viruses hence my use of the 2 billion year timeframe above. The 4 billion years referred to by the programme presumably includes a further prior period during which single cells and viruses ‘evolved' from base organic chemical compounds? The battle inside our bodies was described as an unseen Sci-Fi movie that we are, for the most part, unaware of. Ah, ok so a Sci-Fi movie could be produced by random chance. Well that should be simple enough; I wonder how long that would take to produce? Who needs Hollywood? I bet it would be a lot cheaper too!
The programme went on to describe viruses as tiny ‘machines' that kill to reproduce. Ok so we have task-specific machines designed and built by random chance? Well the world's factories might as well close their R&D departments and wait for evolution to design and produce their product drawings and prototype builds and then put them into full scale production for the factory floor! I suppose that they would not wish to wait a couple of billion years though?
I have a confession to make. I am getting heartily sick of so-called scientific TV programmes using the ‘E' word as a full stop. Every pseudo-scientist, regardless of their specific discipline and who gets a spot on a TV show, uses the word ‘evolution' at every opportunity to make an assumptive statement that this seriously flawed, totally unscientific and unproven theory is correct. This is the longest running unproven theory in the whole history of science; it has never been substantiated by definitive reproducible experimental evidence. In making these assumptive statements therefore I can only assume that these ‘scientists' are atheists, which I suspect is a rather smaller assumption than the one they have made!
Whilst this has been an issue burning within me for time now, it was particularly brought into focus for me by a recent and extremely interesting TV programme entitled ‘Secret Universe: The Hidden Life of the Cell' on BBC2. It can be found at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01nln7d although geography or time-frame may prevent a full viewing. It was an in-depth treatise on the war waged between the biological forces of evil, i.e. the viruses and bacteria that attack the human body, against the biological forces of good, i.e. the comprehensive defence forces of the human immune system. My contention is that, despite the evolutionary thrust of the programme, the sophistication of the tactics used by both armies cannot possibly be based on pure random chance. I am certain that both Wellington and Napoleon would have been proud of having devised and marshalled the battle plans for either the attacking or defending forces, yet the programme put it all down to evolutionary developments. This is like saying that there was no Wellington or Napoleon at the battle of Waterloo and that it was only the effects of random chance within the French and British national armies over several millennia that caused the battle to rage. What a crock this sounds to anyone of even limited intellect! Clearly this programme presented a case with too much intelligence and zero wisdom!
It is not my intention to go through all the argumentation vying against the evolutionary proposition. Many have done this extremely well already. One web-site that successfully debunks the evolution myth and that I would recommend to the interested reader is to be found at: http://www.newgeology.us/presentation32.html. To satisfy my initial rage I decided to go back over the programme, which I had fortuitously recorded and kept, to analyse the various levels of attack and defence strategy and make sure in my own mind that pure random chance was not at play here! This paper is largely about my analysis of the programme content followed by some other miscellaneous scientifically based considerations that cause me to consider the evolutionary proposition to be just plain bad science.
Science Proves the Existence of God
Jewish Lords' Witness
Conclusions from the Original Programme
Concluding quotes from the programme included: ‘Working together the body's immune system finally prevents the viral infection from spreading. It is one more battle in an unending war. The struggle between viruses and our cells is evolution but it is co-evolution; both sides have to change. It is a bit like an arms race. One party gets better weapons and the other party has to match them. Even though the individual cells are fighting this epic battle against the viruses, remember you have trillions of cells. So even if one cell loses its war, most of the time the organism wins and we get better.' So these evolutionists compare the cell v virus battle to an arms race which is perhaps one of the most intense and technically challenging design and build exercises the human mind can devise. Witness the building of the atomic bomb which ended the Second World War over Japan. How can these people even think of comparing a random process to a highly technical design process. Frankly I am getting bored with having to repeat this conclusion so frequently. I think the reader should be able to see very clearly why I thought ‘Enough is enough!' while watching this programme.
