Posted by: Randall Niles | August 28, 2010

Lilliputian World of the Cell

In the first half of the 20th century, scientists still assumed that the organic cell was a simple blob of protoplasm. Without electron-scanning microscopes and other technologies, the cell was treated as a “black box” that mysteriously performed its various functions – an unobservable collection of “gelatin” molecules whose inner workings were unknown.

Through the marvels of 21st century technology, scientists now understand that each microscopic cell is as functionally complex as a small city. When magnified 50,000 times through electron micro-graphs, we see that a cell is made up of multiple complex structures, each with a different role in the cell’s operation. Using the city comparison, here’s a chart that reveals the awesome intricacy and information-oriented design of the human cell:

City ———— — ——————–>>>>      Cell

Workers                       »                    Proteins
Power Plant                »                    Mitochondria
Roads                            »                    Actin fibers, Microtubules
Trucks                           »                    Kinesin, Dynein
Factories                      »                    Ribosomes
Library                          »                    Genome (DNA, RNA)
Recycling Center       »                    Lysosome
Police                             »                    Chaperones
Post Office                    »                    Golgi Apparatus

As we delve further into the cellular world, technology is revealing black boxes within previous black boxes. As science advances, more of these black boxes are being opened, exposing an “unanticipated Lilliputian world” of enormous complexity that has pushed the theory of chance evolution to a breaking point.

Still Thinking,

Randall Niles

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