May 11, 2011

Problem #6: Even Simpler Creatures Are Complex

At the risk of being repetitive, I wanted to briefly focus on the complexity of "simple" creatures.

As mentioned previously, all organisms use one of two basic types of cells (or three, if you subscribe to the three-domains system). These cells are incredibly well designed and complex. All animals use the eukaryote cells that are perfectly well designed. My belief is that no one could think of a more efficient design for eukaryote cells to do what they do--i.e. be used to create all tissue types and every cell of every animal. If some genius out there can model a better universal cell that can be used for all animals, then my theory of evolution being created can be thrown out. (Currently, however, we don't even know the half of how cells work.)

We would think naturally that simple life forms, like corals, sponges, fruit flies, tiny water fleas, and brainless jellyfish would be genetically simple and definitely simpler than humans. Well, as it turns out, we humans share about 70% of our genes with sponges[1]. Some fruit flies are genetically as closely related to humans as primates[2]! The tiny water flea has a genome that is the largest yet found (as of May 2011), though much of its genome is thought to be the result of duplications of DNA sequences. Brainless jellyfish with eyes can respond to changes in light, 'intelligently' detect which way is up, and navigate using trees as landmarks[3]. Did we mention they have no brain? Corals also share many genes with humans and may actually have a larger genome than humans[4]. Simple life forms aren't so simple, genetically.

Even plants have amazing tricks up their sleeves--or leaves. Plant leaves have a kind of sunscreen built into them[5]. Life is bursting with complexity, even among the lowly creatures and plants. Did a random process of evolution do it? The real problem is that if naturalistic evolution works, this high degree of complexity in designs should have evolved through hundreds of millions of years. We should find countless examples of genetically primitive life forms that share little in common with humans. Instead, all life seems connected at the root of where animals came into existence, during or before the Cambrian explosion some 550 million years ago. I think the evidence shows that genetic complexity and information was there at the very beginning. The fact that all of life shares so many similarities speaks to the fact that at the beginning there was already information for complex designs. Simple insects and animals are far too complex to be explained by a step-by-step, incremental process of evolution.

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