On my count above, the human multicellular organism counted seventeen lines of defence whereas the virus scored a 'measly' fifteen lines of attack. This is probably why the human wins most of its battles against the least virulent types of virus. However, even with a 'mere' fifteen lines of attack, the virus is nonetheless a well-endowed soldier. But really, can anyone seriously consider that such sophisticated and numerous battle tactics can come from random chance rather than from a clever commander in chief who has planned the whole scheme, vying with the known strengths and weaknesses of his enemy. This may well have been a scheme that took aeons to develop in full but it took two brilliant opponents to devise. The bible tells us that God, with the help of his angels, created mankind and all the other multicellular creatures and plants. What it does not tell us explicitly, at least as far as I am aware, is who created viruses and bad bacteria. One possibility is that Satan dabbled in his own live creations. Every creature, plant or microbe that one can think of as harmful could well have stemmed from that evil one's creations. One can imagine a game of chess between Satan and his father whereby each one would gain the upper hand as God developed the immune system stage by stage in response to Satan's giving the virus new attack skills. This was a battle that, overall, God was always going to win but, when it comes to Satan, God will only lay down an even playing field. Hence the tight scoreline above. Therefore Satan was enabled the means to produce human diseases that sometimes would end in human death. After all, upon the fall of Adam, the world was given over to Satan's power under a six thousand year lease (Ref: [Understanding 17] Satan sold his firstborn angelic rights to Michael for a 6,000 year kingship lease over mankind) so it is in no way surprising that at least some Satanic creatures were allowed to survive. As if in support of my hypothesis, Isaiah comes to the rescue by stating how animals will behave in the Kingdom. This is markedly different from their behaviour in this world:
6 And the wolf will actually reside for a while with the male lamb, and with the kid the leopard itself will lie down, and the calf and the maned young lion and the well-fed animal all together; and a mere little boy will be leader over them.
7 And the cow and the bear themselves will feed; together their young ones will lie down. And even the lion will eat straw just like the bull.
8 And the sucking child will certainly play upon the hole of the cobra; and upon the light aperture of a poisonous snake will a weaned child actually put his own hand.
9 They will not do any harm or cause any ruin in all my holy mountain; because the earth will certainly be filled with the knowledge of Jehovah as the waters are covering the very sea. (Isaiah 11)
Clearly God is able to produce a harmonious set of animals so why do we have predators today? It would seem that my Satanic theory may well be correct in that God allowed Satan to make predators, parasites and viruses in this world to teach us right and wrong through animalistic behaviour. We can certainly see predatory behaviour amongst humans as well animals. People's uncaringly feeding off other better-natured folk is an ever present feature of life. One can look at a polar bear and think how beautiful it is. That is until one's sees it swim after and kill a seal. At least, in the case of the bear, the creature is killing to survive and feed its young, which is probably a more moral case than in the equivalent human who is likely only preying on others for his material wealth rather than need.
Thinking about it, what is more Satanic in nature than the virus? God has created a wondrous and complex city in a human cell smaller in size than a pin head. Satan has produced a small but simplistic and parasitic single celled entity with only evil intent: to survive by destroying something far greater and more beautiful than itself. Actually one might forgive the virus in that it is only doing what it was designed to do; it is its creator, Satan, that gave it its evil design to ensure that he could visit further pain and suffering on the human race of whom he is so very jealous, Job being a very good example:
7 So Satan went out away from the person of Jehovah and struck Job with a malignant boil from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. (Job 2)
Interestingly I saw yet another recent TV programme (with all the television that I seem to be watching, I am beginning to wonder how I have the time to devote to the maintenance of this web-site!) about unusual natural phenomenon. The particular item that comes to mind was a film sequence of our friendly neighbourhood polar bear stalking down a husky dog which would normally be its natural prey. The bear was going into its final predatory manoeuvre to strike when the dog, instead of running away or even looking to tough it out with her giant opponent, adopted what could only be described as a playful stance right in front of the bear. To my utter amazement, and that of the camera man and dog owner also I might add, the bear responded by shedding his predatory body language and becoming playful himself. The two of them, dog and bear then had a rough and tumble in the Northern Canadian snow in which not a drop of blood was shed nor any flesh torn. Perhaps even more amazingly this has now become a regular event; the bear now visits the dog for a play session on an annual basis. The programme details are Nature's Weirdest Events at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01pqmtq. So even what may appear to be Satan's creatures are still clearly based on God's original blueprints and some will therefore be allowed into God's Kingdom, albeit with their predatory instincts removed. Even one of the world's deadliest predators can behave towards a weaker species in a loving way given the correct stimulus.
