Shanghai Cell

I have been a scientist for more than 30 years. It never ceases to amaze me that perfectly logical and brilliant scientists would say quite matter-of-factly that evolution “caused” this or that to happen in history, as if it is a proven fact, well understood and generally accepted by everyone.


I often remark: I don’t need you to explain how an ape evolved into a complex human being. Just explain to me how the first smallest cell ever came to being by “chance!” Just one little cell. The one little cell, the most “primitive” (to the uninitiated) cell, is actually as complex as the city of Shanghai!


As we learn more about the cell, we learn that it is indescribably intricate. Every discovery of science reveals it is even more complex than we thought before. Every new discovery never makes it simpler. It is always more intricate, more complex and more “intelligent.”


My usual joke is: were it not for the complexity of the cell, there would not be so many wonderful opportunities for scholars worldwide to come to the US, and many other technologically advanced countries, to obtain their PhDs, Post-Docs, and Post-Post-Docs. It is as if the Intelligence that designed the cell, designed it to allow literally tens of thousands of scholars to have a career exploring “the amazing cell.”


And truly “the amazing cell” is like Shanghai: the simplest cell has the equivalent of phone lines, wireless connections, computer chips, cellphones, and emails zipping around inside. There are functions within the cell that serve as policemen, firemen, anti-pollution experts, garbage disposal staff, postmen and gardeners. In the cell there are features like street signs, traffic lights, superhighways, typhoon and tornado warnings, and fire alarms. And it all works beautifully: no garbage pileups, no traffic congestion, no plumbing backups, no water shortages, and no pollution in the cell. And it never stops working. And can we really imagine 50 trillion (50 x 1012) cells in the body? Or 50 trillion Shanghais in each of us, all working in an amazing interplay and interchange.

這個“驚人的細胞”的確就像大上海:再簡單不過的細胞內,擁有相當於全上海的電話線路、無線網路、計算機芯片、移動電話和電郵,全部都同時急速地運轉。細胞的種種機能各司其職,有警察、消防員、防污染專家、清潔工、郵遞員和園丁。細胞中還有一些設施,如路標、交通燈、高速公路、暴風警告和火警系統。這一切都完美地運行,沒有垃圾堆積,不會交通擁堵,沒有管道阻塞,不會用水短缺,沒有環境污染,而且永不停止工作。我們真的能想像身體中有五十兆(50 x 1012)個細胞嗎?或者說,我們每個人身上都有五十兆個上海,彼此之間還挺驚人地相互影響,相互交通呢。

Tell me how it all “came by chance?” One phone line at a time? One water pipe at a time? Or one traffic light at a time? Or did the Master Designer, of infinite wisdom and intelligence, put it ALL together as a PERFECT example of what can go right when all the pieces work together, and all the interlocking items fit perfectly? I prefer the Intelligent Designer over Illogical Chance.