Going back to the original ‘Cell' programme, I must say that I found the overall production and animation to be excellent and the way it brought the wonder of the cell and, for that matter the virus, to its television audience was to be applauded. However, its conclusions based on random evolution rather than special creation through an intelligent design and build process was nothing short of scientific ineptitude. The scientists who support the theory of evolution would no doubt consider creationists to be religious zealots who believe in a non-existent personal creator. Rather it is these scientists who are the religious zealots; they cling to a belief in their deity of evolution because they do not wish to accept the person of God as their creator for some reason that I for one cannot understand. Their god is a non-existent and impersonal theory of random selection that can turn one species into another based on absolutely no evidence whatsoever and is certainly not based on evidential experimentation which is what good science is supposed to be about. In all this I am minded of God's reproving of Job. I think today's scientists should take careful note since when it comes to the creation of life they have little understanding:
1 And Jehovah answered Job out of the tempest and said:
2 Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
3 Now gird up your loins like a man, for I will question you; and you teach Me.
4 Where were you when I founded the earth? Declare if you know understanding. (Job 38)
The ‘Random' Battle Plans
Now we start to get into the real meat of this paper: the military capabilities of the city's defence systems versus those of the attacking viral hordes. One of the so-called scientists on the programme used the e-word in describing the ‘amazing' immune system which comprises a multi-step defence against viruses and bacteria. I wonder if she has the vaguest idea exactly how evolution could possibly have created such an intricate set of defence mechanisms and, indeed, how the ‘ancient' viruses were so clever that they knew in advance what defence mechanisms were to be put in place by evolution in future developments of the human species. Actually I cannot understand how anyone can imagine humans developed under evolution at all since all human cells would have been destroyed by viruses before they had the opportunity to learn how to defend themselves against the viruses. I wonder how random all these systems will appear if compared to the campaigns of the two opposing armies at the battle of Waterloo? So let us get started blow for blow as the programme takes us through the battle:
1. Each individual cell is part of a neighbourhood of cells which all communicate with each other. Blimey, it looks like the city has telecommunications also; I did not know we had that technology 2 billion years ago! Fragments of shredded proteins are transported to the cell's surface. There they are presented for inspection to be monitored by the ‘guardians‘ of our immune system, the white blood cells. These roving ‘soldiers' check the proteins for signs of damage or infection (the words in inverted commas are the programme's description and not mine!). I find it interesting that the atheists presenting the programme thought it appropriate to assign human roles to a randomly produced bunch of organisms. Anyway looking at the military aspects, we clearly have here a counter-intelligence force (other than that of the microbiologists on the programme that is; apologies for my little joke!) at work inside the city limits (aka MI5). These guys present evidence of broken machinery to the sentries (my word) on guard outside the city limits (MI6). These extra-cellular forces will completely destroy any material that it considers dangerous to the human organism. So the First Line of Cellular Defence comprises a combination of internal and external intelligence forces operating on a continual joint on-going seek and destroy mission.
2. Cells are under constant attack from viruses and bacteria. The skin is our first line of defence but it has weaknesses where there are the necessary openings in the body enabling them to get in. This is the Second Line of Cellular Defence since our intelligence services are operating already in advance of any virally initiated attack that penetrates the fortress walls of the human skin. So we can inhale someone's sneeze that can produce an ‘alien army' of one million invaders hell bent on destruction. Again these are the programme's own words and again not sounding very random or depersonalised! Here we have also defined the initial assault by the viral enemy using human exhalations in concert with prospective new human victims' inhalations. This is clearly based on a relatively close proximity between humans which the viruses have ‘learned' to take advantage of. Strike One to the Virus! They have successfully launched their initial full frontal assault and breached the human ramparts. Now here is a question for you evolutionists: ‘Since viruses spread through sneezing or touch, how did they multiply before there were any complex multi-cellular life forms that were able to do that?'
3. Our bodies are, however, prepared for the viruses once they enter the human body. As viruses approach the surface of a cell they are met with a cloud of resistance. Antibodies, that are Y-shaped proteins, can identify the alien intruders. They patrol the space between our cells looking for viruses. When they recognise a virus they lock to its ‘armour plating'. This shackles the viruses together making them easy meat for the white blood cells that feed on alien invaders. Antibodies and white blood cells form the front line (actually the Third Line of Cellular Defence by my count) of our immune system. Militarily speaking, the antibodies and white blood cells are working together in a somewhat different mode against a viral attack than in their purely intelligence gathering mode in examining shredded proteins. More randomness!
4. However even this impressive third line of defence will still allow hundreds of thousands of the viruses to make it through to our cells. The next obstacle to the viruses is the cell surface which is effectively a membrane or skin. This surface contains hundreds or thousands of receptor proteins sticking out of the cell. They have many different functions. Some just communicate data while others are capable of bringing whole cargoes in. The cell surface is teaming with security proteins which constantly monitor molecules as they enter or leave the cell. The largest deliveries/molecules require a ‘key' before they are let into the cell. These protein keys are recognised by the teams of mobile sentries that constantly roam the surface. So we have guards outside of the city gates who require a key to allow entry through those gates. The keys and the guards that check them in represent the Fourth Line of Cellular Defence. Another sophisticated but apparently random mechanism!
5. But over millions of years of ‘evolution' the adenovirus has evolved its own key. The antibodies will have previously blocked many of the virus's projecting keys but not all. These unblocked keys fool the sentries allowing the virus to quietly slip inside. Strike Two to the Virus! Beneath the surface, the cell prepares to receive the deadly invaders. Fooled into thinking the virus is an important nutrient, special proteins slot around the virus to form a spherical mould. They pinch out a bubble of cellular membrane wrapping the virus inside. Finally another protein pinches the membrane free allowing the wrapped virus into the cell's interior. This is the high level of sophistication of the cell's locked gate technology which the virus is quite able to outwit. More randomness no doubt!
6. However the cell still has a vast array of defences to keep these killing raiders at bay. Every delivery that the cell receives is taken to a sorting station called an endosome. Endosomes process incoming supplies and decide where inside the cell they will be delivered. The first step in the process is to break them down. So cell city not only has a telecommunications network but also a ‘snail-mail' sorting and delivery post office! The walls of the sorting stations are fitted with specialised proton pumps. These pumps draw in special ‘atoms' (H+ protons in fact) that turn the inside of the endosome into an acid bath. The acid breaks down large nutrients into smaller molecules making them easier for the cell to transport and use. The acid eats away the virus' outer shell and it begins to break apart (this sounds like a Fifth Line of Cellular Defence to me). This should spell disaster for the adenovirus but the acid is part of its escape plan. The virus fibres are the first to break away but their disintegration releases a special protein hidden inside the virus that targets the wall of the sorting station tearing the membrane apart and setting the virus free. Strike Three to the Virus!
7. Not every virus escapes. Many still carry antibodies locked to their surface. Their primary job was to alert the immune system to the intruders but their firm grip ties the virus outer shell together. The virus fibres cannot break free and the escape protein stays trapped inside the shell. Countless viruses are eaten away by the acid before they can escape. Whilst this is part of the cell's fifth line of defence this is actually efficiently using a previously mentioned defensive counter-measure (the antibodies) for a further dual defensive purpose and therefore merits description as the Sixth Line of Cellular Defence I think. How random of the cell to prepare for two different counter-measures to be orchestrated by a single defensive process! However with strength in numbers, enough viruses are still able to release their offensive protein to continue the battle to the next stage of attack.
8. At this point there is nothing between the released viruses and the nucleus of the cell (their ultimate goal). Though they are only 5 micrometres from their target most of them might as well be a million miles away. For 90% of the army the invasion will end here floating helplessly beneath the cell's surface. Although surrounded by the bustle of normal cell activity the inert invaders have no way of moving themselves and have no way of using the energy of the cell's floating power stations, the mitochondria. But just beneath the surface of the cell, large numbers of motor proteins, the molecular haulage workers, await nutrients processed for delivery by the endosomes. In this billion years' arms race, the virus has ‘evolved' the precise mechanism to attach to the cell's motor proteins. Now it can use the energy of the mitochondria. The virus is on its way. It has hijacked the cell's own transport system and is being carried towards the nucleus and its ultimate prize, the DNA machines it needs to take control of the cell. Strike Four to the Virus!
9. The microscopic motorised legs (of the motor proteins) are a wonder of the natural world. The human cell is packed full and can sometimes provide an obstacle to the motor proteins which can only move in one direction. When the path is blocked the virus can attach to a second motor protein that is capable of moving in the opposite direction. Using the two sets of motor proteins, the virus can navigate around almost any obstacle. So pure random chance has enabled the virus to navigate around obstacles by using a reverse motor! That really does sound plausible does it not? Strike Five to the Virus!
10. The virus army can be moving in their hundreds within a single cell. It is almost one hour since the adenovirus attacked the cell. The nucleus is just one more hour away. However it has recently been discovered that the cell has its own internal immune system. Dotted along the cell's highways a special protein searches for anything carrying antibodies from the cell's surface. When it finds antibodies, it sends signals to a cellular machine called the proteasome. The proteasome plays the role of recycling proteins in the cell. It gets brought along to the virus and breaks down all its component parts into tiny fragments. Once attached the defence protein initiates a chain reaction attracting specialised tagging proteins. Together they mark the virus for destruction. Then it is only a matter of time before the recyclers arrive. They rip the virus to shreds. By working together, the defence proteins and the recycling shredders can destroy an army of viruses in just a few hours. So here we have four separate elements all operating together within the cell interior to identify a virus, break it down to its component parts, tag them for destruction and then shred them. Nothing could be more random could it? I think we have here a highly sophisticated multi-faceted Seventh Line of Cellular Defence that could arguably be defined as four individual items. But hey, let's give those poor viruses a break shall we?
11. But it only takes a single virus to take control of an entire cell, spreading infection throughout the body. A virus with no antibodies attached can evade the cell shredders. Nothing now stands between the virus and its target. However it first has to get inside the nucleus. The virus is tiny compared to the size of the cell but nonetheless they are really just different versions of the same machine. The virus' only job is to copy itself but the virus needs to take advantage of the cell mechanisms for its own selfish ends. At the heart of the cell is the nucleus which is a world all of its own. Its surface is made of the same material as the cell membrane (the Eighth Line of Cellular Defence) but entry into this world is governed by completely different gateways. Across the surface, protein arms search for molecules to draw inside the nuclear pores. Through these gateways billions of chemical messages and instructions pass between the DNA and the cell but only if they are recognised by the protein arms (the Ninth Line of Cellular Defence). So the nucleus provides a second impregnable wall with a different set of gates and keys for its entry. Once again the virus carries a counterfeit pass. Strike Six to the Virus! The arms lock on but the virus is too large to be ferried inside. ‘Thinking' they have hit an obstruction, the motor proteins shunt the virus into reverse. Pulled in two directions the virus is ripped apart. What looks like a catastrophe for the virus is, in fact, its master stroke. Now the single strand of DNA it held inside is carried through the pore and into the cell's control centre. Strike Seven to the Virus! With this complexity of thrust and counter-thrust how can anyone possibly contemplate this little lot was put together by pure random chance?
12. The adenovirus has proved itself a master of deception, continually exploiting the cell's processes to further its own deadly aim. But its greatest trick is yet to come. The cell's DNA machines have no way of telling the difference between its own DNA and the DNA of the virus. Blindly they set about converting its deadly code into thousands of instructions for the cell to act upon; blueprints for the cell's own destruction. Strike Eight to the Virus! But the machines that turn the blueprints into proteins lie outside the nucleus. Out in the main body of the cell the instructions are met by a squadron of mobile protein factories called ‘ribosomes'. The ribosomes precisely follow the instructions and start to construct viral proteins. Each is carefully folded into a specific shape with a unique job to do. Ribosomes are fundamental to life and very similar forms are found in every type of living cell on the planet. They read the genetic information and decode it, bringing in the building blocks that make up proteins and sticking them together to make functioning molecules that will work inside the living cell. However these particular functioning molecules are the kit of parts needed to build an alien army. But the alien army is remotely built outside the nucleus. This raw material for the new army is drawn back inside the nucleus ready for construction. With its mission reaching its climax the virus turns its attention to the cell's DNA, halting any processes it does not need. Strike Nine to the Virus! The virus has taken complete control. Not bad for a random process!
13. And yet the cell still has a small window of opportunity. Before all normal activity stops, it has just enough time to send a message to the outside world. This parcel contains fragments of the viral army. The parcel merges with the cell membrane and the enemy fragments are pushed to the surface and flagged, warning of the invasion that is taking place (the Tenth Line of Cellular Defence). If a patrolling white blood cell spots the distress signal, it will destroy the cell along with the entire alien army inside. If not, the infection will spread from cell to cell.
14. After just one day of occupation, the virus gained complete control over the cell. With routine maintenance halted, the cell has started to decay. All activity is now focussed on building a brand new viral army inside the nucleus. The new army self-assembles. Strike Ten to the Virus! Already built into the virus army surfaces are the binding sites for the cell's motorised legs. Fibres snap into place arming each virus with the keys to enter other cells. Strike Eleven to the Virus! But these shells are harmless without its instructions. The final component is loaded: identical copies of the virus' deadly DNA. Carried by powerful motors, long strands of DNA are led into every single virus. All this is the result of one single virus getting through our cell's defences. Yup randomness is clearly good science here!!!
15. It has now been two days since the virus entered the body and the nucleus, once the centre of cellular organisation, now harbours an army of ten thousand deadly viruses. But before it can begin its conquest, it has to overcome two barriers. The army is trapped within the tough nuclear membrane, held at the centre of the cell and there is the skin of the cell itself. Arguably these are the Eleventh and Twelfth Lines of Cellular Defence since they are barriers both to exit as well as entry. The protein factories outside the nucleus are instructed to build viral saboteurs. The first are released into the decaying cell and target its very structural integrity via the cytoskeleton. The effects are cataclysmic. Without support, the cell starts to collapse. Strike Twelve to the Virus! Now the virus turns its attention to the nuclear membrane. A second protein is released. Called the adenovirus death protein, it burrows into the membrane and weakens it. The nucleus can no longer contain the bulging barmy. Strike Thirteen to the Virus! Beyond the nucleus, the cell is a wasteland, unrecognisable from the harmonious, buzzing community of just 48 hours ago. The cell is now completely helpless to stop the virus army from flooding into the surrounding tissue, attacking neighbouring cells and spreading infection throughout the body. The battle for this cell is over.
16. But the war has only just begun. While the virus has been busy inside the cell, our antibodies have adapted and now come back in force, carrying new receptors, tailor-made to lock on to the escaping army. These are the immune system's Thirteenth Line of Cellular Defence. Yet even in these numbers, they cannot stop every virus. But they are not alone.
17. The cell's dying message to the outside world was not in vain. Giant white blood cells flock to the stricken cell to devour the escaping hordes. They too are learning how to tackle this particular invading force, carrying new receptors, tailor-made to lock on to the escaping army. These are the immune system's Fourteenth Line of Cellular Defence. Once the virus had been detected by the immune system, there is a heightened level of security inside your body. One of the results of this is that the cells that make antibodies, and make the right antibody for that virus, will make lots of copies of themselves and then they will start pumping out up to five thousand antibodies per second to flood your bloodstream and the spaces between your cells so that the viruses emerging from dying cells can get tagged by antibodies and then get destroyed by the white blood cells. It is interesting that this ability of antibodies and white blood cells to modify themselves was not of itself described as evolution by our microbiologist friends! That presumably is because it is not evolution and they know this!!
18. Taking no chances, white blood cells engulf nearby cells that might have been infected (the immune system's Fifteenth Line of Cellular Defence). Meanwhile, surrounding healthy cells make the ultimate sacrifice, by destroying themselves to stop the spread of the virus (the immune system's Sixteenth Line of Cellular Defence). It is only at this stage that we become aware of the battle taking place inside us. Increasing blood flow brings more white blood cells to the battleground, causing our nasal tissue to become infected. What we feel as a blocked nose is the clearest sign of a viral onslaught.
19. Once you have had an infection, one cell that makes the right antibody for that infection will be kept inside your bone marrow for the rest of your life. So that if you ever get another infection of the same virus, the immune system already knows how to respond. It knows what antibody to make and it can respond very quickly and stop you getting sick. This again is like keeping files on the enemy's not so secret weapons and building a defensive shield to protect against future use of that weapon (the immune system's Seventeenth Line of Cellular Defence). More signs of weapons design randomness!
The Viral ‘Random' Attack Philosophy
The programme identified and focussed on the common adenovirus and described it as, and I make a major point in quoting this one in capital letters: ‘A MASTERPIECE OF DESIGN'. Do I really need to add my own comments? Each individual virus has the single aim of breaching a human cell's defences to reach the nucleus. Once inside the nucleus any single virus can take control of the cell and reproduce itself ten thousand times. So within the virus we have the motivation and determination, in facing its own death at the hands of the human immune system, to attempt to reproduce at any cost. Very random for a species that scientists do not even believe is alive! The results of a viral attack can be anything from the common cold to influenza and even to death. In essence I do not believe that the virus ‘cares' one way or the other about the fate of the multicellular creature it has inhabited; all it seems to be interested in is its own ability and drive to reproduce itself. In assessing the level of success of the various levels of response from the human immune system, proper account needs to be taken of the major viral strategy which is to attack in large numbers, i.e. by the million. The viral view being to attempt to overwhelm the human defence forces through sheer weight of numbers. I guess this is acceptable if one is prepared to lose these numbers for the prize of mass replication upon a successful campaign. This clearly works for the virus since it is still around after two billion years, which is rather longer than man has been on the Earth.
The programme described this ancient battle as diverging into two strategies at an early stage. Cells became more complex, forming multi-cellular organisms over time, while the viruses retained their simplicity remaining as viruses and exploiting cells to enable them (the viruses) to replicate themselves. It frankly beats me as to how complex organisms ever could have got started via evolution given the virulent simplicity of their enemy! To help make my point the programme comments: ‘Every virus that enters a cell has the weaponry to destroy the cell. Its multi-layered shell is a ‘cloak of deception' with still more surprises in store. At its heart it carries a tiny string of DNA; its ultimate weapon. It is a masterpiece of design! Scientists do not know if viruses are dead or alive. But they behave with a sense of purpose. They are not strictly alive since they cannot replicate by themselves; they require parts of a cell to achieve that. The virus has ‘evolved' into a model of efficiency but the simplicity of its design makes it useless without the machinery of complex life.' Again do I need to add any of my own comments?
Inside the cell nucleus are some 23,000 genes. They code for thousands and thousands of biochemical pathways. The virus has got just 40 genes but with these 40 it can do remarkable things. The virus is tiny, consisting of just a piece of DNA and a couple of proteins to make its shell, and yet it can take over and wreak havoc in a huge human cell. One scientist described it as ‘brilliant'. Perhaps this one scientist was not an evolutionary atheist? Another scientist's quote was: ‘How do viruses know how to invade cells and how to break and enter the cell itself? We know that viruses and cells co-evolved over long periods of time, but it is more than that. They are surprisingly closely related. It turns out that the viruses that attack us are made from bits and pieces of our own cells. As our cells were evolving, as the nucleus itself first came to be, so these viruses were cobbled together from bits and pieces and they can attack our nucleus because they are made of the same stuff.' Clearly this scientist was intelligent enough to ask the right question but unable, or unwilling perhaps, to come up with anything like the correct answer in my humble opinion!
Image provided by www.BiblePictureGallery.com.
Plague - Death of the firstborn of Egypt
Evolution, as a theory, is seriously compromised from a scientific strand-point. Unfortunately it appears that most scientists today are atheists and assume, without adequate evidence, that evolution is a proven principle since it presents them with an easy (albeit incorrect) out from having to believe in a divine creator. I object strongly to the BBC, and all other broadcasting organisations, producing such misinformation to the masses and masquerading it as fact. Arguably they are only recording the information given to them by today's 'authoritative' scientific community which, whilst it has a good grasp of the factual details as they exist today, are apparently less able to speculate on how biological systems have developed over the last four million years than I am.
I think I have produced enough argumentation in this small paper, from someone who would not venture to call himself a microbiologist under any circumstances, to cause anyone with an open mind on the subject for pause for thought and ask himself: ‘Could the complexities of a single human cell, never mind the sum total of a multicellular organism, really be created by a purely random and unintelligent process?'. I would argue that good science proves the existence of God; it is only bad science that tries to prove he does not. Do not take my word for it. Arguably the two most accomplished scientists the world has ever known believed in the existence of God: Newton and Einstein. I am not sure that today's average microbiologist quite matches up to the stature of either of these two monoliths of the scientific establishment.
Other Scientific Evidence of God's Hand in Creation
To me there are several aspects of the universe in which we live whereby scientific knowledge proves the existence of God despite the views expressed by many atheist scientists. Whilst there is the whole Goldilocks planetary aspect of our Earth being able to support life by being neither too hot nor too cold and other numerous explanations of how creation supports the concept of a grand intelligent design, I present a few that are my own pet favourites:
1. Is it not very strange that our sun's very existence, and that of all the stars in all the galaxies, depends on the perfect balancing between the opposing forces of gravitation and nuclear fusion? The gravitational force retains the sun as a centre of mass in our solar system pulling all its atoms towards its centre. To prevent it becoming a black hole are the forces of nuclear fusion which burn hot causing the sun to expand from its centre of mass and sending light out to its captive planets which sustains all life on Earth. This balance between the opposing forces of gravitation and nuclear fusion have given us a highly stable sun that has existed in this equilibrium for billions of years and which will continue so to do for billions more into the future. Not only is the sun balanced but it has an automatic self-regulating mechanism to ensure this balance is maintained by counteracting any imbalances that may occur. Random chance or intelligent design? You decide but you might want to have a look at this web-site first: http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2011/ph241/olson1/
2. Why does mathematics work in the physical world? Surely a random chance creation, which most scientists today seem to support, would not follow any rules of logic that we humans just happened to be able to understand? Random chance or the design of a universe that was designed for us to be able to understand mathematically and logically by a mind, although far more capable than ours, not so very different in essence?
3. Now this, to me, is the really big one. The theory of evolution breaks the Second Law of Thermodynamics which is a well-established and proven scientific phenomenon. This basically states that there is a factor called ‘entropy' which can only increase in value through time. Entropy is a function of chaos which, funnily enough, can also only increase with time. Evolution, which is the involuntary production of more complexity (and therefore more order which is the complete opposite of chaos) with time flies in the face of this proven principle. Evolutionists have absolutely no response to this challenge. I rest my case. The interested reader may find the following an interesting piece on this subject: http://www.icr.org/article/does-entropy-contradict-evolution/
4. Why does the theory of evolution not appear to me to be working today despite scientists telling us that it does. The ‘evidence‘ for evolution is tied up in ancient geological remains of so-called 'missing links' between species. So if evolution is working today why do we not see a gentle gradation between species as they develop one from another? I am not aware of any such human monkeys for example. Perhaps these scientists are hiding their relatives in the closet!
An Update to the Programme
I gave this paper to my middle daughter to review prior to publishing since I felt that her experience in media might be of some value here. I was not a little annoyed, as you may imagine, when she told me that I would have to wait at least two weeks longer for her feedback than she had originally given me to expect. I might have guessed that, as always, this delay was entirely orchestrated outside of her and my control. There was another subsequent TV programme, that threw further light on the topic, which was broadcast while my original text was still with my daughter. I think perhaps I do watch too much television although these programmes have proved highly educational for me! This new programme was appropriately called ‘Winter Viruses and How to Beat Them' and was shown on BBC2. If you are in the correct geography you may still be able to watch it for yourself on BBC iPlayer at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01qfr8v/Winter_Viruses_and_How_to_Beat_Them/
So what did I learn from this additional programme that was not covered in my original critique? Bearing in mind that this programme specifically concentrated on the common winter viruses that we all suffer from time to time, it started out looking at the strategy for the very initial viral onslaught on the human body. Yes, as you might have guessed, we sneeze and we cough to spread the viral army amongst our friends, acquaintances and complete strangers! The viral infection itself causes that immune response from us with the explicit objective of gaining access to further victims. I have already identified this as strike one to the virus. However please continue dear reader. According to the programme, sneeze droplets can travel one metre and can contain a total of one hundred thousand instances of the virus causing the infection. The infamous norovirus has a very similar but rather more graphic strategy of spreading its sphere of influence. It causes its victim to vomit uncontrollably thereby releasing one billion of its colleagues wherever they may happen to land thereby risking contamination to anyone coming into the slightest contact with the ejected material. The vomit projectile can travel three metres in front of and to the side of the victim. And the viruses can ‘live' for up to twelve days if the vomit is not perfectly cleaned up, thereby giving plenty of opportunity, as we know, for spreading the infection around.
Now the novovirus outbreak appears to have been rather worse in 2013 than in 2012 due to mutations. This is a clever variation by the virus to outfox the human immune systems so that it cannot recognise the virus even if the victim caught the 2012 variant. It would still therefore be unprepared and could, as a direct result, suffer a severe infection in both outbreaks. Viral variation is clearly Strike Fourteen to the Virus! Despite this strategy I repeat: ‘Variation is not evolution; this is not a species jump!'. Actually viruses are not procreative species so the question does not even arise.
It also appears that some people are more susceptible than others to a viral attack. This suggests a weakness in their DNA sequencing which is thought to contribute to the success of viruses through the ages. Whilst this is more to do with the victim than the virus I will count this as Strike Fifteen to the Virus since it clearly knows its enemy's weaknesses and takes advantage of them. In reviewing the creation story below it is arguable that the making of man's DNA to be imperfect was the very initial viral strategy that made viruses a viable enemy in the first place.
So I think the reader can see why this second programme has proved so important in the debate.The original score was Humans 17 Viruses 13, which is a clear Human victory. When we take the additional data into account however, it paints a slightly different victory of Humans 17 Viruses 15, which seems like a much closer run affair. Whilst humans can clearly withstand many viral attacks, the second programme did point up the mortality rate associated with viral pandemics. As a prime example the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 is estimated to have killed upwards of 50 million human souls depending on which source you care to believe.